The Odyssey Chats at Ancient Sites

Odyssey Chat Transcripts
Greek and Roman Mythology Pages from Ancient Sites by Tracy Marks

NOTE: Many Community members of "Athens" at Ancient Sites (which folded in 1999) participated in biweekly chats on the classics, including the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer. Later, several of us continued with the chats, studying The Metamorphoses by Ovid and other texts related to ancient Greek and Roman history. Many of these chats have been posted online by Tracy Marks (alias Torrey Philemon from Ancient Sites). Each participant maintains his/her own copyright; this material may not be reproduced.


11:59 Ricardex Cornelius: Hello.
12:00 maia Nestor: Hello...
12:00 Ricardex Cornelius: I am dropping by to give encouragement and the  like...
12:00 maia Nestor: I got a gram from Torrey who said she probably wasn't going to make it.
12:01 Petra Stuyvesant: Hello everyone.
12:01 Ricardex Cornelius: Well i wil post another notice at forum that the group is about to start.
12:01 Petra Stuyvesant: Ricardex, thanks for letting me know about the FB book poll.
12:01 maia Nestor: Hi Petra...
12:01 Petra Stuyvesant: Hi Maia!
12:02 Petra Stuyvesant: I can only stay until a little after 2 pm, my husband is babysitting until then, have to get back home so he can go out.
12:03 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
12:03 maia Nestor: Well, hopefully it won't run past then. I, too, have a gazillion things to do.
12:04 Ricardex Cornelius: Well I hope you get some folks in, i myself have to run,am preparing a meal.
12:04 maia Nestor: Well, we'll give it a few, Ric.
12:05 Petra Stuyvesant: I like you new banner Maia, did you make it yourself?
12:05 maia Nestor: Oh no...I'm hopeless at that stuff. Hetaira Lysias made it for me.
12:06 Petra Stuyvesant: Very dramatic, I like that!
12:08 Ricardex Cornelius: The site is becoming more artistic, you should visit the site of the of Medicine Man Yupaniqui
12:08 Ricardex Cornelius: he has sound.....
12:08 maia Nestor: She is immensely talented.
12:08 Petra Stuyvesant: I think Petronilla said she'd try to attend today.
12:08 Hetaira Lysias enters...
12:08 Ricardex Cornelius: hello.
12:08 Hetaira Lysias: Hola folks!
12:08 maia Nestor: Speak of the devil...
12:09 Petra Stuyvesant: Hello Hetaira
12:09 Hetaira Lysias: Geez, my ears are burning. *wry grin*
12:09 Petra Stuyvesant: I like tha banner you made for Maia
12:09 maia Nestor: Petra just asked me about my patron ad...
12:09 Hetaira Lysias: Devil? Hardly. :)
12:09 maia Nestor: Okay okay, speak of the hetaira...
12:10 Hetaira Lysias: Thanks P, I thought I'd try my hand at animated gifs, maia's turned out pretty good despite my best efforts. ;)
12:11 Petra Stuyvesant: I want to learn how to make those (animated gifs)  they look fun
12:12 Hetaira Lysias: Well, I used Ulead's animation factory, it's pretty user friendly and you can tweak with it for 30 days free before you have to purchase it. I can dig up an URL if you like. :)
12:12 Ricardex Cornelius: We are getting a new person applying now to join your chat, hold on and i will let them in.
12:12 Petra Stuyvesant: Thanks!
12:13 maia Nestor: Okay...well, we do need a few more people, don't you think? Or should we be Zen, the sound of one hand clapping and all that?
12:13 Hetaira Lysias: I saw your AS page from a post on Arachne I think, I love the background your using...that pearls and lace pattern...where did you find it?
12:14 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
12:14 Petra Stuyvesant: I just let my friend Alwyn know we are starting, I don't know if he's gotten my gram
12:14 Hetaira Lysias: Well, in all candor, I'm only on 15 at the moment, so I'll be faking dialogue for anything about 16. *sheepish grin*
12:14 Ricardex Cornelius: The person is now admitted
12:14 Petra Stuyvesant: Hetaira, that's from Moyra's web jewels simple url I think
12:15 Hetaira Lysias: But book 13 I can discuss at length. *grin*
12:15 Ricardex Cornelius: Gorgo Cleomenes  i snew person.
