5. Of Beards and Boar Hunts, or, Coming of Age in the Odyssey

In Homer it is the connection with a paternal model and in general with the model of his male forebears that eventually makes a boy into a man. If the child is unconnected to his father, he is by definition νήπιος ‘childish’, as Susan Edmunds has shown. [1] Who then are the paradigms available to the young prince? Laertes, an obvious choice, lives in self-imposed exile and is not readily available. Autolykos, his maternal grandfather, who, as we will note, would institutionally have been the best substitute, is absent or dead. Eumaios, fatherly though he is, remains nonetheless an ‘alien male’, as Devereux would say, and hence is less suitable in the eyes of a patriarchal society. So too is Medon, the herald, for the selfsame reasons. A fortiori, the senior among the suitors who presumably entertained Telemachos regularly at their homes (Odyssey 11.184–187) would not be likely to fit the bill.
Faute de mieux the only person who can educate the prince in the ways of κλέος is Athena in her successive capacities as ‘Mentes’ and ‘Mentor’. She serves the educational role of Phoinix, the surrogate father of the infant Achilles (Iliad 9.485–491), who later accompanies him to Troy. Even at Troy the young Achilles is still a ‘child’—not biologically but developmentally, as Phoinix notes in Iliad 9.439ff., in respect of war (πόλεμος) and deliberation (ἀγοραί). Are we to assume that Achilles arrived on the foreign battlefield a virtual tabula rasa? What sort of ‘education’ had he most likely received previously in Thessaly? And what further training did he receive at Troy under the guidance of his ‘mentor’, Phoinix?
Education, glancingly alluded to in the Iliad, looms large in the Odyssey. [2] The so-called Telemachy—the nineteenth-century appellation for the first four {105|106} books of the Odyssey as well as a large part of Book 15, and sections of 16 and 17—is rightly regarded by many scholars as a precursor to the Bildungsroman. [3] The educational strand of the poem was remarked upon, we have seen, as early as the fourth century ad by the Neo-Platonist Porphyry, who classified the tales of Telemachos as a παίδευσις ‘education’. [4] Ιn this chapter I will go one step further than ancient and modern scholars by arguing that the Telemachy was modeled on a recognizable standard component of aristocratic education.
Matters of education and of growing up, however, also surface outside of the Telemachy proper: this is scarcely surprising for a poem in which father and son move in parallel, the son imitating and re-experiencing on a micro-scale the travails, travels, and especially the seductive delays of his father. M. J. Apthorp, among others, has brought out the impressive formal and symbolic parallels between the ten-year wanderings of Odysseus and Telemachos’ month-long voyage and sojourn in the Peloponnese. [5] (Needless to say, father and son never achieve parity, despite their common patterns: in accordance with Athena’s master plan, Telemachos gains kleos as a direct result of his experiences—but this is kleos in a minor key, the kind of social recognition and status that more typically attaches to someone who has successfully gone through a ‘life-crisis ritual’, whether actual or metaphorical.) Apthorp, incidentally, leaves out one telling parallel between Odysseus and Telemachos that pertains to the Odyssey’s more general educational interests. It is this common feature that I would like to explore.
Education is, broadly speaking, initiatory, though not usually in van Gennep’s sense of constituting a rite de passage. Conversely, as anthropologists note, initiation belongs to the genus ‘education’. [6] Where then does the boundary between the two lie? Sir Kenneth Dover has argued that the difference between education and initiation resides in two criteria. As he puts it, “The most important criterion of initiation is in fact secrecy, which is absent from our kind of education; we do not forbid one sex to divulge the second law of thermodynamics . . . to the other sex. The intensity of symbolism is a secondary criterion.” He adds: “The elements of secrecy and of symbolism {106|107} in initiation procedures are, of course, variable between cultures.” [7] Thus it is one thing to send pupils to school or, in the instance of the ancient Greeks, to immerse boys or young men in a set of cultural practices and mentalities in non-institutional contexts. It is quite another matter to follow the Bantu custom of secluding boys for three months in a lodge in the wilderness, submitting them to a series of hardships, instructing them in secret magico-religious formulas and finally reintegrating them into mainstream society. The custom I have just described resembles initiation rituals the world over: the individual experiences a symbolic death after withdrawal and at length is ‘reborn’, being rejoined (or ‘incorporated’) to his group with a new, often adult status.
Odysseus’ boar hunt—the subject of the famed digression on the hero’s wound in Book 19— represents, I believe, a culminating episode in Homeric education. Here I mean ‘education’ in the sense of “the unconscious inculcation of dispositions,” according to Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of habitus. [8] In this theory the learning process is not a matter of explicit tuition but rather is embedded in a variety of everyday contexts in which a person from childhood onward observes, imitates, and thereby internalizes cultural practices and social structures. As I will argue, despite its seeming casualness and certain inconcinnities, the hunting expedition is a formalized Jünglingsprobe—a traditional test which determines the candidate’s status as that of a warrior-prince. In certain aspects this hunt resembles, at least superficially, a Cretan custom, reported by the historian Ephoros (fourth century BC), which Dover regards as a homoeroticized version of age-graded initiation. [9] Here, then, in Robert Fitzgerald’s gripping {107|108} translation, is Homer’s account of Odysseus’ boar hunt (Odyssey 19.392–466 = Fitzgerald 1963:366–368):
αὐτίκα δ’ ἔγνω
οὐλὴν, τήν ποτέ μιν σῦς ἤλασε λευκῷ ὀδόντι
Παρνησόνδ’ ἐλθόντα μετ’ Αὐτόλυκόν τε καὶ υἷας,
395μητρὸς ἑῆς πατέρ’ ἐσθλόν, ὃς ἀνθρώπους ἐκέκαστο
κλεπτοσύνῃ θ’ ὅρκῳ τε· θεὸς δέ οἱ αὐτὸς ἔδωκεν
Ἑρμείας· τῷ γὰρ κεχαρισμένα μηρία καῖεν
ἀρνῶν ἠδ’ ἐρίφων· ὁ δέ οἱ πρόφρων ἅμ’ ὀπήδει.
Αὐτόλυκος δ’ ἐλθὼν Ἰθάκης ἐς πίονα δῆμον
400παῖδα νέον γεγαῶτα κιχήσατο θυγατέρος ἧς·
τόν ῥά οἱ Εὐρύκλεια φίλοις ἐπὶ γούνασι θῆκε
παυομένῳ δόρποιο, ἔπος τ’ ἔφατ’ ἔκ τ’ ὀνόμαζεν· {108|109}
“Αὐτόλυκ’, αὐτὸς νῦν ὄνομ’ εὕρεο ὅττι κε θῆαι
παιδὸς παιδὶ φίλῳ· πολυάρητος δέ τοί ἐστι.”
405Τὴν δ’ αὖτ’ Αὐτόλυκος ἀπαμείβετο φώνησέν τε·
“γαμβρὸς ἐμὸς θυγάτηρ τε, τίθεσθ’ ὄνομ’ ὅττι κεν εἴπω·
πολλοῖσιν γὰρ ἐγώ γε ὀδυσσάμενος τόδ’ ἱκάνω,
ἀνδράσιν ἠδὲ γυναιξὶν ἀνὰ χθόνα πουλυβότειραν·
τῷ δ’ Ὀδυσεὺς ὄνομ’ ἔστω ἐπώνυμον. αὐτὰρ ἐγώ γε,
410ὁππότ’ ἂν ἡβήσας μητρώϊον ἐς μέγα δῶμα
ἔλθῃ Παρνησόνδ’, ὅθι πού μοι κτήματ’ ἔασι,
τῶν οἱ ἐγὼ δώσω καί μιν χαίροντ’ ἀποπέμψω.”
Τῶν ἕνεκ’ ἦλθ’ Ὀδυσεύς, ἵνα οἱ πόροι ἀγλαὰ δῶρα.
τὸν μὲν ἄρ’ Αὐτόλυκός τε καὶ υἱέες Αὐτολύκοιο
415χερσίν τ’ ἠσπάζοντο ἔπεσσί τε μειλιχίοισι·
μήτηρ δ’ Ἀμφιθέη μητρὸς περιφῦσ’ Ὀδυσῆϊ
κύσσ’ ἄρα μιν κεφαλήν τε καὶ ἄμφω φάεα καλά.
Αὐτόλυκος δ’ υἱοῖσιν ἐκέκλετο κυδαλίμοισι
δεῖπνον ἐφοπλίσσαι· τοὶ δ’ ὀτρύνοντος ἄκουσαν,
420αὐτίκα δ’ εἰσάγαγον βοῦν ἄρσενα πενταέτηρον·
τὸν δέρον ἀμφί θ’ ἕπον, καί μιν διέχευαν ἅπαντα,
μίστυλλόν τ’ ἄρ’ ἐπισταμένως πεῖράν τ’ ὀβελοῖσιν,
ὤπτησάν τε περιφραδέως δάσσαντό τε μοίρας.
ὣς τότε μὲν πρόπαν ἦμαρ ἐς ἠέλιον καταδύντα
425δαίνυντ’, οὐδέ τι θυμὸς ἐδεύετο δαιτὸς ἐΐσης·
ἦμος δ’ ἠέλιος κατέδυ καὶ ἐπὶ κνέφας ἦλθε,
δὴ τότε κοιμήσαντο καὶ ὕπνου δῶρον ἕλοντο.
Ἦμος δ’ ἠριγένεια φάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς,
βάν ῥ’ ἴμεν ἐς θήρην, ἠμὲν κύνες ἠδὲ καὶ αὐτοὶ
430υἱέες Αὐτολύκου· μετὰ τοῖσι δὲ δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
ἤϊεν· αἰπὺ δ’ ὄρος προσέβαν καταειμένον ὕλῃ
Παρνησοῦ, τάχα δ’ ἵκανον πτύχας ἠνεμοέσσας.
