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The places of Homer's literary tale

Well included in the IWB register of the Sicily Region (The Places of the literary, cinematographic, television story) - Sector "The Places of Homer's literary tale".

  • (Odyssey - XII)  Scilla and Cariddi (Strait of Messina)
  • (Odyssey - X)  Aeolian Islands (prov. Messina)
  • (Odyssey - IX) Archipelago of the Cyclops (Acitrezza, Catania)

Homer is the name with which the Greek poet, author of theIliad and Odyssey, the two greatest epic poems of Greek literature.

Scilla and Cariddi, Strait of Messina

From 'Homer's Odyssey (book XII):  

The other rock, the lower you will see it, Odysseus, / close to each other, / from one you could hit the other with an arrow. / On this there is a large fig, rich in leaves; / and under Charybdis gloriously livid water absorbs. / Three times a day he vomits it and three times he reabsorbs it / fearfully. Ah, may you not be there when it reabsorbs.

Aeolian Islands, Aeolian Archipelago

In 'Homer's Odyssey (book X, vv 1-25), it is said that the Aeolian Islands hosted Ulysses after the Trojan war. It is said that Aeolus hosted him and gave him a leather wineskin inside which the winds against navigation were locked up. Legend has it that, during the journey, Ulysses made only the sweet Zephyr blow but while he slept, his companions, believing that the bottle was full of treasures, opened it, releasing the winds that unleashed a terrible storm from which he was saved. only the ship of Ulysses.

“And we came to the Aeolian island. Here he lived Aeolus, dear to the gods, son of Hippota. The island wandered swimming. A wall surrounds it bronze; and smooth rises a cliff. Twelve children with him in the palace lived. The fragrant house echoes to the sound of flutes until the day fades; Then when he left, I asked him to leave he did not refuse, but took my trip to heart; stripped a nine-year-old ox of the hidehe made a wineskin, and closed it inside winds howling the streets: he had a keeper of the winds made the chronicle, and could keep them quiet or incite them at will. In the concave ship with a shiny rope, silvery, the skinskin bound, so that outside not even a breath came out; but only the breath of Zephyr set free for me may the benign ship push for us ”.

Archipelago of the Cyclops

From 'Homer's Odyssey (book IX):  

“You people now wait for me, my dear companions; I with my ship and my crew will go to explore these people, who they are, if they are violent, savage, without justice, or lovers of guests and have a pious mind towards the gods >>.

Having said that, I boarded the ship and ordered my comrades to get on in turn and untie the rope. Immediately they went up and sat on the benches, and in a seated row they beat the foamy sea with their oars. Therefore, when we reached the neighboring land, here on the extreme point we saw a cave, on the sea, sublime, shaded by laurels; and here many flocks, sheep and goats, had stable; around a tall fence ran, made of stone blocks, and long pine logs, and tall oaks. Here a man had a lair, a monster, who grazed flocks, alone, on the sidelines, and did not mix with others, but only lived, had an unjust soul.

It was a giant monster; and he did not resemble a man who eats bread, but a wild peak of lofty mountains, which appears isolated from the others. Then I ordered my faithful companions to stay on the ship, to keep watch over the ship; and I, chosen among them the twelve bravest, I went, but I had a goat skin, of black wine,
[...]
A large wineskin full of this and the food in a basket; because my proud heart immediately felt that we would find a man dressed in mighty vigor, savage, ignorant of justice and laws. We quickly arrived at the cave, but we did not find it inside; he grazed fat sheep in the pastures. We entered the cave and observed everything; from the weight of the cheeses the racks bent; there were fences for the lambs and kids, and apart from each age there was closed, apart from the first born, apart from the latter, apart from the piglets; all the mugs overflowed with whey, and the buckets and jars in which he milked. 

