BOOK XVII – ODYSSEUS ARRIVES IN THE CITY
Penelope is overjoyed at the safe return of her son.
She is eager to learn about his time spent with King Nestor and King
Menelaus, and he tells her that Odysseus is rumored to be alive on an island with the nymph Calypso.
Telemachus introduces Theoclymenus, who is a soothsayer, who advises that
Odysseus is already here in Ithaca, disguised. Penelope has her doubts.
Eumaeus and Odysseus embark for the city. On their way they meet a
disloyal servant from the royal household who hurls insults at Odysseus the beggar, and kicks him.
Odysseus controls his temper, not wishing to reveal himself, and Eumaeus
defends our hero from further harm.
At the gateway of the palace, Odysseus sees his favorite hound Argus who is
near death. He has pined for his master for nineteen years. The old dog recognizes his master, whimpers, and then dies.
Odysseus arrives at the palace to witness the suitors gorging themselves at
their usual banquet.
Telemachus gives leave for the beggar to beg food from the guests, and some
are gracious to Odysseus, but others revile him, and their leader Antinous throws a footstool at him.
Penelope asks Eumaeus about the stranger and wonders if he has any news of
her husband. Odysseus agrees to see her that night.