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ODYSSEUS AS A YOUTH AT HOME WITH HIS MOTHER.



ODYSSEUS

THE HERO OF ITHACA

ADAPTED FROM THE THIRD BOOK OF THE PRIMARY
SCHOOLS OF ATHENS, GREECE



BT

MARY E. BURT

Author of "Literary Landmarks," "Stories fnmi Plato," "Story of On

German Iliad," "The Child-Life Reading Study" ; Editor of

"Littlt Nature Studies" ; Teacher in the John A.

Browning School, New York City

AND

ZENAIDE A. RAGOZIN

Author of" The Story of Chaldea," " The Story of Assyria," " The Story

of Media, Babylon, and Persia," "The Story of Vedic India" ;

Member f the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and

Ireland, of the American Oriental Society, of the

Sodtte Ethnologioue of Paris, etc.



NEW YORK

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
1899



COPYRIGHT, 1898, BY
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS



MA



Co

THE TEACHER

WHOSE rXTEGRITY AXD PEDAGOGICAL SPEUT
HATE CREATED A SCHOOL WHEREEf THE IDEAL MAT



THOSE ENTHUSIASTIC PUPILS

WHO LOVE THE LOYALTY AXD BRAVERY OF ODYSSEUS
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED



CONTENTS

PAG*

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . xiii

PART I

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LIFE OF THE HERO,
ODYSSEUS

CHAPTER FAGS

I. About Troy and the Journey of Paris to

Greece 3

II. The Flight of Helen .... 6

III. The Greeks Sail for Troy 10

IV. The Fall of Troy 13



PART II

THE RETURN OF ODYSSEUS TO His OWN
COUNTRY

R PACK

V. Odysseus on the Island of Calypso . . 21
VI. Odysseus Constructs a Raft and Leaves the

Island 25

rii



viii Contents

CHAPTER PAGE

VII. Odysseus is Saved on the Island of

Scheria 29

VIII. Nausicaa is Sent to the River by Athena 31
IX. Odysseus Arrives at the Palace of Alki-

noos 38

X. Odysseus in the Halls of Alkinoos . 42

XI. The Banquet in Honor of Odysseus . 47

XII. Odysseus Relates His Adventures . . 54

XIII. The Lotus-Eaters and the Cyclops . 57

XIV. The Cave of the Cyclops ... 60
XV. The Blinding of the Cyclops . . 64

XVI. Odysseus and His Companions Leave

the Land of the Cyclops < '. -67
XVII. The Adventures of Odysseus on the

Island of ^Eolus . . . .72
XVIII. Odysseus at the Home of Circe . . 75
XIX. Circe Instructs Odysseus Concerning

His Descent to Hades . . - . 78
XX. The Adventures of Odysseus in Hades . 84
XXI. Odysseus Converses with His Mother

