Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, seals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse reverse means the back face; the obverse of a coin is called heads, because it depicts the head of a prominent person, the reverse tails. In fields of scholarship outside numismatics, the term front is more used than obverse, while usage of reverse is widespread; the equivalent terms used in codicology, manuscript studies, print studies and publishing are "recto" and "verso". The side of a coin with the larger-scale image will be called the obverse and, if that does not serve to distinguish them, the side, more typical of a wide range of coins from that location will be called the obverse. Following this principle, in the most famous of ancient Greek coins, the tetradrachm of Athens, the obverse is the head of Athena and the reverse is her owl. Similar versions of these two images, both symbols of the state, were used on the Athenian coins for more than two centuries.
In the many republics of ancient Greece, such as Athens or Corinth, one side of their coins would have a symbol of the state their patron goddess or her symbol, which remained constant through all of the coins minted by that state, regarded as the obverse of those coins. The opposite side may have varied from time to time. In ancient Greek monarchical coinage, the situation continued whereby a larger image of a deity, is called the obverse, but a smaller image of a monarch appears on the other side, called the reverse. In a Western monarchy, it has been customary, following the tradition of the Hellenistic monarchs and the Roman emperors, for the currency to bear the head of the monarch on one side, always regarded as the obverse; this change happened in the coinage of Alexander the Great, which continued to be minted long after his death. After his conquest of ancient Egypt, he allowed himself to be depicted on the obverse of coins as a god-king, at least because he thought this would help secure the allegiance of the Egyptians, who had regarded their previous monarchs, the pharaohs, as divine.
The various Hellenistic rulers who were his successors followed his tradition and kept their images on the obverse of coins. A movement back to the earlier tradition of a deity being placed on the obverse occurred in Byzantine coinage, where a head of Christ became the obverse and a head or portrait of the emperor became considered the reverse; the introduction of this style in the gold coins of Justinian II from the year 695 provoked the Islamic Caliph, Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine designs, replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with just lettering on both sides of their coins. This script alone style was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. Without images, therefore, it is not always easy to tell which side will be regarded as the obverse without some knowledge. After 695 Islamic coins avoided all images of persons and contained script alone.
The side expressing the Six Kalimas is defined as the obverse. A convention exists to display the obverse to the left and the reverse to the right in photographs and museum displays, but this is not invariably observed; the form of currency follows its function, to serve as a accepted medium of exchange of value. This function rests on a state as guarantor of the value: either as trustworthy guarantor of the kind and amount of metal in a coin, or as powerful guarantor of the continuing acceptance of token coins. Traditionally, most states have been monarchies where the person of the monarch and the state were equivalent for most purposes. For this reason, the obverse side of a modern piece of currency is the one that evokes that reaction by invoking the strength of the state, that side always depicts a symbol of the state, whether it be the monarch or otherwise. If not provided for on the obverse, the reverse side contains information relating to a coin's role as medium of exchange. Additional space reflects the issuing country's culture or government, or evokes some aspect of the state's territory.
Regarding the euro, some confusion regarding the obverse and reverse of the euro coins exists. As agreed by the informal Economic and Finance Ministers Council of Verona in April 1996, despite the fact that a number of countries have a different design for each coin, the distinctive national side for the circulation coins is the obverse and the common European side is the reverse; this rule does not apply to the collector coins. A number of the designs used for obverse national sides of euro coins were taken from the reverse of the nations' former pre-euro coins. Several countries continue to use portraits of the reigning monarch. In Japan, from 1897 to the end of World War II, the following informal conventions existed: the Chrysanthemum Throne, representing the imperial family, appeared on all coins, this side was regarded as the obverse; the Chrys
Ides of March
The Ides of March was a day in the Roman calendar that corresponds to 15 March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts. In 44 BC, it became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar which made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history; the Romans did not number days of a month from the first to the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones, the Ides, the Kalends; the Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar. In the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the new year; the Ides of each month were sacred to the Romans' supreme deity. The Flamen Dialis, Jupiter's high priest, led the "Ides sheep" in procession along the Via Sacra to the arx, where it was sacrificed. In addition to the monthly sacrifice, the Ides of March was the occasion of the Feast of Anna Perenna, a goddess of the year whose festival concluded the ceremonies of the new year.
