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Odyssey Terms

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35 Terms
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Ithaca
Home of Odysseus
Penelope
Wife of Odysseus, Mother of Telemachus
Basileus
"king" in mycenae. commanded army and presided over religious acts.
Nostos
Greek word for homecoming
Phaeacians
People living on the island of Scheria whose king was Alcinuos. Odysseus was shipwrecked here after leaving Calypso's island of Ogygia
Moly
Plant that Hermes offers Odysseus to ward off Kirke's magic
Laestrygonians
legendary clan of giant cannibals
Sirens
creatures, part woman and part bird, whose songs lure sailors to their death
Cimmerians
the people of Hade's island of the dead, they live outside the underworld
Kalypso
The beautiful nymph who falls in love with Odysseus when he lands on her island-home of Ogygia; holds him prisoner there for seven years until Hermes, the messenger god, persuades her to let him go.
Kirke
The beautiful witch-goddess who transforms Odysseus's crew into swine when he lands on her island. With Hermes' help, Odysseus resists her powers and then becomes her lover, living in luxury at her side for a year.
Xenia
Greek code of hospitality; guest friendship
Tiresias
A Theban prophet who inhabits the underworld; meets Odysseus when Odysseus journeys to the underworld in Book 11. He shows Odysseus how to get back to Ithaca and allows Odysseus to communicate with the other souls in Hades.
aegis
a shield; protection
Aegisthus (Aigisthos)
son of Thyestes, seducer of Clytemnestra and murderer of Agamemnon, killed by Orestes
Kassandra
daughter of Priam and loved by Hermes and is given the gift of prophecy, she denies Hermes and he curses her prophecies to not be believed by anyone, like Trojan horse and her own death by agamemnon's wife
Ajax the Greater
2nd greatest fighter of Greeks, vied with Odysseus for Achilles' armor (lost)
Ajax the Lesser
A Greek hero; in the fall of Troy drags a Trojan princess from Athena's temple and rapes her; later is one of Penelope's suitors
Menelaos
King of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, and husband of Helen, he helped lead the Greeks in the Trojan War. He offers Telemachus assistance in his quest to find Odysseus when Telemachus visits him in Book 4.
Klytaimnestra
Murderous wife of Agamemnon; lover of Aigisthos. Is killed by her son, Orestes
Antinous
The most arrogant of Penelope's suitors.; leads the campaign to have Telemachus killed. Unlike the other suitors, he is never portrayed sympathetically, and he is the first to die when Odysseus returns.
NausicaƤ
The beautiful daughter of King Alcinous and Queen Arete of the Phaeacians; discovers Odysseus on the beach at Scheria and, out of budding affection for him, ensures his warm reception at her parents' palace.
Elpenor
Youngest member of Odysseus' crew. The morning of their departure from Circe's island, he falls from the rooftop and dies. Odysseus meets with his shade in Hades.
Eumaeus
A swineherd, an old and loyal servant to Odysseus
Eurykleia
The aged and loyal servant who nursed Odysseus and Telemachus when they were babies. She is well informed about palace intrigues and serves as confidante to her masters. She keeps Telemachus's journey secret from Penelope, and she later keeps Odysseus's identity a secret after she recognizes a scar on his leg.
Aiodos
a difficult term to translate, but roughly a "singer of tales" someone like Homer, who not only recites but invents epic poems, to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument, like the lyre. The composer and singer of epic song; Greek equivalent of Celtic bard and Germanic scop.
Aeolus
god of winds; gives Odysseus bag of winds
Athena
Goddess of wisdom and war
Electra
Daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra
Apollo
god of music, poetry, prophecy, and medicine
Orestes
son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra who eventually avenged his father's murder by killing Aegisthus
The Furies (Erinyes)
Female spirits who punished offenders against blood kin
Eumenides
the kindly ones Aeschylus's first surviving play tragedy; abt living persons and events that took place 8 years before Orestes is pursued to Athens by the vengeful Erinyes for the murder of his mother, Clytemnestra, and how he is tried before Athena and a jury of Athenians to decide whether his crime justifies the torment of the Erinyes
Telemachus
Odysseus and Penelope's son
Pylades
Pylades helped Orestes avenge his father's death by murdering Clytemnestra. He is a representative of and the mouthpiece for Apollo.