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Justin Park

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of Odysseus

Land of the Lotus Eaters
The Cicones were a Tharacian tribe whose stronghold, Ismarus, was located along the Aegean sea in current day Greece.
Land of the Cicones
Home of Aeolius
Land of the Laestrygonians
Circe's "Island"
The Underworld
Island of the Sirens
Helios' Island
Calypso's Island
Land of the Phaeacians
Odysseus, along with many other Greek Kings, fought against Troy for ten years. After achieving victory due to Odysseus' cunnng, he angered Poseidon, the Sea God, and was prevented from returning home to Ithaca, creating the main plot of the poem.
The City of Troy was located in northwestern Turkey. Founded in 3000 BCE, it finally fell 3500 years later due to the emergence of Constantinople in the north.
After the successful victory against Troy, Odysseus and his crew travelled to and sacked the nearby Troy-allied city of Ismarus, located in the land of the Cicones. Upon leaving, they encounter Poseidon's violent storms that set them off course.
The Cicones were a Tharacian tribe whose stronghold, Ismarus, was located along the Aegean sea in modern day Greece.
Odysseus and his men were blown off course into the Land of the Lotus Eaters. There, some of his men ate the lotus flower and no longer wanted to go home. Odysseus dragged them back to the ship and continued on his journey home.
Traditionally, the "Lotus Eaters" lived in Northern Africa, likely in a location where the Lotus Flower is prominent, such as the Island of Djerba (slightly east of here) in modern day Tunisia.
Land of the Lotus Eaters
Odysseus then arrived on the Island of the giant Polyphemus. The giant trapped and ate Odysseus' crew two at a time until Odysseus used his wits to sneak out of the cave and off the island.
Although it is not known exactly where Polyphemus' Island would have been, it is possible it could have been near modern day Punta Pizzolungo, Sicily, as there is a large cave nearby.
Odysseus then arrived at Aeolia and met with Aeolius, God of the Winds. He sent a west wind to guide them home, but also gave them a bag full of all the other winds. After sailing within sight of Ithaca, his crew opened the bag and the winds brought them back here as denoted by the green lines.
The Island of Aeolia is almost certainly entirely made up, but the small Island of Marettimo off the coast of Sicily would make a good spot.
Odysseus and his crew then arrive at the Laestrygonian city of Telepylos. This race of giant cannibals ate Odysseus' scouts, so he fled on ship with his remaining crew as the giants pelted him with rocks.
While the Laestrygonians are mythical creatures, the description of steep cliffs which offer great vantage points to throw rocks off of can be seen in modern day Bonifacio, Corsica.
Odysseus arrives at Circe's Island and finds his men have been turned into pigs. Odysseus drank a potion which made him immune to Circe's magic, and after feasting with her for a year, she gives the crew directions to the Underworld.
Odysseus returns to Circe from the Underworld, then recieves advice on how to avoid the sirens who would be encountered next.
It is widely believed that Circe's Island was not actually an island, but rather modern day Cape Circeo on the coast of Italy. Because of the marsh between the peninsula and the mainland, from many angles the Cape can look like an island.
Odysseus, following Circe's advice, travels to the Land of the dead to speak with Tiresias - the blind prophet - in order to learn how to return home. Odysseus learns that Poseidon is more angry now because of the defeat and humiliation of Polyphemus, but is told that he will arrive home safely and is also warned not to touch the Sun God's cattle.
The Underworld is a place that we would rather not find, and is therefore represented in the ocean here. Odysseus is said to have traveled to the Pillars of Hercules - also known as the Rock of Gibraltar - which is not on the map but in the direction of these arrows.
Odysseus passes by the Island of the Sirens, and, following Circe's advice, ties himself to the ships's mast while ensuring his crew has wax in their ears so as not to hear the Sirens. Despite pleading for his crew to release him, his crew pushes forwards, and they pass without incident.
Like Aeolus' Island, the Island of the Sirens is likely entirely made up, but this island just off the coast of Italy would have had to have been passed by Odysseus, and is therefore a good guess.
Charybdis was described as a dangerous whirlpool capable of destroying the whole crew and the ship. Odysseus was told to avoid it in favor of Scylla
Circe had warned Odysseus of the dangers of Charybdis and Scylla, but he did not tell his crew. He was told that, while Scylla would take some of his men, Charybdis would take every man and his ship, and so he sailed closer to Scylla.
The whirlpool described as Charybdis actually occurs here (in the water) often, even in modern times due to tidal waves. They would have been much worse in ancient times because of the shifting ocean floor.
Scylla was a monter who lived in the caves on this side of the channel, who yelped like a dog and had 6 heads, each supported by long necks which could crab sailors off ships.
The cave filled rock face found on this side of the channel could have easily housed a monster like Scylla, if monsters were real.
Thrinacia was the Sun God - Helios' - Island. Here he kept all his sacred livestock, and after being trapped on the Island for nearly a month, some of the crew decided to eat and sacrifice an oxen. This deeply angered Helios, who threatened to never shine again until those who had eaten the oxen were killed.
There is no evidence in the poem which reveals the location of this island, and since all we know is that it was on their way home, it could be here, although it could also be pretty much anywhere.
Helios kept his promise, as Odysseus' ship was soon blasted with lightning - killing his crew and leaving Odysseus stranded on a makeshift raft until he reached Calypso's Island. Here he stayed for 7 years before Athena convinced Zeus to make Calypso send him away. Calypso instructs Odysseus to build a raft and sail back to Ithaca.
Ogygia is, like most places in the poem, most likely fictional, but Malta has a nice cave which could have been where Calypso might have lived.
After leaving Ogygia, Odysseus sails towards home on his raft, but is hit with a storm and washes up on the shores of Phaeacia. He reveals himself to the Phaeacians, who agree to give him a ship and sail him home.
Phaeacia was likely in Greece and fairly close to Ithaca, and therefore the north-western Greek island of Corfu makes a likely location for the ancient city.
After 20 years of travel abroad since before the Trojan War, Odysseus arrives back home to his wife in Ithaca.
Ithaca is still, much like Athens, a modern day location here in Greece, and therefore has remained here for many millenia.


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