and Agamemnon . . . .87
XXII. Conversation with Achilles and Other

Heroes ...... 90

XXIII. The Return of Odysseus to the Island of

Circe ...... 94

XXIV. Odysseus Meets the Sirens, Skylla, and

Charybdis 98



Contents ix

APTER PACK

XXV. Odysseus on the Island of Helios . 101
XXVL The Departure of Odysseus from the

Island of Scheria .... 105

XXVII. Odysseus Arrives at Ithaca . . 108
XXVIII. Odysseus Seeks the Swineherd . .113



PART HI
THE TRIUMPH OF ODYSSEUS

CHAPTER FAGK

XXIX. Athena Advises Telemachos . .123

XXX. Telemachos Astonishes the Wooeis . 128

XXXI. Penelope's Web . . . .130

XXXII. The Journey of Telemachos . . 135

XXXIII. Telemachos in Pylos . . .138

XXXIV. Telemachos in Sparta . . .141
XXXV. Menelaos Relates His Adventures . 147

XXXVI. The Conspiracy of the Suitors . . 151

XXXVII. Telemachos Returns to Ithaca . . 155

XXXVIII. Telemachos and the Swineherd . 158

XXXIX. Telemachos Recognizes Odysseus . 161

XL. Telemachos Returns to the Palace . 165

.XLI. Odysseus is Recognized by His Dog . 169

XLII. Odysseus Comes, a Beggar, to His

Own House . . . .172
XLHI. Conversation of Odysseus and Penel-
ope 176



x Contents

CHAPTER PACK

XLIV. Eurycleia Recognizes Odysseus . .180

XLV. Penelope's Dream . . . .183

XL VI. Athena Encourages Odysseus . .185

XLVII. The Last Banquet of the Suitors . .188

XLVIII. Odysseus Bends the Bow . . .194

XLIX. Death of the Suitors . . .201

L. Eurycleia Announces the Return of

Odysseus to Penelope . . -203

LI. Odysseus Visits His Father . . 209

Vocabulary and Notes . . .215



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

ODYSSEUS AS A YOUTH AT HOME WITH His

MOTHER Frontispiece

FACING

CAGE

THETIS, THE MOTHER OF ACHILLES, WAS AN

OCEAN NYMPH . . . . . .10

ODYSSEUS AND MENELAOS PERSUADING AGAMEM-
NON TO SACRIFICE IPHIGENEIA . . .12

ARETHUSA, NYMPH OF SPRING NEAR KORAX . 113

THE SWINEHERD TELLS His STORY TO ODYS-
SEUS . . 119

ODYSSEUS FEIGNS MADNESS . . . .146



INTRODUCTION

IT has long been the opinion of many of the
more progressive teachers of the United States
that, next to Herakles, Odysseus is the hero
closest to child-life, and that the stories from the
" Odyssey " are the most suitable for reading-
lessons. These conclusions have been reached
through independent experiments not related
to educational work in foreign countries.

While sojourning in Athens I had the pleas-
ure of visiting the best schools, both public and
private, and found the reading especially spir-
ited. I examined the books in use and found
the regular reading-books to consist of the
classic tales of the country, the stories of Her-
akles, Theseus, Perseus, and so forth, in the
reader succeeding the primer, and the stories
of Odysseus, or Ulysses, as we commonly call
him, following as a third book, answering to our
second or third reader. This book I brought
home with me and had a careful, literal trans-
lation made. I submitted this translation to
that notable scholar, Zenalde A. Ragozin, with



xiv Introduction

whom I faithfully traversed the ground, word
by word and sentence by sentence. This ver-
sion I have carefully compared with Bryant
and rewritten, making the language as simple
as could be consistent with the dignity of the
subject-matter.

The introduction to the original book as I
found it in Greece contains many interesting
points, since it shows that educators in foreign
countries, notably in Germany, had come to
the same conclusion with our best American
teachers. The editor of the little Greek read-
ing-book says:

" In editing this work we have made use not
only of Homer's ' Odyssey,' but also of that excel-
lent reader which is used in the public schools of
Germany, Willman's ' Lesebuch aus Homer.'
We have divided the little volume into three
parts, the first of which gives a short resume"
of the war against Troy and the destruction of
that city, the second the wanderings of Odys-
seus till his arrival in Ithaca, the third his arri-
val and the killing of the wooers. We have no
apology to make in presenting this book to the
public as a school-book, since many people su-
perior to us have shown the need of such books
in school-work. The new public schools, as is
well known, have a mission of the highest im-



Introduction xv

portance. They do not aim, as formerly, at
absolute knowledge pounded into the heads of
children in a mechanical way. Their aim is
the mental and ethical development of the pu-
pils. Reading and writing lead but half way
to this goal. With all nations the readers used
in the public schools are a collection of the no-
blest thoughts of their authors."

