Odysseus bored

In response to Edith Hall’s call for classical images of confinement (Facebook’s Classics International Group).

The painting is CALYPSO AND ODYSSEUS by Sir William Russel Flint (early XX century).

Below are Ovid’s hexameters of mega-bored Odysseus on the beach, telling Calypso, for the thousandth time, a war story which he draws in the sand with a stick (English Translation at the bottom).

Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.123

Non formosus erat, sed erat facundus Ulixes,
Et tamen aequoreas torsit amore deas.
A quotiens illum doluit properare Calypso,
Remigioque aptas esse negavit aquas!
Haec Troiae casus iterumque iterumque rogabat:
Ille referre aliter saepe solebat idem.
Litore constiterant: illic quoque pulchra Calypso
Exigit Odrysii fata cruenta ducis.
Ille levi virga (virgam nam forte tenebat)
Quod rogat, in spisso litore pingit opus.
‘Haec’ inquit ‘Troia est’ (muros in litore fecit):
‘Hic tibi sit Simois; haec mea castra puta.
Campus erat’ (campumque facit), ‘quem caede Dolonis
Sparsimus, Haemonios dum vigil optat equos.
Illic Sithonii fuerant tentoria Rhesi:
Hac ego sum captis nocte revectus equis.’
Pluraque pingebat, subitus cum Pergama fluctus
Abstulit et Rhesi cum duce castra suo.

Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.123 (Translation by JH Mozley, LOEB Classical Library)

Ulysses was not comely, but he
was eloquent ; yet he fired two goddesses of the sea
with love. Ah, how oft did Calypso grieve that he
was hasting, and say that the waters were not fit for
oars. Again and again did she ask to hear the fate
of Troy ; often would he tell the same tale in other
words. They stood upon the shore ; there also fair
Calypso inquired the cruel fate of the Odrysian chief.
He with a light staff (for by chance he carried a
staff) draws in the deep sand the tale of which she
asks. “Here,” says he “is Troy” (he made walls
upon the beach), ” and here, suppose, is Simois ;
imagine this to be my camp. There was a plain ”
(and he draws a plain) “which we sprinkled with
Dolon’s blood, while he watched and yearned for
the Haemonian steeds. There were the tents ot
Sithonian Rhesus ; on that night I rode back on the
captured horses.” More was he portraying, when a
sudden wave washed Pergamus away, and the camp
of Rhesus with its chief.

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