The Phaeacian Times

Odysseus from Ithica tells tales of excitement and bravery

The Cicons Strike Back

The hero Odysseus and his crew, traveling back from their conquests in the Trojan War, plundered the city of the Cicons. Odysseus adds, "I then said that we had better make off at once, but my men very foolishly would not obey me, so they stayed there drinking much wine and killing great numbers of sheep and oxen on the sea shore." They stayed long enough for a reinforced army of Cicons to attack Odysseus and his fleet. Six men were lost per ship.

The Land of the Lotus Eaters

Odysseus and his crew then ended up on the land of the lotus eaters. The natives gave some of his crew members a taste of the lotus fruit. The crew members became instantly hooked on the fruit. "They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches." Odysseus set sale away from the island at once.

Polyphemus, the Brute

Odysseus and his crew ended up on the extremely remote and brutal home of the Cyclopes. After making a meal of wild goats found on the island, Odysseus took his best warriors and explored the mainland. They quickly found an enormous cave, rich with cheeses, sheep, and milk. "When they saw all this, my men begged me to let them first steal some cheeses, and make off with them to the ship; they would then return, drive down the lambs and kids, put them on board and sail away with them. It would have been indeed better if we had done so but I would not listen to them," said Odysseus. The cave's inhabitant soon returns, it is Polyphemus, son of Poseidon. He rolls a massive boulder over the entrance of the cave. Polyphemus soon spots the trespassers and devours two of Odysseus's men on the spot. He imprisons Odysseus and his warriors in the cave for future meals. The next morning, Polyphemus devours two more men. While Polyphemus is out pasturing his sheep, Odysseus and his men find a large piece of metal in the cave and store it. Odysseus intoxicates Polyphemus with high quality wine. Odysseus mentions that his name is "nobody." While Polyphemus is asleep, they drive the heated stake into Polyphemus's eye. He exclames that nobody is trying to kill him, and all of the other cyclopes go away. Odysseus and his men escape out of the mouth of the cave by groping to the bottom of sheep as they go out to pasture. Odysseus and his warriors take the sheep and set sail for the rest of the fleet. As he is doing so, Polyphemus calls down curses on Odysseus and his men.

About the Author

Justin Ashley, a very influential writer from Phoenix, Arizona wrote this masterpiece. He has received an A from his editor, Renee Martin.