In honor of Odysseus’ victory in the Homeric Heroes Poll, here are some passages from Latin authors on their favorite villain:
Plautus, Bacchides 945
“I heard that Ulysses was bold and wicked, as I am.”
Vlixem audivi, ut ego sum, fuisse et audacem et malum.
Vergil, Aeneid 2.43-44:
“Do you think that the enemy have fled? Or do you think that any Greek gifts could be free of treachery? Is Ulysses thus known?”
creditis avectos hostis? aut ulla putatis
dona carere dolis Danaum? sic notus Ulixes?
Vergil, Aeneid 2.264:
“…Ulysses, that contriver of evil deeds.”
…scelerumque inuentor Vlixes,
Vergil, Aeneid 3.272-273
“We avoided the crags of Ithaca, the kingdom of Laeertes, and we cursed the land that nourished savage Ulysses.”
effugimus scopulos Ithacae, Laertia regna,
et terram altricem saevi exsecramur Ulixi.
Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares 10.13.1:
“Whoever finally puts Antony down will be responsible for finishing the war. It is for this reason that Homer calls Ulysses – not Ajax or Achilles – the destroyer of cities.”
qui enim M. Antonium oppresserit, is bellum confecerit. itaque Homerus non Aiacem nec Achillem sed Ulixem appellavit πτολιπόρθιον.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.34:
“Yet he lives, because he did not accompany Ulysses.”
ille tamen vivit, quia non comitavit Ulixem.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.62
“Thus is Ulysses to be feared!”
sic est metuendus Ulixes!
Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.711-713
“And now they had passed the ports of Dulichium, and Ithaca and Samos, and the homes on Neritus, the kingdom of deceitful Ulysses.”
et iam Dulichios portus Ithacamque Samonque
Neritiasque domus, regnum fallacis Ulixis,
praeter erant vecti