Odyssey

The Odyssey (/ˈɒdəsi/;[1] Greek: Ὀδύσσεια Odýsseia, pronounced [o.dýs.sej.ja] in Classical Attic) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other Homeric epic. The Odyssey is fundamental to the modern Western canon; it is the second-oldest extant work of Western literature, while the Iliad is the oldest. Scholars believe the Odyssey was composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek coastal region of Anatolia.[2]

The poem mainly focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths), king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War.[3] In his absence, it is assumed Odysseus has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres (Greek: Μνηστῆρες) or Proci, who compete for Penelope's hand in marriage.

The Odyssey continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern languages around the world. Many scholars believe the original poem was composed in an oral tradition by an aoidos (epic poet/singer), perhaps a rhapsode (professional performer), and was more likely intended to be heard than read.[2] The details of the ancient oral performance and the story's conversion to a written work inspire continual debate among scholars. The Odyssey was written in a poetic dialect of Greek—a literary amalgam of Aeolic Greek, Ionic Greek, and other Ancient Greek dialects—and comprises 12,110 lines of dactylic hexameter.[4][5] Among the most noteworthy elements of the text are its non-linear plot, and the influence on events of choices made by women and slaves, besides the actions of fighting men. In the English language as well as many others, the word odyssey has come to refer to an epic voyage.

The Odyssey has a lost sequel, the Telegony, which was not written by Homer. It was usually attributed in antiquity to Cinaethon of Sparta. In one source, the Telegony was said to have been stolen from Musaeus of Athens by either Eugamon or Eugammon of Cyrene (see Cyclic poets).

Odyssey-crop
A 15th-century manuscript of the Odyssey, book i, written by the scribe Ioannes Rhosos for the Tornabuoni family, Florence, Italy (British Museum)
Beginning Odyssey
Greek text of the Odyssey's opening passage

Synopsis

Exposition

Villa Romana de La Olmeda Mosaicos romanos 001 Ulises
A mosaic depicting Odysseus, from the villa of La Olmeda, Pedrosa de la Vega, Spain, late 4th-5th centuries AD

The Odyssey begins after the end of the ten-year Trojan War (the subject of the Iliad), and Odysseus has still not returned home from the war because he angered the god Poseidon. Odysseus' son Telemachus is about 20 years old and is sharing his absent father's house on the island of Ithaca with his mother Penelope and a crowd of 108 boisterous young men, "the Suitors", whose aim is to persuade Penelope to marry one of them, all the while reveling in Odysseus' palace and eating up his wealth.

Odysseus' protectress, the goddess Athena, requests to Zeus, king of the gods, to finally allow Odysseus to return home when Odysseus' enemy, the god of the sea Poseidon, is absent from Mount Olympus to accept a sacrifice in Ethiopia. Then, disguised as a Taphian chieftain named Mentes, she visits Telemachus to urge him to search for news of his father. He offers her hospitality; they observe the suitors dining rowdily while the bard Phemius performs a narrative poem for them. Penelope objects to Phemius' theme, the "Return from Troy",[6] because it reminds her of her missing husband, but Telemachus rebuts her objections, asserting his role as head of the household.

That night Athena, disguised as Telemachus, finds a ship and crew for the true prince. The next morning, Telemachus calls an assembly of citizens of Ithaca to discuss what should be done with the suitors. Telemachus is scoffed by the insolent suitors, particularly by their leaders Antinous, Eurymachus, and Leiocritus. Accompanied by Athena (now disguised as Mentor), he departs for the Greek mainland and the household of Nestor, most venerable of the Greek warriors at Troy, who resided in Pylos after the war.

From there, Telemachus rides overland, accompanied by Nestor's son Peisistratus, to Sparta, where he finds Menelaus and Helen, who are now reconciled. While Helen laments the fit of lust brought on by Aphrodite that sent her to Troy with Paris, Menelaus recounts how she betrayed the Greeks by attempting to imitate the voices of the soldiers' wives while they were inside the Trojan Horse. Telemachus also hears from Helen, who is the first to recognize him, that she pities him because Odysseus was not there for him in his childhood because he went to Troy to fight for her and also about his exploit of stealing the Palladium, or the Luck of Troy, where she was the only one to recognize him. Menelaus, meanwhile, also praises Odysseus as an irreproachable comrade and friend, lamenting the fact that they were not only unable to return together from Troy but that Odysseus is yet to return.

Both Helen and Menelaus also say that they returned to Sparta after a long voyage by way of Egypt. There, on the island of Pharos, Menelaus encountered the old sea-god Proteus, who told him that Odysseus was a captive of the nymph Calypso. Incidentally, Telemachus learns the fate of Menelaus' brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and leader of the Greeks at Troy: he was murdered on his return home by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. The story briefly shifts to the suitors, who have only just now realized that Telemachus is gone. Angry, they formulate a plan to ambush his ship and kill him as he sails back home. Penelope overhears their plot and worries for her son's safety.

Escape to the Phaeacians

The second part recounts the story of Odysseus. In the course of his seven years in captivity of Calypso on the island of Ogygia, she has fallen deeply in love with him, even though he has consistently spurned her offer of immortality as her husband and still mourns for home. She is ordered to release him by the messenger god Hermes, who has been sent by Zeus in response to Athena's plea. Odysseus builds a raft and is given clothing, food, and drink by Calypso. When Poseidon learns that Odysseus has escaped, he wrecks the raft but, helped by a veil given by the sea nymph Ino, Odysseus swims ashore on Scherie, the island of the Phaeacians. Naked and exhausted, he hides in a pile of leaves and falls asleep. The next morning, awakened by the laughter of girls, he sees the young Nausicaä, who has gone to the seashore with her maids to wash clothes after Athena told her in a dream to do so. He appeals to her for help. She encourages him to seek the hospitality of her parents, Arete and Alcinous (or Alkinous). Odysseus is welcomed and is not at first asked for his name, but Alcinous promises to provide him a ship to return him to his home country. He remains for several days, and is goaded into taking part in a discus throw by the taunts of Euryalus, impressing the Phaeacians with his incredible athletic ability. Afterwards, he hears the blind singer Demodocus perform two narrative poems. The first is an otherwise obscure incident of the Trojan War, the "Quarrel of Odysseus and Achilles"; the second is the amusing tale of a love affair between two Olympian gods, Ares and Aphrodite. Finally, Odysseus asks Demodocus to return to the Trojan War theme and tell of the Trojan Horse, a stratagem in which Odysseus had played a leading role. Unable to hide his emotion as he relives this episode, Odysseus at last reveals his identity. He then begins to tell the story of his return from Troy.

