Friday, July 29, 2016

A few days with the 3rd Book of Homer’s Odyssey

I left the Odyssey at the beginning of the 3rd Book when I turned to Russel’s History of Western Philosophy. After a day with Russell I turned back to the Odyssey.

‘And the sun rose (Êelios d’ anorouse), having left the beautiful sea (lipȏn perikallea limnȇn), on the heaven-vault (ouranon es) of solid bronze (poluchalkon), in order to shine for the immortals (hin’ athanatoisi phaeionoi) and for the mortal men (kai thnȇtoisi brotoisin) on the corn-bearing earth (epi zeidȏron arouran, Od. III, 1-3). And they (hoi de [Telemachus and Athena, who accompanied him under the guise of Odysseus’ old friend Mentor]) reached Pylos, the well-built city of Neleus (Pulon, Nȇlȇos eüktimenon ptoliethron, hixon – Neleus was the father of Nestor). But they (toi d’ i.e. the Pylians) on the shore of the sea (epi thini thalassȇs) offered sacrifice (hiera rezon), jet black bulls (taurous pammelanas), to the dark-blue-haired earth-shaker (enosichthoni kuanochaitȇi – an epithet of Poseidon). There were nine sessions (ennea d’ hedrai esan), five hundred men sat in each (pentȇkosioi d’ en hekastȇi hȇato), and they put forward (kai prouchonto) in each (hekastothi) nine bulls (ennea taurous, 4-8).’

‘When the ones ate the intestines (euth’ hoi splanchna pasanto) and for the god (theȏi d’ epi) burnt the pieces of flesh of the thighs (mȇria kaion), the others (hoi d’) brought their ship straight to land (ithus katagonto, 9-10). Telemachus and Athena disembarked, and the latter admonished the former: “Telemachus (Tȇlemach’), you mustn’t be bashful any more (ou men se chrȇ et aidous), not even a little (out ȇbaion), for you have sailed the sea (touneka gar kai ponton epeplȏs) in order to learn about your father (ophra puthȇai patros) … go now straight to Nestor, the tamer of horses (all age nun ithus kie Nestoros hippodamoio, 14-17).’ –  Telemachus: “Mentor (Mentor), how then shall I go (pȏs t’ ar’ iȏ), how shall I greet him (pȏs t’ ar’ prosptuxomai auton); I have not yet learned to make wise speeches (oude ti pȏ muthois pepeirȇmai pukinoisi), modesty bars a young man from asking an older man (aidȏs d’ au neon andra geraiteron exereesthai).” But again the goddess, the bright-eyed Athena, spoke to him (Ton d’ aute proseeipe thea glaukȏpis Athȇnȇ): “Telemachus (Tȇlemach’), you yourself will think up some things to say (alla men autos eni phresi sȇisi noȇseis), and the divine power will suggest other things (alla de kai daimȏn hupothȇsetai), for I don’t think (ou gar oїȏ) that you were born and reared without the favour of gods (ou se theȏn aekȇti genesthai te traphemen te).” Thus having spoken (Hȏs ara phȏnȇsas’), Pallas Athena led the way (hȇgȇsat’ Pallas Athȇnȇ) swiftly (karpalimȏs), and he then (ho d’ epeita) walked in the footsteps of the goddess’ (met’ ichnia baine theoio).’ (22-30)

‘And they came into (hixon d’ es) the assembly and sessions of the Pylian men (Puliȏn andrȏn agurin te kai hedras), just where (enth’ ara) Nestor was sitting (Nestȏr hȇsto) with his sons (sun huiasin); and companions around them were preparing the feast (amphi d’ hetairoi dait’ entunomenoi), roasting flesh (krea t’ ȏptȏn) and putting other flesh on spits (alla t’ epeiron). As they saw the strangers (hoi d’ hȏs oun xeinous idon), they all came (athrooi ȇlthon hapantes), welcomed them by reaching hands to them (chersin t’ ȇspazonto), and bade them sit down (kai hedraasthai anȏgon). As the first (prȏtos), Nestor’s son Peisistratus (Nestoridȇs Peisistratos) having come near (enguthen elthȏn) took both by hand (amphoterȏn hele cheira) and bade them sit at the feast (kai hidrusen para daiti) on soft fleece (kȏesin en malakoisin), on the sand (epi psamathois) of the sea-shore (haliȇisi).’ (31-38)

