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 continued
Glaucon: He's got that salesman quality - intelligence, arrogance and
not small amount of contempt for his fellow human.
Nestor: Oh, Athenia always does that! LOL!
Stuyvesant: This is the point in the story that kinda matches up with
the famous footsteps in the sand poem about God carrying you when you needed
it most and you didn't know. Here O finds out all the things A has
been doing to try and get him home and keep his family safe.
Glaucon: Behave, Hetaira. <frowning, not too successfully>
Lysias: *batting eyelashes* This is as behaved as I get without my
Nestor: Well, Athena had abandoned him for quite a while. And I don't
see him as a salesman, Athenia...I think he's more Machiavellian in one
sense, but he's also very real. Cries real tears and all.
Lysias: Yeah, where was she during the Calypso sojourn?
Cleomenes: Maybe she wanted him to become immortal. She could have
a partner-in-crime then.
Glaucon: So do I, but I'm still a sales-type personality. In answer
to Gorgo, its that quality that makes him so credible.
Lysias: Yup, I'm with Athenia on this one, he's got that smooth operator
feel about him, but with enough integrity to keep from being your typical
snake oil salesman.
Stuyvesant: Athene couldn't help him much until Zeus worked on Posideon,
I don't feel she ever really "abandoned" him. And, after all she
as a Goddess must have had a different concept of time.
Nestor: Jenny Strauss Clay in her Wrath of Athena postulates that Athena,
although she loved him, resented him for having her very gifts.
Nestor: Well, the Gods just play with humans...End of story!
Lysias: Really? Doesn't she mention 20 years to Zeus in the beginning
of the book when she's trying to stir up some support? *musing*
Nestor: Yes...she does, H.
Glaucon: I have to talk for Athene here...she's got this guy, she gives
him gifts. Wouldn't you, as a teacher, want to make sure he could use what
you gave him? I don't think she wants to pull his butt out of the frying
pan every time, or what's the point of his skills?
Lysias: Amen Ioannis. :)
Stuyvesant: He's been away from home 20 years, 10 fighting the war
7 with Calypso and 3 in transit
Lysias: So the concept of human time isn't lost on Athena, was my point.
Nestor: She's got this guy, she gives him gifts? ROTFL, A!
Stuyvesant: yes, she tells him she can only guide, or something like
Glaucon: Hey - she's a giving gal, okay? LOL
Nestor: You know, there is a tradition (which I totally ignore) that
he was away for thirty years! That the Trojan War expedition took ten years
to mobilize, ten years to fight....
Lysias: She just does it to get to do all that cool shapesifting. Show
Glaucon: I'm a teacher, too, remember, and I do the same things to
my students. i teach them, then they have to do the rest of the work.
Stuyvesant: Yes, H. I understand, but at the same time I think she
saw the whole process unfolding in a different way.
Nestor: What do you mean, Petra?
Stuyvesant: That because Athene is an immortal, she see time in a different
way that humans due, that although she is aware and talks about the great
deal of time O is away from hoe, recognizing that this is a point to include
when persuading her father Zeus, I think that as a Goddess she must have
seen how this Odyssey was re-shaping O into a more complex person, returning
home whole now.
Lysias: So she waited until the end of the journey to assist him? *curious
Nestor: Odysseus was just Athena's favourite toy!!!
Stuyvesant: Sorry, Typos: do, not due; home not hoe
Stuyvesant: No, I think she was assisting him the whole time, but now
that he has returned to Ithaca she appears to him physically and they become
"partners" in a way they could not have before (I don't think he was mature
enough until this point)
13:32 Hespia Xanthippos enters...
Lysias: Problem with that is that her assistance seems designed to
bring about this 'blood wedding' for the suitors. That would seem to contradict
sending him off to evolve into a more mature, complex person.
Stuyvesant: In a way I agree with you Ioannis, because as a mortal
human Odyseus is a temporary thing to Athena. But I think she admired
him because he is such a complex man in contrast to other men at the time.
Cleomenes: Anyway, hello Hespia, goodbye everyone. Duty calls...
Lysias: Bye Gorgo. *sniffle*
Nestor: You have to know that ehics and Olympian Gods don't do together!!
Stuyvesant: I see that "blood weddnig" as horrible as it was, the "justice"
of that time period.
Glaucon: Bye, Gorgo, it was fun!
Cleomenes: Ioannis--Isn't that what upset Plato so much? If I'm wrong,
tell me after I leave. My ego can't take it. ;)
Glaucon: I don't see Athene playing with O. at all, anymore than any
teacher plays with a student.
