Liverpool Street

Ancient Greek Mythology

Homer's Odyssey

8th century BC, Ancient Greek.

We all felt the blood drain from our faces as his immense size began to loom over us.

The owner of the cave was tending his flocks when we arrived so we went in and had a look around. There were pens with lambs and kids in them, all segregated by age, buckets of milk and whey, and cheeses. My men begged me to let them take the cheeses and the livestock and make quickly with them back to the ship, but I forced everybody to stay and await the arrival of the cave’s occupant.

At last the owner returned, driving his flocks before him. When he hurled a bundle of firewood into the cave we all ran to the back of it in terror. He drove some of his animals inside and then lifted a huge stone, an enormous boulder that would have crushed a dozen good four-wheeled carts had they attempted to carry it. He placed this into the entranceway, blocking it completely. Then he sat down to milk his sheep and goats and only when he went to light his fire did he finally see us, with the single eye that he had.

‘Who are you?’ he asked.

We all felt the blood drain from our faces as his immense size began to loom over us.

Story fragment retold from: Shewring, Walter, with an introduction by Kirk, G. S., 1980, reprinted 2008. Homer: The Odyssey. Translated from ancient Greek with an introduction. Oxford University Press. Book IX, Odysseus Begins his Tale – the Cyclops.

See for yourself

Homer – Wikipedia

Odysseus – Wikipedia

The Odyssey – Wikipedia

Polyphemus - Wikipedia

Cyclopes - Wikipedia

Homer: The Odyssey – English translation, Internet Classics Archive

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