‘And when they roasted (hoi d’ epei ȏptȇsan) the fine pieces of flesh (kre’ hupertera) and drew them off the spits (kai erusanto), they divided the portions (moiras dassamenoi) and had a glorious meal (dainunt’ erikudea daita). But after they got rid of their desire for drink and food (autar epei posios kai edȇtuos ex eron hento), to them then (tois d’ ara) Gerenios (Gerȇnios) the chariot-fighter (hippota) Nestor (Nestȏr) began to speak (muthȏn arche): “Now it is more proper (Nun dȇ kallion esti) to enquire (metallȇsai) and ask (kai eresthai) the strangers (xeinous) who they are (hoi tines eisin), after they enjoyed (epei tarpȇsan) the food (edȏdȇs). Strangers (ȏ xeinoi), who are you (tines este?” (65-71) … To him then the inspired Telemachus replied boldly (Ton d’ au Tȇlemachos pepnumenos antion ȇuda tharsȇsas), for Athena herself put courage into his mind (autȇ gar eni phresi tharsos Athȇnȇ thȇch’) so that he would ask him about his absent father (hina min peri patros apoichomenoio eroito), and in order that he would gain ecellent fame among men (ȇd’ hina min kleos esthlon en anthrȏpoisin echȇisin).’ (75-79)

Telemachus made an eloquent speech, explaining that they came from Ithaka and that he was seeking the tidings of Odysseus, his father: ‘I beg you (lissomai), if ever my father, the valiant Odysseus, having promised you some word or some deed (ei pote toi ti patȇr emos, esthlos Odusseus, ȇ epos ȇe ti ergon hupostas), fulfilled it (exetelesse) in the country of Troy (dȇmȏi eni Trȏȏn), where you, Achaians, endured great sufferings (hothi paschete pȇmat’ Achaioi), remember those instances now (tȏn nun moi mnȇsai), and tell me the truth (kai moi nȇmertes enispes, 98-101).’

Nestor: “Dear friend (ȏ phil’), now you’ve brought to my memory the hardships (epei m’ emnȇsas oizuos) that we endured at Troy (hȇn en ekeinȏi dȇmȏi anetlȇmen), how much we suffered in our ships roving thorough the misty sea in search of booty (hosa xun nȇusin ep’ ȇeroeidea ponton plazomenoi kata lȇid’), wherever Achilles led us (hopȇi arxeie Achilleus, 103-109) … For nine years (Enneaetes) we stitched up evil for them [i.e. for the Trojans] (gar sphin kaka raptomen) besetting them with various plots (amphiepontes pantoioisi doloisi); with toil and pain (mogis) the son of Cronus brought it to end (d’ etelesse Kroniȏn). There never anybody (enth’ ou tis pote) wanted to match up to him in shrewdness (mȇtin homoiȏthȇmenai antȇn ȇthel’), for the noble Odysseus was far superior in devising various plots (epei mala pollon enika dios Odusseus pantoioisi doloisi), your father (patȇr teos), if you are truly (ei eteon ge) his offspring (keinou ekgonos essi); I am filled with awe (sebas m’ echei) looking at you (eisoroȏnta); for to be sure (ȇ toi gar), speaking is similar (muthoi ge eoikotes), you would not say (oude ke phaiȇs) a young man  (andra neȏteron) could speak so seemly (hȏde eoikota muthȇsastai). For sure, when there, I and the noble Odusseus (enth’ ȇ toi hȇos men egȏ kai dios Odusseus) never in the assembly (oute pot’ ein agorȇi) spoke at variance with each other (dich’ ebazomen), nor in the counsel (out’ eni boulȇi).’ (118-127).

Nestor then spoke of the way back, full of misfortunes. Agamemnon, Menelaos, Nestor and Odysseus, each with his men, became separated by storms and other mishaps: “So I came home (hȏs ȇlthon), dear child (phile teknon), ignorant (apeuthȇs), and I don’t know anything (oude ti oida) of them (keinȏn), who of the Achaians were saved (hoi t’ esaȏthen Achaiȏn), and who perished (hoi t’ apolonto, 184-5).” He ends with the pitiable end of Agamemnon in the hands of Aigisthos, and Orestes’ revenge against his father’s murderer: “And you (kai su), my dear (philos) – I can see that you are a very fine (mala gar s’ horoȏ kalon) and stout man (te megan te) – you are brave (alkimos ess’), so that even someone in posterity (hina tis se kai opsigonȏn) may speak well of you (eü eipȇi, 199-200)!”