Glaucon: And I agree with Petra - Homer'a audience would not have understood
a more refined, more modern justice
Nestor: Athena had a history of bonding with humans...from Pallas to
Tydeus to Diogenes...
Lysias: I agree Athenia...but I don't see his 20 years adrift as an
individual process facilitated by Athena.
Xanthippos: Hi everyone, Athenia , I see Athena as a real sister/partner/friend
13:36 Gorgo Cleomenes exits...
Glaucon: You just used "facilitated" in a sentence, H. That turns *me*
Glaucon: No - his journey is not Athene's doing, but she doesn't see
it as a detriment to him, either.
Lysias: Damn, I wasn't going to use that word today. *fingersnap*
Nestor: I'm off guys...See ya later...
Lysias: Later Ioannis *wave*
Stuyvesant: Yes, I agree with Athenia that Athena did not see it as
Glaucon: Yes, Hespia - a teacher. :-)
Glaucon: chinese sense of the word
Stuyvesant: bye Ioannis!
Lysias: Uh, okay, I'll bite...the chinese sense of the word?
Xanthippos: Sometimes I think I have a hard time getting ahold of the
Athena/ Odysseus relationship becase it is asexual, and she doesn't "fix"
anything for him. What about the chinese, Athenia?
Glaucon: I teach a Chinese Martial art, sorry. In China, there is a
much more complex relationship between student and teacher.
Lysias: Towards the end of the book, her actions seem more like manipulation
than assistance, IMHO.
Stuyvesant: like a "mentor"?
Lysias: It involves having tea alot, doesn't it Athenia? *grin*
Glaucon: Its is not sexual, its similar to an adopted child. The teacher,
even if he/she is only a teacher for a short time, becomes responsible
for the student, their well-being, progress. And this relationship continues
long after the teaching part is over.
Glaucon: Many pots, H.
Lysias: maia, btw, got knocked offline and can't get back into the
Lysias: I suspected as much A.
Glaucon: Is it manipulation, H? Or is it what Odysseus wants anyway?
Glaucon: Sucks for maia...
Xanthippos: Agreed, about the teacher student relationship, and
we don't see this often in Greek mythology. However, I see Athena more
this way with Telemakhos than Odysseus
Lysias: A little of both A. There were other ways to resolve the situation....Athena
preferred this one and told O exactly how to go about it.
Stuyvesant: This whole book pivots on the interdepence between these
two worlds. the humans and the Gods, and so I'm sure this is what
Livius: Maybe maia will get back - I got knowcked off and just got
Lysias: Yup Hespia, I agree. The whole whispering in his ear part about
running home to check on mom before she 'bled the household white' seems
Lysias: She's rebooting right now, hopefully that will cure the problem.
Glaucon: Hey - Athene's a woman, too. Maybe not "womanly" in the Hellenic
sense, but she acts with "feminine wiles", nonetheless. :-)
Stuyvesant: Have to go do some things online and then leave for home.
Have a great Sunday everyone.
Lysias: Later Petra!
Glaucon: Bye, petra! Nice chatting with you
Xanthippos: Good points all, but I don't see Athena using feminine
wiles, manipulation maybe but not feminine wiles. Bye Petra!
Glaucon: Anyway - how did we get on me defending Athene?
13:49 Petra Stuyvesant exits...
Glaucon: Isn't manipulation a feminie wile? I always thought it was!
Lysias: I don't know...and your using Aphrodite words to defend her
too. That's just not right. ;)
13:50 maia Nestor enters...
Lysias: Nah, but subtle manipulation is. *laughing*
Glaucon: My apologies to any devotee I've offended. <s>
Xanthippos: I believe men's manipulation is called "learned helplessness."
Lysias: Yeah well, Aphrodite has her Athena-Moments, I want what I
want and I want it NOW. *grin*
Nestor: Okay, what did I miss?
Lysias: WB maia...have a nice flight?
Nestor: To the moon Alice...
Glaucon: Thanks heavens your back! These WOMEN have been manipulating
Nestor: Oh, Ioannis has left?
Lysias: Ummm....feminine wiles, Athena manipulating/assisting/Odysseus
and Petra leaving to do some offline work.
Glaucon: And Petra...
Lysias: You were asking for Athenia...you put out those messages. *grin*
Glaucon: So, do you think Athena manipulated Od., or assisted him or
Glaucon: maia, I mean - your opinion
Nestor: I don't think she manipulated him...she manipulated Telemachos,
but not Odysseus.
