HOMER
ODYSSEY

 

Translated by Ian Johnston, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

 

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BOOK TWO
TELEMACHUS PREPARES FOR HIS VOYAGE

[Telemachus summons all the Achaeans to an assembly; Aegyptius speaks first; Telemachus complains about the suitors and threatens them; Antinous replies, blaming Penelope, describing how she has deceived the suitors, and issuing an ultimatum to Telemachus; Telemachus says he will never send his mother away; Zeus sends two eagles as an omen; Halitherses prophesies trouble for the suitors; Eurymachus replies with a threat and an ultimatum; Telemachus announces his intention of making a sea voyage; Telemachus prays to Athena, who reappears as Mentor and gives instructions for the trip; the suitors mock Telemachus; Telemachus tells Eurycleia to prepare supplies for the voyage; Athena organizes a ship and a crew for Telemachus and puts the suitors to sleep; Telemachus and the crew collect the supplies, load them onboard, and sail away from Ithaca.]

As soon as rose-fingered early Dawn appeared,
Odysseus’s dear son jumped out of bed and dressed.
He laced up lovely sandals on his shining feet
and carried a sharp sword hanging from his shoulders.
Then he left his room, his face resembling a god’s.
At once he asked the loud-voiced heralds to summon
all the long-haired Achaeans to an assembly.
They issued the call, and the Achaeans answered,
gathering quickly. When the assembly had convened,
Telemachus moved directly to the meeting,                                     10      [10]
gripping a bronze-tipped spear. He was not by himself—
two swift-footed hunting dogs accompanied him.
Athena cast down over him a god-like poise—
all the people were astonished at his presence,
as he entered and sat down in his father’s chair,
while the senior men gave way. Among those present,
heroic Aegyptius was the first to speak,
an old man stooped with age, but infinitely wise.
His son, warrior Antiphus, had sailed to Troy,
that horse-rich city, along with lord Odysseus,                               20
in their hollow ships. But in his cave the cyclops,
after killing him, had made him his final meal.                                        [20]
Aegyptius had three other sons. One of them,
Eurynomus, was with the suitors. The other two
were always working in their father’s fields. But still,
Aegyptius could not forget the son who died.(1)
And now, still racked with grief and mourning, he shed tears
as he addressed them:

                                     “You men of Ithaca,
pay attention to what I have to say.
We have not held a general meeting                                       30
or assembly since the day Odysseus
sailed from here in his hollow ships. What man
has made us gather now? What’s his reason?
Is he a younger or a senior man?
Has he heard some news about the army                                       [30]
and will give us details of its journey home,
now that he has heard the news himself?
Or is it some other public business
he will bring up and talk to us about?
He has my blessing! I pray that Zeus                                       40
fulfils whatever he has in his heart
and makes his wishes work out for the best.”

 Aegyptius spoke. Odysseus’ dear son rejoiced
at such auspicious words. But he did not sit long,
for he was very keen to speak. So he stood up
in the midst of the assembly, and Peisenor,
a herald who could offer shrewd advice, handed him
the sceptre.(2) Then Telemachus began to speak,
talking to Aegyptius first of all:

                                                       “Old man,                                      [40]
the one who called the people to this meeting                      50
is not far off, as you will quickly learn.
I did. For I’m a man who suffers more
than other men. But I have no reports
of our returning army, no details
I’ve just heard myself to pass on to you,
nor is there any other public business
I will mention or discuss. The issue now
is my own need, for on my household here
troubles have fallen in a double sense.
First, my noble father’s perished, the man                              60
who was once your king and my kind father.
And then there’s an even greater problem,
which will quickly and completely shatter
this entire house, and my whole livelihood
will be destroyed. These suitors, the dear sons                             [50]
of those men here with most nobility,
are pestering my mother against her will.
They don’t want to journey to her father,
Icarius, in his home, where he himself
could arrange a bride price for his daughter                          70
and give her to the man he feels he likes,
the one who pleases him the most. Instead,
they hang around our house, day after day,
butchering oxen, well fed goats, and sheep.
They keep on feasting, drinking gleaming wine
without restraint, and they consume so much.
There’s no man to guard our home from ruin,
as Odysseus did before. I cannot act
the way he used to and avert disaster.                                            [60]
If I tried, I would be hopeless, a man                                       80
who had not learned what courage is. And yet,
if I had power, I would defend myself,
because we can’t endure what’s happening.
My home is being demolished in a way
that is not right. You men should be ashamed.
You should honour other men, your neighbours,
who live close by. And you should be afraid
of anger from the gods, in case their rage
at your impiety turns them against you.
I beg you by Olympian Zeus and Themis,                               90
who summons and disperses men’s assemblies,
restrain yourselves, my friends—leave me alone
to suffer my own bitter grief, unless                                                [70]
Odysseus, my noble father, for spite
has hurt well-armed Achaeans, and so now,
in recompense for this, you angry gods
are harming me by urging these men on.
For me it would be better if you gods
ate up my landed property and flocks.
If gods were the ones feasting here, then soon                       100
there might be compensation. All the time
they were doing that, we’d walk up and down,
throughout the city, asking for our goods
to be returned, until the day each piece
was given back. But now you load my heart
with pain beyond all hope.”