The day was enthusiastically celebrated among the common people with picnics and revelry. One source from late antiquity places the Mamuralia on the Ides of March; this observance, which has aspects of scapegoat or ancient Greek pharmakos ritual, involved beating an old man dressed in animal skins and driving him from the city. The ritual may have been a new year festival representing the expulsion of the old year. In the Imperial period, the Ides began a "holy week" of festivals celebrating Cybele and Attis, being the day Canna intrat, when Attis was born and found among the reeds of a Phrygian river, he was discovered by shepherds or the goddess Cybele, known as the Magna Mater. A week on 22 March, the solemn commemoration of Arbor intrat commemorated the death of Attis under a pine tree. A college of priests, the dendrophoroi annually cut down a tree, hung from it an image of Attis, carried it to the temple of the Magna Mater with lamentations; the day was formalized as part of the official Roman calendar under Claudius.
A three-day period of mourning followed, culminating with celebrating the rebirth of Attis on 25 March, the date of the vernal equinox on the Julian calendar. In modern times, the Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the Senate; as many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved. According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The Ides of March are come", implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; this meeting is famously dramatised in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to "beware the Ides of March." The Roman biographer Suetonius identifies the "seer" as a haruspex named Spurinna. Caesar's death was a closing event in the crisis of the Roman Republic, triggered the civil war that would result in the rise to sole power of his adopted heir Octavian.
Writing under Augustus, Ovid portrays the murder as a sacrilege, since Caesar was the Pontifex Maximus of Rome and a priest of Vesta. On the fourth anniversary of Caesar's death in 40 BC, after achieving a victory at the siege of Perugia, Octavian executed 300 senators and knights who had fought against him under Lucius Antonius, the brother of Mark Antony; the executions were one of a series of actions taken by Octavian to avenge Caesar's death. Suetonius and the historian Cassius Dio characterised the slaughter as a religious sacrifice, noting that it occurred on the Ides of March at the new altar to the deified Julius. Julius Caesar, a play by William Shakespeare The Ides of March, a novel by Thornton Wilder Plutarch, The Parallel Lives, The Life of Julius Caesar Nicolaus of Damascus, Life of Augustus
Felt is a textile material, produced by matting and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool or animal fur, or from synthetic fibers such as petroleum-based acrylic or acrylonitrile or wood pulp-based rayon. Blended fibers are common. Felt from wool is considered to be the oldest known textile. Many cultures have legends as to the origins of felt making. Sumerian legend claims; the story of Saint Clement and Saint Christopher relates that the men packed their sandals with wool to prevent blisters while fleeing from persecution. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks. Feltmaking is still practised by nomadic peoples in Central Asia, where rugs and clothing are made; some of these are traditional items, such as the classic yurt, while others are designed for the tourist market, such as decorated slippers. In the Western world, felt is used as a medium for expression in both textile art and contemporary art and design, where it has significance as an ecologically responsible textile and building material.
In the wet felting process, hot water is applied to layers of animal hairs, while repeated agitation and compression causes the fibers to hook together or weave together into a single piece of fabric. Wrapping the properly arranged fiber in a sturdy, textured material, such as a bamboo mat or burlap, will speed up the felting process; the felted material may be finished by fulling. Only certain types of fiber can be wet. Most types of fleece, such as those taken from the alpaca or the Merino sheep, can be put through the wet felting process. One may use mohair, angora, or hair from rodents such as beavers and muskrats; these types of fiber are covered in tiny scales, similar to the scales found on a strand of human hair. Heat and moisture of the fleece causes the scales to open, while agitating them causes them to latch onto each other, creating felt. There is an alternative theory. Plant fibers and synthetic fibers will not wet felt. Needle felting is a method of creating felted objects without using water.
