Homer 1280-1180 B.C.
Homer in Grecian times was "conceived as a blind, old man, singing or reciting his own compositions" and seven Grecian cities claimed to be his birthplace. Possibly one man was responsible for The Iliad which exhibits remarkable unity. Its composition is considered to be due to the work of a supreme minstrel. The episodes which it describes have been dated as extending from 1280 to 1180 B.C., but the work would seem to have been integrated during the 9th Century B.C.
The Odyssey was completed considerably later than The Iliad, possibly by a century or more. Sarton suggests that the author of The Iliad be called Homer I and the author of The Odyssey, Homer II. Each book contains stories, ideas, and phases. Neither poem was completed at a definite time although the two have many common characteristics. Sarton states that "Homer was not simply the educator of Greece but one of the educators of mankind."
The medical knowledge apparent in The Iliad and The Odyssey involved the use of drugs. Farmers had learned to use dung to increase fertility of their fields.
The Odyssey, trans. Robert Fitzgerald, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, c. 1961. The Iliad, trans. Richmond Lattimore, University of Chicago Press, 1962.