Homeric Greek | Odyssey 1.44–62: Athena, Odysseus, and longing for home

We are pleased to share the latest video in the series on reading Homeric epic.

In this episode Gregory Nagy (Harvard), Leonard Muellner (Brandeis), and Douglas Frame (CHS) read, translate, and discuss Odyssey 1.44–62 in an accessible and informal way. Specific topics of discussion include:

  • the phrase γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη (sometimes translated as “grey-eyed Athena”)
  • the mind of Odysseus and the heart of Athena
  • associations between Kalypso and death
  • the cosmic nature of Atlas, the father of Kalypso
  • the association between the root of the proper noun Ithaka and Odysseus’ longing to see the smoke of his home land
  • Odysseus’ relationship to Agamemnon in the Iliad
  • and much more!

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 makes Homeric epic so exquisite and rewarding.

Odyssey 1.44–62[1]

τὸν δ᾽ ἠμείβετ᾽ ἔπειτα θεά, γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη:
ὦ πάτερ ἡμέτερε Κρονίδη,  ὕπατε κρειόντων,                   45
καὶ λίην κεῖνός γε ἐοικότι κεῖται ὀλέθρῳ:
ὡς ἀπόλοιτο καὶ ἄλλος, ὅτις τοιαῦτά γε ῥέζοι:
ἀλλά μοι ἀμφ᾽ Ὀδυσῆι δαΐφρονι δαίεται ἦτορ,
δυσμόρῳ, ὃς δὴ δηθὰ φίλων ἄπο πήματα πάσχει
νήσῳ ἐν ἀμφιρύτῃ,  ὅθι τ᾽ ὀμφαλός ἐστι θαλάσσης.         50
νῆσος δενδρήεσσα, θεὰ δ᾽ ἐν δώματα ναίει,
Ἄτλαντος θυγάτηρ ὀλοόφρονος, ὅς τε θαλάσσης
πάσης βένθεα οἶδεν, ἔχει δέ τε κίονας αὐτὸς
μακράς, αἳ γαῖάν τε καὶ οὐρανὸν ἀμφὶς ἔχουσιν.
τοῦ θυγάτηρ δύστηνον ὀδυρόμενον κατερύκει,                55
αἰεὶ δὲ μαλακοῖσι καὶ αἱμυλίοισι λόγοισιν
θέλγει, ὅπως Ἰθάκης ἐπιλήσεται: αὐτὰρ Ὀδυσσεύς,
ἱέμενος καὶ καπνὸν ἀποθρῴσκοντα νοῆσαι
ἧς γαίης, θανέειν ἱμείρεται. οὐδέ νυ σοί περ
ἐντρέπεται φίλον ἦτορ,  Ὀλύμπιε. οὔ νύ τ᾽ Ὀδυσσεὺς      60
Ἀργείων παρὰ νηυσὶ χαρίζετο ἱερὰ ῥέζων
Τροίῃ ἐν εὐρείῃ; τί νύ οἱ τόσον ὠδύσαο, Ζεῦ;

[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 1.44–79 on Perseus
Odyssey 1.44–62 on Scaife

‘Reading Homer’ series