The Three Goddesses, The Moirai, The Parcae. The three Fates were born of Erebus and Night. Clothed in white, they spin, measure out, and sever the thread of each human life. Clotho spins the thread. Lachesis measures it. Atropos wields the shears.

Bk VII:182-239 They determine human destiny.


The Erinys, Erinnys, or Eumenides. The Three Sisters were Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera, the daughters of Night and Uranus. They were the personified pangs of cruel conscience that pursued the guilty. (See Aeschylus – The Eumenides). Their abode was in Hades by the Styx.

Bk II:129-176 Telemachus anticipates his mother might call on them to avenge his actions.

Bk XI:225-332 Jocaste committing suicide effectively sends the Furies to torment her son Oedipus.

Bk XV:222-270 They pursued Melampus.

Bk XVII:462-504 Odysseus invokes them against Antinous.

Bk XX:56-119 The daughters of Pandareus are handed over to them.


The south-western promontory of Euboea near modern Karistos.

Bk III:148-200 Reached by Nestor’s ships.


Monsters, sons of Tartarus and Earth, with many arms and serpent feet, who made war on the gods by piling up the mountains, and overthrown by Zeus. They were buried under Sicily.

Bk VII:1-77 Eurymedon their king.

Bk VII:182-239 Kin to the gods like the Phaeacians.

Gorgon, Gorgo, Medusa

Medusa was the best known of the Three Gorgons, the daughters of Phorcys. A winged monster with snake locks, glaring eyes and brazen claws whose gaze turned men to stone. Her sisters were Stheino and Euryale.

Bk XI:593-640 Odysseus fears lest Persephone sends the head to him.


The ancient city in south central Crete, on the plain of Mesara, in modern Iraklion (near the village of Agioi Deka). Probably also the region around.

Bk III:253-312 Mentioned.

Graces (Charites)

The goddesses of beauty, the daughters of Eurynome and Zeus. Their names are Pasithea, Cale, and Euphrosyne. In the Renaissance conceit they represent Giving, Receiving and Thanking.

Bk VI:1-47 They gifted beauty to Nausicaa’s handmaids.

Bk VIII:256-366 They bathe and anoint Aphrodite.

Bk XVIII:158-205 Aphrodite dances with them.


A rocky island in the Aegean.

Bk IV:464-511 Poseidon wrecked and drowned Ajax the Lesser there.


The Halls of the Dead, in the underworld, and their god.

Bk III:404-463 Neleus is there.

Bk IV:795-847 Penelope fears Odysseus may be there.

Bk VI:1-47 Nausithous is there.

Bk IX:480-525 Odysseus wishes Polyphemus there.

Bk X:133-197 Bk XIV:165-234 Bk XXIII:247-299 Mentioned.

Bk X:449-502 Bk X:503-574 Circe advises Odysseus he must visit Hades.

Bk XI:1-50 Odysseus invokes the divinities of the underworld.

Bk XI:51-89 Elpenor’s ghost is there.

Bk XI:150-224 Teiresias’ ghost returns there after prophesying.

Bk XI:225-332 Jocaste’s ghost appears to Odysseus from there. She had hung herself.

Bk XI:385-464 Agamemnon is there.

Bk XI:465-540 Achilles admires Odysseus’ descent there.

Bk XI:541-592 Minos is judge there.

Bk XI:593-640 Heracles dragged off the hound of Hell, Cerberus.

Bk XII:1-35 Odysseus returns from there to Circe’s island.

Bk XII:374-453 The Sun-god threatens to go there.

Bk XIV:109-164 The Gates of Hades mentioned.

Bk XV:301-350 Odysseus asks if his parents are there.

Bk XXIII:300-372 Odysseus tells the tale of his visit there.

Bk XXIV:98-204 The Suitors’ ghost arrive there.


An Ithacan prophet, the son of Mastor, friendly to Odysseus.

Bk II:129-176 He prophesied Odysseus’ return after twenty years.

Bk XVII:61-106 Telemachus recognises him as an old friend of Odysseus.

Bk XXIV:412-462 He advises the Ithacans not to attack Odysseus.


A son of Alcinous.

Bk VIII:104-151 He competes in the Games.

Bk VIII:367-415 One of the best dancers.


The ‘Snatchers’, Aellopus and Ocypete, the fair-haired, loathsome, winged daughters of Thaumas and the ocean nymph Electra, who snatched up criminals for punishment by the Furies. They lived in a cave in Cretan Dicte. They plagued Phineus of Salmydessus, the blind prophet, and were chased away by the winged sons of Boreas. An alternative myth has Phineus drive them away to the Strophades where Ovid has Aeneas meet the harpy Aëllo, and Virgil, Celaeno. They are foul-bellied birds with girls’ faces, and clawed hands, and their faces are pale with hunger. (See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Bk VII:1-73 and Bk XIII:705-737. Virgil’s Aeneid III:190-220)

Bk I:213-251 Telemachus imagines the Harpies have snatched Odysseus.

Bk XX:56-119 They snatched away the daughters of Pandareus.


The daughter of Zeus and Hera, and wife of Heracles. Cup-bearer to the gods.

Bk XI:593-640 Mentioned.


The daughter of Leda and Zeus (Tyndareus was her putative father), sister of Clytemnaestra, and the Dioscuri. The wife of Menelaüs. She was taken, by Paris, to Troy, instigating the Trojan War, which she survived.

