He counted his goodly coppers and
cauldrons, his gold and all his clothes, but there was nothing
missing; still he kept grieving about not being in his own country,
and wandered up and down by the shore of the sounding sea bewailing
his hard fate. Then Athena came up to him disguised as a young
shepherd of delicate and princely mien, with a good cloak folded
double about her shoulders; she had sandals on her comely feet and
held a javelin in her hand. Odysseus was glad when he saw her, and
went straight up to her.
"My friend," said he, "you are
the first person whom I have met with in this country; I salute you,
therefore, and beg you to be well disposed in noos towards me.
Protect these my goods, and myself too, for I embrace your knees and
pray to you as though you were a god. Tell me, then, and tell me
truly, what land and country [dêmos] is this?
Who are its inhabitants? Am I on an island, or is this the sea board
of some continent?"
Athena answered, "Stranger, you
must be very simple, or must have come from somewhere a long way off,
not to know what country this is. It is a very celebrated place, and
everybody knows it East and West. It is rugged and not a good driving
country, but it is by no means a bad island for what there is of it.
It grows any quantity of grain and also wine, for it is watered both
by rain and dew; it breeds cattle also and goats; all kinds of timber
grow here, and there are watering places where the water never runs
dry; so, sir, the name of Ithaca
is known even as far as Troy
I understand to be a long way off from this Achaean
Odysseus was glad at finding
himself, as Athena told him, in his own country, and he began to
answer, but he did not speak the truth
[alêthês], and made up a lying story in
the instinctive wiliness of his noos.