Ἠέλιος μὲν ἔπειτα νέον προσέβαλλεν ἀρούρας
ἐξ ἀκαλαρρείταο βαθυρρόου Ὠκεανοῖο,
435οἱ δ’ ἐς βῆσσαν ἵκανον ἐπακτῆρες· πρὸ δ’ ἄρ’ αὐτῶν
ἴχνι’ ἐρευνῶντες κύνες ἤϊσαν, αὐτὰρ ὄπισθεν
υἱέες Αὐτολύκου· μετὰ τοῖσι δὲ δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
ἤϊεν ἄγχι κυνῶν, κραδάων δολιχόσκιον ἔγχος.
ἔνθα δ’ ἄρ’ ἐν λόχμῃ πυκινῇ κατέκειτο μέγας σῦς·
440τὴν μὲν ἄρ’ οὔτ’ ἀνέμων διάη μένος ὑγρὸν ἀέντων,
οὔτε μιν Ἠέλιος φαέθων ἀκτῖσιν ἔβαλλεν,
οὔτ’ ὄμβρος περάασκε διαμπερές· ὣς ἄρα πυκνὴ
ἦεν, ἀτὰρ φύλλων ἐνέην χύσις ἤλιθα πολλή. {109|110}
τὸν δ’ ἀνδρῶν τε κυνῶν τε περὶ κτύπος ἦλθε ποδοῖϊν,
445ὡς ἐπάγοντες ἐπῇσαν· ὁ δ’ ἀντίος ἐκ ξυλόχοιο,
φρίξας εὖ λοφιήν, πῦρ δ’ ὀφθαλμοῖσι δεδορκώς,
στῆ ῥ’ αὐτῶν σχεδόθεν· ὁ δ’ ἄρα πρώτιστος Ὀδυσσεὺς
ἔσσυτ’ ἀνασχόμενος δολιχὸν δόρυ χειρὶ παχείῃ,
οὐτάμεναι μεμαώς· ὁ δέ μιν φθάμενος ἔλασεν σῦς
450γουνὸς ὕπερ, πολλὸν δὲ διήφυσε σαρκὸς ὀδόντι
λικριφὶς ἀΐξας, οὐδ’ ὀστέον ἵκετο φωτός.
τὸν δ’ Ὀδυσεὺς οὔτησε τυχὼν κατὰ δεξιὸν ὦμον,
ἀντικρὺ δὲ διῆλθε φαεινοῦ δουρὸς ἀκωκή·
κὰδ δ’ ἔπεσ’ ἐν κονίῃσι μακών, ἀπὸ δ’ ἔπτατο θυμός.
455τὸν μὲν ἄρ’ Αὐτολύκου παῖδες φίλοι ἀμφιπένοντο,
ὠτειλὴν δ’ Ὀδυσῆος ἀμύμονος ἀντιθέοιο
δῆσαν ἐπισταμένως, ἐπαοιδῇ δ’ αἷμα κελαινὸν
ἔσχεθον, αἶψα δ’ ἵκοντο φίλου πρὸς δώματα πατρός.
τὸν μὲν ἄρ’ Αὐτόλυκός τε καὶ υἱέες Αὐτολύκοιο
460εὖ ἰησάμενοι ἠδ’ ἀγλαὰ δῶρα πορόντες
καρπαλίμως χαίροντα φίλην ἐς πατρίδ’ ἔπεμπον
εἰς Ἰθάκην. τῷ μέν ῥα πατὴρ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ
χαῖρον νοστήσαντι καὶ ἐξερέεινον ἅπαντα,
οὐλὴν ὅττι πάθοι· ὁ δ’ ἄρα σφίσιν εὖ κατέλεξεν
ὥς μιν θηρεύοντ’ ἔλασεν σῦς λευκῷ ὀδόντι,
Παρνησόνδ’ ἐλθόντα σὺν υἱάσιν Αὐτολύκοιο.
Odyssey 19.392–466
An old wound
a boar’s white tusk inflicted, on Parnassos
years ago. He had gone hunting there
in company with his uncles and Autólykos,
his mother’s father—a great thief and swindler
by Hermês’ favor, for Autólykos pleased him
with burnt offerings of sheep and kids. The god
acted as his accomplice. Well, Autólykos
on a trip to Ithaka
arrived just after his daughter’s boy was born.
In fact, he had no sooner finished supper
than Nurse Eurýkleia put the baby down
in his own lap and said:
“It is for you, now,
to choose a name for him, your child’s dear baby;
the answer to her prayers.” {110|111}
Autólykos replied:
“My son-in-law, my daughter, call the boy
by the name I tell you. Well you know, my hand
has been against the world of men and women;
odium and distrust I’ve won. Odysseus
should be his given name. When he grows up,
when he comes visiting his mother’s home
under Parnassos, where my treasures are,
I’ll make him gifts and send him back rejoicing.”
Odysseus in due course went for the gifts,
and old Autólykos and his sons embraced him
with welcoming sweet words; and Amphithéa,
his mother’s mother, held him tight and kissed him,
kissed his head and his fine eyes.
The father
called on his noble sons to make a feast,
and going about it briskly they led in
an ox of five years, whom they killed and flayed
and cut in bits for roasting on the skewers
with skilled hands, with care; then shared it out.
So all the day until the sun went down
they feasted to their hearts’ content. At evening,
after the sun was down and dusk had come,
they turned to bed and took the gift of sleep.
When the young Dawn spread in the eastern sky
her finger tips of rose, the men and dogs
went hunting, taking Odysseus. They climbed
Parnassos’ rugged flank mantled in forest,
entering amid high windy folds at noon
when Hêlios beat upon the valley floor
and on the winding Ocean whence he came.
With hounds questing ahead, in open order,
the sons of Autólykos went down a glen,
Odysseus in the lead, behind the dogs,
pointing his long-shadowing spear.
Before them
a great boar lay hid in undergrowth,
in a green thicket proof against the wind
or sun’s blaze, fine soever the needling sunlight,
impervious too to any rain, so dense
that cover was, heaped up with fallen leaves. {111|112}
Patter of hounds’ feet, men’s feet, woke the boar
as they came up—and from his woody ambush
with razor back bristling and raging eyes
he trotted and stood at bay. Odysseus,
being on top of him, had the first shot,
lunging to stick him; but the boar
had already charged under the long spear.
He hooked aslant with one white tusk and ripped out
flesh above the knee, but missed the bone.
Odysseus’ second thrust went home by luck,
his bright spear passing through the shoulder joint;
and the beast fell, moaning as life pulsed away.
Autólykos’ tall sons took up the wounded,
working skillfully over the Prince Odysseus
to bind his gash, and with a rune they stanched
the dark flow of blood. Then downhill swiftly
they all repaired to the father’s house, and there
tended him well—so well they soon could send him,
with Grandfather Autólykos’ magnificent gifts,
rejoicing, over sea to Ithaka.
His father and the Lady Antikleía
welcomed him, and wanted all the news
of how he got his wound; so he spun out
his tale, recalling how the boar’s white tusk
caught him when he was hunting on Parnassos.
Odyssey (tr. Fitzgerald) 19.392–466
For the benefit of my discussion I note the key passages in my own translation:
Αὐτόλυκος δ’ ἐλθὼν Ἰθάκης ἐς πίονα δῆμον
400παῖδα νέον γεγαῶτα κιχήσατο θυγατέρος ἧς·
τόν ῥά οἱ Εὐρύκλεια φίλοις ἐπὶ γούνασι θῆκε
παυομένῳ δόρποιο, ἔπος τ’ ἔφατ’ ἔκ τ’ ὀνόμαζεν·
‘Αὐτόλυκ’, αὐτὸς νῦν ὄνομ’ εὕρεο ὅττι κε θῆαι
παιδὸς παιδὶ φίλῳ· πολυάρητος δέ τοί ἐστι.’
405Τὴν δ’ αὖτ’ Αὐτόλυκος ἀπαμείβετο φώνησέν τε·
‘γαμβρὸς ἐμὸς θυγάτηρ τε, τίθεσθ’ ὄνομ’ ὅττι κεν εἴπω·
πολλοῖσιν γὰρ ἐγώ γε ὀδυσσάμενος τόδ’ ἱκάνω,
ἀνδράσιν ἠδὲ γυναιξὶν ἀνὰ χθόνα πουλυβότειραν·
τῷ δ’ Ὀδυσεὺς ὄνομ’ ἔστω ἐπώνυμον. αὐτὰρ ἐγώ γε, {112|113}
410ὁππότ’ ἂν ἡβήσας μητρώϊον ἐς μέγα δῶμα
ἔλθῃ Παρνησόνδ’, ὅθι πού μοι κτήματ’ ἔασι,
τῶν οἱ ἐγὼ δώσω καί μιν χαίροντ’ ἀποπέμψω.’
Τῶν ἕνεκ’ ἦλθ’ Ὀδυσεύς, ἵνα οἱ πόροι ἀγλαὰ δῶρα.
τὸν μὲν ἄρ’ Αὐτόλυκός τε καὶ υἱέες Αὐτολύκοιο
415χερσίν τ’ ἠσπάζοντο ἔπεσσί τε μειλιχίοισι·
μήτηρ δ’ Ἀμφιθέη μητρὸς περιφῦσ’ Ὀδυσῆϊ
κύσσ’ ἄρα μιν κεφαλήν τε καὶ ἄμφω φάεα καλά.