                                                    Telemachus spoke,                                   [80]
then in his anger threw the sceptre on the ground
and burst out crying. Everyone there pitied him,
so all the other men kept silent, unwilling
to give an angry answer to Telemachus.                                            110
Antinous was the only one to speak. He said:

“Telemachus you boaster, your spirit
is too unrestrained. How you carry on,
trying to shame us, since you so desire
the blame should rest on us. But in your case,
Achaean suitors aren’t the guilty ones.
Your own dear mother is, who understands
how to use deceit. It’s been three years now—
and soon it will be four—since she began
to deceive the hearts in our Achaean chests.                          120    [90]
She gives hope to each of us, makes promises
to everyone, and sends out messages.
But her intent is different. In her mind
she has thought up another stratagem.
She had a large loom set up in her rooms
and started weaving something very big,
with thread that was quite thin. She said to us:

‘Young men, those of you who are my suitors,
since Odysseus is dead, you must wait,
although you are all keen for me to marry,                   130
till I complete this cloak—for if I don’t,
my weaving would be wasted and in vain.
It is a shroud for warrior Laertes,
for the day a lethal fate will strike him.(3)                             [100]
Then none of the Achaean women here
will be annoyed with me because a man
who acquired so many rich possessions
would lie without a shroud.’

                                                         That’s what she said.
And our proud hearts agreed. And so each day
she wove at her great loom, but every night                           140
she set up torches and pulled the work apart.
Three years she fooled Achaeans with this trick.
They trusted her. But as the seasons passed,
the fourth year came. Then one of her women
who knew all the details spoke about them,
and we caught her undoing her lovely work.
So then we forced her to complete the cloak                                 [110]
against her will. The suitors now say this,
so you, deep in your heart, will understand
and all Achaeans know—send your mother back.                 150
Tell her she must marry whichever man
her father tells her and who pleases her.
But if she keeps on doing this for long,
teasing Achaea’s sons because in her heart
she knows that she’s been given by Athena,
more than any other woman, a skill
in making lovely things, a noble heart,
and cunning of a sort we never hear of
in any fair-haired woman of Achaea,
even the ones who lived so long ago—                                     160
like Tyro, Alcmene, and Mycene,                                                     [120]
the woman who wore the lovely headband—
not one of them had shrewdness which could match
Penelope’s.(4) Yet in one thing at least
her scheme did not go well. Your livelihood
and your possessions will keep vanishing
as long as in her mind she follows plans
the gods have now put in her heart. And so,
while she is gaining a fine reputation,
you’re sad about so much lost sustenance.                            170
But we are not returning to our lands,
or someplace else, not until she marries
an Achaean man of her own choosing.”

Prudent Telemachus then answered him and said:

“Antinous, there’s no way I will dismiss                                          [130]
out of this house against her will the one
who bore and nursed me. As for my father,
he’s in a distant land, alive or dead.
It would be hard for me to compensate
Icarius with a suitable amount,                                               180
as I would have to do, if I sent her back.
If I did not pay him, then her father
would treat me badly, and some deity
would send other troubles, since my mother,
as she left this house, would call upon
the dreaded Furies.(5) Men would blame me, too.
That’s why I’ll never issue such an order.
And if your heart is angry about this,
then leave my home, go have your feasts elsewhere.
Eat up your own possessions, changing homes,                     190    [140]
one by one. But if you think it’s better,
more in your interests, that one man’s goods
should all be consumed without repayment,
then use them up. But I will call upon
immortal gods to ask if somehow Zeus
will give me retribution. Then you’ll die
here in my home and never be avenged.”

Telemachus spoke. Then from a mountain peak
far-seeing Zeus replied by sending out two eagles,
flying high up in the sky. For some time they soared,                      200
like gusts of wind, with their wings spread out, side by side.
But when they reached the middle of the crowded meeting,                 [150]
suddenly they beat their wings and wheeled around,
swooping down on everyone, destruction in their eyes.
Then with their talons they attacked each other
clawing head and neck, and flew off on the right,
past people’s homes, across the town. They were amazed
to see both birds with their own eyes. In their hearts
they were stirred up to think how everything would end.

Then old warrior Halitherses, Mastor’s son,                                     210
addressed them. He surpassed all men of his own time
in knowledge about birds and making prophecies
of what Fate had in store. With their common good in mind,                [160]
he spoke up:

                           “Listen to me, men of Ithaca.
Hear what I say. In what I’m going to speak,
I’m talking to the suitors most of all.
A mighty ruin is rolling over them.
For Odysseus will not be away for long
from his own friends. In my view, even now
he’s near by, planning a disastrous fate                                  220
for all the suitors. And he’ll be a scourge
to many others in sun-filled Ithaca.
Long before that we should be considering
how to stop this. Or rather, these suitors
should end it by themselves. That would achieve
what’s best for them and do so right away.
For I am not unskilled in prophecy—                                              [170]
I understand things well. To Odysseus
I say that everything is turning out
just as I told him. Back when Achaeans,                                 230
with resourceful Odysseus in their ranks,
were sailing off to Troy, I prophesied
he’d suffer many troubles and would lose
all his shipmates before returning home
in twenty years, unknown to anyone.
Now everything I said is coming true.”

Then Eurymachus, Polybus’s son, spoke out:

“Old man, you should go home and prophesy
to your own children, so that something bad
does not happen to them later. In these things                     240
I can foretell events better than you can.                                        [180]
There are lots of birds flying here and there
beneath the sunshine, and not all of them
are omens of disaster. Odysseus
has perished far away, and how I wish
you had died there with him. For if you had,
you would not utter prophecies like these
or be encouraging Telemachus
when he’s enraged, in hopes you’ll get a gift,
some present he might give you for your house.                    250
But I tell you this—and it will happen.
You may know many things an old man knows,
so if your words deceive a younger man
made him grow enraged, then, first of all,                                      [190]
he’ll be much worse off, and, with these men here,
will not have the slightest power to act.
And on you, old man, we’ll lay a penalty
that will pain your heart to pay—your sorrow
will be difficult to bear. But now here,
among you all, I will myself provide                                         260
Telemachus advice. He must command
his mother to return home to her father.
They will prepare a wedding, offering
as many lovely presents as befit
a well-loved daughter. Before that happens,
I do not think Achaea’s sons will end
their unwelcome wooing, for there’s no one
we’re afraid of yet—not Telemachus,                                               [200]
for all his wordiness—nor do we care
about a prophecy which you, old man,                                   270
may spout. For it won’t come to fruition,
and people will despise you all the more.
And his possessions will be eaten up
in this shameful way. There will never be
compensation given, so long as she
keeps putting off Achaeans in this marriage.
Because she’s so desirable, we wait here,
day after day, as rivals, and don’t seek
different women, any one of whom
might be suitable for us to marry.”                                           280

Shrewd Telemachus then said in reply:

                                                  “Eurymachus,
all you other noble suitors, no longer
will I make requests of you or speak of it,                                           [210]
for gods and all Achaeans understand.
Just give me a swift ship and twenty men—
so I can make a journey and return
to various places, to sandy Pylos,
then to Sparta, to see if I can find
some news about my father’s voyage home—
he’s been gone so long—if any mortal man                             290
can tell me. Or I’ll hear Zeus’s voice perhaps,
which commonly provides men information.
If I hear my father is still living
and returning home, I could hold out here
for one more year, although it’s hard for me.
If I learn he’s dead and gone, I’ll come back                                    [220]
to my dear native land, build him a tomb,
and there perform as many funeral rites
as are appropriate. And after that,
I will agree—she must choose a husband.”                            300

Telemachus said this, then sat down. Next Mentor,
who had been noble Odysseus’s companion,
stood up among them. When he sailed off in his ships,
Odysseus had made Mentor steward of his household,
charging them to follow what the old man ordered
and telling Mentor to keep all property secure.
Keeping in mind their common good, he spoke to them:

“Men of Ithaca, listen now to me.
Hear the things I have to say. From now on                                  [230]
let no king ever be considerate                                               310
or kind or gentle. Let him in his heart
ignore what is right, act with cruelty,
and strive for evil, for nobody here,
none of those whom divine Odysseus ruled,
remembers him, yet in his role as father,
he was compassionate. Not that I object
to these proud suitors and the violent acts
which they, with their malicious minds, commit,
for they are putting their own heads at risk,
when they use force to drain Odysseus’ home                     320
of its resources and claim he won’t return.
But at this point it’s the other people
I am angry with, you who sit in silence                                          [240]
and don’t say anything to criticize
or make the suitors stop, even though
their numbers are much smaller than your own.”

Leocritus, son of Euenor, spoke in reply:

“Mentor, you’re making mischief now, your wits
have wandered off. What are you suggesting,
urging men to stop us? It would be hard                               330
to fight against those who outnumber you—
and about a feast. Even if Odysseus,
king of Ithaca, were to come in person,
eager in his heart to drive out of his halls
these noble suitors eating up his home,
his wife would not rejoice at his arrival,
although she yearned for him. For if he fought
against so many men, then he would meet                                    [250]
a shameful death right here. What you’ve just said
is quite irrelevant. So come on now,                                       340
you people should disperse, each one of you
returning to his home. And Telemachus—
well, Mentor and Halitherses, comrades
of his ancestral house from years ago,
will speed him on his way. But still, I think
he will be sitting here a long time yet,
collecting his reports in Ithaca.
He’s never going to undertake that trip.”

Leocritus spoke, and the meeting soon dissolved.
The men dispersed, each one going to his own house.                    350
The suitors went inside godlike Odysseus’ home.

Telemachus walked away, along the ocean shore.                                    [260]
There, once he’d washed his hands in grey salt water,
to Athena he addressed this prayer:

                                          “O hear me,
you who yesterday visited my home
as a god and ordered me to set off
in a swift ship across the murky seas,
to learn about my father’s voyage back
after being away so long. All this
Achaeans are preventing, most of all,                                     360
the suitors with their evil arrogance.”

As he said this prayer, Athena appeared to him,
looking and sounding just like Mentor. She spoke out—
her words had wings:

                                          “Telemachus,                                         [270]
in future days you will not be worthless
or a stupid man, if you have in you now
something of your father’s noble spirit.
He’s the sort of man who, in word and deed,
saw things to their conclusion. So for you
this trip will not be in vain or pointless.                                  370
If you’re not sprung from Penelope and him,
then I have no hope that you’ll accomplish
what you desire to do. It’s true few men
are like their fathers. Most of them are worse.
Only very few of them are better.
But in future you’ll not be unworthy
or a fool, for you do not completely lack
Odysseus’s wisdom, so there is hope                                                   [280]
you will fulfil your mission. Set aside
what idiotic suitors have advised.                                           380
They lack all judgment, all sense of justice,
for they do not think of death, the dark fate
encircling them, when in a single day
they will all perish. You must not delay
that trip you wish to make. I am a friend
of your ancestral home, so much so that I
will furnish a fast ship for you and come
in person with you. Now you must go home.
Mingle with the suitors. Collect provisions,
and put everything in some containers—                               390
wine in jars and barley, which strengthens men,                           [290]
in thick leather sacks. I’ll go through the town
and quickly round up a group of comrades,
all volunteers. In sea-girt Ithaca,
I’ll choose from the many ships, new and old,
the finest one for you, and when that ship
has been made ready and is fit to sail,
we’ll launch it out into the wine-dark sea.”

Athena, Zeus’s daughter, ended her advice.
Telemachus did not remain there very long,                                    400
once he had heard what the goddess said. He set off
towards his home, a weight upon his heart, and there
he found the arrogant suitors in the palace,
all through the courtyard, skinning goats and singeing pigs.                 [300]
Antinous came up laughing at Telemachus.
He grabbed his hand and spoke to him:

                                                  “Telemachus,
you’re such a braggart—an untamed spirit.
You should never allow that heart of yours
to harbour any further nasty words
or actions. I think you should eat and drink,                          410
just as you did before. Achaeans here
will certainly see to it you acquire
all the things you need—some hand-picked oarsmen
and a ship, so you can quickly travel
to sacred Pylos in search of some report
about your noble father.”

