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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Greek mythology, Mentor (Greek: Μέντωρ / Méntōr; gen.: Μέντορος)[1] was the son of Alcumus and, in his old age, a friend of Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War he placed Mentor in charge of his son, Telemachus, and of his palace. When Athena visited Telemachus she took the disguise of Mentor to hide herself from the suitors of Telemachus' mother Penelope.[2] As Mentor, the goddess encourages Telemachus to stand up against the suitors and go abroad to find out what happened to his father.

When Odysseus returns to Ithaca, Athena (in the form of Mentor) takes the form of a swallow and the suitors' arrows have no effect on him.


Mentor as term

The first recorded modern usage of the term can be traced to a book entitled "Les Aventures de Telemaque", by the French writer François Fénelon[3] In the book the lead character is that of Mentor. This book was published in 1699 and was very popular during the 18th century and the modern application of the term can be traced to this publication.[3]

This is the source of the modern use of the word mentor: a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person. Some professions have "mentoring programs" in which newcomers are paired with more experienced people, who advise them and serve as examples as they advance. Schools sometimes offer mentoring programs to new students, or students having difficulties.

Today mentors provide expertise to less experienced individuals to help them advance their careers, enhance their education, and build their networks. In many different arenas people have benefited from being part of a mentoring relationship, including:


The student of a mentor is called a protégé. More accurately, for the recondite, the protégé would be called the telemachus (pl. telemachuses or telemachi). Sometimes, the protégé is also called a mentee. The -or ending of the original name Mentor does not have the meaning of "the one who does something", as in other English words such as contractor or actor. The derivation of mentee from mentor is therefore an example of backformation (cf. employer and employee).

See also

External links


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary - Mentor
  2. ^ Homer. Odyssey, Book II, Lines 255 and 268.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, Andy. (1999) "The origins of the term mentor." History of Education Society Bulletin, No. 64, November 1999, p. 313-329.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Mentor is a city in Lake County.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MENTOR, in Greek legend, the son of Alcimus and the faithful friend of Odysseus. During the absence of the latter, Mentor was entrusted with the care of his household and the guardianship of his son Telemachus. The word "mentor" is now used in the sense of a wise and trustworthy adviser, a meaning probably connected with the etymology of the name, from the root mon-, seen, in Lat. monere, to advise, monitor, adviser.

The New English Dictionary points out that the transferred use is due less to Homer's Odyssey than to Fenelon's Telemaque, in which Mentor is a somewhat prominent character.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also mentor




From Ancient Greek Μέντωρ (Mentōr), Mentor).

Proper noun




  1. (Greek mythology) Odysseus's trusted counselor. He was assigned the responsibility to raise Odysseus's son Telemachus, while Odysseus was away fighting in Troy




Mentor m.

  1. mentor


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