• The supposed last poem in the Epic Cycle is called the Telegony and is thought to tell the story of Odysseus’ last voyage, and of his death at the hands of Telegonus, his
    son with Circe.

  • Two stories in particular are well known: When Helen of Troy is abducted, Menelaus calls upon the other suitors to honour their oaths and help him to retrieve her, an attempt
    that leads to the Trojan War.

  • Euryclea seems to suggest a name like Polyaretos, “for he has much been prayed for” but Autolycus “apparently in a sardonic mood” decided to give the child another name commemorative
    of “his own experience in life”:[13] “Since I have been angered with many, both men and women, let the name of the child be Odysseus”.

  • Odysseus has now revealed himself in all his glory (with a little makeover by Athena); yet Penelope cannot believe that her husband has really returned—she fears that it is
    perhaps some god in disguise, as in the story of Alcmene (mother of Heracles)—and tests him by ordering her servant Euryclea to move the bed in their wedding-chamber.

  • The return of Ulysses, illustration by E. M. Synge from the 1909 Story of the World children’s book series (book 1: On the shores of Great Sea) When the disguised Odysseus
    returns after 20 years, he is recognized only by his faithful dog, Argos.

  • [citation needed] In one version of Odysseus’s end, he is eventually turned into a horse by Athena.

  • In a famous passage, Dante has Odysseus relate a different version of his voyage and death from the one told by Homer.

  • In S. M. Stirling’s Island in the Sea of Time (1998), first part to his Nantucket series of alternate history novels, Odikweos (“Odysseus” in Mycenaean Greek) is a “historical”
    figure who is every bit as cunning as his legendary self and is one of the few Bronze Age inhabitants who discerns the time-travellers’ real background.

  • [42] Perhaps Odysseus’ most famous contribution to the Greek war effort is devising the strategy of the Trojan Horse, which allows the Greek army to sneak into Troy under
    cover of darkness.

  • Guided by Circe’s instructions, Odysseus and his crew cross the ocean and reach a harbor at the western edge of the world, where Odysseus sacrifices to the dead and summons
    the spirit of the old prophet Tiresias for advice.

  • Odysseus discovered Achilles by offering gifts, adornments and musical instruments as well as weapons, to the king’s daughters, and then having his companions imitate the
    noises of an enemy’s attack on the island (most notably, making a blast of a trumpet heard), which prompted Achilles to reveal himself by picking a weapon to fight back, and together they departed for the Trojan War.

  • Some have supposed that “there may originally have been two separate figures, one called something like Odysseus, the other something like Ulixes, who were combined into one
    complex personality.

  • The second novel in particular, The Sea of Monsters (2006), is a loose adaptation of The Odyssey, with protagonists Percy and Annabeth seeking to save their satyr friend Grover
    from Polyphemus, and facing many of the same obstacles Odysseus faced over the course of the journey.

  • After he tells them his story, the Phaeacians, led by King Alcinous, agree to help Odysseus get home.

  • By most accounts, Thetis, Achilles’ mother, disguises the youth as a woman to hide him from the recruiters because an oracle had predicted that Achilles would either live
    a long uneventful life or achieve everlasting glory while dying young.

  • The Greek word used is, literally the man of many turns, and other translators have suggested alternate English translations, including “man of twists and turns” (Fagles 1996)
    and “a complicated man” (Wilson 2018).

  • [17] In the Iliad and Odyssey Homer uses several epithets to describe Odysseus, starting with the opening, where he is described as “the man of many devices” (in the 1919
    Murray translation).

  • The poem, like the others of the cycle, is “lost” in that no authentic version has been discovered.

  • Other stories from the Trojan War[edit] Roman mosaic depicting Odysseus at Skyros unveiling the disguised Achilles;[36] from La Olmeda, Pedrosa de la Vega, Spain, 5th century
    AD Since a prophecy suggested that the Trojan War would not be won without Achilles, Odysseus and several other Achaean leaders are described in the Achilleid as having gone to Skyros to find him.

  • This epic describes his travails, which lasted for 10 years, as he tries to return home after the Trojan War and reassert his place as rightful king of Ithaca.

  • Bloom’s day turns out to bear many elaborate parallels to Odysseus’ ten years of wandering.