Odysseus' account of his adventures

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Odysseus Overcome by Demodocus' Song, by Francesco Hayez, 1813–15

Odysseus goes back in time and recounts his story to the Phaeacians. After a failed piratical raid on Ismaros in the land of the Cicones, Odysseus and his twelve ships were driven off course by storms. Odysseus visited the lethargic Lotus-Eaters who gave his men their fruit that would have caused them to forget their homecoming had Odysseus not dragged them back to the ship by force. Afterwards, Odysseus and his men landed on a lush, uninhabited island near the land of the Cyclopes. The men then landed on shore and entered the cave of Polyphemus, where they found all the cheeses and meat they desired. Upon returning home, Polyphemus sealed the entrance with a massive boulder and proceeded to eat Odysseus' men. Odysseus devised an escape plan in which he, identifying himself as "Nobody", plied Polyphemus with wine and blinded him with a wooden stake. When Polyphemus cried out, his neighbors left after Polyphemus claimed that "Nobody" had attacked him. Odysseus and his men finally left the cave by hiding on the underbellies of the sheep as they were let out of the cave. While they were escaping, however, Odysseus foolishly taunted Polyphemus and revealed his true identity. Recalling that had been prophesied by appeals to his father Poseidon. Poseidon then cursed Odysseus to wander the sea for ten years, during which he would lose all his crew and return home through the aid of others. After the escape, Odysseus and his crew stayed with Aeolus, a king endowed by the gods with the winds. He gave Odysseus a leather bag containing all the winds, except the west wind, a gift that should have ensured a safe return home. Just as Ithaca came into sight, the greedy sailors naively opened the bag while Odysseus slept, thinking it contained gold. All of the winds flew out and the resulting storm drove the ships back the way they had come. Aeolus, recognizing that Odysseus has drawn the ire of the gods, refused to further assist him.

The men then re-embarked and encountered the cannibalistic Laestrygonians. All of Odysseus' ships except his own entered the harbor of the Laestrygonians' Island and were immediately destroyed. He sailed on and reached the island of Aeaea where he visited the witch-goddess Circe, daughter of the sun-god Helios. She turned half of his men into swine after feeding them drugged cheese and wine. Hermes warned Odysseus about Circe and gave Odysseus an herb called moly which gave him resistance to Circe's magic. Odysseus forced the now-powerless Circe to change his men back to their human form, and was subsequently seduced by her. They remained with her on the island for one year, while they feasted and drank. Finally, guided by Circe's instructions, Odysseus and his crew crossed the ocean and reached a harbor at the western edge of the world, where Odysseus sacrificed to the dead. He first encountered the spirit of Elpenor, a crewman who had gotten drunk and fallen from a roof to his death on Aeaea. Elpenor's ghost told Odysseus to bury his body, which Odysseus promised to do. Odysseus then summoned the spirit of the prophet Tiresias for advice on how to appease Poseidon upon his return home, and was told that he may return home if he is able to stay himself and his crew from eating the sacred livestock of Helios on the island of Thrinacia and that failure to do so would result in the loss of his ship and his entire crew. Next Odysseus met the spirit of his own mother, Anticlea, who had died of grief during his long absence. From her, he got his first news of his own household, threatened by the greed of the Suitors. Finally, he met the spirits of famous men and women. Notably, he encountered the spirit of Agamemnon, of whose murder he now learned, and Achilles, who lamented the woes of the land of the dead but was comforted in hearing of the success of his son Neoptolemus (for Odysseus' encounter with the dead, see also Nekuia).

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Odysseus and the Sirens, eponymous vase of the Siren Painter, c. 480-470 BC (British Museum)

Returning to Aeaea, they buried Elpenor and were advised by Circe on the remaining stages of the journey. They skirted the land of the Sirens, who sang an enchanting song that normally caused passing sailors to steer toward the rocks, only to hit them and sink. All of the sailors had their ears plugged up with beeswax, except for Odysseus, who was tied to the mast as he wanted to hear the song. He told his sailors not to untie him as it would only make him want to drown himself. They then passed between the six-headed monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis, narrowly avoiding death, even though Scylla snatched up six men. Next, they landed on the island of Thrinacia, with the crew overriding Odysseus's wishes to remain away from the island. Zeus caused a storm which prevented them leaving, causing them to deplete the food given to them by Circe. While Odysseus was away praying, his men ignored the warnings of Tiresias and Circe and hunted the sacred cattle of Helios. The Sun God insisted that Zeus punish the men for this sacrilege. They suffered a shipwreck as they were driven towards Charybdis. All but Odysseus were drowned. Odysseus clung to a fig tree above Charybdis. Washed ashore on the island of Ogygia, he was compelled to remain there as Calypso's lover, bored, homesick and trapped on her small island, until she was ordered by Zeus, via Hermes, to release Odysseus. Odysseus did not realise how long it would take to get home to his family.

Return to Ithaca

Giuseppe Bottani - Athena revealing Ithaca to Ulysses
Athena Revealing Ithaca to Ulysses by Giuseppe Bottani (18th century)

Having listened with rapt attention to his story, the Phaeacians agree to provide Odysseus with more treasure than he would have received from the spoils of Troy. They deliver him at night, while he is fast asleep, to a hidden harbour on Ithaca. Poseidon, offended that the Phaeacians have returned Odysseus home, destroys the Phaeacian ship on its return voyage, and the city sacrifices to Poseidon and agrees to stop giving escorts to strangers to appease him. Odysseus awakens and believes that he has been dropped on a distant land before Athena appears to him and reveals that he is indeed on Ithaca. She then hides his treasure in a nearby cave and disguises him as an elderly beggar so he can see how things stand in his household. He finds his way to the hut of one of his own slaves, the swineherd Eumaeus, who treats him hospitably and speaks favorably of Odysseus. After dinner, the disguised Odysseus tells the farm laborers a fictitious tale of himself: he was born in Crete, had led a party of Cretans to fight alongside other Greeks in the Trojan War, and had then spent seven years at the court of the king of Egypt, finally shipwrecking in Thesprotia and crossing from there to Ithaca. He further promises the men of the return of Odysseus, but his promises are wearily discounted by the men.

Meanwhile, Telemachus sails home from Sparta, evading an ambush set by the Suitors. He disembarks on the coast of Ithaca and makes for Eumaeus's hut. Father and son meet; Odysseus identifies himself to Telemachus (but still not to Eumaeus), and they decide that the Suitors must be killed. Telemachus goes home first. Accompanied by Eumaeus, Odysseus returns to his own house, still pretending to be a beggar. When Odysseus' dog (who was a puppy before he left) saw him, he becomes so excited that he dies.[7] He is ridiculed by the Suitors in his own home, especially by one extremely impertinent man named Antinous. Odysseus meets Penelope and tests her intentions by saying he once met Odysseus in Crete. Closely questioned, he adds that he had recently been in Thesprotia and had learned something there of Odysseus's recent wanderings.

Odysseus's identity is discovered by the housekeeper, Eurycleia, when she recognizes an old scar as she is washing his feet. Eurycleia tries to tell Penelope about the beggar's true identity, but Athena makes sure that Penelope cannot hear her. Odysseus then swears Eurycleia to secrecy.

