The Odyssey of HOMER
[ Greatest of the NOSTOI ]
- Odysseus: son of Laertes and Antikleia, King of Ithaca; participant in the
Trojan War for 10 years; his return took an additional 10 years. Character in Sophocles' Philoctetes.
- Penelope: faithful wife of Odysseus, daughter of Icarius (k. of Sparta) &
the Naiad PERIBOEA. Her children were Telemachos and Acusilaus.
After Odysseus' death at the hands of his son Telegonus (by the
sorceress Circe), Penelope married Telegonus. They are said to
have had a son called Italos.
- Telemachos: son of Odysseus and Penelope; helped his father to destroy the
suitors. On Odysseus' death he went with Penelope to the island
of Aeaea, where he married Circe. Circe made Telemachus and
- Eumaios: son of Ctesias, son of Ormenos (k. of the island of Syria), kidnaped by Phoenician pirates and
sold to King Laertes of Ithaca;
he was chief Swineherd to Odysseus (Books XIV & XVI)
- Melanthios: son of Dolios, chief goatherd of Odysseus. He took the side of
the suitors, and supplied them with weapons to use against
Odysseus He was trapped, mutilated and left to die (XVII, XXII)
- Antinoos: son of Eupaithes (whose life Odysseus had once saved); Antinoos
was the most isolent of the suitors of Penelope, and was killed
by Odysseus. Eupeithes raised a revolt against Odysseus, but
was killed by Laertes.
- Eurymachos: son of Polybos; a leading suitor for Penelope. The second to be
- Teiresias: the dead Theban soothsayer (son of one of the Spartoi); he tells
Odysseus about his future in Book XI (the Nekyia)
- Alcinoos: son of Nausithoos and king of the Phaeacians. He married his
brother's daughter Arete. They had five sons and a daughter.
In the previous generation he protected Jason and Medea against
the Colchians (Book V-XIII)
- Nausicaa: daughter of Alcinoos and Arete. Her help allowed Odysseus to
win the favor of King Alcinoos, and her hand was offered to Odysseus.
- Circe: daughter of Helios and of Perse (daughter of Oceanos). Her
brother Aeetes ruled Colchis. She turned Picus into a woodpecker; gave Glaucus a potion that turned his
into a monster; and turned Odysseus' men into swine (Books X &
- Calypso: goddess (or nymph), daughter of Atlas the Titan, son of
Iphitos and Clymene--thus, a niece of Prometheus and cousin of
Maia, Hermes' mother. She lived alone on the island of Ogygia. She detained Odysseus for seven years, and
offered to make him
immortal; but at the command of Zeus sent by Hermes, he was
allowed to leave (Book V and VII)
- Polyphemus: son of Poseidon and the sea-nymph Thoosa, reputedly one of the
Cyclopes; a barbarous Sicilian sheepherder (Book IX, and Ovid's Metamorphoses 13. 738-897), blinded by
Odysseus. His prayers
to Poseidon kept Odysseus from returning to Ithaca for ten years.
- SPARTA: kingdom of Menelaus (son of Atreus and Aerope) and Helen
- SCHERIE: island on which the Phaeacians lived
- OGYGIA: island on which Calypso lived
- ITHACA: island on which the kingdom of Laertes and Odysseus was located
- AEAEA: island on which Circe lived, and later Penelope and Telemachus
January 24, 2010 8:26 PM
John Paul Adams, CSUN