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[550] Tell me the name by which they were wont to call thee in thy home, even thy mother and thy father and other folk besides, thy townsmen and the dwellers round about. For there is no one of all mankind who is nameless, be he base man or noble, when once he has been born, but parents bestow names on all when they give them birth. [555] And tell me thy country, thy people, and thy city, that our ships may convey thee thither, discerning the course by their wits. For the Phaeacians have no pilots, nor steering-oars such as other ships have, but their ships of themselves understand the thoughts and minds of men, [560] and they know the cities and rich fields of all peoples, and most swiftly do they cross over the gulf of the sea, hidden in mist and cloud, nor ever have they fear of harm or ruin. Yet this story I once heard thus told by my father [565] Nausithous, who was wont to say that Poseidon was wroth with us because we give safe convoy to all men. He said that someday, as a well-built ship of the Phaeacians was returning from a convoy over the misty deep, Poseidon would smite her and would fling a great mountain about our city.1 [570] So that old man spoke, and these things the god will haply bring to pass, or will leave unfulfilled, as may be his good pleasure. But come, now, tell me this and declare it truly: whither thou hast wandered and to what countries of men thou hast come; tell me of the people and of their well-built cities, [575] both of those who are cruel and wild and unjust, and of those who love strangers and fear the gods in their thoughts. And tell me why thou dost weep and wail in spirit as thou hearest the doom of the Argive Danaans and of Ilios. This the gods wrought, and spun the skein of ruin [580] for men, that there might be a song for those yet to be born. Did some kinsman of thine fall before Ilios, some good, true man, thy daughter's husband or thy wife's father, such as are nearest to one after one's own kin and blood? Or was it haply some comrade dear to thy heart, [585] some good, true man? For no whit worse than a brother is a comrade who has an understanding heart.”

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load focus Notes (W. Walter Merry, James Riddell, D. B. Monro, 1886)
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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 6.174
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.1
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