In Book 1, (82-95) Athena had made two propositions to Zeus; (1) that Hermes should be sent to release Odysseus from Ogygia; and (2) that she herself should proceed to Ithaca, and despatch Telemachus in search of his father. Her own task had been accomplished: Telemachus travels to Sparta and Pylos (Od. 2. 414-4. 624) on this mission. Meanwhile the suitors have taken alarm at his departure, and set sail in the hope of intercepting him on his return (4. 787). At this critical point the scene changes to Olympus. Six days had elapsed since Athena's first appeal to Zeus (as may be gathered from the notes of time in 2. 1; 3. 1, 404, 491; 4. 306), and Hermes had not yet been sent to Ogygia. At the opening of this book Athena renews her request.
γῆραςὃκαὶθανάτουῥίγιονἀργαλέου. The story may be supposed to allegorize the change of the fresh morning hours into the scorching noon that brings weariness and weakness with it. The old Tithonus, turning again to childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound, so that his voice was compared to the noise of the cicala, the only creature heard in the heat of the day: compare sole sub ardenti resonant arbusta cicadis Virg. Ecl.2. 13.LycophronVirg. Ecl., 941, follows Callimachus in giving Eos herself the name Τιτώ, which must be etymologically connected with Τιθωνός.