Book 2 (The Catalogue of Ships)
On reading this section, I was reminded of the time when as a young boy I decided to read the Bible. Neither my family nor I were religious. It was more out of curiosity than the feeling my soul was in jeopardy.
The only Bible available was the one that sat unread on a shelf in my parents’ closet. It was very old, and the pages were brittle. I started with Matthew. Unfortunately, I was unable to get past all the names to line 18 where the story actually begins. If you think that’s bad, I challenge anyone to read Chapter One of First Chronicles and enjoy it. One reads dreaming of an oasis, each name another sand dune. When you encounter, “he began to be mighty upon the earth” or “in his days the earth was divided” it as if you’ve found a resting place and fresh cool water and shade. I had nearly the same feeling reading this section of Book 2 and seeing:
“…he stood in their midst,
preeminent, splendid in armor of gleaming bronze,
the greatest of leaders.” (2.540-542)