Odysseus, Off Course in the Baltic Sea

Homer’s Odyssey tells of the adventures of the ancient seasoned mariner, Odysseus, hero of the Trojan War, who offended Poseidon and as a result was cursed to sail the seas and prolong his journey home to the isle of Ithaca and his queen Penelope, with 10 years. Although it is generally assumed that Odysseus and his band of brothers, zig-zagged the Mediterranean Sea on their ill-fated voyage, ancient and modern scholars are divided on the exact modern locations of Odysseus’ ports of call.  Steering completely off course however, some authors propose that Odysseus could have lost his way in the Baltic Sea.

Head of Odysseus from a sculptural group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus. From the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga. Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Sperlonga (Public Domain)

Head of Odysseus from a sculptural group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus. From the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga. Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Sperlonga (Public Domain)

"The man rich in cunning tells me, O Muse, that for a long time
he made a mistake after he had destroyed the sacred fortress of Troy;
Of many men the cities saw and knew the mind,
many pains suffered in the heart on the sea,
"fighting for his life and for the return of his..." (
Homer: Odyssey)


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