The Odyssey

Who is Dawn with her rose-red fingers? Book VIII

Is this an epthet for Anthena?

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

One great test awaits Odysseus and his son, Telemachus, but for now, Odysseus and his wife have twenty years of trials and tribulations, battles and vixens, sea voyages and suitors to recount. One night is just not enough, so Athene, Odysseus' immortal guardian, takes action to prevent rosy fingered Dawn from casting her tendrils of light across the earth. Selene's chariot must hoist the moon higher, and allow the starlight to linger, leaving Dawn's horses expectant at Ocean's edge. Time stands still that night....This is not the only instance where rosy fingered Dawn makes her appearance, though. It is the standard epithet that Homer uses to describe daybreak, although different translators have their own versions of the phrase: Shewring uses 'rosy fingered Dawn', Lattimore prefers 'Dawn of the rosy fingers', Rieu uses 'Dawn with her roses', whilst FitzGerald favours 'the rose Dawn'. Whatever the translation, though, it evokes a picture of sky broken by a burning golden disc, sliced with pink.