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Odysseus/Ulysses

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Author Topic: Odysseus/Ulysses  (Read 4508 times)
Bianca
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« on: June 23, 2008, 05:45:44 pm »

                                         








In The Odyssey, written by Homer in 800 BC, the Greek hero Odysseus (Ulysses in Latin) is away from home for 20 years fighting the Trojan War and trying to get home against the opposition of the god Poseidon. When he finally returns home to Ithaca, he disguises himself as a beggar to discover what was going on in his palace during his absence. The only one to recognize him was his hound Argus, who is described in terms that marks him clearly as a sighthound.




The myth mentions that the very old dog died just after recognizing his master having fulfilled his destiny of faith.





Argus and Odysseus
(Homer, The Odyssey Book XVII)



As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised
his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argus, whom Odysseus had
bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of
him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when
they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his
master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow
dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come
and draw it away to manure the great close; and he was full of
fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears
and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When
Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear
from his eyes without Eumaeus seeing it, and said:

"Eumaeus, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap:
his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he
only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept
merely for show?"

"This hound," answered Eumaeus, "belonged to him who has died in a
far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he
would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in
the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its
tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead
and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their
work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Jove takes
half the goodness out of a man when he makes a slave of him."
As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the cloister where the
suitors were, but Argus died as soon as he had recognized his master.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 06:43:09 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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