Afarensis points us to an article in Discovery News about the forthcoming book Rediscovering Homer by Andrew Dalby. Dalby speculates that the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey was probably a woman. Speculating about the authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey is as venerable a tradition as speculating about the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. And usually based on about as much evidence. A classicist, who I went to grad school with, said he had proof that the Iliad and the Odyssey were not written by Homer, but that they were written by someone just like Homer, who lived at the same time as Homer, and also named Homer. I gathered that this was a very old joke among classicists.