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The Odyssey

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The Odyssey by Homer details Odysseus' return trip to Ithaca following his 10 years of fighting in the Trojan War. It takes Odysseus an additional 10 year to return home. Odysseus' travels in the Odyssey are outlined below.

Book I
Invocation to the Muse of Poetry
Council of the gods
Athena visits Telemachus and suggests he go in search of Odysseus
The suitors feast in the palace in Ithaca
Book II
An assembly in Ithaca
Telemachus requests that the suitors return to their homes
Telemachus and Athena secretly leave Ithaca
Book III
Athena and Telemachus arrive in Pylos
Nestor and his family entertain Telemachus
Telemachus and Peisistratos go to Sparta to search for Odysseus
Book IV
Telemachus and Peisistratos arrive in Sparta
Menelaos and Helen entertain Telemachus and Peisistratos
Description of Menelaos' wanderings
Telemachus hears a report that Odysseus is on Calypso's island
The suitors in Ithaca learn that Telemachus has left and prepare to slay him upon his return home
Book V
Council of the gods
Hermes tells Calypso to release Odysseus
Odysseus sails off Calypso's island but is shipwrecked by Poseidon
Odysseus swims to Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians
Book VI
Odysseus meets Nausicaa, princess of Phaeacians, who is washing clothes on the shore
Odysseus is granted protection by Nausicaa, and is treated as a guest by her father, King Alcinous
Book VII
The king Alcinous, and his queen, Arete, have a reception for Odysseus
Book VIII
Odysseus attends Phaeacian games Odysseus is asked to tell his story and his name
Book IX
The wanderings of Odysseus
The raid on the Cicones
The island of the Lotus-Eaters
The encounter and blinding of the Cyclopes, Polyphemus (son of Poseidon)
Book X
The wanderings of Odysseus
Aeolus, the god of winds, tries to aid Odysseus with a bag of winds
Odysseus sees Ithaca, but is blown back to sea when a crew member opens the bag from Aeolus
The Laestrygonians, cannibals who devour members of Odysseus' crew
Circe's island and the transformation into swine
Advice from Circe, visit to Tiresias in Hades
Book XI
The wanderings of Odysseus
The Sirens
Scylla and Charybdis
Helius' cattle
Odysseus loses his last ship and all of his crew members
Calypso rescues Odysseus
Odysseus ends his storytelling to the Phaeacians
Book XII
Alcinous provides Odysseus with a ship and crew to return to Ithaca
Odysseus reaches Ithaca
Phaeacians receive Poseidon's wrath on their return voyage
Athena comes to Odysseus and gives him advice, information, and a disguise as a beggar
Book XIV
Odysseus meets his swineherd, Eumaeus, and tells him a false story about his life
Book XV
Athena tells Telemachus to leave Sparta and to return to Ithaca
Telemachus successfully avoids the suitors' ambush
Book XVI
Odysseus reveals his identity to Telemachus
Odysseus and Telemachus plan for the suitors' demise
Book XVII
Telemachus returns to the palace
Odysseus, in his beggar disguise, begs from the suitors
Book XVIII
Odysseus and another beggar, Iros, fight
Penelope briefly addresses the suitors
Book XIX
Odysseus (still disguised) and Penelope speak
Odysseus' nurse, Euryclea, recognizes him by a scar on his thigh
Penelope devises a test to choose a husband from the suitors--the test of the bow
Book XX
Everyone gathers in the palace to prepare for the test
Book XXI
The test of the bow
The suitors fail the test
Odysseus asks to try in his beggar disguise, and succeeds
Book XXII
Odysseus reveals himself to the suitors
The killing of the suitors
The punishment of the unfaithful maids and staff members
Book XXIII
Penelope tests Odysseus to be sure it is her husband
Reunion of Penelope and Odysseus
Odysseus visits his father, Laertes
Book XXIV
In Hades, the ghosts of the suitors tell the heroes of Troy about Odysseus' actions
Odysseus reveals his identity to Laertes
The families of the suitors bury the dead and plot revenge
Athena intervenes and imposes peace between Odysseus and the suitors' families


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