The Greek editor had never read the inane
rat and cat stories of American school " read-
ers" when he wrote that. He continues:

" Happily the Greek nation, more than any
other, abounds in literary masterpieces. Nearly
all of the Greek writings contain an abundance
of practical wisdom and virtue. Their worth is
so great that even the most advanced European
nations do not hesitate to introduce them into
their schools. The Germans do this, although
their habits and customs are so different from
ours. They especially admire Homer's works.
These books, above all others, afford pleasure
to the young, and the reason for it is clearly
set forth by the eminent educator Herbart :

" ' The little boy is grieved when told that he
is little. Nor does he enjoy the stories of lit-
tle children. This is because his imagination
reaches out and beyond his environments. I
find the stories from Homer to be more suit-



xvi Introduction

able reading for young children than the mass
of juvenile books, because they contain grand
truths.'

" Therefore these stories are held in as high
esteem by the German children as by the Greek.
In no other works do children find the grand
and noble traits in human life so faithfully and
charmingly depicted as in Homer. Here all
the domestic, civic, and religious virtues of the
people are marvellously brought to light and
the national feeling is exalted. The Homeric
poetry, and especially the ' Odyssey/ is adapted
to very young children, not only because it sat-
isfies so well the needs which lead to mental
development, but also for another reason. As
with the people of olden times bravery was
considered the greatest virtue, so with boys of
this age and all ages. No other ethical idea
has such predominance as that of prowess.
Strength of body and a firm will characterize
those whom boys choose as their leaders.
Hence the pleasure they derive from the ac-
counts of celebrated heroes of yore whose
bravery, courage, and prudence they admire."

The editor further extols the advantages aris-
ing from the study of Homer, it making the
youthful students acquainted with the earliest
periods of Greek history, the manners and cus-



Introduction xvii

toms of the people, and he ends by quoting from
Herbart :

" Boys must first get acquainted with the
noisy market-place of Ithaca and then be led to
the Athens of Miltiades and Themistokles."

With equal truth the American can say that
the child whose patriotism is kindled by the
Homeric fire will the more gladly respond to
the ideals set forth in the history of a Colum-
bus or a Washington.

MARY E. BURT.



PARTI

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LIFE
OF THE HERO, ODYSSEUS



CHAPTER I

ABOUT TROY AND THE JOURNEY OF PARIS TO
GREECE



ON the northern shore of Asia Minor there
lies a plateau watered by many small rivers
and surrounded on all sides by mountains, only
on the north it slopes gently to the sea. On
this plateau, between the Simois and Scaman-
dros rivers, in the oldest times there stood a
very rich and powerful city, whose name was
Troy. It was the capital of a large and fertile
district, known as the Troad.'

There, about 1200 B.C., reigned a king by the
name of Priam, possessed of great power and
boundless wealth. He had many sons and
daughters. It was said, indeed, that he had fifty
sons who were all married and living in their
own homes, which they had built by the king's
wish around the royal palace.

They were all handsome and heroic young

men. One of the youngest, Paris, also named

Alexandras, surpassed the others in beauty.

He was a restless youth and not fond of his

3



4 Odysseus

home, as were the others. He had set his
heart on travelling and seeing strange coun-
tries and cities. King Priam was extremely
fond of his large family, and took pride in hav-
ing all his children about him, so that at first
he was greatly opposed to the wishes of Paris.

But the youth was so persistent and unhap-
py that the king at last consented to let him
go. Without delay, Paris called together a few
friends with tastes as adventurous as his own.
They embarked in a new ship well provided
with all that travellers need, and set sail for
the famous land on the shores of the vEgean
Sea, of which they had heard so many wonder-
ful things, and which was called Hellas.

Nearly in the middle of the plain which
forms the southern part of Hellas was the city
of Sparta. It was on the river Eurotas, and
was the capital of a large district called Lace-
dasmon, and it was to this city that Paris came.

Now, there was a mysterious reason for this
strange desire of Paris his passionate longing
to travel. In his early youth, while he was
still minding his herds on the rich pastures of
Mount Ida, he received a visit from the three
greatest goddesses of Olympos.

