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.


13:16 Athenia Glaucon: He's got that salesman quality - intelligence, arrogance and not small amount of contempt for his fellow human.
13:16 maia Nestor: Oh, Athenia always does that! LOL!
13:16 Petra 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.
13:16 Gorgo Cleomenes: *rolfmao*
13:16 Athenia Glaucon: Behave, Hetaira. <frowning, not too successfully>
13:17 Hetaira Lysias: *batting eyelashes* This is as behaved as I get without my medication.
13:17 maia 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.
13:18 Hetaira Lysias: Yeah, where was she during the Calypso sojourn?
13:19 Gorgo Cleomenes: Maybe she wanted him to become immortal. She could have a partner-in-crime then.
13:19 Athenia Glaucon: So do I, but I'm still a sales-type personality. In answer to Gorgo, its that quality that makes him so credible.
13:20 Hetaira 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.
13:21 Petra 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.
13:21 maia Nestor: Jenny Strauss Clay in her Wrath of Athena postulates that Athena, although she loved him, resented him for having her very gifts.
13:21 Ioannis Nestor: Well, the Gods just play with humans...End of story!
13:22 Hetaira 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*
13:23 maia Nestor: Yes...she does, H.
13:23 Athenia 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?
13:23 Hetaira Lysias: Amen Ioannis. :)
13:23 Petra Stuyvesant: He's been away from home 20 years, 10 fighting the war 7 with Calypso and 3 in transit
13:24 Hetaira Lysias: So the concept of human time isn't lost on Athena, was my point. :)
13:24 maia Nestor: She's got this guy, she gives him gifts? ROTFL, A!
13:24 Petra Stuyvesant: yes, she tells him she can only guide, or something like that.
13:24 Athenia Glaucon: Hey - she's a giving gal, okay? LOL
13:25 maia 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....
13:25 Hetaira Lysias: She just does it to get to do all that cool shapesifting. Show off.
13:25 Athenia 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.
13:26 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes, H. I understand, but at the same time I think she saw the whole process unfolding in a different way.
13:26 maia Nestor: What do you mean, Petra?
13:29 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.
13:30 Hetaira Lysias: So she waited until the end of the journey to assist him? *curious look*
13:30 Ioannis Nestor: Odysseus was just Athena's  favourite toy!!!
13:30 Petra Stuyvesant: Sorry, Typos: do, not due; home not hoe
13:31 Petra 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...
13:32 Hetaira 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.
13:33 Petra 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.
13:33 Gorgo Cleomenes: Anyway, hello Hespia, goodbye everyone. Duty calls...
13:33 Hetaira Lysias: Bye Gorgo. *sniffle*
13:33 Ioannis Nestor: You have to know that ehics and Olympian Gods don't do together!!
13:34 Petra Stuyvesant: I see that "blood weddnig" as horrible as it was, the "justice" of that time period.
13:34 Athenia Glaucon: Bye, Gorgo, it was fun!
13:34 Gorgo 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. ;)
13:34 Athenia Glaucon: I don't see Athene playing with O. at all, anymore than any teacher plays with a student.
13:35 Athenia Glaucon: And I agree with Petra - Homer'a audience would not have understood a more refined, more modern justice
13:36 maia Nestor: Athena had a history of bonding with humans...from Pallas to Tydeus to Diogenes...
13:36 Hetaira Lysias: I agree Athenia...but I don't see his 20 years adrift as an individual process facilitated by Athena.
13:36 Hespia Xanthippos: Hi everyone, Athenia , I see Athena as a real sister/partner/friend to Odysseus.
13:36 Gorgo Cleomenes exits...
13:36 Athenia Glaucon: You just used "facilitated" in a sentence, H. That turns *me* on..) ;-)
13:37 Athenia Glaucon: No - his journey is not Athene's doing, but she doesn't see it as a detriment to him, either.
13:37 Hetaira Lysias: Damn, I wasn't going to use that word today. *fingersnap*
13:37 Ioannis Nestor: I'm off guys...See ya later...
13:37 Hetaira Lysias: Later Ioannis *wave*
13:38 Athenia Glaucon: Bye!
13:38 Petra Stuyvesant: Yes, I agree with Athenia that Athena did not see it as a detriment
13:38 Athenia Glaucon: Yes, Hespia - a teacher. :-)
13:39 Athenia Glaucon: chinese sense of the word
13:39 Petra Stuyvesant: bye Ioannis!
