Homer poses a rather mixed state of affairs to readers of an enlightened society. On the one hand, we find much that is familiar to us; on the other, we also find much with which we cannot identify ourselves at all. To us, Homeric society seems to be shaped entirely by conventional values: it does not appear to be greatly concerned with individuals. Furthermore, humans appear to be more or less robbed of the initiative for independent and self-directed action in Homer. Where we expect a free, autonomous decision, we find the Gods acting on behalf of humans. Indeed, the Gods do not merely influence humans from without; rather, they are also at work within them, so that Homer’s humans appear to be, as Goethe once said, „theomorphic“ in nature. But a closer engagement reveals that what appears foreign to us is actually often based on keen observation and an exceptionally nuanced understanding of the human psyche. As for the reasons why the opportunity to appropriate this foreign understanding was not pursued, we shall find that they lie in our „modern“ expectations and prejudices which render us almost blind to whatever does not satisfy them. In a world in which the engagement with foreign cultures and religions has become an urgent task, Homer can offer an introduction to this task.