Nente asked:

Is there anything in The Odyssey that suggests Ulysses rebelled against gods, or even denied their existence? I've read it twice, but it was a while ago, and since then came across this idea in several modern texts, notably various essays by Pérez-Reverte.

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Zina Yes. He attacked Poseidon's Giant son, Polyphemus, and then cursed Poseidon himself as well, thus committing hubris. This is exactly why it took him 20 years to get back to his kingdom. Poseidon made everything very hard for him. However, he was the favourite of Athena because of his ingenious mind. That is not to say that he rebelled on purpose, he just committed hubris. He did acknowledge Gods. Athena was his Mentor (literally).
Frank Hering The view of Ulysses/Odysseus rebelling against the gods may come from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses," which pictures him going on one final voyage. You can read the poem here:
Alan Joshua No. Even in killing the cyclops he didn't know it was Poseidon's son. He was loved by Athena and had relationships with Circe and Calypso.
Boy Blue Odysseus never rebelled against the gods, he's too clever for that. He worships Athena and under her protection and guidance finally makes it home. She is the perfect idol for him due to her combination of wisdom, wit and skill in battle. Odysseus was never the best fighter or the smartest thinker but he is the best at all things, the quintessential every man. That's why this story is great, he is all of us. He respects those with greater power than himself but he never concedes to let them dictate his fate, he takes the opportunities given to him but constantly fights and strives to get home, claim what is his and do the right thing.
Greg Nente, I just finished 'The Odyssey' for the 2nd time (first time years ago) and Odysseus (3 syllables, per introduction, I didn't know that) doesn't deny their existence but interacts with them, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly when they take on other forms. I believe, at the end of The Illiad, in some way he upsets Poseidon, who then blows wind and waves and sends him in all kinds of directions but home in 'Odyssey'.
Linda Howe Steiger He was a pretty obedient guy--he did go off to Hades afterall to ask advice from Tiresias, which he followed-- but he did take a couple of ill-timed naps that got him into trouble.
Jan Priddy No. Translators may have conveyed that impression, but no.
Anne Vivliohomme I thought that he yelled at the sea that it wasn't of any help to him winning the Trohan War and that he did it all by himself?? But it has been a while and I haven't read the essay you mentioned but the original text.
Tiffany Faulkner I remember this being true; however, it has been years since I have read the Iliad by Homer, so please forgive me if this is not true. But I remember that as Odysseus was leaving Troy to go home, he did not make a sacrifice to Poseidon, under his fatal flaw of hubris. He thought he was better than the god Poseidon, and he could sail them home safely without him. Odysseus' people are loyal to Athena, but I do not remember Odysseus ever praying to or making sacrifices to Athena, even though she is loyal to him. She loves Odysseus because of his mind and his war tactics.
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by Homer
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