Bk IV:1-58 Hermione was her only child, by Menelaus.

Bk IV:113-154 Helen, likened to Artemis, sees Telemachus’ resemblance to his father.

Bk IV:155-219 She weeps for the dead Greeks.

Bk IV:220-289 She laces the wine with a beneficial drug, and speaks about Odysseus in disguise at Troy.

Bk IV:290-350 Helen has beds made up for Telemachus and Peisitratus.

Bk IV:548-592 Bk XVII:107-165 Wife of Menelaus.

Bk XI:385-464 Bk XXII:200-240 The cause of so many Greek deaths.

Bk XIV:48-108 Eumaeus wishes she had perished since she was the cause of so many deaths.

Bk XV:56-119 She chooses a gift for Telemachus.

Bk XV:120-182 She prophesies Odysseus’ return.

Bk XXIII:205-246 Penelope claims her as an example of a woman led astray by the gods.


See Hyperion

Bk XXIV:1-56 The Gates of the Sun, on the path to Hades. Perhaps a reference to the Pillars of Hercules, i.e. the gateway to the west.


Greece, perhaps northern Greece. In the Iliad it refers to Achilles’ territory in Thessaly.

Bk I:325-364 Bk IV:721-766 Bk IV:795-847 Odysseus’ fame is widespread there.

Bk XI:465-540 Northern Greece, containing the land of the Myrmidons.

Bk XV:56-119 Menelaus offers to show Telemachus northern Greece.

Hellespont, Dardanelles

The straits that link the Propontis with the Aegean Sea. Named after Helle, and close to the site of Troy. Helle was he daughter of Athamas and Nephele, and sister of Phrixus. Escaping from Ino on the golden ram, she fell into the sea and was drowned, giving her name to the straits.

Bk XXIV:57-97 Achilles’ tomb on a headland jutting into the straits.


The son of Zeus and Hera, and blacksmith of the gods. The husband of Aphrodite.

Bk IV:593-624 Bk XV:56-119 He made the silver bowl that Menelaus gave Telemachus.

Bk VI:198-250 Bk XXIII:141-204 The teacher of clever craftsmen.

Bk VII:78-132 Maker of the gold and silver dogs that magically guard Alcinous’ palace.

Bk VIII:256-366 He snares Ares and his own wife Aphrodite while they are making love. He frees them at Poseidon’s request.

Bk XXIV:57-97 The god of fire. The maker of Achilles’ funeral urn.


The Queen of the Gods, and wife of Zeus.

Bk IV:512-547 She protected Agamemnon, at sea.

Bk VIII:416-468 Bk XV:56-119 Bk XV:120-182 Zeus is her husband.

Bk XI:593-640 Mother of Hebe.

Bk XII:36-110 She helped the Argo pass the Wandering Rocks because of her care for Jason.

Bk XX:56-119 She blessed the daughters of Pandareus with beauty and wisdom.

Heracles, Hercules

The hero, son of Zeus and Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon. Called Alcides from Amphitryon’s father Alceus. Called also Amphitryoniades. Called also Tirynthius from Tiryns his home city in the Argolis. Zeus predicted at his birth that a scion of Perseus would be born, greater than all other descendants. Hera delayed Hercules birth and hastened that of Eurystheus, grandson of Perseus, making Hercules subservient to him. Hercules was set the famous twelve labours by Eurystheus at Hera’s instigation.

Bk VIII:199-255 Noted for his archery.

Bk XI:225-332 His parentage.

Bk XI:593-640 Odysseus meets his ghost in Hades. His labours, including dragging Cerberus the hound out of Hell. His wife was Hebe.

Bk XXI:1-79 He killed Iphitus and stole he mares.


The messenger god, son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, the daughter of Atlas. His birthplace was Mount Cyllene. He had winged feet, and a winged cap, carried a scimitar, and had a magic wand, the caduceus, with twin snakes twined around it, that brought sleep and healing. The caduceus is the symbol of medicine. (See Botticelli’s painting Primavera.) He was summoned by Zeus to lull Argus, the many-eyed monstrous guard of Io, to sleep and killed him.

Bk I:22-43 Sent to warn Aegisthus.

Bk I:44-95 Athene suggests he be sent to Ogygia to tell Calypso that Odysseus must return home.

Bk V:1-42 Bk V:43-91 Bk V:92-147 Zeus sends him to Calypso to tell her that Odysseus must be released from her isle.

Bk V:148-191 Bk V:192-261 He leaves Calypso’s isle.

Bk VII:133-181 The Phaeacians pour libations to him (as god of trade?)

Bk VIII:256-366 He jokes with Apollo at Ares’ and Aphrodite’s predicament.

Bk X:251-301 Bk X:302-347 Called the god ‘of the Golden Wand’. He helps Odysseus by giving him the magic herb, moly.(Moly has been variously identified as ‘wild rue’, wild cyclamen, and a sort of garlic, allium moly. John Gerard’s Herbal of 1633 Ch.100 gives seven plants under this heading, of which the third, Moly Homericum, is he suggests the Moly of Theophrastus, Pliny and Homer – and he describes it as wild garlic.)

Bk XI:593-640 He guided Heracles in Hades.

Bk XII:374-453 He told Calypso about Helios’ complaint to the gods.

