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Story Summary: Return From Troy, Episode 1

On this page we have split the telling of this episode into its two main sections and provided a summary of each.

Odysseus meets Nausicaa, the daughter of King Alcinous

Paris’ choice (6:45)

Hermes, messenger of the gods, appears before Prince Paris, youngest son of the king of Troy. Great father Zeus commands Paris to choose the most beautiful of the three goddesses and give her a golden apple. Three goddesses stand naked before Paris and make their offers. Hera, the queen of heaven and wife of Zeus, says Paris will be a great king over the whole of Asia and the whole of Europe if he chooses her. Athene, goddess of war and wisdom, promises Paris he will never lose a battle and be famous for his cleverness and wisdom. Aphrodite, goddess of love, says she will give him the most beautiful woman in the world — Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of the Greek city of Sparta. Paris chooses Aphrodite and Aphrodite’s arrows cause Paris and Helen to fall in love and Paris to steal Helen from her husband. The Greek army, supported by the furious Hera and Athene, lays siege to Troy during a bloody ten-year war. Finally the victorious Greek kings, Agamemnon, Menelaus and Odysseus, set sail for home with their treasures.

Food for the soul (4:27)

Nine years later an old man, a stranger, is found on an island beach by the daughter of Alcinous, the king of that island. The stranger is taken to the feasting hall, welcomed and cared for. The king’s storyteller, Demodocus, begins to entertain the company with his story of the siege of Troy. The stranger weeps and reveals his name. It is Odysseus.

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