Lysias: Woah, deja vu
Glaucon: Thank you! I agree..
Glaucon: I figured out how you can enter without exiting...watch
Nestor: Was this part of the discussion and I missed all the fun?
13:55 Athenia Glaucon enters...
Xanthippos: agree maia!
Lysias: brb folks...dog on fire.
Nestor: Hey Hepsia! didn't see you there!
Lysias: (not really, it just sounded exciting)
13:55 Strabonus Agis enters...
Nestor: You are such a trickster, A!
Nestor: And Hetaira is SUCH a tease...hail, Strabonus!
Xanthippos: maia, i have enjoyed listening to your discussion on other
Glaucon: Not me...<big, innocent eyes>
Glaucon: Hello, Strabonus
Agis: Hello all.:)
Nestor: Thanks, Hespia. And Athenia, that act just WON'T work...
Xanthippos: Male manipulation, Exhibit "A"
Glaucon: Next topic!!
Lysias: Hey Strab!
Lysias: We have exhibits?
Xanthippos: just kidding!
Glaucon: maia! Facilitate us!
Nestor: Yes, we all know what a facilitator I am! Whatcha wanna talk
about? (passing the ball)
Nestor: A, how can I know what to go to next when I don't know where
Lysias: Darn, I was looking forward to exhibits.
Xanthippos: Are we through talking about O and Athena?
Nestor: I TRIED to talk about Nausikaa...you're all my witnesses...
Nestor: I don't know, Hespia, do you have anything to add?
Agis: *seeking solace in a tall frosty bottle of (root) beer...
Nestor: Ah...root beer is your friend!
Lysias: Maybe Athena has unresolved lust issues for O, so she sublimates
then into Suitor Death Match, '98
Xanthippos: Okay, have you seen the beautiful rendition of her in "painting
with clssical themes" thread in Athens? Nausicca looks exactly like
would have imagined
Glaucon: We discussed whether Athena manipulated Odysseus, whether
the scene with the suitors was "justice" and Hetair misbehaved. :-)
Lysias: Nooo, strike that, sounded lame the minute I hit enter. ;)
Lysias: Behaving is highly overrated.
Nestor: Yes, torrey thought that Athena had those sort of issues, she
hadn't realized that Athena was a virgin.
Lysias: What painter Hespia? Waterhouse?
Glaucon: Maybe, as a war Goddess, in a warrior culture, she just recognizes
the inevitability of a bloody ending.
Nestor: WEll I could try to make Hetaira go sit in the time out room
for five minutes, but she wouldn't listen....
Xanthippos: Not sure Hetaira, but it is gorgeous!
Glaucon: Not that I'm agreeing, H. But virgins usually have the *worst*
Nestor: Well, although this is jumping ahead, she was quite adamant
that all the suitors had to die...
Lysias: I wouldn't know Athenia. *demure smile*
Glaucon: Do you think for one second, that Homer's audience would've
approved of any other ending?
Nestor: And, given the parameters of the society, there was no other
Lysias: brb, gonna check out the painting...
Glaucon: Nice, H. Keep this up and we're *both* gonna get thrown out.
Nestor: They came, Penelope fed them, they wouldn't leave...violation
of the first order.
Xanthippos: bye H have fun it is way down on the thread
Lysias: You say that like its a bad thing A. :)
Xanthippos: If Penelope was as "crafty and wily" as we know she was
why didn't she, or Laertes, or Telemakhos throw them out.
Nestor: So, just when was it that I totally lost control? *handing
over my facilitator crown*
Nestor: She tried, Hespia. She declined their offer, they wouldn't
go. Telemachos was just a boy....as to Laertes, no clue. But even the assembly
wouldn't back her up. I think she had no choice...she did the best she
could, and avoided civil war.
Agis: It was, after all, a decidedly *patriarchal* society, was Dark
Ages Greece, you know...
Nestor: Laertes' non-involvement is unclear...except we see later on
that he is a broken man. the loss of his wife, his son...he apparently
just removed himself.
Glaucon: Penelope was smart, not crafty. There's a big difference.
She had few male servants. The male members of the household would've gone
with O. Who was going to enforce her decision?
Xanthippos: okay, sometimes I forget how powerless women were at this
Nestor: Yes, even though we know that a woman probably had more freedom
than her Dark Age counterparts, it was, as Strab says, a patriarchal system.