Bk XIV:409-456 Eumaeus sets aside a portion of meat and prays to him. (As a god of herdsmen)

Bk XV:301-350 Odysseus invokes him.

Bk XVI:452-481 The Hill of Hermes on Ithaca, implying his worship there.

Bk XIX:361-47 He favours Autolycus.

Bk XXIV:1-56 Bk XXIV:98-204 Cyllenian, from Mount Cyllene. He conducts the ghosts of the Suitors to Hades. He is the Helper or Deliverer, so beneficent.


The daughter of Menelaus and Helen.

Bk IV:1-58 She is said to have Aphrodite’s beauty, and is to be married to Neoptolemus.


Penelope’s maid.

Bk XVIII:158-205 Penelope summons her.


The father of Aeolus, king of the winds.

Bk X:1-55 Mentioned.


A fictitious Cretan.

Bk XIV:165-234 The father of Castor(2).


Somewhere close to Sicily, probably southern Italy, where the Phaeacians lived before migrating to Scherie.

Bk VI:1-47 Mentioned.


Modern Egira in Achaia in Western Greece.

Bk XV:222-270 The home of Polypheides.

Hyperion, Helios

A name used for the sun god, and his father. Created by Eurynome, the Goddess of All Things. Also called Helios.

Bk I:1-21 His cattle eaten by Odysseus’ followers, causing him to take revenge by denying their return home.

Bk I:22-43 The sun sets and rises at the two remote extremities of the Earth, to east and west, inhabited by ‘Ethiopians’.

Bk VIII:256-366 He tells Hephaestus of his wife Aphrodite’s infidelity.

Bk X:133-197 The father of Circe and Aeetes, by Perse.

Bk XI:90-149 His sacred cattle on the island of Thrinacia. Teiresias warns Odysseus not to touch them.

Bk XII:111-164 Circe repeats the warning.

Bk XII:165-200 The heat of the sun.

Bk XII:260-319 Odysseus reaches his island of Thrinacia.

Bk XII:320-373 Bk XIX:220-307 Odysseus’ crew steal his cattle.

Bk XII:374-453 He complains to the gods about the theft of his cattle.

Bk XXIII:300-372 Odysseus tells the tale.


A river in Cydonia (Khania in Crete).

Bk III:253-312 Mentioned.


A Titan.

Bk V:92-147 Loved by Demeter. Killed by her brother Zeus.

Iasus (1)

King of Orchomenus.

Bk XI:225-332 The father of Amphion (2).

Iasus (2)

King of Cyprus, father of Dmetor.

Bk XVII:396-461 Mentioned.

Iasus (3)

The legendary son of Phoroneus. When he died Phoroneus’ sons, Pelasgus, Iasus, and Agenor divided the Peloponnese between them.

Bk XVIII:206-283 Argos is described as Iasian.


The father of Penelope.

Bk I:325-364 Bk XI:385-464 Bk XVI:393-451 Bk XVII:551-606

Bk XVIII:158-205 Bk XVIII:206-283 Bk XVIII:284-339

Bk XIX:361-47 Bk XIX:508-553 Bk XX:345-394 Bk XXI:1-79

Bk XXI:311-358 Bk XXIV:98-204 Mentioned as Penelope’s father.

Bk II:35-84 He has the right to marry her off if Odysseus is dead.

Bk II:129-176 If Penelope remarries, Telemachus must repay the bride price from her marriage to Odysseus.

Bk IV:795-847 The father of Penelope’s sister, Iphthime.


A craftsman.

Bk XIX:53-99 He made Penelope’s inlaid chair.


King of Crete, leader of the Cretan contingent fighting against Troy.

Bk III:148-200 He returned safely from Troy.

Bk XIII:256-310 Odysseus pretends to have killed his son Orsilochus.

Bk XIV:235-292 Odysseus pretends to have been a Cretan who went to Troy with Idomenues.

Bk XIV:360-408 Eumaeus has heard of Odysseus being in Idomeneus’ palace.

Bk XIX:164-219 He was the son of Deucalion.

Ilium, Ilios, Troy

The citadel of Troy, named after Ilus son of Dardanus.

Bk II:1-34 Famous for its horses.

Bk IX:1-62 The citadel destroyed at the end of the TrojanWar.

Bk XI:150-224 Bk XIV:48-108 Bk XVII:290-327 Bk XVIII:206-283

Bk XIX:100-163 Bk XIX:164-219 Bk XXIV:98-204

Odysseus fought there.

Bk XIX:220-307 Bk XIX:554-604 Bk XXIII:1-84 Penelope calls it ‘Ilium the Evil’.


The son of Mermerus.

Bk I:252-305 Odysseus visited him seeking poison for his arrow-heads.

Ino, Leucothoe

The daughter of Cadmus, and wife of Athamas, and sister of Semele and Agave. She fostered the infant Dionysus.She incurred the hatred of Hera, and maddened by the Fury, Tisiphone, and the death of her son Learchus, at the hand of his father, she leapt into the sea, and was changed to the sea-goddess Leucothoë by Poseidon, at Aphrodite’s request.

Bk V:313-387 As Leucothea, she aids Odysseus by lending him her veil.

Bk V:451-493 Odysseus returns her veil.

