Who takes Odysseus back to Ithaca in The Odyssey?  What is the name of the faithful swineherd?

Expert Answers
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alcinous, King of the Phaecians, has Odysseus taken back to Ithaca.  The king orders his finest ships to deliver the precious cargo back to his homeland.

There, Odysseus meets Eumaus, his old faithful swineherd.  The swineherd throws his light on the state of affairs on Ithaca so that Odysseus can appraise the situation.  Odysseus has learned to restrain his pride, so he trusts only the swineherd until he can make known his identity to his son and wife.

julie_feng | Student

Right before he finally returns to Ithaca, Odysseus lands on Phaeacia. This is the nautical land ruled by the benevolent Alcinous and Arete. Here, Odysseus is treated as an honored guest. King Alcinous and Queen Arete, who are extremely kind, provide him with everything he could possibly need. When he finally reveals himself as the great Greek hero of the Trojan War, Odysseus, the Phaeacians are shocked and delighted. Odysseus tells them his story thus far. 

While he is asleep, the Phaeacians put Odysseus and all his treasures on their finest ships. This is easily done because the Phaeacians are the best sailors in the world. Their skill on the sea is unparalleled. He is finally able to get home to Ithaca with their help. The goddess Athena also assists in this process, by helping Odysseus come up with a game plan when he returns home. 

The first person he meets when he arrives is Eumaeus, the swineherd of Ithaca who has remained loyal to Odysseus all these years. Eumaeus's loyalty is an important part of the epic, and emphasizes the theme of loyalty throughout the whole narrative. It is in Eumaeus' hut that the rest of the plan is figured out. 

slkddsaad | Student

uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhh does it look like anyone knows?! DUH

just kidding its eamaeus

Read the study guide:
The Odyssey

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question