Wife of Odysseus who patiently waits for his return from Troy, fending off the attentions of suitors by never finishing some weaving before making her choice. She is supported by her son Telemachos, and the eventual routing of the suitors and return of Odysseus is the theme of Homer's Odyssey. In art she is shown as a sorrowing, patient figure.
Above: Detail from an Athenian red-figure clay vase, about 445 BC. Chiusi, Museo Archeologico Nazionale 1831 © Chiusi, Museo Archeologico Nazionale