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50 Homer Quotes That Reveal Much About the Elusive Bard

These Homer quotes reveal how the writer felt about love and friendship, humanity, and the Gods.

Back in high school, I remember being thrilled when the teacher told us we were going to read “epic poems.’ I was also confused when she handed us a large book. The Iliad and the Odyssey quickly became some of my favorite books. These ancient texts are attributed to Homer.

Who was Homer, though?

Almost everyone knows the story of Helen of Troy, or has heard the phrase, “the face that launched a thousand ships.” The ‘trojan horse’ is also a common reference in Western culture, and yet we know so little about this influential author.

Beyond these enlightening quotes, historians have been able to shed some light on who Homer was. He was born sometime between the 12th and 8th centuries BC.

There are even theories that Homer’s works were actually the work of a group of poets. However, one thing almost everyone can agree on is that Homer’s style is more of lyrical poetry than literary poetry.

Don’t forget to also check out these G.K. Chesterton quotes from one of the greatest writers of his time.

Homer quotes about poetic love and friendship

1. “The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for.” ― Homer

2. “A sympathetic friend can be quite as dear as a brother.” ― Homer

3. “Two friends, two bodies with one soul inspired.” ― Homer

4. “A decent boldness ever meets with friends.”― Homer

5. “There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.” ― Homer

6. “For a friend, with an understanding heart, is worth no less than a brother.” ― Homer

7. “Nothing shall I, while sane, compare with a friend.” ― Homer

8. “True friends appear less moved than counterfeit.” ― Homer

Homer quotes and his thoughts about man

9. “Of all creatures that breathe and move upon the earth, nothing is bred that is weaker than man.” ― Homer

10. “There is no greater fame for a man than that which he wins with his footwork or the skill of his hands.” ― Homer

11. “Even a fool learns something once it hits him.” ― Homer

12. “Each man delights in the work that suits him best.” ― Homer

13. “We men are wretched things.” ― Homer

14. “Too many kings can ruin an army.” ― Homer

15. “Few sons are like their fathers—most are worse, few better.” ― Homer

16. “And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared.” ― Homer

17. “Wine can of their wits, the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.” ― Homer

Remember to also read these Edgar Allan Poe quotes that will expand your mind.

Wise Homer quotes to live by

18. “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” ― Homer, The Odyssey

19. “A guest never forgets the host who has treated him kindly.” ― Homer

20. “Even where sleep is concerned, too much is a bad thing.” ― Homer

21. “Hunger is insolent and will be fed.” ― Homer

22. “Life is largely a matter of expectation.” ― Homer

23. “If you serve too many masters, you’ll soon suffer.” ― Homer

24. “Sleep, delicious and profound, the very counterfeit of death.” ― Homer

25. “The blade itself incites to deeds of violence.” ― Homer

26. “And empty words are evil.” ― Homer

27. “Words, empty as the wind, are best left unsaid.” ― Homer

28. “I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” ― Homer

29. “A small rock holds back a great wave.” ― Homer

30. “In youth and beauty, wisdom is but rare!” ― Homer

31. “Wise to resolve, and patient to perform.” ― Homer

32. “How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!” ― Homer

Homer quotes for when life feels like a Greek Tragedy

33. “A man who has been through bitter experiences and traveled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time.” ― Homer

34. “Be strong, saith my heart; I am a soldier; I have seen worse sights than this.” ― Homer

35. “Men are so quick to blame the gods: they say that we devise their misery. But they themselves- in their depravity- design grief greater than the griefs that fate assigns.” ― Homer

36. “Any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.” ― Homer

37. “But sing no more; this bitter tale that wears my heart away.” ― Homer

38. “I say no wealth is worth my life.” ― Homer

39. “Even his griefs are a joy long after to one that remembers all that he wrought and endured.” ― Homer

40. “By hook or by crook this peril too shall be something that we remember.” ― Homer

41. “Light is the task where many share the toil.” ― Homer

42. “The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.” ― Homer

43. “The journey is the thing.” ― Homer

44. “Let me not then die ingloriously and without a struggle, but let me first do some great thing that shall be told among men hereafter.” ― Homer

Homer quotes about religion and the Gods

45. “No man or woman born, coward, or brave can shun his destiny.” ― Homer

46. “Ah, how shameless—the way these mortals blame the gods. From us alone, they say come all their miseries yes but they themselves with their own reckless ways compound their pains beyond their proper share.” ― Homer

47. “Immortals are never alien to one another.” ― Homer

48. “Aries in his many fits knows no favorites.” ― Homer

49. “Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” ― Homer

50. “Think not to match yourself against the gods, for men that walk the earth cannot hold their own with the immortals.” ― Homer

You might also like these Francis Bacon quotes from the iconic English philosopher.

What did you learn from these Homer quotes?

Homer is believed to have been blind. This information, like much of the information historians have gathered about Homer, is derived from his written works.

The theory is that Homer himself was the inspiration for a character in The Odyssey, a blind poet/minstrel called Demodokos. The busts created off Homer are done in Demodokos’ image.

Some scholars also believe that Homer held personal knowledge of the plan surrounding the Battle of Troy. There are some who believe that the Odyssey was written nearly a century after the Illiad, making it impossible for Homer to have written it.

Others insist that Homer wrote the Iliad when he was a young poet in his prime and attribute the style changes to Homer’s advanced age decades later. Homer is often called the educator of Greece, but his influence has spread much further than that, and his stories have enriched the lives of many.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Homer quotes and sayings? If you have any other interesting Homer facts or theories leave them in the comment section below!

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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