Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 An introduction to the life of...
 The return of Odysseus to his own...
 The triumph of Odysseus
 Vocabulary and notes
 Back Cover

Group Title: Odysseus : the hero of Ithaca
Title: Odysseus
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087083/00001
 Material Information
Title: Odysseus the hero of Ithaca
Series Title: Scribner series of school reading
Alternate Title: Odysseus
Physical Description: xvii, 223 p., 6 leaves of plates : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Homer
Burt, Mary E ( Mary Elizabeth ), 1850-1918 ( Adapter )
Ragozin, Zénaïde A ( Zénaïde Alexeïevna ), 1835-1924 ( Adapter )
Charles Scribner's Sons
Scribner Press ( Printer )
Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: The Scribner Press
Publication Date: 1898
Subject: Odysseus (Greek mythology) -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Trojan War -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Good and evil -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages, Imaginary -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imaginary companions -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Imagination -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sailing -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Ships -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Magic -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Ghosts -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Monsters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Imaginary voyages -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
Imaginary voyages   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Statement of Responsibility: adapted from the third book of the primary schools of Athens, Greece by Mary E. Burt, Zenaïde A. Ragozin.
General Note: Pictorial front cover and spine.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00087083
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223165
notis - ALG3413
oclc - 07112041

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page i-a
    Half Title
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of Illustrations
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
    An introduction to the life of the hero, Odysseus
        Page 1
        Page 2
        About Troy and the journey of Paris to Greece
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
        The flight of Helen
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
        The Greeks sail for Troy
            Page 10
            Page 10a
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 12a
        The fall of Troy
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
    The return of Odysseus to his own country
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Odysseus on the island of Calypso
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
        Odysseus constructs a raft and leaves the island
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
        Odysseus is saved on the island of Scheria
            Page 29
            Page 30
        Nausicaä is sent to the river by Athena
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
        Odysseus arrives at the palace of Alkinoös
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
        Odysseus in the halls of Alkinoös
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
        The banquet in honor of Odysseus
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
        Odysseus relates his adventures
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
        The lotus-eaters and the cyclops
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
        The cave of the cyclops
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
        The blinding of the cyclops
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
        Odysseus and his companions leave the land of the cyclops
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
        The adventures of Odysseus on the island of Æolus
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
        Odysseus at the home of Circè
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
        Circè instructs Odysseus concerning his descent to Hades
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
        The adventures of Odysseus in Hades
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
        Odysseus converses with his mother and Agamemnon
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
        Conversation with Achilles and other heroes
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
        The return of Odysseus to the island of Circè
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
        Odysseus meets the Sirens, Skylla, and Charybdis
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
        Odysseus on the island of Hēlios
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
        The departure of Odysseus from the island of Scheria
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
        Odysseus arrives at Ithaca
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 112a
        Odysseus seeks the swineherd
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
    The triumph of Odysseus
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Athena advises Telemachos
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
        Telemachos astonishes the wooers
            Page 128
            Page 129
        Penelope's web
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
        The journey of Telemachos
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
        Telemachos in Pylos
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
        Telemachos in Sparta
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
            Page 144
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 146a
        Menelaos relates his adventures
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 149
            Page 150
        The conspiracy of the suitors
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
        Telemachos returns to Ithaca
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
        Telemachos and the swineherd
            Page 158
            Page 159
            Page 160
        Telemachos recognizes Odysseus
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
            Page 164
        Telemachos returns to the palace
            Page 165
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
        Odysseus is recognized by his dog
            Page 169
            Page 170
            Page 171
        Odysseus comes, a beggar, to his own house
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
        Conversation of Odysseus and Penelope
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
        Eurycleia recognizes Odysseus
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
        Penelope's dream
            Page 183
            Page 184
        Athena encourages Odysseus
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
        The last banquet of the suitors
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
        Odysseus bends the bow
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
        Death of the suitors
            Page 201
            Page 202
        Eurycleia announces the return of Odysseus to Penelope
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
            Page 207
            Page 208
        Odysseus visits his father
            Page 209
            Page 210
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
            Page 214
    Vocabulary and notes
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
    Back Cover
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
Full Text







Author of "Literxry Landmarks," "Stories from Plato," "Story of thA
German Iliad," "The Child-Life Reading Study"; Editor of
"Little Nature Studies"; Teacher in the John A.
browning School, New York City

Author of The Story of Chaldea," The Story of Assyria," The Story
of Media, Beibylon, and Persia," "The Story of Vedic India" ;
Member ,if the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and
Ireland, of the American Oriental Society, of the
Socitt Ethnologique of Paris, etc.






Printed in the United States of America











.. xiii


I. About Troy and the Journey of Paris to
Greece 3
II. The Flight of Helen 6
III. The Greeks Sail for Troy zo
IV. The Fall of Troy 3




V. Odysseus on the Island of Calypso
VI. Odysseus Constructs a Raft and Leaves the
Island .

viii Contents

VII. Odysseus is Saved on the Island of
Scheria 29
VIII. Nausicai is Sent to the River by Athena 31
IX. Odysseus Arrives at the Palace of Alki-
noos .38
X. Odysseus in the Halls of Alkinobs 42
XI. The Banquet in Honor of Odysseus 47
XII. Odysseus Relates His Adventures. 54
XIII. The Lotus-Eaters and the Cyclops 57
XIV. The Cave of the Cyclops 6
XV. The Blinding of the Cyclops 64
XVI. Odysseus and His Companions Leave
the Land of the Cyclops 67
XVII. The Adventures of Odysseus on the
Island of JEolus 72
XVIII. Odysseus at the Home of Circ 75
XIX. Circe Instructs Odysseus Concerning
His Descent to Hades 78
XX. The Adventures of Odysseus in Hades 84
XXI. Odysseus Converses with His Mother
and Agamemnon 87
XXII. Conversation with Achilles and Other
Heroes. 90
XXIII. The Return of Odysseus to the Island of
Circ 94
XXIV. Odysseus Meets the Sirens, Skylla, and
Charybdis 98


XXV. Odysseus on the Island of Helios
XXVI. The Departure of Odysseus from the
Island of Scheria. .
XXVII. Odysseus Arrives at Ithaca
XXVIII. Odysseus Seeks the Swineherd .


XXIX. Athena Advises Telemachos
XXX. Telemachos Astonishes the Wooers
XXXI. Penelope's Web .
XXXII. The Journey of Telemachos
XXXIII. Telemachos in Pylos
XXXIV. Telemachos in Sparta
XXXV. Menelaos Relates His Adventures
XXXVI. The Conspiracy of the Suitors .
XXXVII. Telemachos Returns to Ithaca .
XXXVIII. Telemachos and the Swineherd
XXXIX. Telemachos Recognizes Odysseus
XL. Telemachos Returns to the Palace
XLI. Odysseus is Recognized by His Dog.
XLII. Odysseus Comes, a Beggar, to His
Own House
XLIII. Conversation of Odysseus and Penel-
ope .

x Contents

XLIV. Eurycleia Recognizes Odysseus 180
XLV. Penelope's Dream 183
XLVI. Athena Encourages Odysseus 185
XLVII. The Last Banquet of the Suitors 188
XLVIII. Odysseus Bends the Bow 194
XLIX. Death of the Suitors 201
L. Eurycleia Announces the Return of
Odysseus to Penelope 203
LI. Odysseus Visits His Father 209
Vocabulary and Notes 215



MOTHER Frontispiece








IT has long been the opinion of many of the
more progressive teachers of the United States
that, next to Herakles, Odysseus is the hero
closest to child-life, and that the stories from the
"Odyssey are the most suitable for reading-
lessons. These conclusions have been reached
through independent experiments not related
to educational work in foreign countries.
While sojourning in Athens I had the pleas.
ure of visiting the best schools, both public and
private, and found the reading especially spir-
ited. I examined the books in use and found
the regular reading-books to consist of the
classic tales of the country, the stories of Her-
akles, Theseus, Perseus, and so forth, in the
reader succeeding the primer, and the stories
of Odysseus, or Ulysses, as we commonly call
him, following as a third book, answering to our
second or third reader. This book I brought
home with me and had a careful, literal trans-
lation made. I submitted this translation to
that notable scholar, Zenaide A. Ragozin, with


whom I faithfully traversed the ground, word
by word and sentence by sentence. This ver-
sion I have carefully compared with Bryant
and rewritten, making the language as simple
as could be consistent with the dignity of the
The introduction to the original book as I
found it in Greece contains many interesting
points, since it shows that educators in foreign
countries, notably in Germany, had come to
the same conclusion with our best American
teachers. The editor of the little Greek read-
ing-book says:
In editing this work we have made use not
only of Homer's 'Odyssey,' but also of that excel-
lent reader which is used in the public schools of
Germany, Willman's 'Lesebuch' aus Homer.'
We have divided the little volume into three
parts, the first of which gives a short resume
of the war against Troy and the destruction of
that city, the second the wanderings of Odys-
seus till his arrival in Ithaca, the third his arri-
val and the killing of the wooers. We have no
apology to make in presenting this book to the
public as a school-book, since many people su-
perior to us have shown the need of such books
in school-work. The new public schools, as is
well known, have a mission of the highest im-


portance. They do not aim, as formerly, at
absolute knowledge pounded into the heads of
children in a mechanical way. Their aim is
the mental and ethical development of the pu-
pils. Reading and writing lead but half way
to this goal. With all nations the readers used
in the public schools are a collection of the no.
blest thoughts of their authors."
The Greek editor had never read the inane
rat and cat stories of American school read.
ers" when he wrote that. He continues:
Happily the Greek nation, more than any
other, abounds in literary masterpieces. Nearly
all of the Greek writings contain an abundance
of practical wisdom and virtue. Their worth is
so great that even the most advanced European
nations do not hesitate to introduce them into
their schools. The Germans do this, although
their habits and customs are so different from
ours. They especially admire Homer's works.
These books, above all others, afford pleasure
to the young, and the reason for it is clearly
set forth by the eminent educator Herbart:
"' The little boy is grieved when told that he
is little. Nor does he enjoy the stories of lit.
tle children. This is because his imagination
reaches out and beyond his environments. I
find the stories from Homer to be more suit-


able reading for young children than the mass
of juvenile books, because they contain grand
"Therefore these stories are held in as high
esteem by the German children as by the Greek.
In no other works do children find the grand
and noble traits in human life so faithfully and
charmingly depicted as in Homer. Here all
the domestic, civic, and religious virtues of the
people are marvellously brought to light and
the national feeling is exalted. The Homeric
poetry, and especially the' Odyssey,' is adapted
to very young children, not only because it sat-
isfies so well the needs which lead to mental
development, but also for another reason. As
with the people of olden times bravery was
considered the greatest virtue, so with boys of
this age and all ages. No other ethical idea
has such predominance as that of prowess.
Strength of body and a firm will characterize
those whom boys choose as their leaders.
Hence the pleasure they derive from the ac-
counts of celebrated heroes of yore whose
bravery, courage, and prudence they admire."
The editor further extols the advantages aris.
ing from the study of Homer, it making the
youthful students acquainted with the earliest
periods of Greek history, the manners and cus-

Introduction xvii

toms of the people, and he ends by quoting from
"Boys must first get acquainted with the
noisy market-place of Ithaca and then be led to
the Athens of Miltiades and Themistokles."
With equal truth the American can say that
the child whose patriotism is kindled by the
Homeric fire will the more gladly respond to
the ideals set forth in the history of a Colum-
bus or a Washington.





