The Lotus Eaters

And the Lotus Flower

Who were the Lotus Eaters?

The Lotus Eaters were a tribe of people who lived on an island off the coast of Africa. The Lotus flowers and fruits were the primary source of food on the island.
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What is the Lotus Fruit?

Lotus grows on a small deciduous tree that flowers with lotus-shaped blossoms in mid-summer and produces sweet red fruit ripens in late autumn. Many mythology authors have interpreted Lotus to be an equivalent to a sour plum.

Why are Lotus fruit bad?

People who ate the fruit were overcome by a blissful forgetfulness and a desire to never leave the island. The fruit also suppressed emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, and/or passion.

How does this tie in to the Odyssey?

Odysseus boat was blown off course for many days until they reached the island where the Lotus Eaters lived. Odysseus sent some men to check out the people of the island to see if they were friendly. The Lotus Eaters were very kind to Odysseus' men and invited the scouts to eat of a mysterious plant which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back. Odysseus got worried after some time so he went after the scouts he had sent out to bring them back to the boat. The men had to be dragged back to the ship and chained to the rowing benches, or they would never have returned to their duties.

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Works Cited

Atsma, Aaron. "Lotus." Plants of Greek Mythology. Theoi Project, 2011. Web. 7 November 2014

"Lotus-Eaters." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (2013): 1. Literary Reference Center. Web. 7 Nov. 2014.

Mercatante, Anthony S. World Mythology and Legend Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data, 1988. Print.

Princeton. "Lotophagi." 2012. Web. 7 November 2014