The Haters of Odysseus

Sophocles, fr. 965

“I am called Odysseus for evil deeds correctly:
For many who have been my enemy hate me.”

ὀρθῶς δ’ ᾿Οδυσσεύς εἰμ’ ἐπώνυμος κακῶν•
πολλοὶ γὰρ ὠδύσαντο δυσμενεῖς ἐμοί

Pausanias, Description of Greece Phocis 31

“If you look again to the higher part of the painting, you will see Ajax from Salamis right next to Actaeon and near to him, Palamedes and Thersites playing a game with dice, something Palamedes invented. The other Ajax is watching as they play. This Ajax’s skin is the color of a shipwrecked sailor with salt still raised on his skin.

Polygnotos has put together all of the enemies of Odysseus into one place. Ajax, son of Oileus, started to hate Odysseus because he encouraged the Greeks to stone Ajax for the rape of Kassandra. I learned from the epic verses of the Kypria that Palamedes was drowned when he went after a catch of fish—Diomedes and Odysseus killed him.”

Εἰ δὲ ἀπίδοις πάλιν ἐς τὸ ἄνω τῆς γραφῆς, ἔστιν ἐφεξῆς τῷ Ἀκταίωνι Αἴας ὁ ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος, καὶ Παλαμήδης τε καὶ Θερσίτης κύβοις χρώμενοι παιδιᾷ, τοῦ Παλαμήδους τῷ εὑρήματι· Αἴας δὲ ὁ ἕτερος ἐς αὐτοὺς ὁρᾷ παίζοντας. τούτῳ τῷ Αἴαντι τὸ χρῶμά ἐστιν οἷον ἂν ἀνδρὶ ναυαγῷ γένοιτο ἐπανθούσης τῷ χρωτὶ 2ἔτι τῆς ἅλμης· ἐς δὲ τὸ αὐτὸ ἐπίτηδες τοῦ Ὀδυσσέως τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ἤγαγεν ὁ Πολύγνωτος· ἀφίκετο δὲ ἐς Ὀδυσσέως δυσμένειαν ὁ τοῦ Ὀιλέως Αἴας, ὅτι τοῖς Ἕλλησιν Ὀδυσσεὺς παρῄνει καταλιθῶσαι τὸν Αἴαντα ἐπὶ τῷ ἐς Κασσάνδραν τολμήματι· Παλαμήδην δὲ ἀποπνιγῆναι προελθόντα ἐπὶ ἰχθύων θήραν, Διομήδην δὲ τὸν ἀποκτείναντα εἶναι καὶ Ὀδυσσέα ἐπιλεξάμενος ἐν ἔπεσιν οἶδα τοῖς Κυπρίοις

Pindar, Nemean 7.20-21

“I think that the story of Odysseus’ suffering was exaggerated by sweet-worded Homer”

ἐγὼ δὲ πλέον’ ἔλπομαι
λόγον ᾿Οδυσσέος ἢ πάθαν
διὰ τὸν ἁδυεπῆ γενέσθ’ ῞Ομηρον·

The Quarrel of Odysseus and Ajax

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