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The Odyssey Homer, Butler Tr.


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{27} cf. "Il." xvii. 567. [Greek] The Odyssean lines are-- [Greek]

{28} Reading [Greek] for [Greek], cf. "Od." i.186.

{29} The geography of the Aegean as above described is correct, but is probably taken from the lost poem, the Nosti, the existence of which is referred to "Od." i.326,327 and 350, etc. A glance at the map will show that heaven advised its supplicants quite correctly.

{30} The writer--ever jealous for the honour of women--extenuates Clytemnestra's guilt as far as possible, and explains it as due to her having been left unprotected, and fallen into the hands of a wicked man.

{31} The Greek is [Greek] cf. "Iliad" ii. 408 [Greek] Surely the [Greek] of the Odyssean passage was due to the [Greek] of the "Iliad." No other reason suggests itself for the making Menelaus return on the very day of the feast given by Orestes. The fact that in the "Iliad" Menelaus came to a banquet without waiting for an invitation, determines the writer of the "Odyssey" to make him come to a banquet, also uninvited, but as circumstances did not permit of his having been invited, his coming uninvited is shown to have been due to chance. I do not think the authoress thought all this out, but attribute the strangeness of the coincidence to unconscious cerebration and saturation.

{32} cf. "Il." i.458, ii. 421. The writer here interrupts an Iliadic passage (to which she returns immediately) for the double purpose of dwelling upon the slaughter of the heifer, and of letting Nestor's wife and daughter enjoy it also. A male writer, if he was borrowing from the "Iliad," would have stuck to his borrowing.

{33} cf. "Il." xxiv. 587,588 where the lines refer to the washing the dead body of Hector.

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{34} See illustration on opposite page. The yard is typical of many that may be seen in Sicily. The existing ground-plan is probably unmodified from Odyssean, and indeed long pre-Odyssean times, but the earlier buildings would have no arches, and would, one would suppose, be mainly timber. The Odyssean [Greek] were the sheds that ran round the yard as the arches do now. The [Greek] was the one through which the main entrance passed, and which was hence "noisy," or reverberating. It had an upper story in which visitors were often lodged.

{35} This journey is an impossible one. Telemachus and Pisistratus would have been obliged to drive over the Taygetus range, over which there has never yet been a road for wheeled vehicles. It is plain therefore that the audience for whom the "Odyssey" was written was one that would be unlikely to know anything about the topography of the Peloponnese, so that the writer might take what liberties she chose.

{36} The lines which I have enclosed in brackets are evidently an afterthought--added probably by the writer herself--for they evince the same instinctively greater interest in anything that may concern a woman, which is so noticeable throughout the poem. There is no further sign of any special festivities nor of any other guests than Telemachus and Pisistratus, until lines 621-624 (ordinarily enclosed in brackets) are abruptly introduced, probably with a view of trying to carry off the introduction of the lines now in question.

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The Odyssey
Homer, Butler Tr.

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