Αὐτόλυκος δ’ υἱοῖσιν ἐκέκλετο κυδαλίμοισι
δεῖπνον ἐφοπλίσσαι· τοὶ δ’ ὀτρύνοντος ἄκουσαν,
420αὐτίκα δ’ εἰσάγαγον βοῦν ἄρσενα πενταέτηρον·
Odyssey 19.399–420
Now Autolykos, having come to the fertile land of Ithaka,
came upon the newborn son of his daughter.
Him Eurykleia placed upon his knees
as he was finishing his evening meal, and she spoke and addressed him by name:
“Autolykos, yourself [autos] now find whatever name you may have an interest in ascribing
to the beloved son of your son; surely he has been much prayed for.”
Her in turn Autolykos answered and spoke to:
“My son-in-law and my daughter, ascribe [to him] whatever name I may utter:
since I have come this way having felt anger [odussamenos] at many,
men and women throughout the earth that feeds many flocks—
therefore let him have the name ‘Odysseus’ as his meaningful name. And I,
when he, having come of age, to his mother’s great [ancestral] home
comes on Mt. Parnassos where my possessions are,
some of these I shall give him as a gift and shall send him away rejoicing.”
On account of those [objects] Odysseus had come: so that he [i.e. Autolykos] might present him splendid gifts.
So him Autolykos and the sons of Autolykos
welcomed with their hands [i.e. clasping his hand] and with words gentle as honey.
The mother of his mother Amphithee, hugging Odysseus,
kissed him on the head and both beautiful eyes.
Autolykos, meanwhile, ordered his glorious sons
to prepare the meal, and they heeded his urging,
and immediately they led in a five-year-old bull. {113|114}
455τὸν μὲν ἄρ’ Αὐτολύκου παῖδες φίλοι ἀμφιπένοντο,
ὠτειλὴν δ’ Ὀδυσῆος ἀμύμονος ἀντιθέοιο
δῆσαν ἐπισταμένως, ἐπαοιδῇ δ’ αἷμα κελαινὸν
ἔσχεθον, αἶψα δ’ ἵκοντο φίλου πρὸς δώματα πατρός.
τὸν μὲν ἄρ’ Αὐτόλυκός τε καὶ υἱέες Αὐτολύκοιο
460εὖ ἰησάμενοι ἠδ’ ἀγλαὰ δῶρα πορόντες
καρπαλίμως χαίροντα φίλην ἐς πατρίδ’ ἔπεμπον
εἰς Ἰθάκην. τῷ μέν ῥα πατὴρ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ
χαῖρον νοστήσαντι καὶ ἐξερέεινον ἅπαντα,
οὐλὴν ὅττι πάθοι· ὁ δ’ ἄρα σφίσιν εὖ κατέλεξεν
465ὥς μιν θηρεύοντ’ ἔλασεν σῦς λευκῷ ὀδόντι,
Παρνησόνδ’ ἐλθόντα σὺν υἱάσιν Αὐτολύκοιο.
Odyssey 19.455–466
The dear sons of Autolykos busied themselves with it [sc. the carcass]
and the wound of Odysseus the pre-eminent, the godlike
they bound up expertly, and with an incantation the dark blood
they staunched, and at once they went to the house of his dear father.
Now, him Autolykos and the sons of Autolykos,
after tending [him] well and after presenting splendid gifts [to him],
they speedily sent rejoicing to his dear native land,
to Ithaka. His father and lady mother
rejoiced at his homecoming [nostêsanti, literally, his having made his nostos] and they closely asked about every detail,
about the scar, how did he get it [literally, what happened to him]; and to them he narrated well [from the beginning to the end]
how a boar charged at him with its white tusk while he was hunting,
after going to Mt. Parnassos with the sons of Autolykos.
This test of manhood—if it is that—is deliberately announced elliptically at Odysseus’ naming ceremony, during the very speech act that declares that his identity is to be a pun on the verb ὀδύσσεσθαι ‘to feel anger’ (Odyssey 19.406–409). His maternal grandfather Autolykos ‘Lone Wolf’ [10] has come from Parnassos to visit Laertes and Antikleia shortly after Odysseus’ birth. Holding the baby symbolically on his knees, Autolykos names him, then ordains that as soon as the child becomes a young adult (ἡβήσας ‘having come of age’, Odyssey 19.411), he is to call on him at Parnassos; Autolykos will then award the young man a portion of his (ancestral) moveable possessions (κτήματα, Odyssey 19.411; cf. ἀγλαὰ δῶρα ‘splendid gifts’, 19.413) and afterwards send him {114|115} back to Ithaka rejoicing (Odyssey 19.411–412). [11] What is Odysseus’ grandfather alluding to? Jan Bremmer has come up with a cogent answer: Autolykos implies a ceremony by which Odysseus will be welcomed or (as Bremmer believes) “initiated” into his maternal family. According to this scholar’s comparative analysis of myths and historical sources, a boy’s maternal kin, and particularly his mother’s brothers, would have had an “active hand” in his education, and they could even serve as his foster-father(s) until the boy’s puberty. [12]
Surely enough, 18 or so years later, the hero journeys to Parnassos, ostensibly to claim the κτήματα ‘possessions’ pledged to him. There the youth joins Autolykos and his uncles. The men hold a bull sacrifice and a lavish feast that ends at nightfall. At the crack of dawn the party—grandfather, uncles, and Odysseus—set out to hunt with their dogs.
The men and dogs corner a boar, forcing it to emerge in anger from its lair; Odysseus, the first to attack, is wounded above the knee. Peter Jones, in his commentary, taxes the hero with impulsiveness, noting that Odysseus charges the animal, not vice versa. [13] Impulsive or just wet behind the ears? The best strategy would be for the entire hunting party to surround their prey and then simultaneously cast their spears, the tactic employed in the tragic boar hunt in Herodotos 1.43. Odysseus, moreover, ought to know that boars only counterattack and, even then, only when wounded. Once injured, a boar turns into a frenzied killer, capable of remarkable feats of strength and stamina. Imagine the charge of a well-muscled creature shielded with a virtually impervious hide and weighing between 140 and 300 kilos. [14] True to zoology, boars in Homer are always aggressive defenders, never attackers (unlike lions, which attack first). [15] Richard Rutherford, for his part, argues that the boar hunt in Odyssey 19 is only incidental to Odysseus’ visit to Parnassos on the grounds that “in the text as it stands the initial purpose of Odysseus’ journey to Parnassos is not to hunt (nor does Autolycus mention this aspect of the proposed visit), but to obtain gifts from his maternal relatives. It is possible that gift-exchange rather {115|116} than hunting is the underlying institution” [italics mine]. [16] This is to ignore an obvious point, namely, the traditional educational value of the boar hunt as attested in Macedonian inscriptions and other sources from the fourth century BC onward. [17] M. B. Hatzopoulos, who has studied the Macedonian practice, shows it to be outright an educational institution that may be traced back to age-graded initiation of long standing. [18] (I will return to the highly ancient Macedonian custom shortly. For the moment I note that the hunt of the κάπρος ‘wild boar’ is but one of numerous similar educational practices evidenced Panhellenically, as Hatzopoulos demonstrates.)
Even Rutherford, despite his initial doubts, owns that Odysseus’ expedition does have “something of the nature of a rite of passage, a transitional ritual between youth and manhood, literally a ‘blooding’.” [19] As students of anthropology well know, moreover, initiation activities often end with the bestowal of gifts upon ‘graduating’ initiates. Anthropologically speaking, it is rather the gift-giving that is an incidental (if symbolic) component of what transpires in the excursus in Odyssey 19. Autolykos, in keeping with the ideology of initiation, cryptically invites his grandson, once he becomes a young man, to come to Parnassos to receive gifts. The real reason for the pre-announced visit, however, is to undergo a test of manhood. If successful, Odysseus will win gifts, like the successful young hunter in Ephoros’ account of pederastic abduction in Crete. After two months in the bush with his ἐραστής ‘lover’, the ἐρώμενος ‘beloved’ hunter receives from him an ox, a drinking-cup, and a combat outfit—all expensive gifts. And like the young Cretan hunter, Odysseus is to gain a new public status, as I will remark shortly.
