Who wrote the Odyssey and the Iliad? Not Homer. It’s now becoming apparent that at least the Odyssey was written by a woman.
Dalby thinks both works were composed by the same person, but that the more developed female figures in the Odyssey — particularly the heroic character Penelope — reflect change in the author’s life.
“By the time she came to create her second masterpiece, the woman poet understood at last that in consigning her work to writing, she was able to address a whole new audience (including women),” he said.
While no master copy of the poems exists, many different written versions of the poems were circulating in Greece by 300 B.C.
Anthony Snodgrass, emeritus professor of classical archaeology at Cambridge University, agrees that, because of its emphasis on domesticity versus aggression, the Odyssey could have been written by a woman. But he finds it hard to believe a female could have composed the violence-infused Iliad.
Ahem. Remember: “emeritus” means “old”.