Telemachus replied: “Aw Nestor son of Neleus (Ȏ Nestor Nȇlȇiadȇ), great glory (mega kudos) of the Achaians (Achaiȏn), that man made a great revenge (kai liȇn men keinos etisato), and the Achaians (kai hoi Achaioi) will bear his fame far and wide (oisousi kleos euru), for posterity to make songs about (kai essomenoisi aoidȇn). If only gods gave me such power (ai gar emoi tossȇnde theoi dunamin peritheien), to make the suitors pay (tisasthai mnȇstȇras) for their grievous transgressions (huperbasiȇs alegeinȇs), who, committing outrage (hoi te moi hubrizontes), are wickedly intriguing against me (atasthala mȇchanoȏntai)! But gods have not allotted such good fortune to me (all’ ou moi toiouton epeklȏsan theoi olbon), to my father and me (patri t’ emȏi kai emoi); but now one must (nun de chrȇ) endure (tetlamen) as things are (empȇs).” (201-209)

Nestor: “Who knows (tis d’ oid’), perhaps one day (ei ke pote) he will take vengeance on them for their violence when he comes (sphi bias apotisetai elthȏn), either he on his own (ȇ ho ge mounos eȏn), or even all Achaians (ȇ kai pantes Achaioi). For if the bright-eyed Athena wanted to cherish you so (ei gar s’ hȏs etheloi phileein glaukȏpis Athȇnȇ) as she then cared for the glorious Odysseus in the district of Trojans (hȏs tot’Odussȇos perikȇdeto kudalimoio dȇmȏi eni Trȏȏn), where we Achaians suffered grievously (hothi paschomen alge’ Achaioi). I’ve never seen (ou gar pȏ idon) gods cherishing so openly (hȏde theous anaphanda phileuntas) as Pallas Athena openly stood by him (hȏs keinȏi anaphanda paristato Pallas Athȇnȇ). If she wanted to cherish you thus (ei s’ houtȏs etheloi phileein) and cared for you (kȇdoito te) in her heart (thumȏi), then someone of those for sure (tȏ ken tis keinȏn ge) would even forget (kai eklelathoito) about marriage (gamoio).” (216-224)

Telemachus: “Dear old man (ȏ geron), I don’t think that these words will be fulfilled (ou pȏ touto epos teleesthai oїȏ); for what you said is too great (liȇn gar mega eipes); I am astounded (agȇ m’ echei). Even though I wished, these things would not happen (ouk an emoi ge elpomenȏi ta genoit’), not even if the gods so wished (oud’ ei theoi hȏs etheloien).” (226-8)

Athena (as Mentor): “Telemachus (Tȇlemache), what word of yours (poion se epos) escaped the barrier of the teeth (phugen herkos odontȏn)? Easily (reia) a god (theos g’), if willing (ethelȏn), even from far away (kai tȇlothen) could save a man (andra saȏsai).” (230-231)

Telemachus: “Mentor (Mentor), let us speak of this no more (mȇketi tauta legȏmetha), even though we care (kȇdomenoi per). For him (keinȏi d’) there is no more return (ouketi nostos etȇtumos), but the immortals had already devised for him (alla hoi ȇdȇ phrassant’ athanatoi) death (thanaton) and dark end (kai kȇra melainan).” (240-242) Then he turned to Nestor and asked: “How did Agamemnon, the far-ruling son of Atreus, die (pȏs ethan’ Atreidȇs eurukreiȏn Agamenȏn)? Where was Menelaos [Agamemnon’s brother] (pou Menelaos eȇn)? What ruin had the wily Aigisthos devise for him [for Agamemnon] (tina d’ autȏi mȇsat’ olethron Aigisthos dolomȇtis), for he murdered a much better man (epei ktane pollon areiȏ)? Or wasn’t he [Menelaos] in the Achaic Argos (ȇ ouk Argeos ȇen Achaїkou), but was wandering somewhere else among men (alla pȇi allȇi plazet’ ep’ anthrȏpous), and he [Aigisthos] (ho de) emboldened (tharsȇsas) killed him [Agamemnon] (katepephne)? (248-252)

