Thursday 7 May 2015


    In Greek mythology, Anticlea (or Anticleia) was described as the daughter of Autolycus (son of Hermes and Chione3) and Amphithea.  Anticlea got married to Laertes, an Argonaut, participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar and  King of the Cephallenians. 
                                                            Anticlea  was the mother of Odysseus and Ctimene by her husband Laertes . According to other version, Odysseus father was Sisyphus.  Anticlea father, Autolycus, was a notorious thief, would steal anything he could get his hands on. But Autolycus always escaped detection because he could change the form or color of anything he stole. Autolycus repeatedly stole cattle from Sisyphus’s herd. Sisyphus noticed that cattle were missing and that the herd of Autolycus seemed to be expanding in number, but could not prove any theft.
                                                 In an attempt to catch Autolycus in the act, Sisyphus secretly marked the inside of the hooves of his cattle.  The later discovery of his mark on cows in Autolycus’s herd proved that his neighbor was a thief. Sisyphus was not satisfied merely with proving Autolycus a thief and recovering his cattle. Seeking revenge, he seduced Anticleia, the daughter of Autolycus and later the mother of Odysseus.

                                         Later, when Odysseus makes a trip to the underworld to seek the advice of the dead prophet Tiresias. In the underworld, he encounters many spirits, including that of his mother, Anticlea. Initially, he rebuffs her since he is waiting for the prophet to approach.
Anticlea waits her turn while Tiresias foretells the future to Odysseus

                              After speaking with Tiresias, however, Odysseus allows his mother to come near and lets her speak. She asks him why he is in the underworld while alive, and he tells her about his various troubles and failed attempts to get home. Then he asks her how she died and inquires about his family at home. She tells him that she died of grief, longing for him while he was at war. Anticlea also says that Laertes (Odysseus' father) "grieves continually" for Odysseus and lives in a hovel in the countryside, clad in rags and sleeping on the floor. Anticlea further describes the condition of Odysseus' wife Penelope and son Telemachus.
                                  Penelope has not yet remarried but is overwhelmed with sadness and longing for her husband while Telemachus acts as magistrate for Odysseus' properties. Odysseus attempts to embrace his mother three times but discovers that she is incorporeal, and his arms simply pass through her. She explains that this is how all ghosts are, and he expresses great sorrow.


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