It’s no doubt embellished a bit, but researchers on social networks think The Odyssey may have some basis in real events:
… the same is probably true for the Odyssey. Because its social network has many similarities to real social networks, it is probably based on the real world.
Their thesis is that narratives like this are probably based in reality if the social networks they display are similar to those that develop in reality.
As meta-confirmation, they’ve found that some narratives have realistic networks while others don’t:
… Last year, researchers analysed three narratives in this way-Homer’s Iliad, the early English story Beowulf and the Irish epic poem Tain Bo Cuailnge.
They discovered that while the networks associated with Beowulf and the Iliad had many of the properties of real social networks, the network associated with Tain [sic] was less realistic.