Essay Sample on Homer's Society

Published: 2023-03-17
Essay Sample on Homer's Society
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History Poem Society Homer
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 993 words
9 min read

Various societal and political aspects characterize Homer's society. The essay is a summary explaining the type of world that homer lives in. It also examines and illustrates the kind of world that is created by homer. In other words, the paper gives a summary of the political and societal aspects that shape Homer's society.

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Greek Society in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age

The social obligations cannot be measured against the archaeological record. However, several aspects significantly relate to material record. Despite giving society good evidence concerning settlements, sanctuaries, and many others, archaeology also provides us with an idea of social organization and the distribution of power and wealth. Homeric epics also directly relate to several aspects of the Late Bronze Age material record. Both the Bronze Age and the Iron Age archaeology help us understand the types of resources that create Homer's society. However, the Homeric poems give an awareness of specific resource circumstances that are not in the seventh and eighth centuries. From the reading, it is clear that the knowledge of the past demands for social memory (Osborne, 2017). Quite demonstrable epic traditions and cultures can only ensure social memory. On the other hand, it is quite difficult to account for future knowledge. Therefore, it is important to describe the formation of the Iliad and odyssey in a manner in which they come to society members. Much in the Iliad and odyssey is somehow less or more familiar to the inhabitant of Greek. For example, burning of dead and burying their bones is much familiar. On the other hand, group inhumations of the late bronze are less familiar.

Politics and Society in the Homeric Poems

Homeric epic is entirely political. It is quite clear that the desire for power and self-government is rampant. In contrast, the formal structures of the community appear lightly sketched. The presence of odyssey gives a full description of a political community. Transactions of every business are done at meetings of an assembly of the community members. Elders have the highest priority in speaking. More so, the heralds are the ones who put a wand into the hands of people who should address the public. When debates occur, only men with something to stake or those with specialized knowledge are listened to and allowed to give their views. At no point gathered people to reach a rational decision. Also, the delicate balance between conventional rules and community participation is unusual in the society. Every society must have civilized laws and councils. However, in homer's society, the Ithacan assembly does not provide a platform for civilized laws.

The Homer's society is perceived to have the delicacy in the rank of power and leadership. As mirrored by several scholars, the position of Agamemnon leadership poses significant worries to society. The situation makes the community appear as a world of charismatic power. From the reading, how the Homers can run effectively is explained on the shield created by Hephaestus. The community shield shows two scenarios that are taking place in society. It shows a city at war and a city at peace. This indicates that the community is divided and in a quite uproar. However, society is at a consensus that the third party should settle any emerging issue. There is a reward to a party that pronounces justice most straightly. The settlement of disagreement lies in the hands of individuals with an ability to proclaim the truth in a better way.

The provisional nature of authority in society is quite a significant feature to address. The power lies behind the conflicts between the Achilles and Agamemnon. In society, material goods play a vital role in marking the status within the Homeric society. There is no negotiation of position by the exchange of materials in both the private and public contexts. Most of the items exchanged are made of metals or cloth.

Situating Homeric Society

In society, several activities unite communities. Among the uniting factors include sacrifices to gods, the burial of known heroes, among many others. The relationship with gods significantly matters to the men of the Iliad. Also, the relationship between the dead matters a lot among the homer's society members. In the process, Elpenor and Patroclus are at the forefront to remind their companions that buries are essential. For the three scenarios, the type of burials is similar. For instance, the bodies are burned on a pyre. The pyre is smeared with wine. After the burning is done, the bones are collected and buried, and all the burials marked. However, Patroclus burial is unique from others. In this type of funeral, both animals and humans are slaughtered to signal an evil deed.

In society, warfare is coordinated, ready for action. However, the war concentrates on the epic of exploits for individual warriors. More so, there is an alarming question on how Homeric battles are to be envisaged. In the homers society, arming is a stock scene. It means there is a presence of swords, spears, and crested helmets to provide essential support to the warriors. More so, there are chariots that are only used by major champions. In society, throwing of spears is quite an offensive move. B, however, at times, hand to hand throw of spears are allowed, particularly when protecting a fallen member.


The reading on homer's society creates a good impression on the reader. It helps the reader to understand the type of community they are living in. It gives a clear idea about the traditions that promote the success of the society. More so, it helps the reader to understand political arrangements in society. For instance, one can relate the political mechanisms alluded to Odyssey and Iliad to those of their communities. As a result, one can comfortably examine the relationship between the worlds in which they create and live as citizens.


Osborne, R. (2017). Homer's society. The Cambridge Companion to Homer, 211.

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