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The Odyssey         Page 1
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The Odyssey.

Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide

after he had sacked the famous town of Troy. Many cities did he

visit, and many were the nations with whose manners and customs

he was acquainted; moreover he suffered much by sea while trying

to save his own life and bring his men safely home; but do what he

might he could not save his men, for they perished through their

own sheer folly in eating the cattle of the Sun-god Hyperion; so the

god prevented them from ever reaching home. Tell me, too, about

all these things, O daughter of Jove, from whatsoever source you

may know them.

So now all who escaped death in battle or by shipwreck had got

safely home except Ulysses, and he, though he was longing to return

to his wife and country, was detained by the goddess Calypso, who

had got him into a large cave and wanted to marry him. But as years

went by, there came a time when the gods settled that he should go

back to Ithaca; even then, however, when he was among his own

people, his troubles were not yet over; nevertheless all the gods had

now begun to pity him except Neptune, who still persecuted him

without ceasing and would not let him get home.

Now Neptune had gone off to the Ethiopians, who are at the world's

end, and lie in two halves, the one looking West and the other East.

He had gone there to accept a hecatomb of sheep and oxen, and was

enjoying himself at his festival; but the other gods met in the house of

Olympian Jove, and the sire of gods and men spoke first. At that moment

he was thinking of Aegisthus, who had been killed by

Agamemnon's son Orestes; so he said to the other gods:

"See now, how men lay blame upon us gods for what is after all nothing

but their own folly. Look at Aegisthus; he must needs make love

to Agamemnon's wife unrighteously and then kill Agamemnon,

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