ON the northern shore of Asia Minor there
lies a plateau watered by many small rivers
and surrounded on all sides by mountains, only
on the north it slopes gently to the sea. On
this plateau, between the Simois and Scaman-
dros rivers, in the oldest times there stood a
very rich and powerful city, whose name was
Troy. It was the capital of a large and fertile
district, known as the Troad.
There, about 12oo B.C., reigned a king by the
name of Priam, possessed of great power and
boundless wealth. He had many sons and
daughters. It was said, indeed, that he had fifty
sons who were all married and living in their
own homes, which they had built by the king's
wish around the royal palace.
They were all handsome and heroic young
men. One of the youngest, Paris, also named
Alexandros, surpassed the others in beauty.
He was a restless youth and not fond of his

4 Odysseus
home, as were the others. He had set his
heart on travelling and seeing strange coun-
tries and cities. King Priam was extremely
fond of his large family, and took pride in hav-
ing all his children about him, so that at first
he was greatly opposed to the wishes of Paris.
But the youth was so persistent and unhap-
py that the king at last consented to let him
go. Without delay, Paris called together a few
friends with tastes as adventurous as his own.
They embarked in a new ship well provided
with all that travellers need, and set sail for
the famous land on the shores of the 1Egean
Sea, of which they had heard so many wonder-
ful things, and which was called Hellas.
Nearly in the middle of the plain which
forms the southern part of Hellas was the city
of Sparta. It was on the river Eurotas, and
was the capital of a large district called Lace-
demon, and it was to this city that Paris came.
Now, there was a mysterious reason for this
strange desire of Paris-his passionate longing
to travel. In his early youth, while he was
still minding his herds on the rich pastures of
Mount Ida, he received a visit from the three
greatest goddesses of Olympos.
Hera, the queen of Heaven and consort of
Zeus-Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and

Troy and the journey of Paris

Zeus's favorite daughter-and Aphrodite, the
goddess of love and beauty, had a dispute
among themselves.
Each thought herself the most beautiful of
the three, and they would have come to high
words about it had not Athena proposed that
they should ask the handsomest man in the
world to settle the question. This happened to
be the young royal shepherd, Paris. So the
three goddesses floated down to the slope of
Mount Ida on a snowy cloud and placed the
question before him, each promising to reward
him royally if he gave his verdict in her favor.
Paris, as might have been expected, decided
in favor of Aphrodite, who had promised him
that the fairest woman living in the whole
world should be his wife. This promise had
to be kept, being given by a goddess, but it
was the source of endless misfortune, for Paris
had a young and lovely wife who was tenderly
attached to him, while the fairest of living
women-acknowledged as such by fame in all
known countries-was Queen Helen of Sparta,
herself the wife of another man.
Her husband was one of the most renowned
heroes of Hellas, King Menelaos, a son of
Atreus and brother of the leader of the Greek
chiefs, Agamemnon, King of Mycena. It was


Aphrodite, then, who inspired Paris with an in-
sane desire to forsake his parents, brothers, and
wife. It was her secret guidance which led him
across the seas and through the dangers lurk-
ing among the hundreds of islands of the Ar-
chipelagos straight to the land of Lacedmemon.
This is the central of the three peninsulas
in which the Peloponnesus ends, and might be
called the middle finger of that large hand of
which Arcadia is the palm.
Paris landed, with all his companions, on
the shores of Lacedemon, where the people
received him kindly and helped him on his
journey to Sparta, where Menelaos and Helen
gave him a cordial welcome.



APHRODITE, while leading Paris to the shores
of Lacedmmon, had not forgotten her promise,
and in Sparta itself she was at work at its ful-
filment. She inspired Queen Helen with a
growing discontent and restlessness of spirit.
Menelaos had not noticed any change in her,
and it was with an utterly unsuspicious mind

The Flight of Helen 7

that he received the fatal strangers and made
them welcome guests in his land and home.
More than that, having heard the news from
Crete that his presence there was desirable on
account of some urgent business, he did not
hesitate to set sail for that island, in the expec-
tation of finding Paris and his companions still
enjoying the hospitality of his palace after a
short absence.
This was the chance which wily Aphrodite
had contrived for Paris. He took the hint and
carried Helen away to his ship, together with
as much treasure as they could lay hands on,
and then they sailed for Troy. Little did he
heed, in his mad desire to call the most beauti-
ful woman in the world his wife, that she was
already the wife of a hero who had received
him as an honored guest in his house, and that
he was about to destroy the peace and honor
of his host.
As soon as Menelaos heard of the flight of
his wife, he hastened back to Sparta, where
he found his palace deserted and his treasure-
house robbed.
Then his heart was filled with great wrath.
He set out at once to see his brother, Aga-
memnon, to consult with him about what was
to be done. Agamemnon was ruler over My-

8 Odysseus
cene, and highly respected in all Hellas on
account of his power and riches.
After the two brothers had talked over this
grave affair, they announced to all the leaders
in Hellas the great and detestable crime, and
asked them for their assistance. All the king's
chiefs of Hellas lent a willing ear to this de-
mand, for in this breach of hospitality, commit-
ted against one of them, each felt himself per-
sonally aggrieved and bound to help in the
punishment of what, in those times, was con-
sidered the most unpardonable of all crimes.
Only one of the kings held back for awhile and
needed much persuasion to join the league.
This was Odysseus of Ithaca, who could well
consider himself at the time the happiest of
mortals, for he had lately married Penelope,
one of the fairest and most virtuous maidens of
Greece. He had an infant son of great beauty
and promise, and he owned much land and
countless herds of cattle, sheep, and swine.
Added to that, all the petty nobles of the isl
and acknowledged him as their chief.
But a soothsayer, or seer, had greatly dis-
turbed him by informing him that if he went
to a great war he would be kept away from his
home for the space of twenty years, and even
then return to it in the guise of a beggar, after

The Flight of Helen 9

having suffered wrecks, captivity, endless wan-
derings, and loss of comrades.
No one could doubt that Odysseus was brave,
but no one could blame him for wishing to be
excused from taking part in the war against
Troy. Menelaos and his brother, however,
would accept no excuse from him, as he was
the wisest and craftiest of all the leaders, and
when Odysseus finally consented to join them
he set about arming and directing the young
Greek warriors with all his heart and soul.
There was another young prince whom it
was absolutely necessary to secure, for a much
venerated oracle had given it as a decree of the
gods that Troy could never be taken without
his help. This was Achilles, son of Peleus,
king of the Myrmidons in Thessaly, and of the
beauteous ocean nymph, Thetis. Notwithstand-
ing his extreme youth, his father would not dis-
appoint the whole country, and he let him go
with those who came for him. But he sent
along with him his adopted son, Patroklos, who
was several years older, and to whom the boy
was passionately attached, and also his oldest
and most trusted servant, Phoenix. These two,
the old man and the youth, he charged, as they
hoped for the mercy of Zeus, to keep watchful
guard over Achilles, whose exceedingly impet-


uous and reckless temper exposed him to many
dangers which might be averted by a sensible
and loving word spoken in time.
The Greeks took counsel together, and it
was resolved that Menelaos should go in per-
son to Troy and demand back his wife, Helen,
as well as his treasure and a suitable apology
for the wrong done to him and to all Hellas.
He chose for his companion the cunning Odys-
seus. On their arrival in Troy, Menelaos and
Odysseus presented themselves before Priam
and demanded the return of Helen and the
The king at once called his people together
to deliberate upon the matter, and the two
Greek kings bravely denounced the mean act
of Paris. But the Trojans, stirred up by that
youth, abused the ambassadors and drove them
out of their city.



THE kings and chieftains of Hellas, having
heard that Odysseus and Menelaos had been
driven out of Troy, hastened to call together
their fleets and armies at Aulis, a city of


The Greeks Sail for Troy it

Boeotia on a ridge of rock running out into the
sea between two little bays, each of which
was a harbor for many ships. A hundred thou-
sand men and a thousand ships were gathered
there under the leadership of the celebrated
and heroic chiefs. The commander-in-chief of
the whole army was Agamemnon.
Among the renowned leaders were Menelaos,
the sagacious Odysseus, Ajax, and many others.
Just as they were offering a sacrifice to the
gods, in order to start out to the war with their
good will, a great miracle happened. A fear.
ful snake crept from under the altar and
climbed a tree in which there was a sparrow's
nest nearly hidden by the leaves. There were
eight young sparrows in the nest, nine birds
with the mother. The snake devoured the
fluttering little birds, around which the mother
circled as if overcome by grief.
Then the snake darted at the mother-bird
and swallowed it, when Zeus changed the rep-
tile into a stone. The Greeks wondered at the
sight, but the soothsayer, Calchas, said to
them: "Why do ye wonder at this? The all-
powerful Zeus has sent us this sign because
our deeds shall live forever in the minds of
men. Just as the snake has devoured the eight
little sparrows and their mother, so shall the

12 Odysseus

war swallow up the nine coming years, and in
the tenth we shall overcome Troy."
The ships of the Greeks lay in the bays of
Aulis while the warriors waited impatiently to
set sail. But the winds were contrary; they
would not blow, and the boats waited there year
after year; for a sacred hind had been slain
by Agamemnon, one that belonged to the god-
dess Artemis, and it was ordered by that god-
dess that no wind should arise to take them
on toward Troy until her wrath had been ap-
So Agamemnon went to Calchas, the seer,
and asked his advice, whereupon the old
prophet told him to send for his lovely young
daughter, Iphigeneia, and offer her up on the
altar as the only acceptable sacrifice to Arte-
mis. When he had placed her upon the altar
and the priest was raising his knife, the god-
dess took pity on Agamemnon and carried the
girl away in a cloud, leaving a fine white doe
And now arose a favorable wind, and the
Greeks arrived safely before Troy. How they
fought with the Trojans, how many of the he-
roes outlived the struggle, and how many fell
in the battle, all this we can learn from an old
book called the Iliad." We shall select from


The Fall of Troy 13

it only those things which refer to our hero,
Odysseus; and to complete the history of tmat
hero we shall go to another book, called the
" Odyssey."
Both of these books are the work of the
great poet Homer, who lived many years after
the war with Troy. That we may understand
better what happened later on, we must give a
short account of the fall of Troy and of the re-
turn of Menelaos and Agamemnon to their own



THE war lasted nine years, and in the tenth the
Greeks conquered Troy, not in battle, but by
means of a trick which had come into the mind
of Odysseus. He told a skilful carpenter to
build a wooden horse of gigantic size, and in it
he hid the bravest Greek warriors. When he
had done this he advised all the other Greeks
to depart without leaving anything behind
them, and so lead the Trojans to believe that
they had given up the fight and gone home.

