ask a librarian logo

Homeric Epics

A brief guide to starting research on Homer and his epics The Iliad and The Odyssey.


Common Themes and Search Terms

Loyalty/ Perseverance



Good versus Evil








Catalog Search

Touro Library Catalog

advanced search

Touro Databases and Journals

Helpful Research Guides


Introduction to Homer

Welcome to the LibGuide for Homer and his Epic Poems: The Iliad and the Odyssey.

Here you will find a variety of resources to help you in your research. 

Bust of Homer ( Britanica)

Picture from​

 Very little is known about Homer. He is the attributed author of two of the greatest Epics of literature: The Iliad and The Odyssey. His epic poems provided the basis of Greek education and are still important pieces of literature studied in both high school and college courses. For more information about Homer you can read his Encyclopedia Britannica biography linked below.  

The Iliad


Terracotta kylix (drinking cup), Attributed to the Amasis Painter 

The Iliad tells the epic of the final year of the Trojan War between the Greeks (Achaeans) and the Trojans. The war began with the abduction of Helen, wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta, by the Trojan Paris. Menelaus, with his brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, sail to Troy to bring Helen back to Sparta. The first nine years depicts the war and its various battles, all leading to the events in the Iliad. Each of the Gods show support for the Greeks and Trojans, leading to unforeseen consequences.



Priam--King of Troy.

Hector--Son of Priam, Trojan Warrior.

Paris--Son of Priam, abducted Helen.

Helen--Queen of Sparta and captive of Paris.


Greeks (Achaeans):

Agamemnon--King of Mycenae

Menelaus--King of Sparta

Odysseus--King of Ithaca

Achilles--Leader of the Myrmidons. Son of Nestor, King of the Myrmidons, and Thetis.



Zeus--Claims neutrality, but easily swayed.

Hera--Supports the Achaeans.

Athena--Supports the Achaeans.

Thetis--Nereid (Sea Nymph) and Mother of Achilles, persuades Zeus to chose a side in the Trojan War.

Apollo--Supports the Trojans.

Poseidon--Supports the Achaeans.

Hephaestus--Shows support for the Achaeans through Thetis and Achilles. 

Ares--Supports the Trojans.

The Odyssey

Terracotta oinochoe (jug) of an Archer, attributed to Odysseus

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus and his journey back to Ithaca and his wife Penelope ten years after the Trojan War. Odysseus' journey is long, perilous and full of danger as he meets one mythological being and creature after another. Some aid him in his journey home while others seek to destroy him and his men. Meanwhile, Penelope ,who is still faithful to Odysseus, is approached by many suitors hoping to take Odysseus’ place. Yet, she is cunning in staving off her suitors, while their son, Telemachus, is attempting to throw them out.

Odysseus--King of Ithaca

Penelope--Queen of Ithaca

Telemachus, Son of Odysseus and Penelope

Calypso--Nymph of the Island Ogygia

Nausicaa--Princess of Phaeacia


Support for Greek Myth and Literature

Homer's Women

Books on Homer

The Epics and Companion Analysis

Stay connected!

Like us on FacebookLike us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterFollow us on Twitter View our InstagramView our Instagram Read our BlogRead our Blog Watch our VideosWatch our Videos