12:15 maia Nestor: If past chats are any indication, we'll be lucky if we get past the first book.
12:15 Hetaira Lysias: Oooh great, I'll hafta go check her page out, thanks.
12:16 maia Nestor: ICQ crashed on me about an hour ago, H, and can't get back on.
12:16 Hetaira Lysias: THAT would explain why your ignoring me M, I was about to take it personally.
12:18 maia Nestor: I clicked on to send you a message, actually, and my comp winked out! rebooted all by itself. And now it won't let me on at all.
12:18 Hetaira Lysias: Your ghost just dropped off ICQ, btw, m
12:18 Gorgo Cleomenes enters...
12:18 Hetaira Lysias: Gotta love ICQ, free and worth every penny.
12:19 Petra Stuyvesant: So, does ICQ stand for "I Seek You"?
12:19 Gorgo Cleomenes: Greetings, group.
12:19 Hetaira Lysias: Hola Gorgo, pleesedtomeetcha
12:19 Petra Stuyvesant: Hello Gorgo
12:19 Gorgo Cleomenes: Indeed, Hetaira. Likewise.
12:19 Ioannis Nestor enters...
12:20 maia Nestor: Gorgo!
12:20 Hetaira Lysias: Yeppers P, ain't it cute? I seek you, I get knocked off you, I watch my messages spin for I said, worth every penny.
12:20 maia Nestor: And now Ioannis! The Wanax himself!
12:20 Gorgo Cleomenes: Shhh, Maia.
12:20 Ioannis Nestor: Greetings everybody!
12:20 Petra Stuyvesant: Ioannis!!! I kneel at your feet in gratitude!  Thanks to you I can apply for my group.  Glad to see you.
12:21 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
12:21 maia Nestor: LOL, H! I don't know if you folks know, but Torrey grammed and said she was going to go to sleep...
12:21 maia Nestor: What is your group, Petra?
12:21 Ioannis Nestor: Nice to see you Maia, Petra and everybody else! What's up?
12:21 Hetaira Lysias: Sleep is for sissies...I have coffee, thanks. ;)
12:21 Ricardex Cornelius: Well gang I have to run the demands of preparing a  Sunday meal cal, enjoy!
12:21 Gorgo Cleomenes: Bye Ricardex.
12:22 Hetaira Lysias: Tootles Ric. *waving*
12:22 Ricardex Cornelius exits...
12:22 Petra Stuyvesant: New game/group I'm calling True Seekers, they mention it in this weeks AS news.  Game based on Letterboxing in the real world.  Hide and Seek online really.  Based my graphics on my Odyssey mindset too, boat in the ocean, nautical theme :^)
12:23 Hetaira Lysias: I always thought you could have a helluva scavenger hunt here....sounds like fun P. :)
12:23 Ioannis Nestor: Petra, it sounds very interesting (not like that lousy Cup)!
12:24 maia Nestor: Well, do you think we should get started? Or not? I'm open for suggestions....or not.
12:24 Ioannis Nestor: I've  spent a fortune...
12:24 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes, please maia
12:24 maia Nestor: On what, Io?
12:25 Petra Stuyvesant: on the cup I bet!
12:25 Athenia Glaucon enters...
12:25 Ioannis Nestor: That bloody Cup :(
12:25 Athenia Glaucon: Greetings friends!
12:25 Hetaira Lysias: Run with it maia, I'm here because I've heard your such a great facilitator. ;)
12:25 maia Nestor: Okay, Book 13...Odysseus comes to Scheria...Athenia! The oracle herself!
12:25 Petra Stuyvesant: Hello Athenia
12:25 Gorgo Cleomenes: Greetings, Athenia!
12:25 maia Nestor: How empowering of you H!
12:25 Hetaira Lysias: Hola Chica!!!
12:26 Athenia Glaucon: Right - I will be channeling the Muses today. Just kidding
12:26 Ioannis Nestor: XAIPE Athenia!
12:26 Athenia Glaucon: Gorgo! Its been a while
12:26 Hetaira Lysias: Well ya know, when in doubt, validate. *grin*
12:26 Hetaira Lysias: CBS or ABC Athenia?
