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I

i.Laertes, King of Ithaca and married to Anticleia (11.85), a great fighter in his youth(24.375–8z), purchases a slave-woman, Eurycleia (1.430–31).

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II

ii.Laertes and Anticlea have a son. He is named Odysseus by his grandfather Autolycus, and looked after by Eurycleia (19.409, 482–3). Odysseus is raised with his younger sister Ctimene and another family slave Eumaeus (15.361–70). Laertes trains Odysseus in husbandry(24.336–44). On a boar-hunt with Autolycus’ sons, he is badly wounded in the thigh(19.413–66).

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III

iii. Odysseus loves hunting, especially with his dog Argus (17.291–317).When he is sent on a mission to Messene (21.13–41), he meets Iphitus, son of Eurytus, who gives him a special bow as a gift. Odysseus uses this in Ithaca but takes it nowhere else.

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IV

iv.Odysseus becomes the wise and gentle King of Ithaca (2.233–4), and marries Penelope, daughter of the Spartan King Icarius. He builds their bedroom and constructs abed around the bole of an olive-tree (23.183–204).

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V

v.Although not eager to join the expedition to Troy (24.115–19), Odysseus does so just after his son Telemachus is born(4.112). An omen accompanies his departure (2.161–76). As he leaves, he tells Penelope that, if he does not return, she is to remarry when Telemachus comes of age (18.257–70).He leaves Mentor (or Laertes?) in charge of the palace (2.226–7).

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VI

vi.Odysseus has various adventures in Troy (4.235–89, 8.75–82); other heroes are killed (3.103–12, e.g. Achilles, Ajax, Patroclus, Antilochus); Troy falls to Odysseus’ wooden-horse trick (8.500–520,11.523–32).

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VII

vii.The Greeks depart for home, and various adventures befall them (3.130 ff.). In particular, Nestor, King of Pylos, arrives home safely and soon(3.115–83); the lesser Ajax is drowned, presumably for his seizure/rape of Cassandra at Athene’s shrine in Troy, though Homer never mentions it (4.496–511); Menelaus, husband of Helen, has adventures at sea for eight years especially in Egypt (4.81 ff., 351ff.); Agamemnon, leader of the expedition, arrives home in Argos to be killed by Aegisthus, lover of his wife Clytaemnestra; his death is avenged by his son Orestes eight years later (1.35–43, 4.512–37, 11.405-2.6),. Odysseus has one false start leaving Troy before he eventually sets off (3.162–4).

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BOOK I

BOOK I
In the twentieth year of Odysseus’ absence, the gods convene a meeting and, on Athene’s pleas, decide to order Calypso (12) to release Odysseus. Athene seeks to put some spirit into Telemachus and, disguised as an old friend of Odysseus (Mentes), arrives in Ithaca. She succeeds in her mission, and advises Telemachus to confront the suitors in public. If they still insist on staying, he is to visit his father’s old friends Nestor, King of Pylos, and Menelaus, King of Sparta, to seek news of Odysseus.

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BOOK II

BOOK II
2.Telemachus tries to stir the men of Ithaca to action against the suitors, but to no avail. He sets off secretly on the journey proposed by Athene. Athene accompanies him, disguised as Mentor (v).

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BOOK III

BOOK III
3.Telemachus visits Nestor. First, he hears stories of other Greeks’ returns (vi, vii), but nothing of Odysseus. Accompanied now not by Athene but by Nestor’s son Peisistratus, he moves on to Sparta.

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BOOK IV

BOOK IV
4.At Menelaus’ palace he hears from both Menelaus and his wife Helen more stories of the returns of Greeks and of his father’s exploits at Troy (vi, vii), and that his father is alive. Back in Ithaca, the suitors plan to ambush him on his return. Penelope is grief-stricken to hear of his departure.

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BOOK V

BOOK V
5.After a second council of the gods, Hermes sets off for Ogygia, and Calypso releases Odysseus. Odysseus sails off, but the sea-god Poseidon, enraged that Odysseus blinded his son the Cyclops (9), creates a tremendous storm, which nearly kills him. He is finally swept ashore on the peninsula called Scherie, where the Phaeacians live.

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BOOK VI

BOOK VI
6.Athenearranges that Nausicaa, daughter of the King Alcinous, should rescue him.

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BOOK VII

BOOK VII
7.Odysseus makes his way to the palace, where he is kindly received, well looked after, and enjoys full Phaeacian hospitality.

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BOOK VIII

BOOK VIII
8.During the next day’s festivities, the Phaeacian bard Demodocus sings some stories of Odysseus’ past adventures (vi). Alcinous enquires who he is and why he weeps. Odysseus announces himself and tells the story of his journey from Troy to Calypso (see 9, 10, 11, 12 above).

