The legendary Greek poet (Old Greek Hómēros; New Greek Ómiros) was born around 850 BC, probably in Smyrna (Asia Minor). He is considered one of the earliest witnesses of Greek wine culture. Homer is said to have roamed the countryside as a blind, travelling singer. He died on the Aegean island of Chios (Khios), which was considered the "Bordeaux of Greek wine". In his two famous works, the Iliad (Trojan War) and the Odyssey (Odysseus' Voyages and Homecoming), wine plays an important role as the "house drink" of his epic heroes, and he repeatedly describes the "wine-coloured sea". He names Thrace (at that time the entire Balkan peninsula) and the island of Limnos as the source of wine for the siege army before Troy. He praises the wine from Ismaros (probably identical with the ancient port city of Maroneia) as "sweet and unadulterated - a drink of the gods". The Greek hero Odysseus received the intoxicating red wine there from the Thracian priest-king Maron, with which he got the one-eyed Cyclops Polyphemus drunk and then blinded him.
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