Pylos In Mycenaean Greece

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PYLOS In The Odyssey, Homer paints a marvelous picture of a small town called Pylos. Not only was this town the setting for some excellent and propelling plot moments in the poem, it also has a significant history in real life as well. Possibly one reason Homer used this site as a setting was because of its long history and the fact that it was a well-known and important kingdom in Mycenaean Greece. Often known by its Italian name, Navarino, the town is located in Messenia, Peloponnese. Because the town was so well-known in Homer’s time, the in-text descriptions of the town are very few. These leads one to believe that readers were very familiar with the setting, but also suggests that the focus on Pylos was on something more than just setting.…show more content…
As they arrive, the sun is just rising over the sea, setting the sky and ocean aflame with light in a way that would awe both gods and mortals. Sailing straight into the sunrise, Telemachus approaches this stronghold of Neleus. It is important to note that Neleus was a son of the sea god, Poseidon. He was also the founder of Pylos as well as the father of the character Nestor, whom Telemachus is about to meet. Because of the town’s relationship with the “blue-maned god” (Posiedon), they are in the process of conducting a huge ceremony when Telemachus and Athena arrive. Telemachus watches as nine congregations of men, each easily five-hundred men strong, lead out nine bulls a piece to sacrifice to the “god who makes the islands tremble”. That’s a total of 4500 men and 81 black bulls. This extravagant ceremony serves to illustrate one of the main themes of this chapter and Telemachus’ time on Pylos: devotion to the gods. Devotion to the gods was very important during Homer’s time, as the gods were thought to be a part of even the most menial, everyday events. The gods were a part of daily life, so it seemed appropriate to appease them in any way possible. As stated before, because of Pylos’ close connections with the sea god, Poseidon, it only makes sense that this large ceremony would be in his honor.…show more content…
A beautiful town by the sea, it served as a waypoint on Telemachus’ journey to find his father, allowing him to focus, briefly on the coming-of-age part of the tale, which is so significant in the first chapters of The Odyssey. As there are only brief physical descriptions of Pylos, it seems that perhaps Homer’s focus for this visit, was merely a backdrop for character development. Shortly after he arrived, Telemachus leaves Pylos with Nestor's son Pisistratus and together they leave for Sparta to visit Menelaus. “The tall town of Pylos sank behind them in the distance, as all day long they kept the harness

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