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The Phaeacian sailors deposited the sleeping Odysseus on the shore of Ithaca, his homeland, which he had struggled to reach for twenty years of unspeakable suffering. He stirred and woke from sleep in the land of his fathers, but he knew not his whereabouts. Ithaca showed to him an unaccustomed face; he did not recognize the pathways stretching far into the distance, the quiet bays, the crags and precipices. He rose to his feet and stood staring at what was his own land, crying mournfully: “Alas! and now where on earth am I ? What do I here myself?” That he had been absent for so long was not the whole reason why he did not recognize his own country; in part it was because the goddess Pallas Athene had thickened the air about him to keep him unknown “while she made him wise to things.” Thus Homer tells the story of the most famous home-coming in the literature of thé world.
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