Plato, Hippias Minor: Achilles and Odysseus

364c

“Homer made Achilles the best man of those who went to Troy, Nestor the wisest, and Odysseus the most shifty.”

φημὶ γὰρ Ὅμηρον πεποιηκέναι ἄριστον μὲν ἄνδρα Ἀχιλλέα τῶν εἰς Τροίαν ἀφικομένων, σοφώτατον δὲ Νέστορα, πολυτροπώτατον δὲ Ὀδυσσέα.

365b

“Achilles is true and simple; Odysseus is shifty and false.”

ὡς ὁ μὲν Ἀχιλλεὺς εἴη ἀληθής τε καὶ ἁπλοῦς, ὁ δὲ Ὀδυσσεὺς πολύπροπός τε καὶ ψευδής

7 thoughts on “Plato, Hippias Minor: Achilles and Odysseus

  1. platosparks

    I am reading the Iliad at the moment and I keep coming across instances of Odysseus’ craftiness. Homer doesn’t explicitly say so but it seems obvious that he put his ship in the safest place in the line of ships. He had no intention of relying on his manliness or strength of hands.

    He (Agamemnon) stood at the black ship of Odysseus with its great figurehead which was right in the middle where you could shout in both directions as far as the huts of Ajax, son of Telamon, and those of Achilles. They had drawn up their ships at the furthest ends, trusting in their manliness and strength of their hands.

    στῆ δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ Ὀδυσσῆος μεγακήτεϊ νηῒ μελαίνῃ,
    ἥ ῥ᾽ ἐν μεσσάτῳ ἔσκε γεγωνέμεν ἀμφοτέρωσε,
    ἠμὲν ἐπ᾽ Αἴαντος κλισίας Τελαμωνιάδαο
    ἠδ᾽ ἐπ᾽ Ἀχιλλῆος, τοί ῥ᾽ ἔσχατα νῆας ἐΐσας
    εἴρυσαν, ἠνορέῃ πίσυνοι καὶ κάρτεϊ χειρῶν:

    Iliad 8.222

    1. vallance22

      Quite correct. Richard Vallance https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com I am translating #Iliad book II #CatalogueofShips right now. You can see all my #translations on my blog under the banner HOMER: Iliad II top of page. Comments welcome! Hope you and others will follow our blog, one of the busiest on #Mycenaean #LinearB #AcradoCypriot #LinearC on the Internet. Sententiae Antiquae and I myself follow one another assiduously

  2. sententiaeantiquae

    Jenny Strauss Clay in her book “Trojan Theater” shows that Odysseus’ ship is in the center for political reasons too.

    But you’re absolutely right. Odysseus doesn’t take needless risks. I can’t remember the lines, but there’s a place where he has a choice to fight with one of the promakhoi or to go after a nobody instead. You can imagine which he takes…

    1. vallance22

      Quite correct. Richard Vallance https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com I am translating #Iliad book II #CatalogueofShips right now. You can see all my #translations on my blog under the banner HOMER: Iliad II top of page. Comments welcome! Hope you and others will follow our blog, one of the busiest on #Mycenaean #LinearB #AcradoCypriot #LinearC on the Internet. Sententiae Antiquae and I myself follow one another assiduously

  3. vallance22

    Sorry about posting the same comment twice. I did not know what I was doing. I do now. Please DELETE the second occurrence. Also, as for the Catalogue of Ships, this is true, BUT Homer also lays great stress on the number of ships from Crete, Knossos & related cities (100!) in the Catalogue of Ships. For this, see my blog here:https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com/category/iliad-book-ii/ FIRST post. I discuss this matter in detail. As for Odysses, of course, his role in the Trojan War is paramount. Richard

  4. Pingback: So You Think You Know Odysseus? | Sententiae Antiquae

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