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Homer - Ancient Poet

Homer - Ancient Poet Fiction Poetry World History Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Visual Arts

Homer was the most-famous poet of antiquity. Scholars believe he lived in Greece around 750-700 BC. (Some scholars, however, wonder whether Homer was actually a real person. Debates, on that topic, continue.)

Among Homer's famous works are The Iliad (about Achilles and his role in the siege of Troy) and The Odyssey (about the adventures of Odysseus—such as his encounter with the Sirens—as he returns home after the fall of Troy).

No known likeness of Homer survives (if any was ever created). This image depicts a marble bust from Roman times which served as a way to reference Homer.  

Pliny the Elder (who died as a result of Vesuvius’ eruption in 79 AD) tells us that Homer’s likeness was invented in the second century BC for the library of the Kings of Pergamum—also known as Pergamon—(located near Bergama in today's Turkey). 

Copies of that creation, like the one depicted in this image, were made during Roman times.  

The original of this marble “portrait” bust was located in Baiae (Baia), an ancient city in the Campania region of southern Italy.  It is currently maintained by the British Museum in London.

For more information about such ancient Greek “portrait busts,” see Gisela Marie Augusta Richter’s book, The Portraits of the Greeks (London, Phaidon, 1984).

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image online, via the British Museum website.

 

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