A bard," meaning poet comes from the greek aoidos. Musical competitions are a important part of festivals as well as funerary games. There are 2 stories, and the bards were concerned with divine subject matter. Shows that it is the muses who inspire the bards song choices. *both homeric epics begin with a request of the muses for divine skill. Tells us that the muses choose their own shepherd to be a bard. They can put truths or lies into their mouths. Game and idea: we cant certainly tell what is true. Songs and singing are thus potentially divine revelation and that is why they are so important. They are patronesses to poets and all intellectual writers, thus also inspiring historians and their writings. Things were not necessarily written down, which is why sources are from a later date. Therefore, in homeric poems and epic cycles, variations can occur and we see this in different translations.