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.
ODYSSEY CHAT FOUR
Cornelius: I am dropping by to give encouragement and the like...
Nestor: I got a gram from Torrey who said she probably wasn't going
to make it.
Stuyvesant: Hello everyone.
Cornelius: Well i wil post another notice at forum that the group is
about to start.
Stuyvesant: Ricardex, thanks for letting me know about the FB book
Nestor: Hi Petra...
Stuyvesant: Hi Maia!
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...
Nestor: Well, hopefully it won't run past then. I, too, have a gazillion
things to do.
Cornelius: Well I hope you get some folks in, i myself have to run,am
preparing a meal.
Nestor: Well, we'll give it a few, Ric.
Stuyvesant: I like you new banner Maia, did you make it yourself?
Nestor: Oh no...I'm hopeless at that stuff. Hetaira Lysias made it
Stuyvesant: Very dramatic, I like that!
Cornelius: The site is becoming more artistic, you should visit the
site of the of Medicine Man Yupaniqui
Cornelius: he has sound.....
Nestor: She is immensely talented.
Stuyvesant: I think Petronilla said she'd try to attend today.
12:08 Hetaira Lysias enters...
Lysias: Hola folks!
Nestor: Speak of the devil...
Stuyvesant: Hello Hetaira
Lysias: Geez, my ears are burning. *wry grin*
Stuyvesant: I like tha banner you made for Maia
Nestor: Petra just asked me about my patron ad...
Lysias: Devil? Hardly. :)
Nestor: Okay okay, speak of the hetaira...
Lysias: Thanks P, I thought I'd try my hand at animated gifs, maia's
turned out pretty good despite my best efforts. ;)
Stuyvesant: I want to learn how to make those (animated gifs)
they look fun
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. :)
Cornelius: We are getting a new person applying now to join your chat,
hold on and i will let them in.
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?
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
12:14 Ricardex Cornelius enters...
Stuyvesant: I just let my friend Alwyn know we are starting, I don't
know if he's gotten my gram
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*
Cornelius: The person is now admitted
Stuyvesant: Hetaira, that's from Moyra's web jewels moyra.com simple
url I think
Lysias: But book 13 I can discuss at length. *grin*
Cornelius: Gorgo Cleomenes i snew person.
Nestor: If past chats are any indication, we'll be lucky if we get
past the first book.
Lysias: Oooh great, I'll hafta go check her page out, thanks.
Nestor: ICQ crashed on me about an hour ago, H, and can't get back
Lysias: THAT would explain why your ignoring me M, I was about to take
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.
Lysias: Your ghost just dropped off ICQ, btw, m
12:18 Gorgo Cleomenes enters...
Lysias: Gotta love ICQ, free and worth every penny.
Stuyvesant: So, does ICQ stand for "I Seek You"?
Cleomenes: Greetings, group.
Hola Gorgo, pleesedtomeetcha
Stuyvesant: Hello Gorgo
Cleomenes: Indeed, Hetaira. Likewise.
12:19 Ioannis Nestor enters...
Lysias: Yeppers P, ain't it cute? I seek you, I get knocked off you,
I watch my messages spin for days...like I said, worth every penny.
Nestor: And now Ioannis! The Wanax himself!
Cleomenes: Shhh, Maia.
Nestor: Greetings everybody!
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...
Nestor: LOL, H! I don't know if you folks know, but Torrey grammed
and said she was going to go to sleep...
Nestor: What is your group, Petra?
Nestor: Nice to see you Maia, Petra and everybody else! What's up?
Lysias: Sleep is for sissies...I have coffee, thanks. ;)
Cornelius: Well gang I have to run the demands of preparing a
Sunday meal cal, enjoy!
Cleomenes: Bye Ricardex.
Lysias: Tootles Ric. *waving*
12:22 Ricardex Cornelius exits...
