Tag Archives: The Great Books of the Western World

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XVII]

In Book XVII of Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachus returns to the city and tells his mother Penelope about his journey to Pylos and Sparta. As she listens to Telemachus relate the story of Menelaus’ encounter with the sea-god Proteus, who informs Menelaus that Odysseus is alive, Penelope grows hopeful that Odysseus will return home soon. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XVII]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XVI]

In Book XVI of Homer’s Odyssey, Telemachus arrives at the house of Eumaeus. He sends Eumaeus to his mother, Penelope, with news of his return. While Eumaeus is on his errand, Odysseus reveals himself to Telemachus. The father and son joyfully embrace one another. “Telemachus threw his arms about his father and wept. They were both so much moved that they cried aloud like eagles or vultures with crooked talons that have been robbed of their half fledged young by peasants.” Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XVI]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XV]

In Book XV of Homer’s Odyssey, Minerva appears to Telemachus in a dream and tells him to immediately leave Sparta and return to Ithaca. When he arises the next morning, Telemachus takes his leave of Menelaus and sets out for Pylos, where his ship is anchored. He arrives at his ship and begins to load his possessions onto the ship. While Telemachus is offering sacrifices to the gods, Theoclymenus, a prophet from Argos who was exiled because he murdered his kinsman, begs Telemachus to take him to Ithaca and protect him from his pursuers. Telemachus agrees to do so, and they disembark from Pylos. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XV]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XIV]

In Book XIV of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus arrives at the house of Eumaeus, the swineherd. Eumaeus generously feeds and entertains Odysseus and then asks Odysseus about himself. Odysseus, in the disguise of a beggar, claims that he is from the island of Crete, that he fought in the Trojan War, and that he escaped from a slave ship that landed on Ithaca. He also asserts that Odysseus will return home within the next month. Eumaeus does not believe him because several foreigners have already falsely foretold the return of Odysseus. Nevertheless, Eumaeus lodges Odysseus in his house for the night. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XIV]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XIII]

In Book XIII of Homer’s Odyssey, the Phaeacians escort Odysseus to Ithaca, where they place him, still sleeping, on the shore with all his treasure. When Odysseus awakens, he does not know where he is. The goddess Minerva appears to him in the form of a shepherd. Odysseus lies to Minerva about his identity until the goddess reveals herself to him. Minerva explains to Odysseus that he has finally reached Ithaca, but that he cannot immediately return to his home because the suitors would kill him. Together, they devise a plan by which Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, will slay the suitors. Accordingly, Minerva changes Odysseus into an old beggar and then flies to Sparta to escort Odysseus’ son, Telemachus, home. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XIII]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XII]

In Book XII of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew return from Hades to the island of Circe. There, Circe advises Odysseus about the dangers he will face on his journey home. With Circe’s instructions in mind, Odysseus departs from her island. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XII]

HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XI]

In Book XI of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew sail to Cimmeria, a land of perpetual darkness where the entrance to Hades is. Odysseus performs the necessary sacrifices and rituals. Then, shades of the dead begin to appear. The shade of the prophet Tiresias tells Odysseus his future, which includes his arduous journey home and subsequent death at sea. Next, Odysseus sees the shade of his mother. He tries to embrace her, but sadly fails. Then he sees the heroines and heroes of Ancient Greek mythology. Continue reading HOMER: The Odyssey [Book XI]