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LESSON 3
HADES - From Homer's Odyssey

by George Valsamis

 

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Page 2

"Thrice I sprang towards her and tried to clasp her in my arms, but each time she flitted from my embrace as a semblance (εἴκελον) of a shadow or even of a dream, and being touched to the quick I said to her, 'Mother, why do you not stay still when I would embrace you? If we could throw our arms around one another we might find sad comfort in the sharing of our sorrows even in the house of Hades; does Persephone want to lay a still further load of grief upon me by mocking me with a specter (εἴδωλον) only?'

"'My son,' she answered, 'most ill-fated of all mankind, it is not Persephone that is beguiling you, but this is the law (δίκη) for all the mortals (βροτῶν), when they die. The sinews no longer hold the flesh (σάρκας) and bones (ὀστέα) together; these perish in the fierceness of consuming fire as soon as life (θυμὸς) has left the body, and the soul (ψυχὴ) flits away as though it were a dream (ὄνειρος).  Now, however, go back to the light of day as soon as you can, and note all these things that you may tell them to your wife hereafter.'" 

Odysseus saw Sisyphus

"at his endless task raising his prodigious stone with both his hands. With hands and feet he tried to roll it up to the top of the hill, but always, just before he could roll it over on to the other side, its weight would be too much for him, and the pitiless stone would come thundering down again on to the plain. Then he would begin trying to push it up hill again, and the sweat ran off him and the steam rose after him". 

He saw many heroes, until

"so many thousands of dead came round me and uttered such appalling cries, that I was panic stricken…". 

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Cf. The Complete Iliad * The Complete Odyssey
Greek Grammar * Basic New Testament Words * Greek - English Interlinear Iliad
Greek accentuation * Greek pronunciation

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