Rutherford is still more helpful to my purposes, because he shows the extent to which the retrospective narrative about the killing of the boar incorporates telltale details from Iliadic battle descriptions: a total of six lines (433–434, 449, 451, 452, and 453) echo combat scenes word for word, while {116|117} verse 454 replicates Iliad 16.469, which describes the death in battle of Patroklos’ horse Pedasos. [20] As Rutherford remarks, such echoes remind the audience of martial epic. [21] They also suggest, as this scholar implies, that young Odysseus is consciously imitating the conduct of a typical warrior flushing out a camouflaged enemy who waits in ambush. [22] Odysseus, παιδνὸς ἐών ‘being a child’ (cf. Odyssey 21.21), undergoes, it appears, a standard exploit, which in its symbolism and danger prefigures his full-scale adult ἀριστεῖαι ‘special periods of prowess’, such as that in Iliad 11. 411–445. [23] There the action is introduced by a simile that likens the stranded hero Odysseus to a fearsome boar harried on all sides by hounds and brave young hunters; [24] the mature fighter Odysseus, in other words, is the analogue of the animal he killed as a young adult at Parnassos. [25] In three other Iliadic similes, warriors, Achaians, and Trojans alike share certain telling features with boars; so a boar, one might say, functions as a good Ersatz-enemy with whom to rehearse hand-to-hand combat. [26] Also suggestive, right after the boar simile in Iliad 11, Odysseus mortally wounds with his spear a Trojan in the shoulder (Iliad 11.420–421), another between the shoulders (11.447–448), and then is himself wounded. At Parnassos the hero, it will be recalled, pierces the boar through the shoulder with his ἔγχος ‘spear’, presumably striking its lung in much the same way that a matador lethally stabs a bull below the shoulder blade. [27] {117|118}
The hunting expedition in Odyssey 19 is far from incidental, as I have urged, and most likely reflects the social reality of the Archaic and earlier periods. Such a hunt was the key component of a traditional ‘blooding’ that followed a set procedure and was modeled on a military exercise. [28] The Iliadic overtones in the Odyssey’s excursus bear out the latter aspect. If Macedonian practice is at all a reliable comparandum, this test, which myth retrojected ultimately to the Kalydonian boar hunt and to Herakles’ similar exploit, [29] was essential to establishing a young man’s masculine as well as his collective identity. Athenaios 1.18 reports that at Macedon men who had not killed a boar with a spear were debarred from reclining at dinner and that Kassandros for this very reason had to sit (like a woman) next to his father at meals until the age of 35, when he finally killed a boar. [30] ‘Blooding’ ideology clearly underlies the tomb fresco at Vergina, which includes two nude hunters with spears—but significantly without belts—pursuing a boar. [31] Hatzopoulos, who convincingly reads the fresco as a whole in terms of age-grades and royal hierarchy, classifies the hunters as not fully adult and not yet inducted into the army. Success in a boar hunt thus made one a man and a soldier in the archaizing kingdom of Macedon. [32]
Wounds sustained from the definitional hunt would have been marks of identity. As Dover notes, [33] injury itself serves as a test of endurance and also {118|119} furnishes lasting proof of “transition to a new status, e.g. cutting off the foreskin or knocking out one of the front teeth.” Odysseus’ φίλοι ‘intimates’ from childhood—people like Laertes, Eumaios, Philoitios the cowherd, and his former nurse—are proudly aware of the οὐλή ‘scar’. [34] As an unmistakable signifier (literally a σῆμα ‘sign or token’), the scar is for Homer as potent a symbol of a change of gender as the sprouting of a beard. In a culture with a uniquely calibrated terminology for male facial hair, γενειάδες ‘a beard’ betokened the onset of ἥβη, or early adulthood. [35] Once arrived at the attractive ‘full measure of ἥβη’, a male possessed personal and civic agency and in particular, in Homeric ideology, the self-evident capacity to carry out acts of revenge. [36] At Odyssey 1.41 Zeus declares that Orestes behaves typically when he exacts τίσις ‘retaliation, revenge’ on Aigisthos as soon as he reaches ἥβη. And, as we learn at Odyssey 11.317–320, the gigantic twins Otos and Ephialtes would have toppled the Olympians had Apollo not killed them before they grew full, blossoming beards. [37]
Such an ideology requires that Odysseus should go boar-hunting only after growing a beard at ἥβη ‘early adulthood, coming of age’. The sequence—beard, then boar hunt—was arguably standard in the pre-Archaic and Archaic periods. Not only is the hero’s wound a metonym for ἥβη, but, located as it is above the knee (Odyssey 19.449–450), the notional seat of manhood, [38] the injury is comparable to the removal of foreskin in circumcision.
The young hero’s coming of age culminates, it seems, in λεγόμενα ‘things said’ followed by δρώμενα ‘things done’. First comes the twin cry of congratulation, ‘ἀμύμων ἀντίθεος’ (“the preeminent, the godlike”), as suggested by the phraseology in verse 456: ὠτειλὴν δ’ Ὀδυσῆος ἀμύμονος ἀντιθέοιο (‘and the wound of Odysseus the preeminent, the godlike’). [39] Having earned two epithets typical of heroes, the wounded hunter enjoys permanently a new standing and high repute among his community. In like fashion, after his two-month stint, the Cretan hunter mentioned in Ephoros is entitled to wear at festivals the clothing awarded to him by his lover, and henceforth is reckoned κλεινός ‘of high repute’. Ηe has gained kleos in a minor key— the first glimmer of a grown-up’s {119|120} kleos. Then comes the award of ἀγλαὰ δῶρα ‘splendid gifts’ (Odyssey 19.460). [40] Τhe hero, rejoicing, is seen off by his rejoicing grandfather and uncles. If we adopt, with Rutherford and Dawe, [41] the vulgate alternative φίλως χαίροντες instead of φίλην ἐς πατρίδ’, the assonance in verse 461 (καρπαλίμως χαίροντα φίλως χαίροντες ἔπεμπον [‘rejoicing in a spirit of intimacy, they speedily sent him rejoicing’]) brings out the mutual pleasure of kin and grandson. The line also reproduces the bondedness of this all-male group. [42] On his return the young man gives an eloquent account of the exploit to his rejoicing parents (Odyssey 19.462–467). But this is no mere foretaste of Odysseus the raconteur and ἀοιδός ‘singer of tales’. [43] A censored narrative by the initiate of his trials would have been a conventional sequel: the ‘graduate’ did not simply satisfy the curiosity of his family; he gave what was probably the first performance of his ‘personal experience narrative’ (or ‘personal legend’). Telemachos’ narrative, suitably censored for his inquiring mother in Odyssey 17.108–149, [44] may be an example of this standard récit; also compare his récit (not quoted however) to Mentor and other elders in Odyssey 17.68–70. Out of the wound emanates the young man’s first ‘personal legend or story’.

Having proved his mettle and stamina in the relatively controlled environment of the hunt—the other hunters would have stepped in if anything untoward had happened—the hero is now ready for a more advanced stage of preparation. This time the trial is more clearly a quest and is carried out in less of a controlled environment. This entails what Homer calls an ἐξεσίη, a ‘mission abroad’, across sea or land or both. Two heroes, Nestor (Iliad 11) and Odysseus (Odyssey 21), and possibly a third, Laertes (Odyssey 24.376–379), specifically undertake such a quest for the sake of gaining hands-on ‘epic’ experience. (In the third part of this chapter I will argue that Telemachos’ ἐξεσίη, which is also called an ὁδός ‘journey’, represents such a grade-two test.) I turn first to Nestor’s two junior exploits, which, if read back to back, shed light on the fundamentally educational nature of the ἐξεσίη ‘mission abroad’. {120|121}
At the height of a losing battle in Iliad 11, the veteran hero reminisces to Patroklos about bygone days (11.670–763). [45] He describes himself as a young man (Iliad 11.670, 684)—in the stage of ἥβη ‘early adulthood’—when he leads a retaliatory raid on Elis (in the west Peloponnese) in order to recover a debt from the perfidious Eleans. He duly rustles large herds of cattle, swine, goats, and horses as repayment of the debt. [46] Armed lightly, with only a spear (Iliad 11.675), he also kills a prominent local, Ityoneus, and returns victorious to his proud father Neleus. [47] From Nestor’s account and its sequel it is plain that this was a minor exploit more suitable for a young adult; dangerous enough to test him, yet not too dangerous. P. Vidal-Naquet regards this raid, which only involves the use of spears, as the first (and more elementary) of Nestor’s two ‘initiations’ into war. [48] D. Frame (2009:110n7) puts it well: “the cattle raid still does not establish Nestor as a warrior; to become a warrior he must become a horseman and fight in a battle with other horsemen.” In contrast, the exploit that immediately follows is not a raid and is more perilous according to Nestor. It involves heavy arms (cf. lliad 11.718, 725) and fighting from a chariot. [49] Engagement with heavy arms was, as Vidal-Naquet argues, proper to adult warriors. So it is this adventure, which is a foil to the previous one, that fully ‘initiates’ Nestor into the adult world of horsemen. A few words about this exploit are in order.
Even as the Pylians are distributing the booty among themselves, as Nestor recalls, the Epeians (probably the same people as the Eleans) counter-attack with their allies. The invaders include the terrible Molione twins who, Nestor notes, are however παῖδες ‘boys, children’ still untutored in war: ‘Μολίονε θωρήσσοντο, / παῖδ’ ἔτ’ ἐόντ’, οὔ πω μάλα εἰδότε θούριδος ἀλκῆς’ (“the Molione twins armed themselves, / ‘boys’ still, not yet knowing much about furious warfare,” Iliad 11.709–710). [50] Nestor, at any rate, is eager to fight, but Neleus will not allow him to arm himself and hides away Nestor’s horses, for in Nestor’s words, “he said {121|122} that as yet I knew nothing of deeds of war” (Iliad 11.717–719, esp. 719: ‘oὐ γὰρ πώ τί μ’ ἔφη ἴδμεν πολεμήϊα ἔργα’). [51] Yet the young man belies his father’s fears, proving preeminent among charioteers (Iliad 11.720ff.). [52] Nestor is, in fact, the first to kill an Epeian, a spearman (Iliad 11.738ff.), then another hundred men, all charioteers, narrowly missing the Molione brothers. After the victory, the Achaian army—to quote Nestor’s curious third-person formulation—“gave praise/thanks to Zeus among gods, and to Nestor among men” (Iliad 11.761: ‘πάντες δ’ εὐχετόωντο θεῶν Διὶ Νέστορι τ’ ἀνδρῶν’). [53]
Thus young Nestor’s second exploit, considerably more dangerous and spectacular than his debt-collecting mission, pits him against the semi-divine Molione (who are themselves a bit wet behind the ears and need Poseidon’s intervention). Neleus fears for the safety of Nestor, his only surviving son, as it turns out, considering him not fully mature as a warrior. But the lad (νέος, Iliad 11.684) triumphantly passes this unauthorized leap into adult warfare. As I have suggested, young Nestor’s first proper test would have been the controlled experiment of a boar hunt. His second, intermediate test is the cattle-rustling ἐξεσίη ‘foreign mission’ in Elis.
