disquiet #0067: odysseymachine

Last week’s Disquiet had us perform another set of random processes to determine which Line from which Book of this translation of The Odyssey (well, technically Ulysses… this version uses the Roman names). We were then to use speech synthesis and processing to render the line we had chosen:

This is from Book 7, Line 24:

But ere he enter’d yet the pleasant town,
Minerva azure-eyed met him, in form
A blooming maid, bearing her pitcher forth.

Minerva is, of course, what the Romans called Greek Athena. Goddess of Wisdom. And here she is, shape-shifted into ‘a blooming maid’ to welcome him to this podunk town he just made landfall near, and to make sure he gets to the local boss-man in one piece so he can get a proper meal and some rest. (I didn’t read much further than that, so I can’t tell you what happens next).

I also note that Athena/Minerva is translated as ‘azure-eyed’ several times in that Book. In English, azure is ‘the color of the sky on a clear summer’s day’. Yet I’ve also read that the ancient Greeks had no specific word for ‘Blue’. A little searching tells me that they had the word glaukos, which (I hereby guess) is probably what is being translated as ‘azure’ here… but that word could also mean grey, green, yellow or even bronze.

Bronze-eyed Athena. Grey-eyed Athena.

No, ‘Azure-eyed’ does sound much better.


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