98 pages 3 hours read

Bernard Evslin

The Adventures of Ulysses

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1969

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Important Quotes

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“The Adventures of Ulysses begin many years before the opening of this book. He was the master strategist of the Greek forces in their war against Troy, the war that started with an apple, ended with a horse, and was fought by a thousand kings for the love of a single woman. It left an ancient city in flames that still burn in man’s imagination after three thousand years.”

(Prologue, Location 16 of 1757, Page n/a)

Prince Paris of Troy awarded the goddess Aphrodite the apple meant for the most beautiful of the deities; she rewarded him with any woman he wanted. He chose Helen, wife of the king of Sparta, and Helen ran away with him to Troy. The Greeks launched an armada to get her back. After 10 years of war, the Greeks pretended to give up and depart, leaving behind a giant horse statue as an offering to the sea god, and the Trojans dragged it into their city, hoping to defile it, but it was filled with warriors who burst out and defeated the Trojans. The brilliant Ulysses thought up this Trojan Horse, but only after the war do his greatest adventures begin.

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“When Troy was sacked, [Ulysses] and his men captured a huge booty—gold and jewels, silks, furs—and after ten years of war, the men refused to leave any loot behind. This meant that each of his ships could carry food and water for a very few days.”

(Chapter 1, Pages 2-3)

The men fight long and hard to defeat Troy. When they do, they want treasure from their enemies. This causes problems right away, when Ulysses’s men raid a coastal town in hopes of even more loot but find the town better defended than they expect.

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“Ulysses saw that his ships were foundering and that he would have to empty the holds. Food could not be spared, nor water; the only thing that could go was the treasure taken from Troy. The men groaned and tore at their beards as they saw the gold and jewels and bales of fur and silk being dropped overboard. But Ulysses cast over his own share of the treasure first—and his was the largest share—so the men had to bite back their rage and keep on rowing.”

(Chapter 2, Page 8)

The men, having raided a coastal town and suffered a beating, find that their damaged ships are taking on seawater. To lighten the load, they must throw overboard the treasure they so carefully hoarded from their victory at Troy.