Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

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seanjonesbw
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Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:10 pm

Welcome to the Odyssey Reading Group! Anyone is welcome to join in at any time, regardless of their Greek ability. If you’re itching to explore Homer’s epic tale of survival, adventure, love, lust, kinship, betrayal and spooky dead people, hop on in, you’ll be very welcome. People who have some Greek but have never tried reading Homer before are doubly welcome.

Please feel free to ask any question in this thread, no matter how basic you think it is, and we will try to help you with an answer.
More Information About the Group
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Check the introductory thread for a description of how the group works.

We’re working from Geoffrey Steadman’s Odyssey Books 6-8, a freely-available pdf with vocabulary and notes

Resources for deeper study are available in the group dropbox folder

We started at Book 6. Here are all the threads so far:

Book 6
Lines 1-23
24-47
48-70
71-92
93-118
119-140
141-161
162-185
186-210
211-238
239-261
262-294
295-331 [end]

Book 7
1-26
27-47
48-77
78-102
103-132
133-157
158-183
184-206
Greek text lines 207-236
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207 τὸν δʼ ἀπαμειβόμενος προσέφη πολύμητις Ὀδυσσεύς· 208 “Ἀλκίνοʼ, ἄλλο τί τοι μελέτω φρεσίν· οὐ γὰρ ἐγώ γε 209 ἀθανάτοισιν ἔοικα, τοὶ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν, 210 οὐ δέμας οὐδὲ φυήν, ἀλλὰ θνητοῖσι βροτοῖσιν. 211 οὕς τινας ὑμεῖς ἴστε μάλιστʼ ὀχέοντας ὀιζὺν 212 ἀνθρώπων, τοῖσίν κεν ἐν ἄλγεσιν ἰσωσαίμην. 213 καὶ δʼ ἔτι κεν καὶ μᾶλλον ἐγὼ κακὰ μυθησαίμην, 214 ὅσσα γε δὴ ξύμπαντα θεῶν ἰότητι μόγησα. 215 ἀλλʼ ἐμὲ μὲν δορπῆσαι ἐάσατε κηδόμενόν περ· 216 οὐ γάρ τι στυγερῇ ἐπὶ γαστέρι κύντερον ἄλλο 217 ἔπλετο, ἥ τʼ ἐκέλευσεν ἕο μνήσασθαι ἀνάγκῃ 218 καὶ μάλα τειρόμενον καὶ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ πένθος ἔχοντα, 219 ὡς καὶ ἐγὼ πένθος μὲν ἔχω φρεσίν, ἡ δὲ μάλʼ αἰεὶ 220 ἐσθέμεναι κέλεται καὶ πινέμεν, ἐκ δέ με πάντων 221 ληθάνει ὅσσʼ ἔπαθον, καὶ ἐνιπλησθῆναι ἀνώγει. 222 ὑμεῖς δʼ ὀτρύνεσθαι ἅμʼ ἠοῖ φαινομένηφιν, 223 ὥς κʼ ἐμὲ τὸν δύστηνον ἐμῆς ἐπιβήσετε πάτρης 224 καί περ πολλὰ παθόντα· ἰδόντα με καὶ λίποι αἰὼν 225 κτῆσιν ἐμήν, δμῶάς τε καὶ ὑψερεφὲς μέγα δῶμα.” 226 ὣς ἔφαθʼ, οἱ δʼ ἄρα πάντες ἐπῄνεον ἠδʼ ἐκέλευον 227 πεμπέμεναι τὸν ξεῖνον, ἐπεὶ κατὰ μοῖραν ἔειπεν. 228 αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ σπεῖσάν τʼ ἔπιον θʼ ὅσον ἤθελε θυμός, 229 οἱ μὲν κακκείοντες ἔβαν οἶκόνδε ἕκαστος, 230 αὐτὰρ ὁ ἐν μεγάρῳ ὑπελείπετο δῖος Ὀδυσσεύς, 231 πὰρ δέ οἱ Ἀρήτη τε καὶ Ἀλκίνοος θεοειδὴς 232 ἥσθην· ἀμφίπολοι δʼ ἀπεκόσμεον ἔντεα δαιτός. 233 τοῖσιν δʼ Ἀρήτη λευκώλενος ἤρχετο μύθων· 234 ἔγνω γὰρ φᾶρός τε χιτῶνά τε εἵματʼ ἰδοῦσα 235 καλά, τά ῥʼ αὐτὴ τεῦξε σὺν ἀμφιπόλοισι γυναιξί· 236 καί μιν φωνήσασʼ ἔπεα πτερόεντα προσηύδα·
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Hylander
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by Hylander » Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:58 am

Odysseus is always concerned about staving off hunger. When Patroklos is killed and Achilles wants to rush into battle to kill Hector, Odysseus reminds him that the men haven't eaten all day and need a good meal to maintain their fighting strength. Iliad 19.155

Aetos
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by Aetos » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:33 pm

Hylander wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:58 am
Odysseus is always concerned about staving off hunger. When Patroklos is killed and Achilles wants to rush into battle to kill Hector, Odysseus reminds him that the men haven't eaten all day and need a good meal to maintain their fighting strength. Iliad 19.155
It's interesting how the various commentaries view these episodes. Stanford's Odyssey Commentary mentions Odysseus' "notable appetite" and refers us to Scott's "The Unity of Homer" (Berkeley, 1921) for a discussion. He points out that Odysseus' wanting to eat before engaging with the "garrulous" Alcinoos gives the episode an element of realism. Willcock comments that Odysseus' speeches in Book 19 of the Iliad "are intended to characterise him as the practical, experienced soldier, in contrast to the heroic idealism of Achilleus". Mark Edwards, in his Homer:Poet of the Iliad, suggests that Odysseus' "lengthy speeches about the issue may be designed to lead up to the gods' care to infuse ambrosia into the still-fasting Achilles before he arms himself".

