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Homer is not a collection of ballads or folk-songs. It is a literary product of such finish and perfection as to postulate centuries of experiment in the literary art and the intervention of individual genius of the very highest order. We are forced to believe in the existence of a real Homer who set himself, as Hesiod did in a different sphere, to collect the praises of the heroes and to fashion them into immortal verse, grouping the various heroes into one Panhellenic army under the leadership of Agamemnon in a great expedition, probably an echo of real history, against the city of Troy. But it is equally certain that our Iliad and Odyssey are not the untouched composition of a single brain. Not only is the story of the Iliad far too incoherent—warriors killed in one book, fighting cheerfully in the next, a huge wall and fosse round the Greek camp appearing and disappearing unaccountably; not only is the original plot of the Wrath of Achilles forgotten and obscured in