Greek Mythology

 

Greek Mythology is one of the most significant and representative samples of the  brilliant civilization created by the ancient Greeks on the ancient land of Greece. It  contains their own explanation and narrative of the creation of the world and the  human race, as well as the further development and course of the Greek race,  throughout the centuries before the rise of historical times.

It begins with the story of how Earth and Sky sprang from Chaos. It continues  with the birth of the first gods. After horrible battles between the gods, which  disturbed and disrupted the order of all things, the good gods prevailed and made the  first mortals, wishing to create a happy human race.

 

 

Unfortunately, the imperfections of human nature spoiled the plans of the gods  and disappointed them, so they decided to destroy the first mortals by sending a  horrible flood (cataclysm) which destroyed all trace of existence upon the Earth.

Later the gods began working again, making a new generation of men. Through  their sexual union, descendants were born, who gave rise to the bright era of the  Demigods and the Heroes, whose adventures delight and fascinate the human mind  till today, indulging our thoughts in wonderful scenes of heroism and glory.

 

 

The great poets of Greek antiquity, Homer and Hesiod, were the first to write  down the entire oral cultural tradition of Greek prehistory and made it part of the  civilized human society. Since then Greek mythology holds a distinguished position  amongst the masterpieces of world literature. Each chapter captivates the reader,  who wanders mentally through the elegant and bright world of our mythology and  sometimes plunges — together with the mythical heroes — into the bowels of the Earth  or the depths of the seas. At each step of this exciting journey, the reader is  stimulated to further thoughts, reflections and pursuits of the hidden symbolism and  the true core of the Greek myths.

In the following chapters you may read the great Mythological Stories that are known all over the world. Stories that inspired people to make researches about the ancient Greeks and their civilization, even to make movies astonishing everyone.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


 

First Part: COSMOGONY - THEOGONY

Chaos - The First generation of Gods

In Greek Mythology Chaos was the beginning of all things, which contained all the necessary elements for the later creation of the world.

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The Greek Race

In order to create the Greek race, Zeus came down to earth and had sexual intercourse with Deucalion’s wife, Pyrrha.  

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The First Mortals

(Prometheus, Epimetheus, Pandora, Deucalion, Pyrrha) When Zeus secured his authority over the gods, he decided to create a human species out of clay and ...

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The Five Generations of Men

Hesiod distinguishes five ages in the creation of mankind. In the Golden Age of the human race (golden generation), the life of mortals was happy without toils and worries. Men lived without illnesses and to a very old ...

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Zeus secures his Throne (titans' battle - giants' battle)

The first years of the rule of Zeus over the rest of the gods were difficult for him. His brothers truly supported and loved him but his dethroned father and some of the Titans wished to take revenge on him and destroy ...

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The Birth of Zeus

The reign of Cronus started well, but in the process many unpleasant things happened. The new leader of the divine dynasty soon became afraid his children might take his throne, as his father also ...

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Cronus Displaces his Father, the Sky

The gods knew everything about the past and the future. The Sky knew his children would take over authority from him and this was the reason he hated ...

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Second Part: THE GODS

The lesser gods of the ancient Greeks

Authority over men and the animate and inanimate world around them was divided amongst the Twelve Olympian gods, but there were also many more gods, some almost equal to the Olympians and others inferior to ...

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The twelve Olympian Gods

After the final battle against Cronus and his followers the victorious Olympian Gods decided to dwell permanently on the highest mountain of Greece, Olympus. Thus, they became known as the Twelve Olympian ...

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Zeus

When Zeus secured his throne, he concentrated all his attention on caring for the human race and he strengthened it with his own divine sperm.

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Hera, the modest but cheated wife

Zeus’ sister, Hera (daughter of Cronus and Rhea), decided to win his heart and marry him, perhaps knowing that someday he would become the king of the gods or because of his beauty and inexhaustible ...

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Athena, the goddess of wisdom

The goddess of wisdom was also a warrior goddess with attributes envied by the bravest men of antiquity. Nevertheless, she contributed to peaceful works, useful to ...