Iocasta, Jocasta

See Epicaste

Iolcus, Iolchos, Iolciacus

A seaport town in Thessaly from which the Argonauts sailed.

Bk XI:225-332 Pelias was its king.

Iphiclus, Iphicles

King of Phylace.

Bk XI:225-332 Bk XV:222-270 The son of Phylacus. Melampus stole his cattle in order to win Pero for his brother Bias.


The daughter of Triops, seduced by Poseidon.

Bk XI:225-332 The mother of Ephialtes and Otus, the Aloeids. Her ghost appeared to Odysseus.


The son of Eurytus.

Bk XXI:1-79 He gave Odysseus a bow. He was killed by Heracles.


Daughter of Icarius, wife of Eumelus, and sister to Penelope.

Bk IV:795-847 Athene sends a phantom in her likeness to Penelope.


An Ithacan beggar.

Bk XVIII:1-49 He threatens Odysseus.

Bk XVIII:50-116 Bk XVIII:206-283 Bk XVIII:284-339 Bk XVIII:340-393

Odysseus defeats him in a fist-fight.


The wine-growing region of the Thracian coast, north of the island of Samothrace.

Bk IX:1-62 Bk IX:63-104 The Cicones lived there.

Bk IX:193-255 Apollo was its guardian god.


The island home of Odysseus, off the coast of Greece, in the Ionian Sea (to the west of mainland Greece, traditionally accepted as the modern Thiaki).

Bk I:1-21 Bk III:51-101 Bk IV:548-592 Bk IX:1-62

Bk IX:480-525 Bk IX:526-566 Bk X:503-574 Bk XI:1-50

Bk XI:90-149 Bk XI:465-540 Bk XII:320-373 Bk XIV:109-164

Bk XIV:293-359 Bk XVI:1-59 Bk XVIII:1-49 Bk XX:299-344

Bk XXI:245-310 Bk XXII:1-67 Bk XXIII:141-204

Bk XXIV:205-30 Odysseus’ homeland.

Bk I:44-95 Athene proposes to visit Telemachus there.

Bk I:96-155 Bk I:156-212 Athene visits Ithaca disguised as Mentes.

Bk I:213-251 Bk I:365-420 Bk XVI:112-153 Bk XXI:311-358 The island is the power center for the locale, and supports a local aristocracy, and potentially a ‘king’.

Bk II:129-176 Bk XIX:100-163 Called ‘clear-skied’ (clearly-seen).

Bk II:260-295 An island of sea-farers.

Bk III:201-252 Nestor asks if a god has turned its people against Telemachus.

Bk IV:593-624 The island is goat-pasture, with steep cliffs, unsuitable for horses.

Bk IV:625-674 Bk IV:795-847 Bk XV:1-55 The straits between Ithaca and rocky Samos, containing the island of Asteris.

Bk IX:1-62 A problematic statement that Ithaca is low in the sea and furthest west. For a discussion on identification problems see Ernle Bradford’s ‘Ulysses Found’ Appendix II.

Bk XI:150-224 Anticleia’s ghost asks whether Odysseus has yet been home to Ithaca.

Bk XIII:53-95 Bk XIII:96-158 The Phaeacian ship carrying Odysseus reaches the island.

Bk XIII:159-215 Odysseus wakes and fails to recognise the island.

Bk XIII:216-255 A description of the nature of the island. Rugged, unsuitable for horses, rich in crops and vineyards, good goat and cattle pasture, wooded and well-watered.

Bk XIII:256-310 Its name is widely known because of Odysseus.

Bk XIII:311-365 Odysseus fails to recognise the island at first.

Bk XIV:48-108 Bk XVII:204-253 The goat herds grazed on the island.

Bk XIV:165-234 The home of Arceisius’ race.

Bk XV:222-270 Telemachus’ homeland.

Bk XV:403-492 Eumaeus explains how he comes to be on Ithaca.

Bk XV:493-557 Telemachus reaches home.

Bk XVI:213-257 It provides twelve of the hundred and eight Suitors.

Bk XVI:321-39 Telemachus’ ship makes harbour.

Bk XVI:393-451 Antinous has a high reputation on the island.

Bk XIX:361-47 Autolycus once visited the island.

Bk XXI:1-79 The Messenians stole sheep from the island.

Bk XXI:80-135 Penelope is the most beautiful of its women.

Bk XXIV:98-204 Amphimedon had hosted Agamemnon on his visit there.

Bk XXIV:302-355 Laertes anticipates revenge by the men of Ithaca.

Bk XXIV:412-462 The Ithacans gather at the meeting-place.

Bk XXIV:502-54 Athene orders the Ithacans to cease fighting.


A co-builder of the Fountain of the Nymphs on Ithaca.

Bk XVII:204-253 Mentioned.


The son of Zethus and Aedon.

Bk XIX:508-553 Killed accidentally by Aedon.


The son of Aeson, leader of the Argonauts, and hero of the adventure of the Golden Fleece. The fleece is represented in the sky by the constellation and zodiacal sign of Aries, the Ram. In ancient times it contained the point of the vernal equinox (The First Point of Aries) that has since moved by precession into Pisces.

Bk XII:36-110 Hera assisted him.


The kingdom of Sparta, ruled by Menelaus.

Bk III:313-355 Bk XVII:107-165 Mentioned.

Bk IV:1-58 Telemachus and Peisistratus arrive there. It is hilly country pierced by valleys.

Bk IV:290-350 Described as pleasant, lovely, a region of horse pastures.

Bk IV:675-720 Telemachus travels back from there.

Bk XIII:366-415 Bk XIII:416-440 Athene proposes to summon Telemachus home from there.

Bk XV:1-55 Athene travels there to prompt Telemachus to return home.

Bk XXI:1-79 Visited by Odysseus as a youth, when he met Iphitus.


The goldsmith in Pylos.

Bk III:404-463 He gilds the horns of the sacrifical heifer.


The father of Odysseus, and son of Arceisius.

Bk I:156-212 He is living a rural existence on Ithaca, in self-imposed exile from the royal palace.

Bk I:421-444 He purchased Eurycleia as a slave, but honoured her in the palace.

Bk II:85-128 Bk XIX:100-163 Bk XXIV:98-204 Penelope weaves a shroud for him.

Bk IV:59-112 Menelaus imagines he must be grieving for Odysseus.

Bk IV:548-592 Bk V:192-261 Bk VIII:1-61 Bk IX:1-62

Bk IX:480-525 Bk IX:526-566 Bk X:400-448 Bk X:449-502

Bk X:503-574 Bk XI:51-89 Bk XI:90-149 Bk XI:385-464

Bk XI:465-540 Bk XI:593-640 Bk XII:374-453 Bk XIII:366-415

Bk XIV:457-506 Bk XVI:60-111 Bk XVI:154-212 Bk XVI:452-481

Bk XVII:107-165 Bk XVII:328-395 Bk XVIII:1-49

Bk XVIII:340-393 Bk XIX:164-219 Bk XIX:220-307

Bk XIX:308-360 Bk XIX:554-604 Bk XX:240-298

Bk XXI:245-310 Bk XXII:160-199 The father of Odysseus.

Bk IV:721-766 Penelope sends Dolius to him.

Bk XI:150-224 The ghost of Anticleia, his wife, describes his sad life on Ithaca.

Bk XIV:1-47 Eumaeus built his hut and yard without Laertes knowledge.

Bk XIV:165-234 Like Eumaeus he desires Odysseus’ return.

Bk XIV:409-456 Eumaeus has purchased a slave without his knowledge.

Bk XV:351-40 Eumaeus speaks about him.

Bk XV:403-492 His wealth originally purchased Eumaeus.

Bk XVI:112-153 He is an only son with an only son. He is grieving for Odysseus, and for Telemachus’ absence.

Bk XVI:258-320 Telemachus is not to tell him about Odysseus’ return.

Bk XXII:160-199 His old shield stored away among the weapons.

Bk XXII:310-377 His sacrifices to Zeus at the great altar in the courtyard.

Bk XXIII:300-372 Odysseus decides to head for the farm to see him.

Bk XXIV:205-30 Odysseus tests his ability to recognise his own son.

Bk XXIV:302-355 Odysseus reveals himself to him.

Bk XXIV:356-411 His Sicilian maid bathes him.

Bk XXIV:463-501 He dons armour to fight for Odysseus.

Bk XXIV:502-54 He is delighted by his son’s and grandson’s courage.


A race of giant cannibals.

Bk X:56-102 Odysseus reaches their harbour.

Bk X:103-132 Antiphates their chief attacks Odysseus’ men.

Bk X:198-250 Odysseus’ men remember their savagery.

Bk XXIII:300-372 Odysseus tells the tale.

Lampetia, Lampetie

A nymph. Daughter of Hyperion and Neaera.

Bk XII:111-164 A shepherdess of Hyperion’s herds.

Bk XII:374-453 She tells Hyperion about the theft of his cattle.


One of the horses that pulls Dawn’s chariot.

Bk XXIII:205-246 Held back by Athene.


An ancient king of the Laestrygonians.

Bk X:56-102 His citadel.


Son of Alcinous.

Bk VII:133-181 Described as ‘kindly’: Alcinous’ favourite son.

Bk VIII:104-151 Bk VIII:152-198 Bk VIII:199-255 The finest of the Phaeacians. He competes in the Games, wins the boxing contest, and challenges Odysseus to compete also. He is Odysseus’ host at the Games.

Bk VIII:367-415 He is a fine dancer.


An ancient people of south western Thessaly. The marriage of Peirithoüs and Hippodameia was disrupted by Eurytion one of the Centaurs invited to the feast, leading to the battle between the Lapiths and Centaurs. (See the sculpture from the west pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia – e.g. the detail, Lapith Woman and Centaur)

Bk XXI:245-310 The battle between Lapiths and Centaurs.


The daughter of Thestius and wife of the Spartan king Tyndareus. She had twin sons Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux), the Tyndaridae, following her rape by Zeus in the form of a swan. Castor and Pollux are represented in the sky by the two bright stars in the constellation of Gemini, the Twins. They were the protectors of mariners appearing in the rigging as the electrical phenomenon now known as St Elmo’s fire. Gemini contains the radiant of the Geminid meteor shower. (See the painting Leda, by Gustave Moreau in the Gustave Moreau Museum Paris)

Bk XI:225-332 Her ghost appears to Odysseus.


The northern Aegean island. The home of Hephaestus the blacksmith of the gods.

Bk VIII:256-366 Hephaestus journeys there.


A Suitor, the son of Evenor.

