Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 239-261

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seanjonesbw
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Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 239-261

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:47 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.

Check the introductory thread for a description of how the group works.

We’re working from Geoffrey Steadman’s Odyssey Books 6-8, a free pdf with vocabulary and notes
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An introduction to Book 6 and a list of resources for deeper study are available in the group dropbox folder
Next week (Friday 23rd August) we’ll be reading Book 6 Lines 262-284
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seanjonesbw
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 239-261

Post by seanjonesbw » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:55 pm

239 “κλῦτέ μευ, ἀμφίπολοι λευκώλενοι, ὄφρα τι εἴπω. 240 οὐ πάντων ἀέκητι θεῶν, οἳ Ὄλυμπον ἔχουσιν, 241 Φαιήκεσσ ̓ ὅδ ̓ ἀνὴρ ἐπιμίσγεται ἀντιθέοισι· 242 πρόσθεν μὲν γὰρ δή μοι ἀεικέλιος δέατ ̓ εἶναι, 243 νῦν δὲ θεοῖσιν ἔοικε, τοὶ οὐρανὸν εὐρὺν ἔχουσιν. 244 αἲ γὰρ ἐμοὶ τοιόσδε πόσις κεκλημένος εἴη 245 ἐνθάδε ναιετάων, καὶ οἱ ἅδοι αὐτόθι μίμνειν. 246 ἀλλὰ δότ ̓, ἀμφίπολοι, ξείνῳ βρῶσίν τε πόσιν τε.” 247 ὣς ἔφαθ ̓, αἱ δ ̓ ἄρα τῆς μάλα μὲν κλύον ἠδ ̓ ἐπίθοντο, 248 πὰρ δ ̓ ἄρ ̓ Ὀδυσσῆι ἔθεσαν βρῶσίν τε πόσιν τε. 249 ἦ τοι ὁ πῖνε καὶ ἦσθε πολύτλας δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς 250 ἁρπαλέως· δηρὸν γὰρ ἐδητύος ἦεν ἄπαστος. 251 αὐτὰρ Ναυσικάα λευκώλενος ἄλλ ̓ ἐνόησεν· 252 εἵματ ̓ ἄρα πτύξασα τίθει καλῆς ἐπ ̓ ἀπήνης, 253 ζεῦξεν δ ̓ ἡμιόνους κρατερώνυχας, ἂν δ ̓ ἔβη αὐτή, 254 ὄτρυνεν δ ̓ Ὀδυσῆα, ἔπος τ ̓ ἔφατ ̓ ἔκ τ ̓ ὀνόμαζεν· 255 “ὄρσεο δὴ νῦν, ξεῖνε, πόλινδ ̓ ἴμεν, ὄφρα σε πέμψω 256 πατρὸς ἐμοῦ πρὸς δῶμα δαΐφρονος, ἔνθα σέ φημι 257 πάντων Φαιήκων εἰδησέμεν ὅσσοι ἄριστοι. 258 ἀλλὰ μάλ ̓ ὧδ ̓ ἔρδειν, δοκέεις δέ μοι οὐκ ἀπινύσσειν· 259 ὄφρ ̓ ἂν μέν κ ̓ ἀγροὺς ἴομεν καὶ ἔργ ̓ ἀνθρώπων, 260 τόφρα σὺν ἀμφιπόλοισι μεθ ̓ ἡμιόνους καὶ ἄμαξαν 261 καρπαλίμως ἔρχεσθαι· ἐγὼ δ ̓ ὁδὸν ἡγεμονεύσω.
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seanjonesbw
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 239-261

Post by seanjonesbw » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:59 am

Popping in here to say that I'm away on holiday this week but please talk amongst yourselves. Any takers on Nausicaa's moral judgement (or not) in μοι ἀεικέλιος δέατ ̓ εἶναι?
Pache (2016) Mourning Lions and Penelope's Revenge wrote:While the Iliad routinely describes warriors inflicting “unseemly” destruction on their lesser adversaries, the Odyssey always uses aeikea potmon to describe the death of the suitors, with one exception at 2.250 where the suitor Leokritos imagines the “unseemly destiny” of Odysseus if he were to come back and fight against the suitors (see Saïd 2012.103). The word ἀεικής does not seem to imply moral judgment in the Iliad (see Richardson 1993.147), but the Odyssey often uses the adjective to describe behavior the poem clearly condemns: adultery, and planning or committing murder.
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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 239-261

Post by seneca2008 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:54 am

seanjonesbw wrote:Popping in here to say that I'm away on holiday this week but please talk amongst yourselves. Any takers on Nausicaa's moral judgement (or not) in μοι ἀεικέλιος δέατ ̓ εἶναι?
Your question does raise the connection between the moral worth of individuals and their physical appearance in judgements made in Greek literature. One thinks of Thersites ( ἔμμεναι: αἴσχιστος δὲ ἀνὴρ ὑπὸ Ἴλιον ἦλθε Il. 2.216).

ἀεικέλιος is translated by Murray (rev. Dimock) as uncouth and Wilson as unrefined. "Unseemly" seems to me to invite too many questions and confusion, although perhaps that might be a good thing.

Some days we could all do with some help from Athena with our personal appearance.

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 239-261

Post by Aetos » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:19 pm

When I was looking up δέατο in the LSJ, I found that they cited line 242 and gave the following translation for 'μοι ἀεικέλιος δέατ' εἶναι' "Methought he was a pitiful fellow". Going back to the definition of ἀεικέλιος, I see that there's a range of meanings, all the way from disgraceful to ill favoured to woeful and is usually applied to things, words and actions, rarely to people. Given a choice between these 3 meanings, if I were a teen age Phaeacian and I saw this man in his present condition, my emotional response would be to pity him, so I would find myself thinking ill favoured (really down on his luck!), or woeful (wretched, pitiful). Of course, what I'd really be thinking would be ἀεικέλιος or more probably οἴμοι, ἀεικές ἄνερ! When I was still in my teens, I used to pity professional beggars (as in give them money). As I got older, not so much... (Now I offer them unopened packages of food - strange, they don't seem to ever want them.)

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Re: Odyssey Reading Group: Book 6 Lines 239-261

Post by Kakakephales » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:47 pm

Nausicaä's plan to have Odysseus accompany her only so far in order to avoid any trouble in town makes sense, but it also really rings true as a teenager's plan. "Don't walk too close to me or people will talk."

In this case I think Odysseus' appearance doesn't just need to be changed to make him καλὸς κἀγαθός (maybe an anachronism for Homer, but the sentiment is common enough in the poems), but also to make him look less like a pirate. Odysseus had done his fair share of piracy by this point in his trip (sacking cities after Troy, like at 9.40), but he needs to look like he isn't a pirate to win sympathy from the Phaeacians.

This whole bit of book 6 is fun because it turns a trope on its head - a raider coming to rape a young girl becomes Odysseus washing up to be a supplicant to a young girl and beg her for help. It reminds me a lot of the scene in the Hymn to Demeter when Hades steals Persephone, except that there the piratical aspect was played straight and here it's subverted.

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