Book Sixteen

Telemachus evades the suitors' ambush and, following Athena's instructions, proceeds to the farmstead of Eumaeus. There he makes the acquaintance of the tattered guest and sends Eumaeus to his mother to announce his safe return.

Athena restores Odysseus' normal appearance, enchancing it so that Telemachus takes him for a god. "No god am I," Odysseus assures him, "but your own father, returned after these twenty years." They fall into each other's arms.

Later they plot the suitors' doom. Concerned that the odds are fifty-to-one, Telemachus suggests that they might need reinforcements.

"Aren't Zeus and Athena reinforcement enough?" asks Odysseus.

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NOTES

Athena While it's clear that Athena intends to fight on the side of Odysseus, dramatic necessity dictates that the exact nature of her involvement be left unclear. Telemachus may be forgiven for distinguishing between the godly power to annihilate legions of mortal foes and mere divine inspiration of a favored hero. (back)





Athena. (back)

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