His remain with Circe was one of the longest stop on Odysseus’s ten-year journey, however how lengthy did he remain with the enchantress the Aeaea?


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The Odyssey recounts the ten-year long voyage that the king the Ithaca after ~ the Trojan War. The battle itself had lasted a decade, and also it would certainly take simply as lengthy for Odysseus to return to his kingdom, wife, and also child.

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Much that this time, however, would certainly not be spent on a ship. Odysseus had two an extensive stays with magic-using goddesses throughout his lengthy journey.

The very first of these was v Circe, who is usually defined as one enchantress quite than a goddess. She provided spells and potions to trap guys on she island, yet with Odysseus she was required to plot differently.

The king that Ithaca invested a complete year in Circe’s company. Homer claimed the time to be so pleasant that Odysseus nearly forgot his mission to go back to his family members entirely.

He went back to Circe’s island once much more during his trek, but stayed for only a few days before setup sail when more. Follow to part writers, however, after his fatality the hero was provided a second chance to enjoy the tranquility of Circe’s island home.

Odysseus’s Time with Circe

The enchantress Circe was among the most memorable personalities encountered through the hero the the Odyssey. When she originally posed a danger to the crew, she became a good benefactor.

When Odysseus and his men first landed on her island, Aeaea, they witnessed chimney smoke coming from in ~ the forest. He sent guys to investigate, yet only one returned.

Eurylochus ran ago to the ship after some time v a horrifying tale. The males had concerned house through a multitude that wild pets lounging in the yard and were met by a beautiful woman who invited lock in for a meal.


Eurylochus had been the only one to hang back, remaining out that the secret woman’s sight. When the various other men had been eager for a an excellent meal after month at sea, the youngest member the the crew had mistrusted the inexplicable place.

He had waited for his comrades outside, but the men had not emerged from the house. Instead, Circe had actually driven a herd of crying pigs the end to the yard and locked lock behind a fence.

The crewmen who had remained at the ship want to set sail at once when lock learned that their companions had actually fallen prey to a sorceress, yet Odysseus would certainly not leave without rescuing his men.

Rather 보다 risk an ext of his crew’s lives, Odysseus visited the house alone. Top top the way, he to be met by Hermes that told him just how to prevent falling victim come Circe’s spells.

Odysseus take it an herb called moly to counteract the potion of forgetfulness Circe hid in she food. As soon as she pulled out her wand, he tested her through his sword.

To conserve her very own life, Circe invited him into her bed. The agreed, only after making she swear the she would never again try to injury him.

Circe had been told prior to that the king of Ithaca would be the only guy to ever resist her spells. Understanding Odysseus’s identity, she welcomed him as a guest rather of a captive.


Circe restored the men, do them all younger and stronger 보다 they had actually been before. She verified them come a comfortable cave, which lock made their home.

Odysseus remained with Circe in she home. They live as husband and wife for a year and the hero was so content that he almost forgot his duty to return home to Penelope and also their son.

His guys reminded him, however, and after a year of lull they ready to collection sail again. Circe was disappointed to see him leave, yet helped him on his way.

In enhancement to giving him provisions for the journey, she called him just how to proceed. Learning his way had been clogged by mythological means, she recommend him come sail to the Underworld come learn exactly how to proceed and taught him the magic necessary to survive the trip.

Odysseus did together she instructed and returned to Aeaea to rest before continuing to Ithaca. Although he went back to Circe, it to be a quick stay.

She additionally told the of the next threats he would face, the passage in between Scylla and Charybdis. She insight aided the majority of the crew make it through that danger.

According to some later on writers, Odysseus invested a year of his life v Circe but returned to she island after his death.

Circe had born a son named Telgonus once Odysseus lived with her. When he collection off to find his father year later, that tragically eliminated him in a situation of failure identity.


Telgonus, Penelope, and Telemachus took the Ithacan king’s body to Aeaea.

Some writers claimed that Circe and his family buried Odysseus top top the island. The end of respect for your loyalty and love, Circe do Penelope and also Telemachus immortal.

Another variation of the story claimed that Circe provided her magic to bring Odysseus ago to life and also his son, Telemachus, married one of Circe’s daughters. The household lived ~ above Aeaea for several years.

When Telemachus and Circe were both killed, though, Odysseus took his own life in grief.


My contemporary Interpretation

The year Odysseus invested on Aeaea was one of two lengthy periods spent in one place throughout his journey. His stay with Calypso it is long for seven years, definition he spent a full of 3 years in ~ sea during his ten-year journey.

To Homer, his year through Circe to be the more pleasant the the two, however. Circe was a gracious and also welcoming hostess as soon as she learned the Odysseus’s identity.

More importantly, she was unlike Calypso in that Odysseus was never her captive. If Calypso had actually the means to build a raft and let Odysseus leave her island, she hid this from him until required to execute so by Zeus.

The year Odysseus invested on Aeaea was defined by Homer together so peaceful and also pleasant the he nearly forgot any intention come leave. V Calypso, however, Odysseus had been depressed and also longed for home.


In later times, however, this favorable view of Circe changed. Authors painted her not as a benevolent number how aided Odysseus on his journey, but as a wicked and also dangerous seductress.

Even in old Greece, philosophers who read Homer’s functions sometimes had actually a an adverse view the Circe. Socrates, because that example, observed the illustration as a loss of self-control.

The crew the Odysseus’s ship had been turned come pigs because they heedlessly embraced Circe’s food. Also though he knew Circe might be dangerous, Odysseus too had actually been lured through the comforts of her home.

Some writers asserted that gluttony was not the only vice the men fell victim to. The herb of forgetfulness had actually been put into their wine, resulting in an interpretation that castle had offered in come drunkenness and also become bestial together a result.

Over the next thousand years, the character of Circe to be interpreted much more as a femme fatale than a valuable hostess. Renaissance writers accused her of prostitution and claimed Odysseus had fallen into the sin of lust during his year through her.

Homer painted the year invested with Circe as the most safe and pleasant part of his lengthy voyage. He attracted a clear contrast between the respect Circe proved in helped Odysseus make his means and the own nature of Calypso.

In the contemporary era, however, the watch of Circe is much different. Affected by later writer’s definitions of sin and vice, readers this day are much more likely to view Circe together a dangerous affect who lured Odysseus far from his family.


In Summary

According to Homer, one year that Odysseus’s decade-long journey was spent with the enchantress Circe.

While she initially posed a danger to the crew, she soon came to be a gracious hostess and also benefactor to the Ithacan king and also his men. While lock were free to leaving at any time, Odysseus enjoyed a year that comfort through the goddess.

When his guys reminded the of his duties, he agreed to leaving Aeaea. He checked out once much more for a brief rest before continuing ~ above his perilous trip home.

According to part stories, Odysseus to be brought earlier to the island after his death. Some declared he was taken there because that burial, when others maintained that Circe lugged him ago to life and they invested a couple of years as a household unit.

The year invested with Circe was shown much in different ways by Homer 보다 the seven years Odysseus spent on the island that Calypso. When the enchantress aided him on his method and do his time v her pleasant, the nymph retained him together an unhappy sinner to she obsessive love because that him.

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In later years, however, this view of Circe changed. Now she is often taken as a seductress that made Odysseus and also his men forget your homes and also families while lost in the vices of gluttony, drunkenness, and lust.