Q:

What does Athena tell Telemachus to do?

A:

Quick Answer

In Book One of "The Odyssey," Athena tells Telemachus to go on a voyage to find his father. Later in Book 16, Athena tells Telemachus that he needs to return to Ithaca to prevent suitors from winning his mother's hand in marriage.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

At the beginning of "The Odyssey," Odysseus has been absent for 20 years. Athena tells his son, Telemachus, that he must go and find him, but she does not tell him his location. She does this to send him on a voyage of discovery, which helps him mature and prepare for a leadership role.

Later in Book 16, Athena finds Telemachus in Sparta and tells him he must return to Ithaca to prevent suitors from marrying his mother. She tells him that they have arranged an ambush and gives him instructions on how to prevent it. Athena also tells him that he must first visit Eumaeus, the head of the swineherd, so that he can pass along news of his safe return to Penelope.

After returning to Ithaca and following Athena's instructions, Telemachus finds his father in a hut in the form of an old man. At this point, Athena appears and calls Odysseus outside, which causes his disguise to disappear. Reunited, Telemachus and Odysseus determine a way to overthrow his mother's suitors.

Learn more about Mythology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did Medusa get snakes for her hair?

    A:

    In some stories of Greek mythology, Medusa is a human whose hair is turned into snakes after she angers the goddess Athena. However, in other versions, Medusa and her two sisters, the gorgons, were born with reptile tresses. In most descriptions, anyone who looks directly upon Medusa turns to stone.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some interesting facts about Medusa?

    A:

    In early versions of her story amongst the Ancient Greeks, Medusa was born as a gorgon, while later in antiquity, she was turned into one by the goddess Athena. In myth, looking at her turned people to stone. Medusa was a chthonic deity, meaning she lived underground, representing fertility, death and rebirth. Perseus, a hero, must kill Medusa and collect her head to save his mother.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does the Owl of Athena represent?

    A:

    In ancient Greek mythology, the goddess Athena kept an owl on her shoulder that revealed truths to her and represented wisdom and knowledge. In some versions of the mythology, the owl was said to illuminate Athena's "blind side," allowing her to see the entire truth. Owls were widely associated with Athena's blessing, and Greek soldiers viewed the sight of owls before a battle as a symbol that the goddess was on their side.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did the Greeks have so many gods?

    A:

    The Greeks created gods like Athena, Ares, Hades, Poseidon and Hera to explain the world around them. They relied on the gods to explain natural phenomenon, provide authority to the ruling class and entertain the masses. Most city-states had at least one particular god they honored. They would celebrate and worship that god through the building of temples, participation in festivals, sports competitions and sacrifices.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore