Lotus Eaters

By: Jill Lee

Lotus Eaters

The Lotus Eaters lived on an island that had sweet lotus fruit that when eaten, caused one to feel so happy that they forgot everything.

Odysseus's Encounter

“Having left the country of the Ciconians, he landed in that of the Lotus­eaters. The Lotus was a sweet fruit which caused him who tasted it to forget everything. And as some of the crew ate from the fruit, Odysseus had to force them back to the ships; for those who tasted the Lotus preferred to stay with the lotus­eaters, forgetting all about returning home” (Parada 1).

Busted Myths

The Greeks called several plants "lotos," but the name used in the Odyssey might have been meaning the opium poppy, of which the ripe seed pod resembles true lotus seed pods.

References in Literature

Since the lotus caused forgetfulness, ancient writers used the phrase "to eat lotus" as a metaphor for "to forget" or "to be unmindful."

Works Cited

Ashraf, Mohammad. "The Lotus Eaters." Kashmir First. Webmaster, 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 07 Nov. 2014. <http://www.kashmirfirst.com/articles/politics/140418-the-lotus-eaters.htm>.


Homer. "Odyssey." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 5 Nov. 2014. <http://ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1808760?terms=lotus+eaters>.


"Lotus-Eater." Encyclopaedia Britannica. N.d. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica. Web. 11 Nov. 2014. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/348576/Lotus-Eater>.


Mercatante, Anthony S. The Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend. New York: Facts on File, 1988. Print.


Odysseus Drags Sailors off of Lotus-Eater's Island. Digital image. Kashmir First. Webmaster, 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2014. <http://www.kashmirfirst.com/articles/politics/140418-the-lotus-eaters.htm>.


Parada, Carlos, and Maicar Förlag. "Odysseus." Greek Mythology Link. Carlos Parada, n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2014. <http://www.maicar.com/GML/Odysseus.html>.