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Useful weblinks: Return From Troy, Episode 6

A Prince Among the Dead
ODYSSEY MAP: The Land of the Dead
    Map showing the latest stage of Odysseus' voyage: to the Land of the Dead. 
In Homer's Odyssey the directions to the Underworld, also known as Hades, are not entirely clear, although Odysseus apparently sails to the north-west into a part of the world where there is perpetual darkness and mist, crossing the Ocean which the Greeks thought encircled the known lands and landing on a shore that is the edge of Hades (although usually Hades was thought of by the ancient Greeks as lying beneath the ground - and hence our term Underworld).
Map of the Underworld
    Take a look at this map that shows the layout of the Underworld as explained by later ancient writers. 
It includes Homer's description (not in our account) of Odysseus' short trek from Ocean's shore where he landed to a rock by two rivers where he dug the sacrificial pit and encountered the Dead.
The Underworld 
Click for more links and information...
Odysseus in the Underworld 1
    Odysseus and his comrades pour an offering of milk and honey into the pit they've dug in preparation for sacrificing the black sheep. 
Illustration by Stuart Robertson, 2000.
Odysseus in the Underworld 1.5
    The ghosts crowd around Odysseus... 
Illustration by A.& M. Provensen, 1956.
Odysseus in the Underworld 2
    The ghosts crowd around Odysseus... 
Illustration from Marvel Illustrated comic-version of the Odyssey from 2008.
Odysseus in the Underworld 3
    Odysseus draws his sword to keep the dead spirits back from the pool of blood until Tiresias has been to drink. 
Illustration by Alan Lee.
Odysseus in the Underworld 4
    In fact, in the original version of the Odyssey by Homer, the first ghost to approach and speak to Odysseus is Elpenor, a crew member who had died a few days previously by falling off the roof of Circe's palace. 
This painting from a Greek vase, dating to c.440 BC, shows Elpenor rising from Hades to speak to a thoughtful Odysseus, whose sword is drawn and whose sacrifice of sheep lie at his side. 
By the Lykaon Painter; now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Odysseus in the Underworld 5
    The ghost of the great Greek warrior, Achilles, approaches Odysseus. 
Illustration by Christina Balit, 2006.
Achilles 520 BC
    He's the one on the left having a game of dice with his friend Ajax. 
Greek vase, now in the Vatican Museum.
Achilles 2004 AD
    Oh yes... it's Brad Pitt!
Death of Achilles 
So how did the greatest Greek warrior die? Was it from a dodgy heart or dodgy heel...? Click to discover...
Source for the above section
> Homer, Odyssey, Books 10-11.

The Vision of a Blind Man
    His complicated and ... urrr... "interesting" life-story told with a light touch.
Tiresias Appears
    Art by H.J.Fuseli, c.1785.
Tiresias Drinks
    Startling image of the old, blind prophet drinking from the pool of blood while Odysseus and comrades look on. 
This and the next illustrations by Christina Balit, 2006.
Tiresias Speaks
    ...warning Odysseus of future events... and Odysseus falls into the pool of blood on seeing...
Odysseus' Mother Appears
    Illustration by Peter Connolly.
Source for the above section
> Homer, Odyssey, Books 10-11.

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