The special needles used to make 3D sculpture, adornments and 2D art have notches along the shaft of the needle that catch fibers and tangle them with other fibers to produce felt. These notches are sometimes erroneously called "barbs", but barbs are protrusions and would be too difficult to thrust into the wool and nearly impossible to pull out. There are many types of notched needles for different uses while working. Needle felting is used in industrial processes as well as in individual crafting. Needles used for crafting are very thin needles, sometimes fitted in holders that allow the user to utilize 2 or more needles at one time to sculpt wool objects and shapes; the single thin needles are used for detail and the multiple needles that are paired together are used for larger areas or to form the base of the project. At any point in time a variety of fiber colors may be added for detail and individuality, using needles to incorporate them into the project; the kawaii style of needle felting was made popular by the Japanese culture.
Kawaii means cute in Japanese and to felt in the kawaii style just means to make the object cute. Most kawaii needle felt sculptures have small, minimal detail and are brightly colored, they are more cute and playful compared to the more traditional needle felt, more rustic and earthy. Ikuyo Fujita（藤田育代 Fujita Ikuyo）is a Japanese artist who works in needle felt painting and mogol art. Needle felting can be used to create realistic 3 dimensional animals. A wire armature can be created to help the process and provide support, around which a needle felted body and coat can be added. Here are some examples; the art of needle felting is becoming popular worldwide. Invented in the mid 17th century and used until the mid-20th centuries, a process called "carroting" was used in the manufacture of good quality felt for making men's hats. Beaver, rabbit or hare skins were treated with a dilute solution of the mercury compound mercuric nitrate; the skins were dried in an oven where the thin fur at the sides turned the color of carrots.
Pelts were stretched over a bar in a cutting machine, the skin was sliced off in thin shreds, with the fleece coming away entirely. The fur was blown onto a cone-shaped colander and treated with hot water to consolidate it; the cone peeled off and passed through wet rollers to cause the fur to felt. These'hoods' were dyed and blocked to make hats; the toxic solutions from the carrot and the vapours it produced resulted in widespread cases of mercury poisoning among hatters. This may be the origin of the phrase "mad as a hatter", used to humorous effect by Lewis Carroll in the chapter "A Mad Tea Party" of the novel Alice in Wonderland. Felt is used in a wide range of industries and manufacturing processes, from the automotive industry and casinos to musical instruments and home construction, as well as in gun wads, either inside cartridges or pushed down the barrel of a muzzleloader. Many musical instruments use, it is used as a damper. On drum cymbal stands, it protects the cymbal from ensures a clean sound.
It is used to wrap bass drum timpani mallets. Felt is used extensively in pianos; the density and springiness of the felt is a major part of. As the felt becomes grooved and "packed" with use and age, the tone suffers. Felt
Assassination of Julius Caesar
The assassination of Caesar was the result of a conspiracy by many Roman senators led by Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, Marcus Junius Brutus. They stabbed Caesar to death in a location adjacent to the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March 15 March 44 BC. Caesar was the Dictator of the Roman Republic, having been declared dictator perpetuo by the Senate of the Roman Republic; this declaration made many senators fear that Caesar wanted to overthrow the Senate in favor of totalitarianism, as well as the fear that Caesar’s pro plebeian manifesto would endanger them financially. The conspirators were unable to restore the Roman Republic, the ramifications of the assassination led to the Liberators' civil war and to the Principate period of the Roman Empire. Biographers describe tension between Caesar and the Senate, his possible claims to the title of king; these events were the principal catalysts for Caesar's assassination. The Senate named Caesar dictator perpetuo. Roman mints produced a denarius coin with this title and his likeness on one side, with an image of the goddess Ceres and Caesar's title of Augur Pontifex Maximus on the reverse.
