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This is the story of Odysseus, the most renowned of all the heroes the Greek poets have told us of — of Odysseus, his wars and his wanderings. And this story of Odysseus begins with his son, the youth who was called Telemachus.

It was when Telemachus was a child of a month old that a messenger came from Agamemnon, the Great King, bidding Odysseus betake himself to the war against Troy that the Kings and Princes of Greece were about to wage. The wise Odysseus, foreseeing the disasters that would befall all that entered that war, was loth to go. And so when Aga­memnon's messenger came to the island of Ithaka where he was King, Odysseus pretended to be mad. And that the messenger, Palamedes, might believe he was mad indeed, he did a thing that no man ever saw being done before — he took an ass and an ox and yoked them together to the same plough and began to plough a field. And when he had ploughed a furrow he sowed it, not with seeds that would grow, but with salt. When Palamedes saw him doing this he was nearly per­suaded that Odysseus was mad. But to test him he took the child Telemachus and laid him down in the field in the way of the plough. Odysseus, when he came near to where the child lay, turned the plough aside and thereby showed that he was not a mad man. Then had he to take King Agamemnon's sum­mons. And Agamemnon's word was that Odysseus should go to Aulis where the ships of the Kings and Princes of Greece were being gathered. But first he was to go into another country to seek the hero Achilles and persuade him also to enter the war against Troy.

And so Odysseus bade good-bye to his infant son, Telemachus, and to his young wife, Penelope, and to his father, old Laertes. And he bade good-bye to his house and his lands and to the island of Ithaka where he was King. He summoned a council of the chief men of Ithaka and commended to their care his wife and his child and all his household, and thereafter he took his sailors and his fighting men with him and he sailed away. The years went by and Odysseus did not return. After ten years the City was taken by the Kings and Princes of Greece and the thread of war was wound up. But still Odysseus did not return. And now minstrels came to Ithaka with word of the deaths or the homecomings of the heroes who had fought in the war against Troy. But no minstrel brought any word of Odysseus, of his death or of his appearance in any land known to men. Ten years more went by. And now that infant son whom he had left behind, Telemachus, had grown up and was a young man of strength and purpose.

One day, as he sat sad and disconsolate in the house of his father, the youth Telemachus saw a stranger come to the outer gate. There were many in the court outside, but no one went to receive the newcomer. Then, because he would never let a stranger stand at the gate without hurrying out to welcome him, and because, too, he had hopes that some day such a one would bring him tidings of his father, Telemachus rose up from where he was sitting and went down the hall and through the court and to the gate at which the stranger stood.

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Question 1
Who was Odysseus?
A. a Greek poetB. a Greek writer
C. the king of TroyD. the king of Ithaka
Question 2
How old was Telemachus when the messenger from Agamemnon came to Odysseus?
A. one year oldB. one month old
C. ten years oldD. five years old
Question 3
Who was Agamemnon?
A. a messengerB. youngest son of Odysseus
C. the king of GreeceD. father of Odysseus
Question 4
Who were the princes and kings of Greece fighting against?
A. AthensB. Rome
C. SpartaD. Troy
Question 5
Who was Palamedes?
A. the messenger of Aga­memnonB. the messenger of Telemachus
C. the king of GreeceD. the king of Athens
Question 6
Which fact is correct?
A. Odysseus was enthusiastic about the war against Troy.B. Odysseus wanted to send his son to the war against Troy.
C. Odysseus sent his messenger to the king of Greece to persuade him to go to the war against Troy.D. Odysseus was reluctant to go to the war against Troy.
Question 7
Where were the ships of the Kings and Princes of Greece being gathered to undertake the war against Troy?
A. in TroyB. in Aulis
C. in IthakaD. in Athens
Question 8
Why did Odysseus go to another country before undertaking the war against Troy?
A. to persuade the hero Achilles not to enter the war against TroyB. to visit his wife and son
C. to persuade the hero Achilles to enter the war against TroyD. to persuade King Agamemnon to postpone the war against Troy
Question 9
Who was Laertes?
A. Odysseus's sonB. Odysseus's father
C. Odysseus's wifeD. the Prince of Aulis
Question 10
Who took over the city of Ithaka ten years after the war?
A. the Kings and Princes of GreeceB. the Kings and Princes of Troy
C. the King of SpartaD. the hero Achilles
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