The Odyssey

Page: 211

50 (return)
[ Scheria means a piece of land jutting out into the sea. In my "Authoress of the Odyssey" I thought "Jutland" would be a suitable translation, but it has been pointed out to me that "Jutland" only means the land of the Jutes.]

51 (return)
[ Irrigation as here described is common in gardens near Trapani. The water that supplies the ducts is drawn from wells by a mule who turns a wheel with buckets on it.]

52 (return)
[ There is not a word here about the cattle of the sun-god.]

53 (return)
[ The writer evidently thought that green, growing wood might also be well seasoned.]

54 (return)
[ The reader will note that the river was flowing with salt water i.e. that it was tidal.]

55 (return)
[ Then the Ogygian island was not so far off, but that Nausicaa might be assumed to know where it was.]

56 (return)
[ Greek {Greek}]

57 (return)
[ I suspect a family joke, or sly allusion to some thing of which we know nothing, in this story of Eurymedusa's having been brought from Apeira. The Greek word "apeiros" means "inexperienced," "ignorant." Is it possible that Eurymedusa was notoriously incompetent?]

58 (return)
[ [Polyphemus] was also son to Neptune, see "Od." ix. 412,529. he was therefore half brother to Nausithous, half uncle to King Alcinous, and half great uncle to Nausicaa.]

59 (return)
[ It would seem as though the writer thought that Marathon was close to [Athens].]

60 (return)
[ Here the writer, knowing that she is drawing (with embellishments) from things actually existing, becomes impatient of past tenses and slides into the present.]

61 (return)
[ This is hidden malice, implying that the Phaeacian magnates were no better than they should be. The final drink-offering should have been made to Jove or Neptune, not to the god of thievishness and rascality of all kinds. In line 164 we do indeed find Echeneus proposing that a drink-offering should be made to Jove, but Mercury is evidently, according to our authoress, the god who was most likely to be of use to them.]

62 (return)
[ The fact of Alcinous knowing anything about the Cyclopes suggests that in the writer's mind Scheria and the country of the Cyclopes were not very far from one another. I take the Cyclopes and the giants to be one and the same people.]

63 (return)
[ "My property, etc." The authoress is here adopting an Iliadic line (xix. 333), and this must account for the absence of all reference to [Penelope]. If she had happened to remember "Il." v.213, she would doubtless have appropriated it by preference, for that line reads "my country, my wife, and all the greatness of my house."]

64 (return)
[ The at first inexplicable sleep of Ulysses (bk. xiii. 79, etc.) is here, as also in viii. 445, being obviously prepared. The writer evidently attached the utmost importance to it. Those who know that the harbour which did duty with the writer of the "Odyssey" for the one in which Ulysses landed in Ithaca, was only about 2 miles from the place in which Ulysses is now talking with Alcinous, will understand why the sleep was so necessary.]

65 (return)
[ There were two classes—the lower who were found in provisions which they had to cook for themselves in the yards and outer precincts, where they would also eat—and the upper who would eat in the cloisters of the inner court, and have their cooking done for them.]

66 (return)
[ Translation very dubious. I suppose the {Greek} here to be the covered sheds that ran round the outer courtyard. See illustrations at the end of bk. iii.]

67 (return)
[ The writer apparently deems that the words "as compared with what oxen can plough in the same time" go without saying. Not so the writer of the "Iliad" from which the Odyssean passage is probably taken. He explains that mules can plough quicker than oxen ("Il." x.351-353)]

68 (return)
[ It was very fortunate that such a disc happened to be there, seeing that none like it were in common use.]

69 (return)
[ "Il." xiii. 37. Here, as so often elsewhere in the "Odyssey," the appropriation of an Iliadic line which is not quite appropriate puzzles the reader. The "they" is not the chains, nor yet Mars and Venus. It is an overflow from the Iliadic passage in which Neptune hobbles his horses in bonds "which none could either unloose or break so that they might stay there in that place." If the line would have scanned without the addition of the words "so that they might stay there in that place," they would have been omitted in the "Odyssey."]

70 (return)
[ The reader will note that Alcinous never goes beyond saying that he is going to give the goblet; he never gives it. Elsewhere in both "Iliad" and "Odyssey" the offer of a present is immediately followed by the statement that it was given and received gladly—Alcinous actually does give a chest and a cloak and shirt—probably also some of the corn and wine for the long two-mile voyage was provided by him—but it is quite plain that he gave no talent and no cup.]

71 (return)
[ "Il." xviii, 344-349. These lines in the "Iliad" tell of the preparation for washing the body of [Patroclus], and I am not pleased that the writer of the "Odyssey" should have adopted them here.]

72 (return)
[ see note [64] : ]

73 (return)
[ see note [43] : ]

74 (return)
[ The reader will find this threat fulfilled in bk. xiii]

75 (return)
[ If the other islands lay some distance away from Ithaca (which the word {Greek} suggests), what becomes of the {Greek} or gut between Ithaca and Samos which we hear of in Bks. iv. and xv.? I suspect that the authoress in her mind makes Telemachus come back from Pylos to the Lilybaean promontory and thence to Trapani through the strait between the Isola Grande and the mainland—the island of Asteria being the one on which Motya afterwards stood.]

76 (return)
[ "Il." xviii. 533-534. The sudden lapse into the third person here for a couple of lines is due to the fact that the two Iliadic lines taken are in the third person.]