13:40 Hetaira Lysias: Uh, okay, I'll bite...the chinese sense of the word?
13:40 Hespia 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?
13:41 Athenia Glaucon: I teach a Chinese Martial art, sorry. In China, there is a much more complex relationship between student and teacher.
13:41 Hetaira Lysias: Towards the end of the book, her actions seem more like manipulation than assistance, IMHO.
13:41 Petra Stuyvesant: like a "mentor"?
13:42 Hetaira Lysias: It involves having tea alot, doesn't it Athenia? *grin*
13:42 Athenia 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.
13:42 Athenia Glaucon: Many pots, H.
13:43 Hetaira Lysias: maia, btw, got knocked offline and can't get back into the chat room.
13:43 Hetaira Lysias: I suspected as much A.
13:43 Athenia Glaucon: Is it manipulation, H? Or is it what Odysseus wants anyway?
13:44 Athenia Glaucon: Sucks for maia...
13:44 Hespia 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
13:45 Hetaira 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.
13:45 Petra 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 O wants.
13:45 Petronilla Livius: Maybe maia will get back - I got knowcked off and just got back.
13:46 Hetaira 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 very manipulative.
13:47 Hetaira Lysias: She's rebooting right now, hopefully that will cure the problem.
13:47 Athenia Glaucon: Hey - Athene's a woman, too. Maybe not "womanly" in the Hellenic sense, but she acts with "feminine wiles", nonetheless. :-)
13:48 Petra Stuyvesant: Have to go do some things online and then leave for home.  Have a great Sunday everyone.
13:48 Hetaira Lysias: Later Petra!
13:49 Athenia Glaucon: Bye, petra! Nice chatting with you
13:49 Hespia Xanthippos: Good points all, but I don't see Athena using feminine wiles, manipulation maybe but not feminine wiles.  Bye Petra!
13:49 Athenia Glaucon: Anyway - how did we get on me defending Athene?
13:49 Petra Stuyvesant: Bye!
13:49 Petra Stuyvesant exits...
13:49 Athenia Glaucon: Isn't manipulation a feminie wile? I always thought it was!
13:49 Hetaira Lysias: I don't know...and your using Aphrodite words to defend her too. That's just not right. ;)
13:50 maia Nestor enters...
13:50 Hetaira Lysias: Nah, but subtle manipulation is. *laughing*
13:50 Athenia Glaucon: My apologies to any devotee I've offended. <s>
13:50 Hespia Xanthippos: I believe men's manipulation is called "learned helplessness."
13:51 Hetaira Lysias: Yeah well, Aphrodite has her Athena-Moments, I want what I want and I want it NOW. *grin*
13:51 Athenia Glaucon: Absolutely!
13:51 maia Nestor: Okay, what did I miss?
13:51 Hetaira Lysias: WB maia...have a nice flight?
13:52 maia Nestor: To the moon Alice...
13:52 Athenia Glaucon: Thanks heavens your back! These WOMEN have been manipulating me...
13:52 maia Nestor: Oh, Ioannis has left?
13:52 Hetaira Lysias: Ummm....feminine wiles, Athena manipulating/assisting/Odysseus and Petra leaving to do some offline work.
13:52 Athenia Glaucon: And Petra...
13:53 Hetaira Lysias: You were asking for put out those messages. *grin*
13:53 Athenia Glaucon: So, do you think Athena manipulated Od., or assisted him or both.
13:53 Athenia Glaucon: maia, I mean - your opinion
13:54 maia Nestor: I don't think she manipulated him...she manipulated Telemachos, but not Odysseus.
13:54 Hetaira Lysias: Woah, deja vu
13:54 Athenia Glaucon: Thank you! I agree..
13:55 Athenia Glaucon: I figured out how you can enter without
13:55 maia Nestor: Was this part of the discussion and I missed all the fun?
13:55 Athenia Glaucon enters...
13:55 Hespia Xanthippos: agree maia!
13:55 Hetaira Lysias: brb on fire.
13:55 Athenia Glaucon: LOL!
13:55 maia Nestor: Hey Hepsia! didn't see you there!
13:55 Hetaira Lysias: (not really, it just sounded exciting)
13:55 Strabonus Agis enters...
13:56 maia Nestor: You are such a trickster, A!
13:56 maia Nestor: And Hetaira is SUCH a tease...hail, Strabonus!