In his answer Nestor embarked on another long story, narrating how Aigisthos plotted his enormous deed (mala mega mȇsato ergon, 261): “We were sitting there [at Troy] engaged in many combats (hȇmeis men gar keithi poleas teleontes aethlous hȇmeth’), but he [Aigisthos] at his ease (ho d’ eukȇlos), in the innermost corner of the horse-breeding Argos (muchȏi Argeos hippobotoio), was persistently charming Agamemnon’s wife with his words (poll’ Agamemnoneȇn alochon thelgesken epessin). She surely at first (hȇ d’ ȇ toi to prin), was rejecting (anaineto) the unbecoming deed (ergon aeikes), the illustrious Clytaemnestra (dia Klutaimnȇstrȇ), for she had good sense (phresi gar kechrȇt’ agathȇsi). And there was a bard at her side (par d’ ar’ eȇn kai aoidos anȇr), upon whom Atreus’ son [Agamemnon], going to Troy, laid firmly the task (hȏi poll’ epetellen Atreidȇs Troiȇnde kiȏn) of watching over (eirusthai) his wife (akoitin). But when the destiny of gods bound her to be overcome (all hote dȇ min moira theȏn epedȇse damȇnai), then (dȇ tote) taking the bard (ton men aoidon agȏn) on a desolate island (es nȇson erȇmȇn) he [Aigisthos] left him there (kallipen) to become prey and booty for birds (oiȏnoisin helȏr kai kurma genesthai). And he willing, her willing (tȇn d’ ethelȏn ethelousan), led her into his house (agȇgagen honde domonde).” (262-272)

“We sailed together (Hȇmeis men gar hama) from Troy (Troiȇthen iontes) Atreus’ son [Menelaos] and I (Atreidȇs kai egȏ) in mutual friendship (phila eidotes allȇloisi), but when we arrfived at the holy Sounion (all’ hote Sounion hiron aphikometh’), Athenean promontory (akron Athȇnȏn), there Phoibos Apollon killed Menelaos’ helmsman visiting him with his gentle missiles [‘a formula for a man’s sudden and painless death,’ noted W. B. Stanford ad loc.] (entha kubernȇtȇn Menelaou Phoibos Apollȏn hois aganois beleessin epoichomenos katepephne) … Thus he was held back there (hȏs ho men entha kateschet’), although he was eager to go (epeigomenos per hodoio), in order to bury his comrade (ophr’ hetaron thaptoi) with due honours (kai epi kterea kteriseien). But when he then as well (all hote dȇ kai keinos), returning on the gleaming sea (iȏn epi oinopa ponton) in spacious ships (en nȇusi glaphurȇisi), reached the high mountain of Maleiai [’the Cape Horn of Greek navigators’, notes Stanford ad loc.] (Maleiaȏn oros aipu hixe), sailing swiftly (theȏn), at that point the far-thundering Zeus devised a dreadful way (tote dȇ stugerȇn hodon euruopa Zeus ephrasato), he poured out a hurricane of whistling winds and monstrous swollen waves mountain-high (ligeȏn d’ anemȏn ep’ aütmena cheue kumata te trophoenta pelȏria, isa oressin – tr. Rouse quoted by Stanford in his note ad loc.) … Menelaos’ five dark-bowed ships (tas pente neas kuanoprȏireious) the wind and the water brought to Egypt (Aiguptȏi epelasse pherȏn anemos te kai hudȏr). Thus (hȏs) he there (ho men entha), gathering much wealth and gold (polun bioton kai chruson ageirȏn), wandered with ships (ȇlato xun nȇusi) among men speaking strange tongues (kat’ allothroous anthrȏpous). And meanwhile (tophra de) Aigisthos plotted these dreadful things at home (taut’ Aigisthos emȇsato oikothi lugra); and seven years he ruled over (heptaetes d’ ȇnasse) Mycenae rich in gold (poluchrusoio Mukȇnȇs), having killed Atreus’ son (kteinas Atreїdȇn); the people were subjugated by him (dedmȇto de laos hup’ autȏi). But on the eighth year evil for him (tȏi de hoi ogdoatȏi kakon); the illustrious Orestes came (ȇluthe dios Orestȇs) back (aps) from Athens (ap’ Athȇnaȏn) and killed the parricide (kata d’ ektane patrophonȇa), the wily Aigisthos (Aigisthon dolomȇtin), who murdered his glorious father (ho hoi patera kluton ekta). Verily, I tell you (ȇ toi), after killing him he was giving the feast to Argaeans (ho ton kteinas dainu taphon Argeioisin) at the funeral of his hated mother (mȇtros te stugerȇs) and the cowardly (kai analkidos) Aigisthos (Aigishoio), and on the same day (autȇmar de) arrived to him (hoi ȇlthe) Menelaos good at the battle cry (boȇn agathos Menelaos), bringing great treasures (polla ktȇmat’ agȏn), as much as ships could carry for him (hosa hoi nees achthos aeiran).” (279-312)

