Saturday, May 25, 2013

TFBT: Random Notes from Hour Ten

Odyssey 8:1 "Now when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, Alkinoos, the hallowed prince, and Odysseus, ransacker of cities, both rose". Third of the way through the story and Odysseus is still a ransacker of cities rather than king of one.

In Chapter Five of the Odyssey, the gods decide to send Odysseus on his way home. They assign Hermes the task of informing the shining goddess Calypso that she must release her mortal lover Odysseus.  She doesn’t take the news well and curses the gods in general for their jealousy of goddesses who take mortal lovers.  Hermes terse response is located at Od 5:145,  Then again the messenger Argeiphontes answered her: “Even so send him forth now, and beware of the wrath of Zeus, lest haply he wax wroth and visit his anger upon thee hereafter.” Nagy in the sourcebook for The Ancient Greek Hero says of Calypso’s argument,  " For example, the hero Orion is killed off by Artemis because he became the lover of Ēōs, the goddess of the dawn (v 121–124). And the narrative of the Odyssey actually foretells a similar death for Odysseus - if he had continued to be the lover of Calypso "  Silly me!  I assumed Hermes’ was warning Calypso about the wrath of Zeus descending on here.  Just another example of the gods nothing interfering in the business of other gods, but having no qualms about killing other gods’ mortal favorites.
Some pretty lines from the Odyssey;
Od 8:105 “the wood-nymphs, daughters of Aegis-bearing Zeus, take their sport along with her, then is Leto proud at seeing her daughter stand a full head taller than the others, and eclipse the loveliest amid a whole bevy of beauties. “   
Od 6: 41 “Olympus, where, they say, is the abode of the gods that stands fast forever. Neither is it shaken by winds nor ever wet with rain, nor does snow fall upon it, but the air is outspread clear and cloudless, and over it hovers a radiant whiteness. Therein the blessed gods are glad all their days,”  

Od 4:335 “(Ino) had been since raised to the rank of a marine goddess. Seeing in what great distress Odysseus now was, she had compassion upon him, and, rising like a sea-gull from the waves, took her seat upon the raft. “My poor good man,” said she, “why is Poseidon the shaker of the earth so furiously [340] angry with you? He is giving you a great deal of trouble, but for all his bluster he will not kill you. You seem to be a sensible person, do then as I bid you; strip, leave your raft to drive before the wind, and swim”  Admittedly the divine  realm of Ino is  rescuing drowning sailors, still she seem remarkable unworried about the wrath of Poseidon. 

Od 4:355  Odysseus says of  the goddess Ino “Alas,” he said to himself in his dismay, “this is only someone or other of the gods who is luring me to ruin by advising me to quit my raft.  What’s with Odysseus constant worry constantly about being lured to his watery death  by a goddess?  He flat out accuses Calypso of the same at 5:171and deals with the Sirens attempt to beguile him at 12:36 .    It might be this compulsive liar proving the proverb, that “People with trust issues can’t be trusted.  At 10:302 he make Circe swear a great oath not to render him “a weakling and unmanned” after she proposes a romp in the hay.  He even accuses Athena of trying to beguile him on the day of his homecoming at 22:311-329.  Admittedly Hector was “lured” to his death by the same goddess at Il 22:289-306 and Anchises famously worries about being unmanned after bedding Aphrodite, but Odysseus’s worry borders on obsession.

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