Slaying of the Suitors

Thomas Degeorge Ulysse
Ulysse et Télémaque Massacrent les Prétendants de Pénélope by Thomas Degeorge (1812)

The next day, at Athena's prompting, Penelope maneuvers the Suitors into competing for her hand with an archery competition using Odysseus' bow. The man who can string the bow and shoot it through a dozen axe heads would win. Odysseus takes part in the competition himself: he alone is strong enough to string the bow and shoot it through the dozen axe heads, making him the winner. He then throws off his rags and kills Antinous with his next arrow. Then, with the help of Athena, Odysseus, Telemachus, Eumaeus, and Philoetius the cowherd he kills the other Suitors, first using the rest of the arrows and then by swords and spears once both sides armed themselves. Once the battle is won, Odysseus and Telemachus also hang twelve of their household maids whom Eurycleia identifies as guilty of betraying Penelope or having sex with the Suitors. They mutilate and kill the goatherd Melanthius, who had mocked and abused Odysseus and brought weapons and armor to the suitors. Now, at last, Odysseus identifies himself to Penelope. She is hesitant but recognizes him when he mentions that he made their bed from an olive tree still rooted to the ground. Many modern and ancient scholars take this to be the original ending of the Odyssey, and the rest to be an interpolation.

The next day he and Telemachus visit the country farm of his old father Laertes, who likewise accepts his identity only when Odysseus correctly describes the orchard that Laertes had previously given him.

The citizens of Ithaca have followed Odysseus on the road, planning to avenge the killing of the Suitors, their sons. Their leader points out that Odysseus has now caused the deaths of two generations of the men of Ithaca: his sailors, not one of whom survived; and the Suitors, whom he has now executed (albeit rightly). Athena intervenes in a dea ex machina and persuades both sides to give up the vendetta. After this, Ithaca is at peace once more, concluding the Odyssey.

Character of Odysseus

Mosaïque d'Ulysse et les sirènes
A Roman mosaic depicting a maritime scene with Odysseus (Latin: Ulysses) and the Sirens, from Carthage, 2nd century AD, now in the Bardo Museum, Tunisia

Odysseus' name means "trouble" in Greek, referring to both the giving and receiving of trouble—as is often the case in his wanderings. An early example of this is the boar hunt that gave Odysseus the scar by which Eurycleia recognizes him; Odysseus is injured by the boar and responds by killing it. Odysseus' heroic trait is his mētis, or "cunning intelligence". He is often described as the "Peer of Zeus in Counsel". This intelligence is most often manifested by his use of disguise and deceptive speech. His disguises take forms both physical (altering his appearance) and verbal, such as telling the Cyclops Polyphemus that his name is Οὖτις, "Nobody", then escaping after blinding Polyphemus. When asked by other Cyclopes why he is screaming, Polyphemus replies that "Nobody" is hurting him, so the others assume that "If alone as you are [Polyphemus] none uses violence on you, why, there is no avoiding the sickness sent by great Zeus; so you had better pray to your father, the lord Poseidon".[8] The most evident flaw that Odysseus sports is that of his arrogance and his pride, or hubris. As he sails away from the island of the Cyclopes, he shouts his name and boasts that nobody can defeat the "Great Odysseus". The Cyclops then throws the top half of a mountain at him and prays to his father, Poseidon, saying that Odysseus has blinded him. This enrages Poseidon, causing the god to thwart Odysseus' homecoming for a very long time.

Structure

The Odyssey is written in dactylic hexameter. It opens in medias res, in the middle of the overall story, with prior events described through flashbacks or storytelling. This device is also used by later authors of literary epics, such as Virgil in the Aeneid, Luís de Camões in Os Lusíadas[9] and Alexander Pope in The Rape of the Lock.

The first four books of the poem trace Telemachus' efforts to assert control of the household, and then, at Athena's advice, his efforts to search for news of his long-lost father. Then the scene shifts: Odysseus has been a captive of the beautiful nymph Calypso, with whom he has spent seven of his ten lost years. Released by the intercession of his patroness Athena, through the aid of Hermes, he departs, but his raft is destroyed by his divine enemy Poseidon, who is angry because Odysseus blinded his son, Polyphemus. When Odysseus washes up on Scherie, home to the Phaeacians, he is assisted by the young Nausicaä and is treated hospitably. In return, he satisfies the Phaeacians' curiosity, telling them, and the reader, of all his adventures since departing from Troy. The shipbuilding Phaeacians then loan him a ship to return to Ithaca, where he is aided by the swineherd Eumaeus, meets Telemachus, regains his household by killing the Suitors, and is reunited with his faithful wife, Penelope.

All ancient and nearly all modern editions and translations of the Odyssey are divided into 24 books. This division is convenient, but it may not be original. Many scholars believe it was developed by Alexandrian editors of the 3rd century BC. In the Classical period, moreover, several of the books (individually and in groups) were given their own titles: the first four books, focusing on Telemachus, are commonly known as the Telemachy. Odysseus' narrative, Book 9, featuring his encounter with the cyclops Polyphemus, is traditionally called the Cyclopeia. Book 11, the section describing his meeting with the spirits of the dead is known as the Nekuia. Books 9 through 12, wherein Odysseus recalls his adventures for his Phaeacian hosts, are collectively referred to as the Apologoi: Odysseus' "stories". Book 22, wherein Odysseus kills all the Suitors, has been given the title Mnesterophonia: "slaughter of the Suitors". This concludes the Greek Epic Cycle, though fragments remain of the "alternative ending" of sorts known as the Telegony.

Telegony aside, the last 548 lines of the Odyssey, corresponding to Book 24, are believed by many scholars to have been added by a slightly later poet.[10] Several passages in earlier books seem to be setting up the events of Book 24, so if it were indeed a later addition, the offending editor would seem to have changed earlier text as well. For more about varying views on the origin, authorship and unity of the poem see Homeric scholarship.

Geography of the Odyssey

The events in the main sequence of the Odyssey (excluding Odysseus' embedded narrative of his wanderings) take place in the Peloponnese and in what are now called the Ionian Islands.[11] There are difficulties in the apparently simple identification of Ithaca, the homeland of Odysseus, which may or may not be the same island that is now called Ithakē (Ιθάκη). The wanderings of Odysseus as told to the Phaeacians, and the location of the Phaeacians' own island of Scheria, pose more fundamental problems, if geography is to be applied: scholars, both ancient and modern, are divided as to whether or not any of the places visited by Odysseus (after Ismaros and before his return to Ithaca) are real.[12]

Influences on the Odyssey

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Terracotta plaque of the Mesopotamian ogre Humbaba, believed to be a possible inspiration for the figure of Polyphemus

Scholars have seen strong influences from Near Eastern mythology and literature in the Odyssey. Martin West has noted substantial parallels between the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Odyssey.[13] Both Odysseus and Gilgamesh are known for traveling to the ends of the earth, and on their journeys go to the land of the dead. On his voyage to the underworld, Odysseus follows instructions given to him by Circe. Her island, Aeaea, is located at the edges of the world and seems to have close associations with the sun. Like Odysseus, Gilgamesh gets directions on how to reach the land of the dead from a divine helper: in this case, the goddess Siduri, who, like Circe, dwells by the sea at the ends of the earth. Her home is also associated with the sun: Gilgamesh reaches Siduri's house by passing through a tunnel underneath Mt. Mashu, the high mountain from which the sun comes into the sky. West argues that the similarity of Odysseus' and Gilgamesh's journeys to the edges of the earth are the result of the influence of the Gilgamesh epic upon the Odyssey.

