Skip to main content


A Beginner's Guide

Elton T. E. Barker Joel P. Christensen

Widely revered as the father of Western literature, Homer was the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the epic poems which immortalised such names as Achilles, Cyclops, Menelaus, and Helen of Troy. In this vivid introduction, Elton Barker and Joel Christensen celebrate the complexity, innovation, and sheer excitement of Homer’s two great works. Investigating the controversy surrounding the man behind the myths, they ask who Homer was and whether he even existed.

Making parallels between Homeric hexameter and rap, and between his battle scenes and The Lord of the Rings, the authors highlight how his hugely influential epics deal with ageless questions that still confront us today. Perfect for new readers of the great poet and full of insights that will delight Homeric experts, this book will inspire you to discover – or rediscover – his masterpieces first-hand.

  • Publication date: June 6, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781780742298
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 248
  • Publication date: June 1, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781780742380
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 248


"A really good introduction to the Iliad and Odyssey, wearing its learning lightly and conveying a sense of both the delights and the profundity of the Homeric poems." Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek, University of Oxford, UK "Provides readers with exactly what they need to know in order to read the epics with the greatest comprehension and enjoyment." Erwin Cook, T. F. Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Trinity University, USA "Interesting, thoughtful, and well written. The book covers an admirably wide range of issues with clarity and assurance." Barbara Graziosi, Professor of Classics, Durham University, UK "A smart book and a stylish piece of writing." Bruce Heiden, Professor of Classics, The Ohio State University, USA "Barker and Christensen have written the best introduction I know to the Homeric poems. They explain the main themes, scenes, and characters in clear, jargon-free language that is a pleasure to read, whether for those new to Homer or advanced students." Pura Nieto, Senior Lecturer in Classics, Brown University, USA "Barker and Christensen make fantastic guides to understanding the master of story telling - an enjoyable and compelling read that is sure to get people hooked on Homer." Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Warwick, UK

'Lively and wide-ranging... pulls readers right into the vast impace of Homer on our own world. Anyone needing to justify the reading and study of Homer should read this.'

Classical Journal

Elton T. E. Barker

Author page

Joel P. Christensen

Author page

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletters to find out more about our latest books and offers, straight to your inbox.
Select mailing lists