His remain with Circe was among the longest stop on Odysseus’s ten-year journey, however how lengthy did he stay with the enchantress the Aeaea?


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The Odyssey recounts the ten-year long voyage that the king of Ithaca after the Trojan War. The war itself had lasted a decade, and also it would certainly take simply as lengthy for Odysseus to return to his kingdom, wife, and child.

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Much the this time, however, would not be invested on a ship. Odysseus had actually two prolonged stays with magic-using goddesses throughout his long journey.

The an initial of this was with Circe, that is usually defined as one enchantress fairly than a goddess. She supplied spells and potions come trap men on she island, yet with Odysseus she was required to action differently.

The king the Ithaca spent a complete year in Circe’s company. Homer asserted the time to be so pleasant that Odysseus practically forgot his mission to return to his family members entirely.

He went back to Circe’s island once an ext during his trek, however stayed for just a couple of days before setting sail as soon as more. According to part writers, however, after ~ his fatality the hero was offered a second chance to reap the peace of Circe’s island home.

Odysseus’s Time through Circe

The enchantress Circe was one of the most memorable characters encountered through the hero that the Odyssey. When she at first posed a risk to the crew, she ended up being a an excellent benefactor.

When Odysseus and his men very first landed on she island, Aeaea, they observed chimney smoke coming from within the forest. The sent men to investigate, however only one returned.

Eurylochus ran back to the ship after part time v a horrifying tale. The guys had pertained to house v a multitude that wild animals lounging in the yard and were met by a beautiful woman who invited lock in for a meal.


Eurylochus had been the just one to cave back, continuing to be out that the mysterious woman’s sight. When the other men had actually been eager for a great meal after month at sea, the youngest member that the crew had actually mistrusted the unusual place.

He had actually waited for his comrades outside, but the men had actually not emerged from the house. Instead, Circe had driven a herd the crying pigs out to the yard and also locked them behind a fence.

The crewmen who had actually remained in ~ the ship wanted to set sail at as soon as when they learned the their companions had actually fallen prey to a sorceress, however Odysseus would certainly not leave without rescuing his men.

Rather than risk much more of his crew’s lives, Odysseus went to the home alone. Top top the way, he was met through Hermes that told him exactly how to prevent falling victim come Circe’s spells.

Odysseus take it an herb referred to as moly to against the potion of forgetfulness Circe hid in her food. Once she pulled out her wand, he challenged her v his sword.

To save her own life, Circe invite him into her bed. He agreed, just after making her swear that she would never ever again try to harm him.

Circe had actually been told prior to that the king that Ithaca would be the only guy to ever before resist she spells. Knowing Odysseus’s identity, she welcomed him as a guest rather of a captive.


Circe revitalized the men, making them all younger and stronger than they had actually been before. She confirmed them to a comfortable cave, which lock made your home.

Odysseus stayed with Circe in she home. They lived as husband and also wife for a year and the hero was so contents that he practically forgot his duty come return residence to Penelope and also their son.

His guys reminded him, however, and also after a year of comfort they all set to set sail again. Circe to be disappointed to check out him leave, however helped the on his way.

In enhancement to offering him provisions for the journey, she said him just how to proceed. Discovering his way had been blocked by supernatural means, she advised him come sail come the Underworld come learn how to proceed and taught that the magic essential to make it through the trip.

Odysseus did as she instructed and returned come Aeaea to rest prior to continuing come Ithaca. Back he went back to Circe, it to be a quick stay.

She additionally told that of the next threats he would certainly face, the passage in between Scylla and also Charybdis. Her insight helped the bulk of the crew make it through that danger.

According to some later on writers, Odysseus invested a year the his life v Circe yet returned to her island after his death.

Circe had born a son called Telgonus as soon as Odysseus lived with her. As soon as he collection off to discover his father year later, that tragically eliminated him in a case of mistaken identity.


Telgonus, Penelope, and Telemachus take it the Ithacan king’s human body to Aeaea.

Some writers declared that Circe and his family buried Odysseus ~ above the island. Out of respect for their loyalty and also love, Circe make Penelope and Telemachus immortal.

Another version of the story stated that Circe offered her magic to carry Odysseus earlier to life and also his son, Telemachus, married one of Circe’s daughters. The family lived ~ above Aeaea for numerous years.

When Telemachus and Circe to be both killed, though, Odysseus took his own life in grief.


My contemporary Interpretation

The year Odysseus invested on Aeaea was one of two long periods invested in one place throughout his journey. His remain with Calypso it is long for 7 years, meaning he spent a total of 3 years at sea during his ten-year journey.

To Homer, his year with Circe was the more pleasant of the two, however. Circe was a gracious and also welcoming hostess once she learned the Odysseus’s identity.

More importantly, she to be unlike Calypso in the Odysseus was never her captive. When Calypso had the way to build a raft and also let Odysseus leave her island, she hid this from him until forced to carry out so by Zeus.

The year Odysseus invested on Aeaea was defined by Homer as so peaceful and also pleasant that he almost forgot any intention to leave. Through Calypso, however, Odysseus had been depressed and also longed for home.


In later times, however, this favorable check out of Circe changed. Writers painted her no as a benevolent number how aided Odysseus on his journey, but as a wicked and also dangerous seductress.

Even in ancient Greece, philosophers who review Homer’s works sometimes had a negative view that Circe. Socrates, because that example, saw the illustration as a loss of self-control.

The crew that Odysseus’s ship had actually been turned come pigs because they heedlessly embraced Circe’s food. Also though that knew Circe can be dangerous, Odysseus too had actually been lured by the comforts of she home.

Some writers declared that gluttony was no the only vice the men dropped victim to. The herb that forgetfulness had actually been put right into their wine, leading to an translate that castle had provided in come drunkenness and also become bestial together a result.

Over the next thousand years, the personality of Circe was interpreted much more as a femme fatale than a advantageous hostess. Renaissance authors accused she of prostitution and also claimed Odysseus had actually fallen right into the sin the lust throughout his year through her.

Homer painted the year invested with Circe as the most safe and pleasant component of his lengthy voyage. He drew a clear contrast in between the respect Circe confirmed in helped Odysseus do his way and the possessive nature that Calypso.

In the modern era, however, the check out of Circe is much different. Affected by later on writer’s meanings of sin and vice, readers today are an ext likely to watch Circe together a dangerous influence who lured Odysseus far from his family.


In Summary

According to Homer, one year the Odysseus’s decade-long trip was invested with the enchantress Circe.

While she at first posed a risk to the crew, she soon ended up being a gracious hostess and benefactor to the Ithacan king and his men. While they were cost-free to leaving at any kind of time, Odysseus delighted in a year the comfort with the goddess.

When his guys reminded the of his duties, the agreed to leaving Aeaea. He went to once more for a short rest before continuing top top his perilous trip home.

According to part stories, Odysseus was brought earlier to the island after his death. Some declared he to be taken there because that burial, if others kept that Circe carried him earlier to life and also they invested a couple of years together a family unit.

The year spent with Circe was depicted much in different way by Homer than the 7 years Odysseus invested on the island of Calypso. If the enchantress assisted him on his method and do his time through her pleasant, the nymph maintained him as an unhappy sinner to her obsessive love for him.

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In later on years, however, this see of Circe changed. Now she is often taken as a seductress who made Odysseus and his men forget your homes and also families while shed in the vices that gluttony, drunkenness, and lust.