In his youth Odysseus too conducts a vindictive debt-collecting raid on the Messenians, because, to quote Homer (Odyssey 21.15ff.), “Messenian men had lifted from Ithaka sheep / and three hundred herdsmen in ships with many benches for oarsmen . . .” The mission, which the poet terms an ἐξεσίη (Odyssey 21.20), is arranged by his father and other elders. The hero, a mere youth (παιδνὸς ἐών, literally, ‘a boy, a child’), travels a long distance (πολλὴν ὁδὸν, Odyssey 21.20) southward to Messene. Compared with the distances and dangers of his later journeys, the assignment is truly minor, yet it affords him a relatively low-risk exposure to warfare and aristocratic courtesies; for during its course Odysseus also meets Iphitos, and the two exchange gifts. {122|123} Lastly, Laertes has also undertaken some such mission as a young man; Odyssey 24.376–379 may elliptically allude to this. [54]
Travel and a raid (a low-key military adventure) make up the preliminary quest or ἐξεσίη ‘mission abroad’ that three Homeric heroes embark on soon after reaching ἥβη ‘early adulthood’, recognizably the time of life when an aristocratic boy and girl were sent off from home. [55] The quest makes good educational sense, particularly if the hero had already been introduced to quasi-combat in a boar hunt. [56] A good parallel for the ἐξεσίη is the aristocratic custom, attested in numerous Greek inscriptions from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, of detailing young nobles to command small-scale military or paramilitary expeditions. [57] In some cases security forces were led by princes as young as 16. [58] The evidence for this educational practice, surveyed by M. Kleijwegt, may, I believe, help us in reconstructing Homeric educational ideology.
According to this scholar, the ancient Greeks, like other pre-industrial societies, conflated the stages of late childhood and adolescence with adulthood. Those who fell within the age-range of 14–20 years (men) and 12–18 (women) belonged to the wider if ambiguous category of ‘youth’. [59] This was a period not of individual crisis or school-based subculture but of apprenticeship—Kleijwegt’s most illuminating term—for adulthood. Youth was a form of proto-adulthood, and young people were judged according to adult standards, of which they constantly fell short. Apart from the inscriptions, the ideal of the τέλειος νέος ‘perfect young man’ was reflected, I might add, as early as the late fifth century BC by, inter alia, the numerous votive reliefs in Athenian gymnasia dedicated to Herakles. [60] In these the hero features as a role model for adolescent boys or those approaching adolescence. Perhaps this hero more than any other embodied the ideal youth, for Herakles was a precocious warrior already from the cradle, a ‘wonder child’ who, as one scholar notes, “grew abnormally fast, {123|124} quickly bypassing the indignities of childhood” [61] and the continuing ineptness of adolescence. [62]
An inferior adult, the young man (or woman) was catapulted suddenly into the adult world, a situation that Kleijwegt also compares to “practical immersion in learning a foreign language.” [63] Indeed, young men—Telemachos is a plausible literary example—had to master this larger language by faithfully imitating their fathers and other male elders, especially (if Bremmer is correct) their maternal grandfather and uncles. [64] Imitative behavior is implied in Athena’s revelation to Odysseus, in Odyssey 13.415, that his son ‘ᾤχετο . . . μετὰ σὸν κλέος’ (literally, “has gone off after your kleos”). Here, as A. Hoekstra observes ad loc., the prepositional phrase means both ‘in quest of news of you’ and ‘following the track of your fame’. [65] On the latter interpretation the young prince has consciously been following in his father’s footsteps in more than a geographical sense. If, with Redfield, we take κλέος as also connoting something akin to ‘social identity’, [66] μετὰ σὸν κλὲος adumbrates the educational purpose of Telemachos’ voyage. By the prince’s own admission (when recounting his adventures to his mother at Odyssey 17.108–149), his travels intersect with his father’s, albeit at multiple removes.
By the same token, as Kleijwegt demonstrates, young aristocrats in the later inscriptions modeled their identity on that of their father. [67] Homer and the inscriptions both reveal the same mentality concerning a youth’s prescribed relation to grown-ups. The twin ideals of imitation and conformity give rise in the Odyssey to the paradox of the ‘sensible youngster’ (in effect, a well-rounded miniature adult) as represented mainly by Nausikaa, Peisistratos, and his brothers. [68] Τhe young men in the inscriptions, also, are too good to be true: brave in battle, public-minded, circumspect, intelligent, {124|125} well traveled, deeply educated. Though these texts have for obvious reasons censored the underside of the adultocentric ideal, the mundane average occasionally shows through in the Odyssey, κατ’ ἐξοχήν in the treatment of Telemachos. As has been pointed out, Telemachos gradually grows into the formulaic epithet πεπνυμένος, which refers to him a total of 46 times, to the degree that he develops speech that becomes more and more characteristic of an adult in style and effect. [69] By the end of Book 16 the adjective suits the prince for the first time; up to this point there has been a variance between the young man’s use of words and silences and his epithet. Reality also shows through when Penelope upbraids her son, rather unfairly I might add, for not protecting the beggar from the suitors’ insults:
‘Τηλέμαχ’, οὐκέτι τοι φρένες ἔμπεδοι οὐδὲ νόημα·
παῖς ἔτ’ ἐὼν καὶ μᾶλλον ἐνὶ φρεσὶ κέρδε’ ἐνώμας·
νῦν δ’ ὅτε δὴ μέγας ἐσσὶ καὶ ἥβης μέτρον ἱκάνεις . . .
oὐκέτι τοι φρένες εἰσὶν ἐναίσιμοι οὐδὲ νόημα.’
Odyssey 18.215–220 (cf. n68 above ad Odyssey 15.450–451).
“Telemachos, no longer is your mind stable nor your thinking.
Even when still a child, you used all the more to exercise astuteness in your mind;
but now that you surely are grown and have reached the measure of maturity . . .
no longer is your mind just nor [is] your thinking.”
Her words bear out that a young person was expected to behave as an adult and was regularly judged defective in this role.
Kleijwegt’s study also has the great merit of invoking evidence of apprentice adults in other cultures, including Athens from the fourth century BC on and the modern-day Sarakatsani in northwest Greece. [70] At Athens the ephebate progressively became a low-key, quasi-intellectual apprenticeship; among the Sarakatsani today a youth becomes an apprentice shepherd at 13 and by 20 is reckoned a παλληκάρι ‘all-round young man’ and a shepherd in his own right. It is, I believe, because of such a traditional mentality that Athena motivates Telemachos’ trip to the Peloponnese in Βook 1. For the twenty-year-old prince and his crew of coevals the ὁδός ‘journey’ is, we have seen, full of real dangers, including the suitors’ ambush off the coast of Ithaka. [71] Penelope, Odysseus, {125|126} Eumaios, and Laertes all realize these dangers and, in the light of the domestic situation, consider the voyage especially rash and pointless. [72] From the outside Telemachos’ voyage may indeed seem poorly motivated, as even an ancient scholiast objected. [73] But we may compare an expedition described in a second-century BC ephebic inscription from Athens which A. Chaniotis calls “a harmless excursion.” [74] To paraphrase the inscription: “Athenian youths under arms march to the borders of Attica, ‘acquire knowledge of the territory and roads’ . . . visit Marathon, pay their respects there . . . then march on to the sanctuary of Amphiaraos of Oropos. There they shout to pilgrims that Athens is the real owner of the sanctuary (which was not true at the time). This done, they march back to Athens.” All of this has a rationale not obvious to an outsider, ancient or modern. Chaniotis detects here the substrate of some rite of passage; what is certainly clear is that the youths are reviewing and experiencing their city-state’s history, geography, and territorial claims.
I return now to the Odyssey. Only Athena upholds the inner logic of Telemachos’ voyage— its cultural rationale, as it were. When asked by Odysseus why she ever sent the lad on the voyage rather than simply tell him about his father, the goddess answers: “I . . . guided him . . . so that he might win kleos / by going there [sc. Sparta]” (Odyssey 13.422–423). Odysseus would have liked his son instantly and effortlessly to receive word (κλέος) about him. But that would have deprived Telemachos of the benefits of the incremental, nonlinear learning process encapsulated in his thirty-five-day apprenticeship. [75] We may also compare the eighteen–year-old Lykian aristocrat Marcus Aurelius Magas, who according to a funerary inscription led the police forces in his province. Kleijwegt stresses the “educational value of this phenomenon,” which recalls Athenian ephebic patrols. [76] Incidentally, just as the content and tenor of the ephebate at Athens was ‘intellectualized’ gradually from the third century BC on, so also did the obligatory ἐξεσίη ‘mission abroad’ change, it would appear, from a bloody cattle-raid to an adventure abroad that, despite inherent dangers, was more clearly symbolic and intellectual. The preliminary boar hunt, however, conceivably continued to be de {126|127} rigueur; the fact that Telemachos appears flanked prominently by two hunting dogs in Odyssey 2.11 and 17.62 may suggest that he has already passed this test. [77]
Within days of returning from his mission, a number of characters, including the suitors (Odyssey 16.374ff.), remark a change in the prince. At least three characters admit that he has grown. [78] As Eurykleia casually observes to Odysseus after the murder of the suitors: ‘Τηλέμαχος δὲ νέον μὲν ἀέξατο’ (“Whereas Telemachos has only recently started growing up,” Odyssey 22.426), i.e. “until now Telemachos was too immature to exert control over the maidservants [but now he is mature enough to do so].” [79] And his mother, like the suitors a naysayer to the prospect of Telemachos growing up, twice registers his definitive adult status. The first time she does this is at 18.269–71, when she notes in public her son’s beard:
‘“αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν δὴ παῖδα γενειήσαντα ἴδηαι,
γήμασθ’ ᾧ κ’ ἐθέλῃσθαι, τεὸν κατὰ δῶμα λιποῦσα.”
