Homeric Greek: Odyssey 1.11–26, with Gregory Nagy

We are pleased to share the latest in the CHS series on reading Homeric epic in the original Greek. In each installment we read, translate, and discuss a small passage in the original Greek in the most accessible way. If you’ve ever wanted to read Homer in the original, here is your chance to do so with teachers who have spent a lifetime reading and thinking about this poetry. Together they help even new readers explore the words and formulas that make “the poetry of grammar and the grammar of poetry” in Homeric epic so exquisite and rewarding.

In this segment, Leonard Muellner, Gregory Nagy, Douglas Frame, and Allie Marbry read Odyssey 1.11–26.

Odyssey Scroll 1, lines 11–27[1]

ἔνθ᾽ ἄλλοι μὲν πάντες, ὅσοι φύγον αἰπὺν ὄλεθρον,         11
οἴκοι ἔσαν, πόλεμόν τε πεφευγότες ἠδὲ θάλασσαν:
τὸν δ᾽ οἶον νόστου κεχρημένον ἠδὲ γυναικὸς
νύμφη πότνι᾽ ἔρυκε Καλυψὼ δῖα θεάων
ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι,  λιλαιομένη πόσιν εἶναι.              15
ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ ἔτος ἦλθε περιπλομένων ἐνιαυτῶν,
τῷ οἱ ἐπεκλώσαντο θεοὶ οἶκόνδε νέεσθαι
εἰς Ἰθάκην, οὐδ᾽ ἔνθα πεφυγμένος ἦεν ἀέθλων
καὶ μετὰ οἷσι φίλοισι. θεοὶ δ᾽ ἐλέαιρον ἅπαντες
νόσφι Ποσειδάωνος: ὁ δ᾽ ἀσπερχὲς μενέαινεν            20
ἀντιθέῳ Ὀδυσῆι πάρος ἣν γαῖαν ἱκέσθαι.

ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μὲν Αἰθίοπας μετεκίαθε τηλόθ᾽ ἐόντας,
Αἰθίοπας τοὶ διχθὰ δεδαίαται, ἔσχατοι ἀνδρῶν,
οἱ μὲν δυσομένου Ὑπερίονος οἱ δ᾽ ἀνιόντος,
ἀντιόων ταύρων τε καὶ ἀρνειῶν ἑκατόμβης.                      25
ἔνθ᾽ ὅ γ᾽ ἐτέρπετο δαιτὶ παρήμενος: οἱ δὲ δὴ ἄλλοι
Ζηνὸς ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν Ὀλυμπίου ἁθρόοι ἦσαν.

[1] Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. via perseus.tufts.edu
Odyssey 1.1–43 on Perseus
Odyssey 1.11–27 on Scaife