Homer, Odyssey 8.408-9: A Phaiakian Apology

 

“If something terrible is said, may the winds seize it and carry it away.”

 

… ἔπος δ’ εἴ περ τι βέβακται

δεινόν, ἄφαρ τὸ φέροιεν ἀναρπάξασαι ἄελλαι.

 

I am sure that many of us, like prince Euryalus, have often wished much the same.

Homer, Odyssey 7.250-253

Come, however so many are the best dancers of the Phaeacians.

Dance, so that our guest may tell his family

once he gets home how much we surpass

the rest of mankind in sailing, running, dancing and song!

 

ἀλλ᾽ ἄγε, Φαιήκων βητάρμονες ὅσσοι ἄριστοι,

παίσατε, ὥς χ᾽ ὁ ξεῖνος ἐνίσπῃ οἷσι φίλοισιν

οἴκαδε νοστήσας, ὅσσον περιγιγνό μεθ᾽ ἄλλων

ναυτιλίῃ καὶ ποσσὶ καὶ ὀρχηστυῖ καὶ ἀοιδῇ.

 

Alkinoos tells this and then the Phaeacians perform their dance, part of which involves the use of a ball passed and forth between two princes. (Some ancient form of hacky-sack?) In way, this ritual has something to do with Greece in the World Cup, right? Here’s the full text.