Tuesday, June 21, 2016

TFBT: Telegonus

At Hour 25 we’ve discussed Telegonus on several occasions.  (And Telegonos!) I thought I’d offer a little reminder on him for those that are interested.
Telegonus, son of Ulysses (Odysseus) and Circe, sent by his mother to find his father, by a storm was carried to Ithaca, and there, driven by hunger, began to lay waste the fields. Ulysses and Telemachus, not knowing who he was, took up arms against him. Ulysses was killed by his son Telegonus; it had been told him by an oracle to beware of death at his son’s hands. Telegonus on discovering who he was, with Telemachus and Penelope returned to his home on the island of Aeaea by Minerva’s instructions. They brought the body of Ulysses to Circe, and buried it there. By the advice of Minerva (Athena) again, Telegonus married Penelope, and Telemachus married Circe. From Circe and Telemachus Latinus was born, who gave his name to the Latin language; from Penelope and Telegonus Italus was born, who called the country Italy from his own name. Hyginus, Fabulae 127
Okay, that was one possible ending to the story of Penelope, Telemachus, Telegonus and Circe.  There are several conflicting and often incestous sounding versions. I like the following;

"When Telegonos learned from Kirke that he was Odysseus’ son, he sailed out in search of his father . . . He took the corpse [of Odysseus] and Penelope to Kirke, and there he married Penelope. Kirke dispatched them both to the Islands of the Blessed (Nesoi Makaron)." Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E7. 36-37
The only thing I might add is that if Telegonus and Telemachus’ names represents their father’s epithets, then Odysseus must have (tele) phoned it in a lot.  (Ha, ha!)  Must have been on of the first tele-workers.  (Ha, ha!  Sometimes I just crack myself up!) 



  1. It seems that the entire house of Odysseus is finally tele-brought away from Ithaca! Including Odysseus' bones that had a great symbolic importance. Maybe the gods decided that the poor people of Ithaca have suffered enough from this house.

  2. I have a bit of a plot problem about why Zeus does not eventually suffer the same fate, once he can no longer maintain his power by force. You thought that the Olympians would probably send Prometheus to dwell in some remote garden, like Laertes, because of his betrayal. However, Prometheus may be a nuisance to the Olympians but nothing compared to Zeus. The former gives humans meat and fire but we have no data that any god other than Zeus gives a damn about this. The latter cripples a fellow Olympian, tortures another one, sends to the Underworld the immortal child of a third one, and arranges the deaths of several mortal children of Olympians in the Trojan War. Yet they keep him at the helm. I must invent some reason for this.

  3. Maya,

    Better the devil you know... The previous candidate fir the throne was Typhon!