The World of Odysseus' Travels

As is pointed out in this map, while Homer's famous works, the Iliad and the Odyssey borrow from history and real geography, Odysseus' travels do not map precisely onto the actual world. It is still interesting, however, to see visually how far he travels (from Troy in Asia Minor all the way to the islands of Circe and Calypso in the western Mediterranean). Among his many adventures, Odysseus and his men had to overcome temptation in a number of forms. For example, he and his men are tempted by Sirens, who lured sailors with their beautiful song toward dangerous rocks (6a). Unlike his men, who have their ears plugged so they cannot hear the Sirens, Odysseus hears their song but has been tied to the mast so he cannot follow them. Temptation occurs again in the form of Odysseus' encounter with the Lotus Eaters (6c). Having been blown off course, Odysseus and his men encounter a race of people who live off of the lotus plant, which has a narcotic effect. Some of Odysseus' men eat the plant and suddenly stop caring about ever getting home again.