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Poseidon, the god of the sea

The god of the sea and all waters on and within the earth was the son of Rhea and Cronus. A brother of Zeus, he was also saved from their father’s mania of swallowing his children, by his mother’s device and was taken as a baby to ...

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Demeter, the goddess of agriculture

She was the goddess of agriculture and earth fertility, sister of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, who was unfortunate enough to be raped by her first two brothers and finally became the mother-in-law of the ...

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Apollo, the god of light and music

According to Greek Mythology the god bom from the union of Zeus and the goddess Leto, was the brightest, the most handsome and the most masculine of all immortals and mortals, a perfect blend of all attributes a god could ...

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Artemis, the goddess of hunting

The twin sister of Apollo was the goddess of hunting. She always wandered, carefree and happy, in the woods and the countryside; she enjoyed nature and the sunlight, remaining always young, beautiful and ...

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Hermes, the messenger of the gods

The always young, charming and intelligent son of Zeus and Maia, daughter of Atlas, was Hermes. As soon as he was bom he showed his craftiness and playful character by stealing a herd of wonderful cattle ...

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Ares, the god of war

The famous god of war, Ares, was most hated amongst gods and men, since the only thing that pleased him was to cause arguments, wars and killings. He was born by Hera and as soon as he realized his ...

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Hephaestus, the god of fire

Hephaestus was the god of fire and iron, chief craftsman of Olympus and a handyman. He was equally good in having fun and getting drunk, with an always cheery and good-natured character, despite his badly shaped body and ugly ...

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Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love

When Cronus cut off his father’s genitals, the Sky’s, he cast them into the sea. These, together with the sperm within them united with the sea water and foam and the goddess of beauty and ...

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Dionysus, the god of entertainment

He was the most popular god of the ancient Greeks because he was the god of fun and enjoyment that people liked. This is perhaps the reason many places claim to be his birthplace, as it is not known where he was born. It is most ...

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The Gods of the Sky

[Helios, Selene, Eos (Dawn), Phaeton, Arctos, etc]   The three great rulers and masters of the sky were Helios (sun), Selene (moon) and Dawn, which originally had the name Eos. There is no doubt that the most powerful amongst them was Helios, who gave ...

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The Earthy Gods

(Earth, Rhea, Hestia, Pan, Pluto or Hades, Asclepius, etc)   Gaia or Earth was the mother of all mortals and immortals on earth and has already been narrated how the sky, the mountains and the sea came out of her bowels. She was the one who also gave birth to the ...

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The Sea Gods

(Proteus, Nereus, Triton, Glaucus, Aesolus, Sirens, etc)   First and foremost was Proteus, well known as the old Proteus because of his old age. He was Europa’s brother and when searching - together with his father Cadmus - to find her, when ...

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Third Part: THE HEROES

Other heroic deeds of Hercules

The son of Zeus and the greatest hero of ancient Greece did not just accomplish the twelve labors that Eurystheus ordered, but brought many other tasks to an end. He faced savage and ...

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Hercules marries Deianira

When Hercules went down to Hades, he met his old friend Meleager. He wept when he heard and saw the terrible situation the poor man was in and promised to take care of his young and beautiful sister ...

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Hercules and Iole. The killing of Iphitus

The king of Oechalia was called Eurytus and was an excellent archer, trained by Apollo himself. He provoked Hercules to compete in arrow shooting, when the hero fell in love with his beautiful daughter Iole ...

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The theft of the gold tripod of Apollo

When he reached the Delphi Oracle, Hercules had an unpleasant surprise, which insulted and enraged him once again: Pythia refused to let him cross the threshold of the most sacred area, because he was unclean ...

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Hercules as a servant of queen Lydia

Hercules accomplished many great deeds for the sake of his great love for Omphale, when he was once found in Lydia. This was the very reason he was often accused that he became willingly her own ...

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The end of Hercules and his deification

Hercules had built an altar at the promontory of Euboea Cenaeo, where he used to go and pray or sacrifice to Zeus, peacefully, away from people. Once, when he wanted to do exactly that, he arrived there - alone as usual ...

