Homer's Odyssey

The Odyssey of Homer is an epic poem, composed between about 750 and 650 BC, which tells the story of the Greek hero Odysseus and his ten year wanderings and adventures on his return from the Trojan War. Epic in the ancient Greek world was a long, narrative form of poetry with a particular metre (hexameters) and subject matter drawn from heroic mythology. It was originally part of an oral (recited) tradition.

Odysseus was a popular Greek hero because of his quick wits and intelligence. On his travels he met and, by various stratagems, defeated numerous monsters, as well as nymphs and mortal women who wanted to ensnare him and keep him from home. He even visited the Underworld. Meanwhile, in Ithaca, his faithful wife Penelope kept her suitors at bay, and his son Telemachus set out on a mission to find news of his father. All ended happily with Odysseus' longed-for homecoming.

Attempts have been made by researchers, ancient and modern, to chart and even to replicate the voyage of Odysseus. Most, though, would agree that the voyage took him beyond the boundaries of the real world.

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