12:26 Athenia Glaucon: Hetaira, Iaonnis...<nodding regally, then throwing arms wide for hugs>
12:27 Hetaira Lysias: *TackleHugsKissesCopAFeels!*
12:27 Gorgo Cleomenes: *lol*
12:27 maia Nestor: She does do that regal nod thing well, doesn't she?
12:27 Athenia Glaucon: ESPN, Het. :-)
12:27 Hetaira Lysias: Wow...Muses on ESPN...have they been syndicated?
12:27 maia Nestor: Okay okay! Attention class! *rapping on the blackboard* Book 13...
12:27 maia Nestor: *sigh* I have no control...
12:28 Athenia Glaucon: First ones to syndicate - oh, and Hercales on MSG.
12:28 Athenia Glaucon: Sorry, Maia...
12:28 Hetaira Lysias: Oh sorry, silliness came a knocking and I answered. *sheepish grin*
12:28 Gorgo Cleomenes: *looks down, shuffling her feet* Sorry, sis.
12:28 Hetaira Lysias: I hate when that happens.
12:28 maia Nestor: Yeah, A, stop falming around!
12:28 maia Nestor: Now where were we?
12:29 Hetaira Lysias: Yeah, Athenia did it! :'
12:29 maia Nestor: Odysseus comes to Corfu...
12:29 Gorgo Cleomenes: *roflmao*
12:30 maia Nestor: Quite frankly, I haven't a clue how to facilitate. So if anyone wants to say anything....RELEVANT! feel free...
12:31 Hetaira Lysias: Man, and how about those Phaecians? I definitely want to stay there the next time I'm cast adrift. They make Howard Johnson's look like a barnyard.
12:31 Gorgo Cleomenes: So, can does anyone see the womb connection in this book?
12:31 Ioannis Nestor: Are we sure that Corfu is the island of Alkinoos?
12:31 Hetaira Lysias: There's a womb? *shuffling pages frantically*
12:32 Gorgo Cleomenes: Sorry--momentary loss of sanity.
12:32 Petra Stuyvesant: You guys are out there!
12:32 maia Nestor: No, Ioannis...and I was gonna ask you about that. I think it was, but the jury is still out...
12:32 Athenia Glaucon: Not entirely my own silliness, I see. (I'll be wandering in and out, forgive me)
12:32 Hetaira Lysias: *looking around* I don't feel out there.
12:33 maia Nestor: Well, oracles have to wander, don't they, A? Isn't it a mandate?
12:33 Hetaira Lysias: Athenia, your a tease. :)
12:33 Athenia Glaucon: Maybe its not Corfu, but when have you seen an *ugly* Greek island
12:34 maia Nestor: The Phaecians originally came to that island because of warring with the Cyclops...
12:34 Ioannis Nestor: Athenia, I'm Greek. All the islands are fab!
12:35 Gorgo Cleomenes: True, Maia. That was the interesting contrast between civilized and uncivilized.
12:35 Hetaira Lysias: Cyclops, and I thought my neighbors were bad.
12:35 Petra Stuyvesant: I know we are just starting, but I am lost already, where does it say Corfu in this book?
12:35 maia Nestor: I wondered if it was designed, Scheria, to be an ideal society. It certainly had idyllic qualities...
12:35 Gorgo Cleomenes: Talk about bad neighbours!
12:35 maia Nestor: No, Petra...Corfu is the candidate most likely for Scheria. The modern day Corfu.
12:35 Hetaira Lysias: Don't believe it does Petra.
12:36 Gorgo Cleomenes: I think so. It demonstrated all that was ideal.
12:36 Ioannis Nestor: Petra, it doesn't...But most scholars tend to think that Corfu is the island of Phaecians.
12:36 Hetaira Lysias: Ideal in what sense Gorgo?
12:37 Petra Stuyvesant: Okay, thanks, I am new at Epic reading, take things literally at first until I understand thing more. :^)
12:37 maia Nestor: And Io, don't you think it interesting that Alkinoos says that he is just one basileus out of 13...
12:37 Gorgo Cleomenes: *glares at Hetaira* Oooh, give me a second. *smile*
12:37 maia Nestor: But the text hardly supports that.