Nestor ended his story with a word of advice for Telemachus: “And you (kai su), my friend (philos), do not wander long far away from home (mȇ dȇtha domȏn apo tȇl’ alalȇso), leaving the property behind (ktȇmata te prolipȏn) and men in your house who are so outrageous (andras t’ en soisi domoisi houtȏ huperphialous), lest they devour everything (mȇ toi kata panta phagȏsi), dividing your property among themselves (ktȇmata dassamenoi), and you make a useless journey (su de tȇüsiȇn hodon elthȇis). But to Menelaos (all’ es men Menelaon) I command (egȏ kelomai) and urge (kai anȏga) you to go (elthein), for he newly returned from abroad (keinos gar neon allothen eilȇlouthen).” (313-318)

‘Thus he spoke (hȏs ephat’); and the sun sunk into the sea (ȇelios d’ ar’ edu) and twilight came (kai epi knephas ȇlthe, 329).’ Athena urged them: “Cut out the tongues [of the sacrificial victims] (tamnete men glȏssas) and mix the wine (keraasthe de oinon), so that (ophra) after making the libation to Poseidon and other immortals (Poseidaȏni kai allois athanatoisi speisantes) we may think of going to bed (koitoio medȏmetha); for it’s time for this (toio gar hȏrȇ, 332-334)” … And the heralds poured water over their hands (toisi de kȇrukes men hudȏr epi cheiras echeuan), and young men (kouroi de) filled their glasses (krȇtȇras epestepsanto) with drink (potoio), dealt out to everyone (nȏmȇsan d’ ara pasin) having performed the dedicatory rights with the cups (eparxamenoi depaessi). They threw the tongues into the fire (glȏssas en puri ballon) and standing up poured the libation over (anistamenoi d’ epeleibon). But after they made the libation (autar epei speisan t’) and drank as much as their heart desired (epion t’ hoson ȇthele thumos), then (dȇ tot’) Athena and the godlike Telemachus (Athȇnaiȇ kai Tȇlemachos theoeidȇs), they both (amphȏ) were eager (hiesthȇn) to go to the ship (epi nȇa neesthai).’ (337-344).

‘But Nestor held them back (Nestor d’ au kateruke) addressing them with the words (kathaptomenos epeessi): “May Zeus ward this off (Zeus to g’ alexȇseie) and other immortal gods (kai athanatoi theoi alloi), that you (hȏs humeis) from me (par’ emeio) should go on the swift ship (thoȇn epi nȇa kioite), as from some man destitute of bed-clothing (hȏs te teu ȇ para pampan aneimonos) or needy (ȇe penichrou), in whose house there aren’t coverlets and blankets in abundance (hȏi ou ti chlainai kai rȇgea poll’ eni oikȏi), and for whom and for whose guests there is nowhere to sleep comfortably (out’ autȏi malakȏs oute xeinoisin eneudein). But in my house (autar emoi para) there are coverlets (men chlainai) and beautiful blankets (kai rȇgea kala). Certainly not this man’s (ou thȇn de toud’ andros), Odysseus’ (Odussȇos) own son (philos huios); he will not lie down on the ship’s deck (nȇos ep’ ikriophin katalexetai) as long as I live (ophr’ an egȏ ge zȏȏ), and then (epeita de) my children are left in the house (paides eni megaroisi lipȏntai) to receive guests (xeinous xeinizein), whoever (hos tis) may come to my house (k’ ema dȏmat’ hikȇtai).’ (346-355)

