The Odyssey

How does Telemachus treat Athena (disguised) when she first enters Ithaca?


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Odysseus' son, Telemakhos, unhappy among the suitors, greets Athena warmly as a stranger and invites her to their feast. As the suitors devour Odysseus' oxen, Telemakhos says he believes his father - whom he does not know at all - is dead. Athena introduces herself as Odysseus' old friend Mentes and predicts that he will be home soon. He does not hold out any hope, however, and he and his mother remain helpless against the arrogant suitors. Athena instructs him to call an assembly of the islanders and order the suitors away; then he must sail away to find news of his father at Pylos and Sparta. After this, he must kill the suitors, as Orestes did. Inspired, Telemakhos thanks her for her advice, and she leaves.