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Word Count: 1,530
Both the Old Testament of the Bible and Homers Odyssey posit a natural order that existed at the beginning a time when everyone knew their place man was in concord with God or the gods and everything was just as it should be In the Bible this was the time when Adam and Eve first lived in the Garden of Eden before the Fall in the Odyssey it can be presumed to be the era before Odysseus left Ithaka to fight in the Trojan War However both these balanced situations were upset very soon Adam and Eve sinned against God were exiled from Paradise and stuck in a repetitive cycle of sinning Odysseus left his home and family and was gone for twenty years By the time we come down to the Great Flood in Genesis and the opening chapters of the Odyssey things in both stories are markedly off kilter Each of these stories -- that of Noah and the Ark in the Bible and that of the carousing suitors in the Odyssey -- illustrate what happens when unprincipled people take over and virtuous people are unable to stop them During Odysseus twenty-year absence in the Odyssey everyone back home in Ithaca has assumed he is dead He leaves a large home and a hefty legacy and consequently suitors for his wifes hand and by extension Odysseus lands money and title are swarming all over the palace The modern reader may wonder why Odysseus wife Penelope simply did not send these unwanted suitors packing right away The answer is she couldnt Their son Telemakhos for most of this period is too young to fill his fathers shoes By Greek custom then as soon as it has been definitely ascertained that the old ruler is not coming back a new ruler has to be chosen and once chosen he has the right to help himself to the old rulers throne his home and even his
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