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 :^)
Lysias: I always thought you could have a helluva scavenger hunt here....sounds
like fun P. :)
Nestor: Petra, it sounds very interesting (not like that lousy Cup)!
Nestor: Well, do you think we should get started? Or not? I'm open
for suggestions....or not.
Nestor: I've spent a fortune...
Stuyvesant: Yes, please maia
Nestor: On what, Io?
Stuyvesant: on the cup I bet!
12:25 Athenia Glaucon enters...
Nestor: That bloody Cup :(
Glaucon: Greetings friends!
Lysias: Run with it maia, I'm here because I've heard your such a great
Nestor: Okay, Book 13...Odysseus comes to Scheria...Athenia! The oracle
Stuyvesant: Hello Athenia
Cleomenes: Greetings, Athenia!
Nestor: How empowering of you H!
Lysias: Hola Chica!!!
Glaucon: Right - I will be channeling the Muses today. Just kidding
Nestor: XAIPE Athenia!
Glaucon: Gorgo! Its been a while
Lysias: Well ya know, when in doubt, validate. *grin*
Lysias: CBS or ABC Athenia?
Glaucon: Hetaira, Iaonnis...<nodding regally, then throwing arms
wide for hugs>
Nestor: She does do that regal nod thing well, doesn't she?
Glaucon: ESPN, Het. :-)
Lysias: Wow...Muses on ESPN...have they been syndicated?
Nestor: Okay okay! Attention class! *rapping on the blackboard* Book
Nestor: *sigh* I have no control...
Glaucon: First ones to syndicate - oh, and Hercales on MSG.
Glaucon: Sorry, Maia...
Lysias: Oh sorry, silliness came a knocking and I answered. *sheepish
Cleomenes: *looks down, shuffling her feet* Sorry, sis.
Lysias: I hate when that happens.
Nestor: Yeah, A, stop falming around!
Nestor: Now where were we?
Lysias: Yeah, Athenia did it! :'
Nestor: Odysseus comes to Corfu...
Nestor: Quite frankly, I haven't a clue how to facilitate. So if anyone
wants to say anything....RELEVANT! feel free...
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
Cleomenes: So, can does anyone see the womb connection in this book?
Nestor: Are we sure that Corfu is the island of Alkinoos?
Lysias: There's a womb? *shuffling pages frantically*
Cleomenes: Sorry--momentary loss of sanity.
Stuyvesant: You guys are out there!
Nestor: No, Ioannis...and I was gonna ask you about that. I think it
was, but the jury is still out...
Glaucon: Not entirely my own silliness, I see. (I'll be wandering in
and out, forgive me)
Lysias: *looking around* I don't feel out there.
Nestor: Well, oracles have to wander, don't they, A? Isn't it a mandate?
Lysias: Athenia, your a tease. :)
Glaucon: Maybe its not Corfu, but when have you seen an *ugly* Greek
Nestor: The Phaecians originally came to that island because of warring
with the Cyclops...
Nestor: Athenia, I'm Greek. All the islands are fab!
Cleomenes: True, Maia. That was the interesting contrast between civilized
Lysias: Cyclops, and I thought my neighbors were bad.
Stuyvesant: I know we are just starting, but I am lost already, where
does it say Corfu in this book?
Nestor: I wondered if it was designed, Scheria, to be an ideal society.
It certainly had idyllic qualities...
Cleomenes: Talk about bad neighbours!
Nestor: No, Petra...Corfu is the candidate most likely for Scheria.
The modern day Corfu.
Lysias: Don't believe it does Petra.
Cleomenes: I think so. It demonstrated all that was ideal.
Nestor: Petra, it doesn't...But most scholars tend to think that Corfu
is the island of Phaecians.
Lysias: Ideal in what sense Gorgo?
Stuyvesant: Okay, thanks, I am new at Epic reading, take things literally
at first until I understand thing more. :^)
Nestor: And Io, don't you think it interesting that Alkinoos says that
he is just one basileus out of 13...
Cleomenes: *glares at Hetaira* Oooh, give me a second. *smile*
Nestor: But the text hardly supports that.
Nestor: I think it's like Homer's version of the Garden of Eden.
Nestor: Hey guys what's your opinion about Homer's historical background?
Nestor: You mean was he blind? From Chios?
Nestor: I have no clue, but clearly he knew something about the geography
Glaucon: Or his own understanding of history?
Nestor: I mean, can we accept him as a historian?
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.
Nestor: No, I don't think he was an historian, per se...
Lysias: Ummm, at first glance, I wouldn't. Amazing storyteller, yes,
but his geography and weather patterns just confuses me.
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.
Glaucon: Historian in the oral tradition, maybe. Not historian as we
Glaucon: Bardic historian...
Lysias: Yeah, what A said. :)
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.
Glaucon: Conveying history orally is like a giant game of telephone.
Stuyvesant: Now at the last chat we discussed whether "he" really exisited
as a single man, woman, etc.
Nestor: Homer as a woman? I doubt it...
Lysias: without the tin cans and fishing line. :)
Nestor: Well, I don't even believe that the Iliad and the Odyssey were
written by the same person(s)...
Nestor: That was Samuel Butler, and followed up by Graves.
Glaucon: (Aside to Hetaira: OKAY, you can be my official court jester
when I'm Rep.)
Stuyvesant: I've heard that in other places too, Ioannis
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.
Lysias: Thank you, 'bout time you noticed my scintillating wit. *mock
Nestor: Well Petra, there are two real schools of thought about that.
Nestor: Hetaira, we all know that you are scintillating!
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.
Nestor: I believe that these epics were the first attempts of the Geometric
basileis to get connected with the Mycenaean aristocracies.
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?
Glaucon: Playing telephone...
Nestor: Yet Io, there are certainly Bronze Age connections in the work...the
boars tusk helmet, the Dendra armour....
12:46 Petronilla Livius enters...
Lysias: Yeah, what A said (Zeus wasn't too nice to people who treated
Nestor: Yes, H...and we don't know how much Peisistratos, who sort
of codified them, changed them.
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.
Glaucon: Because its about *us.*
Nestor: There are those who believe that Book 2 in the Iliad, the Catalogue
of Ships, is an authentic Bronze Age document.
Livius: Hello all -I'll catch up with you all soon
Glaucon: Achilles and his ilk aren't us, Odysseus is.
Nestor: That's what I mean Maia...The hero cults and these epics are
both an early Geometric phenomenon.
Glaucon: Hi Petronilla...
Nestor: Well, P, we were very lucky. And Homer is a canvas, isn't he?
You can see what you want there...it's a masterful work, Homer's corpus.
Nestor: Yet it is my understanding that many aspects of the the Bronze
Age had been lost by the Geometric period...
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.
Nestor: And I agree with that last, Athenia!
Stuyvesant: Hello my friend!
Lysias: Everything is a canvas, if you choose to live your life symbolically.
Have an acorn, learn the universe. :)
Glaucon: I have to leave for a moment - I'll return shortly
Nestor: But Alkinoos did it anyway...and although Poseidon threatend
to ring the island, he didn't carry that out. Just petrified the ship...
Cleomenes: Okay, apparently, I must have the edited, abridged version
of The Odyssey. I'm lost....
Nestor: Yes, Hetaira, that's true.
Nestor: Yes, but the Dark Ages elites were 'hungry' for relations with
the Mycenaean elites...
Lysias: Promises, promises Athenia. *grin*
Stuyvesant: Yes, I respect him for that, for being kind and moral even
though he knew it might bring misfortune eventually
Nestor: Sorry Gorgo...maybe we should stick with the Odyssey and leave
the other speculations aside for the nonce.
Nestor: That was guest friendship, Petra...hospitality was paramount.
Stuyvesant: (sorry) Testing testing 1,2 3
12:54 Gorgo Cleomenes enters...
