Background

The Trojan War was over. The clever Greek Odysseus had tricked the enemy into bringing a colossal wooden horse within the walls of Troy. The Trojans had no idea that Greek soldiers were hidden inside, under the command of Odysseus.

The Greeks had been been laying siege to Troy for nine long years, but suddenly it looked like their whole army had departed, leaving the horse behind.

That night, while the Trojans slept, Odysseus and his men emerged from the horse's belly. Opening the city gates, they admitted their comrades, who had snuck back in the dark.

Troy was sacked and the Trojans utterly vanquished. Now it was time for Odysseus and his fellow warriors to return to their kingdoms across the sea. Here begins the tale of the Odyssey, as sung by the blind minstrel Homer.

Book number: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24





























































NOTES

Trojan War The Trojan War began when a prince of Troy eloped with the wife of a Greek king. The woman's name was Helen and she became infamous as Helen of Troy. Hers was "the face that launched a thousand ships," according to the playwright Marlowe, because all the kings of Greece rallied to get her back. Sailing to Troy, they besieged the city for nine years. Homer's other epic, The Iliad, concerns this siege and the many individual battles that were fought between heroes on both sides. It also chronicles the involvement of the supreme gods, who descended from Mount Olympus to take sides in the contest. (back)


The Corinthian Temple of the god Apollo, who sided with Troy in the Trojan War. (back)



Homer All we know with comparative certainty about the author of the Odyssey is that he (or she or they) lived some 2700 years ago. By tradition in ancient times, Homer was a blind bard, one of the minstrels who recited long poems about heroes of a bygone age. (back)

Book number: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 - 22 - 23 - 24