12:37 maia Nestor: I think it's like Homer's version of the Garden of Eden.
12:38 Ioannis Nestor: Hey guys what's your opinion about Homer's historical background?
12:38 maia Nestor: You mean was he blind? From Chios?
12:39 maia Nestor: I have no clue, but clearly he knew something about the geography of Greece...
12:39 Athenia Glaucon: Or his own understanding of history?
12:39 Ioannis Nestor: I mean, can we accept him as a historian?
12:40 maia Nestor: And though he leaves out many things of the Mycenaean society (their bureaucracy) he does mention certain things that were Mycenaean, but weren't known in the Dark Ages, so he must have been building on tradition.
12:40 maia Nestor: No, I don't think he was an historian, per se...
12:40 Hetaira Lysias: Ummm, at first glance, I wouldn't. Amazing storyteller, yes, but his geography and weather patterns just confuses me.
12:40 Petra Stuyvesant: I feel badly for Alkinoos, here he followed the prescribed customs for honoring his guest, and he had to pay for it with the lives of his subjects and the difficult physical changes to his island.
12:40 Athenia Glaucon: Historian in the oral tradition, maybe. Not historian as we identify it.
12:41 Athenia Glaucon: Bardic historian...
12:41 Hetaira Lysias: Yeah, what A said. :)
12:41 Gorgo Cleomenes: Ioannis--I think to a certain degree. If you look at Book III, you can see the structure of sacrifice, synoikismos and xenia. I suppose he could be considered one of the first social historians.
12:42 Athenia Glaucon: Conveying history orally is like a giant game of telephone. :-)
12:42 Petra Stuyvesant: Now at the last chat we discussed whether "he" really exisited as a single man, woman, etc.
12:42 maia Nestor: Homer as a woman? I doubt it...
12:42 Hetaira Lysias: without the tin cans and fishing line. :)
12:43 Ioannis Nestor: Well, I don't even believe that the Iliad and the Odyssey were written by the same person(s)...
12:43 maia Nestor: That was Samuel Butler, and followed up by Graves.
12:43 Athenia Glaucon: (Aside to Hetaira: OKAY, you can be my official court jester when I'm Rep.)
12:43 Petra Stuyvesant: I've heard that in other places too, Ioannis
12:44 maia Nestor: Oh, Io, there we part company! I am more a traditionalist. I believe that one version is the work of a younger artist, the Odyssey the work of a more mature poet.
12:44 Hetaira Lysias: Thank you, 'bout time you noticed my scintillating wit. *mock huffy look*
12:44 maia Nestor: Well Petra, there are two real schools of thought about that.
12:44 maia Nestor: Hetaira, we all know that you are scintillating!
12:45 Athenia Glaucon: Petra, the concept of hospitality is always more complex than just being nice to strangers. In Greek lit, there are plenty of instances where hospitality leads to tragedy.
12:45 Ioannis Nestor: I believe that these epics were the first attempts of the Geometric basileis to get connected with the Mycenaean aristocracies.
12:45 Hetaira Lysias: Is it possible that the original works were Homers, but as it passed down from one bard to the next, the tone and texture changed? That would explain why they seem different now?
12:45 Athenia Glaucon: Playing telephone...
12:45 maia Nestor: Yet Io, there are certainly Bronze Age connections in the work...the boars tusk helmet, the Dendra armour....
12:46 Petronilla Livius enters...
12:46 Hetaira Lysias: Yeah, what A said (Zeus wasn't too nice to people who treated guests badly.)
12:46 maia Nestor: Yes, H...and we don't know how much Peisistratos, who sort of codified them, changed them.
12:46 Petra Stuyvesant: Honestly, though, I don't believe it matters who wrote it, all the details about that.  (I know it matters A LOT to some folks)  what is important to me is how a work like this could survive this long and influence so many other writers and artists--  that is what impresses me.
12:46 Athenia Glaucon: Because its about *us.*
12:46 maia Nestor: There are those who believe that Book 2 in the Iliad, the Catalogue of Ships, is an authentic Bronze Age document.
12:47 Petronilla Livius: Hello all -I'll catch up with you all soon
12:47 Athenia Glaucon: Achilles and his ilk aren't us, Odysseus is.