κεῖνος τὼς ἀγόρευε· τὰ δὴ νῦν πάντα τελεῖται.’
“‘But the moment you see that our son has sprouted a beard,
give yourself in marriage to whomever you wish, after leaving behind your house.’
Thus he spoke. All this now is being fulfilled.”
Presumably Telemachos had a beard even long before Book 1, despite Dawe’s worries. [80] The prince certainly does not grow facial hair for the first time at the age of 20, far less in the 36 days between Books 1 and 19. What has changed is that his mother notices his beard and links it outright to her son’s coming of age and right of succession. Τελεῖται ‘is being fulfilled or brought to completion’ {127|128} (Odyssey 18.271) in Penelope’s matter-of-fact statement connotes maturity and perfection, as if suggesting that the prince is at last τέλειος ‘mature’, literally, ‘perfect’. Her statement is well timed in terms not only of her (controversial) ulterior motives but also her son’s development. Until his voyage, Telemachos is not fully adult in status, like the thirty-five-year-old Kassandros. Had Telemachos not undertaken his apprenticeship, his beard would have meant very little to Penelope or to Homer’s audience. {128|}


[ back ] 1. Edmunds 1990.
[ back ] 2. See Iliad 6.444–446: ‘μάθον ἔμμεναι ἐσθλός . . .’ (Hektor of himself); 9.440–443 (locus classicus of Phoinix’s educational mission); 9.493–495 (Achilles as Phoinix’s surrogate son, the son he would never have); 16.811: διδασκόμενος πολέμοιο (of the Trojan Euphorbos). For war figuratively as a βίαιος διδάσκαλος, cf. Thucydides 3.82.2 and Gomme 1956:373–374; Hornblower 1991:482 ad loc.
[ back ] 3. The term Telemacheia was most probably coined by the German scholar P. D. C. Hennings in 1858: see Heubeck, West, and Hainsworth 1988:52n5. On the work as a Bildungs (or Entwicklungs) roman, see e.g. Clarke 1963:140–141 with nI6; Wöhrle 1999:140. Like others Clarke 1963:135ff. and Apthorp 1980:1ff. discuss the spilling over of the Telemachy beyond Book 4.
[ back ] 4. Apud scholia ad Odyssey 1.284.
[ back ] 5. Apthorp 1980:1–22.
[ back ] 6. E.g. Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropopology, s.v. ‘education’ (Barnard and Spencer 1996:178); Dover 1988:119.
[ back ] 7. Dover 1988:119.
[ back ] 8. See Robbins 1991 for an explication of this and other theories in Bourdieu (1964). Morgan 1998 and Μπόκολας 2006 also make rich use of the concept of habitus in their studies of education.
[ back ] 9. Dover 1988:118; cf. Muellner 1998, esp. 18ff. The passage in question is Ephoros FGrHist 70 F 149.21 (apud Strabo 10.4.21 [Radt]): Ἴδιον δ’ αὐτοῖς τὸ περὶ τοὺς ἔρωτας νόμιμον· οὐ γὰρ πειθοῖ κατεργάζονται τοὺς ἐρωμένους, ἀλλ’ ἁρπαγῇ. προλέγει τοῖς φίλοις πρὸ τριῶν ἢ πλειόνων ἡμερῶν ὁ ἐραστὴς ὅτι μέλλει τὴν ἁρπαγὴν ποιεῖσθαι. τοῖς δ’ ἀποκρύπτειν μὲν τὸν παῖδα ἢ μὴ ἐᾶν πορεύεσθαι τὴν τεταγμένην ὁδὸν τῶν αἰσχίστων ἐστὶν ὡς ἐξομολογουμένοις ὅτι ἀνάξιος ὁ παῖς εἴη τοιούτου ἐραστοῦ τυγχάνειν· συνιόντες δ’, ἂν μὲν τῶν ἴσων ἢ τῶν ὑπερεχόντων τις ᾖ τοῦ παιδὸς τιμῇ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁ ἁρπάζων, ἐπιδιώκοντες ἀνθήψαντο μόνον μετρίως τὸ νόμιμον ἐκπληροῦντες, τἆλλα δ’ ἐπιτρέπουσιν ἄγειν χαίροντες, ἂν δ’ ἀνάξιος, ἀφαιροῦνται· πέρας δὲ τῆς ἐπιδιώξεώς ἐστιν ἕως ἂν ἀχθῇ ὁ παῖς εἰς τὸ τοῦ ἁρπάσαντος ἀνδρεῖον (ἐράσμιον δὲ νομίζουσιν οὐ τὸν κάλλει διαφέροντα, ἀλλὰ τὸν ἀνδρείᾳ καὶ κοσμιότητι). καὶ ὁ ἐραστὴς ἀσπασάμενος δὴ καὶ ἐπιδωρησάμενος ἀπάγει τὸν παῖδα τῆς χώρας εἰς ὃν βούλεται τόπον· ἐπακολουθοῦσι δὲ καὶ τῇ ἁρπαγῇ οἱ παραγενόμενοι, ἐνεστιαθέντες δὲ καὶ συνθηρεύσαντες δίμηνον—οὐ γὰρ ἔξεστι πλείω χρόνον κατέχειν τὸν παῖδα—εἰς τὴν πόλιν καταβαίνουσιν. ἀφίεται δ’ ὁ παῖς δῶρα λαβὼν στολὴν πολεμικὴν καὶ βοῦν καὶ ποτήριον (ταῦτα μὲν τὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον δῶρα) καὶ ἄλλα πλείω καὶ πολυτελῆ, ὥστε καὶ συνερανίζειν τοὺς φίλους διὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν ἀναλωμάτων. τὸν μὲν οὖν βοῦν θύει τῷ Διὶ καὶ ἑστιᾷ τοὺς συγκαταβαίνοντας. εἶτ’ ἀποφαίνεται περὶ τῆς πρὸς τὸν ἐραστὴν ὁμιλίας εἴτ’ ἀσμενίζων τετύχηκεν εἴτε μή, τοῦ νόμου τοῦτ’ ἐπιτρέψαντος, ἵν’, εἴ τις αὐτῷ βία προσενήνεκται κατὰ τὴν ἁρπαγήν, ἐνταῦθα παρῇ τιμωρεῖν ἑαυτῷ καὶ ἀπαλλάττεσθαι. τοῖς δὲ καλοῖς τὴν ἰδέαν καὶ προγόνων ἐπιφανῶν μέγιστον αἶσχος ἐραστῶν μὴ τυχεῖν ὡς διὰ τὸν τρόπον τοῦτο παθοῦσιν. ἔχουσι δὲ τιμὰς οἱ παρασταθέντες (οὕτω γὰρ καλοῦσι τοὺς ἁρπαγέντας)· ἔν τε γὰρ τοῖς χοροῖς καὶ τοῖς δρόμοις ἔχουσι τὰς ἐντιμοτάτας χώρας τῇ τε στολῇ κοσμεῖσθαι διαφερόντως τῶν ἄλλων ἐφίεται τῇ δοθείσῃ παρὰ τῶν ἐραστῶν· καὶ οὐ τότε μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τέλειοι γεγενημένοι διάσημον ἐσθῆτα φοροῦσιν, ἀφ’ ἧς γνωσθήσεται ἕκαστος ‘κλεινός’ γενόμενος (τὸν μὲν γὰρ ἐρώμενον ‘κλεινόν’ καλοῦσι, τὸν δ’ ἐραστὴν ‘φιλήτορα’). ταῦτα μὲν τὰ περὶ τοὺς ἔρωτας νόμιμα. (“They have a peculiar custom in regard to love affairs, for they win the objects of their love, not by persuasion, but by abduction; the lover tells the friends of the boy three or four days beforehand that he is going to make the abduction; but for the friends to conceal the boy, or not to let him go forth by the appointed road, is indeed a most disgraceful thing, a confession, as it were, that the boy is unworthy to obtain such a lover; and when they meet, if the abductor is the boy’s equal or superior in rank or other respects, the friends pursue him and lay hold of him, though only in a very gentle way, thus satisfying the custom; and after that they cheerfully turn the boy over to him to lead away; if, however, the abductor is unworthy, they take the boy away from him. And the pursuit does not end until the boy is taken to the ‘Andreium’ of his abductor. They regard as a worthy object of love, not the boy who is exceptionally handsome, but the boy who is exceptionally manly and decorous. After giving the boy presents, the abductor takes him away to any place in the country he wishes; and those of them who were present at the abduction follow after them, and after feasting and hunting with them for two months, (for it is not permitted to detain the boy for a longer time), they return to the city. The boy is released after receiving as presents a military habit, an ox, and a drinking-cup (these are the gifts required by law), and other things so numerous and costly that the friends, on account of the number of the expenses, make contributions thereto. Now the boy sacrifices an ox to Zeus and feasts those who returned with him; and then he makes known the facts about his intimacy with his lover, whether, perchance, it has pleased him or not, the law allowing him this privilege in order that, if any force was applied to him at the time of the abduction, he might be able at this feast to avenge himself and be rid of the lover. It is disgraceful for those who are handsome in appearance or descendants of illustrious ancestors to fail to obtain lovers, the presumption being that their character is responsible for such a fate. But the parastathentes (for thus they call those who have been abducted) receive honours; for in both the dances and the races they have the positions of highest honour, and are allowed to dress in better clothes than the rest, that is, in the habit given them by their lovers; and not then only, but even after they have grown to manhood, they wear a distinctive dress, which is intended to make known the fact that each wearer has become ‘kleinos,’ for they call the loved one ‘kleinos’ and the lover ‘philetor.’ So much for their customs in regard to love affairs.”)
