The Most Popular Greek Epic, Ranked

Choose the epic you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 6, 2024 06:57
Ancient Greek epics hold a treasured position in the tapestry of global literature, influencing countless stories and artworks throughout centuries. Deciding which epic stands out as the most impactful could seem as challenging as the heroic quests they depict. By voting for your favorite, you contribute to a broader understanding of cultural significance, aligning popular opinion with historical and artistic merit. Your votes help in shaping an accessible list that reflects collective preferences and current interests in these ancient narratives. Such a list not only guides new readers through the rich landscapes of Greek mythology but also ignites discussions about the enduring relevance of these works. Whether you are a long-time aficionado or a curious newcomer, your participation is vital in crafting a list that resonates with passionate readers and casual explorers alike.

What Is the Most Popular Greek Epic?

  1. 1

    The Iliad

    An ancient Greek epic poem attributed to Homer, detailing the Trojan War and the battle between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.
    • Author: Homer
    • Setting: Trojan War
    • Key Characters: Achilles, Hector, Agamemnon, Patroclus
  2. 2

    The Odyssey

    Another epic poem attributed to Homer, focusing on the hero Odysseus and his long journey home after the fall of Troy.
    • Author: Homer
    • Setting: After the Trojan War, various locations in the Mediterranean Sea
    • Key Characters: Odysseus, Penelope, Telemachus, Circe
  3. 3

    The Argonautica

    An epic poem that recounts the story of Jason and the Argonauts and their quest for the Golden Fleece.
    • Author: Apollonius of Rhodes
    • Setting: Ancient Greece, the Black Sea
    • Key Characters: Jason, Medea, the Argonauts
  4. 4

    The Homeric Hymns

    A collection of thirty-three anonymous Ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods.
    • Composition: Unknown authors
    • Setting: Mythological Ancient Greece
    • Key Characters: Various Greek gods
  5. 5


    Another part of the Epic Cycle, it narrates the arrival of the Ethiopian king Memnon to fight for Troy, and the death of Achilles.
    • Composition: Unknown author
    • Setting: Trojan War
    • Key Characters: Memnon, Achilles
  6. 6

    Works and Days

    A didactic poem by Hesiod that covers various mythological and practical aspects of ancient Greek life.
    • Author: Hesiod
    • Setting: Ancient Greece
    • Key Characters: Hesiod, Perses
  7. 7


    A poem by Hesiod that describes the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods.
    • Author: Hesiod
    • Setting: Mythological Ancient Greece
    • Key Characters: Zeus, Gaia, Uranus, Kronos
  8. 8


    Part of the Epic Cycle, this lost epic covered the events leading up to the Trojan War.
    • Composition: Unknown author, attributed to Stasinus of Cyprus
    • Setting: Prelude to the Trojan War
    • Key Events: Judgement of Paris, abduction of Helen
  9. 9

    Epic Cycle

    A collection of Ancient Greek epic poems that relate the story of the Trojan War, which includes works other than the Iliad and the Odyssey.
    • Composition: Multiple authors
    • Setting: Trojan War and its aftermath
    • Key Works: Cypria, Aethiopis, Little Iliad, Sack of Troy
  10. 10

    Little Iliad

    This work, also part of the Epic Cycle, focuses on the events following the death of Achilles, including the construction of the Trojan Horse.
    • Composition: Unknown author
    • Setting: Late Trojan War
    • Key Events: Construction of the Trojan Horse, fall of Troy

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Greek epic. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Epic is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 97 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Epic once every 24 hours. The rank of each Epic is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Greek Epic

The Iliad
Rank #1 for the most popular Greek epic: The Iliad (Source)
Greek epics are long poems that tell stories of heroes and gods. These stories are from ancient Greece. They have been passed down through generations. The tales often involve great battles, journeys, and trials. They explore themes of honor, bravery, and the human condition.

The setting is usually in a time when gods interacted with humans. The gods often play crucial roles in the story. They help or hinder the heroes. The heroes are usually demi-gods or mortals with great strength and wisdom. They face many challenges and must rely on their wits and courage.

These epics were originally told orally. Bards or poets would recite them from memory. This tradition helped preserve the stories for centuries. Later, they were written down. This allowed them to be shared more widely and preserved for future generations.

The structure of these epics is often complex. They begin in the middle of the story, a technique known as "in medias res." Flashbacks fill in the background. This keeps the audience engaged and adds depth to the characters and plot.

The language used is rich and poetic. It often includes repeated phrases and descriptions. This helps the storyteller remember the lines and adds a rhythmic quality to the recitation. The use of similes and metaphors is common. These literary devices paint vivid pictures and convey emotions effectively.

The themes explored in these epics are universal. They deal with love, loss, honor, and duty. The heroes often face moral dilemmas. They must choose between personal desire and greater good. These themes resonate with audiences even today.

The influence of Greek epics extends beyond literature. They have inspired countless works of art, music, and theater. They have also shaped modern storytelling. Many contemporary narratives draw on the structure and themes of these ancient tales.

Studying these epics provides insight into ancient Greek culture. They reflect the values and beliefs of the time. They also offer a glimpse into the daily life and struggles of the people. The gods and heroes in these stories embody the ideals and fears of the society.

Greek epics continue to be studied and enjoyed today. They are a testament to the power of storytelling. They remind us of our shared human experiences and the enduring nature of great tales.

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