14 Odysseus
So the Greeks burned their tents and put off
to sea, while the Trojans from their walls
watched them with great joy, thinking them-
selves well rid of an enemy. When the last
ship had gone, the Trojans threw open the
gates of their city and rushed down into the
plain where the Greeks had had their camp, to
see how the place looked.
There they found the wooden horse, and one
of the Greeks tied to a tree, who told them he
was left there as a punishment, and that the
wooden horse was an offering to the gods.
The Trojans made up their minds to carry it
into their city and give it the best place on
their highest hill.
Then Laoco6n, a priest of Apollo, stepped
forth, and said to them: Unhappy people!
what madness possesses you? Do ye think
the enemy gone? Do ye know Odysseus so
little? There are Greek warriors hidden in
this horse, or else some other mischief is lurk-
ing there. Fear the Greeks even when they
bring gifts."
With these words, he thrust his spear into
the flank of the horse, and the arms of the hid-
den enemy clashed with a loud noise. Just then
two snakes of great size, sent by Athena, rose
from the sea, and sprang upon Laoco6n and

The Fall of Troy 15

his two sons, and, coiling around them, bit them
to death. The Trojans, in great fear at the
sight, took this as a sign from the gods that the
horse was sacred and that they must protect
it, and they moved it at once into their city,
breaking down a part of their wall to get it in.
Having done this, they gave themselves up to
feasting and making merry, without the slight-
est thought that any evil was in store for them.
But when night had come, and all were in a
deep sleep, the ships of the Greeks, which had
been hiding all the while behind a neighbor-
ing island, came back. The warriors who were
concealed in the wooden horse sprang out and
rushing wildly through the city, slew the Tro-
jans right and left without mercy. From all
sides came wailings and groans, and the flames
of the burning city rose up to the sky.
A deadly struggle took place between the
Trojans and the Greeks. Priam was slain, and
Paris and many other heroes. The victory
was to the Greeks. Troy fell never to rise
again, and the women and children were led
off to become slaves to their conquerors.
Thus was destroyed in one night the great
and glorious city of Troy, all on account of the
crime which Paris had committed against the.
laws of hospitality.

I Odysseus

The trials of the Greeks were not yet at an
end. After their victory at Troy they em.
barked in their ships and started eagerly for
their homes. But Zeus prepared a sad fate
for them, because Ajax had violently dragged
Cassandra, the beautiful daughter of Priam,
from the altar of Athena and had made her his
slave. Thus many of the leaders perished in
the sea far from home, and some were cast on
foreign shores to die.
Menelaos was thrown by wind and waves on
the island of Crete, and he lost many of the
ships on the cliffs. Thence he strayed to the
island of Cyprus, noted for its mines; and he
roved through other lands until he came to
Egypt, where he wandered about for eight
years, when he returned to Sparta, taking
Helen with him. He became reconciled to his
wife, and they lived a quiet life far removed
from the enchantments of the wily Aphro-
But the saddest fate of all overtook Aga-
memnon, who met his death in his own house
at the hands of his wife and brother.
Agamemnon, without any accident at sea,
reached his native land. Full of gratitude, he
kissed the earth and wept tears of joy at the
thought of meeting his wife and son.

The Fall of Troy 17

He entered his home with a glad heart, and
his faithless wife came to meet him, but she
had prepared a hot bath for him, and there he
met his death, entangled in a net which she
threw over him, for she had not forgotten the
loss of her beautiful daughter, Iphigeneia,
whom she believed to have been offered up as
a sacrifice on the altar of Artemis.
She was assisted in this dreadful deed by her
husband's brother, who became ruler over the
land, holding sway eight years, when Orestes,
the son of Agamemnon, slew him and regained
the kingdom.
And now we come to the return of Odysseus,
the wisest of the Greeks, who wandered to the
remotest part of the earth and learned the cus-
toms of many people, and who suffered terrible
things by land and sea.





ALL the Greeks who had escaped from the
destruction of Troy and had been spared the
terrors of the sea returned to their homes.
But the unfortunate Odysseus was delayed by
the fair nymph Calypso on her island, where
she made her home in a cool and beautiful
grotto. There he wept and mourned, desiring
to see his wife again and his native land. Each
of the gods save one, Poseidon, god of the sea,
wished to help him to find the way home.
Odysseus had brought Poseidon's wrath upon
himself through inflicting a terrible injury
upon the favorite son of that deity, and for that
reason the wrath of the god fell on him and
he was wrecked. One day all the other gods
had assembled in the hall of Zeus, on Mount
Olympos, when Athena, the favorite daughter
of Zeus and firm friend of Odysseus, knowing
that her father in his heart was well-disposed
toward the hero, began to plead for him in a
way to excite greater pity still.
"0 my father, thou great king among the

22 Odysseus
gods," she said, "my heart is troubled on
account of the wise Odysseus, who lingers on
an island, far away from home, and suffers
greatly; for a nymph lives on the island, the
daughter of great Atlas, and with sweet words
she strives to make Odysseus forget his native
land. But he bewails his fate and is full of
sorrow, his only wish being to have a glimpse
of the smoke of his beloved country."
Zeus thereupon ordered Hermes to depart
at once for the island and tell the nymph to
send Odysseus to his home without delay.
Hermes obeyed quickly. He bound his
winged sandals to his feet, and, taking his
golden wand in his hand, flew like a meteor
over land and sea till he reached the island
where the nymph Calypso made her abode.
He found her within the grotto, singing sweet-
ly while she wove a fine web on a golden loom.
All about the grotto there was a grove of
cypress-trees in which birds of gay colors were
sporting and springs of pure water bubbling,
and the fragrance of strange flowers filled the
air. When Hermes had gazed upon these
wonders he entered the grotto. It was bright
with a blazing fire on a spacious hearth, and
tragrant with the odor of burning cedar and

Odysseus on the Island of Calypso 23

Calypso saw him as he came in and knew
him. She bade him sit down on a throne daz-
zling with jewels, and, placing a table before
him laden with nectar and ambrosia, invited
him to eat and drink. After he had finished
his repast, Hermes told her that Zeus had sent
him to her with the command that she should
send Odysseus without delay to his native
land. Having given this message, he disap-
peared, leaving Calypso in great grief.
Odysseus in the meantime sat by the shore
mourning and gazing out upon the sea. Ca-
lypso found him there, sitting alone, weeping
and longing for his home. She stood by him
and said: "Odysseus, my unhappy friend, do
not waste thy life any longer in sorrow. The
end of thy grief has come. Arise and prepare
to depart for thy home. Build thee a raft of
the trunks of trees which thou shalt hew down.
I will put bread and water and delicate wine on
board; and I will clothe thee in comfortable
garments, and send a favorable wind that thou
mayest safely reach thy native land."
Thus spoke the lovely goddess, but Odysseus
could hardly believe her, and said: I fear, 0
goddess, that thou hast some other thought in
thy mind, and that thou dost not wish to send
me home when thou biddest me sail over this

24 Odysseus

stormy and dangerous sea. I shall never go on
to the raft against thy wish, and thou must
swear the great oath of the gods that no harm
shall come to me."
The goddess smiled at these words, and, tak-
ing the hero by the hand, rejoined: "Thou art
a wise man, and thy answer is well made. I
will pledge thee a solemn oath, by the heavens
and the earth, and the waters of the Styx, that
I have no plan of evil against thee. And I
advise thee to do as I have instructed thee, to
be ready for any crisis."
Speaking thus, the goddess went into the
grotto and Odysseus followed her. When he
had come into the spacious hall, he sat down on
his throne and the nymph brought him rich
food and wine. Then she took a seat opposite
him, and her attendants brought her ambrosia
and nectar, which she would gladly have shared
with Odysseus, that he, too, might become an
When the repast was over, Calypso narrated
to him all the trials he would have to undergo
before he could reach his native land. While
she was relating these things the sun sank down,
and darkness came upon the island, and all who
had their abode in the grotto sought rest and



AT daybreak the goddess gave Odysseus a
large axe and a sharp adze, and led him to the
heights of the island, where the largest trees
grew. He went to work at once and cut down
twenty trees, which he hewed into proper
shape, and then tied them together with ropes
which he himself made of bark.
In this way he built a raft which was very
large and strong enough to stand the onset of
the waves. He wove a railing of willow and
fitted it around the sides of the raft, to protect
himself against the dashing waves; and he raised
a strong mast with sails shaped to it, and tightly
bound by cords and ropes. He filled the crev-
ices of the raft with wax and pitch and attached
a rudder.
At the end of the fourth day his work was all
done, and his little ship was ready to be launched.
On the fifth day the beautiful goddess prepared
the hero a bath and gave him new garments
fragrant with perfumes. She went down to
the boat with him and put on board a skin of

26 Odysseus

dark-red wine, a larger one full of water, and a
bag of dainty food. Then she bade Odysseus
a kind farewell, and sent a gentle and friendly
wind to waft him over the waves.
Odysseus was wild with joy at the thought
that he was really on his way home once more.
He spread his sails to catch the breeze and took
his seat at the helm, steering the vessel with
great skill. He did not dare to take any sleep,
for he had to watch the sky and stars constantly
and use them as guides on his course. He
sailed along in this way seventeen days. On
the eighteenth he spied land in the distance.
It was the land of the Phaeacians, lying like a
dark spot off in the sea.
Then Poseidon, who was returning from Ethi-
opia, saw him, and his wrath grew hot against
the hero. He raised up his head and said to
himself: "Alas! the gods have strangely
changed their minds about Odysseus during
my absence in Africa. Behold! in a little
while he will be in the land of the Phaeacians,
where he will find an end to his troubles.
Nevertheless, it is in my power to chastise
Speaking thus, Poseidon called the clouds to-
gether, and seizing his trident he stirred up the
sea; then he set loose all the winds until there

