ALCINOUS OF PHAEACIA

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DESCRIPTION:

ALCINOUS ( ALKINOOs) is known as the King of fabulous Phaeacians, in the island of Scheria. His name literally means "mighty mind". He was the son of Nausithous (the previous King of Phaeacians and son of Poseidon) and grandson of Poseidon. He married Queen Arete, the daughter of Rhexenor (his brother) after Rhexenor was killed. He had a daughter named Nausicaa, whose name in Greek means "burner of ships". He is generous, kind, a good-humored ruler and father.


ALCINOUS IN THE ODYSSEY:

Scheria (Scheriƫ or Scherie) was ruled by Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians, and his queen (and niece), Queen Arete. They ruled together as equal. A generation ago, Argonauts came to their island, where Jason and Medea were married.

Their daughter Nausicaa decided to wash some clothes and have picnic with her companions. She discovered Odysseus, who was naked. Giving him some clothes, she directed him to the city and palace. Nausicaa also advised him to go to her mother as suppliant. Her parents took pity on him; he was fed and given a room to sleep as a guest.

The next day, they honoured him with banquet, and asked him how he reached their island. Odysseus revealed his identity, of his part in Troy, and finally of his long journey to reach home, in the hope of being reunited with his family.

The Phaeacians being descended from Poseidon, were the finest seamen, Alcinous offered to send him home. Phaeacians hosts and their guests gave him many gifts. He sailed on the next day to Ithaca.

For days as they rowed to Ithaca, Odysseus stood on the bow of the ship, refusing to sleep until he reached Ithaca. Before he arrived home, Athena made the hero fall asleep. The Phaeacians put the sleeping hero, along with his gifts on the beach of Ithaca.




Sources:

Marvin Amin IB-A