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18

tl;dr Mob rule. Penelope didn't have a choice. She may have been Queen of Ithaca, but she had little actual power. All men loyal to Odysseus had followed him to Troy, she simply had no way of forcing the suitors to leave the palace. And of course she feared that antagonizing the suitors in any way would put Telemachus' life in danger. Nevertheless, ...


14

I have asked this question on the English Wikipedia Reference Desk a few months ago. This answer contains a copy of the answers volunteered there. Livius Andronicus (c. 284 – c. 204 BC) was possibly the first who translated the Odyssey into Latin, but his translation has not survived. There have been many Latin translations of Homer over the centuries, but ...


12

Stalling her suitors for as long as possible was probably her best tactic. If she were to turn them away, or even to make a selection, those rejected could well have turned to violence. More generally speaking, trigger warnings rejecting advances bluntly is not always the safest idea. This commonly manifests in Greek mythology (and medieval history, btw) as ...


11

Odysseus was interested in marrying Helen, but he knew he wasn't a favourite amongst the suitors, and had anticipated that Helen would pick Menelaus, if given the choice: And from Ithaca the sacred might of Odysseus, Laertes son, who knew many-fashioned wiles, sought her to wife. He never sent gifts for the sake of the neat-ankled maid, for he knew in ...


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

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 Hesiod do), but Homer does not generally oblige. Not even Zeus Xenios, Zeus of the Guests, seems consistently to punish the many crimes against hospitality that ...


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 ...


7

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 than Herodotus or Euripides.


7

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 hecatombs had not given them full satisfaction, and the gods are very strict about having their dues. Now off Egypt, about as far as a ship can sail in a day with a ...


7

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 they (which meant that everyone bowed to the Persian king). Xenophon contrasts this with the Greek practice of only kneeling toward the gods: οὐδένα γὰρ ...


6

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᾽ ἀνέκοπτεν ὀχῆας ἄντα τιτυσκομένη The key words: αὐτίκα: "forthwith, at once, in a moment," ἱμάς: "leathern strap" θοόω: "quick", or "(make) sharp" ἀπολύω: "...


6

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 them, but as soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, the muse inspired Demodocus to sing the feats of heroes, and more especially a matter that was ...


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 ...


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 ...


5

There is but only one Odyssey, and I've reproduced below the relevant passages using Butler's accessible translation: (Od. 12.39-54) 'First you will come to the Sirens who enchant all who come near them. If any one unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a ...


5

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 shown, Proteus, Master of the Sea Change, who transforms the unseen and known by His will, All honored, Wise One who knows all that was, and all that is, ...


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

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 and Hades. Athena is, don't get me wrong, very powerful, but not in the way Poseidon is. The Greeks knew this, as well. First of all: in some versions of the ...


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 ...


3

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, who "come from groves", and by a couple of varieties of water-nymphs, who "come from springs" and "from the sacred rivers flowing seawards". It is unspecified ...


3

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 handle the polished bow, and ever would I be the first to shoot and smite my man in the throng of the foe, even though many comrades stood by me and were ...


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

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 as somewhat, very vaguely approximate: Wadj-wer and Nu[n], who are themselves at rather opposite ends of the spectrum in their own world. Wadj-wer Wadj Wer ...


1

Background info- Heracles was a demigod. After his 3rd wife thought she had an adversary, she pulled out the vile of Centaur blood she received years before and spread it on his shirt. The Centaur told her that his blood was a kind of love potion, but it was actually a kind of acid. So, when he put the shirt on, he grew in pain. His skin melted and the ...


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