In 1914, paleontologist Othenio Abel surmised the origins of the cyclops to be the result of ancient Greeks finding an elephant skull. The enormous nasal passage in the middle of the forehead could have looked like the eye socket of a giant, to those who had never seen a living elephant.[14] Classical scholars, on the other hand, have long realized that the story of the cyclops was originally a Greek folk tale, which existed independently of the Odyssey and which only became embedded in it at a later date. Similar stories are found in cultures across Europe and the Middle East.[15] According to this explanation, the cyclops was originally simply a giant or ogre, much like Humbaba in the Epic of Gilgamesh.[15] The detail about it having one eye was simply invented in order to explain how the creature was so easily blinded.[16]

Themes

Homecoming

Homerus - Odissea, 1794 - 3939651 F
Odissea (1794)

An important factor to consider about Odysseus' homecoming is the hint at potential endings to the epic by using other characters as parallels for his journey.[17] For instance, one example is that of Agamemnon's homecoming versus Odysseus' homecoming. Upon Agamemnon's return, his wife Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus kill Agamemnon. Agamemnon's son, Orestes, out of vengeance for his father's death, kills Aegisthus. This parallel compares the death of the suitors to the death of Aegisthus and sets Orestes up as an example for Telemachus.[17] Also, because Odysseus knows about Clytemnestra's betrayal, Odysseus returns home in disguise in order to test the loyalty of his own wife, Penelope.[17] Later, Agamemnon praises Penelope for not killing Odysseus. It is because of Penelope that Odysseus has fame and a successful homecoming. This successful homecoming is unlike Achilles, who has fame but is dead, and Agamemnon, who had an unsuccessful homecoming resulting in his death.[17]

Wandering

Only two of Odysseus's adventures are described by the poet. The rest of Odysseus' adventures are recounted by Odysseus himself. The two scenes that the poet describes are Odysseus on Calypso's island and Odysseus' encounter with the Phaeacians. These scenes are told by the poet to represent an important transition in Odysseus' journey: being concealed to returning home.[18] Calypso's name means "concealer" or "one who conceals," and that is exactly what she does with Odysseus.[19] Calypso keeps Odysseus concealed from the world and unable to return home. After leaving Calypso's island, the poet describes Odysseus' encounters with the Phaeacians—those who "convoy without hurt to all men"[20]—which represents his transition from not returning home to returning home.[18] Also, during Odysseus' journey, he encounters many beings that are close to the gods. These encounters are useful in understanding that Odysseus is in a world beyond man and that influences the fact he cannot return home.[18] These beings that are close to the gods include the Phaeacians who lived near Cyclopes,[21] whose king, Alcinous, is the great-grandson of the king of the giants, Eurymedon, and the grandson of Poseidon.[18] Some of the other characters that Odysseus encounters are Polyphemus who is the cyclops son of Poseidon, God of Oceans, Circe who is the sorceress daughter of the Sun that turns men into animals, Calypso who is a goddess, and the Laestrygonians who are cannibalistic giants.[18]

Guest-friendship

Throughout the course of the epic, Odysseus encounters several examples of xenia ("guest-friendship"), which provide models of how hosts should and should not act.[22] The Phaeacians demonstrate exemplary guest-friendship by feeding Odysseus, giving him a place to sleep, and granting him a safe voyage home, which are all things a good host should do. Polyphemus demonstrates poor guest-friendship. His only "gift" to Odysseus is that he will eat him last.[22] Calypso also exemplifies poor guest-friendship because she does not allow Odysseus to leave her island.[22] Another important factor to guest-friendship is that kingship implies generosity. It is assumed that a king has the means to be a generous host and is more generous with his own property.[22] This is best seen when Odysseus, disguised as a beggar, begs Antinous, one of the suitors, for food and Antinous denies his request. Odysseus essentially says that while Antinous may look like a king, he is far from a king since he is not generous.[23]

Testing

Odysseus und Penelope (Tischbein)
Penelope questions Odysseus to prove his identity.

Another theme throughout the Odyssey is testing.[24] This occurs in two distinct ways. Odysseus tests the loyalty of others and others test Odysseus' identity. An example of Odysseus testing the loyalties of others is when he returns home.[24] Instead of immediately revealing his identity, he arrives disguised as a beggar and then proceeds to determine who in his house has remained loyal to him and who has helped the suitors. After Odysseus reveals his true identity, the characters test Odysseus' identity to see if he really is who he says he is.[24] For instance, Penelope tests Odysseus' identity by saying that she will move the bed into the other room for him. This is a difficult task since it is made out of a living tree that would require being cut down, a fact that only the real Odysseus would know, thus proving his identity. For more information on the progression of testing type scenes, read more below.[24]

Omens

Omens occur frequently throughout the Odyssey, as well as in many other epics. Within the Odyssey, omens frequently involve birds.[25] It is important to note who receives the omens and what these omens mean to the characters and to the epic as a whole. For instance, bird omens are shown to Telemachus, Penelope, Odysseus, and the suitors.[25] Telemachus and Penelope receive their omens as well in the form of words, sneezes, and dreams.[25] However, Odysseus is the only character who receives thunder or lightning as an omen.[26][27] This is important to note because the thunder came from Zeus, the king of the gods. This direct relationship between Zeus and Odysseus represents the kingship of Odysseus.[25]

Scenes

Odysseus and Euryclea by Christian Gottlob Heyne - Project Gutenberg eText 13725
Odysseus and Eurycleia by Christian Gottlob Heyne

Finding scenes

Finding scenes occur in the Odyssey when a character discovers another character within the epic. Finding scenes proceed as followed:[18]

  1. The character encounters or finds another character.
  2. The encountered character is identified and described.
  3. The character approaches and then converses with the found character.

These finding scenes can be identified several times throughout the epic including when Telemachus and Pisistratus find Menelaus when Calypso finds Odysseus on the beach, and when the suitor Amphimedon finds Agamemnon in Hades.[18][28]

Guest-friendship

Guest-friendship is also a theme in the Odyssey, but it too follows a very specific pattern. This pattern is:

  1. The arrival and the reception of the guest.
  2. Bathing or providing fresh clothes to the guest.
  3. Providing food and drink to the guest.
  4. Questions may be asked of the guest and entertainment should be provided by the host.
  5. The guest should be given a place to sleep and both the guest and host retire for the night.
  6. The guest and host exchange gifts, the guest is granted a safe journey home and departs.

