The German classical philologist Friedrich August Wolf (1759-1824) developed a holistic approach which deeply influenced modern classical studies. In this 1795 treatise, he argues that the poems attributed to Homer were composed orally and that, prior to their transcription, they were altered by editors and performers in order to appeal to contemporary audiences, only coming together in their apparent artistic unity once they had been written down. Like many scholars of his day, seeking to reach an international audience, Wolf wrote in Latin here. And although he may have intended to address further questions relating to the Homeric epics, only this volume was ever published. Radical at the time, the arguments presented here now form the foundation of modern Homeric scholarship, shedding light on the composition, performance, transmission and evolution of ancient poetry.