Odysseus Constructs a Raft 27
was a general hurricane, and he wrapped
heaven and earth in the thick darkness of
The mighty waves dashed over the raft, and
Odysseus sank on his knees and trembled.
With a deep groan he said: Ah me, unhappy!
Am I to bear more disasters? I fear that the
warning of the goddess was too true, and that I
shall be for a long time cast about on the waves
before I reach home. With what dark clouds
Zeus has shrouded the sky! The storm grows
wild. What terrible waves are these! Help-
lessly I must perish. Happy the Greeks who
fell before Troy, fighting for their country!
Would that I, too, had met death the day when
the Trojans hurled their spears at me as they
strove to take the body of Achilles. If I had
died then, the Greeks would have buried me
with great honors. Now I shall die an inglo-
rious death."
As he spoke a huge wave struck the raft
with such terrible force that it whirled it
around and overturned it. The helm was
wrung from his hand and he fell into the
angry breakers. The mast was snapped in
two and the ropes and sails flew off into the
Odysseus was under water a long time, striv.


ing in vain to come to the. surface. Finally he
rose, spitting the bitter brine out of his mouth.
Although he was in such a desperate plight, his
mind was on the raft. Battling bravely with
the waves he reached it, and springing on board
sat down in the middle of it. Thus he escaped
The angry waves tossed him hither and
thither as the wind scatters the leaves over a
field. Then Ino, the daughter of Cadmus, saw
him and took pity on him. She took the form
of a bird, and, perching on his raft, she said to
him: "0, luckless man! why is Poseidon so
angry with thee? Fear nothing, however;
he cannot take thy life. Obey me and thou
shalt not suffer much longer. Lay aside thy
clothes, leave the raft to the mercy of the
winds and waves, and swim to the land. Take
my veil and wind it about thy breast, and thou
shalt not have anything to fear. As soon as
thou hast reached the land, take it off and throw
it back into the sea. Then hurry away in-
Odysseus hesitated to follow Ino's advice,
fearing some treachery. But Poseidon sent a
huge wave which struck him and scattered the
raft as if it were dry chaff. Then Odysseus at
once got astride of the swimming timber. He

Odysseus is Saved 29
bound the veil around his breast and bravely
plunged into the boiling waters.
Poseidon saw him, and shaking his head he
said: I verily believe thou wilt come out alive
from the sea. But the sea has had thee long
enough, so that thou wilt know its power here-
after and fear it." Saying this he lashed up his
horses and drove off.

ATHENA, the daughter of Zeus, seeing Odys-
seus struggling through the waves, pitied him,
and bade the winds become quiet. Two days
and two nights Odysseus floated about, but on
the third the wind calmed down and the sea
became smooth.
In a short time he found himself near land
once more. But the shore was wild and full
of sharp rocks and high cliffs. He could see
no place on which to set foot, and he grew
downhearted. His knees gave way, and, groan-
ing deeply, he cried out: 0, luckless one In
vain have I braved the dangers of the sea to
escape death. Now all hope has abandoned

30 Odysseus
me, since there is no way for me to get out ox
the water. I fear that when I try to approach
the land the waves will throw me against the
cliffs, and should I try to find a safe landing-
place by swimming, the surf may carry me
back into the wild sea, where some sea-monster
will swallow me up. Whatever I may do, I see
no help for me."
While he pondered over these things a huge
wave cast him on the foamy shore. His bones
were nearly broken, and he lay exhausted until
the wave returned, when he was hurled again
with great force back into the sea. Now the
unfortunate wanderer took to swimming as his
last resort, and reached the mouth of a river,
where he was able to land.
Too tired to breathe or speak, he sank down
in a swoon. His knees and arms trembled,
and his whole body was bruised and swollen.
When his senses returned he rose and untied
the veil that Ino had given him and cast it back
into the sea. Then he knelt down and kissed
the earth, and moved to a sheltered spot where
a wild and a tame olive-tree were standing
close together, whose branches had mingled
with one another, and there he found a safe
Then the godlike Odysseus lay down on a

Nausicad is Sent to the River

bed of dry leaves, covering himself up as one
does an ember, lest it should go out. Athena
came and poured sweet sleep over his eyes, that
he might find quiet rest after all his toils.


WHILE Odysseus lay in a deep sleep, the
goddess Athena went to the royal dwelling of
the king of the Phaacians, Alkinoos, in order
to hasten the return of Odysseus to his native
land. She entered the house, where she found
Nausicai, the king's daughter, sleeping in her
beautiful chamber. Near her lay two maids
who served her.
Athena came as softly as a breath of air,
and caused the -aiden to dream that her
marriage-day was near and that it was her
duty to arise and hasten to the place by the
river where they washed their clothing. In
her dream the princess seemed to hear Athena
say: Nausicaa, why art thou so slothful? Thy
beautiful robes lie neglected and thy wedding.
day is at hand. on which thou surely shouldst

32 Odysseus
wear garments of dazzling whiteness, and thou
shouldst give such garments to those maidens
who lead thee forth to thy bridegroom. There-
fore, as soon as day breaks thou must ask thy
father to give thee a pair of mules, and we will
hasten to the washing-place down by the river."
At the first dawn of day Nausicai went in
haste to her father and mother to tell them of
her dream. She found them in their splendid
hall. Her mother sat with her maidens spinning,
and the king stood on the threshold, just going
forth to meet his chiefs in council. The prin-
cess approached her father and said: "Dearest
father, I pray that thou wilt give me two mules
and a wagon, that I may go with my maids to
the river and take all the clothes that need
washing, for it becomes the king and his sons
to wear clean garments when they go to the
council of the chiefs. Thou hast five sons,
three of whom are youths not wedded, and they
should be provided with fresh robes; they will
need them in the dance."
The king smiled, for he saw what was in her
mind, and he ordered the mules. Then his beau-
tiful daughter brought from the linen-room the
soiled garments and put them on the wagon,
while the queen prepared a goodly lunch of
cold meat and bread and a skin of sweet wine.

Nausicaa~ is Sent to the River

Nausicaat further received from her mother
a bottle of fragrant oil with which to anoint
herself after the washing. Then she mounted
the wagon, seized the whip and reins, and drove
out of the city, the maidens of her train fol-
lowing her on foot.
When they came to the place where the river
was flowing bright and clear, they unhitched
the mules and let them browse along the bank.
Then they took their garments down from the
wagon and tossed them into the marble vats
which they had filled with the limpid water of
the stream. When they had washed them
clean they spread them on the white pebbles to
dry. Having finished the task, they took a bath
and anointed themselves with oil. Then they
sat down on the shore and ate their lunch.
The repast over, they began to play ball.
First the white-armed Nausicaai threw the ball.
She looked as tall and royal among her maids
as did Artemis, the daughter of Zeus, among
her nymphs.

Nausicaa sang a song as they frolicked on
the sand.
When it was time to go home they put the
clean garments upon the wagon and harnessed
up the mules. Just as they started, Nausicai

34 Odysseus
once more threw the ball to one of the maidens,
who failed to catch it. The ball rebounded
from the rocks and fell into the river, at which
the girls raised such a shout that Odysseus,
who was sleeping close by, awoke.
He opened his eyes and sat up, saying to
himself: Woe is me! Have I reached a coun-
try where people dwell? Are they wild and
inhospitable, or friendly to the stranger and
god-fearing? It seems to me I heard cries of
women. Perhaps they were those of the
nymphs who inhabit the mountain heights, the
springs of rivers, and the green meadows, or
those of people who live near by. But I will
see who they are."
So Odysseus clothed himself as best he could,
by winding slender branches covered with
leaves about him, and left the thicket where he
was hidden. He went in the direction of the
voices, stalking along like a great lion. When
the girls saw him they shrieked and scattered
in every direction. Nausicai alone stood her
ground, for Athena gave her courage. When
Odysseus saw her he wondered which would
be the better, to throw himself at the feet of
the maiden and beg her to give him some
clothes and to show him the way to the city,
or to speak to her with more formality.

Nausicad is Sent to the River

It seemed better to him to remain at a dis-
tance, and so he addressed her gently, saying:
" 0 queen, I know not whether thou art a god-
dess or a woman. If thou art a goddess, I
should take thee to be Artemis, because thou
art so tall and graceful. If, however, thou art
a mortal, thrice happy thy father and honored
mother. Greatly must they rejoice when they
see their beautiful child in the choral dance.
But he will be the happiest who shall win thee
for a bride.
I once saw a young palm-tree growing up be-
side Apollo's altar in the island of Delos. It
was the most beautiful tree the earth ever pro-
duced, and I gazed upon it with wonder and
reverence. So am I amazed at thy beauty, and
I fear to approach thee and throw myself as a
suppliant at thy feet, although I am in sore dis-
tress, for great misfortunes have befallen me.
It was only last night that I escaped from
the sea. On my way from Calypso's isle I was
driven about for twenty days by the angry
waves in a violent storm. Now some god has
cast me on this shore to make me undergo new
trials, for I do not believe my sufferings have
come to an end. Have pity on me, O queen,
because thou art the first human being I have
met after so many misfortunes.

36 Odysseus
I do not know one person in this country.
Show me thy city, I pray, and give me an
old robe to wear, no matter how coarse and
poor, and may the gods bestow all blessings
upon thee."
Nausicai looked at Odysseus in pity and
answered: Stranger, thou dost not seem to me
to be a man of mean birth or breeding, and
thou art surely in distress. But it is Zeus who
distributes gifts to mortals, both the good and
the evil things of life, and thou must submit to
his will with patience.
Since thou hast come into our land devoid
of all things, even garments, and art helpless, I
will give thee clothing and tell thee the way to
the city. And I will tell thee about the people
living in it, for I am the daughter of the king,
Alkinois, who reigns over this island." When
Nausicai had spoken thus to Odysseus, she
turned to her maids and commanded them not
to flee from the wanderer, but to bring him
food and drink, since Zeus sent the poor and
the stranger to be cared for.
And she told them to lead him to some
lonely spot by the side of the river, where he
might bathe at his ease. So the maids came
back and led the hero to a sheltered place and
laid a cloak and tunic on the sand, and the

Nausicaid is Sent to the River

bottle of oil which the queen had given Nau-
sicad, that Odysseus might anoint and clothe
himself after his bath; then they ran back to
the princess.
Odysseus bathed in the fresh water of the
river and washed the salt sea-foam from his
hair, and when the bath was over he put on the
robes that Nausicaa had sent. Athena shed a
halo of beauty over him and caused him to
look taller and stronger than before.
As he walked along the beach to rejoin the
maidens, they admired his noble and kingly
bearing, and Nausicaa said to her maids:
" Surely this man does not come among our
godlike brothers against the will of the gods.
I thought him rough and homely, but now he
seems like one of the immortals. I would that
I might call a man like him my husband. Make
haste to give him food and wine, for he has
fasted a long time."
The maids hastened to obey. They looked
over what was left of the abundant lunch and
bade Odysseus eat and drink, which he was
glad to do. The princess then yoked up the
mules and they started for home.



