Homeric Greek |Odyssey 1.125–135: Receiving a guest, and seating arrangements

We are pleased to share this segment in the CHS series on reading Homeric epic in ancient 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 dreamed of reading Homer in the original, here is your chance to do so with teachers who have spent a lifetime thinking about this poetry. With their guidance even new readers can 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, Gregory Nagy (Harvard University), Leonard Muellner (Brandeis University), and Douglas Frame (CHS), read Odyssey 1.125–135. Topics include:

  • what Telemachus does with Athena’s spear
  • different types of seats and seating arrangements
  • a comparison of this scene with the Phaeacians

Odyssey 1.125–135[1]

ὣς εἰπὼν ἡγεῖθ᾽, ἡ δ᾽ ἕσπετο Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη.                           125
οἱ δ᾽ ὅτε δή ῥ᾽ ἔντοσθεν ἔσαν δόμου ὑψηλοῖο,
ἔγχος μέν ῥ᾽ ἔστησε φέρων πρὸς κίονα μακρὴν
δουροδόκης ἔντοσθεν ἐυξόου, ἔνθα περ ἄλλα
ἔγχε᾽ Ὀδυσσῆος ταλασίφρονος ἵστατο πολλά,
αὐτὴν δ᾽ ἐς θρόνον εἷσεν ἄγων, ὑπὸ λῖτα πετάσσας,               130
καλὸν δαιδάλεον: ὑπὸ δὲ θρῆνυς ποσὶν ἦεν.
πὰρ δ᾽ αὐτὸς κλισμὸν θέτο ποικίλον, ἔκτοθεν ἄλλων
μνηστήρων, μὴ ξεῖνος ἀνιηθεὶς ὀρυμαγδῷ
δείπνῳ ἁδήσειεν, ὑπερφιάλοισι μετελθών,
ἠδ᾽ ἵνα μιν περὶ πατρὸς ἀποιχομένοιο ἔροιτο.                          135

[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

Odyssey 1.125–177 on Perseus
Odyssey 1.125–135 on Scaife