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Story Summary: Return From Troy, Episode 9

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

Odysseus is transported to Ithaca by King Alcinous' men

A high-prowed ship (5:16)

King Alcinous does as he has promised and Odysseus sleeps soundly on a ship loaded with treasures. It brings him to Ithaca and leaves him, still asleep, on the shore. Athene, goddess of war, comes down from Mount Olympus to protect him. She covers the island with mist and slowly reveals to Odysseus that he is in Ithaca. He throws himself down and kisses the earth. Athene helps him to hide the treasure in a cave.

Unravelling at home (3:07)

The curse of Polyphemus has come true. Athene explains that during his absence suitors wishing to marry his wife Penelope have invaded his feasting hall and are now planning to murder his son, Telemachus, on his return from Sparta. Odysseus asks Athene to fight alongside him but she has another plan. With her touch she turns him into a beggar. He must not reveal himself but go to the hut of Eumaeus, the swineherd, to listen and learn.

A beggar king and an absent prince (5:37)

Athene watches him on his way and then speeds to the palace of King Menelaus in Sparta. She tells Telemachus to go home to protect his mother and warns him of the plan for his own murder.

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