The Banquet of Alcinous, a French mythological tapestry, from the History of Ulysses, Aubusson, woven in wool and silk, fresh colors, after the carton of Isaac Moillon in the seventeenth century.
Alcinoos was the son of Nausithoos, son of Poseidon and Peribea.
But Conon the grammarian relates that he was the son of Phaeax, eponymous of the Phaeacians, the son of Poseidon and Corcyra. He states that when Phaeax died Alcinoos retained the kingdom and his other son, Locros, moved to Italy where he married Laurina, the daughter of Latinos to found the colony of the Locres.
With his wife Arétè, the daughter of Rhexenor, his three (or five) sons and his daughter Nausicaa, Alcinoos granted hospitality to strangers in difficulty, and especially to the shipwrecked.
In his palace, the Argonauts halted and met Medea, who was forcibly returning to her father Acetes. Taken as a judge, Alcinoos decided to return Medea to his father on condition that she was always a virgin, and if not, Jason could bring him with him.
Arétè hastened to make the two young men meet in a subterranean passage, and then she organized a marriage, thus avoiding Medea the punishment that awaited her at Colchis. The Colchidian ambassadors preferred to establish themselves in Corcyra rather than to face the wrath of Aeetes on their return.
The Argonauts took the sea with Medea on board.
Ulysses in the Palace of Alcinoos
The best known among his guests, Ulysses, took refuge in his home after a storm which had thrown him, destitute of everything, on the shores of the island. Nausicca took him to his father's palace, where he related his journey. Alcinoos comforted the heroes and offered him the products of his magic gardens where the rarest fruits ripen all year round.
Despite his growing love for Nausicaa, Ulysses decided to leave for his homeland. Alcinoos had a magic ship armed with no oars or rudders, especially for him.
And "Nausicaa with white arms" saluted Ulysses for the last time:
"Hail, my host, please the Gods, when you are in your country, that you remember me to whom you owe your life."
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