Famous Greeks: Odysseas

Hector and Achilles were heroes in an age of warriors. Odysseus (1250 B.C.) is the “man of many wiles,” who would be at home and flourish in our own day. Odysseus is a survivor. Achilles and Hector died on the battlefield of Troy. Agamemnon returned home in glory only to be murdered by his wife and her lover. For ten years after the fall of Troy, Odysseus was driven by the fury of the gods to wander the Mediterranean world. In the end, his prudence and courage restored him to his kingdom, home, and loved ones. Homer, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, is one of the most famous Greeks. His genius transformed the story of Odysseus into a metaphor for the human experience itself. At the same time, the Odyssey preserved a significant kernel of historical fact concerning the events that marked the end of the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean.

Questions to Consider:

1. Do you believe that the Odyssey is a parable for life? What lessons would you draw from it?

2. Who is more admirable, Odysseus or Achilles? Whom would you rather have for a friend? Who would be more successful today?

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