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by Aetos » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:52 pm

We've talked a lot about Odysseus' nature and character in the course of these readings, always in a more or less serious fashion. Well, I thought perhaps some of you might get a chuckle of this portrayal of Odysseus, as expressed by Tom Holt's protagonist Galen, in A Song for Nero, London: Little, Brown 2004:

"--And besides, I've always wondered about Ulysses. I mean, here's this bloke, so we're meant to believe, who gets dumped on by every god in the sky For ten years, it's just one ghastly, horrible adventure after another. No sooner has he managed to slither out of one certain-death scenario but he slides into the next one, nastier and even more certain-death than the last one, chased by monsters and soldiers and probably market commissioners and pork butchers with big cleavers, though the poet doesn't mention them. All this time, he's scheming and scamming and lying to everybody he meets, tricking and cheating, ducking and dodging his way, right across the known world, from Troy to Sicily Even when finally he gets home, against all the odds, it's not as if they're pleased to see him or anything. Oh no--it's still more lies and tricks and schemes, ending up with the most appalling bloodbath right there in his own dining room, him against the whole senate and people of Ithaca, and what for? All this heroism, all these amazing deeds that will live for ever in the memories of generations yet unborn; what does he get out of it at the end? Gold, silver, prizes, purple tapestries, a triumphal arch and a procession down main street, followed by the hand of the beautiful teenage princess in marriage? Like hell. All he gets out of it is the privilege of going to sleep in his own little room again, next to a faded old bag with a face like a prune who he hasn't seen in twenty years. I ask you--why bother? Stupid fool should've stayed in Phaeacia and got a job."

A Song For Nero. Tom Holt (Kindle Locations 5601-5611). Kindle Edition.

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seneca2008
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by seneca2008 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:42 pm

Aetos wrote:It's interesting how the various commentaries view these episodes. Stanford's Odyssey Commentary mentions Odysseus' "notable appetite" and refers us to Scott's "The Unity of Homer" (Berkeley, 1921) for a discussion. He points out that Odysseus' wanting to eat before engaging with the "garrulous" Alcinoos gives the episode an element of realism.
Thats an interesting take on the meaning of "realism".

Given that Odysseus has already eaten food provided by Nausicaa he will not be ravenous from his sea journey. Perhaps he draws attention to his appetite and the demands of his "hateful belly" to underline the fact that he is mortal and "not like the immortals". (See Garvie (1994))

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by Aetos » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:59 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:42 pm
Given that Odysseus has already eaten food provided by Nausicaa he will not be ravenous from his sea journey. Perhaps he draws attention to his appetite and the demands of his "hateful belly" to underline the fact that he is mortal and "not like the immortals". (See Garvie (1994))
Unfortunately, none of the libraries in the Boston area carry Garvie; however, I completely forgot to include Hainesworth's comments and he's probably the most informative of the lot:

215-21. This amusing passage gave offence to schol., to Athenaeus (x412b),
and to some of the moderns, either as bad manners (cf. ἐχρῆν γάρ, εἰ καὶ ἐλίμωττεν, διακαρτερεῖν ... ταῦτα γὰρ οὐδ'ἐκεῖνος ὁ Σαρδανάπαλλος εἰπεῖν ποτε ἄν ἐτόλμησεν, Athen. loc. cit.), or for incompatibility with epic dignity (cf. 'La fameuse tirade de Rabelais Tout pour la tripe! interpolée dans une tragedie de Racine ... ne détonnerait pas plus de cette tirade du ventre.' Bérard, L'Odyssée (Paris, 1947), n. ad loc.). Schol. T defends the lines as an attempt to disarm suspicion, as if Odysseus were representing himself as a πτωχός (cf. xvii 228, xviii 53, etc.), but this would clash with the evident intent of 224-225. The critic must not impose the taste of his own age on that of Homer. The imperative of hunger is mentioned in heroic contexts at iv 369 = xii 332, vi133, and xv 344. Odysseus has in fact already eaten (cf. vi 249), though his words here seem to imply that nothing has passed his lips since his shipwreck.

216. κύντερον: a persistent image of shamelessness, cf. M. Faust, 'Die künstliche Verwendung von κύων "Hund" in den homerischen Epos', Glotta xlviii (1970), 8-31.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by Hylander » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:21 pm

I suspect that in the food reference either the poet of the Odyssey is echoing the Iliad or vice versa. My own guess (and it's nothing more than that) is that the Iliad preceded the Odyssey, and the portrait of Odysseus in the Iliad as a wise and resourceful counselor served as the model for the Odyssey.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by seanjonesbw » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:23 pm

Happy New Year everyone! Apologies for my absence - I've not had much time for Homer for the last couple of months. In fact, I'm not sure when exactly I'm going to have enough time to start these threads and contribute to them properly, so I'm going to put the project on ice for now. Hopefully I'll be back leafing through my Cunliffe again before too long, though.

If anyone has the time, energy and inclination to continue these threads while I'm away then they should definitely do that. Otherwise, catch you on the flipside!
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by Aetos » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:22 pm

Happy Year to you, Sean! I hope all is well in Wales and that you will find some free time to continue your studies of Homer. I think we'll all look forward to participating in the thread when you have the time. In the meantime, Seneca's thinking of starting up a thread on Thyestes over on the Latin boards, so that will keep some of us busy!

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 7 Lines 207-236

Post by seneca2008 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:39 am

Happy new year Sean.

Hope you will be back with us soon. Many thanks for all your past contributions. Do call in from time to time to check on what we are up to. We will try to keep the Homer thread going in some form.

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