Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

Page: 170

The joyful intelligence of the return of Odysseus being conveyed to Penelope she descended to the hall, but refused to recognize, in the aged beggar, her gallant husband; whereupon he retired to the bath, from which he emerged in all the vigour and beauty with which Athene had endowed him at the court of Alcinous. But Penelope, still incredulous, determined to put him to a sure test. She therefore commanded in his hearing that his own bed should be brought from his chamber. Now the foot of this bed had been fashioned by Odysseus himself out of the stem of an olive-tree which was still rooted in the ground, and round it he had built the walls of the chamber. Knowing therefore that the bed could not be moved, he exclaimed that the errand was useless, for that no [323]mortal could stir it from its place. Then Penelope knew that it must be Odysseus himself who stood before her, and a most touching and affectionate meeting took place between the long-separated husband and wife.

The following day the hero set out to seek his old father Laertes, whom he found on one of his estates in the country engaged in digging up a young olive-tree. The poor old man, who was dressed in the humble garb of a labourer, bore the traces of deep grief on his furrowed countenance, and so shocked was his son at the change in his appearance that for a moment he turned aside to conceal his tears.

When Odysseus revealed himself to his father as the son whom he had so long mourned as lost, the joy of the poor old man was almost greater than he could bear. With loving care Odysseus led him into the house, where at length, for the first time since the departure of his son, Laertes once more resumed his regal robes, and piously thanked the gods for this great and unlooked-for happiness.

But not yet was the hero permitted to enjoy his well-earned repose, for the friends and relatives of the suitors now rose in rebellion against him and pursued him to the abode of his father. The struggle, however, was but a short one. After a brief contest negotiations of a peaceful nature were entered into between Odysseus and his subjects. Recognizing the justice of his cause, they became reconciled to their chief, who for many years continued to reign over them.



[Note.—The system of pronunciation here followed is the English system, because it is the one at present most used among English-speaking peoples. In it the letters have substantially their English sound. Upon the continent of Europe the pronunciation of Latin and Greek is in like manner made to correspond in each nation to the pronunciation of its own language, and thus there is much diversity among the continental systems, though they resemble each other more closely than they do the English. In England and America also the continental methods of pronunciation have been extensively used. Thus Æneas may be pronounced A-na´-ahss; Aïdes ah-ee´-daze. Since the true, the ancient, pronunciation has been lost, and, as many contend, cannot be even substantially recovered, it is a matter of individual preference what system shall be followed.]


Abderus (ab-dee´-rus), 244.

Absyrtus (ab-sir´-tus), 226.

Academus (ak-ă-dee´-mus), 268.

Achelous (ak-e-lo´-us), 254, 278.

Acheron (ak´-e-ron), 132, 250.

Achilles (ă-kil´-leez), 131, 291, 287, 297.

Acis (ā´-sis), 105, 167.

Acrisius (ă-crish´-e-us), 189, 205, 209.

Acropolis (ă-crop´-o-lis), 189.

Actæon (ak-tee´-on), 91.

Admete (ad-mee´-te), 244.

Admetus (ad-mee´-tus), 76, 119, 216.

Adonis (ă-don´-iss), 59.

Adrastia (ad-ras-ti´-ah), 142.

Adrastus (ă-dras´-tus), 272.

Æacus (ee´-ă-cus), 34.

Ææa (ee-ee´-ah), island of, 67.

Ægean Sea (ee-gee´-an), 287.

[53]Ægeus (ee´-juce), 259, 262, 264.

Ægina (ee-ji´-nah), island of, 230.

Ægis (ee´-jiss), 26.

Ægisthus (ee-jiss´-thus, th as in both), 305.

Ægle (egg´-le), 163.

Ægyptus (ee-jip´-tus), 135.

Aello (ă-el´-lo), 137.

Æneas (ee-nee´-ass), 304.

Æolus (ee´-o-lus), 170, 210.

Aër (ā´-er), 12.