Bk XXII:241-309 Wounded by Telemachus.


A Suitor. The son of Oenops.

Bk XXI:136-185 He attempts to string Odysseus’ bow.

Bk XXII:310-377 He is killed by Odysseus.


The island (modern Lesvos) in the eastern Aegean off the west coast of Turkey. Among its cities were Mytilene and Methymna. Famous as the home of Sappho the poetess, whose love of women gave rise to the term lesbian.

Bk III:148-200 Passed by Nestor’s fleet during its return from Troy.

Bk IV:290-350 Bk XVII:107-165 Odysseus’ wrestling match witnessed by Menelaus there. Called ‘well-ordered’ Lesbos.


Daughter of the Titan Coeus, and mother of Apollo and Artemis by Zeus. Pursued by a jealous Hera, she was given sanctuary by Delos, a floating island. There between an olive tree and a date-palm she gave birth to Apollo and Artemis, by Mount Cynthus. Delos became fixed. A variant has Artemis born on the nearby islet of Ortygia.

Bk VI:48-109 The mother of Artemis, proud of her daughter’s beauty.

Bk XI:225-332 The mother of Apollo.

Bk XI:541-592 Tityos attempted to rape her at Delphi.

Leucothoe, Leucothea

See Ino

The White Goddess, the sea-goddess into whom Ino was changed. She is a manifestation of the Great Goddess in her archetypal form. (See Robert Graves’s ‘The White Goddess’)

Bk V:313-387 She aids Odysseus.


The country in North Africa.

Bk IV:59-112 Visited by Menelaus in his wanderings.

Bk XIV:293-359 Odysseus pretends to have visited there.


A people who live on the fruit of the ‘lotus’. Based on the sailing time, Ernle Bradford speculates that they lived on the island of Jerba, off the coast of Libya (See ‘Ulysses Found’ chapter 5). The ‘lotus’ itself was possibly cordia myxa, which has a sloe-like fruit. The current inhabitants are Berbers, a possible source of the Greek word ‘Barbaros’ for a barbarian, one whose language was unintelligible.

Bk IX:63-104 Odysseus rescues his men from their lotus-induced lethargy.

Bk XXIII:300-372 Odysseus tells the tale.


A heroine who served Artemis and was killed for her unchastity.

Bk XI:225-332 Her ghost appeared to Odysseus.


A daughter of Atlas, a Pleiad, and mother of Hermes by Zeus.

Bk XIV:409-456 Hermes’ mother.


Cape Malea, the southeastern tip of Lakonia in the southern Peloponnese.

Bk III:253-312 Menelaus’ fleet meets with a gale there.

Bk IV:512-547 Agamemnon’s ship is carried from there towards the Argolis.

Bk IX:63-104 Odysseus is driven south past the nearby island of Cythera and away from his homeward route to the west.

Bk XIX:164-219 Odysseus was supposedly blown off course here, to Crete on his way to Troy.


The son of Melampus, father of Polypheides, and grandfather of Theoclymenus.

Bk XV:222-270 Mentioned.


A town and plain on the east coast of Attica. Site of the famous Greek victory in the war against Persia (490BC).

Bk VII:78-132 Athene passes it on her way to Athens (south-west of Marathon).


A priest of Apollo at Ismarus.

Bk IX:193-255 He gave Odysseus gifts and wine in return for protection.


The father of Halitherses.

Bk II:129-176 Bk XXIV:412-462 Mentioned.


A herald in Odysseus’ palace, sympathetic to Penelope.

Bk IV:675-720 He tells Penelope that Telemachus has gone to Pylos.

Bk XVI:213-257 Mentioned by Telemachus.

Bk XVI:393-451 He had warned Penelope of the Suitors’ plot.

Bk XVII:166-203 He calls the Suitors to dinner. He is the most popular of the heralds.

Bk XXII:310-377 Spared by Telemachus.

Bk XXIV:412-462 he speaks to the Ithacans.


The son of Menelaus by a slave woman.

Bk IV:1-58 He is betrothed to Alector’s daughter.

Bk XV:56-119 He helps Menelaus choose gifts for Telemachus.

Bk XV:120-182 He presents his gift to Telemachus.


The eldest daughter of King Creon of Thebes.

Bk XI:225-332 Heracles married her, after defeating the Minyan assault on Thebes. Her children by him were the Alcaids. Her ghost appears to Odysseus.


The Minyan seer, grandon of Cretheus, who lived at Pylus in Messene. The first mortal to be granted prophetic powers, and practice as a physician.

Bk XI:225-332 Bk XV:222-270 He stole the cattle of Iphiclus, to help his brother Bias win the hand of Pero. Theoclymenus is his descendant.


The father of Amphimedon.

Bk XXIV:98-204 Mentioned.


A hostile goat-herd, the son of Dolius.

Bk XVII:204-253 Bk XX:172-239 He abuses Odysseus.

Bk XVII:254-289 He sits among the Suitors.

Bk XVII:328-395 He associates Odysseus with Eumaeus.

Bk XX:240-298 He serves at the feast.

Bk XXI:245-310 Appointed to bring the best she-goats for the feast.

Bk XXII:116-159 He raids the storeroom to bring the Suitors weapons.

Bk XXII:160-199 He is captured by Eumaeus and Philoetius.