Another important factor of guest-friendship is not keeping the guest longer than they wish and also promising their safety while they are a guest within the host's home.[22][28]

Testing

While testing is a theme with the epic, it also has a very specific type scene that accompanies it as well. Throughout the epic, the testing of others follows a typical pattern. This pattern is:

  1. Odysseus is hesitant to question the loyalties of others.
  2. Odysseus tests the loyalties of others by questioning them.
  3. The characters reply to Odysseus' questions.
  4. Odysseus proceeds to reveal his identity.
  5. The characters test Odysseus' identity.
  6. There is a rise of emotions associated with Odysseus' recognition, usually lament or joy.
  7. Finally, the reconciled characters work together.[24][28]

Omens

Omens are another example of a type scene in the Odyssey. Two important parts of an omen type scene are the recognition of the omen and then the interpretation.[25] In the Odyssey specifically, there are several omens involving birds. All of the bird omens—with the exception of the first one in the epic—show large birds attacking smaller birds.[25][28] Accompanying each omen is a wish which can be either explicitly stated or only implied.[25] For example, Telemachus wishes for vengeance[29] and for Odysseus to be home,[30] Penelope wishes for Odysseus' return,[31] and the suitors wish for the death of Telemachus.[32] The omens seen in the Odyssey are also a recurring theme throughout the epic.[25][28]

Textual history

In the late 19th century many papyrus containing parts or even entire chapters have been found in Egypt, with content different from later medieval versions.[33] In 2018, the Greek Cultural Ministry revealed the discovery of a clay tablet near the Temple of Zeus, containing 13 verses from the Odyssey’s 14th Rhapsody to Eumaeus. While it was initially reported to date from the 3rd century AD, the date still needs to be confirmed.[34][35]

Cultural impact

Annibale Carracci, The Cyclops Polyphemus
The Cyclops Polyphemus by Annibale Carracci (between 1595 and 1605), showing a scene shared between the Odyssey and Euripides's Cyclops (1922)

The Odyssey is regarded as one of the most important foundational works of western literature.[36] It is widely regarded by western literary critics as a timeless classic.[37]

Straightforward retellings of the Odyssey have flourished ever since the Middle Ages. Merugud Uilix maicc Leirtis ("On the Wandering of Ulysses, son of Laertes") is an eccentric Old Irish version of the material; the work exists in a 12th-century AD manuscript, which linguists believe is based on an 8th-century original.[38][39] Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, first performed in 1640, is an opera by Claudio Monteverdi based on the second half of Homer's Odyssey.[40] The first canto of Ezra Pound's The Cantos (1917) is both a translation and a retelling of Odysseus' journey to the underworld.[41] The poem "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson is narrated by an aged Ulysses who is determined to continue to live life to the fullest. The Odyssey (1997), a made-for-TV movie directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, is a slightly abbreviated version of the epic.

Other authors have composed more creative reworkings of the poem, often updated to address contemporary themes and concerns. Cyclops by Euripides, the only fully extant satyr play,[42] retells the episode involving Polyphemus with a humorous twist.[43] A True Story, written by Lucian of Samosata in the 2nd century AD, is a satire on the Odyssey and on ancient travel tales, describing a journey sailing westward, beyond the Pillars of Hercules and to the Moon, the first known text that could be called science fiction.[44]

JoyceUlysses2
Front cover of James Joyce's Ulysses

James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses (1922) is a retelling of the Odyssey set in modern-day Dublin. Each chapter in the book has an assigned theme, technique, and correspondences between its characters and those of Homer's Odyssey.[45] Homer's Daughter by Robert Graves is a novel imagining how the version we have might have been invented out of older tales. The Japanese-French anime Ulysses 31 (1981) updates the ancient setting into a 31st-century space opera. Omeros (1991), an epic poem by Derek Walcott, is in part a retelling of the Odyssey, set on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. The film Ulysses' Gaze (1995) directed by Theo Angelopoulos has many of the elements of the Odyssey set against the backdrop of the most recent and previous Balkan Wars.[45]

Daniel Wallace's Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions (1998) adapts the epic to the American South, while also incorporating tall tales into its first-person narrative much as Odysseus does in the Apologoi (Books 9-12). The Coen Brothers' 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? is loosely based on Homer's poem. Margaret Atwood's 2005 novella The Penelopiad is an ironic rewriting of the Odyssey from Penelope's perspective. Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey (2007) is a series of short stories that rework Homer's original plot in a contemporary style reminiscent of Italo Calvino. The Heroes of Olympus (2010–2014) by Rick Riordan is based entirely on Greek mythology and includes many aspects and characters from the Odyssey.[46] Meanwhile, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds use the Odyssey to form the "narrative" of the song "More News from Nowhere," released in 2008 as a single and on the album Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!. In the song, Cave uses a variety of contemporary names to represent the gods and nymphs who populate the Odyssey, and sketches key episodes from the epic across an eight minute track.

Authors have sought to imagine new endings for the Odyssey. In canto XXVI of the Inferno, Dante Alighieri meets Odysseus in the eighth circle of hell, where Odysseus himself appends a new ending to the Odyssey in which he never returns to Ithaca and instead continues his restless adventuring.[47][48]. Alfred, Lord Tennyson in turn expands on this variation in his poem, "Ulysses," published in 1842, . Nikos Kazantzakis aspires to continue the poem and explore more modern concerns in his epic poem The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, which was first published in 1938 in modern Greek.[49]

In 2018, BBC Culture polled experts around the world to nominate the stories they felt had shaped mindsets or influenced history. Odyssey topped the list.[50][51]

English translations

This is a partial list of translations into English of Homer's Odyssey.

