The Odyssey

Book I Book II Book III Book IV Book V Book VI Book VII
Book VIII Book IX Book X Book XI Book XII Book XIII Book XIV Book XV Book XVI Book XVII Book XVIII Book XIX Book XX Book XXI Book XXII Book XXIII Book XXIV

The Odyssey is one of two major Ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still read by contemporary audiences. As with the Iliad, the poem is divided into 24 books. It follows the Greek hero, Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the Trojan War. After the war itself, which lasted ten years, his journey lasts for another ten years, during which time he encounters many dangers.

It is written in dactylic hexameter. It opens in medias res, in the middle of the overall story, with prior events described through flashbacks and storytelling.

A Roman mosaic depicting Odysseus and the Sirens. Carthage, 2nd c. AD, now in the Bardo Museum, Tunisia.

In the Classical period, some of the books (individually and in groups) were commonly given their own titles:

Book 1–4Telemachy: the story focuses on the perspective of Telemachus.
Books 9–12Apologoi: Odysseus recalls his adventures for his Phaeacian hosts.
Book 22Mnesterophonia: the slaughter of the Suitors.

An interpretation of Odysseus’ travels.

Explore his Odyssey using this Digital Map.

Below a synopsis of each book will be given:

Book I: The Fate of Odysseus

Book II: Assembly on Ithaca

Book III: Telemachus in Pylos 

Book IV: Telemachus visits Menelaus 

Book V: Odysseus sails for Phaeacia 

Book VI: Odysseus and Nausicaa

Book VII: Odysseus meets Alcinous

Book VIII: The Phaeacian Banquet

Book IX: Polyphemus 

Book X: Circe 

Book XI: The Underworld 

Book XII: The Sirens & Scylla and Charybdis

Book XIII: Odysseus arrives at Ithica

Book XIV: Odysseus seeks out Eumaeus

Book XV: Telemachus arrives home

Book XVI: A Plan is Hatched

Book XVII: A Beggar in the Palace

Book XVIII: Beggar vs. Beggar

Book XIX: Odysseus speaks with Penelope

Book XX: The Omens

Book XXI: Odysseus’ Bow

Book XXII: The Slaughter of the Suitors

Book XXIII: Odysseus and Penelope’s Reunion

Book XXIV: Peace

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