Odysseus Journey


Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey, is known as the Greek king of Ithaca. The epic Odyssey itself describes his struggle to return to his homeland. This endeavor is known as Odysseus’ journey.

The journey took place after the Trojan War, which itself lasted 10 years. After winning the war, Odysseus and his men embarked on their journey back home to Ithaca.

Odysseus’ Journey Before Reaching The Underworld

After leaving Troy, Odysseus’s army raids the tribe of Cicones for supplies only to lose seventy two men. Leaving the Cicones tribe, Odysseus’ ship redirects towards the island of the Lotus-eaters. Many of his men eat the lotus flowers, forgetting about their journey. They are then brought back to the ship by Odysseus.

He then reaches the Cyclops Island and finds the cave of a Cyclops, Polyphemus, who ends up trapping the men inside the cave and eating six of them. Odysseus and the rest of the men manage to gouge out the eyes of the Cyclops and escape.

Next, Odysseus encounters Aeolus, the god of the winds. Odysseus frees the west wind, which he requires to direct himself home. However, his men, suspecting him of hiding treasures in the wind sack, open it causing a storm. Still Odysseus continues to the land of Laestrygonians, who are cannibals. Only Odysseus and the men on his ship manage to come out alive.

Odysseus then reaches Circe, the Enchantress’, Island. He ends up staying there for a couple of years. He is told at his departure to find the prophet Teiresias in the Underworld, who he eventually meets and who warns Odysseus of the problems he might face at his return to Ithaca.

Odysseus’ Journey After Leaving The Underworld

Odysseus and his men pass the Island of the Sirens, which are female-looking creatures with attractive singing voices that lure the passersby towards the Island and end up ruining their ships. Odysseus’ men escape safely only to have Odysseus choose to sail towards Scylla, a six-headed serpent. He ends up losing six men.

Odysseus and his men stop at the Isle of Helios, where his men disobey the gods and have their ship destroyed. Only Odysseus himself survives and drifts towards the Island of Calypso, a nymph he has a seven-year long affair with. After seven years, Odysseus builds a ship to sail home on Calypso’s request. He meets the Phaeacians on his way and explains his journey to them. They take him on their magical ship back to Ithaca.

At Ithaca, Odysseus is finally reunited with his son. He kills all the potential suitors of his wife and takes his place once again as the unquestionable King of Ithaca.

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