1.1 After leaving the kingdom of the dead, he tells the
Phaecians how he passed the isle of the Sirens with their
beautiful song, which attracts all who hear it.
1.2 Odysseus told his men to plug wax into their ears and made
them tie him to the mast so that he could hear the song
himself, telling them to row away whatever he says or does
1.3 They escaped this peril and
past between Syclla and
1.4 They stayed clear of Charybdis and her
whirlpool, and rowed past Scylla's cave
1.5 Scylla is a monster with 6 heads
at the end of 6 long necks and she
caught up 6 men but the rest
1.6 They reached the Island of the Sun God
and Odysseus' crew offended the sun god
by killing his cattle
1.7 When they sailed away, as a punishment, Zeus struck the ship with a
thunderbolt and all were drowned except Odysseus.
1.8 That brought him to Calypso and then to Phaecia where he is now.
2 Book 13
2.1 The Phaecians convey Odysseus
to Ithaca (Poseidon turns the
returning vessel into stone because
he feels like he has been betrayed
by his own people)
2.2 Athene meets Odysseus in on
the shores of Ithaca and tells
him what has been going on.
2.3 She disguises him as a beggar
so as to infiltrate Ithaca without
arousing suspicion and tells him
to first visit his old, but loyal
3 Book 14
3.1 Odysseus does what
Athene asks and then there
is a description of this
faithful old man and their
talk together (he shows
extremely good xenia and
loyalty to his master)
3.2 Then they go to sleep and
Homer takes the
opportunity to carry us to
Sparta with Telemachus
4 Book 16
4.1 Telemachus makes his way to the swineherd's hut, and
there father and son meet. Telemachus describes the
goings-on of the suitors who are courting his mother.
4.2 Odysseus reveals his true identity to his
son and Telemachus is complete shock
and awe at his father.
4.3 The suitor's learn that Telemachus has
returned from his journey meaning their plan to
kill him has failed.
5 Book 19
5.1 In the evening Odysseus tells his
son to remove all the armour and the
arms from the hall.
5.2 Odysseus, now disguised as a
beggar again is questioned by
Penelope. He tells her of his past,
some of it true and other parts a
cleverly invented lying tale - he
cannot reveal himself to her yet.
5.3 Penelope then tells Eurycleia to
wash his feet. The nurse feels a scar
on his leg and recognises it as an old
wound of Odysseus. She recognises
him for she nursed him as a baby
and knew him well.
5.4 He warns her to say nothing and his wife does not
notice. Penelope then asks Odysseus to interpret a
dream and tells him of plan she had to put an end to
the suitors power of this house. She would set them a
shooting match with her husband's great bow
6 Book 21
6.1 Penelope brings down her husband's great bow and
the quiver full of arrows, and Telemachus sets up a
row of 12 axes in the floor, each with an opening in the
6.2 Penelope tells them that if they can shoot an arrow
through the 12 axes then she will marry them
6.3 Telemachus tries first, almost strings the bow but with a nod
from his father, he lets the other suitors try
6.4 While the others are trying to sting the bow, Odysseus goes outside and
reveals himself to the drover and swineherd, who promise to stand by him.
6.4.1 They return to the hall and find that no-one could string the bow.
Odysseus asks if he may try (still in the form of a beggar) and
with the greatest of ease he strings the bow, and shoots the first
arrow through all twelve axes
7 Book 22
7.1 Odysseus' true identity is now revealed to everyone
7.2 He grabs another arrow and shoots Antinous, the leader of the suitors
7.3 Odysseus shoots them one by one while Telemachus
goes to fetch armour from the storeroom for him, his
father and the other two men.
7.4 A terrible fight follows and all of the suitors are slain.
8 Book 23
8.1 The old nurse is sent for Penelope and tells
her that her husband has returned and all the
suitors are dead.
8.2 Penelope is in shock and cannot believe that this is her husband. Even when she
sees him she tests him by mentioning their bed, which Odysseus made.
8.3 She tells the maids to lay him
a bed on his old bed-stead
outside the door of the chief
room. He says "Who has
moved my-bed! That could
hardly be done, for the bedpost
was a tree rooted in the ground!"
Then his wife is convinced that
it is him and falls into his arms.