Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.203–212: Are you really from Odysseus, big boy that you are?

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 (CHS), and Gregory Nagy (Harvard University) discuss Odyssey 1.203–212, part of a speech by Athena (disguised as Mentes) to Telemachus. Topics include how to translate tósos [“τόσος] so great” in context; and the use of the particle [δή].

Odyssey 1.203–212:

οὔ τοι ἔτι δηρόν γε φίλης ἀπὸ πατρίδος αἴης
ἔσσεται, οὐδ᾽ εἴ πέρ τε σιδήρεα δέσματ᾽ ἔχῃσιν:
φράσσεται ὥς κε νέηται, ἐπεὶ πολυμήχανός ἐστιν.            205
ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μοι τόδε εἰπὲ καὶ ἀτρεκέως κατάλεξον,
εἰ δὴ ἐξ αὐτοῖο τόσος πάϊς εἰς Ὀδυσῆος.
αἰνῶς μὲν κεφαλήν τε καὶ ὄμματα καλὰ ἔοικας
κείνῳ, ἐπεὶ θαμὰ τοῖον ἐμισγόμεθ᾽ ἀλλήλοισιν,
πρίν γε τὸν ἐς Τροίην ἀναβήμεναι, ἔνθα περ ἄλλοι           210
Ἀργείων οἱ ἄριστοι ἔβαν κοίλῃς ἐνὶ νηυσίν:
ἐκ τοῦ δ᾽ οὔτ᾽ Ὀδυσῆα ἐγὼν ἴδον οὔτ᾽ ἔμ᾽ ἐκεῖνος.

Greek text from: Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. 1919 Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd.
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‘Reading Homer’ series