BOOK XIII – RETURN TO ITHACA
The Phaeacians are sympathetic towards Odysseus regarding his trials, and
they shower additional gifts on him. A large crowd assembles at the docks to wish Odysseus a good voyage home.
Odysseus has been provided with a superb crew and a speedy ship.
Close to home, he falls into a deep sleep and the Phaeacians land at a
deserted cove on Ithaca. There they take the sleeping hero ashore with all his gear and quietly leave.
Poseidon is angered that Odysseus has returned home and avenges himself on
the Phaeacians by causing their ship to turn into a large rock when it re-enters its home port.
When Odysseus awakes, he at first does not recognize his homeland and fears
he has been marooned, but a young shepherd who is Athena in disguise advises Odysseus that he is home.
She then reveals herself to him and helps Odysseus hide his property and
provides news concerning his wife and son Telemachus.
Odysseus still has much to do in regaining his estate and Athena suggests he
adopts the disguise of an old beggar.
He travels to a small farm owned by Eumaeus, a faithful servant of Odysseus,
whilst Athena goes to Sparta to bring Telemachus home.