Excerpts from a study contained in Homeric Greek - A Book for Beginners, University of Oklahoma Press 1985. The text contains some words in Greek, download Greek fonts, if you don't have.
HOMER is the best possible preparation for all later Greek literature, much of which is unintelligible without a fair knowledge of him. He was to Greek literature what the Bible has been to English, and a great deal more as well. He leads us somewhere, not merely into a blind alley as does Xenophon, both with reference to later Greek literature and to much of the best in later European literature as well, where his influence has been incalculable and perhaps greater than that of any other single writer. In him are the germs of so many things. We have the narrative highly developed, the beginning of the drama, oratory, statecraft, seamanship, war, adventure, and religion - in fact, life as it was to the old Greeks in its manifold aspects.
Then the student who has taken only a very little of beginning Greek, even if he has progressed no farther than the end of the first book of the Iliad, has come into vital contact with the magic and the music of the Greek language, used in one of the most beautiful, one of the most varied, and one of the most influential literary compositions of all ages ; and though he may have devoted considerable labor to mining the gold, he cannot truthfully say, and probably will not want to say, that Greek for him has been a waste of time." (...)
Cf. The Complete Iliad ||| The Complete Odyssey
Related: Andrew Lang, We need Homer and the Study of Greek Homer Bilingual (Greek English) Anthology Homer : Greek - English Interlinear Iliad A Commentary on the Odyssey, Homer: Achilles' Grief, Returning to Ithaca & The Underworld, Cavafy, The Horses of Achilles, Helen Keller, It was the Iliad that made Greece my paradise, Plato Home Page
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