The Man of Many Ways

Homer's "Odyssey"

"I am a part of all that I have met." —Tennyson's "Ulysses"

Standing at the dawn of the tradition of European literature, Homer is credited with creating two enduring epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Both have influenced subsequent literature almost since they were first sung to rapt listeners hearing of the wrath of Achilles or the wanderings of Odysseus (known to Latin speakers as Ulysses). These epics depict the life of the Bronze Age seen through a lens of myth and legend.

As do all such stories, Homer's poems offer insight into human nature and into the hearts of men and women. The depiction of Achilles in the Iliad, for example,significantly shaped...


is a retired secondary teacher of English and philosophy. For forty years he challenged students to dive deep into the classics of the Western canon, to think and write analytically, and to find the cultural constants reflected throughout that literature, art, and thought.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #59, Winter 2021 Copyright © 2022 Salvo |


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