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Stories from the Odyssey   By: (-1913)

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First Page:

STORIES FROM THE ODYSSEY

Retold by

H. L. HAVELL B.A.

Late Reader in English in the University of Halle Formerly Scholar of University College Oxford

Author of Stories from Herodotus , Stories from Greek Tragedy , Stories from the Æneid , Stories from the Iliad , etc.

[Illustration: Reading from Homer]

"O well for him whose will is strong! He suffers, but he will not suffer long; He suffers, but he cannot suffer wrong: For him nor moves the loud world's random mock Nor all Calamity's hugest waves confound Who seems a promontory of rock, That compass'd round with turbulent sound In middle ocean meets the surging shock, Tempest buffeted, citadel crown'd." TENNYSON

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

TELEMACHUS, PENELOPE, AND THE SUITORS

THE ASSEMBLY; THE VOYAGE OF TELEMACHUS

THE VISIT TO NESTOR AT PYLOS

TELEMACHUS AT SPARTA

ODYSSEUS AND CALYPSO

ODYSSEUS AMONG THE PHÆACIANS

THE WANDERINGS OF ODYSSEUS

THE VISIT TO HADES

THE SIRENS; SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS; THRINACIA

ODYSSEUS LANDS IN ITHACA

ODYSSEUS AND EUMÆUS

THE RETURN OF TELEMACHUS

THE MEETING OF TELEMACHUS AND ODYSSEUS

THE HOME COMING OF ODYSSEUS

THE BEGGAR IRUS

PENELOPE AND THE WOOERS

ODYSSEUS AND PENELOPE

THE END DRAWS NEAR; SIGNS AND WONDERS

THE BOW OF ODYSSEUS

THE SLAYING OF THE WOOERS

ODYSSEUS AND PENELOPE

CONCLUSION

PRONOUNCING LIST OF NAMES

ILLUSTRATIONS

READING FROM HOMER (L. Alma Tadema)

PENELOPE (The Vatican, Rome)

TELEMACHUS DEPARTING FROM NESTOR (Henry Howard)

ODYSSEUS AND NAUSICAÄ (Charles Gleyre)

ODYSSEUS AND POLYPHEMUS (J. M. W. Turner)

CIRCE (Sir E. Burne Jones)

THE RETURN OF ODYSSEUS (L. F. Schützenberger)

ODYSSEUS AND EURYCLEIA (Christian G. Heyne)

INTRODUCTION

The impersonal character of the Homeric poems has left us entirely in the dark as to the birthplace, the history, and the date, of their author. So complete is the darkness which surrounds the name of Homer that his very existence has been disputed, and his works have been declared to be an ingenious compilation, drawn from the productions of a multitude of singers. It is not my intention here to enter into the endless and barren controversy which has raged round this question. It will be more to the purpose to try and form some general idea of the characteristics of the Greek Epic; and to do this it is necessary to give a brief review of the political and social conditions in which it was produced.

I

The world as known to Homer is a mere fragment of territory, including a good part of the mainland of Greece, with the islands and coast districts of the Ægæan. Outside of these limits his knowledge of geography is narrow indeed. He has heard of Sicily, which he speaks of under the name of Thrinacia; and he speaks once of Libya, or the north coast of Africa, as a district famous for its breed of sheep. There is one vague reference to the vast Scythian or Tartar race (called by Homer Thracians), who live on the milk of mares; and he mentions a copper coloured people, the "Red faces," who dwell far remote in the east and west. The Nile is mentioned, under the name of Ægyptus; and the Egyptians are celebrated by the poet as a people skilled in medicine, a statement which is repeated by Herodotus. The Phoenicians appear several times in the Odyssey , and we hear once or twice of the Sidonians, as skilled workers in metal. As soon as we pass these boundaries, we enter at once into the region of fairyland.

II

In speaking of the religion of the Homeric Greeks we have to draw a distinction between the Iliad and the Odyssey . In the Iliad the gods play a much livelier and more human part than in the latter poem, and it is highly remarkable that the only comic scenes in the first and greatest of epics are those in which the gods are the chief actors as when the lame Hephæstus takes upon him the office of cupbearer at the Olympian banquet, or when Artemis gets her ears boxed by the angry Hera... Continue reading book >>




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