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The Wine Red Sea:  Journeys of Odysseus
© Copyright 2014 - 2018 by Peter J Ponzio

Father and Son Reunited - Book XVI

Amphinomus, sensing that his friend had gone too far, addressed the suitors as follows: Friends, I’ve no desire to kill Telemachus, not I- it’s a terrible thing to shed the blood of kings. Wait, sound out the will of the gods-that first. If the decrees of mighty Zeus commend the work, I’ll kill the prince myself and spur on all the rest. If the gods are against it, then I say hold back! (XVI 444-449) Penelope, ever vigilant, heard the plans of the suitors from her servant Medon.  The queen, flanked by her attendants, descended into the great hall and addressed the suitors as follows: You, Antinous!  Violent, vicious, scheming- you, they say, are the best man of your age in Ithaca, best for eloquence, counsel.  You’re nothing of the sort! Madman, why do you weave destruction for Telemachus?- Show no pity to those who need it?  those over whom almighty Zeus stands guard.  It’s wrong, unholy, yes, weaving death for those whop deserve your mercy!  (XVI 463-469) The queen went on to relate how Odysseus took in Antinous’ father after he was banished from his native land for attacking the Thesprotians, allies of Ithaca.  Eurymachus calmed the queen, telling her that he would not allow any of the suitors to harm Telemachus.  IN truth, he was in a league with the rest of the suitors, and was also plotting the death of the prince. Later that evening, Eumaeus returned to his hut, where father and son were waiting for him.  But before Eumaeus arrived, Athena changed Odysseus back into an old man.  Telemachus then asked the swineherd of news from the palace.  Eumaeus replied that he did not wait to gather news but rushed back to his hut.  He did, however, tell the prince that he saw the ship, filled with suitors, dock at the port.  Eumaeus then prepared a meal of roast pig, and the three companions laid hands to the good things before them.