  • Frederick Rolfe’s The Weird of the Wanderer (1912) has the hero Nicholas Crabbe (based on the author) travelling back in time, discovering that he is the reincarnation of
    Odysseus, marrying Helen, being deified and ending up as one of the three Magi.

  • Thematically, it uses Odysseus’ backstory and struggle as a metaphor for dealing with the aftermath of war (the novel being written immediately after the end of the Second
    World War).

  • [41] Together with Diomedes, Odysseus fetches Achilles’ son, Pyrrhus, to come to the aid of the Achaeans, because an oracle had stated that Troy could not be taken without

  • Some late Roman sources indicate that Odysseus schemed to kill his partner on the way back, but Diomedes thwarts this attempt.

  • Odysseus protests that this cannot be done since he made the bed himself and knows that one of its legs is a living olive tree.

  • He in turn offers a first-person account of some of the same events Homer relates, in which Ulysses appears directly.

  • [52] Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses” (published in 1842) presents an aging king who has seen too much of the world to be happy sitting on a throne idling his days away.

  • He always champions the Achaean cause, especially when others question Agamemnon’s command, as in one instance when Thersites speaks against him.

  • Next Odysseus meets the spirit of his own mother, who had died of grief during his long absence.

  • According to Bernard Knox, “For the plot of the Odyssey, of course, her decision is the turning point, the move that makes possible the long-predicted triumph of the returning

  • Suzanne Vega’s song “Calypso” from 1987 album Solitude Standing shows Odysseus from Calypso’s point of view, and tells the tale of him coming to the island and his leaving.

  • According to the Iliad and Odyssey, his father is Laertes[20] and his mother Anticlea, although there was a non-Homeric tradition[21][22] that Sisyphus was his true father.

  • [48] As Ulysses, he is mentioned regularly in Virgil’s Aeneid written between 29 and 19 BC, and the poem’s hero, Aeneas, rescues one of Ulysses’ crew members who was left
    behind on the island of the Cyclopes.

  • Odysseus and his crew remain with her on the island for one year, while they feast and drink.

  • Thetis says that the arms of Achilles will go to the bravest of the Greeks, but only these two warriors dare lay claim to that title.

  • Upon their arrival, Philoctetes (still suffering from the wound) is seen still to be enraged at the Danaans, especially at Odysseus, for abandoning him.

  • One tradition says Odysseus convinces a Trojan captive to write a letter pretending to be from Palamedes.

  • [16] In Etruscan religion the name (and stories) of Odysseus were adopted under the name Uthuze, which has been interpreted as a parallel borrowing from a preceding Minoan
    form of the name (possibly *Oduze, pronounced /’ot͡θut͡se/); this theory is supposed to explain also the insecurity of the phonologies (d or l), since the affricate /t͡θ/, unknown to the Greek of that time, gave rise to different counterparts.

  • Odysseus cleverly discovers which among the women before him is Achilles when the youth is the only one of them to show interest in examining the weapons hidden among an array
    of adornment gifts for the daughters of their host.

  • Circe, being attracted to Odysseus’ resistance, falls in love with him and releases his men.

  • A great warrior, Pyrrhus is also called Neoptolemus (Greek for “new warrior”).

  • Men, says Ulisse, are not made to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.

  • He tells how he set out with his men from Circe’s island for a journey of exploration to sail beyond the Pillars of Hercules and into the Western sea to find what adventures
    awaited them.

  • Although his first instinct is to shoot Odysseus, his anger is eventually diffused by Odysseus’ persuasive powers and the influence of the gods.

  • [32] After Patroclus is slain, it is Odysseus who counsels Achilles to let the Achaean men eat and rest rather than follow his rage-driven desire to go back on the offensive—and
    kill Trojans—immediately.

  • [37] The story of the death of Palamedes has many versions.

  • Penelope announces in her long interview with the disguised hero that whoever can string Odysseus’ rigid bow and shoot an arrow through twelve axe shafts may have her hand.

  • [43] Odysseus and Diomedes steal the Palladium that lay within Troy’s walls, for the Greeks were told they could not sack the city without it.

  • He finds his way to the hut of one of his own former slaves, the swineherd Eumaeus, and also meets up with Telemachus returning from Sparta.