[ back ] 10. G. Nagy, personal communication.
[ back ] 11. Perhaps one of these gifts is a boar’s tusk helmet (κυνέη) such as the one Odysseus wears in his scouting mission in the Doloneia. In Iliad 10.261–271 the hero’s κυνέη had once been stolen by his grandfather Autolykos, who gave it to Amphidamas, who gave it as a ξεινήϊον to Molos, who gave it to his son, Odysseus’ squire Meriones, who put it on Odysseus in arming him for the mission. But why should Autolykos’ possession have devolved upon Odysseus’ squire and not Odysseus himself? Conceivably Odyssey 19.411 and 413 presuppose a more plausible version according to which Autolykos gives Odysseus his emblematic κυνέη after the lad has ‘graduated’ from the boar-hunting test.
[ back ] 12. Bremmer 1983:173–186. As Bremmer remarks (178n30), the avunculate is also implicit in the tale of the Kalydonian boar hunt in Iliad 9.529ff., on which, see further n29 below. Another case, also noted by Bremmer (174), is the Thracian Iphidamas, raised by his maternal grandfather.
[ back ] 13. Jones 2002:181 ad Odyssey 19.448.
[ back ] 14. In 2006–2007 I ‘interviewed’ boar hunters in Serbia and Greece (w. Thrace).
[ back ] 15. Muellner 1990:64.
[ back ] 16. Rutherford 1992:186 ad Odyssey 19.410.
[ back ] 17. Another point overlooked here is the condensed manner in which Homer may narrate the background, well known or culturally assumed by the audience, of an event. Thus the narrator’s remark that young Odysseus went to Parnassos ‘τῶν [sc. δώρων] ἕνεκ’ (Odyssey 19.412) may be comparable with Tlepolemos’ allusive remark that his father Herakles sacked Troy “for the sake of Laomedon’s (half-divine) mares” (‘ἐλθὼν ἕνεχ’ ἵππων Λαομέδοντος’, Iliad 5.640). Sarpedon, his interlocutor, well knows the background, hence he implies in his riposte that the mares, ‘ὧν εἵνεκα [sc. Ἡρακλῆς] τηλόθεν ἦλθε’ (Iliad 5.651), had been pledged to but finally denied Herakles as compensation for an unspecified ἔργον, viz. the rescue of Hesione from a sea-monster. Each speaker assumes that the other knows why Herakles ultimately sacked Troy. ἕνεχ’ ἵππων (Iliad 5.640) and ὧν εἵνεκα (Iliad 5.651) are shorthand for those in the know, including Homer’s audience. Kirk 1993:123–124 ad Iliad 5.640–642 notes that the tale of Hesione’s rescue by Herakles is alluded to three times in the Iliad.
[ back ] 18. Hatzopoulos 1994:87–111, esp. 88–94.
[ back ] 19. Rutherford 1992:186.
[ back ] 20. Rutherford 1992:187–188 ad loc.; de Jong 2001:478 ad Odyssey 19.428–456 (“a heroic patina”; but she omits a few epic reminiscences).
[ back ] 21. Rutherford 2002:186 ad Odyssey 19.410.
[ back ] 22. Rutherford 2002:186 ad Odyssey 19.410. I notice that the λόχμη ‘thicket’ (19.439–443) provides foolproof camouflage for Homer’s boar, which like boars nowadays hides among leaves and bushes. Homer’s boar in the λόχμη ‘thicket’ is the archetypal leader of an ambush (cf. λόχος).
[ back ] 23. The Kalydonian boar hunt was the mythic exemplum for real-life ‘initiatory’ boar hunts; see below. A boar is the equivalent of a lion and other creatures at Odyssey 4.456–457, where Proteus changes into a lion, a serpent (δράκων), a leopard, and finally a huge boar. (Muellner 1990:63–64 remarks the interchangeability of the boar and lion in a number of Homeric similes.) On a late sixth-century B.C. Samian krater (in the Archaeological Museum at Vathy, Samos) a boar appears to be out-staring and out-growling a smaller lion.
[ back ] 24. Hunting is a young man’s activity: Iliad 11.414–415.
[ back ] 25. Cf. Schnapp-Gourbeillon 1981 passim on the analogue of lion and aristocratic hero. Odysseus, as just noted, ‘is’ the wild animal he hunts. This equivalence explains the parallel descriptions, which Rutherford 1992:187–188 puzzles over, of Odysseus as a land-and-sea beast at Odyssey 5.478–483 and of the boar at 19.439ff., both disguised by thick vegetation (see n22 above).
[ back ] 26. Other boar similes in the Iliad: 12.146–152 (of the Trojans); 13.471–477 (of Idomeneus’ steadfastness); 17.281–287 (of Ajax’s might in battle). See also Muellner 1990:63–64 on such similes. Cf. Atys’ telling query (that seals this tale) in Herodotos I.39, ‘ὑὸς δὲ κοῖαι μέν εἰσί χεῖρες . . . ;’ (‘Has a boar got hands?’). Lastly, see Ma 2008:9–10 on the “parallelism between the ‘fight’ scene and the hunting scene” in the Achaemenid Çan sarcophagus (early fourth century B.C.); the two themes are linked in imperial ideology. (I thank Adrienne Mayor for the reference to this article.)
[ back ] 27. Βοars are extremely thick-skinned on the upper body; their neck may be up to 10cm thick, whereas the skin around the chest is thin, hence today hunters prefer to shoot at the animal’s chest or head.
[ back ] 28. Actual boar hunts recalled, it appears, a type scene. As Nagy 1996:48–49n28 notices, at Bacchylides 5.125 the adverb ἐνδυκέως (cf. Latin ducere) refers to the fighting of warriors over the hide of the Kalydonian boar; at Pindar Pythian 5.85 the adverb refers to the set procedure or protocol of carrying out θυσίαι when receiving a guest.
[ back ] 29. The mythical expeditions involved the use of spears, not nets: see Hatzopoulos 1994:94, following Vidal-Naquet 1991:170. Neither scholar cites Odysseus’ boar exploit. According to Lonis 1979:202–203 and others, the Kalydonian boar hunt was arguably “le mythe étiologique d’ un rite de sortie d’ une classe d’ âge.” It involved some 16 ephebes (Meleager, Theseus, Jason, Kastor and Pollux, et al.), the maiden Atalante, and two adults (Meleager’s uncles), the latter being the “parrains initiatiques” of the group, which was in effect an agela. Artemis’ and her doublet Atalante’s role in the myth points to her Kourotrophic aspect as “l’ initiatrice par excellence,” a role the goddess fulfilled in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. in ephebic cults at Athens (Artemis Agrotera), the Piraeus, and Cos. There is one detail that has, as far as I know, escaped scholars’ notice: the very name Κουρῆτες. In Iliad 9.529 the Κουρῆτες turn against Meleager and his fellow Aitolians; but this name, as Hainsworth 1993:132–133 notes ad loc., “occurs by coincidence [italics mine] also in various Cretan rituals . . . and at a later date in association with cults in Asia Minor.” Is this really coincidence? Further, as Hainsworth notes, the proparoxytone form of the name―Κούρητες―“means simply ‘young warriors.’” Cumulatively this scholar’s remarks suggest that Homer’s κουρῆτες are a proper cultic name for a (rival?) agela of young warriors undergoing initiation.
[ back ] 30. Cited by Hatzopoulos 1994:93–94, following Vidal-Naquet.
[ back ] 31. See Hatzopoulos 1994:92ff. (and his Plate XXIV), not in Ferrari 2002.
[ back ] 32. Further on ‘educational’ boar hunts in Macedonia, Sparta, and Crete, see Hatzopoulos 1994:132ff. and Bokolas 2006:228–230. On the edifying value of the hunt for young aristocrats: Plato Laws 823b; Xenophon Hunting 12.1–2: τὰ δὲ πρὸς τὸν πόλεμον μάλιστα παιδεύει.
[ back ] 33. Dover 1988:119.
[ back ] 34. Odyssey 21.217–219 (Εumaios and Philoitios); 24.329, 331 (Laertes).
[ back ] 35. Ferrari 2002:135–136 (the vocabulary of male pubescent hair); 116, 136–137 (fledgling beards in art).
[ back ] 36. Ferrari 2002:163, 175 is fundamental.
[ back ] 37. Ferrari 2002:135; cf. Heitman 2005:12, 58.
[ back ] 38. Petropoulos 1994:42–43 (esp. n35); 85, on male reapers’ weak knees in Hesiod Works and Days 586–587; also Bremmer 1983:178n29 on the initiatory significance of a thigh wound.
[ back ] 39. I am here expanding on Rutherford 1992:198 ad loc. Odysseus’ guardians treat his wounds by means of an incantation (Odyssey 19.457: ἐπαοιδῇ). Thus to their ululation (“Well done, ἀμύμων!”) they merge the melody of magical song; anthropologically speaking, this is a fitting combination given that initiation often entails exposure of the initiand to magico-religious formulas, as noted earlier.
[ back ] 40. Odyssey 19.460 = 19.413; cf. 19.411: κτήματα; 24.335: δῶρα. (All three verses refer to the prize awarded after Odysseus’ hunting venture.)
[ back ] 41. See Rutherford 1992:189 and Dawe 1993:712 ad loc., who renders the line thus: “they exchanged friendly farewells and sent him speedily to Ithaca.”
