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13 votes
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Why is Dante’s Odysseus different from Homer’s?

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 ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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10 votes
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How did Odysseus's ship get wrecked, and how did Odysseus himself land to Ogygia?

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 ...
Sleepy Miles's user avatar
9 votes
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Was there an epic or drama detailing Menelaus's return?

The wanderings of Menelaus were described in the “Nostoi” attributed to Agias of Troezen. The remnants of this poem are collected by M.L. West in the Loeb volume “Greek Epic Fragments”. This is older ...
fdb's user avatar
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8 votes
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Did the gods think Poseidōn's vengeance on Odysseus was just excessive, or entirely unfair?

Beware a tendency to cast Homeric gods in the role of arbiters or enforcers of human morality (or Cyclopian morality, if there were such a thing). Plato might wish Homer to go there (and Solon and ...
Brian Donovan's user avatar
8 votes
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Identifying the places in the Odyssey

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. ...
Sleepy Miles's user avatar
8 votes
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Why would Athena fear Poseidon?

As yannis pointed out in the comments, Athena cannot be considered stronger than Poseidon, and you're assuming too much here. Poseidon is one of the most powerful gods, along with his brothers Zeus ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,265
8 votes

Why was Odysseus needed for killing the suitors in the Odyssey?

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 ...
Spencer's user avatar
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7 votes
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The Odyssey lock scene (Book 21): Translations vs. original Greek?

There's certainly other ways the original text could be translated, it doesn't really force you into an archer analogy: αὐτίκ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἥ γ᾽ ἱμάντα θοῶς ἀπέλυσε κορώνης, ἐν δὲ κληῗδ᾽ ἧκε, θυρέων δ᾽ ...
Codosaur's user avatar
  • 5,368
7 votes

Why does Ino help Odysseus?

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,...
Sleepy Miles's user avatar
7 votes
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Did Greeks bow to their gods?

Bowing at the knees in Greek is an act called proskynesis. It wasn't mandatory, but it did occur. It was more often associated with the Persians, as they would perform proskynesis to those nobler than ...
Sleepy Miles's user avatar
7 votes

Was there an epic or drama detailing Menelaus's return?

In Book 4 of the Odyssey, Menelaus mentions a few details of his voyage home, during his conversation with Telemachus: "I was trying to come on here, but the gods detained me in Egypt, for my ...
yannis's user avatar
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6 votes

Odysseus raid on the Cicones at Ismaros (Odyssey Book 9 lines 40-66)

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: ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is the fight between Odysseus and Achilles?

You must be referring to the passage in book eight, near verse 75. The passage is rendered as follows in Butler’s translation: “The company then laid their hands upon the good things that were before ...
Karel Vissers's user avatar
6 votes
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Why did Zeus take half the goodness out of a man?

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 ...
Rodia's user avatar
  • 2,317
6 votes

Is Emily Wilson's 2018 translation of Homer's Odyssey correct to say the sorceress Circe had nymphs as 'slaves' (Book 10 line 349)?

In 10.349 the word is δρήστειραι “labourers, working-women” (Liddell and Scott); “servants; maids” (Beekes); “workers, servants” (Oxford Classical Dictionary). I guess that Wilson’s rationale for ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
5 votes
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Why did Odysseus not sacrifice poultry?

According to this article by Lee Perry-Gal et al.: The arrival of chickens in Greece likely postdates Homer (around the eighth century B.C.E.), because the Greek poet does not mention this bird, but ...
Gullintanni's user avatar
  • 1,994
5 votes
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Do gods know all other gods?

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 ...
JBDouble05's user avatar
5 votes

Is there an Egyptian Old Man of the Sea?

Interesting Question, in the Orphic Hymns there is a following invocation to Proteus: Oh Keeper of the keys to the chambers of the deeps, By whose illustrious power all Nature's laws are clearly ...
Wolves' Shepherd.'s user avatar
4 votes

Is there an Egyptian Old Man of the Sea?

There is no especially close correspondence between Homer's Proteus, as a Halios Geron, "Old Man of the Sea," and any deity in the Ancient Egyptian pantheons. Two Egyptian water deities could be noted ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
4 votes
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How old was Nestor?

Note I am using the translated versions of the Iliad and Odyssey as provided by The Internet Classics Archive. The answer from @Codosaur from my question How much time is a generation in the odyssey ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
4 votes
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Why is Circe in Aeaea?

Not Alone In the Odyssey, in fact, Kirke [Circe] does not live all by her lonesome on the island of Aiaia [Aeaea]. In Book 10, Odysseus says that Kirke's house is tended to by certain wood-nymphs, ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
3 votes

Why was Odysseus needed for killing the suitors in the Odyssey?

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 ...
Timothy's user avatar
  • 648
3 votes
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What did Odysseus and his men do to err Athena?

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 ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 1,623
3 votes

Has Odysseus ever used a bow prior to the archery contest in the Odyssey?

In Odyssey 8.215 Odysseus briefly brags about his archery skills to the Phaeacians: For in all things I am no weakling, even in all the contests that are practised among men. Well do I know how to ...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
3 votes
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How much time is a generation in the odyssey and Iliad?

Since Homer wrote primarily from a male perspective, we can roughly equate a generation with the average age of marriage for males in Ancient Greece, which would be around 30 years. From the female ...
Codosaur's user avatar
  • 5,368
3 votes

Is there any evidence as to which incidents in the Odyssey were invented by Homer and which were existing legends (apart from the Trojan War)?

The short answer is that Homer is clearly drawing on existing fables, stories, myths, and even epics to create his. This much is by necessity. The problem is that the details are and will likely ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 7,346
2 votes

Odysseus raid on the Cicones at Ismaros (Odyssey Book 9 lines 40-66)

The Odyssey is a nostos, a tale of a hero's homecoming from the great war. In its opening lines, it alludes to its own membership in this epic subgenre, and even uses the expression nostimon ēmar, ...
Brian Donovan's user avatar
2 votes

Why is Dante’s Odysseus different from Homer’s?

Dante is using Odysseus freely as a metaphor for the Greek Tradition in Canto 26. It is meant to illustrate the intellectual/rational hubris, when detached from a larger spiritual and embedding frame ...
2x_espresso's user avatar
1 vote

Why are the Sirens the "muses of Hades"?

It's a tiny mistranslation. The Latin actually reads "in orbe (earth)". Hades is the underworld. According to Ovid (“Metamorphoses” V, 551),the sirens were formerly handmaidens of Persephone,...
Codosaur's user avatar
  • 5,368
1 vote

Why is Dante’s Odysseus different from Homer’s?

Yes, the Divine Comedy and Dante's Odysseus is an original fictional allegory, a fantasy, an epic and technically an Aristotelian comedy because it has a happy ending. The Inferno, Purgatorio and ...
Susanne Pennelle's user avatar

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