107 World Literature Mr. Teich
Key to Map of Possible Route of Odysseus
Graphic: Tim Severin, The Ulysses Voyage: sea search for the Odyssey (London 1987).
Text: adapted from Erich Lessing, The Voyages of Ulysses (Vienna 1965) and other sources
1. Troy: After 10 years of siege, the Greek forces capture and destroy the city; then they sail for home with their spoils. Homer's version is told in Iliad.
2. Coast of Thrace: Odysseus and his men destroy and plunder Ismarus, city of the Cicones, but are eventually driven away with losses.
3. Lotus-eaters: Blown off course, Odysseus' fleet lands on shores of North Africa or the island of Jerba, possible locations for the drugged natives.
4. Cyclops: Near Naples are the caves of Mt. Posillipo and the Phlegraean Fields; another possible location for Cyclops is Sicily.
5. Aeolus: Ruler of the Winds, he lives on Stromboli, the Aeolian Island. His gift to Odysseus of a leather pouch, which controls the wild winds, allows the fleet to sail in sight of Ithica, when the crew causes disaster.
6. Laestrygonians: Cape Bonifacio is at the south coast of Corsica, where a race of giants destroy all of the fleet and men except for Odysseus' boat and crew.
7. Circe: This beautiful, sinister goddess lives on the island of Aeaea, now associated with Monte Circeo. With her magic, she enslaves men by turning them into animals. She tells Odysseus that he must enter the Halls of Hades before he can return home.
8. Entrance to the Underworld: Lake Avernus, near Salerno; but Tim Severin interprets the descriptions as resembling locations on the Greek coast. Here Odysseus speaks with the dead and consults the blind prophet Tiresias.
9. Sirens: Isole li Galli in the Gulf of Sorrento are known as the Islands of the Sirens, where Odysseus is tied to the mast of his ship so he can listen to their deadly songs.
10. Scylla & Charybdis: The Straits of Messina contain the narrows where Scylla, monster of the ocean caves, and Charybdis, the whirlpool, challenge passage.
11. Thrinacia: Sicily, island home of the sun-god, Hyperion. Odysseus' remaining crew and boat are destroyed as punishment for killing Hyperion's protected cattle.
12. Calypso: Odysseus is washed up on Calypso's island of Ogygia, present-day Malta. He stays with this tempting goddess 7 years before the Olympian gods relent and let him resume his journey home.
13. Phaecians: Their secluded island, Scheria, is present-day Corfu. These magical sailors escort Odysseus home, after he tells his story.
14. Ithaca: Island home to which Odysseus returns after 20 years away from his faithful wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus.
15. Pylos: Home of King Nestor, with whom Telemachus consults.
16. Sparta: Land of King Menelaus, whose wife, Helen, is at the center of the conflict causing the 10-year war with Troy.
17. Mycenae: Land of Agamemnon, king of the Achaeans, brother of Menelaus. He was a major leader in the war against Troy.
18. Knossos: On present-day Crete, home of legendary King Minos whose vast constructions let to the legend of the Labyrinth.