At a first glance, these six lines from Homer’s Odyssey lack apparent drama. They do not possess the epic tension that characterizes so many of the Ancient Greek poem’s more famous passages – the scene of Odysseus bound to the mast and listening to the sirens’ song, for instance, or the description of Odysseus blinding the Cyclops and fleeing his cave together with his surviving men. Yet they are as fundamental to The Odyssey’s moral vision as any of Homer’s more famous scenes. For The Odyssey is not just about adventuring. It is not just about homecoming. It is, in a profound way, about eating. More than this: it is about a journey from inappropriate to appropriate eating.
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