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Useful weblinks: Return from Troy - Episode 8

Interactive map

Interactive map showing Odysseus’ journey, including Helios and Calypso

Odysseus and the sun god

This is a good summary of the story, including quotes from the Odyssey. Encourage the students to think about the situation Odysseus’ men are in. Do they understand why they ate the cattle or should they have listened to Odysseus’ advice? Is Odysseus to blame at all here?

Images of the sun god

These vase paintings depicting Helios, the sun god in his chariot. He was thought to have driven the chariot of the sun across the sky, explaining the rising and setting of the sun. There are more details about Helios here:, including picture of the ‘Head of Helios’, found in the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. Discuss with the students how they would portray Helios.

More information on Helios, including other myths surrounding him.  

Helios is also mentioned in the Homeric Hymns. (For an explanation of what the Homeric Hymns are see here:

This is Hymn number 31: How does the description of Helios here compare to the images you have seen?

The Cattle of the sun-god

20th century image of the cattle of the sun-god inspired by the Odyssey. Collage by Romare Bearden. There is also an audio-description of the inspiration for the collage as well as details about it.

Odysseus shipwrecked

The image on this Oinochoe (wine jug) dating from c. 725 BC is thought perhaps to show Odysseus, the sole survivor of the shipwreck. Encourage your students to discuss how Odysseus must be feeling at this point in his journey? What emotions might he be experiencing?


Here is some information on the nymph Calypso.

In 1997 a version of the Odyssey was shown in the USA, with Vanessa Williams cast as Calypso. These pictures are of her in the role:, Ask your students to discuss the character of Calypso and decide who they might choose to play her in a modern day version of the Odyssey.  


Xenia, or guest-friendship, was an important concept in Homer’s world. There is an explanation of xenia (as well as other terms related to the Odyssey) here: 

Think about Calypso’s treatment of Odysseus. Is she behaving as a good host, employing the rules of xenia, in her behaviour?  Encourage students to think about xenia and other characters they have met so far - Alcinous, Cyclops, Circe etc. Do Odysseus and his men always behave correctly?

There is an interesting comparison of Circe and Calypso, and their hospitality, here: