Week 9!

Tuesday, 10/24 (in class, 11:10a-12:30p) Today we’re reading some original Greek text from line 19–42 of Book 9. Looks like we’ll be learning te Greek alphabet today. We’ve been asked to look over the Greek text and circle words we can identify.

melo… translated to English as “am of interest to all men”…. but really means he’s a concern to all human beings, he gets people’s attention because of his doloissin (trickery).

anthropos- human beings


guaya- Earth

Vince Tomaso

(Blackburn restaurant, 12:30p-2p)

My journal layouts seem to keep changing, but bear with me I’m just trying to see what works and makes for the most effective tool for studying for both quizzes and exams. We’re going to do the summary, then details format again. Because I’m reading the physical book now,

Book 9: Odysseus tells his story of what happened between leaving Troy and falling into the hands of Calypso. First him and his crew arrive at the land of the Ciconians, then to the land of the Lotus eaters, and then to the island of the Cyclopes. There he and his men are held captive, but he outsmarts them and uses the monster’s rams to escape. As they sail away, the Cyclops, Polyphemos, that held them captive throw boulders at them, and Ody is busy taunting him, so the monster runs to his dad and asks him to curse Ody. Turns out Polyphemos is Poseidon’s son, and this is why Poseidon hates him so much.

  • “Whoever of them ate the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus no longer wished to report or come back, but wanted to stay there among the Lotus Eater men to feed on lotus and forget return home.” (9.94–97) So lotus is a fancy name for some wild drug like LSD or something? Probably not a very accurate comparison drug-wise, but the point is, this plant is basically a drug, right?
  • “ Now we’ve reached your knees in supplication, in hope you’ll give some guest gift or even in a different way give a present, which is the right of strangers.” (9.266–268) I don’t think you’re supposed to let you guests even request for xenia, since you were supposed to already give it and with enthusiasm. This is probably another reason why they are not considered civilized. No manners.
  • Ambrosia apparently is the best thing ever. They keep saying it in reference to the best stuff. (Talking about how Cyclops described the wine given to him, and how the other monsters described their asleep)
  • Was Dawn more of a personality or even a goddess as opposed to a reference to the morning? (9.437)

Book 10: Next the men land on Aiolos, where they enjoy, stay for a month, and Ody receives a bag of wind to blow them straight home, but doesn’t tell his crew. With Ithaca on the horizon, the crew accidentally release the wind and they get blown backwards. Ody rows back to Aiolos and the king tells them he’s been cursed by the gods. Then they go to Lamos, and the king is cannibalistic. They leave and land on Circe’s island (take note of the name Eurylocos for a quiz!) and she turns his crew into pigs. Ody gets some magic stuff from Hermes so he wont also be turned into a pig, and agrees to have sex with her to release his men. When release time comes (After a year) Circe says they have to go to the underworld and visit Teiresias.

Wednesday, 11/25 (in Founders/Punchout, 3p-7p, 8:20p-11p)

Book 11: This book is solely about Odysseus’s trip to the underworld. That’s it. Talks about all the people he sees down there and learns some stuff too.

  • “I myself drew my sharp sword from beside my thigh and sat…” (11.48–49) Why would this man pull a sword against people that are ALREADY DEAD lmaooooo. Must’ve been scared shitless.
  • “Green terror seized me” (11.633) What?

Book 12: The men go back to Circe’s island and she gives the crew food and Ody instructions. He’s not to kill any of Helios’ cows, not to fight the sea monster Skylla but to go through her, to tie himself to the ship when they hear the song of the Sirens, and to cling onto a cliff when Charybdis does her swallowing. He doesn’t follow some of these instructions and loses his entire crew, then he loses his ship to Charybdis. He ends up on the island Ogygia where Calypso resides and rescues him. This is the end of his story.

Book 13: King Alkinoos’s men row Ody back to Ithaca in peace, but Poseidon sinks the ship afterwards by turning it into stone. Athene protects him from Poseidon and disguises him as a beggar so he can go into his town and no one will really notice him. Athene goes to get Telemachus.

Book 14: In this book he simply arrive to a herder’s home still disguised as a beggar and the herder tells him about his son and the suitors and Penelope. Ody makes up a biography but ensures the man Ody is coming back home, though hard to believe.


Why does Odysseus agree to tell his story to the Phaeacians?

I think he agrees to tell the story because he’s trying to most importantly get outta there. Defiance wouldn’t really aid this cause. Plus, the king had already seen him crying every time they spoke/sung about the Achaians. There’s nothing explicitly telling us his motives in the beginning of Chapter 9, when he initially begins his story, or at the end of Chapter 8 when the king asks him to tell him who he is and why he keeps crying.

What does it mean to be “civilized”? Are the people that Odysseus encounters in his wanderings civilized? Why or why not?

No, they (the Cyclopes) are not civilized. They have no idea how to sail the seas and also don’t know how to take care of the land, so they’ve resorted to herding sheep and rams. They “neither plow nor plant trees with their hands… they have neither advisory councils nor established laws.” So, what would be considered “civilized” would be people who have/participate in the aforementioned things/activities.

Odysseus goes to the underworld to find out how to get home. But what else does he learn in the process, about himself, about how the world works, or about what’s important in life?

Odysseus learns from Achilleus the value of life. He says that he would’ve rather been a poor farmer and still be alive than being dead buta ruler in the underworld. Agy tells him that women are basically treacherous beings, except for his wife, who he commends for being faithful all this time. He learns (and we learn) that the souls of the dead can still have emotion and be upset, such as Ajax, who had beef with Odysseus before he died. Some people who had done really bad things were still suffering in death. Tityus assaulted Leto, one of Zeus’s wives. Tityus now only laid on the ground of the underworld as two vultures picked at his body. Some people were stuck doing the strangest things that likely pertained to the reason of their death. You die in glory, you live in glory in the underworld. You die in sorrow or in a shameful way, the shame continues in the underworld.