Odysseus (; (:odysˈsews)), also known by the Latin name Ulysses (, ; ), was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the ''Odyssey''. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's ''Iliad'' and other works in that same epic cycle.
Husband of Penelope, father of Telemachus, and son of Laërtes and Anticlea, Odysseus is renowned for his brilliance, guile, and versatility (''polytropos''), and is hence known by the epithet Odysseus the Cunning (''mētis'', or "cunning intelligence"). He is most famous for the ten eventful years he took to return home after the decade-long Trojan War.
== Name, etymology and epithets ==
The name has several variants: ''Olysseus'' (), ''Oulixeus'' (), ''Oulixes'' ()〔Entry: ("" ) at Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, 1940, ''A Greek-English Lexicon''.〕 and he was known as ''ラテン語:Ulyssēs'' in Latin or ''ラテン語:Ulixēs'' in Roman mythology. Hence, "there may originally have been two separate figures, one called something like Odysseus, the other something like Ulixes, who were combined into one complex personality."
The etymology of the name is unknown. Ancient authors linked the name to the Greek verbs ' (Greek: ) 'to be wroth against, to hate',〔
Entry (ὀδύσσομαι ) in Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon
〕 or to ' () 'to lament, bewail'.〔
Entry (ὀδύρομαι ) in Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon〕
〕 Homer in references and puns, relates it to various forms of this verb. It has been also suggested that the name is of non-Greek origin, probably not even Indo-European, with an unknown etymology;〔
〕 R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin.〔R. S. P. Beekes, ''Etymological Dictionary of Greek'', Brill, 2009, p. 1048.〕
In Book 19 of the ''Odyssey'', where Odysseus's early childhood is recounted, Euryclea asks Autolycus to name him. Euryclea tries to guide him to naming the boy ''Polyaretos'', "for he has ''much'' been ''prayed for''" (19.403f).〔''Polyaretos'', "prayed for"〕 Autolycus "apparently in a sardonic mood ... decided to give the child a name that would commemorate his own experience in life. 'Because I got odium upon myself before coming here ... from many ... let the child's name be Odysseus to signify this.' The pun was prophetic as well as commemorative."〔
〕 Odysseus often receives the patronymic epithet ''Laertiades'' (), "son of Laërtes".
In the ''Iliad'' and ''Odyssey'' there are several epithets used to describe Odysseus.〔
His name and stories were adopted into Etruscan religion under the name '.
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