12:47 Ioannis Nestor: That's what I mean Maia...The hero cults and these epics are both an early Geometric phenomenon.
12:47 Athenia Glaucon: Hi Petronilla...
12:47 maia Nestor: Well, P, we were very lucky. And Homer is a canvas, isn't he? You can see what you want's a masterful work, Homer's corpus. Hi,Petronilla.
12:48 maia Nestor: Yet it is my understanding that many aspects of the the Bronze Age had been lost by the Geometric period...
12:48 Petra Stuyvesant: Atheina:  I guess what I what interested me was when Alkinoos reflects on his fathers premonition about the bad things that would befall the island if they honored all their guests.
12:48 maia Nestor: And I agree with that last, Athenia!
12:48 Petra Stuyvesant: Hello my friend!
12:49 Hetaira Lysias: Everything is a canvas, if you choose to live your life symbolically. Have an acorn, learn the universe. :)
12:49 Athenia Glaucon: I have to leave for a moment - I'll return shortly
12:49 maia Nestor: But Alkinoos did it anyway...and although Poseidon threatend to ring the island, he didn't carry that out. Just petrified the ship...
12:49 Gorgo Cleomenes: Okay, apparently, I must have the edited, abridged version of The Odyssey. I'm lost....
12:50 maia Nestor: Yes, Hetaira, that's true.
12:50 Ioannis Nestor: Yes, but the Dark Ages elites were 'hungry' for relations with the Mycenaean elites...
12:50 Hetaira Lysias: Promises, promises Athenia. *grin*
12:50 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes, I respect him for that, for being kind and moral even though he knew it might bring misfortune eventually
12:50 maia Nestor: Sorry Gorgo...maybe we should stick with the Odyssey and leave the other speculations aside for the nonce.
12:51 maia Nestor: That was guest friendship, Petra...hospitality was paramount.
12:53 Petra Stuyvesant: (sorry) Testing testing 1,2 3
12:54 Gorgo Cleomenes enters...
12:54 Ioannis Nestor: Gift-exchanges were common during the LBA and Dark Ages.
12:54 maia Nestor enters...
12:54 Petra Stuyvesant: What is LBA, Ioannis?
12:55 Ioannis Nestor: Late Bronze Age
12:55 maia Nestor: An aspect of Zeus, Zeus Horkios, I think, was the protector of guest-friendship.
12:55 Petra Stuyvesant: okay (makes sense to me know *smile*)
12:55 Hetaira Lysias: Yup, patron of strangers/guests, which seems to be used interchangably in the book.
12:56 Petronilla Livius: The swineherd Eumaeus says every stranger and beggar comes from Zeus
12:56 Ioannis Nestor: Gift-exchanges were a means of acquring more status...
12:56 Gorgo Cleomenes: Xenos, I believe, means guest, host, stranger...etc...
12:56 maia Nestor: Maybe it was Xenos, Gorgo. I defer to you...
12:56 Hetaira Lysias: But I thought Barbarian roughly translated to Stranger?
12:57 maia Nestor: So what did you all think of the character of Nausikaa? There is mythological tradition that she ended by marrying Telemachos...
12:58 maia Nestor: Of course, there is also myth that he married Nestor's daughter, and Circe.
12:58 Gorgo Cleomenes: No, barbarian is barbaros.
12:58 Hetaira Lysias: Huh, okay, thanks Gorgo. :)
12:59 maia Nestor: So a barbarian could be a stranger, though...although not exclusively?
12:59 Hetaira Lysias: Shades of Melrose Place.
13:00 Ioannis Nestor: Hey guys why don't you visit my oikos and have a look at my archaeological links?
13:00 Gorgo Cleomenes: I think barbarian basically denotes that it is a non-Greek speaker. A Xenos could be greek.
13:00 Hetaira Lysias: Maybe it's more barbarian as in foreigner?
13:00 Ioannis Nestor: In Classical Greece barbarians were those who didn't speak Greek...
13:00 Athenia Glaucon: Wouldn't the idea of stranger protection include , primarily, Hellenic strangers.
13:01 maia Nestor: You have great links, Ioannis.
