Oh Bitter Exile!: Toward a Greek View of Xenitia

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To avoid leaving Ithaca for war against Troy, the an­cient Greek hero Odysseus feigns madness: he yokes together an ass and an ox and plows a field, sowing the furrows with salt. When a cunning envoy of Agamemnon takes Telemachos, Odysseus' infant son, and places him in the path of the plow, Odysseus avoids the child and his ruse is uncovered. Forced at last to join the expedition, the Homeric hero embarks on his twenty-year journey, the story of which has been retold in traditional Greek song and po­etry for millennia. Odysseus is one of many male Greek wanderer figures who travel into xenitiá.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - May 1994


  • Arts and Humanities
  • Classics

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