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In Greek mythology, Halitherses /ˌhælɪˈθɜːrˌsiːz/ (Ἁλιθέρσης), son of Mastor, was an Ithacan prophet who warned the suitors of Odysseus's wife Penelope after interpreting the symbols that Zeus sent to "be wise in time, and put a stop to this wickedness before he comes." The suitors do not heed Halitherses' warning. After the suitors all die, Halitherses warns the suitors' families against action against Odysseus, saying they will bring evil on their heads for this action against the gods' will. Only half of them listen. The suitors' go on to try to kill Odysseus' family, but they are thwarted by the goddess Athena. Halitherses was one of Odysseus' dear friends back in Ithaca, along with Mentor. Both Halitherses and Mentor tried to stop the suitors, but were unable to. However, Penelope remained faithful to Odysseus.

The Odyssey , Book 2:

Then old warrior Halitherses, Mastor's son,
addressed them.  He surpassed all men of his own time  
in knowledge about birds and making prophecies
of what fate had in store. Thinking of their common good, 
he spoke up and said:      

                            "Listen to me, men of Ithaca.
Hear what I say.  In what I'm going to speak,
I'm talking to the suitors most of all.
A mighty ruin is rolling over them.
For Odysseus will not be away for long
from his own friends.  I think even now
he's near by, planning a disastrous fate        
for all the suitors.  And he'll be a scourge
to many others here in sunny Ithaca.
Long before that we should be considering
how to stop this. Or rather, these suitors
should end it themselves.  That would achieve
what's best for them and do so right away.
For I am not unskilled in prophecy—             
I understand things well.  To Odysseus
I say that everything is turning out
just as I told him. Back when the Achaeans,
with resourceful Odysseus in their ranks,      
were sailing off to Troy,  I prophesied
he'd suffer many troubles and would lose
all his companions, before returning home
in twenty years unknown to anyone.
Now everything I said is coming true."

References

Homer, Odyssey, 2.175 ff; 17.68.

See also

The Odyssey

vte

Characters in the Odyssey
House of Odysseus

Penelope (wife) Telemachus (son) Ctimene (sister) Anticlea (mother) Laërtes (father) Autolycus (grandfather) Eurycleia (chief servant) Mentor (advisor) Phemius (musician) Eumaeus (swineherd) Philoetius (cowherd) Melanthius (goatherd) Melantho (maid) Argos (pet-dog)

Monarchs and royals

Alcinous of Phaeacia Arete of Phaeacia Nestor of Pylos Menelaus of Sparta Helen Princess Nausicaa of Phaeacia Agamemnon of Mycenae

Gods

Aeolus (wind god) Athena Apollo Artemis Atlas Calypso Circe Helios Hermes Poseidon Zeus Oceanus Old Man of the Sea

Others

Achilles Ajax Amphimedon Anticlus Antiphates Antiphus Aretus Cyclopes Demodocus Demoptolemus Deucalion Dolius Echephron Echetus Elpenor Eupeithes Euryalus Eurylochus Halitherses Heracles Idomeneus Irus Kikonians Laodamas Laestrygones Medon Mentes Mesaulius Peisistratus Perimedes Perseus Polites Polydamna Polyphemus Scylla and Charybdis Sirens Stratichus Suitors of Penelope Tiresias Theoclymenus Thrasymedes

Suitors

Agelaus Amphinomus Antinous Ctesippus Eurymachus Leodes

Greek Mythology

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