According to Cassius Dio, writing over 200 years a senatorial delegation went to inform Caesar of new honors they had bestowed upon him in 44 BC. Caesar received them while sitting in the Temple of Venus Genetrix, rather than rising to meet them. Suetonius wrote that Caesar failed to rise in the temple, either because he was restrained by Cornelius Balbus or that he balked at the suggestion he should rise. Suetonius gave the account of a crowd assembled to greet Caesar upon his return to Rome. A member of the crowd placed a laurel wreath on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra; the tribunes Gaius Epidius Marullus and Lucius Caesetius Flavus ordered that the wreath be removed as it was a symbol of Jupiter and royalty. Caesar had the tribunes removed from office through his official powers. According to Suetonius, Caesar was unable to dissociate himself from the royal title from this point forward. Suetonius gives the story that a crowd shouted to him rex, to which Caesar replied, "I am Caesar, not Rex".
At the festival of the Lupercalia, while he gave a speech from the Rostra, Mark Antony, elected co-consul with Caesar, attempted to place a crown on his head several times. Caesar put it aside to use as a sacrifice to Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Plutarch and Suetonius are similar in their depiction of these events, but Dio combines the stories, writing that the tribunes arrested the citizens who placed diadems or wreaths on statues of Caesar, he places the crowd shouting "rex" on the Alban Hill with the tribunes arresting a member of this crowd as well. The plebeian protested. Caesar brought the tribunes before the senate and put the matter to a vote, thereafter removing them from office and erasing their names from the records. Suetonius adds that Lucius Cotta proposed to the Senate that Caesar should be granted the title of "king", for it was prophesied that only a king would conquer Parthia. Caesar intended to invade Parthia, a task that gave considerable trouble to Mark Antony during the second triumvirate.
His many titles and honors from the Senate were merely honorary. Caesar continually strove for more power to govern, with as little dependence as possible on honorary titles or the Senate; the placating and ennobling of Caesar did not allay ultimate confrontation, as the Senate was still the authority granting Caesar his titles. Formal power resided in them. Brutus began to conspire against Caesar with his friend and brother-in-law Gaius Cassius Longinus and other men, calling themselves the Liberatores. Many plans were discussed by the group, as documented by Nicolaus of Damascus: The conspirators never met openly, but they assembled a few at a time in each other's homes. There were many discussions and proposals, as might be expected, while they investigated how and where to execute their design; some suggested that they should make the attempt along the Sacred Way, one of his favorite walks. Another idea was to do it at the elections, during which he had to cross a bridge to appoint the magistrates in the Campus Martius.
Someone proposed that they draw lots for some to push him from the bridge and others to run up and kill him. A third plan was to wait for a coming gladiatorial show; the advantage of that was. The majority opinion, favored killing him while he sat in the Senate, he would be there by himself, since only Senators were admitted, the conspirators could hide their daggers beneath their togas. This plan won the day. Nicolaus writes that in the days leading up to the assassination, Caesar was told by doctors and his wife, not to attend the Senate on the Ides for various reasons, including medical concerns and troubling dreams Calpurnia had:...his friends were alarmed at certain rumors and tried to stop him going to the senate-house, as did his doctors, for he was suffering from one of his occasional dizzy spells. His wife, Calpurnia, frightened by some visions in her dreams, clung to him and said that she would not let him go out that day, but Brutus, one of the conspirators, thought of as a firm friend, came up and said,'What is this, Caesar?
Are you a man to pay attention to a woman's dreams and the idle gossip of stupid men, to insult the Senate by not going out, although it has honored you and has been specially summoned by you? But listen to me, cast aside
Titus Livius – rendered as Livy in English – was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people – Ab Urbe Condita Libri – covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime, he was on familiar terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and in friendship with Augustus, whose young grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius, he exhorted to take up the writing of history. Livy was born in Patavium in northern Italy, now modern Padua. There is a debate about the year of his birth- either in 64 BC, or more in 59 BC. At the time of his birth, his home city of Patavium was the second wealthiest on the Italian peninsula, the largest in the province of Cisalpine Gaul. Cisalpine Gaul was merged in Italia during his lifetime and its inhabitants were given Roman citizenship by Julius Caesar. In his works, Livy expressed his deep affection and pride for Patavium, the city was well known for its conservative values in morality and politics.
