The story of the Iliad began with the great Trojan war, which took place around 1250 B.C. The Odyssey depicted Odysseus' travels back from the Trojan war to his homeland. "The story was memorized and recited by poets and minstrels during a period of several centuries when Greece had no written language." (Russell 151) Around 800 B.C. Homer put the story down in writing. According to Russell the stories are "... about the passions and follies of human beings and for this reason it seems in many ways to be as modern as the current dramas we see on television."