                                                    Prudent Telemachus
then answered him and said:

                                    “Antinous,                                                        [310]
it’s quite impossible for me to eat
and stay quiet in your high-handed group
or enjoy myself with my mind at ease.                                     420
Is it not sufficient that in days past,
while I was so much younger, you suitors
consumed so much of my fine property?
But now that I’ve grown up and teach myself
by listening to others and my spirit
gets stronger here inside me, I will try
to counteract the wicked fate you bring,
either by going to Pylos, or else here,
in this community. For I will set out,
and the voyage which I have talked about                               430
will not be useless, even though I sail
as a passenger and not the master
of the ship or oarsmen. It seems to me
you think this will benefit the suitors.”                                           [320]

Telemachus spoke and casually pulled his hand
away from Antinous’ grasp. Meanwhile, the suitors,
preoccupied with feasting in the house, mocked him
and kept up their abusive insults. One of them,
some haughty, over-proud young man, would speak like this:

“It seems Telemachus really does intend                                440
to murder us. He’ll bring men to help him
back from sandy Pylos or from Sparta.
That’s how fearsome his resolution is.
Or else he wants to head off to Ephyre,
that rich land, so he can bring back from there
some lethal medicines and then mix them
in the wine bowl, and thus destroy us all.”                                     [330]

And after that another proud young man would say:

“Who knows whether he might destroy himself,
once he sets off in his hollow ship, roaming                           450
far away from friends, just like Odysseus?
If so, he’ll provide still more work for us.
We’ll have to split up everything he owns
and hand this palace over to his mother
and the man she marries.”

                               That’s how the suitors talked.
But Telemachus just walked away, going down
to the high-roofed chamber which stored his father’s wealth,
a wide and spacious place, bronze and gold in stacks,
and clothing packed in chests and stores of fragrant oil.
Huge jars of old sweet wine stood there—each one contained       460   [340]
drink fit for gods, none of it yet mixed with water—
arranged in rows along the wall, in case Odysseus,
after so many hardships, ever reached his home.
The close-fitting double doors were securely closed,
and day and night a female steward guarded it,
protecting everything, the shrewd Eurycleia,
daughter of Ops, Peisenor’s son. Telemachus
called her into the storage room, then said:

                                                     “Old Nurse,
pour out some sweet wine into jars for me,
the very best you’ve got after the stock                                  470    [350]
you’re planning to store here for Odysseus,
that ill-fated man, born from Zeus, in case,
after evading death and fate, he shows up
from somewhere. Fill twelve jars and fit them all
with covers. Pour me out some barley grain
in well-stitched leather sacks. Make sure there are
twenty measures of ground-up barley meal.
But keep this knowledge to yourself. Just get
all these things assembled. In the evening,
once my mother goes up into her room                                   480
to get some sleep, I’ll come to collect them.
I’m off to sandy Pylos and to Sparta,
to see if I can get some information
about my dear father travelling home,                                            [360]
if there is any news I can find out.”

Telemachus spoke. The dear nurse Eurycleia
let out a cry and began to weep. Then she spoke—
her words had wings:

                                                   “O my dear child,
how did this thought gain entry to your heart?
Where on this earth do you intend to roam,                          490
with you an only son and so well loved?
In some distant land among strange people
Odysseus, a man born from Zeus, has died.
As soon as you have left here, the suitors
will start their schemes to hurt you later on—
how they can have you killed by trickery
and then apportion out among themselves
all your possessions. You must remain here
to guard what’s yours. You don’t need to suffer
what comes from wandering the restless sea.”                       500    [370]

Shrewd Telemachus then answered her and said:

“Be brave, dear nurse, for I have not planned this
without help from a god. But you must swear
you won’t mention this to my dear mother,
until eleven or twelve days from now,
until she misses me or learns I’ve gone—
she must not mar her lovely face with tears.”

Once Telemachus said this, the old woman swore
a mighty oath by all the gods she’d tell no one.
When she had sworn and the oath had been completed,               510
she went immediately to pour wine into jars
and fill the well-stitched leather sacks with barley meal.                        [380]
Telemachus went up into the dining hall,
once more mingling in the company of suitors.