Hera, the queen of Heaven and consort of
Zeus Athena, { the goddess of wisdom, and



Troy and the Journey of Paris 5

Zeus's favorite daughter and Aphrodite, the
goddess of love and beauty, had a dispute
among themselves.

Each thought herself the most beautiful of
the three, and they would have come to high
words about it had not Athena proposed that
they should ask the handsomest man in the
world to settle the question. This happened to
be the young royal shepherd, Paris. So the
three goddesses floated down to the slope of
Mount Ida on a snowy cloud and placed the
question before him, each promising to reward
him royally if he gave his verdict in her favor.

Paris, as might have been expected, decided
in favor of Aphrodite, who had promised him
that the fairest woman living in the whole
world should be his wife. This promise had
to be kept, being given by a goddess, but it
was the source of endless misfortune, for Paris
had a young and lovely wife who was tenderly
attached to him, while the fairest of living
women acknowledged as such by fame in all
known countries was Queen Helen of Sparta,
herself the wife of another man.

Her husband was one of the most renowned
heroes of Hellas, King Menelaos, a son of
Atreus and brother of the leader o*f the Greek
chiefs, Agamemnon, King of Mycenae. It was



6 Odysseus

Aphrodite, then, who inspired Paris with an in-
sane desire to forsake his parents, brothers, and
wife. It was her secret guidance which led him
across the seas and through the dangers lurk-
ing among the hundreds of islands of the Ar-
chipelagos straight to the land of Lacedaemon.
This is the central of the three peninsulas
in which the Peloponnesus ends, and might be
called the middle finger of that large hand of
which Arcadia is the palm.

Paris landed, with all his companions, on
the shores of Lacedaemon, where the people
received him kindly and helped him on his
journey to Sparta, where Menelaos and Helen
gave him a cordial welcome.



CHAPTER II

THE FLIGHT OF HELEN

APHRODITE, while leading Paris to the shores
of Lacedaemon, had not forgotten her promise,
and in Sparta itself she was at work at its ful-
filment. She inspired Queen Helen with a
growing discontent and restlessness of spirit.
Menelaos had not noticed any change in her,
and it was with an utterly unsuspicious mind



The Flight of Helen 7

that he received the fatal strangers and made
them welcome guests in his land and home.

More than that, having heard the news from
Crete that his presence there was desirable on
account of some urgent business, he did not
hesitate to set sail for that island, in the expec-
tation of finding Paris and his companions still
enjoying the hospitality of his palace after a
short absence.

This was the chance which wily Aphrodite
had contrived for Paris. He took the hint and
carried Helen away to his ship, together with
as much treasure as they could lay hands on,
and then they sailed for Troy. Little did he
heed, in his mad desire to call the most beauti-
ful woman in the world his wife, that she was
already the wife of a hero who had received
him as an honored guest in his house, and that
he was about to destroy the peace and honor
of his host.

As soon as Menelaos heard of the flight of
his wife, he hastened back to Sparta, where
he found his palace deserted and his treasure-
house robbed.

Then his heart was filled with great wrath.
He set out at once to see his brother, Aga-
memnon, to consult with him about what was
to be done. Agamemnon was ruler over My-



8 Odysseus

cenae, and highly respected in all Hellas on
account of his power and riches.

After the two brothers had talked over this
grave affair, they announced to all the leaders
in Hellas the great and detestable crime, and
asked them for their assistance. All the king's
chiefs of Hellas lent a willing ear to this de-
mand, for in this breach of hospitality, commit-
ted against one of them, each felt himself per-
sonally aggrieved and bound to help in the
punishment of what, in those times, was con-
sidered the most unpardonable of all crimes.
Only one of the kings held back for awhile and
needed much persuasion to join the league.
This was Odysseus of Ithaca, who could well
consider himself at the time the happiest of
mortals, for he had lately married Penelope,
one of the fairest and most virtuous maidens of
Greece. He had an infant son of great beauty
and promise, and he owned muqh land and
countless herds of cattle, sheep, and swine.
Added to that, all the petty nobles of the isl-
and acknowledged him as their chief.