Nestor: Gift-exchanges were common during the LBA and Dark Ages.
12:54 maia Nestor enters...
Stuyvesant: What is LBA, Ioannis?
Nestor: Late Bronze Age
Nestor: An aspect of Zeus, Zeus Horkios, I think, was the protector
Stuyvesant: okay (makes sense to me know *smile*)
Lysias: Yup, patron of strangers/guests, which seems to be used interchangably
in the book.
Livius: The swineherd Eumaeus says every stranger and beggar comes
Nestor: Gift-exchanges were a means of acquring more status...
Cleomenes: Xenos, I believe, means guest, host, stranger...etc...
Nestor: Maybe it was Xenos, Gorgo. I defer to you...
Lysias: But I thought Barbarian roughly translated to Stranger?
Nestor: So what did you all think of the character of Nausikaa? There
is mythological tradition that she ended by marrying Telemachos...
Nestor: Of course, there is also myth that he married Nestor's daughter,
Cleomenes: No, barbarian is barbaros.
Lysias: Huh, okay, thanks Gorgo. :)
Nestor: So a barbarian could be a stranger, though...although not exclusively?
Lysias: Shades of Melrose Place.
Nestor: Hey guys why don't you visit my oikos and have a look at my
Cleomenes: I think barbarian basically denotes that it is a non-Greek
speaker. A Xenos could be greek.
Lysias: Maybe it's more barbarian as in foreigner?
Nestor: In Classical Greece barbarians were those who didn't speak
Glaucon: Wouldn't the idea of stranger protection include , primarily,
Nestor: You have great links, Ioannis.
Cleomenes: Well, I think the idea behind xenia and the giving of xeneia,
is the fact that your guest could be a god.
Cleomenes: Ioannis, well then I defer. What was a barbarian in Homeric
Lysias: Okay Ioannis, I'm taking the hint. *grin*
Nestor: I'm not sure if Homer uses that word...
Nestor: Well since I have about zero Greek...I'll defer to Io and 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.
Nestor: A xenos could be anyone that don't belong to the same kingroup...
Cleomenes: I'm sure it is.
13:05 maia Nestor enters...
Nestor: Boy I keep entering and I didn't even know I had left! Neat
Nestor: You know, gang, if we don't discuss the Odyssey at some point,
Torrey will implode!
Stuyvesant: Yup, waiting to talk about the book
Nestor: Have any thoughts, Petra?
Stuyvesant: I like Book 13 when O finally reaches Ithaca
Lysias: Keen villa you've got Ioannis, isn't the Perseus Project sweet?
Nestor: Yep Hetaira...It's great!
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.
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.
Stuyvesant: I agree with you A.
Cleomenes: Well, I think I'll take my leave. I have little to add.
Take care all!
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.
Stuyvesant: What I especially like about this part of the story is
how Odyseus and Athene really form a partnership
Lysias: Don't go Gorgo!
Stuyvesant: Face to face, both shape shifting and having a good time
plotting and planning
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.
Nestor: Oh Gorgo!
Cleomenes: My feeble mind can't hack the conversation today, unless
there are more monosyllabic words.
Lysias: Yup, he's quite crafty, for a man. *ducking*
Stuyvesant: You seem upset about his lying, Maia.
Lysias: Feeble mind, yeah anyway. Stay Gorgo. *firm look*
Stuyvesant: Isn't there a lot of deception and subterfuge in this book
Nestor: Oh no, I LOVE his lying! He is a trip! He does whatever he
has to in order to survive, to beat odds.
Nestor: Gorgo=feeble mind? Just doesn't compute.
Stuyvesant: okay, <i>hard to hear tone in email</i>
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*
Glaucon: Grunt, Gorgo, grunt.
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.
Cleomenes: As evidenced from above....Anyway, the main thing about
his lies is that they are simply CREDIBLE.
Lysias: Stop that Athenia, your turning me on. ;)
chat four continued
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