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The Odyssey Homer, Butler Tr.


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{65} There were two classes--the lower who were found in provisions which they had to cook for themselves in the yards and outer precincts, where they would also eat--and the upper who would eat in the cloisters of the inner court, and have their cooking done for them.

{66} Translation very dubious. I suppose the [Greek] here to be the covered sheds that ran round the outer courtyard. See illustrations at the end of bk. iii.

{67} The writer apparently deems that the words "as compared with what oxen can plough in the same time" go without saying. Not so the writer of the "Iliad" from which the Odyssean passage is probably taken. He explains that mules can plough quicker than oxen ("Il." x.351-353)

{68} It was very fortunate that such a disc happened to be there, seeing that none like it were in common use.

{69} "Il." xiii. 37. Here, as so often elsewhere in the "Odyssey," the appropriation of an Iliadic line which is not quite appropriate puzzles the reader. The "they" is not the chains, nor yet Mars and Venus. It is an overflow from the Iliadic passage in which Neptune hobbles his horses in bonds "which none could either unloose or break so that they might stay there in that place." If the line would have scanned without the addition of the words "so that they might stay there in that place," they would have been omitted in the "Odyssey."

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{70} The reader will note that Alcinous never goes beyond saying that he is going to give the goblet; he never gives it. Elsewhere in both "Iliad" and "Odyssey" the offer of a present is immediately followed by the statement that it was given and received gladly--Alcinous actually does give a chest and a cloak and shirt--probably also some of the corn and wine for the long two-mile voyage was provided by him--but it is quite plain that he gave no talent and no cup.

{71} "Il." xviii, 344-349. These lines in the "Iliad" tell of the preparation for washing the body of Patroclus, and I am not pleased that the writer of the "Odyssey" should have adopted them here.

{72} see note {64}

{73} see note {43}

{74} The reader will find this threat fulfilled in bk. xiii

{75} If the other islands lay some distance away from Ithaca (which the word [Greek] suggests), what becomes of the [Greek] or gut between Ithaca and Samos which we hear of in Bks. iv. and xv.? I suspect that the authoress in her mind makes Telemachus come back from Pylos to the Lilybaean promontory and thence to Trapani through the strait between the Isola Grande and the mainland--the island of Asteria being the one on which Motya afterwards stood.

{76} "Il." xviii. 533-534. The sudden lapse into the third person here for a couple of lines is due to the fact that the two Iliadic lines taken are in the third person.

{77} cf. "Il." ii. 776. The words in both "Iliad" and "Odyssey" are [Greek]. In the "Iliad" they are used of the horses of Achilles' followers as they stood idle, "champing lotus."

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The Odyssey
Homer, Butler Tr.

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