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David Grubbs, Michial Farmer, and Katie Grubbs talk about books twelve, thirteen, and fourteen of Homer’s Odyssey.


It is precisely in the name of an inward-turned and self-centred conception of equality that people claim the right to-day to rise in rebellion against the idea of service. In that way, we turn our backs on the possibility of real fraternity, that is, on every possibility of humanizing our relations with our fellow men.


2 thoughts on “The Core Curriculum, Series 4, Episode 6: The Odyssey, Books 12-14”
  1. Re: the discussion of Zeus and his convincing of Poseidon to punish Phaeacians for helping Odysseus when that’s what they were supposed to do according to the rules of hospitality that Zeus himself was supposed to be enforcing. But it seems (and this is no defense of Zeus) that part of the point is that Zeus is just as clever here as Odysseus. Rather than let Poseidon continue to punish the guy he likes, he convinces Poseidon to punish his own people instead.
    This is very much in line with all the stuff we see Odysseus do through the poem, and might explain the point someone made about Zeus in the Iliad (strong, takes no nonsense, etc) being so different from Zeus in the Odyssey (not really hand-wring-y, but at least a little bit shoulder-shruggy). The Iliad is about war so Zeus, like Achilles, is the strongest (though not the brightest or the best). The Odyssey at least in part is about cleverness getting someone home, so Zeus is the cleverest. I wouldn’t stand too firmly on that idea, but I think it kind of makes sense.

    And that said, I’m not done listening to the episode yet so you guys might say all that stuff at some point anyway…

    Overall, excellent episode–thanks for your hard work and thoughtful conversation!

    1. That’s fair, and certainly more favorable to Zeus than my “he’s just an SOB” reading.

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