Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.187–193: Rattling around in enjambments

We are pleased to share this segment in the 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 enjoy “the poetry of grammar and the grammar of poetry” that make Homeric epic so exquisite and rewarding.

In this segment, Douglas Frame (CHS), Leonard Muellner (Brandeis University), and Gregory Nagy (Harvard University) discuss Odyssey 1.187–193. Topics include: Athena’s description of Laertes, with attention to translation and syntax with multiple enjambments.

Odyssey 1.187–193[1]

ξεῖνοι δ᾽ ἀλλήλων πατρώιοι εὐχόμεθ᾽ εἶναι
ἐξ ἀρχῆς, εἴ πέρ τε γέροντ᾽ εἴρηαι ἐπελθὼν
Λαέρτην ἥρωα, τὸν οὐκέτι φασὶ πόλινδε
ἔρχεσθ᾽, ἀλλ᾽ ἀπάνευθεν ἐπ᾽ ἀγροῦ πήματα πάσχειν    190
γρηὶ σὺν ἀμφιπόλῳ, ἥ οἱ βρῶσίν τε πόσιν τε
παρτιθεῖ, εὖτ᾽ ἄν μιν κάματος κατὰ γυῖα λάβῃσιν
ἑρπύζοντ᾽ ἀνὰ γουνὸν ἀλωῆς οἰνοπέδοιο.

[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 1.178–229 on Perseus
Odyssey 1.181–210 on Scaife

‘Reading Homer’ series