‘To him then spoke (Ton d’ aute proseeipe) the bright-eyed goddess Athena (thea glaukȏpis Athȇnȇ): “You’ve said this rightly (eu dȇ tauta g’ ephȇstha), dear old man (geron phile), it beseems Telemachus to obey you (soi de eoike Tȇlemachon peithesthai), for it is much better thus (epei polu kallion houtȏs). So he will now go together with you (all’ houtos men nun soi ham’ hepsetai), so that he may sleep (ophra ken heudȇi) in your house (soisin eni megaroisin), but I shall go to the black ship (egȏ d’ epi nȇa melainan eim’) so that I encourage (hina tharsunȏ) the comrades (th’ hetarous) and tell them everything (eipȏ te hekasta) (355-361) … But in the morning (atar ȇȏthen) I shall go to the high-hearted Caucons (meta Kaukȏnas megathumous eim’); there is a debt owed to me (entha chreios moi ophelletai), not a new one nor small (ou ti neon ge oud’ oligon).” (366-8)

‘Having spoken thus (hȏs ara phȏnȇsas’), the bright-eyed Athena departed (apebȇ glaukȏpis Athȇnȇ) in the likeness of the bearded vulture (phȇnȇi eidomenȇ). Wonder overwhelmed all the Achaeans (thambos d’ hele pantas Achaious), the old man was amazed (thaumazen d’ ho geraios), as he saw it with his eyes (hopȏs d’ iden ophthalmoisi). He took Telemachus’ hand (Tȇlemachou d’ hele cheira) and said (epos t’ ephat’ ek t’ onomazen): “My dear friend (ȏ philos), I don’t think that you (ou se eolpa) will become bad and cowardly (kakon kai analkin esesthai), if you, so young (ei dȇ toi neȏi hȏde), have gods as your escorts (theoi pompȇes hepontai). This was no one else (ou men gar tis hod’ allos), of those that have their dwellings on Olympus (Olumpia dȏmat’ echontȏn), but Zeus’ daughter (alla Dios thugatȇr), the glorious tritogeneia (kudistȇ tritogeneia); she distinguished your excellent father as well with honour among the Argives (hȇ toi kai pater’ esthlon en Argeioisi etima). But (alla), queen (anass’), be gracious (hilȇthi), give me good fame (didȏthi moi kleos esthlon), to myself (autȏi), and to my children (kai paidessi), and to my well respected wife (kai aidoiȇi parakoiti), and I will sacrifice to you (soi d’ au egȏ rexȏ) a shining broad-browed unbroken cow (boun ȇnin eurumetȏpon admȇtȇn), not yet brought under the yoke by man (hȇn ou pȏ hupo zugon ȇgagen anȇr). I shall sacrifice her to you (tȇn toi egȏ rexȏ), gold (chruson) pouring around her horns (kerasin pericheuas).” (371-384)
‘Thus he spoke in his prayer (Hȏs ephat’ euchomenos), and Pallas Athene gave ear to him (tou d’ eklue Pallas Athȇnȇ). And Gerȇnios chariot-fighter Nestor led them (toisin d’ hȇgemoneue Gerȇnios hippota Nestȏr), his sons (huiasi) and his sons-in-law (kai gambroisi), to his lovely house (hea pros dȏmata kala).’ (385-388)
After reaching the house Nestor mixed them delicious wine, made a libation and ardently prayed to Athene.  When they all made their libations and drunk as much as they wanted, each went to their homes to go to bed. Nestor put Telemachus to bed side by side with his son Peisistratus, of the same age as Telemachus – “he is of the same age as me” (homȇlikiȇ d’ emoi autȏi) says Peisistratus in l. 49 – who was unmarried (ȇitheos), still in his house (en megaroisi, 401).

