Phaeacian


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Phaeacian

(fiːˈeɪʃən)
n
(Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth one of a race of people inhabiting the island of Scheria visited by Odysseus on his way home from the Trojan War
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Days seven and ten did he sail over the sea, and on the eighteenth the dim outlines of the mountains on the nearest part of the Phaeacian coast appeared, rising like a shield on the horizon.
You seem to be a sensible person, do then as I bid you; strip, leave your raft to drive before the wind, and swim to the Phaeacian coast where better luck awaits you.
He is to be convoyed neither by gods nor men, but after a perilous voyage of twenty days upon a raft he is to reach fertile Scheria, {50} the land of the Phaeacians, who are near of kin to the gods, and will honour him as though he were one of ourselves.
He could see him sailing upon the sea, and it made him very angry, so he wagged his head and muttered to himself, saying, "Good heavens, so the gods have been changing their minds about Ulysses while I was away in Ethiopia, and now he is close to the land of the Phaeacians, where it is decreed that he shall escape from the calamities that have befallen him.
But Minerva resolved to help Ulysses, so she bound the ways of all the winds except one, and made them lie quite still; but she roused a good stiff breeze from the North that should lay the waters till Ulysses reached the land of the Phaeacians where he would be safe.
This hath been strongly urged in defence of Homer's miracles; and it is perhaps a defence; not, as Mr Pope would have it, because Ulysses told a set of foolish lies to the Phaeacians, who were a very dull nation; but because the poet himself wrote to heathens, to whom poetical fables were articles of faith.
In Book 8, for example, the brash Phaeacian Euryalus challenges Odysseus to a discus-throwing contest.
Immediately after arriving on Ithaca with Phaeacian treasure Odysseus encounters a shepherd to whom he lies about his history and his identity.
We glimpse the Phaeacian king and queen involved in their stereotypical activities, domestic and civic respectively: queen Arete is by the hearth, with her attendants, "turning sea-purple yarn on a distaff," while Nausikaa's father is on his way to "the council of famed barons," when his daughter catches up with him to ask for use of the wagon.
In book eight of the Odyssey the eponymous hero, whose identity has not yet been revealed to his Phaeacian hosts, urges Demodocus to tell the story of the wooden horse that sacked Troy.
Years after the sack of Troy, moved by song of a Phaeacian harper, Odysseus sheds molten tears for the Greeks fallen there.
42) Demodocus at the Phaeacian court sings of the amours of Ares and Aphrodite, not in approval of such passion but to deter his hearers from illicit desires, or else because he knew that they had been brought up in a luxurious mode of life and therefore offered for their amusement what was most in keeping with their character.