Ancient World Now: The Odyssey

Click here for direct link to audio Episode #7.

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Circe the Sorceress….another painting by J.W.Waterhouse.

It turns out that Jason & Medea (another famous sorceress) visited Circe on their way back from the Black Sea where Jason was looking for that dazzling piece of finery we call The Golden Fleece. Medea worked all kinds of magic for the man she loved. She started killing people for his benefit quite early in their relationship. They stopped off to see Circe who purified them after they killed her brother. They washed up & got on their way. Later, Jason left Medea for a rich (and much younger) princess—so, Medea killed her in a very fiery, burning-flesh kind of way, and then hung up her little ones to dry, so to speak! She knew this would destroy Jason’s spirit! But that is a whole other story that I’d love to get into here, but hope that you will do a little research on your own and find out why Medea is not just famous, but infamous!

And, as usual, I get away from myself. So here is the powerful Circe, who actually does no harm whatsoever to our hero and his companions. And indeed, makes them all taller and more handsome than before. Oh yes, and younger.

Extra credit and a post here on the website to anyone who can paint, draw, or locate a fabulous image of Calypso. I have looked far & wide, but only found this one that just doesn’t do it for me. What fun you could have doing all the details of her magical garden. Or maybe someone could Photoshop this one & put some clothes on her!

Yikes!

Enjoy today’s installment of The Odyssey!

Ancient World Now: The Odyssey

Click here for direct link to audio Episode #4.

Click here for previous episodes.

Aaahhh, Penelope….. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Odysseus’s wife is one of the most memorable female characters in all of ancient story. This was one patient lass—she waited twenty years for her husband to return to her! Now that is faith. Penelope was hounded by suitors for years. Everyone was quite sure that Odysseus had been killed in the battle at Troy and that his lovely wife should take a new husband. Lone women surely can’t take care of themselves—and of course, she had all that property—a kingdom! Let’s get her married off to someone new. To keep these rascals at bay, she said she’d take a new husband when she finished weaving this burial shroud for her father-in-law, Laertes (no relation to Ophelia’s bro). Clever lass that she was, she’d weave by day and when the drunken suitors would nod off, she’d unravel at night. Dumb guys! You can see why Odysseus would choose her for a mate.

Here is John William Waterhouse’s painting of Penelope.  Waterhouse was at the tail-end of the Pre-Raphaelite school of painting, which focused on themes from the classical and Arthurian world….and some Shakespeare stuff, too. Edwardian. Victorian. You may know his painting of Proserpina (Persephone to the Greeks) with the pomegranate. Lots of rich details, deep colors, and dolorous looks! Fabulous!

Enjoy our first installment of The Odyssey!