[ back ] 42. Cf. the feeling of communitas, à la Victor Turner 1974, which the ὁδός has engendered between the ὁμήλικες Telemachos and Peisistratus (Odyssey 15.197–198): ‘ὁμήλικές εἰμεν / ἥδε δ’ ὁδὸς καὶ μᾶλλον ὁμοφροσύνῃσιν ἐνήσει’ (which plays on ὁμήλικες and ὁμοφροσύνῃσιν).
[ back ] 43. Cf. Rutherford 1992:189 ad Odyssey 19.464; de Jong 2001:477 ad loc.
[ back ] 44. See Folklore, An Encyclopedia, s.v. ‘personal experience narrative’ (Green 1997[II]:635–637).
[ back ] 45. On this two-part story, the second longest para-narrative in the Iliad, see also Alden 2000:88–101 (a more literary interpretation) and now Frame 2009:105–130 on its connection to the Vedic Aśvínā, the cattleman and horseman twins, and its overlooked relevance to Patroklos.
[ back ] 46. Iles Johnston 2003, esp. 159 (with n14): “ . . . ancient Greek cattle-raid myths derive from Indoeuropean models and reflect the same ideologies. Under these ideologies the raid wins honour for the young hero and admission into the ‘adult community.’” Nestor’s tale follows the Indoeuropean paradigm closely according to Iles Johnston 2003:161.
[ back ] 47. Vidal-Naquet 1986:118–119 singles out three elements in the “initiation” of a Greek warrior as characteristic of anti-hoplite/pre-hoplite and hence non-adult activity: a) the young warrior uses light arms (as here); b) he fights/hunts at night (see n48 immediately below); c) he employs deception.
[ back ] 48. Vidal-Naquet 1986:119 means ‘initiation’ literally here. He is wrong to say that the fighting occurs at night (which would fit his ‘Black hunter’ thesis). Nestor fought by day, while the booty was driven to Pylos at night (Iliad 11.683).
[ back ] 49. Otherwise unattested in Homer; see n52 below.
[ back ] 50. The brothers foolishly enlisted and had to be saved from Nestor by Poseidon, their father (Iliad 11.750–752). In Archaic art they feature as Siamese twins: Snodgrass 1998:27–32.
[ back ] 51. For the paradigmatic/rhetorical appositeness of this opposition to Nestor’s entering the fray, see Alden 2000:94n46.
[ back ] 52. Jones 2003:181–182 ad Iliad 11.747: “this is the only episode in the Iliad where the fighting is carried out from chariots, by (apparently) chariot squadrons.”
[ back ] 53. Cf. Odyssey 8.467: ‘τῷ κέν τοι καὶ κεῖθι θεῷ ὣς εὐχετοῴμην’ (Odysseus’ parting words to his savior Nausikaa): Garvie 1994:328 ad loc. interprets the verb as ‘give thanks to’; see Muellner (immediately below). Why does Nestor speak of himself in the third person? There are to my mind two reasons: a) He deliberately delivers his entire “triumphalist narrative” in epic/Iliadic manner (Hainsworth 1993:298 ad Iliad 11.669) so as to foreground himself not as a self-conscious speaker but as a depersonalized epic exemplum worthy of imitation; cf. Martin 1989:82. b) Muellner 1976:59n82 notices the “close association of Zeus and Nestor in this line” and adduces further evidence for Nestor’s immortality. See now Frame 2009, esp. 105, on Nestor as a reflex of the Vedic immortal cattleman twin. The exceptional employment of the derivative εὐχετάομαι + man (as opposed to deity) in the dative in Iliad 11.761 is, I suggest, practically a catachresis. As such it may be based on the fulsome words of Nestor’s compatriots, whom in his objective mode he is quoting or paraphrasing. See also Sophokles Ajax 78, Plato Symposium 221b5 and Dover 1980:174–175.
[ back ] 54. ‘Κεφαλλήνεσσιν ἀνάσσων’ (Odyssey 24.378) in Laertes’ ‘nostalgic wish’ (on the genre, see de Jong 2001:32 ad Odyssey 1.253–269) does not militate against my interpretation, especially if we assume that Laertes is already a prince detailed to mount a ‘police’ operation, on which see below. Tradition, at any rate, recorded that Laertes joined the Argonauts’ expedition in his youth; see Apollodoros Bibliotheca 1.9.16. Conceivably this, then, was an alternative ἐξεσίη, particularly if his role was secondary or peripheral.
[ back ] 55. Ferrari 2002:134.
[ back ] 56. In general, bravery in combat (consequent upon participation in a boar hunt) raises one’s ante as a prospective husband; cf. Iliad 13.363ff. The normative sequence argued for is deliberately (and fatally) inverted in Herodotos 1.34ff. Here Atys’ wedding is premature, for ordinarily the lad should have married only after proving himself first in a boar hunt and then in a military ἐξεσίη.
[ back ] 57. Chaniotis 2005, esp. 51, adduces evidence from Crete, Akarnania, Epiros, Asia Minor, and Athens; also Kleijwegt 1991, esp. 93–101.
[ back ] 58. Kleijwegt 1991:95–96.
[ back ] 59. Kleijwegt 1991, esp. 1–50.
[ back ] 60. Shapiro 2003:96–97 (with fig. 13).
[ back ] 61. Beaumont 2003:71; cf. the funerary inscription for a six-year-old, I. Tomis 384, cited by Kleijwegt 1991:124n304.
[ back ] 62. Recall, e.g., the inept Molione brothers in Iliad 11. In general on the gerontocratic bias in favor of precocious children and adolescents in post-Classical inscriptions, see Kleijwegt, 1991:123–131, 221.
[ back ] 63. Kleijwegt 1991:41ff.
[ back ] 64. Plato confirms this adultocentric/gerontocratic model: Laws 2 provides for the early immersion of children in the music modes (and by extension, the ethical canons) established by the best and oldest men.
[ back ] 65. Heubeck and Hoekstra 1990:190 (italics mine).
[ back ] 66. See Chapter 1 above.
[ back ] 67. Kleijwegt 1991, esp. 49–50 (the pre-industrial paradigm), 69–71. Cf. p71: “Pride of descendance and a tradition of behavioural similarity between father and son are banal features in Greek and Roman honorary inscriptions.”
[ back ] 68. De Jong 2001:63 ad Odyssey 2.342 (with bib.); 76 ad Odyssey 3.124–125. She leaves out of account a) Nestor’s other sons, all of them married and ‘πινυτούς τε καὶ ἔγχεσιν . . . ἀρίστους’ (Odyssey 4.211); and b) Eumaios as a precocious (but innocent) child (‘παῖδα . . . κερδαλέον’, Odyssey 15.450–451).
[ back ] 69. Heath 2005, esp. 100ff. and Chapter 3.
[ back ] 70. Kleijwegt 1991:47–48.
[ back ] 71. One detail that usually goes unnoticed by scholars (with the exception e.g. of Scheid-Tissinier 1993:16–17): the best among Ithakan κοῦροι are undergoing an ‘initiation’/apprenticeship alongside Telemachos, who is likewise a crew member under captain ‘Mentor’ until Book 15 (cf. Odyssey 4.652–544, etc.). In Book 15 the prince becomes captain: 44ff., 282, 503ff., 547ff.
[ back ] 72. Penelope (Odyssey 4.817–823); Odysseus (Odyssey 13.417–419); Eumaios (Odyssey 14.178–179); Laertes (Odyssey 16.142–145).
[ back ] 73. Scholia ad Odyssey 1.93 and 284 (noted in Chapter 4), whose views Heubeck, West, and Hainsworth 1988:53 seem to share.
[ back ] 74. Chaniotis 2005:51–52.
[ back ] 75. The phrase κλέος ἄροιτο (Odyssey 13.422, just cited) is suggestive. In his dictionary Snell notes (s.v. ἄρνυμαι) that the acquisition of κλέος (or κῦδος for that matter) is more of a casual, nonlinear process than, say, the concerted action of carrying off a physical object, e.g. the golden fleece.
[ back ] 76. Kleijwegt 1991:95.
[ back ] 77. Argos was also a hunting dog: Odyssey 17.315–317.
[ back ] 78. Cf. also Odyssey 19.86–87 (Odysseus to Penelope); 19.160–161 (Penelope to Odysseus). Their testimony is particularly meaningful since they are φίλοι well acquainted, all save Odysseus, with the ‘progress’ of the prince. On the other hand, Homer’s audience, who, like ourselves, were not φίλοι, probably noticed the V.I.P treatment, reflecting acknowledgement of his identity and status, as shown particularly by the gifts Telemachos receives at Sparta (see e.g. Jones 2002:137, section B). Scholars also bring out Telemachos’ mature handling of the suppliant Theoklymenos (e.g, de Jong 2001:372), to which I add: the Little Prince has visibly graduated from apprentice crew member under ‘Mentor’ to captain commanding his ἑτάροι (like Odysseus at sea) to hoist the mast (Odyssey 15.287ff., n71 above).
[ back ] 79. Cf. Heubeck’s translation (Russo, Fernández-Galiano, and Heubeck 1992), 294 ad loc.: “Whereas Telemachus (I do not mention because he, δὲ) had only just started growing up.” See Odyssey 18.338–342 (the maids seriously fear Telemachos).
[ back ] 80. Dawe 1993:672 ad Odyssey 19.269–270. Compare Russo, Fernández-Galiano, and Heubeck 1992:66 ad Odyssey 19.269: Penelope is not lying to the suitors about Odysseus’ parting instructions, the effect of which hinged on their son’s growing a beard; her son assuredly had a beard years before the episode in Book 19, but the queen’s stalling tactics prevented her from divulging the beard’s pertinence to her remarriage.