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BOOK IX

BOOK IX
9.For three years he is blown around the Mediterranean, experiencing adventures with the Cicones, the Lotus- eaters, the Cyclops Polyphemus (son of Poseidon, whom he blinds),

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BOOK X

BOOK X
10.Aeolus the wind-god, the giant Laestrygonians (who destroy all his ships but his own), and the witch Circe, who sends him to the Underworld.

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BOOK XI

BOOK XI
11.In the Underworld Odysseus consults the seer Teiresias in order to find out how to return home, and who also tells him that Odysseus will travel inland carrying an oar, until someone mistakes it for a winnowing fan - there he will sacrifice to Poseidon and will return home to die in peaceful old age. He meets the ghost of his mother Anticleia, various celebrated women, some dead companions from Troy (Agamemnon, Achilles and Ajax) and sees other heroes in torment.

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BOOK XII

BOOK XII
12.When he leaves Circe, he listens to the song of the Sirens, escapes Scylla and Charybdis and finally arrives on Thrinacia, the island of the sun-god. There his men refuse to heed Odysseus’ warning not to eat the sun-god’s cattle. His last ship is destroyed in the subsequent storm at sea, and Odysseus alone survives, being swept away to Ogygia, the island of the demi-goddess Calypso, where he is marooned for seven more years.

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BOOK XIII

BOOK XIII
13.The Phaeacians load Odysseus with gifts and send him home. On his arrival in Ithaca, Athene meets him, warns him of the suitors, disguises him as an old beggar, and instructs him to visit Eumaeus (ii,viii).

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BOOK XIV

BOOK XIV
14.Odysseus is welcomed by Eumaeus (who does not recognize him) and hears about events in the palace (viii).

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BOOK XV

BOOK XV
15.Athene summons Telemachus back from Sparta. He meets a prophet Theoclymenus, on the run for killing a man, and gives him refuge onboard ship. Telemachus arrives home, avoids the suitors’ ambush (4), disbands his crew, puts Theoclymenus in the care of a friend, and sets off for Eumaeus’ hut. The beggar-Odysseus hears more news of Ithaca (viii).

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BOOK XVI

BOOK XVI
16.Telemachus sends Eumaeus off to town to tell Penelope of his arrival home. In Eumaeus’ absence, Odysseus’ disguise is temporarily lifted and he is reunited with his son. They plan their action against the suitors.

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BOOK XVII

BOOK XVII
17.Telemachus reaches the hut and goes on ahead to the palace, followed by Odysseus and Eumaeus. Odysseus is recognized by his old hunting-dog Argus (iii).Odysseus begs in the palace, and is attacked and insulted, but Penelope asks Eumaeus to arrange for him to meet her.

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BOOK XVIII

BOOK XVIII
18.Odysseus beats up another beggar Irus, but remains on the receiving end of abuse and attacks. Penelope announces that she will remarry (v).

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BOOK XIX

BOOK XIX
19.Theplanned meeting between Penelope and Odysseus takes place (17). Odysseus persuades her that he has heard of ‘Odysseus’, and the grateful Penelope orders Eurycleia to wash him. Eurycleia recognizes him by his scar collected during the boar-hunt (ii), and is sworn to secrecy. Penelope, still in ignorance of the beggar’s identity, announces that she will next day set up the trial of the bow and the axes: whoever can string Odysseus’ bow(iii) and shoot an arrow through the twelve axes will win her hand in marriage.

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BOOK XX

BOOK XX
20.Odysseus and Telemachus remove all the weapons from the hall. In the morning the suitors return to feast and revel. Further insults are directed against Odysseus. He is introduced by Eumaeus to a friendly oxherd, Philoetius. Theoclymenus(15), in a ghastly vision, foretells the suitors’ impending doom.

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BOOK XXI

BOOK XXI
21.Penelope fetches the axes and bow. Telemachus sets up the trial and nearly strings the bow himself. The suitors fail. Odysseus reveals himself to Eumaeus and Philoetius and tells Eurycleia to bar the doors. Penelope retires to bed. He persuades the suitors to let him try the bow, strings it and shoots through the axes.

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BOOK XXII

BOOK XXII
22.Odysseus, Telemachus, Eumaeus and Philoetius, first with bow and arrows, then with arms – and helped by Athene disguised as Mentor –slaughter the suitors. The house is cleansed, the faithless servants are hanged, and the faithful greet their lord.

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BOOK XXIII

BOOK XXIII
23.Eurycleia wakens Penelope. She cannot believe that the beggar is Odysseus, but by testing him about the construction of their marriage bed (iv), she proves to her satisfaction that it is he. They make preparations to repel the suitors’ relatives, and go to bed.