Nestor got up early in the morning, sat on the polished stone-seat in front of his house, his six sons – Echephron, Stratios, Perseus, Aretus, Thrasymedes, and Peisistratus – assembled around him, and he spoke to them: “Quickly (karpalimȏs moi), dear children (tekna phila), fulfil my wish (krȇȇnat’ eeldȏr), so that (ophr’) as the first of gods I propitiate Athena (ȇ toi prȏtista theȏn hilassom’ Athȇnȇn), who came to me in real form to the goodly feast dedicated to the god (hȇ moi enargȇs ȇlthe theou es daita thaleian, 418- 420).” One of the sons went to fetch the cow from the field for the sacrifice, another went to bring Telemachus’ companions from the ship, and yet another was sent to tell the coppersmith to come; the others were told to stand by and tell the servants to prepare everything in the house for the feast.
‘And so the cow came from the field (ȇlthe men ar bous ek pediou), and from the swift well-proportioned ship came (ȇlthon de thoȇs para nȇos eїsȇs) the great-hearted comrades of Telemachus (Tȇlemachou hetaroi megalȇtores), and the coppersmith came (ȇlthe de chalkeus) with bronze tools in his hands (hopl’ en chersin echȏn chalkȇїa), implements of art (peirata technȇs), the anvil (akmona te), the hammer (sphuran t’), and well-made pincers (eupoiȇton te puragrȇn) with which he wrought the gold (hoisin te chruson ȇrgazeto); and Athena came to take part in the holy ceremony (ȇlthe d’ Athȇnȇ hirȏn antioȏsa). And the old man (gerȏn d’), the chariot-fighter Nestor (hippȇlata Nestȏr), presented the gold (chruson edȏch’), and he [the coppersmith] (ho d’) then (epeita) poured it over the horns of the cow (boos kerasin pericheuen) with skill and care (askȇsas), in order that the goddess might rejoice seeing the precious offering’ (hin’ agalma thea kecharoito idousa).’ (430-438).

‘Stratios and noble Echephron led the cow by the horns (boun d’ agetȇn keraȏn Stratios kai dios Echephrȏn), and Aretus came from the room, [in one hand] carrying water for washing their hands in a cauldron adorned with flowers (cherniba de sph’ Arȇtos en anthemoenti lebȇti ȇluthen ek thalamoio pherȏn), in the other hand he had (heterȇi d’ echen) roasted barley-corns mixed with salt (oulas) in a basket (en kaneȏi), and Thrasymachus steadfast-in-battle with a sharp axe in his hand stood by (pelekun de meneptolemos Thrasumȇdȇs oxun echȏn en cheiri paristato), to strike the cow (boun epikopsȏn), and Perseus had amnion (Perseus amnion d’ eiche – a basin in which the blood of the victims was caught). And the old man (gerȏn d’), the chariot-fighter Nestor (hippȇlata Nestȏr), began the sacred hand-washing and the sprinkling of the barley-meal (cherniba t’ oulochutas te katarcheto); he ardently prayed to Athena (polla d’ Athȇnȇi euchet’) as he began the sacred rites of cutting off hair from the head [of the victim] (aparchomenos kephalȇs trichas), casting it in the fire (en puri ballȏn).’ (439-446)

‘But after they prayed (Autar epei r’ euxanto) and cast the barley-meal in front of them (kai oulochutas probalonto), immediately (autika) Nestor’s son (Nestoros huios), the high-spirited Thrasymedes (huperthumos Thrasumȇdȇs), struck (ȇlasen) standing near (anchi stas); and the axe (pelekus d’) cut off (apekopse) the neck-muscles (tenontas auchenious), knocked out the cow’s vital force (lusen de boos menos), and in triumph shouted Nestor’s daughters, and their sisters in law, and the much respected wife of Nestor, Euridice (hai d’ ololuxan thugateres te nuoi te kai aidoiȇ parakoitis Nestoros), the eldest of the daughters of Klymenos (presba Klumenoio thugatrȏn). Then having raised the cow from the broad-way ground they held her (hoi men epeit’ anelontes apo chthonos euruodeiȇs eschon), and Peisistratus slit her throat (atar sphazen Peisistratos), the leader of men (orchamos andrȏn). From her then the dark blood poured out (tȇs d’ epei ek melan haima ruȇ), and life deserted her bones (lipe d’ ostea thumos). Forthwith they cut her up (aips’ ara min diecheuan), straightaway cut out pieces of the flesh of the thighs (aphar d’ ek mȇria tamnon), everything suitably (panta kata moiran), wrapped the pieces in the caul (kata te knisȇi ekalupsan), folded in two layers (diptucha poiȇsantes), and on these put raw pieces of flesh (ep’ autȏn d’ ȏmothetȇsan). The old men burnt these on split wood (kaie d’ epi schizȇis ho gerȏn), and poured over fiery wine (epi d’ aithopa oinon leibe). And young men on his side (neoi de par’ auton) held forks with five prongs in their hands (echon pempȏbola chersin). Now after the thighs were completely burnt (autar epei kata mȇra kaȇ) and the inner parts consumed (kai splanchna pasanto), they cut the rest small (mistullon t’ ara t’alla), and spitted (kai amph’ obeloisin epeiran), and roasted (ȏpton d’), holding the sharp spits in their hands (akroporous obelous en chersin echontes).’ (454-463)

