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11

Homer describes Sisyphus as the craftiest of men; he was a generally deceitful guy. However Homer gives no reason for his punishment, no list of crimes and so we must look to other Classical writers. The myth featuring Sisyphus and Thanatos comes from a fragment by Aeschylus titled Sisyphus the Stone-Roller: Sisyphus bound Death fast, so that men ceased ...


10

This is detailed in book 12 of the Odyssey. Odysseus' crew disobeyed his (and the gods') command not to eat the cattle of Helios, which led to Helios' and Zeus' displeasure. So Zeus sends a storm destroying the survivors, as they had just made it through Scylla and Charybdis. Odysseus is swept back to the latter, and sort of just floats on to Ogygia. You ...


9

It likely wasn't anywhere. Homer, or rather the author of the Odyssey, had some conception of the broader Mediterranean, but it was largely unexplored by the Greeks at that time, and so magical islands didn't need to be mapped onto the known world. You know, now that I say it, it's true in today's fiction, too. That said, that didn't stop the ancients from ...


9

For one thing, Dante never read Homer. Like most medieval Christians, Dante did not have direct access to the original Greek texts. Instead, they would've learnt of ancient Greek mythology through the works of later Roman poets, principally Virgil and Ovid, who inevitably added their own interpretation to the epics. Dante, moreover, seem not to have even ...


8

Who was in charge? No-one was in charge. Remember that Odysseus took all of Ithaca's soldiers away with him to Troy and none of them made it back. The only soldiers left were the kids too young to go off to the Trojan War. And these had grown up and saw Penelope as a prize to be claimed. So really the suitors were the soldiers, or at any rate the ones to ...


8

Most of the "new identifications" are quite fanciful. Most scholars agree that by and large the places described in the Odyssey are imagined. Ogygia, for example, is squarely within the realm of myth. No sailor could expect to actually sail to the Phaiakians. Even with places like Ithaca, which were identified even in antiquity, we have to remember that ...


8

There is not a canonical answer to this. Helen's portrayal in the Greek and Roman sources presents a wide variety of different interpretations. Perhaps most canonical is Apollodorus' Bibliotecha. Unfortunately, we do not have this part of his work, though an epitome has survived. Here's what it says about Helen: Menelaus, with five ships in all under his ...


8

It was built specifically as a prison for the minotaur. See this article The most famous labyrinth is found in Greek mythology: Designed by Daedalus for King Minos of Knossos to contain the ferocious Minotaur (a half-man and half-bull monster). I'd elaborate further but there's not much more to say that could add value to the answer.


7

It was built specifically to keep the Minotaur in. If you are familiar with the story of the Minotaur, it was the son of Pasiphae, who was the king of Crete's (King Minos) wife. Minos wanted a sign from the gods that he was meant to rule, so Poseidon sent a great bull out of the sea, and told Minos to sacrifice it to him. Minos liked the bull so much that ...


7

Achilles doesn't actually want to escape his fate. Turning away from the war at its outset is a response to Agamemnon's insult over Briseis. (The Iliad actually begins with this feud, and the major tension is over whether Achilles will ultimately participate in the war.) The reason Achilles seeks his own destruction is that, in his case, his death is the ...


6

First, the expectation is misguided. Deities are not beholden to their "kings." This is no better represented than all the Olympians disobeying Zeus by sneaking into battle in the Iliad. In real life, Ino-Leucothea was a goddess of the sea that the Greeks venerated, one of many that they tried to ask for good sailing. The sea was notoriously dangerous (see ...


6

It's not a common accepted believe, just something that Eumaeus, the swineherd of Odysseus, says to his master while Odysseus is still in disguise. Slaves, when their masters lose their power, are no longer minded thereafter to do honest service: for Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, takes away half his worth from a man, when the day of slavery comes ...


5

The duel in Book 22 is not the first time Achilles and Hector met on the battlefield. The story of their earlier encounter is told by Achilles himself, a little earlier in Book 9: [346] "Nay, Odysseus, together with thee and the other princes let him take thought to ward from the ships consuming fire. Verily full much hath he wrought without mine aid; lo,...