Nestor: Ah, she was crafty with the shroud though...but she had no
Lysias: Was that thread on the Athens board or a protected group Hespia?
*utterly lost look*
Agis: Women couldn't even hold property in their own right. Penelope
was in alllikelihood acting as Queen/Regent for her still minor son.
Nestor: And if she had accepted one of the suitors, it most likely
would have meant death for her son.
Xanthippos: Look under special interest groups, I will go look and
come back in a minute.
Nestor: Gotta be Symposion, Paintings with Classical themes, or Artistica...
Lysias: Well, I want to say its under The Symposium....lemme go look....
Lysias: Found it Hestia..come back!
Nestor: And as if on cue...how do you do it, Hetaira?
Glaucon: Where? I only found Odysseus and Penelope
Lysias: It's Leighton, my second choice. Between him and Waterhouse,
I think the painted the bulk of the myths. :) It's a beautiful painting.
Xanthippos: right Symposian! sorry I was so unclear. New citizen
Lysias: Message: A scene from the Odyssey
Lysias: Date: Mar 28, 1998 10:14
Lysias: under the Symposium. :)
Lysias: Actually, there are a few from the Odyssey there, most thanks
Glaucon: Well, that's not how I pictured her. But I always forget to
insert insipid, clueless faces on women.
Nestor: I didn't picture her that way, either, A...
Lysias: Try Rossetti Athenia, he gave his women some interesting faces.
Glaucon: Rossetti loved the idea of women.
Lysias: Yes he did, the whole woman with all her faults.
Xanthippos: I didn't think clueless, but kind of otherworldly young
Lysias: Well Strab is lost in the cosmos, Netscape snafu. :|
Glaucon: That's always the problem with painters that have one woman
as a muse. They have the same face on all their paintings.
Lysias: Your saying Rossetti just painted his wife over and over again?
Nestor: I think Rossetti did great faces...
Glaucon: No...I was thinking, actually of Klimt. And Dali.
Glaucon: Rossetti did do nice faces.
Lysias: Oooh, okay. I was going to say, Lillith and Pandora don't look
a thing like his wife. :)
Xanthippos: I have to go study Ezra Pound, have a good chat, Bye All!
Lysias: Later Hespia!
Glaucon: Anyway, I always saw Nausicaa as having more upstairs. Her
reaction, in my mind was more like "Ah! What's that?!" but then when she
sees its a man, she weighs him up, his language, his physique and bearing
and ka-ching! she figures out Odysseus is a somebody.
Glaucon: Bye Hespia! It was nice!
14:28 Hespia Xanthippos exits...
Nestor: Reams have been written that she fell in love with O...I was
never that clear on that.
Glaucon: So, its just the three of us? Shall I get out the good wine?
Lysias: Well, I would think O might have that aura about him, even
washed up on the shore and looking rather less-then-fresh
Glaucon: I'm not saying love - I'm saying she calculated the odds and
came up with a profit.
Lysias: Oh yeah, wine for breakfast, sure, I'm game.
Nestor: Just us three...I didn't think you meant love, I just was saying
that so many writers seem to assume it, and I missed it. Maybe a crush...she
was after all, ready for marriage.
Glaucon: I still say the thought process was colder than that, even.
Glaucon: "hmmm...royal bearing, beautiful speaker. Nice bod, yeah this
could be just the thing." :-)
Lysias: I dunno, O seemed to be All That...look at the long line of
babes he snared on his way home.
Lysias: Actually yeah, doesn't she point out more than once that she's
helping him? That strikes me as her weighing the options and deciding he's
someone worth helping.
Nestor: Gotcha. And it must have made for a nice change...an interesting
stranger. They were, by the very nature of their isolation, necessarily
prone to inbreeding.
Glaucon: Exactly, to both of you.
Glaucon: Here's exactly the reason I think she was no shrinking violet
- my translation sucks, but basically... when O. washes up and her women
run, she faces him directly, staring right at him. No shreiks or fawning
Nestor: Well, girls, real life is intruding. Shall we wrap this up?
Glaucon: Uh, shrieks...
Nestor: Yes, she was brave, as befitting arete's daughter.
Glaucon: Boo hoo...
Glaucon: H - will you gram me, so I can gram you. I hate when you use
that cloak of invisibility...
Nestor: Hetaira just left...she was getting dns messages from AS...
Nestor: And she had to go.
Glaucon: Well, then, hugs to you, my friend.
Nestor: Right back atcha, hon. Talk to you later.
14:38 maia Nestor exits...
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