Homer is a Greek epic poet, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greeks thought him to be the first and greatest of the epic poets.
We don’t know for sure when or where he lived (or if he existed at all for that matter). Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BC.
The importance of Homer to the ancient Greeks is described in Plato’s Republic, which describes him as the protos didaskalos, “first teacher”, and the hegemon paideias, “leader of our culture”.
Homer’s works, which are about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval worlds. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyri finds in Egypt.