Marks, J. 2008. Zeus in the Odyssey. Hellenic Studies Series 31. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Marks.Zeus_in_the_Odyssey.2008.
Ogygie to Ithake
The “second” Odyssean divine council (Odyssey 5.3-43)
οὐ γὰρ δὴ τοῦτον μὲν ἐβούλευσας νόον αὐτή,
ὡς ἤτοι κείνους Ὀδυσεὺς ἀποτίσεται ἐλθών;
Τηλέμαχον δὲ σὺ πέμψον ἐπισταμένως, δύνασαι γάρ,
ὥς κε μάλ᾿ ἀσκηθὴς ἣν πατρίδα γαῖαν ἵκηται,
μνηστῆρες δ᾿ ἐν νηὶ παλιμπετὲς ἀπονέωνται.
My child, what a word has escaped the barrier of your teeth.
For did not you yourself plan this idea,
so that indeed Odysseus will come and exact payback from those men?
As for Telemachos, send him on with care, for you have the power,
so that he may fully unscathed reach his paternal land,
and the suitors in their ship return back home.
Athene’s forgetfulness – conspicuous for the goddess of mētis – and Zeus’ response to it seem to acknowledge, perhaps ironically, the temporal distortion caused by the operation of the convention that Zielinski’s law describes. Zeus then bids Athene to see to the completion of Telemachos’ journey (she actually does so at 13.440, as the Telemachia and Nostos sequences feed into the Mnesterophonia), and himself instructs Hermes to see to Odysseus’ return.
νόστον Ὀδυσσῆος ταλασίφρονος, ὥς κε νέηται,
οὔτε θεῶν πομπῆι οὔτε θνητῶν ἀνθρώπων·
ἀλλ’ ὅ γ’ ἐπὶ σχεδίης πολυδέσμου πήματα πάσχων
ἤματι εἰκοστῶι Σχερίην ἐρίβωλον ἵκοιτο,
Φαιήκων ἐς γαῖαν, οἳ ἀγχίθεοι γεγάασιν·35
οἵ κέν μιν περὶ κῆρι θεὸν ὣς τιμήσουσι,
πέμψουσιν δ’ ἐν νηὶ φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν,
χαλκόν τε χρυσόν τε ἅλις ἐσθῆτά τε δόντες,
πόλλ’, ὅσ’ ἂν οὐδέ ποτε Τροίης ἐξήρατ’ Ὀδυσσεύς,
εἴ περ ἀπήμων ἦλθε, λαχὼν ἀπὸ ληίδος αἶσαν.40
ὣς γάρ οἱ μοῖρ’ ἐστὶ φίλους τ’ ἰδέειν καὶ ἱκέσθαι
οἶκον ἐς ὑψόροφον καὶ ἑὴν ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν.
. . . unwavering plan,
the homecoming of firm-minded Odysseus, so that he may return,
neither under gods’ escort nor that of mortal men,
but on a raft of many fastenings, suffering woes,
on the twentieth day he may reach fertile Scherie,
the land of the Phaiakes, who are close to the gods.35
These people will honor him like a god greatly in their hearts,
and will send him on a ship to his own paternal land,
after giving him bronze and gold in abundance and clothing,
so many things as Odysseus would never have taken out of Troy,
had he come unmolested with his portion of plunder.40
For thus his fate is to see his own people and to reach
his high-roofed house and his paternal land.
To repeat, Zeus has asserted that the plan for Odysseus and Telemachos is Athene’s (5.23); and she herself later refers to the plan for Odysseus’ return specifically as “mine” (ἐμῆι βουλῆι τε νόωι τε, 13.305). Whether or not the audience is to imagine that Athene is aware of the fact, Zeus has in effect taken control of the narrative: this time, in contrast with the parallel scene in Book 1, the “table of contents” speech is his. His instructions to Hermes, then, translate Athene’s general desire for Odysseus’ return into a workable plan, which is enacted over the course of Books 5 to 13. And, whereas Athene is apparently unable to manage other characters’ responses to her vague ideas for Telemachos and Odysseus, Zeus by contrast brings together with his specific plan the actions of a series of characters, many of whom act in ignorance of the chief god’s broader goals.
|Zeus’ instructions to Hermes (5.30-42)||Realization in the main narrative|
|(1)Odysseus is to travel without escort||5.269-281|
|(2)on a “stoutly built raft”||5.247-257|
|(3)under difficult conditions||5.291-493|
|(4) for 20 days||5.278, 388|
|(6)where the Phaiakes will honor him||Books 6-13; cf. 23.338-339|
|(7)and send him to Ithake on a ship||13.70-125|
|(8)more enriched than when he left Troy||13.10-15, 137-138|
Poseidon’s attack on Odysseus in Odyssey 5
ἀμφ᾿ Ὀδυσῆι ἐμεῖο μετ᾿ Αἰθιόπεσσιν ἐόντος·
καὶ δὴ Φαιήκων γαίης σχεδόν, ἔνθα οἱ αἶσα
ἐκφυγέειν μέγα πεῖραρ ὀιζύος ἥ μιν ἱκάνει.
