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Early Indo-European Texts

Classical Greek

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Classical Greek with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Classical Greek Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Classical Greek language and its speakers' culture.

from Homer's Odyssey

Ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, Μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὅς μάλα πολλὰ
πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν·
πολλῶν δ' ἀνθρώπων ἴδεν ἄστεα καὶ νόον ἔγνω,
πολλὰ δ' ὅ γ' ἐν πόντῳ πάθεν ἄλγεα ὃν κατὰ θυμόν,
ἀρνύμενος ἥν τε ψυχὴν καὶ νόστον ἑταίρων.
ἀλλ' οὐδ' ὣς ἑτάρους ἐρρύσατο, ἱέμενός περ·
αὐτῶν γὰρ σφετέρῃσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὄλοντο,
νήπιοι, οἳ κατὰ βοῦς Ὑπερίονος Ἠελίοιο
ἤσθιον· αὐτὰρ ὁ τοῖσιν ἀφείλετο νόστιμον ἧμαρ.
τῶν ἁμόθεν γε, θεά, θύγατερ Διός, εἰπὲ καὶ ἡμῖν.
Ἔνθ' ἄλλοι μὲν πάντες, ὅσοι φύγον αἰπὺν ὄλεθρον,
οἴκοι ἔσαν, πόλεμόν τε πεφευγότες ἠδὲ θάλασσαν·
τὸν δ' οἶον νόστου κεχρημένον ἠδὲ γυναικὸς,
νύμφη πότνι' ἔρυκε Καλυψὼ δῖα θεάων
ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι, λιλαιομένη πόσιν εἶναι.
ἀλλ' ὅτε δὴ ἔτος ἦλθε περιπλομένων ἐνιαυτῶν,
τῷ οἱ ἐπεκλώσαντο θεοὶ οἶκόνδε νέεσθαι
εἰς Ἰθάκην, οὐδ' ἔνθα πεφυγμένος ἦεν ἀέθλων
καὶ μετὰ οἷσι φίλοισι. θεοὶ δ' ἐλέαιρον ἅπαντες
νόσφι Ποσειδάωνος· ὁ δ' ἀσπερχὲς μενέαινεν
ἀντιθέῳ Ὀδυσῆι πάρος ἣν γαῖαν ἱκέσθαι.

Translation

Tell me, O Muse, of the much-traveled man, who wandered many ways after he had sacked the sacred city of Troy. He saw the cities of many men and learned their mind. Then he suffered woes in his heart on the sea, seeking to save his life and the return of his comrades. But not even so did he save his comrades, although desiring it greatly. They perished through their own folly, fools, who devoured the cattle of Hyperion Helios. But he took away from them the day of return. Of these things tell also to us, o goddess, daughter of Zeus, beginning at any stage.
Then all the others indeed, whoever had escaped sheer destruction, were at home having escaped the war and also the sea. But him alone, longing for his return and also his wife, the queenly nymph, Calypso, splendid among the goddesses, held back in her hollow grotto, desiring him to be her husband. But when the year came as the years revolved, in which the gods had decided he should return home to Ithaca, not even then did he escape woes, even with his friends. And all the gods pitied him except Poseidon. But he raged unceasingly against godlike Odysseus until he reached his homeland.