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Useful weblinks: Return From Troy, Episode 4

The Greatest Gift
ODYSSEY MAP: Aeolus, Keeper of the Winds
    Map showing the latest stage of Odysseus' voyage: from the land of the Cyclops (often identified with Sicily) to the Island of Aeolus, Keeper of the Winds (often identified with the Aeolian Islands, off the north coast of Sicily).
The Aeolian Islands
    This group of islands, once settled by ancient Greeks, have long been associated with Aeolus, the mythical Keeper of the Winds, and bear his name.
Floating Island surrounded with Wall of Bronze set on sheer Stone 1
    You can well imagine that this little island, within the Aeolian island group, could fire the imagination of a "floating island surrounded by a wall of indestructible bronze set on sheer stone" (Homer, Odyssey 10.5).
Floating Island surrounded with Wall of Bronze set on sheer Stone 2
    Illustration by Christina Balit, 2004
King Aeolus
    Regal depiction by Alan Lee (1995) of the Keeper of the Winds.
Aeolus gives Odysseus the Bag of Winds: ancient
    Plaster impression of an ancient gemstone ring, its whereabouts now a mystery.
Aeolus gives Odysseus the Bag of Winds: modern
    Illustration from 1956 by A. & M. Provensen.
The idea that Poseidon had stolen the winds from Zeus and hidden them in the sack which he gave to Aeolus for safekeeping is new to our story to circumvent the question as to who exactly is the boss of the sky, storms, winds etc - Zeus or Aeolus?

Source for the above section
> Homer, Odyssey, Book 10.

Sight of Home
Ithaca - so near yet so far...
    The real Greek island of Ithaca.
Ooops - the Bag of Winds is opened...
    Illustration by Christina Balit, 2004.
ODYSSEY MAP: To Ithaca and back to Aeolus again
    ... and back they go! 
You've got to feel for the guy!

Source for the above section
> Homer, Odyssey, Book 10.
The Laestrygonians: another fantastical adventure
    Our version of the Odyssey skips over Odysseus' encounter with the Laestrygonians - a race of giant cannibals - which Homer recounts in Odyssey Book 10.80-132. Unlike with the Cyclops, Odysseus stays behind in his boat as scouts are sent out. Soon, the man-eating giants are killing his men in the harbour by throwing rocks and spears... and only Odysseus' boat (out of the 12 that set sail from Troy) survives to sail on.
The image shows a Roman wall-painting (50BC-1BC) depicting in the only known ancient representation of this scene the Laestryongians attacking Odysseus' ships in the harbour; from a now demolished Roman house on the Esquiline Hill in Rome and now in the Vatican Museum.
ODYSSEY MAP: The Land of the Laestrygonians
    The Land of the Laestrygonians is sometimes identified with the southern coast of Corsica (see link below) although Homer states that it never gets dark there, so implying that the land should be located much further north.
Where's the Land of the Laestrygonians?
    Their land is sometimes identified with the coast of Corsica around modern Bonafacio, not least because of the imposingly steep cliffs.

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