Olga's Gallery


Ancient Greek and Roman Myths Notes

Odysseus


     Odysseus (Latin name Ulixes or Ulysses), King of Ithaca, was the most famous hero of antiquity. His legend is the subject of Odyssey by Homer. The legend is very rich and full of various adventures. We'll introduce the episodes of his legend as we meet them in painting.
 See: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Odysseus.
 
     Phaeacians, a nation of sailors, who inhabited some islands in Mediterranian. Under King Alcinous they devoted themselves to navigation and trading. They welcomed Odysseus when he was cast up on their shores and provided him with a ship to take him to his native Ithaca. But Poseidon, who was against Odysseus, on finding out that they had carried his enemy home, punished Phaeacians: he turned the ship into rock.
See: Peter Paul Rubens Ulysses on the Island of the Phaeacians.
 
     Nausicaa, daughter of the King Alcinous, of Phaeacians. She found Odysseus when he was cast up on the shore of their island, and, though she was deeply in love with Odysseus, persuaded her father to provide him with a ship to return to Ithaca.

See: Peter Paul Rubens Odysseus and Nausicaa.
Valentin Serov Odysseus and Nausicaa.
 
     Polyphemus, a Cyclops, son of Poseidon and the Nymph Thoosa, was a big and ugly one-eyed giant. He dwelt in a cave with his sheep and devoured raw flesh. He caught Odysseus with twelve of his friends and kept them in his cave, devouring one by one. Odysseus and his companions still alive made wine and presented Cyclops with the delitious drink. When the drunk Cyclops fell asleep, they blinded him and later managed to escape.
Jacob Jordaens. Ulysses in the Cave of Polyphemus.
 

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