AFTER Nausicaa had mounted to her seat
on the cart, she said to Odysseus: Get ready
now, stranger, and we will lead thee to my
father's palace, where thou wilt meet the chiefs
of the Phmacians. If thou art wise, take well
to heart what I shall say to thee. As long as
we are at a good distance from the city there
is no harm in going along with us. Just follow
close to the wagon with my maids.
But when we come near to the town thou
must go more slowly and tarry behind a little,
till we have reached my father's hall, because
I dread the gossip of the baser sort of people
whom we may meet. After thou hast seen us
enter the city, then thou mayest enter it also
and inquire the way to the king's palace. It is
very beautiful. Thou mayest easily find it by
thyself, for there is no other house in the city
as large as ours.
Enter at once and find my mother and sue
to her for protection and help, that thou mayest
reach thy native land and thy dear ones again."

Jdysseus at the Palace of Alkinods 39

Having spoken these words, Nausicai touched
the mules with her long whip and they quickly
left the river, wending their way toward the
city. They reached it at sunset, but Odysseus
sat down in the sacred grove of Athena, outside
of the city to wait, and prayed to the goddess
that he might receive pity from the people of
While he prayed, the damsels went on and
soon reached the king's palace. Nausicad's
brothers came out and welcomed them, and un-
hitched the mules. When Odysseus had given
them time to get home, he arose and found his
way to the town. He had hardly entered it
when Athena, in the form of a young girl car-
rying a pitcher of water, met him.
My daughter," Odysseus said to her, canst
thou show me the way to the king's palace ? I
am a stranger, and here for the first time."
Athena answered him: With pleasure, stran-
ger; the king is our neighbor. Follow me, and
I will lead thee thither. But on the way do
not greet anyone or ask questions, for the peo-
ple here are not fond of those who come from
other lands."
Thus spoke Athena and pursued her way
with Odysseus following her. She threw a veil
of darkness over the hero to hide him from


rude gazers. Odysseus beheld the beautiful
port with astonishment-the large ships, the
great market-place, and the high walls of the
When they reached the palace, the girl
stopped and said: "This is the house of the
king. Go in without any fear, for they love
brave men, even when they come from afar.
The first thing to do is to find the queen,
whose name is Arete.
She is greatly honored by the king, and all
the people treat her as if she were a goddess,
on account of her gentleness and virtue. In
case the queen looks upon thee with favor, thou
mayest be sure of safely reaching home."
Having spoken these words, the goddess
took a friendly leave of the hero, and he en-
tered the outer hall of Alkinois, where he was
bewildered by the splendor. The walls were
of brass, the doors of gold, and the thresholds
and lintels of pure silver. On each side of the
main entrance gold and silver dogs stood
guard. They were endowed with life and
were immortal, the work and gift of the divine
There were two rows of splendid seats
in the large dining-hall. They were covered
with costly mats, and the Phaacian leaders

Odysseus at the Palace of Alkinois 41

were wont to sit there and enjoy themselves
Golden statues of boys with lighted torches in
their hands stood on beautiful pedestals and
spread light over the merry banquets. There
were fifty maid-servants in the palace. Some
of them were grinding corn in the mill. Some
spent their time in spinning and weaving, for
as the men were renowned sailors, the women
also were famous for making fine cloth.
There was a large orchard all around the
palace, surrounded by a thick hedge. In the
orchard there was a great variety of fruit-trees
-pear, apple, pomegranate, olive, and fig.
The trees were never bare of fruit, either in
summer or in winter, for an ever-blowing west
wind created such a mild climate that the trees
were constantly blooming and ripening their
There was to be seen a tree full of blossoms,
while another bent down under the load of
ripe fruit. Thus it was with the grape-vines in
the vineyard close to the orchard. Some were
blooming, others had only begun to form fruit-
buds, while some were loaded with ripe clus-
ters ready for the wine-press. At the end of
the orchard there was a magnificent flower-
garden, in which the most fragrant flowers
were blooming. Two springs also bubbled


from the ground. One watered the orchard,
and the other ran to the very door of the pal-
ace, and all the people filled their pitchers
there. Such were the gifts Alkinots had re-
ceived from the gods.



AFTER Odysseus had contemplated these won-
ders to his heart's content, he entered the main
hall. There he found the leaders of the Phe-
acians bringing offerings of wine to Hermes, as
the hour of sleep had arrived, and this was al-
ways their last ceremony before seeking slum-
ber. No one saw Odysseus as he crossed the
spacious room and came close to the king and
queen, for he was still concealed in the thick
mist which Athena had thrown round him.
Suddenly the cloud vanished, and Odysseus
threw himself at the feet of Arete, and raised
his voice in supplication.
Arete," he prayed, I have come to thy
husband and to thy feet through many hard-
ships and sorrows. May the gods give thee a
long and happy life. For many years I have
been a wanderer from home and all I love. I

Odysseus in the Halls of Alkinods 43

beg that thou wilt give me a guide and send
me to my own land."
When Odysseus had spoken these words he
sat down amidst the ashes, close to the fire, and
all the guests grew silent and looked at him
with wonder. Then the oldest of the chiefs
arose and said: "Alkinobs, this is not a royal
seat for a stranger, among the cinders of the
hearth. I pray thee, raise him up and place him
on a throne, and order the heralds to fill a cup
with wine, that we may pour a libation to Zeus,
the protector of suppliants, and bid the guest
welcome to our good cheer."
Then Alkino6s arose and took Odysseus by
the hand. He led him to a splendid throne
but little lower than his own, while the herald
placed atable before him loaded with dainty
food. When Odysseus had eaten and drunk,
the attendants filled the cups to pour libations
in honor of Zeus, and Alkinoos said to them:
"Listen, ye leaders and chiefs of the Phaea-
cians. To-morrow we shall greet the stranger in
our palace with honors and offer a great sacri-
fice to the gods. And then we will consider
the best way of sending him home. But if we
should find that he is a god instead of a mortal,
we will do what seems best, for the gods do
sometimes visit us in human shape."


Then said Odysseus: "Nay, Alkinoos, I am
not a god, nor like the gods in form or looks. I
am only a wanderer, and I could tell of fearful
sorrows; and I would willingly die if I could
only see my home once more."
The guests all greeted Odysseus with ap-
proving words, and promised to aid him. Then
they rose, and each man went to his own home.
Odysseus remained in the hall with Arete
and Alkino6s. As they conversed, the queen
noticed the garments of Odysseus, because she
had woven them herself, and she said to
him: Stranger, who art thou, and from what
land? Didst thou not say thou hadst come
here after many wanderings and voyages on
the stormy sea? Who gave thee garments of
my weaving?"
Odysseus answered her: "It would not be
easy, gracious queen, to tell about all my hard-
ships and sufferings. Yet I will do thy bid-
ding. I was shipwrecked long since, and
thrown upon an island far out in the sea, where
Calypso, the daughter of Atlas, lives. She
cared for me most kindly, and would have made
me, like herself, an immortal, but I chose in-
stead the hope of seeing my own native land.
The goddess detained me seven long years
on her island before she bade me start for

Odysseus in the Halls of Alkinois 45

home. I built a raft, which she stored with
food, and she sent a pleasant breeze to carry
me across the waters. But Poseidon stirred
the winds and waves against me, and I was
thrown upon the shores of this island, near the
layers, where thy daughter and her maids went
to wash the household linen. There the prin-
cess found me, and supplied me with food and
the garments I have on."
"One duty my daughter left undone," Alki-
nois said. "She should have brought thee
home with her." "Do not blame her, I en-
treat," replied Odysseus, for she bade me
come with her maids, but I lingered in a grove
to offer a prayer to Athena." When Alkino6s
had heard this tale from Odysseus, he promised
once more to give him a ship and sailors to es-
cort him home.
Meanwhile the queen bade her servants pre-
pare a bed for the hero out on the portico, and
they covered a couch with shaggy rugs and
purple tapestries, where he could rest. With a
grateful heart Odysseus arose, and, thanking
the king for his generous hospitality, sought the
bed, where he gave himself to happy dreams.
Odysseus rose early the next morning and
went with Alkinobs to the market-place, close
to the sea, where all the Phzeacians had assem-

46 Odyssews
bled. The people gazed with admiration at
their stranger-guest, for Athena lent him great-
er dignity and beauty, and she went among the
crowds, moving their hearts to sympathy with
Alkino6s then addressed the assembled mul-
titude: Hear me, ye chiefs of the Phasacians,"
he said. This stranger has come to our land
after many wanderings and adventures. And
he asks me to send him back to his own coun-
try. Let us fit out a ship for him quickly and
launch it, and give him fifty-two young men
from among our best sailors, who shall get
everything ready for the long journey.
While they are doing this the stranger shall
come to my halls with the chiefs and princes,
where we will make a great banquet. Summon
also the bard, Demodokos, that he may enliven
the festival with his harp and songs."
Having spoken, Alkinoos rose and led his
guest back to the palace, the princes following
him. Fifty-two youths were soon chosen from
among the best seamen, and they launched a
ship speedily and went up to the royal palace.



ALKINOOS now ordered a sumptuous feast in
honor of his guest. When the table was spread,
the herald who had gone for Demodokos came
in leading the bard, who was blind. The gods
had deprived him of sight, but had bestowed
upon him the gift of song. They gave him
a seat on a silver throne, amid the guests,
and hung his harp against a lofty pillar, close
above his head, where he could easily reach
When all had eaten and drunk as much as
they desired, Demodokos took his lyre and be-
gan to sing about the heroes of Troy. It was
a song whose fame had reached over the whole
world, the story of a friendly strife between
Achilles and Odysseus before Troy, in which
Achilles held that Troy would fall by force,
but Odysseus maintained that it would come
to an end through the cunning of a few brave
All the guests enjoyed listening to the thrill-
ing song, but Odysseus was deeply touched, and
tears fell from his eyes. He brushed them

48 Odysseus
away stealthily, so that no one should observe
them, and drew a large purple veil over his
face until the song was finished, when he put
it away and took a goblet of wine, which he
poured out on the ground as a libation to the
Again the minstrel took his harp and sang,
and again Odysseus wept. Alkino6s noticed
that the song of Demodokos moved Odysseus
to tears, and thought it might be well to stay
the music awhile and begin the games, that the
stranger might witness the athletic skill of the
Phaeacians. All the princes instantly arose and
walked down to the market-place, the king
leading and the people following.
When the chiefs had taken their seats a great
number of young men hastened forward to be.
gin the games. Some of them darted over the
plain in a foot-race, raising a cloud of dust.
Others strove with all their might in wrestling-
matches, while some threw the quoit or played
at boxing and leaping. After they had enjoyed
looking at the games, Laodamas, a son of Al-
kinoas, said to his friends: "Let us ask the
stranger to take part in the games. His strong
arms and legs and powerful neck show that he
is no weakling. Nor has he lost his youthful
vigor after all his hardships, although nothing