  • George Chapman, 1616 (couplets)
  • Thomas Hobbes, 1675
  • Alexander Pope, 1725–1726 (iambic pentameter couplets); Project Gutenberg edition; Gutenberg.org
  • William Cowper, 1791 (blank verse) An audio CD recording abridged by Perry Keenlyside and read by Anton Lesser is available (ISBN 9626345314), 1995.
  • Samuel Henry Butcher and Andrew Lang, 1879 (prose); Project Gutenberg edition
  • William Cullen Bryant, 1871 (blank verse)
  • Mordaunt Roger Barnard, 1876 (blank verse)
  • William Morris, 1887
  • Samuel Butler, 1898 (prose); Project Gutenberg edition or Perseus Project Od.1.1
  • Padraic Colum, 1918 (prose), Bartleby.com
  • A. T. Murray (revised by George E. Dimock), 1919; Loeb Classical Library (ISBN 0-674-99561-9). Available online here.
  • George Herbert Palmer, 1921, prose. An audio CD recording read by Norman Deitz is available (ISBN 1-4025-2325-4), 1989.
  • T. E. Shaw (T. E. Lawrence), 1932 ISBN 1 85326 025 8
  • W. H. D. Rouse, 1937, prose
  • E. V. Rieu, 1945, prose (later revised in 1991 by D.C.H. Rieu for increased literal accuracy)
  • Ennis Rees, 1960, Random House.
  • Robert Fitzgerald, 1963, unrhymed poetry with varied-length lines (ISBN 0-679-72813-9) An audio CD recording read by John Lee is available (ISBN 1-4159-3605-6) 2006
  • Richmond Lattimore, 1965, poetry (ISBN 0-06-093195-7)
  • Albert Cook, 1967 (Norton Critical Edition), poetry, very accurate line by line version
  • Walter Shewring, 1980 (ISBN 0-19-283375-8), Oxford University Press (Oxford World's Classics), prose
  • Allen Mandelbaum, 1990 Verse Translation[52]
  • Robert Fagles, poetry, 1996 (ISBN 0-14-026886-3); an unabridged audio recording by Ian McKellen is also available (ISBN 0-14-086430-X).
  • Stanley Lombardo, Hackett Publishing Company, 2000 (ISBN 0-87220-484-7). An audio CD recording read by the translator is also available (ISBN 1-930972-06-7).
  • Martin Hammond, 2000, prose
  • Rodney Merrill, University of Michigan Press, 2002 (ISBN 978-0-472-11231-9); Merrill's translation not only renders the work in English verse like the dactylic hexameter of the original, but also conveys the oral-formulaic nature of the epic song, to which that musical meter gives full value.
  • Edward McCrorie, 2004, ISBN 0-8018-8267-2
  • Barry B. Powell, 2014, ISBN 978-0199360314
  • Emily Wilson, 2017, ISBN 978-0393089059, iambic pentameter, the first complete translation into English by a woman[53]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Odyssey". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^ a b D.C.H. Rieu's introduction to The Odyssey (Penguin, 2003), p. xi.
  3. ^ The dog Argos dies autik' idont' Odusea eeikosto eniauto ("seeing Odysseus again in the twentieth year"), Odyssey 17.327; cf. also 2.174-6, 23.102, 23.170.
  4. ^ Homer (1996). The Odyssey. Translated by Robert Fagles. Introduction by Bernard Knox. United States of America: Penguin Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-14-026886-7.
  5. ^ Fox, Robin Lane (2006). The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian. United States of America: Basic Books. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-465-02496-4.
  6. ^ This theme once existed in the form of another epic, Nostoi, of which only fragments remain.
  7. ^ Homer. The Odyssey. p. Scroll 17 Line 8–8. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  8. ^ From the Odyssey of Homer translated by Richmond Lattimore [Book 9, page 147/8, lines 410 - 412].
  9. ^ "The Lusiads". World Digital Library. 1800–1882. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  10. ^ Carne-Ross, D. S. (1998). "The Poem of Odysseus". The Odyssey, translated by Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. lxi. ISBN 978-0-374-52574-3.
  11. ^ Strabo 1.2.15, quoted by Moses I. Finley, The World of Odysseus, rev. ed. 1976:33.
  12. ^ Robin Lane Fox, Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008, ch. "Finding Neverland"; Lane summarizes the literature in notes and bibliography.
  13. ^ West, Martin. The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth. (Oxford 1997) 402-417.
  14. ^ Abel's surmise is noted by Adrienne Mayor, The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times (Princeton University Press) 2000.
  15. ^ a b Anderson, Graham (2000). Fairytale in the Ancient World. Routledge. pp. 127–131. ISBN 978-0-415-23702-4. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  16. ^ Anderson, Graham (2000). Fairytale in the Ancient World. Routledge. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-415-23702-4. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  17. ^ a b c d Thornton, Agathe. "The Homecomings of the Achaeans." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 1-15. Print.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Thornton, Agathe. "The Wanderings of Odysseus." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 16-37. Print.
  19. ^ Calypso and Odysseus. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/calypso-odysseus-greek-myth/
  20. ^ Homer, Odyssey 8.566. (The Odyssey of Homer. Translated by Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.)
  21. ^ Homer, Odyssey 6.4-5. (The Odyssey of Homer. Translated by Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.)
  22. ^ a b c d e Thornton, Agathe. "Guest-Friendship". People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 38-46. Print.
  23. ^ Homer, Odyssey 17.415-44. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)
  24. ^ a b c d e Thornton, Agathe. "Testing." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 47-51. Print.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h Thornton, Agathe. "Omens." People and Themes in Homer's Odyssey. Dunedin: U of Otago in Association with Methuen, London, 1970. 52-57. Print.
  26. ^ Homer, Odyssey 20.103-4. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)
  27. ^ Homer, Odyssey 21.414. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)
  28. ^ a b c d e Edwards, Mark W. "Homer and the Oral Tradition." Oral Tradition 7.2 (1992): 284-330. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.
  29. ^ Homer, Odyssey 2.143-5. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)
  30. ^ Homer, Odyssey 15.155-9. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)
  31. ^ Homer, Odyssey 19.136. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)
  32. ^ Homer, Odyssey 20.240-243. (The Odyssey of Homer. Trans. Richmond Lattimore. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. Print.)
  33. ^ "Oldest Greek Fragment of Homer Discovered on Clay Tablet". Smithonian. 2018.
  34. ^ Tagaris, Karolina (July 10, 2018). Heavens, Andrew, ed. "'Oldest known extract' of Homer's Odyssey discovered in Greece". Reuters.
  35. ^ "Homer Odyssey: Oldest extract discovered on clay tablet". BBC. July 10, 2018.
  36. ^ Bahr, Arthur. "Foundation of Western Literature". MIT Open Courseware. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  37. ^ Cartwright, Mark. "Odyssey". Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  38. ^ Merugud Uilix maicc Leirtis. Kuno Meyer (ed), First edition [v + 36 pp.; v–xii Introduction; 1–15 Critical edition of Text; 16–29 Translation; 30–36 Index Verborum.] David Nutt270 Strand, London (1886)
  39. ^ Merugud Uilix maicc Leirtis: the Irish Odyssey, ed. Kuno Meyer, London: 1886.
  40. ^ "Monteverdi's 'The Return of Ulysses'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  41. ^ Hesse, Eva (1969). New Approaches to Ezra Pound. University of California Press. p. 126.
  42. ^ Euripides. McHugh, Heather, trans. Cyclops; Greek Tragedy in New Translations. Oxford Univ. Press (2001) ISBN 9780198032656
  43. ^ Dougherty, Carol. “The Double Vision of Euripides' Cyclops: An Ethnographic Odyssey on the Satyr Stage”. Comparative Drama. Vol. 33, No. 3 (Fall 1999), pp. 313-338
  44. ^ Swanson, Roy Arthur:

    Lucian of Samosata, the Greco-Syrian satirist of the second century, appears today as an exemplar of the science-fiction artist. There is little, if any, need to argue that his mythopoeic Milesian Tales and his literary fantastic voyages and utopistic hyperbole comport with the genre of science fiction; ...

  45. ^ a b Grafton, Anthony; Most, Glenn W.; Settis, Salvatore (2010). The Classical Tradition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 653. ISBN 978-0-674-03572-0.
  46. ^ "When was Homer's Odyssey written? – Homework Help – eNotes.com". eNotes. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  47. ^ Inferno, Canto XXVI, lines 98-99.
  48. ^ Grafton, Anthony; Most, Glenn W.; Settis, Salvatore (2010). The Classical Tradition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 652. ISBN 978-0-674-03572-0.
  49. ^ Grafton, Anthony; Most, Glenn W.; Settis, Salvatore (2010). The Classical Tradition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 652–653. ISBN 978-0-674-03572-0.
  50. ^ 2018, 22 May. "The 100 stories that shaped the world". bbc.com.
  51. ^ Haynes, Natalie. "The greatest tale ever told?". bbc.com.
  52. ^ Homer's Odyssey. New York: Bantam. 1991. Trans. Mandelbaum, Allen. ISBN 978-0-553-21399-7.
  53. ^ Mason, Wyatt (2 November 2017). "The First Woman to Translate the 'Odyssey' Into English". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2017.

