What to Know About Odysseus’s Ship in Greek Mythology

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Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey forever preserved the story of the Greek hero, Odysseys. We are first introduced to him in the Iliad, which describes the story of the Trojan War and the role that Odysseus played in it. The story of the Odyssey describes his journey back to Ithaca after the Trojan War concluded. He was away from home for a long time because the Trojan War took ten years, and his journey back to Ithaca also took that long. Much of his journey took place by ship, aside from the time that he spent fighting, which means that this is an important part of his story as a whole. Here’s more information about Odysseus’s ship:

Odysseus’s Ship is Referred to as a Homeric Galley

Odysseys didn’t just have one ship – he had several. We can learn a lot about the very nature of what a ship in Odysseus’s time looked like because when he was shipwrecked on Calypso’s island and held captive for seven years, he managed to build another ship to replace the old one. As a result of this, Homer spent a lot of time describing exactly how Odysseus built this new ship. This gave us some great insights as to what the ships looked like during that time. The term, Homeric galley, stuck.

Odysseus Sets Sail for Ithaca

After the Trojan War, we learn through Homer’s epic poetry that he set sail for Ithaca with a full fleet of ships and soldiers. At the tie, he had a fleet that had a good number of ships – twelve to be exact. Total, these six ships had a crew of 600 men, all of whom where tired from the war. They had no idea that the journey home wouldn’t be an easy one that would cost them many lives and many ships. To put things into perspective, the original fleet was considered to be impressive, especially by ancient standards. In fact, there have been some ships that have been uncovered today that may have come from that time period, which has given us insights as to what his ships could have looked.

A Look Odysseus’s Journey Back to Ithaca

Most of Odysseus’s journey home took place on Ithaca. However, the journey was a long one and he did a fair amount of island hopping in his travels. One of the most famous incidents that he went through took a total of seven years. After he was shipwrecked on Calypso’s islands, he was stranded since his ship was destroyed. Calypso trapped him, as well, which only added to his problems. It is here that he managed to build a replacement ship and was eventually allowed to leave the island in order to return home.

One thing that sets Odysseus apart is the fact that unlike other heroes of Greek mythology, Odysseus wasn’t a god, demi god, or other hero with superhuman powers. He was a simple man whose actions and deeds showed people his heroic actions. The fact that he had so many bad things happen to his various ships also shows that his journey wasn’t an easy one. He was persistent, which is what helped him conquer all of the challenges that he faced on the sea.


Wikipedia – Odysseus

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