Bk XXII:200-240 He is left hanging, tied up in the storeroom.

Bk XXII:433-501 He is mutilated.


A treacherous maidservant, the daughter of Dolius. Eurymachus’ lover.

Bk XVIII:284-339 Bk XIX:53-99 She abuses Odysseus.


The son of the Dawn, who fought for Troy in the Trojan War with Greece.

Bk IV:155-219 He killed Antilochus, Nestor’s son.

Bk XI:465-540 His great beauty, compared to Neoptolemus’.


King of Sparta. The younger son of Atreus, brother of Agamemnon, hence called Atrides minor. Paris’s theft of his wife Helen instigated the Trojan War.

Bk I:252-305 Athene suggests Telemachus visit him to seek news of his father.

Bk III:102-147 Quarreled with Agamemnon, recommending a speedy return from Troy.

Bk III:148-200 His ships joined Nestor’s during the return from Troy.

Bk III:201-252 Telemachus asks about Menelaus’ return from Troy.

Bk III:253-312 Menelaus returned safely by way of Crete and Egypt.

Bk III:313-355 Nestor advises Telemachus to visit him. Described as ‘yellow-haired’.

Bk IV:1-58 Bk XVII:107-165 Telemachus arrives at his palace, and Menelaus offers hospitality.

Bk IV:59-112 His wanderings. He grieves for Odysseus.

Bk IV:113-154 He recognises Telemachus must be Odysseus’s son once Helen has acknowledged the resemblance.

Bk IV:155-219 He attests his love for Odysseus.

Bk IV:220-289 He speaks about the Wooden Horse.

Bk IV:290-350 He promises to tell Telemachus all he knows of Odysseus.

Bk IV:398-463 He captured Proteus.

Bk IV:464-511 Proteus advises him that he must return to Egypt before sailing home and relates the fate of Ajax the Lesser.

Bk IV:548-592 Proteus tells Menelaus of his fate.

Bk IV:593-624 Telemachus seeks to leave Sparta. He gives him gifts.

Bk VIII:469-520 He and Odysseus attacked Deiphobus’ house at the fall of Troy.

Bk XI:385-464 King of Sparta. Agamemnon’s ghost mentions him.

Bk XIII:366-415 Bk XIII:416-440 Athene goes to seek Telemachus at his palace.

Bk XIV:457-506 Odysseus invents a tale of himself and Menelaus at Troy.

Bk XV:1-55 Athene finds Telemachus in Menelaus’ palace.

Bk XV:56-119 Bk XV:120-182 Bk XV:183-221 He chooses gifts for Telemachus and sees him off.

Bk XVII:61-106 Peiraeus is custodian of his gifts to Telemachus.

Bk XXIV:98-204 He visited Ithaca with Agamemnon.


The son of Opus, and father of Patroclus.

Bk XXIV:57-97 Mentioned.


King of the Taphians, a friend of Odysseus.

Bk I:96-155 Bk I:156-212 Bk I:365-420 Athene disguises herself as him to visit Telemachus.


An Ithacan friend of Odysseus, whom Odysseus left in charge of his house when leaving for Troy.

Bk II:223-259 He supports Telemachus in the assembly.

Bk II:260-295 Bk II:382-434 Bk III:1-50 Athene assumes his form to aid Telemachus.

Bk III:201-252 Athene still assumes his form at Nestor’s court.

Bk IV:625-674 Noemon is confused by Mentor’s presence in two places at once.

Bk XVII:61-106 Telemachus recognises him as an old friend of Odysseus.

Bk XXII:200-240 Bk XXII:241-309 Athene assumes his form to help Odysseus. He is the son of Alcimus.

Bk XXIV:412-462 Medon claims to have recognised Athene in disguise.

Bk XXIV:502-54 Disguised as Mentor, Athene makes peace.


The father of Ilus.

Bk I:252-305 Mentioned.


A slave belonging to Eumaeus.

Bk XIV:409-456 Purchased from the Taphians.


A region of south-western Greece.

Bk XXI:1-79 Odysseus met Iphitus there.


The large peninsula on the west coast of Turkey opposite Chios.

Bk III:148-200 A possible route for Nestor’s ships, but rejected.


King of Crete. A son of Zeus.

Bk XI:225-332 Father of Ariadne.

Bk XI:541-592 Zeus made him a judge of the dead in the Underworld.

Bk XVII:505-550 The Cretans are his descendants.

Bk XIX:164-219 Her ruled Crete from Cnossus, and Homer implies sone kind of nine-year cycle associated with divine kingship.


Squire to Amphinomus of Dulichium.

Bk XVIII:394-428 He mixes wine for the Suitors.


The daughter of Mnemosyne, goddess of Memory, and Zeus. Patroness of poetry and literature.

Bk I:1-21 Invoked by Homer.

Bk VIII:62-103 She loves and inspires the bard Demodocus. She robbed him of sight but gave him the gift of song.

Bk VIII:469-520 The daughter of Zeus.

Bk XXIV:57-97 Here the Muse is both one and nine-fold. The nine Muses sing the dirge for the dead Achilles.


The royal city in the Argolis, near the cities of Argos and Tiryns. Excavated by Schliemann who opened the beehive tombs of the royal tomb circle. Famous for its Lion Gate once topped perhaps by a statue of the Cretan Great Goddess.

