New research on the life of Homer has uncovered surprising details. Here’s the first stanza from Butler’s Iliad:
Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless
ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to
Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were
the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king
of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another.
Compare to the following:
You know my husband, your father, your grandfather, of course he’s not with us
now, but when he was alive years ago, after he started his business and we lived
on Wesland street with the red house and the Ford, which I tried to learn how to
drive, and let me tell you I heard some language from him then, he always was
out bowling, you know he liked to bowl.
Comparative study has revealed that Homer was a 75-year-old Italian woman from the Bronx.