But a soothsayer, or seer, had greatly dis-
turbed him by informing him that if he went
to a great war he would be kept away from his
home for the space of twenty years, and even
then return to it in the guise of a beggar, after



The Flight of Helen 9

having suffered wrecks, captivity, endless wan-
derings, and loss of comrades.

No one could doubt that Odysseus was brave,
but no one could blame him for wishing to be
excused from taking part in the war against
Troy. Menelaos and his brother, however,
would accept no excuse from him, as he was
the wisest and craftiest of all the leaders, and
when Odysseus finally consented to join them
he set about arming and directing the young
Greek warriors with all his heart and soul.

There was another young prince whom it
was absolutely necessary to secure, for a much
venerated oracle had given it as a decree of the
gods that Troy could never be taken without
his help. This was Achilles, son of Peleus,
king of the Myrmidons in Thessaly, and of the
beauteous ocean nymph, Thetis. Notwithstand-
ing his extreme youth, his father would not dis-
appoint the whole country, and he let him go
with those who came for him. But he sent
along with him his adopted son, Patroklos, who
was several years older, and to whom the boy
was passionately attached, and also his oldest
and most trusted servant, Phoenix. These two,
the old man and the youth, he charged, as they
hoped for the mercy of Zeus, to keep watchful
guard over Achilles, whose exceedingly impet-



io Odysseus

uous and reckless temper exposed him to many
dangers which might be averted by a sensible
and loving word spoken in time.

The Greeks took counsel together, and it
was resolved that Menelaos should go in per-
son to Troy and demand back his wife, Helen,
as well as his treasure and a suitable apology
for the wrong done to him and to all Hellas.
He chose for his companion the cunning Odys-
seus. On their arrival in Troy, Menelaos and
Odysseus presented themselves before Priam
and demanded the return of Helen and the
treasures.

The king at once called his people together
to deliberate upon the matter, and the two
Greek kings bravely denounced the mean act
of Paris. But the Trojans, stirred up by that
youth, abused the ambassadors and drove them
out of their city.



CHAPTER III

THE GREEKS SAIL FOR TROY

THE kings and chieftains of Hellas, having
heard that Odysseus and Menelaos had been
driven out of Troy, hastened to call together
their fleets and armies at Aulis, a city of




THE SILVER-FOOTED THETIS Rl
Thetis, the rr.other of Achilles,



)M THE WAVES.
;- . ;-



The Greeks Sail for Troy n

Boeotia on a ridge of rock running out into the
sea between two little bays, each of which
was a harbor for many ships. A hundred thou-
sand men and a thousand ships were gathered
there under the leadership of the celebrated
and heroic chiefs. The commander-in-chief of
the whole army was Agamemnon.

Among the renowned leaders were Menelaos,
the sagacious Odysseus, Ajax, and many others.
Just as they were offering a sacrifice to the
gods, in order to start out to the war with their
good will, a great miracle happened. A fear-
ful snake crept from under the altar and
climbed a tree in which there was a sparrow's
nest nearly hidden by the leaves. There were
eight young sparrows in the nest, nine birds
with the mother. The snake devoured the
fluttering little birds, around which the mother
circled as if overcome by grief.

Then the snake darted at the mother-bird
and swallowed it, when Zeus changed the rep-
tile into a stone. The Greeks wondered at the
sight, but the soothsayer, Calchas, said to
them: "Why do ye wonder at this? The all-
powerful Zeus has sent us this sign because
our deeds shall Ifve forever in the minds of
men. Just as the snake has devoured the eight
little sparrows and their mother, so shall the



1 2 Odysseus

war swallow up the nine coming -years, and in
the tenth we shall overcome Troy."