ἀλλ᾿ ἔτι μέν μιν φημὶ ἄδην ἐλάαν κακότητος.
Well now, certainly indeed the gods altered their plan
about Odysseus while I was with the Aithiopes;
and now there he is near the land of the Phaiakes, where it is his fate
to escape the great cord of misery that has come upon him.
But still I think I shall give him his fill of wretchedness.
Poseidon’s anger in Odyssey 5 results from his perception that a plan has been reformulated by the gods (μετεβούλευσαν ἄλλως, 286) so as to grant Odysseus his return, which is fated (αἶσα) to proceed without incident once he reaches the Phaiakes (288-289). It is in order to reverse the effects of this ostensible reformulation of the divine plan that Poseidon sends the storm that wrecks Odysseus’ ship and precipitates his landing on Scherie, twenty days after leaving Ogygie.
νηὸς ἐπ᾿ ἀλλοτρίης, εὕροι δ᾿ ἐν πήματα οἴκωι
May he return late and miserably, having lost all companions,
on the ship of another, and find troubles at home
Anticlimax: Zeus and Poseidon in Odyssey 13
τιμήεις ἔσομαι, ὅτε με βροτοὶ οὔ τι τίουσι,
Φαίηκες, τοί πέρ τε ἐμῆς ἔξεισι γενέθλης.130
καὶ γὰρ νῦν· Ὀδυσῆα φάμην κακὰ πολλὰ παθόντα
οἴκαδ᾿ ἐλεύσεσθαι – νόστον δὲ οἱ οὔ ποτ᾿ ἀπηύρων
πάγχυ ἐπεὶ σὺ πρῶτον ὑπέσχεο καὶ κατένευσας –
οἳ δ᾿ εὕδοντ᾿ ἐν νηὶ θοῆι ἐπὶ πόντον ἄγοντες
κάτθεσαν εἰν Ἰθάκηι, ἔδοσαν δέ οἱ ἄσπετα δῶρα,135
χαλκόν τε χρυσόν τε ἅλις ἐσθῆτά θ᾿ ὑφαντήν,
πόλλ᾿, ὅσ᾿ ἂν οὐδέ ποτε Τροίης ἐξήρατ᾿ Ὀδυσσεύς,
εἴ περ ἀπήμων ἦλθε, λαχὼν ἀπὸ ληίδος αἶσαν.
Father Zeus, no longer will I myself among the immortal gods
be held in honor, since mortals in no way honor me,
the Phaiakes, who are of my very own kin.130
And so now: I thought that Odysseus, after suffering many evils,
would come home, and I never took away his homecoming
entirely, after you first promised and gave your nod –
but they led him asleep over the sea in their swift ship
and deposited him on Ithake, and gave him innumerable gifts,135
bronze and gold in plenty and woven clothing,
lots of it, such things as Odysseus would never have taken from Troy
even if he had come unscathed having drawn his portion from the plunder.
Apparently, the Phaiakes should have recognized that the storm that landed Odysseus on their island was sent by Poseidon, and therefore should not have treated the hero quite so well. And indeed the effects of Poseidon’s storm in Book 5 have been reversed in almost every detail: Odysseus arrives on Scherie after twenty days awake,  but he reaches Ithake asleep, “having forgotten such things as he had suffered” (λελασμένος ὅσσ᾿ ἐπεπόνθει, 13.92). Shipwreck is not even a possibility on the voyage to Ithake, since the Phaiakes’ ships are guaranteed calm seas (7.317-320). During the storm Odysseus loses the splendid garments Kalypso had provided (5.264, 343, 372), but he arrives on Ithake in possession of “fine woven clothing” (13.136; cf. 218).
πρεσβύτατον καὶ ἄριστον ἀτιμίηισιν ἰάλλειν.
ἀνδρῶν δ᾿ εἴ πέρ τίς σε βίηι καὶ κάρτει εἴκων
οὔ τι τίει, σοὶ δ᾿ ἔστι καὶ ἐξοπίσω τίσις αἰεί.
ἔρξον ὅπως ἐθέλεις καί τοι φίλον ἔπλετο θυμῶι.
