Odyssey: Aeolus and Circe

Book 10 
The next stop for Odysseus and his men is the land of Aeolus, keeper of the winds. He offers Odysseus the gift of a bag containing all of the winds. He stirs up a wind to guide them home and soon they are within sight of Ithaca. The greedy men tear open Aeolus’s bag, thinking it contains gold and silver.

The winds form a terrible storm and blow the ships back to Aeolus who then refuses to help him as he believes them to be cursed by the gods. Without the winds to guide them, Odysseus and his men row to Laestrygonia, the home of giants who immediately kill and eat Odysseus’s scouts and sink their ships. From there, Odysseus and his men travel to Aeaea, home of the beautiful witch-goddess Circe. Circe drugs a band of Odysseus’s men and turns them into pigs.

Over on Mt Olympus, Athena convinces Zeus that they should help Odysseus. Zeus sends Hermes to tell Odysseus to eat an herb called moly to protect himself from Circe’s drug and then lunge at her when she tries to strike him with her sword. Odysseus strikes a bargain with Circe – he’ll stay with her, as her lover, for a year if she’ll turn his men back into humans. When Odysseus leaves, Circe tells him he must sail to Hades, the realm of the dead, to speak with the spirit of Tiresias, a blind prophet who will tell him how to get home.

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