‘And meanwhile (Tophra de) the beautiful Polykaste, the youngest daughter of Nestor, the son of Neleus, washed Telemachus (Tȇlemachon lousen kalȇ Polukastȇ Nestoros hoplotatȇ thugatȇr Nȇlȇїadao). But when she washed him (autar epei lousen te) and richly oiled with olive oil (kai echrisen lip’ elaiȏi), and put on him a beautiful mantle (amphi de min pharos kalon balen) and tunic (ȇde chitȏna), he came out of the bath (ek r’ asaminthou bȇ) with his looks similar to the immortals (demas athanatoisin homoios). And coming to Nestor, the shepherd of the people, he sat by his side (par d’ ho ge Nestor’ iȏn kat’ ar’ hezeto, poimena laȏn).’ (464-469)

W. B. Stanford noted on l. 464: ‘Women or girls regularly washed the men in Il. and Od. Later Greek tradition, however, thought it fitting that Polykaste should marry Telemachus.’ (The Odyssey of Homer, vol. I, London, Macmillan & Co. Ltd., 1965, p. 265)

And when they roasted the outer flesh [flesh about the bones, the better pieces] (Hoi d’ epei ȏptȇsan kre’ hupertera) and drawn them off the spits (kai erusanto), they sat and feasted (dainunt’ hezomenoi), and then the excellent men arose (epi d’ aneres esthloi oronto) pouring out wine in golden cups (oinon oinochoeuntes eni chruseois depaessi). But when (autar epei) they got rid of their desire for drink and food (posios kai edȇtuos ex eron hento), Gerenios chariot-fighter Nestor began to speak to them (toisi de muthȏn ȇrche Gerȇnios hippota Nestȏr): “My children (Paides emoi), come! (age), put the horses with beautiful main to the chariot for Telemachus (Tȇlemachȏi kallitrichas hippous zeuxath’ huph’ harmat’ agontes), so that he can make his journey (hina prȇssȇisi hodoio).” So he spoke (Hȏs ephat’), and they readily listened to him (hoi d’ ara tou mala men kluon) and obeyed (ȇd’ epithonto), and quickly (karpalimȏs d’) put the swift horses to the chariot (ezeuxan huph’ harmasin ȏkeas hippous). The housekeeper put in bread and wine (en de gunȇ tamiȇ siton kai onion ethȇken) and meat (opsa te), such as kings cherished by Zeus eat (hoia edousi diotrephees basilȇes). Then Telemachus stepped in the beautiful chariot (an d’ ara Tȇlemachos perikallea bȇseto diphron), then Nestor’s son Peisistratus, leader of men, stepped in the chariot beside him (par d’ ara Nestoridȇs Peisistratos, orchamos andrȏn, es diphron t’ anebȇse) and took the reins in his hands (kai hȇnia lazeto chersi), and swung the lash to drive (mastixen d’ elaan), and they [the two horses] flew not unwillingly (tȏd’ ouk aekonte petesthȇn) into the plain (es pedion), and they left (lipetȇn de) the lofty city of Pylos (Pulou aipu ptoliethron).’ (470-485)

That day they reached Pherai, where they spent the night, and the next day ‘they completed the journey (ȇnon hodon), for with such speed (toion gar) the swift horses carried them (hupekpheron ȏkees hippoi). And the sun set (duseto t’ ȇelios) and darkness overshadowed all ways (skioȏnto te pasai aguiai, 496-7).’

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