13:01 Gorgo Cleomenes: Well, I think the idea behind xenia and the giving of xeneia, is the fact that your guest could be a god.
13:01 Gorgo Cleomenes: Ioannis, well then I defer. What was a barbarian in Homeric lingo?
13:01 Hetaira Lysias: Okay Ioannis, I'm taking the hint. *grin*
13:02 Ioannis Nestor: I'm not sure if Homer uses that word...
13:03 maia Nestor: Well since I have about zero Greek...I'll defer to Io and gorgo.
13:03 Gorgo Cleomenes: Well, I'm sure you know which one he does use. I was simply trying to explain the concept of barbarian with xenos.
13:04 Ioannis Nestor: A xenos could be anyone that don't belong to the same kingroup...
13:05 Gorgo Cleomenes: I'm sure it is.
13:05 maia Nestor enters...
13:06 maia Nestor: Boy I keep entering and I didn't even know I had left! Neat trick, that...
13:07 maia Nestor: You know, gang, if we don't discuss the Odyssey at some point, Torrey will implode!
13:07 Petra Stuyvesant: Yup, waiting to talk about the book
13:08 maia Nestor: Have any thoughts, Petra?
13:08 Ioannis Nestor: Why?
13:08 Petra Stuyvesant: I like Book 13 when O finally reaches Ithaca
13:08 Hetaira Lysias: Keen villa you've got Ioannis, isn't the Perseus Project sweet? :)
13:09 Ioannis Nestor: Yep Hetaira...It's great!
13:10 maia Nestor: And he meets Athena...and lies again. Recently, on Aegeanet and the Classics list, I think, they point out that everytime O lies, he says he's a Cretan.
13:10 Athenia Glaucon: The point I was making is that by helping Odysseus, the Phaecians incur the wrath of the Gods. So, its implied that you have to do the right thing, but there's always an element of danger in it.
13:11 Petra Stuyvesant: I agree with you A.
13:11 Gorgo Cleomenes: Well, I think I'll take my leave. I have little to add. Take care all!
13:11 Hetaira Lysias: So why does Athena keep Odysseus in the dark about being home?  He might lie, but Athena seemed to set the tone for it.
13:11 Petra Stuyvesant: What I especially like about this part of the story is how Odyseus and Athene really form a partnership
13:11 Hetaira Lysias: Don't go Gorgo!
13:12 Petra Stuyvesant: Face to face, both shape shifting and having a good time plotting and planning
13:12 maia Nestor: I think she wanted to see what he would do...and he doesn't disappoint her. He lies, and she thinks its wonderful. Because he does use his mind, his gifts...whatever it takes to survive.
13:12 maia Nestor: Oh Gorgo!
13:12 Gorgo Cleomenes: My feeble mind can't hack the conversation today, unless there are more monosyllabic words.
13:13 Hetaira Lysias: Yup, he's quite crafty, for a man. *ducking*
13:13 Petra Stuyvesant: You seem upset about his lying, Maia.
13:13 Hetaira Lysias: Feeble mind, yeah anyway. Stay Gorgo. *firm look*
13:13 Petra Stuyvesant: Isn't there a lot of deception and subterfuge in this book
13:13 maia Nestor: Oh no, I LOVE his lying! He is a trip! He does whatever he has to in order to survive, to beat odds.
13:14 maia Nestor: Gorgo=feeble mind? Just doesn't compute.
13:14 Petra Stuyvesant: okay, <i>hard to hear tone in email</i>
13:14 Hetaira Lysias: You could transplant him to New York and you know he'd be selling watches on a street corner.  Or something like that. *grin*
13:15 Athenia Glaucon: Grunt, Gorgo, grunt.
13:15 maia Nestor: O always has to get the lay of the land, so to speak. And it is one of his strengths. If he didn't resort to subterfuge, he'd be dead.
13:15 Gorgo Cleomenes: As evidenced from above....Anyway, the main thing about his lies is that they are simply CREDIBLE.
13:15 Hetaira Lysias: Stop that Athenia, your turning me on. ;)

chat four continued

GO TO: Odyssey Chat Transcripts
GO TO: Odyssey Chat Resource Pages
GO TO: Iliad chat transcripts