Ancient Greek Mythology
Homer: The Odyssey
8th century BC, Ancient Greek.
Odysseus is carried off into an enchanted ocean, first of all to a sort of Paradise, then to a land of giants on the other side of the sea and an island beyond the winds, then to another land of giants…
'Actually,' said Miranda, 'it may not only be a storm that carries Odysseus into an enchanted ocean where giants and goddesses live on strange islands. On the way back from Troy, Odysseus lands near the city of the Cicones...'
'Where was that?' asked Quintin.
'On the northern coast of the Aegean Sea. While there, he and his crew kill every man they can find and carry all the women and children off into slavery. And perhaps as a fitting retribution, an army is raised against them from the interior and they are massacred the very next day. Odysseus escapes, but perhaps he just thinks that he escapes! Because then a storm rages and he is carried off into this enchanted ocean – first of all to a sort of Paradise, or an Elysium, then to a land of giants on the other side of the sea and an island beyond the winds, then to another land of giants and after years of tribulation, including a year-long stay with the goddess Circe on another enchanted island where men are turned into animals, and a visit to the land of the dead – the land of the dead! – and then a sojourn of seven years with the goddess Calypso who spends her days weaving at a place where four springs rise, like at the base of the pagan Norse world tree Yggdrasil – after all this he is cast up again on the shores of a land ruled over by a king whose grandmother is the daughter of a giant. Then he is taken back to his island home in a single night in a magical boat.'
'Where he pretends at once to be somebody else,' said Quintin.