Bk III:253-312 Ruled by King Agamemnon. Aegisthus usurped the throne after murdering Agamamenon, but was in turn killed by Orestes.

Bk XXI:80-135 A major city of Achaea, noted for its women.


An ancient heroine.

Bk II:85-128 A famous woman of early Greece.


The Myrmidons, a race of men led by Achilles to the war against Troy. The name presumably derived from the Greek word for ant, μύρμηξ. In later mythology said to be a race created from ants.

Bk III:148-200 They returned safely from Troy.

Bk IV:1-58 Ruled by Achilles’ son Neoptolemus after the Trojan war.

Bk XI:465-540 Once ruled by Peleus, then his son Achilles.


The father of Euryalus.

Bk VIII:104-151 Said to be the finest of the Phaeacians after Laodamas.


Daughter of Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians, and Arete his wife.

Bk VI:1-47 Athene prompts her to go and wash clothes by the shore.

Bk VI:48-109 She goes to the river and shore.

Bk VI:110-148 Bk VI:149-197 Bk VII:240-297 She meets Odysseus.

Bk VI:198-250 She offers Odysseus hospitality.

Bk VI:251-315 She gives Odysseus directions.

Bk VII:1-77 She reaches the palace. Her maidservant Eurymedusa.

Bk VIII:416-468 She hopes Odysseus will remember her for saving his life.


The father of Alcinous, who led the Phaeacians to Scherie.

Bk VI:1-47 Mentioned.

Bk VII:1-77 The son of Poseidon and Periboea. Founder of Alcinous’ line.

Bk VIII:521-585 His tale of Poseidon’s anger with the Phaeacians, and his prediction.


A Phaeacian.

Bk VIII:104-151 He competes in the Games.


The mother of the nymphs Phaethusa and Lampetia by the Sun-god.

Bk XII:111-164 She sent them to guard his flocks.

Neion, MountNerithon

A prominent peak on Ithaca.

Bk I:156-212 Bk III:51-101 Mentioned.


King of Pylos, son of Poseidon and the nymph Tyro. Father of Nestor, and his eleven brothers including Periclymenus.

Bk III:1-50 Bk III:51-101 Bk III:201-252 Mentioned as father of Nestor.

Bk III:404-463 Bk IV:625-674 Once the king of Pylos.

Bk XI:225-332 Neleus drove the Lelegians out of Pylos and became its king.

Bk XV:222-270 Melampus won Neleus’ daughter Pero for his brother Bias.

Neoptolemus (Pyrrhus)

The son of Achilles.

Bk IV:1-58 He married Hermione.

Bk XI:465-540 His presence at Troy. Praised by Odysseus to his father Achilles’ ghost. Andromache was his ‘noble prize’.


A citadel on the coast of mainland Greece.

Bk XXIV:356-411 Taken by Laertes.


A mountain on Ithaca.

Bk IX:1-62 Mentioned by Odysseus.

Bk XIII:311-365 Athene points it out to Odysseus.


A co-builder of the Fountain of the Nymphs on Ithaca.

Bk XVII:204-253 Mentioned.


King of Pylos, and son of Neleus. Noted in the Iliad for his wisdom and eloquence.

Bk I:252-305 Athene suggests Telemachus visit him to seek news of his father.

Bk III:1-50 Called ‘the tamer of horses’, noted for his wisdom and honesty. Athene advises Telemachus to approach him directly.

Bk III:51-101 Called Gerenian, from Gerenia. The grandson of Poseidon to whom Athene, as Mentor, purports to pray, for his and his sons’ glory.

Bk III:102-147 He describes the Atreides quarrel.

Bk III:201-252 He answers Telemachus.

Bk III:313-355 Bk XVII:107-165 He advises Telemachus to seek out Menelaus. He displays his hospitality.

Bk III:356-403 He recognises Athene’s presence, and offers prayers to her.

Bk III:404-463 He sacrifices to Athene.

Bk III:464-497 His youngest daughter Polycaste.

Bk IV:59-112 Bk IV:155-219 Bk XV:1-55 Bk XV:120-182 His son Peisistratus.

Bk IV:464-511 He initially sailed home with Menelaus, but their ships were separated.

Bk XI:225-332 The son of Neleus and Chloris.

Bk XI:465-540 Famous for his eloquence and wisdom.


The father of Amphinomus.

Bk XVI:393-451 Bk XVIII:117-157 Bk XVIII:394-428 Mentioned. A nobleman with a reputation for good sense and peaceful ways.


The son of Phronius, an Ithacan.

Bk II:382-434 He provides a ship for Athene and Telemachus.

Bk IV:625-674 He reveals Telemachus journey to the Suitors, and is puzzled by Mentor’s presence in two places at once.


Lesser female divinities of streams, water, hills, trees etc.

Bk VI:48-109 Followers of Artemis.

Bk IX:152-192 Daughters of Zeus.

Bk XII:260-319 Their cave and dancing place on Thrinacia.

Bk XIII:96-158 Bk XIII:311-365 The Naiads, or sea-nymphs. Their cave on Ithaca. (Note the later use of the imagery here in a Neo-Platonic symbolic context, e.g. Plotinus, Blake)

Bk XIV:409-456 Eumaeus sets aside a portion of meat and prays to them.

Bk XVII:204-253 The Fountain of the Nymphs on Ithaca.