Odysseus (page 703 lower)

Chapter 17, The Return from Troy

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Homer, Odyssey 3.159-64

But when we came to Tenedos, we offered sacrifice to the gods, [160] being eager to reach our homes, howbeit Zeus did not yet purpose our return, stubborn god, who roused evil strife again a second time. Then some turned back their curved ships and departed, even the lord Odysseus, the wise and crafty-minded, with his company, once more showing favour to Agamemnon, son of AtreusGreek Text

Homer, Odyssey 9.37-61

But come, let me tell thee also of my woeful home-coming, which Zeus laid upon me as I came from Troy. “From Ilios the wind bore me and brought me to the Cicones, [40] to Ismarus. There I sacked the city and slew the men; and from the city we took their wives and great store of treasure, and divided them among us, that so far as lay in me no man might go defrauded of an equal share. Then verily I gave command that we should flee with swift foot, but the others in their great folly did not hearken. [45] But there much wine was drunk, and many sheep they slew by the shore, and sleek kine of shambling gait. Meanwhile the Cicones went and called to other Cicones who were their neighbors, at once more numerous and braver than they—men that dwelt inland and were skilled [50] at fighting with their foes from chariots, and, if need were, on foot. So they came in the morning, as thick as leaves or flowers spring up in their season; and then it was that an evil fate from Zeus beset us luckless men, that we might suffer woes full many. They set their battle in array and fought by the swift ships, [55] and each side hurled at the other with bronze-tipped spears. Now as long as it was morn and the sacred day was waxing, so long we held our ground and beat them off, though they were more than we. But when the sun turned to the time for the unyoking of oxen, then the Cicones prevailed and routed the Achaeans, [60] and six of my well-greaved comrades perished from each ship; but the rest of us escaped death and fate.  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 9.67-75

But against our ships Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, roused the North Wind with a wondrous tempest, and hid with clouds the land and the sea alike, and night rushed down from heaven. [70] Then the ships were driven headlong, and their sails were torn to shreds by the violence of the wind. So we lowered the sails and stowed them aboard, in fear of death, and rowed the ships hurriedly toward the land. There for two nights and two days continuously [75] we lay, eating our hearts for weariness and sorrow.  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 9.79-99

And now all unscathed should I have reached my native land, [80] but the wave and the current and the North Wind beat me back as I was rounding Malea, and drove me from my course past Cythera.Thence for nine days’ space I was borne by direful winds over the teeming deep; but on the tenth we set foot on the land of the Lotus-eaters, who eat a flowery food. [85] There we went on shore and drew water, and straightway my comrades took their meal by the swift ships. But when we had tasted food and drink, I sent forth some of my comrades to go and learn who the men were, who here ate bread upon the earth; [90] two men I chose, sending with them a third as a herald. So they went straightway and mingled with the Lotus-eaters, and the Lotus-eaters did not plan death for my comrades, but gave them of the lotus to taste. And whosoever of them ate of the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus, [95] had no longer any wish to bring back word or to return, but there they were fain to abide among the Lotus-eaters, feeding on the lotus, and forgetful of their homeward way. These men, therefore, I brought back perforce to the ships, weeping, and dragged them beneath the benches and bound them fast in the hollow ships.   Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 9.105-536

Thence we sailed on, grieved at heart, and we came to the land of the Cyclopes, an overweening and lawless folk, who, trusting in the immortal gods, plant nothing with their hands nor plough; but all these things spring up for them without sowing or ploughing, [110] wheat, and barley, and vines, which bear the rich clusters of wine, and the rain of Zeus gives them increase. Neither assemblies for council have they, nor appointed laws, but they dwell on the peaks of lofty mountains in hollow caves, and each one is lawgiver [115] to his children and his wives, and they reck nothing one of another. Now there is a level isle that stretches aslant outside the harbor, neither close to the shore of the land of the Cyclopes, nor yet far off, a wooded isle. Therein live wild goats innumerable, for the tread of men scares them not away, [120] nor are hunters wont to come thither, men who endure toils in the woodland as they course over the peaks of the mountains. Neither with flocks is it held, nor with ploughed lands, but unsown and untilled all the days it knows naught of men, but feeds the bleating goats. [125] For the Cyclopes have at hand no ships with vermilion cheeks, nor are there ship-wrights in their land who might build them well-benched ships, which should perform all their wants, passing to the cities of other folk, as men often cross the sea in ships to visit one another— [130] craftsmen, who would have made of this isle also a fair settlement.  Continue Reading  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 10.1-9

Then to the Aeolian isle we came, where dwelt Aeolus, son of Hippotas, dear to the immortal gods, in a floating island, and all around it is a wall of unbreakable bronze, and the cliff runs up sheer. [5] Twelve children of his, too, there are in the halls, six daughters and six sturdy sons, and he gave his daughters to his sons to wife. These, then, feast continually by their dear father and good mother, and before them lies boundless good cheer.  Greek Text


Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2023

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