Odyssey events at Cheney, Oxford

1. Odyssey Competition for Schools

To celebrate our Odyssey season, we are holding a competition for primary and secondary age students. Full details can be found at http://eoccc.org.uk/blog/odyssey-competition-for-schools

2. Creative Writing Workshop with Emily Hauser, author of “For the Most Beautiful”

Wednesday 6th July, 3.45 – 5pm

This workshop is suitable for ages 9 – 11 years.

Details at http://eoccc.org.uk/creative-writing-workshop-with-emily-hauser-author-of-for-the-most-beautiful

3. Talk by Emily Hauser, author of “For the Most Beautiful”

Wednesday 6th July, 2 – 3pm

The talk is aimed at sixth formers but all are very welcome to attend.

Details at http://eoccc.org.uk/talk-by-emily-hauser-author-of-for-the-most-beautiful

4. Classical Greek re-enactment shows

Comitatus will be visiting us with their exciting Cavalry Re-enactment shows on 30th June and 1st July, 2 – 3pm. For further details and booking, please visit http://eoccc.org.uk/odyssey-days

Pandora’s stories: the dog Argos

Our dog Argos is named after Odysseus’ famous hound. Remember how Homer describes him at the point when Odysseus has returned home in disguise after his long absence:

So they spoke. And a dog, lying there, lifted its head and pricked up its ears. Argos was the hound of noble Odysseus, who had bred him himself, though he sailed to sacred Ilium before he could enjoy his company. Once the young men used to take the dog out after wild goat, deer and hare, but with his master gone he lay neglected by the gate, among the heaps of mule and cattle dung that Odysseus’ men would later use to manure the fields. There, plagued by ticks, lay Argos the hound. But suddenly aware of Odysseus’ presence, he wagged his tail and flattened his ears, though no longer strong enough to crawl to his master. Odysseus turned his face aside and hiding it from Eumaeus wiped away a tear then quickly said: ‘Eumaeus, it’s strange indeed to see this dog lying in the dung. He’s finely built, but I can’t tell if he had speed to match or was only a dog fed from the table, kept by his master for show.’

Then, Eumaeus, the swineherd, you replied: ‘Yes this dog belongs to a man who has died far away. If he had the form and vigour he had when Odysseus left for Troy you’d be amazed by the speed and power. He was keen-scented on the trail, and no creature he started in the depths of the densest wood escaped him. But now he is in a sad state, and his master has died far from his own country, and the thoughtless women neglect him. When their masters aren’t there to command them, servants don’t care about the quality of their work. Far-voiced Zeus takes half the good out of them, the day they become slaves.’

With this he entered the stately house and walking straight into the hall joined the crowd of noble suitors. As for Argos, seeing Odysseus again in this twentieth year, the hand of dark death seized him.

Pandora’s stories: Athena

Pandora

Pandora

Mourning Athena

Mourning Athena

Many stories are told about the goddess Athena. The daughter of Metis and Zeus, she is said to have emerged fully armed from the head of Zeus. How? Well, Zeus had eaten Metis to stop her giving birth to a child who might be cleverer than him. Soon he had a headache, so sent for Hephaestus to help. Hephaestus opened his skull with an axe to relieve the pressure, and out came Athena. She carried the aegis, which struck fear into men who saw it. She was an inspiration to both artists and warriors since she combined her mother’s brains and her father’s strength.

Many cities chose her as their patron, including Athens, Sparta and even distant Troy. She was also a helper of heroes, like Achilles and Odysseus. Remember how she speaks to Odysseus in the Odyssey:

We are two of a kind, contrivers both. Of all the men alive you are the best in plots and story telling. My own fame is for wisdom among the gods – deceptions too. Would even you have guessed that I am Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus, I who am always with you in times of trial, a shield to you in battle?

When you are older and join the great procession through the city up to her temple, you may be lucky enough to see her: three statues show her different sides.

Athena Parthenos

Athena Parthenos