October 28, 2021
The Odyssey (Greek: Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia) is a Greek epic poem composed of 24 songs, attributed to the Greek poet Homer. It is believed that it was composed in the 8th century BC. In the settlements that Greece had on the west coast of Asia Minor (present-day Asian Turkey). According to other authors, the Odyssey is completed in the 7th century BC. C. from poems that only described parts of the current work. It was originally written in what has been called the Homeric dialect. It narrates the return home, after the Trojan War, of the Greek hero Odysseus (in the Latin way, Ulysses: Ὀδυσσεὺς in Greek; Vlixes in Latin). In addition to having spent ten years out fighting, Odysseus takes another ten years to return to the island of Ithaca, of which he was king, a period during which his son Telemachus and his wife Penelope have to tolerate in their palace the suitors who seek marry her (since they already believed Odysseus dead), while consuming the family's assets. Odysseus' best weapon is his mētis or cunning.  Thanks to his intelligence - in addition to the help provided by Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus Crónida - he is able to escape the continuous problems that he has to face by design of the gods. For this, he plans various tricks, either physical - such as disguises - or with bold and deceptive speeches that he uses to achieve his objectives. The poem is, together with the Iliad, one of the first texts of the Greco-Latin epic and therefore of Western literature. The original poem is believed to have been transmitted orally for centuries by ages who recited the poem from memory, consciously or unconsciously altering it. It was transmitted in dialects of Ancient Greece. Already in the IX century a. C., with the recent appearance of the alphabet, both the Odyssey and the Iliad could be the first works to be transcribed, although most critics are inclined to date them to the 8th century BC. The oldest known Homeric text is the version of Aristarchus of Samothrace (2nd century BC). The poem is written using a metric called a dactyl hexameter. Each line in the original Odyssey consisted of six units or feet, each foot being a dactyl or spondeus.  The first five feet were dactyls and the last could be a spondeus or a trocheo. The different feet are separated by caesura or pauses.