Further reading

  • Austin, N. Archery at the Dark of the Moon: Poetic Problems in Homer’s Odyssey. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975.
  • Clayton, B. A Penelopean Poetics: Reweaving the Feminine in Homer's Odyssey. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2004.
  • Clayton, B. "Polyphemus and Odysseus in the Nursery: Mother’s Milk in the Cyclopeia." Arethusa, vol. 44 no. 3 (2011): 255-277.
  • Bakker, E. J. The Meaning of Meat and the Structure of the Odyssey. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Barnouw, J. Odysseus, Hero of Practical Intelligence. Deliberation and Signs in Homer's Odyssey. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004.
  • Dougherty, C. The Raft of Odysseus: The Ethnographic Imagination of Homer's Odyssey. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Fenik, B. Studies in the Odyssey. Hermes Einzelschriften 30. Wiesbaden, West Germany: Steiner, 1974.
  • Griffin, J. Homer: The Odyssey. Landmarks in World Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • Louden, B. Homer’s Odyssey and the Near East. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  • Louden, B. The Odyssey: Structure, Narration and Meaning. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
  • Minchin, E. "The Expression of Sarcasm in the "Odyssey"." Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, 63, no. 4 (2010): 533-56.
  • Müller, W. G. "From Homer’s Odyssey to Joyce’s Ulysses: Theory and Practice of an Ethical Narratology" Arcadia, 50.1 (2015): 9-36.
  • Saïd, S. Homer and the Odyssey (originally published 1998). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Turkeltaub, D. “Penelope's ‘Stout Hand’ and Odyssean Humour.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. 134 (2014): 103–119.
  • West, E. “Circe, Calypso, Hiḍimbā.” The Journal of Indo-European Studies, 42.1 (2014): 144-174.

Filmography

Ulysses (1954 film) Kirk Douglas starred in Ulysses from Homer's epic poem , with Silvana Mangano as Penelope and Circe, and Anthony Quinn playing Antinous'

Odyssey Mini Series starring Armand Assante and Greta Scacchi

External links

2001 Mars Odyssey

2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin, with an expected cost for the entire mission of US$297 million. Its mission is to use spectrometers and a thermal imager to detect evidence of past or present water and ice, as well as study the planet's geology and radiation environment. It is hoped that the data Odyssey obtains will help answer the question of whether life existed on Mars and create a risk-assessment of the radiation that future astronauts on Mars might experience. It also acts as a relay for communications between the Mars Science Laboratory, and previously the Mars Exploration Rovers and Phoenix lander, to Earth. The mission was named as a tribute to Arthur C. Clarke, evoking the name of 2001: A Space Odyssey.Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001, on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and reached Mars orbit on October 24, 2001, at 02:30 UTC (October 23, 19:30 PDT, 22:30 EDT).By December 15, 2010, it broke the record for longest serving spacecraft at Mars, with 3,340 days of operation. It is currently in a polar orbit around Mars with a semi-major axis of about 3,800 km or 2,400 miles. It has enough propellant to function until 2025.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Quebec and published by Ubisoft. It is the 11th major installment, and 21st overall, in the Assassin's Creed series and the successor to 2017's Assassin's Creed Origins. Set in the year 431 BC, the plot tells a fictional history of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Players control a male or female mercenary (Ancient Greek: μίσθιος misthios) who fights for both sides as they attempt to unite their family and uncover a malign cult.

The game was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and (in Japan only) for Nintendo Switch on October 5, 2018. It received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the game's open world design, visuals and art direction, combat system and narrative. However, criticism was directed at the game's reliance on grinding, microtransactions, and several critics considered the title "bloated."

BioWare

BioWare is a Canadian video game developer based in Edmonton, Alberta. It was founded in February 1995 by newly graduated medical doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, alongside Trent Oster, Brent Oster, Marcel Zeschuk and Augustine Yip. As of 2007, the company is owned by American publisher Electronic Arts.

BioWare specializes in role-playing video games, and achieved recognition for developing highly praised and successful licensed franchises: Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. They proceeded to make several other successful games based on original intellectual property: Jade Empire, the Mass Effect series, and the Dragon Age series. In 2011, BioWare launched their first massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Calypso (mythology)

Calypso (; Greek: Καλυψώ, translit. Kalypsō) was a nymph in Greek mythology, who lived on the island of Ogygia, where, according to the Odyssey, she detained Odysseus for seven years.

HAL 9000

HAL 9000 is a fictional character and the main antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series. First appearing in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is a sentient computer (or artificial general intelligence) that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship's astronaut crew. Part of HAL's hardware is shown towards the end of the film, but he is mostly depicted as a camera lens containing a red or yellow dot, instances of which are located throughout the ship. HAL 9000 is voiced by Douglas Rain in the two feature film adaptations of the Space Odyssey series. HAL speaks in a soft, calm voice and a conversational manner, in contrast to the crewmen, David Bowman and Frank Poole.

In the film, HAL became operational on 12 January 1992 at the HAL Laboratories in Urbana, Illinois as production number 3. The activation year was 1991 in earlier screenplays and changed to 1997 in Clarke's novel written and released in conjunction with the movie. In addition to maintaining the Discovery One spacecraft systems during the interplanetary mission to Jupiter (or Saturn in the novel), HAL is capable of speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, natural language processing, lip reading, art appreciation, interpreting emotional behaviours, automated reasoning, and playing chess.

Hallmark Channel

The Hallmark Channel is an American pay television network that is owned by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., which in turn is owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc. The channel's programming is primarily targeted at families, and features a mix of television movies and miniseries, original and acquired television series, and lifestyle programs.

As of February 2015, Hallmark Channel is available to approximately 85,439,000 pay television households (73.4% of households with television) in the United States. Despite largely being an apolitical brand, Hallmark Channel has garnered a following among politically conservative viewers in suburban and rural areas who, according to Manhattan Institute for Policy Research's Steven Malanga in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, feel the network and its original programming feed their desire to "express traditional family values and also to steer away from political themes and stories that denigrate religion." Their only conservative-leaning competition in terms of entertainment programming is INSP. Much of the filming for Hallmark Channel's most popular shows is done in Canada, with Canadian stars and talent.

Homer

Homer (; Ancient Greek: Ὅμηρος Greek pronunciation: [hómɛːros], Hómēros) is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, around 20 years after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.The Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, and that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition. It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC.The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic. Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film. The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who "has taught Greece" – ten Hellada pepaideuken.

Honda Odyssey (North America)

For the North American market, the Honda Odyssey is a minivan manufactured and marketed by Japanese automaker Honda since 1994, now in its fifth generation.

