Important Notice!

Six Essential Greek Codes of Conduct

Citizens must be strong of mind!

Do: Use your mind to overcome obstacles. On page 907 in book nine, Polyphemus screams, "Nohbody, Nohbody's tricked me, Nohbody's ruined me." Then Odysseus was, "filled with laughter see how like a charm the name deceived them."

Do not: Go into a situation without thinking first. In book 11, Elpenor climbed onto the roof and died from falling off while drunk. When talking with Odysseus as a spirit, he blames, "some fatal deity" and "too much wine" for his death.

Citizens must be strong of body!

Do: Gain great strength to be more powerful. In book 21, Odysseus was the only man who could string his bow and shoot through twelve axe heads with ease.

Do not: Have too little strength to deal with obstacles. Also in book 21, the suitors suffered, "the worst humiliation- to be shown up for children measured against Odysseus."

Always Show Loyalty, devotion, and bravery!

Do: Remain loyal to others. In book 10, Odysseus's men are turned to pigs by Circe. Despite Euryluchos's warning, "Odysseus rushed to save his men from the enchantress."

Do not: Betray others' trust. In book 12, Odysseus's men kill the god Helios's cattle after Odysseus instructed them not to. This betrayal led to the crewmen's destruction.

Obey The GOds!

Do: Always show obedience to the Gods! In book 11, Odysseus orders his men to "prey to the Gods, to mighty Hades and dread Persephone," upon entering the Underworld.

Do not: Disobey the Gods. In book 12, Odysseus's men disrespect Helios, the sun god, in eating his cattle. Therefore, to appease him, Zeus sends a thunderbolt to kill them.

Good must always be triumphant over evil!

Do: Assist the goals and values of the good. In book 9, Odysseus prevails over Polyphemus with the help of his men and some conveniently placed sheep.

Do not: Support the goals and values of the bad. In book 22, the suitors band together to take over the house of Odysseus. As a result, they all fail to escape death and are murdered in the great hall.

Always be hospitable to the wandering hero!

Do: Open your doors for the wandering the wandering hero. In book 10, after recognizing Odysseus, Circe seats his men on thrones and lounging chairs, "while she prepared a meal of cheese and barley."

Do not: Be inhospitable to the wandering hero. In book 9, when Odysseus and his men arrive in the cave of Polyphemus, Polyphemus takes to a cannibalistic nature and devours many of Odysseus's men. Then, Odysseus blinds the Cyclops saying, "Eater of guests under your roof! Zeus and the gods have paid you!"

Thomas Kragh and Kelly Delawder