13:56 Hespia Xanthippos: maia, i have enjoyed listening to your discussion on other chats
13:56 Athenia Glaucon: Not me...<big, innocent eyes>
13:56 Athenia Glaucon: Hello, Strabonus
13:57 Strabonus Agis: Hello all.:)
13:57 maia Nestor: Thanks, Hespia. And Athenia, that act just WON'T work...
13:57 Hespia Xanthippos: Male manipulation, Exhibit "A"
13:58 Athenia Glaucon: Next topic!!
13:58 Hetaira Lysias: Hey Strab!
13:59 Strabonus Agis: Hetaira!
13:59 Hetaira Lysias: We have exhibits?
13:59 Hespia Xanthippos: just kidding!
14:00 Athenia Glaucon: maia! Facilitate us!
14:01 maia Nestor: Yes, we all know what a facilitator I am! Whatcha wanna talk about? (passing the ball)
14:01 maia Nestor: A, how can I know what to go to next when I don't know where we've been?
14:01 Hetaira Lysias: Darn, I was looking forward to exhibits.
14:02 Hespia Xanthippos: Are we through talking about O and Athena?
14:02 maia Nestor: I TRIED to talk about're all my witnesses...
14:02 maia Nestor: I don't know, Hespia, do you have anything to add?
14:02 Strabonus Agis: *seeking solace in a tall frosty bottle of (root) beer...
14:03 maia Nestor: Ah...root beer is your friend!
14:03 Hetaira Lysias: Maybe Athena has unresolved lust issues for O, so she sublimates then into Suitor Death Match, '98
14:03 Hespia 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
14:03 Athenia Glaucon: We discussed whether Athena manipulated Odysseus, whether the scene with the suitors was "justice" and Hetair misbehaved. :-)
14:03 Hetaira Lysias: Nooo, strike that, sounded lame the minute I hit enter. ;)
14:04 Hetaira Lysias: Behaving is highly overrated.
14:04 maia Nestor: Yes, torrey thought that Athena had those sort of issues, she hadn't realized that Athena was a virgin.
14:04 Hetaira Lysias: What painter Hespia? Waterhouse?
14:04 Athenia Glaucon: Maybe, as a war Goddess, in a warrior culture, she just recognizes the inevitability of a bloody ending.
14:04 maia Nestor: WEll I could try to make Hetaira go sit in the time out room for five minutes, but she wouldn't listen....
14:05 Hespia Xanthippos: Not sure Hetaira, but it is gorgeous!
14:05 Athenia Glaucon: Not that I'm agreeing, H. But virgins usually have the *worst* repression/sublimation problems.
14:05 maia Nestor: Well, although this is jumping ahead, she was quite adamant that all the suitors had to die...
14:05 Hetaira Lysias: I wouldn't know Athenia. *demure smile*
14:05 Athenia Glaucon: Do you think for one second, that Homer's audience would've approved of any other ending?
14:06 maia Nestor: And, given the parameters of the society, there was no other ending possible.
14:06 Hetaira Lysias: brb, gonna check out the painting...
14:06 Athenia Glaucon: Nice, H. Keep this up and we're *both* gonna get thrown out.
14:06 maia Nestor: They came, Penelope fed them, they wouldn't leave...violation of the first order.
14:06 Hespia Xanthippos: bye H have fun it is way down on the thread
14:07 Hetaira Lysias: You say that like its a bad thing A. :)
14:08 Hespia Xanthippos: If Penelope was as "crafty and wily" as we know she was why didn't she, or Laertes, or Telemakhos throw them out.
14:08 maia Nestor: So, just when was it that I totally lost control? *handing over my facilitator crown*
14:09 maia Nestor: She tried, Hespia. She declined their offer, they wouldn't go. Telemachos was just a 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.
14:10 Strabonus Agis: It was, after all, a decidedly *patriarchal* society, was Dark Ages Greece, you know...
14:10 maia 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.
14:10 Athenia 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?
14:10 Hespia Xanthippos: okay, sometimes I forget how powerless women were at this time.
14:10 maia 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.
14:11 maia Nestor: Ah, she was crafty with the shroud though...but she had no real recourse.
14:11 Hetaira Lysias: Was that thread on the Athens board or a protected group Hespia? *utterly lost look*
14:11 Strabonus Agis: Women couldn't even hold property in their own right.  Penelope was in alllikelihood acting as Queen/Regent for her still minor son.
14:12 maia Nestor: And if she had accepted one of the suitors, it most likely would have meant death for her son.