"He was by nature a recluse, mild in averse to violence. The governor of Cisalpine Gaul at the time, Asinius Pollio, tried to sway Patavium into supporting Marcus Antonius, the leader of one of the warring factions; the wealthy citizens of Patavium refused to contribute money and arms to Asinius Pollio, went into hiding. Pollio attempted to bribe the slaves of those wealthy citizens to expose the whereabouts of their masters, it is therefore that the Roman civil wars prevented Livy from pursuing a higher education in Rome or going on a tour of Greece, common for adolescent males of the nobility at the time. Many years Asinius Pollio derisively commented on Livy's "patavinity", saying that Livy's Latin showed certain "provincialisms" frowned on at Rome. Pollio's dig may have been the result of bad feelings he harboured toward the city of Patavium from his experiences there during the civil wars. Livy went to Rome in the 30s BC, it is that he spent a large amount of time in the city after this, although it may not have been his primary home.
During his time in Rome, he held a government position. His writings contain elementary mistakes on military matters, indicating that he never served in the Roman army. However, he was educated in rhetoric, it seems that Livy had the financial resources and means to live an independent life, though the origin of that wealth is unknown. He devoted a large part of his life to his writings, which he was able to do because of his financial freedom. Livy was known to give recitations to small audiences, but he was not heard of to engage in declamation a common pastime, he was familiar with the imperial family. Augustus was considered by Romans to have been the greatest Roman emperor, benefiting Livy's reputation long after his death. Suetonius described how Livy encouraged the future emperor Claudius, born in 10 BC, to write historiographical works during his childhood. Livy's most famous work was his history of Rome. In it he narrates a complete history of the city of Rome, from its foundation to the death of Augustus.
Because he was writing under the reign of Augustus, Livy's history emphasizes the great triumphs of Rome. He wrote his history with embellished accounts of Roman heroism in order to promote the new type of government implemented by Augustus when he became emperor. In Livy's preface to his history, he said that he did not care whether his personal fame remained in darkness, as long as his work helped to "preserve the memory of the deeds of the world’s preeminent nation"; because Livy was writing about events that had occurred hundreds of years earlier, the historical value of his work was questionable, although many Romans came to believe his account to be true. Livy had at least one daughter and one son, he produced other works, including an essay in the form of a letter to his son, numerous dialogues, most modelled on similar works by Cicero. Titus Livius died in his home city of Patavium in either AD 12 or 17. Livy's only surviving work is the "History of Rome", his career from his mid-life 32, until he left Rome for Padua in old age in the reign of Tiberius after the death of Augustus.
When he began this work he was past his youth. Seneca the Younger gives brief mention that he was known as an orator and philosopher and had written some treatises in those fields from a historical point of view. Livy's History of Rome was in high demand from the time it was published and remained so during the early years of the empire. Pliny the Younger reported that Livy's celebrity was so widespread, a man from Cadiz travelled to Rome and back for the sole purpose of meeting him. Livy's work was a source for the works of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, Florus, Granius Licinianus and Orosius. Julius Obsequens used Livy, or a source with access to Livy, to compose his De Prodigiis, an account of supernatural e
William Hogarth FRSA was an English painter, pictorial satirist, social critic, editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects" best known being his moral series A Harlot's Progress, A Rake's Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are referred to as "Hogarthian". Hogarth was born in London to a lower middle-class family. In his youth he took up an apprenticeship, his father underwent periods of mixed fortune, was at one time imprisoned in lieu of outstanding debts. Influenced by French and Italian painting and engraving, Hogarth's works are satirical caricatures, sometimes bawdily sexual of the first rank of realistic portraiture, they became popular and mass-produced via prints in his lifetime, he was by far the most significant English artist of his generation. William Hogarth was born at Bartholomew Close in London to Richard Hogarth, a poor Latin school teacher and textbook writer, Anne Gibbons.