  • Rick Riordan’s novel series Percy Jackson & the Olympians, which centres on the presence of Greek mythology in the 21st century, incorporates several elements from Odysseus’s

  • In Book 19 of the Odyssey, where Odysseus’ early childhood is recounted, Euryclea asks the boy’s grandfather Autolycus to name him.

  • Journey home to Ithaca[edit] Further information: Homer’s Ithaca and Returns from Troy Odysseus is probably best known as the eponymous hero of the Odyssey.

  • Leaving the task of civilizing his people to his son, he gathers together a band of old comrades “to sail beyond the sunset”.

  • [45] Xenagoras writes that Odysseus with Circe had three sons, Romos (Ancient Greek: ), Anteias (Ancient Greek:) and Ardeias (Ancient Greek: ), who built three cities and
    called them after their own names.

  • [29] Later on, after many of the heroes leave the battlefield due to injuries (including Odysseus and Agamemnon), Odysseus once again persuades Agamemnon not to withdraw.

  • Odysseus and his crew escape, but Odysseus rashly reveals his real name, and Polyphemus prays to Poseidon, his father, to take revenge.

  • Novels[edit] The bay of Palaiokastritsa in Corfu as seen from Bella vista of Lakones, considered to be the place where Odysseus disembarked and met Nausicaa for the first

  • Odysseus and the Sirens, Ulixes mosaic at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis, Tunisia, 2nd century AD Odysseus and his men return to Circe’s island, and she advises them on
    the remaining stages of the journey.

  • Odysseus’ ship is the only one to escape.

  • Odikweos first aids William Walker’s rise to power in Achaea and later helps bring Walker down after seeing his homeland turn into a police state.

  • Head of Odysseus wearing a pileus depicted on a 3rd-century BC coin from Ithaca Pausanias at the Description of Greece writes that at Pheneus there was a bronze statue of
    Poseidon, surnamed Hippios (Ancient Greek: ), meaning of horse, which according to the legends was dedicated by Odysseus and also a sanctuary of Artemis which was called Heurippa (Ancient Greek:), meaning horse finder, and was founded by Odysseus.

  • However, the sailors foolishly open the bag while Odysseus sleeps, thinking that it contains gold.

  • Middle Ages and Renaissance[edit] Dante Alighieri, in the Canto XXVI of the Inferno segment of his Divine Comedy (1308–1320), encounters Odysseus (“Ulisse” in Italian) near
    the very bottom of Hell: with Diomedes, he walks wrapped in flame in the eighth ring (Counselors of Fraud) of the Eighth Circle (Sins of Malice), as punishment for his schemes and conspiracies that won the Trojan War.

  • [49] In post-classical tradition Odysseus is one of the most recurrent characters in Western culture.

  • The next day Odysseus and Telemachus visit the country farm of his old father Laërtes.

  • Plato in his dialogue Hippias Minor examines a literary question about whom Homer intended to portray as the better man, Achilles or Odysseus.

  • Other tales[edit] According to some late sources, most of them purely genealogical, Odysseus had many other children besides Telemachus.

  • [25] Odysseus himself, under the guise of an old beggar, gives the swineherd in Ithaca a fictitious genealogy: “From broad Crete I declare that I am come by lineage, the son
    of a wealthy man.

  • Odysseus’ attempts to avoid his sacred oath to defend Menelaus and Helen offended Roman notions of duty, and the many stratagems and tricks that he employed to get his way
    offended Roman notions of honour.

  • He is also in some respects antithetical to Telamonian Ajax (Shakespeare’s “beef-witted” Ajax): while the latter has only brawn to recommend him, Odysseus is not only ingenious
    (as evidenced by his idea for the Trojan Horse), but an eloquent speaker, a skill perhaps best demonstrated in the embassy to Achilles in book 9 of the Iliad.

  • James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (first published 1918–1920) uses modern literary devices to narrate a single day in the life of a Dublin businessman named Leopold Bloom.

  • Odysseus tries to avoid it by feigning lunacy, as an oracle had prophesied a long-delayed return home for him if he went.

  • Other sources say that Odysseus and Diomedes goad Palamedes into descending a well with the prospect of treasure being at the bottom.


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