Then goddess Athena with the glittering eyes
thought of something else. Looking like Telemachus,
she roamed through the city. To every man
Athena met she issued the same instructions,
telling them to meet by the fast ship that evening.
Next, she asked Noemon, fine son of Phronius,                                520
for a swift ship, and he was happy to oblige.
Then the sun went down, and all the roads grew dark.
Athena dragged the fast ship down into the sea
and stocked it with supplies, all the materials                                         [390]
well-decked boats have stowed on board, and moved the ship
to the harbour’s outer edge. There they assembled,
that group of brave companions, and the goddess
filled them with new spirit in their hearts. Then Athena,
goddess with the gleaming eyes, thought of one more thing.
She set off, going to noble Odysseus’s home.                                   530
There she poured sweet drowsiness on all the suitors.
She made them wander around as they were drinking,
knocking wine cups from their hands. So once sweet Sleep
overpowered their eyes, the suitors felt an urge
not to stay sitting there for any length of time,
but to get themselves some rest down in the city.
Then bright-eyed Athena ordered Telemachus
to come outside, by the entrance to the spacious hall.                           [400]
In her voice and form she resembled Mentor:

“Telemachus, your well-armed companions                           540
are already sitting beside their oars,
waiting for you to launch the expedition.
Let’s be off, so we don’t delay the trip
a moment longer.”

                       With these words, Pallas Athena
quickly led the way, and Telemachus followed
in her footsteps. After they’d come down to the sea
and had reached the ship, on the shore they came across
their long-haired comrades. Telemachus spoke to them
with strength and power:

                   “Come, my friends, let’s gather                                      [410]
our supplies. They’ve already been piled up,                          550
all together in the hall. My mother
knows nothing of all this, and the women
of the household are in the dark, as well.
I’ve mentioned this to only one of them.”

After saying this, Telemachus led them away,
and the group then followed. They carried everything
to the well-decked ship and stowed it all in place,
as Odysseus’s dear son instructed them to do.
Then, with Athena going on board ahead of him,
Telemachus climbed in, too. She sat in the stern.                            560
Telemachus sat right beside her, as the men
untied the stern ropes and then clambered on board the ship,
each of them moving to a place beside an oar.
Bright-eyed Athena arranged a fair breeze for them,                              [420]
a strong West Wind blowing across the wine-dark sea.
Telemachus then called out to his companions
to set their hands to the ship’s rigging. Once they heard,
they went to work, raising the mast cut out of fir,
setting it in its hollow socket, securing it
with forestays, and hoisting the white sail high aloft                      570
with twisted ox-hide thongs. The belly of the sail
filled out with wind, and the crew were underway.
As the ship sliced through the swell on its way forward,
around the bow began the great song of the waves.
When they had lashed the rigging on that fast black ship,                     [430]
they set out bowls brimful of wine and poured libations
to the eternal ageless gods, and of them all
especially to Athena, Zeus’s bright-eyed child.
Then all night long and well beyond the sunrise,
their ship continued sailing on its journey.                                      580

 

ENDNOTES

(1) The adventures of Odysseus and his companions with the cyclops are told later in the poem, in Book 9. It is not clear how Aegyptius could have learned of his son’s death, since no one in Ithaca seems to have any knowledge of what has happened to Odysseus and his men since they left Troy. [Back to Text]

(2) In a traditional assembly a sceptre was passed to the man who was to speak next. [Back to Text]

(3) Laertes: Odysseus’s aging father, who lives alone on his farm grieving his son’s presumed death; lethal Fate: The life of a mortal was often depicted as a thread, woven by the three Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Atropos was responsible for cutting the thread, thus determining the length and end of one’s life. [Back to Text]

(4) Tyro, Alcmene, and Mycene are well known legendary figures. Tyro had sex with Poseidon, producing two twin sons Pelias and Neleus; Alcmene was the mother of Hercules (by Zeus) and Iphicles; Mycene was a daughter of Inachus. [Back to Text]

(5) The Furies are the goddess of blood revenge, particularly within the family. [Back to Text]

(6) The phrase “born from Zeus” is commonly linked to Odysseus. It is a tribute to his nobility and is not to be taken literally: Odysseus is not a mortal child of Zeus. [Back to Text]

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