The Odyssey had originally been conceived and engineered in Japan, in the wake of the country's economic crisis of the 1990s – which in turn imposed severe constraints on the vehicle's size and overall concept, dictating the minivan's manufacture in an existing facility with minimal modification. The result was a smaller minivan, in the Compact MPV class, that was well received in the Japanese domestic market and less well received in North America. The first generation Odyssey was marketed in Europe as the Honda Shuttle.

Subsequent generations diverged to reflect market variations, and Honda built a plant in Lincoln, Alabama, United States, incorporating the ability to manufacture larger models. Since model year 1999, Honda has marketed a larger (large MPV-class) Odyssey in North America and a smaller Odyssey in Japan and other markets. Honda also offered the larger North American Odyssey in Japan as the Honda LaGreat beginning in June 1999 through 2005. Both versions of the Odyssey were sold in Japan at Honda Clio dealership locations. Both versions of the Odyssey are currently sold in the Middle East.

Iliad

The Iliad (; Ancient Greek: Ἰλιάς Iliás, pronounced [iː.li.ás] in Classical Attic; sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' imminent death and the fall of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place. However, as these events are prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, when it reaches an end the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.

The Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the 8th century BC. In the modern vulgate (the standard accepted version), the Iliad contains 15,693 lines; it is written in Homeric Greek, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek and other dialects. According to Michael N. Nagler, the Iliad is a more complicated epic poem than the Odyssey.

Magnavox Odyssey

The Magnavox Odyssey is the first commercial home video game console. It was developed by a small team led by Ralph H. Baer at Sanders Associates and released by Magnavox in the United States in September 1972 and overseas the following year. The Odyssey consists of a white, black, and brown box which connects to a television set, and two rectangular controllers attached by wires. It is capable of displaying three square dots on the screen in monochrome black and white, with differing behavior for the dots depending on the game played, and with no sound capabilities. Players place plastic overlays on the screen to create visuals, and the one or two players for each game control their dots with the three knobs and one button on the controller in accordance with the rules given for the game. The Odyssey console came packaged with dice, paper money, and other board game paraphernalia to go along with the games, and a peripheral controller—the first video game light gun—was sold separately.

The idea for a video game console was thought up by Baer in August 1966, and over the next three years he, along with Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch, created seven successive prototype consoles. The seventh, known as the Brown Box, was shown to several manufacturers before Magnavox agreed to produce it in January 1971. After releasing the console in September 1972 through their dealerships, Magnavox sold between 69,000 and 100,000 units by the end of the year, and 350,000 by the time the console was discontinued in 1975. The console spawned the Magnavox Odyssey series of dedicated consoles, as well as the 1978 Magnavox Odyssey². One of the 28 games made for the system, a ping pong game, was an inspiration for Atari's successful Pong arcade game, in turn driving sales of the console. Baer's patents for the system and the games, including what was termed by a judge as "the pioneering patent of the video game art", formed the basis of a series of lawsuits spanning 20 years, earning Sanders and Magnavox over US$100 million. The release of the Odyssey marked the end of the early history of video games, and the rise of the commercial video game industry along with the start of the first generation of video game consoles.

Odysseus

Odysseus (; Greek: Ὀδυσσεύς, Ὀδυσεύς, Ὀdysseús [odysse͜ús]), also known by the Latin variant Ulysses (US: , UK: ; Latin: Ulyssēs, Ulixēs), is a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in that same epic cycle.

Son of Laërtes and Anticlea, husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus and Acusilaus. Odysseus is renowned for his intellectual brilliance, guile, and versatility (polytropos), and is thus known by the epithet Odysseus the Cunning (Greek: μῆτις or mētis, "cunning intelligence"). He is most famous for his nostos or “homecoming”, which took him ten eventful years after the decade-long Trojan War.

Odyssey Complex

The SSE Arena is a sports and entertainment complex located within the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The complex originated in 1992 and came into fruition in June 1998. It opened in December 2000, with expansions opening in March and May 2001. The complex consists of: a multipurpose arena, science centre and shopping centre. The shopping centre houses a movie theatre and bowling alley, alongside a selection of restaurants.

Penelope

In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope ( pə-NEL-ə-pee; Greek: Πηνελόπεια, Pēnelópeia, or Greek: Πηνελόπη, Pēnelópē) is the wife of Odysseus, who is known for her fidelity to Odysseus while he was absent, despite having many suitors. Her name has therefore been traditionally associated with marital fidelity.

Siren (mythology)

In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on some small islands called Sirenum scopuli. In some later, rationalized traditions, the literal geography of the "flowery" island of Anthemoessa, or Anthemusa, is fixed: sometimes on Cape Pelorum and at others in the islands known as the Sirenuse, near Paestum, or in Capreae. All such locations were surrounded by cliffs and rocks.

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is a platform game published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch on October 27, 2017. An entry in the Super Mario series, it follows Mario and Cappy, a spirit that turns into Mario's hat and allows him to possess other characters and objects, as they journey across various worlds to save Princess Peach from his nemesis Bowser, who plans to forcibly marry her. In contrast to the linear gameplay of prior entries, the game returns to the primarily open-ended, exploration-based gameplay featured in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine.

The game was developed by Nintendo's Entertainment Planning & Development division, and began development following the release of Super Mario 3D World in 2013. Various ideas were suggested during development, and to incorporate them all, the team decided to employ a sandbox-style of gameplay. Unlike previous installments such as New Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario 3D World, which were aimed at a casual audience, the team designed Super Mario Odyssey to appeal to the series' core fans. The game also features a vocal theme song, "Jump Up, Super Star!", a first for the series.

Super Mario Odyssey received universal acclaim and has sold 13.76 million copies since release, making it the Switch's second bestselling game. Many critics called it one of the best games in the series, with particular praise directed toward its inventiveness and originality. It also won numerous awards and accolades, including for game of the year.

Ulysses (novel)

Ulysses is a modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and then published in its entirety in Paris by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, Joyce's 40th birthday. It is considered to be one of the most important works of modernist literature and has been called "a demonstration and summation of the entire movement." According to Declan Kiberd, "Before Joyce, no writer of fiction had so foregrounded the process of thinking".Ulysses chronicles the peripatetic appointments and encounters of Leopold Bloom in Dublin in the course of an ordinary day, 16 June 1904. Ulysses is the Latinised name of Odysseus, the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey, and the novel establishes a series of parallels between the poem and the novel, with structural correspondences between the characters and experiences of Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus, in addition to events and themes of the early 20th-century context of modernism, Dublin, and Ireland's relationship to Britain. The novel is highly allusive and also imitates the styles of different periods of English literature.

Since its publication, the book has attracted controversy and scrutiny, ranging from an obscenity trial in the United States in 1921, to protracted textual "Joyce Wars". The novel's stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—replete with puns, parodies, and allusions—as well as its rich characterisation and broad humour, have led it to be regarded as one of the greatest literary works in history; Joyce fans worldwide now celebrate 16 June as Bloomsday.

Homer's Odyssey (8th century BC)
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