In no way do the gods dishonor you; and a harsh thing would it be
to visit the eldest and best with dishonor.
As for men, if indeed any yielding to force and strength
fails to honor you in some way, payback will ever be yours afterward.
Do as you wish and your heart desires.
By asserting Poseidon’s continued honor among the gods and his freedom to dispose of human affairs as he sees fit, Zeus reaffirms the lesser god’s prerogatives. There also may be a note of criticism here, however, in that, by crediting Poseidon with broad freedom of action, Zeus may also imply that Poseidon himself shares responsibility for the situation, in like manner as he tells Athene that the state of affairs in Books 5 and 24 is a consequence of “your own plan.”
Poseidon and the Phaiakes
Ναυσιθόου, ὃς ἔφασκε Ποσειδάων᾿ ἀγάσασθαι
ἡμῖν οὕνεκα πομποὶ ἀπήμονές εἰμεν ἁπάντων·
φῆ ποτε Φαιήκων ἀνδρῶν εὐεργέα νῆα
ἐκπομπῆς ἀνιοῦσαν ἐν ἠεροειδέι πόντωι
ῥαίσεσθαι, μέγα δ᾿ ἡμῖν ὄρος πόλει ἀμφικαλύψειν.
This once I thus myself heard my father saying,
Nausithoos, who used to say that Poseidon was offended
at us because we are effortless escorts of all men.
He said that one day a well-wrought ship of Phaiakian men
returning from an escort on the misty sea
would be struck, and a great mountain would cover our city.
This prophecy in Book 8, which Alkinoos repeats nearly verbatim after Poseidon does strike the ship (13.173-177), foreshadows the proposal that Zeus solicits from Poseidon in Book 13 when he offers him free rein to “do as you wish and your heart desires” (145). As in Book 5, where Poseidon’s storm fulfills conditions that are specified in Zeus’ instructions to Hermes (5.34) as well as foretold to the sea goddess Ino/Leukothea (345), what is “dear to Poseidon’s heart” in Book 13 is consistent with what is “fated,” though Poseidon is apparently unaware of the fact. In any case, Poseidon tells Zeus: 
ἐκ πομπῆς ἀνιοῦσαν ἐν ἠεροειδέϊ πόντωι
ῥαῖσαι, ἵν’ ἤδη σχῶνται, ἀπολλήξωσι δὲ πομπῆς
ἀνθρώπων, μέγα δέ σφιν ὄρος πόλει ἀμφικαλύψαι.
Now then I want to strike the Phaiakes’ very beautiful ship
as it returns from the escort [of Odysseus] on the misty sea,
so that they are then held back, and cease from the escort
of people, and I want a great mountain to cover their city.
ὁππότε κεν δὴ πάντες ἐλαυνομένην προίδωνται
λαοὶ ἀπὸ πτόλιος, θεῖναι λίθον ἐγγύθι γαίης
νηὶ θοῆι ἴκελον, ἵνα θαυμάζωσιν ἅπαντες
ἄνθρωποι, μέγα/μετὰ/μὴ δέ σφιν ὄρος πόλει ἀμφικαλύψαι.
whenever all catch sight of the ship as it is driven
all the people from the city, make [the ship into] a stone near the land
like a swift ship, so that all may wonder
all people, and with a great mountain cover their city. (reading μέγα)
and afterward with a mountain cover their city. (reading μετά)
but not with a mountain cover their city. (reading μή)
That is, at least one distinguished critic, Aristophanes, either proposed or adopted μή, according to which reading Zeus modifies Poseidon’s proposal by telling him not to cover the city. Another distinguished critic, Aristarchos, apparently defended the “vulgate” manuscript reading. The crux cannot be settled on straightforward philological grounds, since all three variants are consistent with Homeric meter and diction. Debate about which reading should be considered correct continues to the present day. 
The Corcyrans do not here claim direct descent from the Phaiakes, since they were bound by the historical fact that their polis began as a Corinthian colony.  Nevertheless, the Corcyrans believed that “previous habitation” (προενοίκησις) by the Phaiakes conferred on them something like a claim of autochthony: the outstanding characteristic of the site’s “original,” mythical past, nautical prowess, had been reproduced in them, its present inhabitants. Just how Corcyrans conceived of their relationship with the Phaiakes is unclear, and likely varied within the community and over time. It does appear that the association with Scherie was institutionalized in Corcyra in the form of a hero-cult of Alkinoos, to whom was dedicated the harbor with the conspicuous rock, as well as a precinct of the polis, an honor shared jointly with, interestingly enough, not Poseidon but Zeus.