Telemachus at Nestor and Menelaus
A wonderful voyage was sent by the goddess Athena Telemache. The very next morning, as soon as the sun god Helios rode into the sky on his snow-white horses, Telemachus' ship arrived at Pylos. Telemachus found all the people Nestor sacrificing to the god of the seas Poseidon. Many bulls were slaughtered by the Pilians at the altar, then they prepared a rich feast. At nine tables, five hundred each, sat the Pylians. The servants had already begun to distribute food, as Nestor saw strangers approaching him, ahead of which was the goddess Pallas Athena under the guise of Mentor. The aged king Pylos greeted the strangers kindly. His son Pisistrat invited them to take part in the feast. Peisistrat gave Athena a goblet of wine, asking her to make a libation in honor of the god Poseidon, since a feast was held in his honor. Athena liked that the young Pisistratus honored her with the first goblet.
When the feast was over, Nestor asked the strangers where they had come from. Telemachus answered him that he was the son of Odysseus and arrived in Pylos to find out about the fate of his father. Nestor rejoiced when he learned that before him was the son of Odysseus, whom he honored more than all the heroes for his mind. He marveled at how similar Telemachus was to his father, not only in appearance, but also in wisdom. Nestor told Telemachus about the troubles that the heroes had to endure on their way back. But he had nothing to say about Odysseus. Nestor took pity on Telemachus for the fact that he had to endure so many insults from violent suitors who were ruining his house. The wise old man advised him to return home as soon as possible, but only before visiting the king Menelaus, since he returned to his homeland later than others and, perhaps, knows something about Odysseus . Nestor was sure that the gods, and especially Pallas Athena, would help the son of Odysseus find out where his father was.
Night has come. Telemachus began to prepare to go to his ship for the night, but Nestor did not let him go. He wanted the son of Odysseus to spend the night in his palace. Mentor also advised Telemachus to spend the night with Nestor. He himself was about to go to the ship, because, according to him, he needed to sail to the country of the Caucons in order to collect an old debt from them. Having said this, the imaginary Mentor suddenly turned into a sea eagle and disappeared from the eyes of the astonished Pilians. Nestor and all those present understood that the goddess Athena herself helps Telemachus.
The next morning, Nestor sacrificed a heifer with gilded horns to the great goddess Athena. After the sacrifice and the feast, the sons of Nestor harnessed the horses to the chariot. Telemachus and the youngest son of Nestor Peisistrat mounted the chariot and set off on their way to Menelaus.
The horses ran fast. By evening, the travelers reached Thera, where the hero Diocles lived. He gave shelter for the night to Peisistratus and Telemachus, and in the morning, as soon as dawn broke in the sky, they set off further and arrived in Sparta in the evening.
When Telemachus and Peisistratus arrived in Sparta, there was a great celebration in the palace of Menelaus: Menelaus sent his daughter to Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, to whom he promised her as a wife even before Troy. In addition, Menelaus celebrated the wedding of his son Megapenta. The guests of Menelaus feasted merrily. They were entertained by the singers playing the lyre, and two young men danced to the sound of the lyre. Just in the midst of the feast, Telemachus and Peisistratus arrived at the palace. They were met by a servant of Menelaus. Seeing the strangers, he ran to Menelaus and asked him if he would accept strangers in the palace. Menelaus ordered to immediately unhitch the horses and call the newcomers to the feast. Having experienced many disasters during the journey, when he himself often had to use hospitality, Menelaus did not refuse hospitality to anyone. The servant ran to fulfill the king's command. The servants harnessed the horses and led the strangers into the palace. Having bathed in beautiful baths and put on clean clothes, Telemachus and Pisistratus went to the banquet hall. They were struck by the extraordinary wealth and luxury that they met at every step in the palace of Menelaus. Menelaus greeted the strangers cordially and invited them to sit next to him.
The feast of Menelaus was rich. Struck by the splendor of the palace and the feast, Telemachus leaned towards Peisistratus and quietly told him that he had never seen such luxury anywhere and thought that only the palace of Zeus himself could be richer. Menelaus heard the words of Telemachus and said with a smile that mortals cannot equal the immortal gods, but if the wealth of his palace is great, then the labors and dangers that he experienced while extracting these riches are great and terrible. But if the dangers experienced by him were great, they are still nothing in comparison with those that fell to the lot of Odysseus. Menelaus said so. Telemachus wept when he heard about his father. At that moment, the wife of Menelaus entered, beautifully curly Elena. Behind her, the slaves carried a golden spinning wheel and a silver-rimmed basket of yarn. Glancing at the stranger, Elena was struck by the resemblance of one of them to Odysseus. She told Menelaus about it. Peisistratus, hearing her words, said that before her was really Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. Menelaus was delighted - after all, next to him was the son of his beloved friend, who had endured so many troubles for his sake. He began to recall the exploits of Odysseus and the hardships that the Greeks endured near Troy. I remembered Odysseus and Elena. These memories of his father brought Telemachus back to tears. Peisistratus also wept, remembering his brother Antilochus, who died near Troy. Sadness for the dead friends seized Menelaus. Then Elena, in order to cheer the feasters and drive away unhappy thoughts, poured the juice of a wonderful plant into the goblet. This juice, giving oblivion of sorrows, was presented to her in Egypt by Queen Polydamne. But it was time to end the feast. Soon King Menelaus and his guests retired. The king of Sparta postponed the conversation with Telemachus until the next day.
Early in the morning, King Menelaus left his bedroom, went into the room where Telemachus spent the night, and asked him about the reason for his arrival in Sparta. Telemachus replied that he had come to Sparta to learn about the fate of his father. Menelaus told the son of Odysseus about all his adventures and how the sea god Proteus revealed to him the fate of the heroes returning from under Troy. Odysseus, as Proteus said then, languishes in captivity on the island of the nymph Calypso. That's all that Menelaus could tell about Telemachu's father. The king of Sparta, Telemachus, began to persuade him to stay as a guest for twelve days. But Telemachus asked the king not to hold him back and let him go home as soon as possible. The conversation between Menelaus and Telemachus lasted a long time.
While they were talking, the guests again gathered in the king's palace. Soon the merry feast was to begin again.