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Odysseus' Return to Ithaca

The next day, the Phaeacians prepared to sail. They loaded the ship with rich gifts, presented Odyssey. Himself Alkina supervised all the preparations. When everything was ready, a sacrifice was offered to Zeus in the palace of Alcinous and a farewell feast was arranged. Odysseus was looking forward to the evening. He was delighted to see that the sun was leaning towards the west and evening was approaching. When the evening twilight began to thicken, Odysseus said goodbye to King Alcinous and the divine Aretha and went to the ship. Behind him, the maids carried a box with gifts, wine and a supply of food for the journey. Odysseus boarded the ship and lay down on the bed prepared for him. The mighty oarsmen leaned on the oars, and the ship went out to the open sea. The gods also put Odysseus into a deep sleep; he slept peacefully during the whole journey. Faster than a falcon, the ship was rushing across the sea and at early dawn landed already on the shores of Ithaca, not far from the grotto dedicated to the Naiads. The Phaeacians carefully carried the sleeping Odysseus to the shore and laid him on the sand. All the gifts given to him by the Phaeacians were placed near him. Then they set off on their way back. Saw a returning ship Poseidon was terribly angry with the Phaeacians because they took Odysseus to his homeland against his will. Poseidon began to complain about them to the thunderer Zeus. Zeus advised his brother to turn the ship of the Phaeacians into a high rock as a punishment when he enters his native harbor. Poseidon rushed to the island of the Phaeacians and waited there for the return of the ship. Now a ship has already appeared in the distance of the sea. A large crowd gathered on the shore to meet the sailors. Now a ship is already at the entrance to the harbor. Suddenly he turned into a rock. They reported this miracle to King Alcinous. He realized that Poseidon had fulfilled his threat - to punish the Phaeacians for transporting wanderers by sea. Alcina summoned all the inhabitants and ordered them to offer propitiatory sacrifices to Poseidon, so that he would not block access to their city with a high mountain. The Phaeacians diligently began to beg Poseidon to soften their anger and vowed never to take more travelers to their homeland.

Meanwhile, Odysseus woke up on the seashore. He did not recognize his native Ithaca, as the goddess Athena covered the entire neighborhood with a thick fog. Odysseus became desperate. He thought that the Phaeacians had left him on some deserted island, and began to complain loudly about his bitter fate.

Looking around, he saw the gifts of the Phaeacians next to him. They were all intact. Sad, Odysseus went along the seashore and met a beautiful young man. He asked him what kind of country it was, and suddenly he heard that he was in Ithaca. The young man also asked Odysseus who he was. The cautious Odysseus replied that he was a wanderer, originally from Crete, from where he fled, killing his son out of revenge Idomenea, Archilochus. On the ship of the Phoenicians, he thought to go to Pylos or Elida, but the Phoenicians cunningly abandoned him here on the shore when he fell asleep, stealing all his wealth. The young man listened to this story, smiled and suddenly changed his image. The goddess Pallas Athena stood before Odysseus. She praised Odysseus for his caution and encouraged him, promising him her help now; the goddess said that if she had not always helped him until now, it was only because she did not want to anger Poseidon. Athena ordered Odysseus not to reveal who he was to anyone. But Odysseus could not believe that he was finally in Ithaca. Then Athena dispelled the fog that covered Ithaca, and Odysseus recognized his homeland. He fell to the ground and began to kiss her in delight. Athena turned Odysseus into a poor beggar. Odysseus' skin wrinkled on his face and shoulders, he lost weight, luxurious curls fell from his head, his eyes dimmed, and his eyelids were covered with scabs. Athena dressed him in dirty rags, slung a patched bag over her shoulder on a rope, and gave him a staff in her hands. She commanded Odysseus to hide the gifts of the Phaeacians in a cave and go under the guise of a beggar to a swineherd Eumea, she herself immediately rushed to Sparta to return from there the son of Odysseus Telemachus.