In his youth he was apprenticed to the engraver Ellis Gamble in Leicester Fields, where he learned to engrave trade cards and similar products. Young Hogarth took a lively interest in the street life of the metropolis and the London fairs, amused himself by sketching the characters he saw. Around the same time, his father, who had opened an unsuccessful Latin-speaking coffee house at St John's Gate, was imprisoned for debt in Fleet Prison for five years. Hogarth never spoke of his father's imprisonment. Hogarth became a member of the Rose and Crown Club, with Peter Tillemans, George Vertue, Michael Dahl, other artists and connoisseurs. By April 1720, Hogarth was an engraver in his own right, at first engraving coats of arms, shop bills, designing plates for booksellers. In 1727, he was hired by Joshua Morris, a tapestry worker, to prepare a design for the Element of Earth. Morris heard that he was "an engraver, no painter", declined the work when completed. Hogarth accordingly sued him for the money in the Westminster Court, where the case was decided in his favour on 28 May 1728.
In 1757 he was appointed Serjeant Painter to the King. Early satirical works included an Emblematical Print on the South Sea Scheme, about the disastrous stock market crash of 1720 known as the South Sea Bubble, in which many English people lost a great deal of money. In the bottom left corner, he shows Protestant and Jewish figures gambling, while in the middle there is a huge machine, like a merry-go-round, which people are boarding. At the top is a goat, written below, "Who'l Ride"; the people are scattered around the picture with a sense of disorder, while the progress of the well dressed people towards the ride in the middle shows the foolishness of the crowd in buying stock in the South Sea Company, which spent more time issuing stock than anything else. Other early works include The Lottery; the latter is a satire on contemporary follies, such as the masquerades of the Swiss impresario John James Heidegger, the popular Italian opera singers, John Rich's pantomimes at Lincoln's Inn Fields, the exaggerated popularity of Lord Burlington's protégé, the architect and painter William Kent.
He continued that theme with the Large Masquerade Ticket. In 1726 Hogarth prepared twelve large engravings for Samuel Butler's Hudibras; these he himself valued and they are among his best book illustrations. In the following years he turned his attention to the production of small "conversation pieces". Among his efforts in oil between 1728 and 1732 were The Fountaine Family, The Assembly at Wanstead House, The House of Commons examining Bambridge, several pictures of the chief actors in John Gay's popular The Beggar's Opera. One of his real low-life and real-life subjects was Sarah Malcolm whom he sketched two days before her execution. One of Hogarth's masterpieces of this period is the depiction of an amateur performance by children of John Dryden's The Indian Emperor, or The Conquest of Mexico at the home of John Conduitt, master of the mint, in St George's Street, Hanover Square. Hogarth's other works in the 1730s include A Midnight Modern Conversation, Southwark Fair, The Sleeping Congregation and After, Scholars at a Lecture, The Company of Undertakers, The Distrest Poet, The Four Times of the Day, Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn.
He might have printed Burlington Gate, evoked by Alexander Pope's Epistle to Lord Burlington, defending Lord Chandos, therein satirized. This print gave great offence, was suppressed. However, modern authorities such as Ronald Paulson no longer attribute it to Hogarth. In 1731 Hogarth completed the earliest of his series of moral works, a body of work that led to significant recognition; the collection of six scenes was entitled A Harlot's Progress and appeared first as paintings before being published as engravings. A Harlot's Progress depicts the fate of a country girl who begins prostituting – the six scenes are chronological, starting with a meeting with a bawd and ending with a funeral ceremony that follows the character's death from venereal disease; the inau
Odysseus known by the Latin variant Ulysses, is a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in that same epic cycle. Son of Laërtes and Anticlea, husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus and Acusilaus. Odysseus is renowned for his intellectual brilliance and versatility, is thus known by the epithet Odysseus the Cunning, he is most famous for his nostos or “homecoming”, which took him ten eventful years after the decade-long Trojan War. In Greek the name was used in various versions. Vase inscriptions have the two groups of Olyseus, Olysseus or Ōlysseus, Olyteus or Olytteus. From an early source from Magna Graecia dates the form Oulixēs, while a grammarian has Oulixeus. In Latin the figure was known as Ulyssēs; some have supposed that "there may have been two separate figures, one called something like Odysseus, the other something like Ulixes, who were combined into one complex personality." However, the change between d and l is common in some Indo-European and Greek names, the Latin form is supposed to be derived from the Etruscan Uthuze, which accounts for some of the phonetic innovations.