The Banquet in Honor of Odysseus 49

tires a man so much as being tossed about on
the sea."
Then the friends of Laodamas advised him
to challenge Odysseus to take part in the
games; and this seemed right to the prince, so
he said to him: Father, I think thou must be
skilful in these games. Let us see thee try
them. We will not delay thee long. Thy ship
is ready for thee on the sea, and the crew is
there, waiting. But there is no greater glory
or pleasure for a man than to excel in swift-
ness of foot and strength of muscle."
Odysseus answered him: Why dost thou
urge me, O Laodamas? How can I take part
in the games or find any pleasure in them after
all that I have suffered? Here I sit, a sup-
pliant, praying to be sent back to my wife and
home." Then Euryalos scoffed at him, saying:
" Thou art right, stranger, for thy countenance
shows thou art anything but an athlete.
Methinks thou art the owner of some mer-
chant-vessel. Thou art a trader, whose head is
full of bargains. Such men can take heed of
nothing except how to increase wealth."
These mocking words vexed Odysseus, and
he retorted : My friend, thou dost not speak
like a man of good mind. The gods do not
bestow their gifts equally on all men. To thee


they have given great beauty, but they have
denied thee wit. Thy words carry no weight.
Learn, then, that I am not unskilled in the
games. When I was young and strong I was
one of the best athletes. But even now, after
all my shipwrecks and hardships, I will strive
with thee, for thy words are offensive and chal-
lenge me to the proof."
Having said this, Odysseus seized a much
larger and heavier quoit than the Phaacian
prince could use, and swinging it in his power.
ful hand he hurled it forth. The stone whirred
through the air and fell to the ground away
beyond the marks of the other disks. Then
Athena took the form of a Phaeacian and set
a mark where the quoit fell, and exclaimed as
she did so: Stranger, even a blind man could
easily find thy mark, for it is far beyond the
others. Sit down in peace and do not fear that
anybody else can throw so far." Odysseus was
pleased when he heard these friendly words.
With a light heart he said to the Phaeacian
youths: Reach my mark, if you can, young
men, and I will send a stone farther yet. But
if you cannot reach it, and prefer a match at
boxing or wrestling or foot-race, come forth. I
am ready to try any of the games with you. I
can throw a spear farther than any of you can

The Banquet in Honor of Odysseus 51

shoot an arrow. I fear nothing unless it may
be the foot-race, for I have lost my strength
with want of food and being tossed by the
He ended, and King Alkinobs stepped for-
ward, for the young men were all silent.
" Stranger," he said, thou art our dearly loved
guest, and no one can doubt thy bravery. We
do not boast that we are fine boxers or wrest-
lers. We excel in the dance and are unsur-
passed in sailing ships. Come, then, young
men, show your skill in dancing, that our guest
may tell his people when he reaches his home
how much we outdo all others in that art. And
let a herald hasten to the palace and bring
the lyre of Demodokos, which has been left
The young men arranged themselves in two
rows on the polished floors and began the dance,
while the minstrel, standing in their midst,
played on the lyre and sang most sweetly.
Odysseus looked on and greatly admired the
swift and rhythmical movements of their feet.
All danced very well; but two of the sons of
the king came out and danced alone, for none
of the others equalled them. One of them held
a golden ball in his hand, and bending back.
ward threw it so high that it seemed to touch


the clouds. The other sprang up and caught
it easily before it touched the ground.
They both danced, going through intricate
and rhythmical figures, while the other young
men stood around in a circle and clapped their
hands, keeping time. Then Odysseus said to
Alkino6s: Truly, no one excels the Phamacian
princes in dancing. I see the twinkling of their
feet with amazement."
These words pleased Alkino6s greatly, and
he said to his people: Listen, my chiefs, for
our guest seems to be a wise man. It becomes
us now to bestow upon him the gifts of hospi-
tality. In this land there are twelve kings.
I am the thirteenth. Let each one of us bring
a fine cloak, and a tunic, and a talent of gold,
that our guest may see them before he partakes
of the evening banquet. And let Euryalos,
who spoke such scoffing words to him, try to
win back his friendship and bring a costly
gift." All the chiefs approved the words of
King Alkino6s, and each one sent a servant to
his house to bring a valuable present.
Euryalos cheerfully obeyed the king. He
brought a brass sworC with a silver hilt to
Odysseus, and said: "My father, if I have ut-
tered any offensive word to thee, may the winds
scatter all remembrance of it. May the gods

The Banquet in Honor of Odysseus 53
grant thee a speedy return to thy country, where
thou shalt see thy wife and friends from whom
thou hast so long been separated."
Odysseus answered: Hail to thee, also, my
friend I May the gods give thee all that there
is good, and may no need of this sword ever
come to thee." Odysseus took the sword and
threw it across his shoulders.
The sun had set, and the servants carried
the gifts to the royal palace, where the queen
took care of them. King Alkinobs led the way
to the palace, his guest at his side and the
princes following. When they had taken their
seats on high thrones, the king told his wife to
lay the royal presents in a chest, adding a much
richer cloak and tunic than anyone else had
given as a gift from himself.
Arete did as her husband wished, and placed
a beautiful cup of gold also in the chest, and
led Odysseus up to look at the presents. Then
she taught him how to lock the chest and un-
lock it, and her maids called him to a warm
bath, after which he anointed himself with fra-
grant oil and put on fresh garments.
While he was wending his way to the men
who sat before their wine, he met Nausicai in
her goddess-like beauty, standing near a pillar.
"Stranger, farewell," she said. "I wish thee


joy and a safe return to thy native land. Do
not forget that I was the first to befriend thee
in the land of the Phaeacians."
Odysseus answered: May the gods be as
sure to favor my return to my home as I
shall be to make a prayer daily in thy behalf,
fair maiden, who hath saved my life." Then
Odysseus entered the great hall and took his
place at the feast.



WHEN they had all eaten and drunk to their
hearts' content, the hero begged Demodokos to
sing about the invention of the wooden horse
with which Odysseus had artfully tricked the
Trojans to their own destruction.
The minstrel felt the inspiration of the song,
and began where the Greeks threw firebrands
into their own tents and sailed away from Troy,
pretending that they had given up the war.
He told how the Trojans wondered what to
do with the huge wooden horse which the
enemy had left in their city, whether to hew it
to pieces and burn it, or to drag it to the edge
of a high rock and throw it over, or whether to

Odysseus Relates His Adventures 55

spare it as an act of reverence to the gods.
This last was done, and in the night Odysseus
and his men came out of the great wooden trap
and set fire to the city while the men of Troy
As Demodokos sang, tears rolled down the
cheeks of Odysseus, but no one noticed his
weeping except the king, who said: It is bet-
ter to stop the song of Demodokos, as it does
not delight us all. Ever since the bard began
to sing, our guest has been weeping. He car-
ries some great trouble in his heart. Let the
song cease, and let us all make merry. Let no
grief mar our banquet. And, honored stranger,
tell us the name of thy father, and the city
which is thy home. Our seamen shall take thee
safely to thine own land, although there is a
prophecy that one of our good ships shall be
changed into a high rock, to stand forever in
front of our city, if we show such courtesies to
Tell us trulywho thou art and whither thou
hast roamed, what tribes of men thou hast
seen, and why thou dost weep when the min-
strel sings of Troy. Didst thou lose a noble
kinsman there, or a dear friend? For a friend
is often dearer than a brother." Odysseus, re.
plied: In truth, O king, it is a pleasant thing

56 Odysseus

to listen to a bard like Demodokos, for his
voice is as sweet as the voice of a god.
And I cannot think of anything more de.
lightful than the joy of a contented people lis-
tening to a great poet and singer while seated
at a feast in a royal hall. But I pine to be at
Some, and I will declare my name and tell the
story of my sufferings.
I am the chieftain Odysseus, son of Laertes,
and widely known to fame. I dwell in sunny
Ithaca, whose high mountains are seen from
afar, covered with rustling trees. Around it are
many smaller islands, full of people. Ithaca
has low shores on the east. It is a rugged
island, but it is the sweetest land on earth,
and has a noble race of mortals. When the
Trojan war was at an end, I started for home
with my twelve ships, but a contrary wind
drove us to Ismaros, the city of the Kikoni-
We captured it and put the inhabitants to
the sword. Then I exhorted my comrades to
fly, but, like madmen, they remained on the
sea-shore. Then they slaughtered a large num-
ber of sheep and oxen and made a feast. The
Kikonians called on their strong neighbors to
come and help them, and they came in swarms
with their brazen spears. They fell upon our

The Lotus-Eaters and the Cyclops 57

men and killed six of them from each ship,
and drove the rest back to their boats.
Brisk handling of our oars soon carried us
out into the sea, but Jove sent a hurricane that
tore our sails and split our masts, so that our
sailors drew them into the ships in fear. Two
days and nights we lay helpless in our boats,
worn out with fear and grief, but the third day
the sun shone on us again, and we raised the
masts and sails to take the breeze, hoping to
reach our own land.



WE sailed onward in a westerly direction,
heading for the Grecian shore, and thought
our trials would soon be at an end. But in
this we were disappointed, for when we were
about to round the cape at the southern point
of Greece, we met an evil wind which always
blows there, and it drove us far to the east, be-
yond the island of Cythera.
Nine days and nine nights we were driven
about on the sea by the violent storm, and on
the tenth we reached the land of the Lotus-
eaters. These men eat flowers that look like


water-lilies, and they have no other food. We
landed on the shore of the mainland, and my
comrades took their evening meal close to the
When our hunger was satisfied, I sent out two
of the best men to explore the country about
and find out what sort of people the Lotus-
eaters were. I sent a herald with them, whom
they might send back with the news.
They soon found themselves among the
Lotus-eaters, who were gentle and friendly,
and gave them the lotus plant to eat. This
food is pleasant to the taste, but dangerous;
for anyone who eats of it loses all desire to
return to his own home. He forgets his cares
and troubles, but also his friends.
As soon as my comrades had eaten of the lo-
tus, they became attached to the Lotus-eaters,
and desired to remain with them. They wept
bitterly when I commanded them to return to
the ships, and I was obliged to force them to go.
I bound them down to the benches in the
ships, and the whole company went on board
in haste lest they should never think of their
homes again. Each man bent to his oars, and
the waves were soon white with the beating of
the ships against them as we sailed with all
haste in the direction of our own land.

