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Bards, Historians And Historiographers Of Ancient Greece

Bards, Historians And Historiographers Of Ancient Greece


Greece, a modern country found in Southeastern Europe, has for more than a thousand years presented the world with famous battles, fine art, wine, poetry, gods, and tales that at times bewilder the mind. But none of this could have happened had it not been developed by men of various backgrounds and experiences. Men like Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus and Thucydides, wrote the history of Greece as it is known today. These men of poetry and prose brought more to the discussion than just dreary stories.

Symposium scene: banqueters playing the kottabos game while a girl plays the aulos. National Archaeological Museum (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Symposium scene: banqueters playing the kottabos game while a girl plays the aulos. National Archaeological Museum (CC BY-SA 2.5)

What is often overlooked, and upon closer inspection, is the struggle between men and gods. Ideas were fraught with complications. To break free from the supernatural and embrace the natural elements that surrounded them and to orientate their cognition to "rational thinking" was a struggle to say the least. The Greek historians were able to present to the people of their times, and the people of today, a vast array of thought, whether it be their history, religion, political turmoil, making contact with a foreign nation for the first time, or even going to war. The ancient Greeks who wrote, the reasons they wrote, and how each stood on the shoulders of the previous, to see what they saw, deserve modern recognition.

Roman bust of Homer (second century AD)(Public Domain) Representation of Hesoid (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Bards And Storytellers

Early Greek historians were primarily bards. Bards were unique professional storytellers, who compartmentalized and composed poetic songs of stories through the oral transference. The duty or art of the bard was to tell stories of various events, whether small or epic, as in the case of the Iliad or Odyssey. These bards would travel from town-to-town, entertaining people with primordial tales about the struggle between men and gods. The bard would train a younger person in the stories he was taught as a young man and thus the story lived on through generations of bards, for the bard was a walking history book seeking an audience interested in being entertained by the stories of yesteryear. The popularity of bards would slowly become obsolete, due to parchment. While bards eventually died out as being the most popular media brand to parchment, writers utilized this material and kept their voices alive by inking every jot and tittle.


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Cam Rea is an author and military historian. He has written numerous articles for Ancient Origins, Classical Wisdom Weekly, and has authored several books, including: The Wars of Israel: A Military History of Ancient Israel from the End of Judges to Solomon

Top Image: A Reading from Homer (1885) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Public Domain)

By: Cam Rea



Hi All,

I never heard of the word "Bard" until, 1995, when the TV Series Xena Warrior Princess aired. Xena's sidekick was The Bard given the information provided by this here article is it possible only Men were The Bards?

History Channel did a whole week on the greek gods an The name Hesiod kept coming up the professor's; at least, I picked this up from the women sharing their insight into Hesiod basically how He wrote his stories it was blatantly obvious how much Hesiod Despised Women.

From Edith Hamilton's Mythology I believe three of Hesiods Stories were between The page's but, the pieces of material seemed absent somehow so I didn't read what the women had read by Hesiod or else I most likely didn't search for it.

I still believe it is a mistake too erase the Supernatural from stories shared by Hesiod, Herodutus, Homer, & Thucydides I made that mistake as Bible believer pertaining to Enoch that can no longer nod my head and say these are just Myth's.

We praise these incredible Ancient Civilization's for their Ingenuity, an complexed works of Philosophy but, when Supreme beings get introduced we run faster than Jonah did who attempted too flee to Tarshish (Today it's Spain), instead of preaching in Nineveh the way The Living God of Abraham Commended Him too.

I think these respected Bards who taught people on the characteristics of beings that were gods in Their Eye's should be re-examined.

I'm aware not everybody here might not agree to this possibility; I swear, I had no clue History was so much like Science when referencing to God till I watched Frontline's on PBS do a two part series on Jesus an The Rise of Christianity.

Completely mind boggling for me. To discuss Jesus the historian seemingly has to redefine Him to Fit within The Laws of History.

It's the same principle that is applied when each Ancient World relates some knowledge of Divine Being's that Ancestors even before Hesiod, Herodutus, Homer, an Thucydides Time had Encounters with.

People all throughout Human History have weathered some interesting trials let's face these uncertain Storm's and Explore mind blowing History direct from The Ancient Civilization's.

I think this is all I have too share with Everyone so until, next time, Goodbye!

Cam Rea's picture

Cam Rea

Cam Rea is a Military Historian and currently the Associate Editor/Writer at Strategy & Tactics Press. Mr. Rea has published several books and written numerous articles for Strategy & Tactics Press and Classical Wisdom Weekly. His most current publication is... Read More

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