The etymology of the name is unknown. Ancient authors linked the name to the Greek verbs odussomai “to be wroth against, to hate”, to oduromai “to lament, bewail”, or to ollumi “to perish, to be lost”. Homer relates it to various forms of this verb in puns. In Book 19 of the Odyssey, where Odysseus' early childhood is recounted, Euryclea asks the boy's grandfather Autolycus to name him. Euryclea seems to suggest a name like Polyaretos, "for he has much been prayed for" but Autolycus "apparently in a sardonic mood" decided to give the child another name commemorative of "his own experience in life": "Since I have been angered with many, both men and women, let the name of the child be Odysseus". Odysseus receives the patronymic epithet Laertiades, "son of Laërtes". In the Iliad and Odyssey there are several further epithets used to describe Odysseus, it has been suggested that the name is of non-Greek origin not Indo-European, with an unknown etymology. Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin.
In Etruscan religion the name of Odysseus were adopted under the name Uthuze, interpreted as a parallel borrowing from a preceding Minoan form of the name. Little is given of Odysseus' background other than that according to Pseudo-Apollodorus, his paternal grandfather or step-grandfather is Arcesius, son of Cephalus and grandson of Aeolus, while his maternal grandfather is the thief Autolycus, son of Hermes and Chione. Hence, Odysseus was the great-grandson of the Olympian god Hermes. According to the Iliad and Odyssey, his father is Laertes and his mother Anticlea, although there was a non-Homeric tradition that Sisyphus was his true father; the rumour went. Odysseus is said to have a younger sister, who went to Same to be married and is mentioned by the swineherd Eumaeus, whom she grew up alongside, in book 15 of the Odyssey; the majority of sources for Odysseus' pre-war exploits—principally the mythographers Pseudo-Apollodorus and Hyginus—postdate Homer by many centuries. Two stories in particular are well known: When Helen is abducted, Menelaus calls upon the other suitors to honour their oaths and help him to retrieve her, an attempt that leads to the Trojan War.
Odysseus tries to avoid it by feigning lunacy, as an oracle had prophesied a long-delayed return home for him if he went. He starts sowing his fields with salt. Palamedes, at the behest of Menelaus' brother Agamemnon, seeks to disprove Odysseus' madness and places Telemachus, Odysseus' infant son, in front of the plow. Odysseus veers the plow away from his son. Odysseus holds a grudge against Palamedes during the war for dragging him away from his home. Odysseus and other envoys of Agamemnon travel to Scyros to recruit Achilles because of a prophecy that Troy could not be taken without him. By most accounts, Achilles' mother, disguises the youth as a woman to hide him from the recruiters because an oracle had predicted that Achilles would either live a long uneventful life or achieve everlasting glory while dying young. Odysseus cleverly discovers which among the women before him is Achilles when the youth is the only one of them to show interest in examining the weapons hidden among an array of adornment gifts for the daughters of their host.
Odysseus arranges further for the sounding of a battle horn, which prompts Achilles to clutch a weapon and show his trained disposition. With his disguise foiled, he joins Agamemnon's call to arms among the Hellenes. Odysseus is one of the most influential Greek champions during the Trojan War. Along with Nestor and Idomeneus he is one of advisors, he always champions the Achaean cause when others question Agamemnon's command