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Who is Polymetheus?

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    Who is Polymetheus?

    We have always (correctly or incorrectly) referred to the Cyclops whom Odysseus blinds as Polymetheus. In the Samuel Butler translation my son is reading, he is called Polyphemus.

    We thought this may be one of those Greek vs Latin naming conventions, however, searching online I cannot find any Classical definition of Polymetheus.

    Can anyone please ease our confusion?

    #2
    Hello,

    Polyphemus is his name, which combines πολύ (much, many) and φήμη (rumor, reputation) to mean something like "much spoken of".

    There is no Polymetheus to my knowledge, but you may have him mixed up with Prometheus, the titan god of foresight - which is what his name, from πρό (before) + μανθάνω (to know), literally means. Both he and the cyclopes have a fiery reputation (Prometheus' gift of fire to man, the cyclopes service at the fire-god's forge) and they do have similar names, so mixing the two names up is an easy mistake to imagine.

    - Jon

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      #3
      Thank you.

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