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.
ἢ βοὸς ἢ ὄιος κατὰ πίονα μηρία καίων
ηὔχετο νοστῆσαι, σὺ δ᾿ ὑπέσχεο καὶ κατένευσας,
τῶν μνῆσαι καὶ ἄμυνον, Ὀλύμπιε, νηλεὲς ἦμαρ.
Father Zeus, if ever for you someone in much-grained Argos
used to burn rich thigh-pieces of ox or sheep
and prayed to return home (nostēsai), and you yourself promised and nodded,
these things remember, and ward off, Olympian, the pitiless day.
Nestor’s perspective on the Trojan War
δήμωι ἀνέτλημεν μένος ἄσχετοι υἷες Ἀχαιῶν,
ἠμὲν ὅσα ξὺν νηυσὶν ἐπ᾿ ἠεροειδέα πόντον105
πλαζόμενοι κατὰ ληίδ᾿ ὅπηι ἄρξειεν Ἀχιλλεύς,
ἠδ᾿ ὅσα καὶ περὶ ἄστυ μέγα Πριάμοιο ἄνακτος
μαρνάμεθ᾿ – ἔνθα δ᾿ ἔπειτα κατέκταθεν ὅσσοι ἄριστοι·
ἔνθα μὲν Αἴας κεῖται ἀρήιος, ἔνθα δ᾿ Ἀχιλλεύς,
ἔνθα δὲ Πάτροκλος, θεόφιν μήστωρ ἀτάλαντος,110
ἔνθα δ᾿ ἐμὸς φίλὸς υἱός, ἅμα κρατερὸς καὶ ἀταρβής,
Ἀντίλοχος, περὶ μὲν θεῖειν ταχὺς ἠδὲ μαχητής· –
ἄλλα τε πόλλ᾿ ἐπὶ τοῖς πάθομεν κακά· τίς κεν ἐκεῖνα
πάντα γε μυθήσαιτο καταθνητῶν ἀνθρώπων;
οὐδ᾿ εἰ πεντάετές γε καὶ ἑξάετες παραμίμνων115
ἐξερέοις, ὅσα κεῖθι πάθον κακὰ δῖοι Ἀχαιοί·
πρίν κεν ἀνιηθεὶς σὴν πατρίδα γαῖαν ἵκοιο.
εἰνάετες γάρ σφιν κακὰ ῥάπτομεν ἀμφιέποντες
παντοίοισι δόλοισι, μόγις δ᾿ ἐτέλεσσε Κρονίων.
ἔνθ᾿ οὔ τίς ποτε μῆτιν ὁμοιωθήμεναι ἄντην120
ἤθελ᾿, ἐπεὶ μάλα πολλὸν ἐνίκα δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
Ah, friend, since you have reminded me of pain, which in that
country [Troy] we endured, unbowed in might, we sons of Achaians,
as many wanderings with ships on misty sea105
as we wandered for the sake of plunder, wherever Achilleus would lead,
and as many struggles as around the great city of lord Priam
we struggled – there then did they perish, such as were best:
there lies warlike Aias, and there Achilleus,
and there Patroklos, like the gods in counsel,110
and there my own son, both powerful and fearless,
Antilochos, excelling in speed and battle –
and many other evils we suffered in addition to these. Who could
tell all those things, who of mortal men?
Not if five or even six years you remained115
would you enquire about such evils as godly Achaians suffered there;
sooner would you leave and reach your homeland.
For nine years we stitched together for them [the Trojans] evils, working
all sorts of tricks; but at last Kronos’ son brought it to an end.
There no-one was willing to contend in mental power,120
since by far godly Odysseus triumphed
in all sorts of tricks.
As noted above, Nestor’s speech here is unresponsive to Telemachos’ question, a fact that has often been explained in terms of Nestor’s proverbial garrulousness. Among its other shortcomings,  this interpretation fails to appreciate that Nestor’s path toward the story Telemachos wants to hear is carefully structured, and that he takes care to explain how the information sought by Telemachos is embedded the larger story of the Trojan War.
|portion of Trojan War||narrative tradition|
|Trojan War as a whole||“pain-narrative”(unperformable)|
|death of Patroklos||Iliad|
|deaths of Antilochos and Achilleus||Aithiopis|
|death of Aias||Aithiopis, Ilias Parva|
|sack of Troy||Ilias Parva, Iliou Persis|
|returns of surviving Greeks||Nostoi, Odyssey, Telegony|
The gods of return
βῆμεν δ᾿ ἐν νήεσσι, θεὸς δ᾿ ἐκέδασσεν Ἀχαιούς,
καὶ τότε δὴ Ζεὺς λυγρὸν ἐνὶ φρεσὶ μήδετο νόστον
Ἀργείοις, ἐπεὶ οὔ τι νοήμονες οὐδὲ δίκαιοι
πάντες ἔσαν· τῶ σφεων πολέες κακὸν οἶτον ἐπέσπον
μήνιος ἐξ ὀλοῆς γλαυκώπιδος ὀβριμοπάτρης, 135
ἥ τ᾿ ἔριν Ἀτρείδηισι μετ᾿ ἀμφοτέροισιν ἔθηκε.
But after we sacked Priam’s high city,
we boarded the ships, but a god scattered the Achaians,
and right then Zeus was devising in his thoughts a lamentable homecoming
for the Argives, since in no way right-thinking nor just
were they all; therefore many of them fell upon an evil fate
on account of the destructive wrath of the grey-eyed daughter of a powerful father [i.e. Athene]
who made strife between the sons of Atreus.
After a summary statement that “a god” scattered the Greek ships (θεός, 131), Nestor explains that it was Zeus who devised the nostos generally (132), and Athene who, on account of her wrath, brought the power of Olympos to bear on the returning heroes (135; cf. 145-147). More specifically, Zeus intended a “lamentable” return for the Greeks (λυγρός, 132), and Athene made it so by inciting strife between their leaders (135-136).
Variations on the nostos-theme