The Odyssey Book 7 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
(Athene, disguised as the little girl:) ‘So she was held high in the heart and still she is so, by her beloved children, by Alkinoös himself, and by the people, who look toward her as to a god when they see her, and speak in salutation as she walks about in her city. For there is no good intelligence that she herself lacks. She dissolves quarrels, even among men, when she favors them.’ (7.69-74)
Queen Arete is so loved by her husband that she practically has as much ruling power as he does; her favor, not the king’s, must be won by a guest for them to stay in the kingdom, and she settles legal matters with the same authority as her husband.
Then Odysseus rose to go to the city. Athene with kind thought for Odysseus drifted a deep mist about him, for fear some one of the great-hearted Phaiakians, meeting him, might speak to him in a sneering way and ask where he came from. But when he was about to enter the lovely city, there the gray-eyed goddess Athene met him, in the likeness of a young girl, a little maid, carrying a pitcher […]. (7.14-20)
Oh, no, that man-shaped cloud of mist isn't suspicious at all. Totally normal.
But when Alkinoös of the hallowed strength had heard this, he took by the hand the wise and much-devising Odysseus, and raised him up from the fireside, and set him in a shining chair, displacing for this powerful Laodamas, his son, who had been sitting next him and who was the one he loved most. A maidservant brought water for him and poured it from a splendid and golden pitcher, holding it above a silver basin for him to wash, and she pulled a polished table before him. A grave housekeeper brought in the bread and served it to him, adding many good things to it, generous with her provisions. Then long-suffering great Odysseus ate and drank. (7.167-177)
It is important to note that Odysseus receives this royal treatment before revealing his identity as the famous hero who helped the Greeks win the Trojan war. Much like Athene in disguise, he is treated well even in anonymity.