Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.221–229: What’s the feast? It’s not a potluck

We are pleased to share this segment in the ries of videos 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, Leonard Muellner, and Gregory Nagy discuss Odyssey 1.221–229. Topics include long-term and short-term genealogies; asyndeton as an expressive tool; a hubristic feast; Telemachus, son of Odysseus/son of Penelope; larger-than-life heroes.

Odyssey 1.221–229:

τὸν δ᾽ αὖτε προσέειπε θεά, γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη:
‘οὐ μέν τοι γενεήν γε θεοὶ νώνυμνον ὀπίσσω
θῆκαν, ἐπεὶ σέ γε τοῖον ἐγείνατο Πηνελόπεια.
ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε μοι τόδε εἰπὲ καὶ ἀτρεκέως κατάλεξον:
τίς δαίς, τίς δὲ ὅμιλος ὅδ᾽ ἔπλετο; τίπτε δέ σε χρεώ;    225
εἰλαπίνη ἠὲ γάμος; ἐπεὶ οὐκ ἔρανος τάδε γ᾽ ἐστίν:
ὥς τέ μοι ὑβρίζοντες ὑπερφιάλως δοκέουσι
δαίνυσθαι κατὰ δῶμα. νεμεσσήσαιτό κεν ἀνὴρ
αἴσχεα πόλλ᾽ ὁρόων, ὅς τις πινυτός γε μετέλθοι.

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. Available online:

‘Reading Homer’ series