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Hercules undertakes his twelve labors at Tiryns

When the hero arrived at his cousin’s kingdom, the faint-hearted and malicious Eurystheus did not allow him to stay at Mycene, but obliged him to find a house at Tiryns, that is, at a distance. This happened ...

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The Nemean Lion

A huge blood thirsty lion roamed in the woods of Nemea and had spread panic and fear in the whole area, killing people, destroying crops and fruit-bearing trees and devouring every living animal, ...

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The Lernean Hydra

A terrible monster used to hide in the reeds of Lake Lerna close to Argos. It used to come out causing havoc to flocks and crops. As it has already been pointed out, it was the offspring of Typhoon and Echidna. It had ...

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The Erymanthian Boar

Hercules received the third order to destroy a huge boar, which was hiding in the mountain of Arcadia, Erymanthus, and continually raided the surrounding villages, destroying crops and food storage ...

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The Cerynitian Hind

In the woods of Cerynia was a wonderful and swift reindeer, which no hunter could ever catch or shoot with his bow, even though many tried, because it had gold horns and bronze feet. This labor was the fourth order ...

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The Stymphalian Birds

In the dense rush surrounding an Arcadian lake, nestled the wild predatory birds, which had brazen heads, claws and beaks. The god of war, Ares, had trained them to eat men and animals alike. They were so ...

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The Creatan Bull

God Poseidon once sent to king Minos a bull to offer it as a worthy sacrifice to him, but king Minos felt sorry for the bull and did not sacrifice it. Poseidon got enraged for his impiety and made the bull mad, which terrorized ...

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The wild Horses of king Diomedes

In Thrace there was a barbarian sadistic king called Diomedes. He was the son of God Ares and a beautiful mortal woman named Cyrene. His twin brother was Cycnus (swan), who competed with him ...

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The Belt of the Amazon Hippolyta

It is well known that the Amazons were a warlike race of women. They dwelt by the eastern shores of the Black Sea but inland for greater safety. At a very young age they used to cut their right breast in order to ...

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The Augean Stables

King of ancient Elis of the Peloponnese was Augeus, son of the Sun. He kept three thousand of his father’s cattle, but his enormous stables hadn’t been cleaned for thirty years and from the dung ...

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The Cattle of Geryon

At the islands of the Valearids, off the shores of Spain, reigned - in antiquity - a monstrous wild ogre, Geryon. He was the son of the giant Chrysaorus and the daughter of the Ocean, Calliroe. It had a huge ...

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The Golden Apples of the Hesperides

The gods had a beautiful orchard at the edge of the world, where one could find all the fruit producing trees and flowers found during that time on earth. There were also the trees with the famous golden ...

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Cerberus, the guard of Hades

The ancient Greeks called it the hound of Hades, but apart from its body, very little did it resemble a dog. It was the offspring of Typhoon and Echidna. It had three heads each with a venomous snake instead of a ...

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Hercules

Hercules is the greatest hero of Greek antiquity. He may have been born in Thebes -which is not completely certain - but his glory belongs to all of ...

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The birth of Hercules

Hera, however, was informed of everything that happened and when Alcmene’s baby was born, she wanted to get it out of the way. She sent two enormous snakes at his cradle to devour it, ...

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The childhood of Hercules

When Hercules was young they called him Alcides, meaning “strong and brave”. His parents made sure he got a good upbringing and education fit for a young noble offspring. He had the most famous ...

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Hercules becomes mad and kills his children

Hera, however, continued to take revenge on Hercules. Thus, she sent him a sudden madness, which pushed Hercules to cast into the fire his five young children. Luckily, Athena intervened and hit him ...

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Hercules accepts his punishment

Pythia delivered the decisions of the gods to the hero at the Oracle by chewing bay leaves sitting in front of her golden tripod and breathing the smoke of burning aromatic herbs. Hercules realized he had no other ...

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The story of Aegeus and the birth of Theseus

Aegeus was one of the four sons of the old king of Athens, Pandion the second. The throne of Athens fell to his lot, while his brothers took the neighboring demes. Because both of his two wives were proven ...

