The Odyssey Piety Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Then in turn the gray-eyed goddess Athene answered him: ‘Telemachos, some of it you yourself will see in your own heart, and some the divinity will put in your mind. I do not think you could have been born and reared without the gods’ will.’ (3.25-28)
Athene tells Telemachos to have faith in himself and in the gods since they have always favored him. She herself, loving Telemachos for Odysseus’s sake, gives him the words and courage to speak eloquently to Nestor.
(Athene:) 'Hear us, Poseidon, who circle the earth, and do not begrudge us the accomplishment of all these actions for which we pray you. First of all to Nestor and to his sons grant glory, and then on all the rest of the Pylians besides confer gracious recompense in return for this grand hecatomb, and yet again grant that Telemachos and I go back with that business done for which we came this way in our black ship.' (3.55-61)
Weird. It's not just the humans who pray to the gods; gods also pray to other gods. Apparently there's a pretty strict hierarchy on Mount Olympus… but being Zeus's daughter does give you some perks.
(Nestor:) 'Act quickly now, dear children, and do me this favor, so that I may propitiate first of all the gods, Athene, who came plainly to me at our happy feasting in the god's honor. Come then, let one man go to the field for a cow, so that she may come with all speed, and let one of the oxherds be driving her, and one go down to the black ship of great-hearted Telemachos, and bring back all his companions, leaving only two beside her, and yet another go tell the worker in gold Laerkes to come, so that he can cover the cow's horns with gold. You others stay here all together in a group but tell the serving women who are in the house to prepare a glorious dinner, and set chairs and firewood in readiness, and fetch bright water.' (3.418-429)
Want your sacrifice to net you bonus points? Cover its horns with gold, first. We're getting the idea that pleasing the gods means performing extravagant wasteful actions—and, bear with us for a minute, but wouldn't people who have the means to perform extravagant wasteful actions have a leg up in the first place?