14:12 Hespia Xanthippos: Look under special interest groups, I will go look and come back in a minute.
14:13 maia Nestor: Gotta be Symposion, Paintings with Classical themes, or Artistica...
14:13 Hetaira Lysias: Well, I want to say its under The Symposium....lemme go look....
14:14 Hetaira Lysias: Found it Hestia..come back!
14:15 maia Nestor: And as if on do you do it, Hetaira?
14:16 Athenia Glaucon: Where? I only found Odysseus and Penelope
14:16 Hetaira 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.
14:16 Hespia Xanthippos: right Symposian! sorry I was so unclear.  New citizen to ancietsites
14:17 Hetaira Lysias: Message: A scene from the Odyssey
14:17 Hetaira Lysias: Date: Mar 28, 1998 10:14
14:17 Hetaira Lysias: under the Symposium. :)
14:18 Athenia Glaucon: Thanks
14:20 Hetaira Lysias: Actually, there are a few from the Odyssey there, most thanks to Myrrhine.
14:20 Athenia Glaucon: Well, that's not how I pictured her. But I always forget to insert insipid, clueless faces on women.
14:21 maia Nestor: I didn't picture her that way, either, A...
14:21 Hetaira Lysias: Try Rossetti Athenia, he gave his women some interesting faces. :)
14:22 Athenia Glaucon: Rossetti loved the idea of women.
14:23 Hetaira Lysias: Yes he did, the whole woman with all her faults.
14:23 Hespia Xanthippos: I didn't think clueless, but kind of otherworldly young girl look.
14:23 Hetaira Lysias: Well Strab is lost in the cosmos, Netscape snafu. :|
14:24 Athenia Glaucon: That's always the problem with painters that have one woman as a muse. They have the same face on all their paintings.
14:25 Hetaira Lysias: Your saying Rossetti just painted his wife over and over again?
14:25 maia Nestor: I think Rossetti did great faces...
14:26 Athenia Glaucon: No...I was thinking, actually of Klimt. And Dali.
14:26 Athenia Glaucon: Rossetti did do nice faces.
14:26 Hetaira Lysias: Oooh, okay. I was going to say, Lillith and Pandora don't look a thing like his wife. :)
14:27 Hespia Xanthippos: I have to go study Ezra Pound, have a good chat, Bye All!
14:27 Hetaira Lysias: Later Hespia!
14:28 Athenia 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.
14:28 maia Nestor: Bye!
14:28 Athenia Glaucon: Bye Hespia! It was nice!
14:28 Hespia Xanthippos exits...
14:28 maia Nestor: Reams have been written that she fell in love with O...I was never that clear on that.
14:28 Athenia Glaucon: So, its just the three of us? Shall I get out the good wine? <g>
14:29 Hetaira Lysias: Well, I would think O might have that aura about him, even washed up on the shore and looking rather less-then-fresh
14:29 Athenia Glaucon: I'm not saying love - I'm saying she calculated the odds and came up with a profit.
14:29 Hetaira Lysias: Oh yeah, wine for breakfast, sure, I'm game.
14:30 maia 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.
14:30 Athenia Glaucon: I still say the thought process was colder than that, even.
14:31 Athenia Glaucon: "hmmm...royal bearing, beautiful speaker. Nice bod, yeah this could be just the thing." :-)
14:31 Hetaira Lysias: I dunno, O seemed to be All That...look at the long line of babes he snared on his way home.
14:32 Hetaira 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.
14:32 maia Nestor: Gotcha. And it must have made for a nice interesting stranger. They were, by the very nature of their isolation, necessarily prone to inbreeding.
14:32 Athenia Glaucon: Exactly, to both of you.
14:35 Athenia 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 for her.
14:35 maia Nestor: Well, girls, real life is intruding. Shall we wrap this up?
14:35 Athenia Glaucon: Uh, shrieks...
14:35 maia Nestor: Yes, she was brave, as befitting arete's daughter.
14:35 Athenia Glaucon: Boo hoo...
14:36 Athenia Glaucon: H - will you gram me, so I can gram you. I hate when you use that cloak of invisibility...
14:36 maia Nestor: Hetaira just left...she was getting dns messages from AS...
14:37 maia Nestor: And she had to go.
14:37 Athenia Glaucon: Well, then, hugs to you, my friend.
14:37 maia Nestor: Right back atcha, hon. Talk to you later.
14:38 maia Nestor exits...

back to beginnning of chat four

go to chat five

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