The Lotus-Eaters and the Cyclops 59

We sailed about on unknown seas and with
sorrowing hearts until we came to the land of
the Cyclops. They are a wild people who have
no laws. They never plough the fields nor plant
them, for everything grows of its own accord
-wheat, and barley, and the vine. The grapes
yield good wine. The Cyclops do not come
together in a friendly way, but live in caves
near the mountain tops, each one in his own
den. They do not care much for one another,
and each rules his wife and children as he likes.
There is a little woody island lying at the
entrance to the land of the Cyclops, on which
swarm numberless wild goats, never disturbed
by human beings, for the Cyclops have no ships
to take them over. This island is very fertile,
but there are no sheep to eat the grass and
no people to plough the fields. The goats are
the only inhabitants. The island has a harbor
which is safe, and the ships that enter it have
no need of anchors or fastenings.
In the midst of the harbor there is a cliff,
from which bubbles forth a spring of excellent
water, and poplar-trees grow all around it. The
soil is so rich it might bear all kinds of fruit, if
there were anyone to plant them. There are
beautiful meadows all along the coast, which
are gay with yellow fruit and pink blossoms.

6o Odysseus

We were shaping our course toward this
island, and a good breeze brought us there on
a dark night. The moon did not shine and
none of the crew saw the land until we were
upon the shore. We lowered our sails and
rested there until morning. When daylight
appeared we beheld with wonder the island
where the wild goats abounded. My comrades
walked around, admiring the beauty of the
place, while the nymphs, daughters of Zeus,
roused the goats that they might give us milk.
We took our bows and arrows from the ships
immediately and, forming three hunting-parties,
killed a great number of the nimble creatures.
Each of my twelve ships received nine goats as
its share, but mine received ten. The remainder
of the day we passed in eating and drinking.


THE next day I started with twelve men, the
crew of my own ship, to find out what kind of
men inhabited the country opposite us, leaving
all the other boats and their men on the island-
When we sailed up to the coast of the main-
land, we heard the voices of giants, and the

The Cave of the Cyclofs 61

bleating of their sheep and goats. And we saw
a cave with a high roof, over whose entrance
grew laurel shrubs, and many cattle, sheep, and
goats were lying around at rest. We found an
enclosure of rough stone in the form of a court,
with tall pines and leafy oaks at the mouth of
the cave.
The largest giant of all the race of Cyclops
dwelt there and took care of his cattle all alone.
Usually he spent his time prowling all by him-
self around the mountains. He had nothing to
do with his neighbors, but led a solitary life,
plotting wicked deeds. He looked more like a
huge mountain top, with shaggy overhanging
forests, towering above other mountains, than
a human being.
We were soon inside the cave, but we did not
find the owner at home. We had carried with us
a wine-skin full of wine which a priest of Apol-
lo had given us. The wine was very fragrant
and so pleasant that no one who had once tasted
it, could let it alone. We had taken along a
basket of food also, for fear of meeting with
men of great strength and no sense of the
courtesy due to strangers.
As we looked around the cave we wondered
at what we saw. There were baskets all about
heaped with cheeses, and pens of lambs sepa-

62 Odysseus

rated into three folds, the older in one pen,
the younger in another, and the youngest in a
third. And there were pails full of whey, and
buckets of milk. My companions ate as much
of the cheese as they liked, after which they
begged to drive all the lambs and kids down
to the ship.
But I would not allow this. It was my wish
to stay there and see the cave-dweller and find
out what kind of a man he was. I thought he
would give me a handsome present, according
to the laws of hospitality. It was cold in the
cave, so we lit a fire and sat down to wait for
the owner to arrive.
He came toward evening, carrying a load of
wood on his back, which he threw down with
such a crash that my men ran with terror
into the corners of the cave. The giant drove
all such sheep and goats as would give him
milk into the cave, leaving the others in the
outside court, and then closed up the entrance
with a rock so large that twenty-four four-
wheeled wagons could not have moved it.
Having done this, he sat down and milked the
sheep and goats and gave to each its young one.
Next, he curdled half of the milk and put
the curd into woven baskets, but he kept the
other half for his evening meal. When he had

The Cave of the Cyclops 63

ended this work he lit a fire, and seeing the
strangers he began to ask them questions, to
find out who they were. His voice was deep
and frightful, like the rumbling of a volcano,
and our hearts trembled, but I found words to
answer him: We are Greeks, and come from
Troy. It was our intention to return home,
but contrary winds have driven us on this
We belong to the army of Agamemnon,
whose fame is very great because he has over-
come a strong city and conquered many na-
tions. But now we throw ourselves at thy feet
and pray that thou wilt receive us as guests, or
else give us the gifts that are due to strangers,
lest the gods avenge us.'
Having said this, I stopped, but the Cy-
clops told us that we were fools to believe in
the gods. The Cyclops,' he said, 'care noth-
ing for the gods. We are better than they are.
If I spare thee it will be of my own free will,
and not for fear of the gods. But where are
thy ships? Are they near here or far off?'
This he said hoping to deceive us, but I saw
through his trick, and replied: 'The storm
has thrown our ships upon the cliffs and broken
them to pieces, and we had to swim for our

64 Odysseus

The cruel monster did not answer me again,
but he seized two of my companions and
dashed them to the ground with such force
that they died on the spot. He devoured them
as a lion devours his prey. He left nothing
of them, neither bones nor flesh nor hair. We
wept aloud and prayed to Zeus with our hearts
full of despair.



WHEN the monster had filled himself with
food, he stretched out on the floor of the cave
to sleep. Then the thought came to me to
thrust a sword into his heart. But this was
not a wise course to take, because we should
never have been able to remove the stone from
the entrance to the cave.
We passed the night in mourning and lamen-
tations. As soon as daylight appeared, the
Cyclops woke up and lit a fire and milked his
sheep again. Then he seized two more of my
companions and devoured them. When his
morning meal was done he rolled the stone
back from the door and drove his beasts out,
not forgetting to secure the entrance. We

The Blinding of the Cyclops

could hear his noisy shouts afar off as he led
his flocks over the grassy heights, and we be-
gan to make plans to destroy him.
We found a great club of green olive-wood
in the cave; one that the Cyclops had cut for
his own use. It was as large as the mast of a
ship, and he had laid it away to dry. I cut off
a fathom's length from this club and handed
the piece to my companions, who smoothed off
its sides and sharpened it at one end. This
being done, I put the sharp end of it into the
fire. The stick became very hard, and then I
hid the weapon under a heap of litter which
was piled up in the cave. We cast lots to see
who should assist me to put out the eye of the
Cyclops when he was asleep.
When evening came the Cyclops returned
to the cave with his fat sheep and kids. He
seemed to suspect that there was mischief afoot,
for he did not leave any of them outside.
After milking the ewes and goats he again
seized two of my companions and made his
supper of them. But I filled a large drinking-
vessel with the wine from our wine-skin and
stepped boldly out and said to him: Here is
a cup of wine which I brought, hoping that
thou wouldst spare my life, O Cyclops, for thy
wrath is boundless.' He took the cup and


drank. The wine delighted him greatly, and
he handed me the cup after emptying it and
said: 'Give me another draught and tell me
thy name. I will give thee a generous gift,
such as becomes a host. We, too, have wine,
but not such as yours. That tastes like nectar
and ambrosia.'
Three times I filled the cup and brought it
to him, and three times the Cyclops drank it
like a madman. When the wine had over-
powered him, I said to him: 'Cyclops, thou
dost wish to know my name, and I will tell it,
but thou must give me the present thou hast
promised. My name is Nobody. My father
and mother gave me this name and my friends
all call me by it.' 'Then,' said the Cyclops,
' I shall eat Nobody last of all. This is my
After these words he fell asleep and, being
very drunk, he began to spew out the wine and
flesh he had taken. I took the piece of olive-
wood which my men had sharpened and put
the point of it into the fire and held it there
until it was a glowing coal. My comrades
stood near me and I encouraged them with
brave words. We thrust the burning stick
into the Cyclops' eye and put it out. He
howled with pain, and, stung to madness.

Odysseus Leaves the Cyclops

he seized the stick and flung it across the
He called to the other Cyclops, who lived
in divers caves on the surrounding mountains,
while we hid ourselves in fear in the most
remote corners of the cave. The giants heard
him and came running to help him, but they
could not get into the cave. They stood near
the stone, close to the door, and called out:
'What ails thee, Polyphemus? Is anyone
trying to kill thee?' 'Woe is me!' cried
Polyphemus, 'Nobody is trying to kill me.'
'Then why dost thou shout and cry for help?'
said they. 'If nobody hurts thee, then thou
art not hurt.'
With these words they went off, and we re-
joiced greatly that my trick had deceived them.



POLYPHEMUS, groaning with pain, tried to
feel his way with his hands to the mouth of
the cavern. Having succeeded in this, he
rolled back the stone and sat down at the
entrance and stretched out his hands in order

68 Ocaysseus

to catch us if we should happen to try to get
out among the sheep.
But we were not so foolish as to be caught
in this way. There were in the cave a number
of stout and woolly rams. Of these I put three
abreast and tied them together with twigs that
happened to be in the cave. Under each mid-
dle ram I tied one of my companions. The
two sheep, one on each side of him, hid the
man completely. For myself I selected the
stoutest ram of the flock, and, seizing his long
shaggy wool with my hands, held fast to him
with my knees and arms.
The sun rose and the animals began to hasten
out to the pastures. The Cyclops, though
nearly exhausted with pain, passed his hands
over the backs of the sheep to find out whether
any of us were trying to ride out of the cave.
He did not find out our trick, and my com-
panions all escaped safely. Last of all, the ram
that carried me came to the door, because I
was so heavy that he could hardly walk with
me hanging to him.
Polyphemus felt of his back and recognized
him at once as his favorite ram, and said:
'Dearest of all my sheep, why dost thou go
last? Commonly thou wert the first of the
flock to hasten to the rich pasture and the cool

Odysseus Leaves tke Cyclops 69

spring, just as thou wert the first in the even.
ing to return to thy manger. But to-day thou
art last of all. Dost thou grieve because thy
master hath lost his eye, which Nobody has put
out? But wait a little. He shall not escape
death. Couldst thou only speak, my ram, thou
wouldst tell me at once where the scoundrel is;
then thou shouldst see how I would dash him
against the rocks.'
Speaking such words as these, he let the ram
go. When we were safely out of the cave, we
gladly took to our feet and drove the fat sheep
down to our boat with all haste. Our friends
received us with tears of joy, for they thought
we had surely perished. I made signs to them
not to weep aloud, and to hurry the sheep on
board the ship. They did this with all haste,
and each man took his place at the oars.
When we were beyond the reach of the
Cyclops, I called out to tease him, 'Ha! Cy-
clops, Cyclops, thou hast not been entertaining
a coward. Zeus and the other gods have
avenged the brave men whom thou didst so
cruelly destroy.'
The Cyclops heard my words and grew furi-
ous. He seized a large rock and threw it with
all his might toward the place where he had
heard my voice.

