<title>Back, Back, Way Back</title>
Friday September 7, 2007
Back, Back, Way Back
A WHILE AGO
[Ulysses fought at Troy. After Troy's defeat, Ulysses wished
to return home but, for 20 years, was prevented from doing so.
At last, he is able to return home --in disguise.
He finds (a) his wife Penelope has remained faithful, (b) a
bunch of no-goods has been after her to marry one of them.
These no-goods claim they are waiting for her to decide which
one. Meanwhile, they are eating and drinking Ulysses' estate
Ulysses, after seeing how matters stand, throws off his dis-
guise. He and his now-grown-up son Telemachus arm themselves.
The swineheard Eumaeus and the stockman Philoetius stand with
The no-goods are, at that very moment, not armed.
A traitor, the goatherd Melanthius, brings their arms to them
from the storeroom.]
"But I know what I will do, I will bring you arms from the
store room, for I am sure it is there that Ulysses and his
son have put them."
On this the goatherd Melanthius went by back passages to the
store room of Ulysses' house. There he chose twelve shields,
with as many helmets and spears, and brought them back as
fast as he could to give them to the suitors. Ulysses' heart
began to fail him when he saw the suitors putting on their
armour and brandishing their spears.
He saw the greatness of the danger, and said to Telemachus,
"Some one of the [servant] women inside is helping the suit-
ors against us, or it may be Melanthius."
Telemachus answered, "The fault, father, is mine, and mine
only; I left the store room door open, and they have kept a
sharper look out than I have. Go, Eumaeus, put the door to,
and see whether it is one of the women who is doing this, or
whether, as I suspect, it is Melanthius the son of Dolius."
Thus did they converse. Meanwhile Melanthius was again going
to the store room to fetch more armour, but the swineherd
saw him and said to Ulysses who was beside him, "Ulysses,
noble son of Laertes, it is that scoundrel Melanthius, just
as we suspected, who is going to the store room. Say, shall
I kill him, if I can get the better of him, or shall I bring
him here that you may take your own revenge for all the many
wrongs that he has done in your house?"
Ulysses answered, "Telemachus and I will hold these suitors
in check, no matter what they do; go back both of you and
bind Melanthius' hands and feet behind him. Throw him into
the store room and make the door fast behind you; then fasten
a noose about his body, and string him close up to the rafters
from a high bearing-post, that he may linger on in an agony."
Thus did he speak, and they did even as he had said; they went
to the store room, which they entered before Melanthius saw
them, for he was busy searching for arms in the innermost part
of the room, so the two took their stand on either side of the
door and waited.
By and by Melanthius came out with a helmet in one hand, and
an old dry-rotted shield in the other, which had been borne
by Laertes when he was young, but which had been long since
thrown aside, and the straps had become unsewn; on this the
two seized him, dragged him back by the hair, and threw him
struggling to the ground. They bent his hands and feet well
behind his back, and bound them tight with a painful bond as
Ulysses had told them; then they fastened a noose about his
body and strung him up from a high pillar till he was close
up to the rafters, and over him did you then vaunt, O swine-
herd Eumaeus, saying, "Melanthius, you will pass the night
on a soft bed as you deserve. You will know very well when
morning comes from the streams of Oceanus, and it is time
for you to be driving in your goats for the suitors to feast
There, then, they left him in very cruel bondage, and having
put on their armour they closed the door behind them and went
back to take their places by the side of Ulysses; whereon the
four men stood in the cloister, fierce and full of fury; ne-
vertheless, those [the no-goods] who were in the body of the
court were still both brave and many.
Then Ulysses and his men let drive into the crowd of suitors.
Ulysses hit Eurydamas, Telemachus Amphimedon, and Eumaeus Po-
lybus. After this the stockman hit Ctesippus in the breast....
...Ulysses struck the son of Damastor with a spear in close
fight, while Telemachus hit Leocritus son of Evenor in the
belly, and the dart went clean through him, so that he fell
forward full on his face upon the ground.
Then Minerva from her seat [as a dove] on the rafter held up
her deadly aegis, and the hearts of the suitors quailed.
They fled to the other end of the court like a herd of cattle
maddened by the gadfly in early summer when the days are at
As eagle-beaked, crook-taloned vultures from the mountains
swoop down on the smaller birds that cower in flocks upon the
ground, and kill them, for they cannot either fight or fly,
and lookers-on enjoy the sport --even so did Ulysses and his
men fall upon the suitors and smite them on every side. They
made a horrible groaning as their brains were being battered
in, and the ground seethed with their blood.
[That task having been accomplished...]
As for Melanthius, they took him through the cloister into
the inner court.
There they cut off his nose and his ears; they drew out his
vitals and gave them to the dogs raw, and then in their fury
they cut off his hands and his feet.
Salah ad-Din Province
US forces raid area around at-Tarimiyah killing six civilians
and mutilating their bodies.
In a dispatch posted at 10:55am Baghdad time Thursday morning,
the Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq (AMSI) reported
that US troops carried out an airborne landing in the village
of ash-Shabab in the al-‘Abayiji area of at-Tarimiyah, about
30km north of Baghdad on Wednesday.
The AMSI reported eyewitnesses as saying that the Americans
killed five villagers in the raid and then mutilated their
The witnesses added that the Americans then killed another
youth in at-Tarimiyah and cut off his limbs. It appeared that
those Americans were implementing some kind of policy that in-
volved systematic mutilation of their victims.
US forces have been carrying out numerous attacks on villagers
to the north of Baghdad. They have also recently abducted a
woman from at-Tarimiyah after imprisoning another woman from
ad-Dulu‘iyah, about 90km north of Baghdad.
BACK, BACK, WAY BACK!
A WHILE AGO
The Odyssey (the whole thing):
The Odyssey (Book XXII only):
Iraqi Resistance Report for events of Thursday, 6 September
2007 (next to last item):
http://www.albasrah.net/en_articles_200 ... 060907.htm