Core Curriculum : Literature Humanities

Homer > Introduction


According the oral-formulaic theory proposed by Milman Parry and Alfred Lord, the poet or poets we now refer to as Homer most probably composed the epics the Iliad and the Odyssey orally in the 8th century B.C. E.  The texts have made it to the present day through a series of transcriptions and translations. Columbia University holds some ancient written evidence of the Homeric poems in fragmented form on papyrus.  Additionally the libraries contain medieval manuscript and early printed versions and important early modern editions and translations, including a sixteenth-century Aldine edition owned by Melancthon and inscribed to Martin Luther.

Columbia University Libraries / Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Butler Library, 6th Fl. / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-5590 /