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The childhood years and first heroic deeds of Theseus

When Aethra gave birth to the baby of Aegeus, she gave it a good upbringing fitting to his descent. Before Aegeus left for Athens, he hid under a rock his sword and sandals and told Aethra that their son ...

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The heroic feats of Theseus in Athens

When Theseus reached the palace of his father, he did not reveal himself to him immediately, in order to get the time to discover the quality of the people surrounding his father. The king lived with the sorceress, ...

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Theseus kills the Minotaur. Ariadne.

Theseus traveled to Crete in the same ship with the unfortunate youths as one of the prospective victims. There, however, the beautiful daughter of Minos, Ariadne, fell in love with ...

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The reign and death of Theseus

During his reign, Theseus turned out to be a very capable and enlightened ruler. He took measures, which benefited his people greatly, organized well the cities and villages of Attica and annexed Megara to the kingdom of ...

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Fourth Part: THE TROJAN WAR - ILIAD

The punishment of Polymerstor

Before the smoke from the ruins of Troy subsided  and as soon as they shared the spoils of War, the Greeks  set sail for their homeland. They planned to make a first  stop at Thebes, north of Troy. There, in this fertile ...

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The adventures of Menelaus in the East

Menelaus and Helen of Troy lived a second more  passionate honeymoon since the day they met again  twenty years later. They reached Euboia first, followed  by many accompanying ships and offered sacrifices ...

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The return of Agamemnon and his murder

Odysseus set out for his fatherland together with the  ships of other chieftains, but, as soon as they made their  first stop at Tenedus, they argued amongst them. Then,  the resourceful king of Ithaca decided ...

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Orestes takes revenge

When Clytaemnestra killed her husband with  Aegisthus, she probably didn’t think she would leave  her three children orphans. Electra and Laodice were  old enough, but Orestes was still young. There are two ...

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Aeropagus acquits Orestes and Iphigenia returns to Greece

The murder of queen Clytaemnestra and Aegisthus,  although a justified action of revenge incited by god  Apollo, it remained an impure act. From the moment  Orestes killed by his own hand his mother and his ...

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The first years of the Trojan war

The Achaean army camped at the Trojan seaside.  The sea on the one side protected it, and on the other the  besiegers built a strong fence from tree trunks and other  pieces of Wood. For extra safety, ...

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The war continues. The duels

When a siege or a war lasts too long, the warriors  naturally become indignant. In antiquity, in such cases,  duels took place between the generals of the two enemy  armies, for the anger of the ...

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The quarrel of Agamemnon and Achilles and the death of Patroclus

One day Andromache, holding the young Astyanax  in her arms, met Hector on the walls and begged him not  to go out of the walls because she felt that something bad  would happen to ...

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Achilles is reconciled with Agamemnon and kills Hector

Thetis brought her son a new armor, which  Hephaestus prepared. There was a panoply made of  bronze and silver, a shiny shield with beautiful designs of the gods, a helmet with a high crest, a long spear ...

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The death of Achilles

Soon after the death of the valiant golden-armed king Memnon, who fell from Achilles’ piercing spear, fighting grew wilder. When Apollo realized the Trojans  had no hope of winning, he went and found the ...

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The resourceful Odysseus works for the victory of the Greeks. The end of Paris

After the death of Achilles, the battles outside the  Trojan walls continued again between the besiegers and  the besieged in a routine fashion. Pessimism grew again  in the hearts of the ...

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The Wooden Horse and the fall of Troy

Many ancient Greeks have said that the idea for the  construction of the Wooden Horse, which determined  the fate of the Trojan War, did not come from resourceful Odysseus. They supported the view ...

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The Greeks punish the Trojans

When Troy fell, all men and young boys were slain  mercilessly, so that no males of age were left behind to  produce any descendants. The women were chained and  from the following day they were sorted ...

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The plan of Zeus, Helen of Troy and Paris

The Trojan War was — according to mythology — the  greatest war known to men, since during its course about  half of the then known human population was lost. This  war was decided and prepared by ...

