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date: 16 April 2024



  • Andrew Brown


Odysseus (Ὀδυσσεύς, Latin Ulixes from one of several Greek variants; hence English Ulysses), king of *Ithaca; son of *Laertes and *Anticlea; husband of *Penelope; hero of *Homer'sOdyssey.In Homer's Iliad, despite his out-of-the-way kingdom, Odysseus is already one of the most prominent of the Greek heroes. He displays martial prowess (e.g. at 11. 310–488, where he delays the rout of the Greeks), courage and resourcefulness (e.g. in the Doloneia of book 10, a late addition), and above all wisdom and diplomacy (e.g. at 2. 169–335, where he prevents the Greek army from disbanding, and in the embassy to *Achilles, especially 9. 223–306). He shows little of the skill in deceit which is characteristic of him in the Odyssey, but such epithets as ‘much enduring’ and ‘cunning’, which occur in both epics, must refer to his exploits after the Trojan War (see troy), and show that these were always his principal claim to fame.


  • Greek Literature
  • Greek Myth and Religion

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