Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 March 2008
Worked probably in latter half of 8th c. B.C., but nothing plausible known about his life or background. His date depends mainly on refs. in ll. and Od. to 8th-c. practices and artefacts (e.g. hoplite-style fighting, gorgon-head brooch, tripod-cauldrons), on the probable posteriority of Hesiod, the decline of oral composition by the time of Archilochus, the appearance of epic scenes on vases etc. after 680, and on ancient opinions (esp. Herodotus (2.53) and Hesychius, citing a probably classical source on date of Arctinus (Suda s.v.)). His region is indicated by predominantly Ionic dialect of the poems, by local east-Aegean detail and colour (e.g. ll. 2.144-6, 459-63, 13.12- 14) and by the unanimous ancient tradition, which associated him primarily with Chios and Smyrna (so e.g. Pindar according to Vit. Thorn. 2); other Lives (in OCT v; mostly of Graeco-Roman date and feebly fictitious) add Cumae and Colophon, agreeing that he died on Ios. See G. S. Kirk, The songs of Homer (Cambridge 1962) 271-87.