Wherefore “Polytropos”?

Polytropos is the very first adjective Homer applies to Odysseus in the Odyssey. Literally it means “much-traveled” or “much-wandering,” but it can be used metaphorically as “turning many ways” — wily or crafty. Homer, of course, intended both senses of the word. In the very best translation of the Odyssey, Robert Fagles renders it as “the man of twists and turns” — hence the blog’s subtitle.
Blogwise, I don’t think I’m going to manage to be as clever as Odysseus; I also can’t claim to be as well-traveled. But I do plan on writing about a little bit of this, a little bit of that, in a wandering sort of way. Mostly, I thought it’d make a cool name for a blog — and the url was available.

I wish that I could take credit for coming up with it, but that honor belongs to Jim Henley: poet, blogger extraordinaire, and longtime gaming buddy. He already has a cool name for his blog, and was nice enough to let me borrow this one indefinitely.

UPDATE: See also “How Do You Say ‘Polytropos’?”

6 thoughts on “Wherefore “Polytropos”?

  1. Ed Heil

    Jim, I notice your blog refers to bloggers named Tacitus and Hesiod. Did you foist those Classicisms on them too? Is Petronius taken yet? :)

  2. Jim Henley

    Ed: Anything after the Peleponnesian War I consider too recent to have sorted itself out yet, and of no interest. So I’m definitely in the clear on Tacitus. Hesiod misspelled “Theogony,” so I ain’t taking the blame for that.

    The shattering truth is that I didn’t suggest “Polytropos” as a blog name exactly. Actually I sort of did in a throwaway “surely you’re not interested in this killer blog name” way, but it was really one of the candidate names for a PC superhero of mine in our new Marvel Universe RPG campaign.

    I WILL take partial credit for the description, “A blog of twists and turns” though.

  3. Dan Voetberg

    While you may not be as well-travelled or as wily as Odysseus, I do seem to remember that you were once held captive as a sex slave to an immortal goddess on her island for some seven years or so, so you’ve got that going for you.
    Oh wait, Suanna doesn’t read this, does she?

  4. Ed Heil

    She’s as faithful, longsuffering, and forgiving as Penelope.

    Oooh… there’s a Telemachus on the way isn’t there? Or a Telemache….

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