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Paris abducts Hellen of Troy

When Helen of Troy was seventeen years old, her  beauty was known beyond the Greek borders. Like all  beautiful women, she of course had some unpleasant  adventures in her life and had some previous affairs with  ...

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The Greeks prepare for war against Troy

The news that Helen of Troy went with Paris to Troy  soon reached all Greece and that made Menelaus take  action. He persuaded his brother, Agamemnon, that all  of the Greeks had to take revenge for this ...

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The first adventures and the return

After a most favorable and  pleasant trip, the 1.200 ships and  the 100.000 warriors who had set  out to punish Paris and his land,  they reached the shores of Asia  Minor. Not knowing, ...

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The second assembly at Aulis. New obstacles

After the first unsuccessful expedition to the distant  Troy, none of the Greeks thought that a second attempt  would take place. They had all lost interest and it was  difficult so many kings and warriors to be ...

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On the way to Troy. Setting ashore on a foreign land

This time things went well as far as the weather was  concerned. Problems arose from other causes, but this  was only normal, as there had gathered the most  significant and renowned kings, warriors, ...

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Fifth Part: THE RETURN OF ODYSSEUS - ODYSSEY

An Introduction to Odyssey

Odysseus with his twelve ships and small army was the last of the Greek leaders who  sailed home. He was also the last one arriving at his homeland, for it took him another  ten years to step on the soil of his dear ...

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Odysseus at the land of the Cicones and the Lotus Eaters

Their first adventure began as soon as they set  sailing from Troy. A terrible storm and strong wind  brought them at the shores of Thrace. The first land they  came to was that of the Cicones, a quiet, ...

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The land of the Cyclops Polyphemus

A few days after the pleasant adventure at  the island of the Lotus-Eaters, Odysseus and his  companions had a very bad experience. They  arrived at the land of the Cyclopes, men with  gigantic bodies ...

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From the island of Aeolus to the land of Laestrygonians

Sailing eastwards, the twelve ships of Odysseus left  quickly behind them the inhospitable and dangerous  land of the Cyclopes and after an easy and pleasant  journey they reached the island of Aeolus. He was a good ...

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Odysseus at the island of Circe and the kingdom of Hades

On the single remaining ship of Odysseus, he and  forty four of his companions had survived. After many  nights and days wandering at sea, the ship reached the  island called Aea. There lived the beautiful ...

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The adventures of Odysseus continue

Odysseus and his companions left the island of Aea a quiet morning with Circe’ promise that she would  make sure a favorable Wind would blow. A few days later they arrived at the island of the  ...

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Odysseus stays with Calypso for seven years

Having struggled with the waves for ten days,  Odysseus was then washed away nearly dead from  exhaustion, on the island of Ogygia. He never imagined  he would stay in this island for seven ...

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Odysseus at the island of the Phaeacians

The gods had blessed the island of Sheria. This was  probably to be expected since its king, Alcinous, was  son of Nausithous, son of Poseidon and Periboea. The  blessing of the gods extended ...

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Goddess Athena appears to Telemachus

Athena came to Odysseus’ palace as a foreigner and  asked for hospitality. She took the form of a respected  nobleman and said he was an old friend of the king of  Ithaca. He was called Mentor and he was ...

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Odysseus arrives secretly in Ithaca

Alcinous prepared one of his swift ships and sent  him to his homeland with many gifts. His island was  close to Ithaca and Odysseus arrived there by ...

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Goddess Athena guides the steps of father and son

When Odysseus first stepped on the deserted beach  of Ithaca, Athena appeared in front of him and reassured  him that she was on his side, like then in the Trojan ...

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Odysseus reveals himself to Telemachus

Telemachus returned to Ithaca safe and sound,  having followed faithfully the instructions of goddess  Athena. Then, he went to the pigsties and there the  goddess considered that the time had come to tell ...

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Odysseus kills the suitors and reunites with Penelope

The single thing, which had not  happened yet before the great moment  of the punishment of the suitors was  Odysseus revealing himself to his  Penelope. After much thinking and  talking to ...

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