Odysseus

According to the Odyssey by Homer, Odysseus was the king of which island?

And the answer: Ithaca.

In Homer's epic poem known as the Odyssey, Odysseus is portrayed as an eloquent man of great wisdom, courage, and resourcefulness. His wanderings and the recovery of his kingdom of Ithaca are the central themes of the story.    

Image: GoogleMaps

Odysseus occupies a legendary role in Greek mythology. A celebrated king, champion of the Trojan War and beloved hero, Odysseus hails from the small island of Ithaca. As the son of a king, Odysseus was raised under the guidance of those who knew his destiny was to lead, and he began taking to the hunt and joining his father, Laertes, on missions from a young age. It is said that Odysseus' hunting skill surpassed his father's when he was only a teenager.

Photo credit: public domain. 

Almost all of what we know about Odysseus comes from Homer's Odyssey. This epic poem was written hundreds of years after the events of the Trojan War, and was originally passed down through the oral tradition. As such, much of the content of the story has likely been affected by time and retelling. What we do know, though, concerns his character. Although Odysseus was known for his ability to win over most anyone, he was also a smug and self-assured man who got what he wanted at all costs. However, in Greek mythology being a "hero" didn't mean he was perfect. Rather, it referred to an extraordinary attribute or ability, which Odysseus certainly possessed. So, although he may not have been a great person, he was certainly heroic.

Learn more about the life and epic of Odysseus below.


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