70 Odysseus
The rock fell in front of my ship, and the
waves which it raised carried us back on shore.
I seized a large pole and shoved the boat back
into the water, commanding my men to ply
their oars vigorously, that we might escape de-
struction. My companions begged me not to
excite the dangerous monster further; but when
we were a long way out I shouted to him:
'Cyclops, if ever anybody asks thee who put
out thine eye, tell him it was Odysseus, the son
of Laertes, conqueror of Troy.'
When Polyphemus heard these words he
gave a deep groan, and said to me: Truly did
the wise seer, Telemos, foretell that I was to
be blinded by Odysseus. But I thought there
would come a large and powerful man, not such
an insignificant little fellow who would cheat
me with wine. Come back, Odysseus, and let
me bestow upon you the gifts which are due to
strangers. I will pray to my father, Poseidon,
to give thee a safe and speedy return to thy
native land. He can restore my eye whenever
he will, so I cherish no anger against thee.'
I knew his deceit, however, and replied: I
would rather take thy life, and send thee down
to the dark halls of the dead, where thy father
could never restore thy sight.'
As soon as Polyphemus heard this, he raised

Odysseus Leaves the Cyclops

his hands to heaven and prayed to Poseidon.
'My father,' he said, 'hear me, if in truth I
am thy son. Grant me this prayer. May Odys.
seus never return to his own country, or, ii
it be thy will that he reach home and friends
again, let his return be late and sorrowful.
May his comrades all be lost, and may he go
back in a borrowed ship, and find new troubles
waiting for him in his house.'
Poseidon was moved to wrath against me by
this prayer, and determined to take vengeance
on me. The Cyclops seized another stone, much
larger than the last, and swinging it round,
threw it at us with tremendous strength. It
fell close to the ship, but this time it drove the
boat out into the sea and in the direction of the
island where we first landed.
When we reached the island we found the
friends we had left there waiting anxiously for
our return. My men drew their boat up on to
the smooth sand and stepped upon the beach,
taking the sheep along with them. Each man
took an equal share, but they gave me the ram
which had saved my life. We took him out
upon the beach and offered him up as a sacri-
fice to Zeus.
But sacrifices were vain, for Zeus had more
evil for us in his mind. We spent the rest of

72 Odysseus
the day on the island, eating and drinking, and
when the sun went down we camped on the
shore for the night. In the morning I called
my men to climb the decks and cut the ropes
that kept us fastened to the shore. With all
speed they went aboard and took their oars in
hand and set sail for home, glad to escape, but
sorrowing for our lost companions.



WE sailed about on unknown seas for many
days, when we reached the island where zEolus
made his abode. This island was surrounded
by smooth rocks and guarded by a wall of
shining brass.
LEolus had twelve children, six sons and six
daughters, and they banqueted on an endless
variety of meats from day to day all the year
round. ,Eolus was a kindly, genial god; he
was master of the winds, and one could hear
the music of sweet pipes in his halls all day,
and the air was fresh and fragrant there.
Eolus welcomed us hospitably and kept us
with him a whole month. He inquired of the

On the Island of .Eolus 73

fate of all our companions in the war with Troy,
and we stated what had happened to them.
Then we prayed him to send us home, and the
god very kindly gave us a sack made of skin
in which he had tied up all the contrary winds,
leaving only the west wind free to carry us
safely home.
I took the great bag of winds and bound it
fast to the main mast of the ship with a silver
chain, so that no rude wind could escape and
blow us out of our way. We sailed along nine
days and nine nights, blown by the friendly
breeze from the west, and on the tenth we saw
in the distance the mountain tops of Ithaca and
the fires along the shore.
And now I was overcome by a heavy sleep,
for I had been guiding the ship, not daring to
trust it to the hand of any of the crew. While
I lay unconscious of what was going on, my
companions talked among themselves and said
they believed that the bag which LEolus had
given me contained vast amounts of gold and
silver. And they spoke with great jealousy of
the prizes which I had received wherever we
had landed, while they went empty-handed.
The more they talked to one another the
more jealous and angry they grew. They un-
tied the sack and the winds rushed out, much


to their astonishment, and seized the ship, driv-
ing it round and round in a furious storm. I
started out of my sleep suddenly and found the
bag open I had so carefully guarded and my
companions weeping bitterly.
For a moment I had a mind to throw myself
into the sea and make an end of my troubles
forever. But the thought came to me that such
an action would not be noble, so I hid my head
in my mantle and lay down in the bottom of the
ship while the violent winds and towering waves
drove us back to the island we had left. We
landed there again, and, having partaken of
some food and wine, I sought the halls of JEolus.
I found the king and his wife and children at
table taking their evening meal. When lEolus
saw me he was amazed, and asked me what had
happened to me. I told him about the sense-
less action of my companions, and begged him
to assist me once more. But with a terrible
voice he replied: Begone as fast as thou canst
out of my island. I will not befriend a man
who is hated of the gods.' In this unkind way
he sent me off, and we sadly entered our ships
and made for the open sea, trusting to the
mercy of the winds.



FOR six days and six nights we sailed without
interruption, but on the seventh day we reached
the city of the Loestrygonians. There the past-
ures are so rich in grass that the fields, which
are grazed by one flock of sheep during the day,
yield abundant food for another flock by night.
The inhabitants were not only inhospitable, but
they received us with a shower of stones, which
they hurled at us and at our galleys. They broke
our ships and killed my companions, spearing
them like fish. Then they carried them ashore
to be devoured. With the greatest difficulty I
succeeded in saving one ship and a few com-
panions from the hands of these giants, and I
fled with them out to the high sea.
Sadly we continued our course until we
reached an island, where the goddess Circe, a
daughter of the Sun and Ocean, lived. We
landed silently, and gave two days and
nights to rest, for we were worn out with toil
and grief. On the third day I climbed to the
top of a high hill and looked over the island.
Down below I saw a marble palace, surrounded

76 Odysseus

by a thick forest. There was smoke rising
from the grounds, so I resolved to return to my
men and send out some of them to look about
and explore.
A large stag ran down into my path, on his
way to a river to drink, and I thrust my spear
through him and flung him across my neck and
took him to the ship. I threw him at the feet
of my men, who were astonished at his size.
They prepared a banquet at once, and we
feasted upon the meat.
That night we slept on the shore again, and
in the morning I told them that I had seen a
palace standing in a thick wood, and that I
wanted to send several men there to try to
get food. When my companions thought of
all their comrades who had been slain they wept
aloud. But their tears were useless. I divided
them into two equal bands, and we cast lots to
see which party should make the adventure.
The lot fell to Eurylochos and his band of
men. They started forth, and soon came to a
beautiful valley, in which was the splendid
house of Circe, which was built of well-hewn
stone. There were beasts of prey, lions and
wolves, around it. The animals were tame;
they wagged their tails and fawned like dogs,
but the men were afraid of them. Circe was

Odysseus at the Home of Circc 77

weaving in the palace and singing a beautiful
song. She had bright, sunny hair and a sweet
voice. The men heard her as she went back
and forth weaving, and they called aloud. She
came to the door and threw it wide open and
bade them enter.
Eurylochos alone did not go in, for he
feared that some evil would come of it. The
others followed her, and Circe seated them on
thrones and gave them food and wine, but in
the wine she had secretly infused a magic juice
which made them forget home and friends and
all desire to see their native land.
When they had eaten and drunk to their
hearts' content, she waved her wand over them,
and at once the poor wretches were changed
into grunting pigs, which she shut up in pig-
sties and threw acorns and other food fit for
swine before them. Although thus transformed
and covered with bristles, they still retained the
human mind.
Eurylochos stayed a long time outside await-
ing the return of his companions. But as they
tarried so long, he hastened back to the ship to
tell the news. Thereupon I quickly hung my
sword over my shoulder and, taking my bow
and arrows, hurried off alone, and soon found
myself not far from Circe's palace.



As I lingered in that dangerous valley there
appeared to me a youth whom I knew at once
to be Hermes, the messenger of the gods. He
gently took hold of my hand and, looking com-
passionately on me, said: 'Thou most unhappy
man! Why art thou roaming alone in these
wild parts? Or art thou bound on the errand
of delivering thy friends who have all been
changed by Circe into swine? Much do I fear
that thou mayest meet with the same fate.
Listen to my words and heed them well if
thou wouldst destroy the treacherous schemes
of Circe.
Take this little flower. Its name is Moly
among the gods, and no wicked sorcery can
hurt the man who treasures it carefully. Its
root is black. Its blossom is as white as milk,
and it is hard for men to tear it from the
ground. Take this herb and go fearlessly into
the dwelling of the sorceress; it will guard thee
against all mishap. She will bring thee a bowl
of wine mingled with the juice of enchantment,

Circe Instructs Odysseus 79

but do not fear to eat or drink anything she
may offer thee, and when she touches thy head
with her magic wand, then rush upon her
quickly with drawn sword as though about to
slay her. She will crouch in fear and entreat
thee with soft words to spare her. But do not
give way to her until she has pledged herself
by the great oath of the gods to do thee no
When Hermes had spoken thus he left me, to
return to high Olympos, and I walked to the
house of Circe with a braver heart. As I came
near the palace I called out to the goddess with
a loud voice, and she threw open the doors for
me to enter. She bade me sit down on a beau-
tiful throne and placed a golden foot-stool under
my feet. Then she gave me the dangerous cup
and I drank it off, but her charm did not work.
Scarcely had I drained the cup when the god-
dess struck me with her wand and said: 'Off
with you! Go to the pigsty, where friends
await thy coming!' In a twinkling I had my
sword in hand and rushed upon her as if to
kill her. Circe shrieked with fear and fell on
her knees to implore my mercy. 'Who art
thou and whence dost thou come?' said Circ6.
'Thou art the first man over whom my magic
wine has had no power. Art thou really that


Odysseus of whom Hermes told me that he
was to come here after many wanderings?
But put up thy sword and cease to be angry
with me and let us trust each other.'
I answered her: '0, goddess, how can I
have faith in thy words, since thou hast changed
my companions into swine and dost plot the
same fate for me? Swear me the great oath
that thou wilt not harm me, and I shall trust
thy words.'
Circe at once took the great oath, that she
would never again try to do me any harm, and
she ordered her servants to spread a feast be-
fore me. But I had no desire to eat. I sat down
in silence, my mind full of grief and doubt.
When Circe saw that I did not touch the
food she said: 'Why art thou so quiet and
speechless ? And why dost thou not taste the
food and wine? I have pledged myself by the
great oath to do thee no harm!' But I an-
swered: 'What man with a loyal heart, 0
goddess, could eat and drink with any pleas-
ure while his comrades are kept in bondage
and degradation ? If thou art really kind and
wouldst have me enjoy this bounteous feast,
O let me see my dear companions free once
The goddess took her wand and went to

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