5

The wording of the translation here has brought about some confusion. There is no character named "Ulysses Pidytes." Rather the sentence is describing the deaths of three men on the Trojan side as caused by three men on the Greek side, just as in the broader context of this whole first section of Book 6: Polypoetes kills Astyalus, then "Ulysses" kills ...


4

Pride and shame It is put best in book 12, 90-130: BkXXII:1-89 Priam and Hecabe fail to dissuade Hector | poetryintranslation.com Which shows his own thinking on the issue: [bolding mine] But his [Hector's] proud thoughts were troubled: ‘Alas, if I retreat through the gate, to the safety of the wall, Polydamas will not be slow to reproach me, ...


4

It was quite common to sack towns on the trip to, from, and even during the war. (Compare to the medieval Crusaders.) I don't have time to run down specific examples, but there is a discussion here: Why did Homer’s Greeks sack so many cities in the Trojan War? Does it make them mostly pirates and slave raiders? Ostensibly the gentrified townsfolk were not ...


4

Yes, gods can recognise each other because through their eyes, they appear as columns of fire and cloud. Case in point is the birth of Dionysus, as Hera saw through Zeus's mortal disguise while he was in Thebes dating Semele. To all he appeared as a rich prince, but to Hera and other Olympians/Titans (Calypso is the daughter of Atlas the Titan from your ...


4

Great question. Homer is definitely the place to start, but fuller understanding requires the Greek dramatists, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, who were commenting on, and extending, Homer. (Euripides, in particular, was quite incisive in his deconstriction of the events surrounding the Trojan War. The Trojan Women is still generally considered the ...


4

Aeschylus claims jealousy. CASSANDRA: This two-footed lioness, who mates with a wolf in the absence of the noble lion, will slay me, miserable as I am. Brewing as it were a drug, she vows that with her wrath she will mix requital for me too, while she whets her sword against her husband, to take murderous vengeance for bringing me here. Source: Agamemnon ...


4

Greek authors in the centuries after Homer seem to have a strong preference for honorable fighting over guile. This subject is touched on in a few works that deal with the conflict between Ajax and Odysseus over who would receive Achilles' armor. Ajax was the warrior who did the actual fighting, and yet Odysseus manages to convince the judges to give him ...


3

According to the legend about this preserved or invented by the ancient poet Homer, recorded in his epic poem 'the Odyssey', these events occurred at a time when the Greeks were illiterate and by our standards somewhere in between civilization and barbarism. There was no regular army, written law, police force or independent judiciary to enforce it. Every ...


3

Before the sack of Troy, Diomedes and Odysseus sneak into Troy and steal the Palladium , a wooden statue of Athena, from her temple. A prophecy stated that Troy could not fall as long as the statue remained. But it's odd that this would anger Athena, who sided with the Greeks during the Trojan War (Paris didn't give her the apple, after all) and the theft ...


3

Ah, well, Not a exact answer, as this is probably where you got it from, but, here goes! At least three Ancient Greek authors denied that Helen ever went to Troy; instead, they suggested, Helen stayed in Egypt during the duration of the Trojan War. Those three authors are Euripides, Stesichorus, and Herodotus. In the version put forth by Euripides in his ...


3

Two modern scholars, in their analyses of this obscure reference to the character in question, both point out a certain apocryphal connection between Eurymedon and Hera. In his 1993 book Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Timothy Gantz discusses (on p. 57) Scholion Ab for Iliad 14.295-296, which he tells us is "credited to ...


2

Apollodorus also has a Catalogue of Ships at Troy in the Epitome of the Bibliotheca (E.3.11 ff.) You may also be interested in this paper: A Programmatic Function of the Iliadic Catalogue of Ships


2

First result in a quick Google search brings Ancient History Encyclopedia article on Hera: In the Iliad, Hera mentions three cities particularly dear to her - Argos, Sparta, and Mycenae (or Mykene). Wikipedia article on Hera: "The three cities I love best," the ox-eyed Queen of Heaven declares (Iliad, book iv) "are Argos, Sparta and Mycenae of the ...


2

In Proclusean hierarchy heroes were higher ranking than mortals, purified souls, daimons, lower than angels, archangels and Deities. They received worship and commemoration alike to the Gods. In fact they were - for example - Herculean mysteries and Herculean temples, stemming from the Eleusis rites (Heracles was a succesful initiate of these mystery schools)...


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