Halitherses

Halithersês is an "old lord" who stands up for Telémakhos when he begs the council of Akhaians to "expel" the suitors from his house (23, 21). Halithersês, who is the "son of Mastor," interprets the sign Zeus sends to Telémakhos, since the sign is a pair of eagles and Halithersês is the "keenest among the old at reading birdflight into accurate speech" (23). He delivers the message that Odysseus will return soon, "carrying in him a bloody doom for all these men," and then tells the suitors to "drop their suit," just as Telémakhos requested (24).

Later, after Odysseus kills the suitors, Halithersês warns the Akhaians against trying to avenge the suitors' deaths. Halithersês blames the men for the suitors' deaths because they didn't listen to his first warning. He now warns them that if they pursue Odysseus, they will find "a bloody end" (459). Halithersês warns the Akhaians "in his anxiety for them," after he hears Medôn say that a god "shone before Odysseus… swept the suitors down the hall dying in droves" (458, 459). Though he disapproves of the suitors actions, he cautions the Akhaians for fear that they will anger the gods.

-RG

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