The ships of the Greeks lay in the bays of
Aulis_while the warriors waited impatiently to
set sail. But the winds were contrary ; they
would not blow, and the boats waited there year
after year ; for a sacred hind had been slain
by Agamemnon, one that belonged to the god-
dess Artemis, and it was ordered by that god-
dess that no wind should arise to take them
on toward Troy until her wrath had been ap-
peased.

So Agamemnon went to Calchas, the seer,
and asked his advice, whereupon the old
prophet told him to send for his lovely young
daughter, Iphigeneia, and offer her up on the
altar as the only acceptable sacrifice to Arte-
mis. When he had placed her upon the altar
and the priest was raising his knife, the god-
dess took pity on Agamemnon and carried the
girl away in a cloud, leaving a fine white doe
instead.

And now arose a favorable wind, and the
Greeks arrived safely before Troy. How they
fought with the Trojans, how many of the he-
roes outlived the struggle, and how many fell
in the battle, all this we can learn from an old
book called the " Iliad." We shall select from



The Fall of Troy 13

it only those things which refer to our hero,
Odysseus ; and to complete the history of that
hero we shall go to another book, called the
" Odyssey."

Both of these books are the work of the
great poet Homer, who lived many years after
the war with Troy. That we may understand
better what happened later on, we must give a
short account of the fall of Troy and of the re-
turn of Menelaos and Agamemnon to their own
country.



CHAPTER IV

THE FALL OF TROY

THE war lasted nine years, and in the tenth the
Greeks conquered Troy, not in battle, but by
means of a trick which had come into the mind
of Odysseus. He Jxjld a skilful carpenter to
build a wooden horse of gigantic size, and in it
he hid the bravest Greek warriors. When he
had done this he advised all the other Greeks
to depart without leaving anything behind
them, and so lead the Trojans to believe that
they had given up the fight and gone home.



14 Odysseus

So the Greeks burned their tents and put off
to sea, while the Trojans from their walls
watched them with great joy, thinking them-
selves well rid of an enemy. When the last
ship had gone, the Trojans threw open the
gates of their city and rushed down into the
plain where the Greeks had had their camp, to
see how the place looked.

There they found the wooden horse, and one
of the Greeks tied to a tree, who told them he
was left there as a punishment, and that the
wooden horse was an offering to the gods.
The Trojans made up their minds to carry it
into their city and give it the best place on
their highest hill.

Then Laocoon, a priest of Apollo, stepped
forth, and said to them : " Unhappy people !
what madness possesses you ? Do ye think
the enemy gone? Do ye know Odysseus so
little ? There are Greek warriors hidden in
this horse, or else some other mischief is lurk-
ing there. Fear the Greeks even when they
bring gifts."

With tfrese words, he thrust his spear into
the flank of the horse, and the arms of the hid-
den enemy clashed with a loud noise. Just then
two snakes of great size, sent by Athena, rose
from the sea, and sprang upon Laocoon and



The Fall of Troy 15

his two sons, and, coiling around them, bit them
to death. The Trojans, in great fear at the
sight, took this as a sign from the gods that the
horse was sacred and that they must protect
it, and they moved it at once into their city,
breaking down a part of their wall to get it in.

Having done this, they gave themselves up to
feasting and making merry, without the slight-
est thought that any evil was in store for them.
But when night had come, and all were in a
deep sleep, the ships of the Greeks, which had
been hiding all the while behind a neighbor-
ing island, came back. The warriors who were
concealed in the wooden horse sprang out and
rushing wildly through the city, slew the Tro-
jans right and left without mercy. From all
sides came wailings and groans, and the flames
of the burning city rose up to the sky.

A deadly struggle took place between the
Trojans and the Greeks. Priam was slain, and
Paris and many other heroes. The victory
was to the Greeks. Troy fell never to rise
again, and the women and children were led


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