The oral-formulaic theory formed by Milman Parry and Albert B. Lord not only revolutionised Homeric studies but also had an impact on anthropology and folklore. It led to increased interest in oral epic traditions, and fieldworkers changed their methods towards a focus on composition in performance. The individual singer and his handling of the tradition gained importance. When possible, more than one performance of the ´same´ song was recorded, by the same singer on different occasions or by different singers, and interaction with the audience was documented. By now, a wealth of editions and studies of oral epics from various parts of th world is accessible and is used in the present stydy as an inspiration for achieving a deeper understanding of the methods at work in oral epic, for building a socal framework for the Iliad and the Odyssey, and especially for speculating on the circumstances of the writing of the two great poems. Long oral narratives are flexible, and accordingly, the dictation to scribes that must be at the origin of texts that have been preserved in writing to this day, was a process of the utmost importance as the composition in performance of the Iliad and the Odyssey.