Around 725 BC, a wandering bard named Homer wrote down two epic poems, called the Iliad and the Odyssey, that had been transmitted orally for centuries. The poems became the earliest literary works in the European tradition and the main cultural texts of ancient Greece. The purpose of the Homeric epics was twofold. The stories served as entertainment and contained life lessons, since the characters were clear role models for proper and improper behavior. Despite these lessons, however, the epics cannot be regarded as religious texts. They contained no absolute truths that people were expected to believe in. This reflects a trend that was fundamental to ancient Greece. Their mythology was often formulated not by priests or prophets, but by artists, poets and philosophers.
"The Great World History Book"