Homer on the Ethiopians

                                                            (Fagles translation)


Iliad 1.423-4 (Thetis is speaking to Achilles.)

Only yesterday Zeus went off to the Ocean River

to feast with the Aethiopians, loyal, lordly men,

and all of the gods went with him.


Iliad 23.205-207 (Iris is speaking to the winds.)

No time for sitting now. No, I must return

to the Ocean’s running stream, the Aethiopians’ land.

They are making a splendid sacrifice to the gods—

I must not miss my share of the sacred feast.


Odyssey 1.21-25

But now

Poseidon had gone to visit the Ethiopians worlds away,

Ethiopians off at the farthest limits of mankind,

a people split in two, one part where the Sungod sets

and part where the Sungod rises. There Poseidon went

to receive an offering, bulls and rams by the hundred—   

far away at the feast the Sea-lord sat and took his pleasure.


Odyssey 4.81-84 (Menelaus is speaking to Telemachus)

Believe me,

much I suffered, many a mile I roved to haul

such treasures home in my ships. Eight years out,

wandering off as far as Cyprus, Phoenicia, even Egypt,

I reached the Ethiopians, Sidonians, Erembians—Libya too.


Odyssey 5.281-287

But now Poseidon, god of the earthquake, saw him—

just returning home from his Ethiopian friends,

from miles away on the Solymi mountain-range

he spied Odysseus sailing down the sea

and it made his fury boil even more.

He shook his head and rumbled to himself,

“Outrageous! Look how the gods have changed their minds

about Odysseus—while I was off with my Ethiopians. . . .”