Immediately then they pleaded with me in words classmatesthat, having stolen the cheeses, we would go back; that in a hurry, to the agile ship, the lambs and kids pushing out of the enclosures, we revive the waters of the sea; but I didn't want to listen - and it would have been much better - to see him in person, if he gave me hospitable gifts

Ah! his appearance to his companions must not have been pleasant. There, having lit the fire, we made offerings, and we too took and ate cheeses, and we waited for him inside, sitting, until he came grazing; he carried a heavy load of dry wood for his supper. And throwing it into the cave produced a rumble: we frightened jumped to the bottom of the cave.
Him in the large cave he pushed the fat sheep, all of them he had to milk; but he left the males out, rams, goats, out in the high fence. Then, lifting it, he adjusted an enormous, heavy boulder that closed the door: I say that twenty-two good four-wheeled wagons would not have moved it from the ground, this immense rock, steep, started to close the door.
Sitting, then, he milked the bleating sheep and goats, each in order, and chased the piglet under them all. And immediately he curdled half of the white milk,
and, congealed, he put it in the woven baskets; he kept half in mugs, to have some to take and drink, to serve as his supper. As quickly his work had done, then he lit the fire and saw us and said to us: <Foreigners, who are you? and where do you navigate the water paths? perhaps for some trade, or do you go wandering like this, aimlessly on the sea, like the marauders, who err by playing their life, give to others by bringing? >> So he said, and our dear heart was broken by the fear of that heavy voice and that horrid monster. But even so, I answered him a word, I said to him: < We pride ourselves on the warriors of Agamemnon Atris, whose greatest fame is now under the sky, that city has destroyed and annihilated innumerable warriors. And now we come to your knees
suppliant, if you gave us a hospitable gift, or otherwise you gave us something; this is the norm for guests. Respect, excellent, the gods; we are your supplicants. And Zeus is the avenger of foreigners and supplicants, a hospitable Zeus, whom venerable guests accompany >>. So I said; and immediately replied with a merciless heart: <
neither you, nor my companions, if my heart doesn't want. But tell me where you left the ship well built, whether down there at the bottom of the island or near, that I know >>. So he said tempting me, but it didn't escape me, because I am aware. And answering him I said with false words: <Poseidon broke my ship enosίctono, against the rocks by chasing it, at the edge of your country; right on the promontory: the offshore wind pushed. I alone escaped with these the abyss of death >>. So I said: nothing answered in his merciless heart, but with a leap on my companions he threw his hands
and, grabbing two of them, like puppies on the ground, he slammed them, ran out the brain and bathed the earth. And tear them into pieces, dinner was being prepared;
he smashed them like a mountain lion; he left behind no entrails, no flesh, no bones or marrow. And we weeping to Zeus stretched out our arms seeing terrible things: we felt helpless.
When the Cyclops had filled his great belly, human flesh by eating and pure milk by drinking, he stretched out in the cave, lying among the sheep. And I thought in my magnanimous heart
to approach and, drawing the sword pointed by the thigh, plant it in the chest, where the liver sticks to the diaphragm, groping; but another thought held me back. In fact, we too were dying a terrible death there: we certainly could not move the enormous rock that had leaned against it from the high opening with the strength of our arms. 

So then moaning we waited for the bright Dawn. As, daughter of light, the Dawn shone pink fingers, lit the fire again; he armed the beautiful sheep, all in order, and hunted the piglet under them all. Then, when his work was done quickly, again, grabbing two men, he prepared his meal. Having eaten, he pushed the fat sheep out of the cave, effortlessly removing the enormous boulder: but immediately he put it back on, as if he were replacing the lid on the quiver, and with a long whistle the Cyclops turned the fat sheep to the mountain; and I remained to meditate vengeance in my heart,
if I could have punished him, Athena had given me that boast. And this in my soul seemed the best plan: there was a large monster's rod, near one of the enclosures, a green olive trunk: he must have cut it to bring it dry; we judged it, to see it, as big as the mast of a black ship, with twenty shoals, of a large ship, cargo, which plows through the infinite abyss, so long was it, so big was it to see it. I went up and cut off as much as two arms, and gave it to my companions, and commanded them to rough it up. They made it smooth; then I began to point it out
at the tip, then I took it, made it harden in the flame, and hid it well, covering it under the manure, which was scattered in great abundance throughout the cave. Then I wanted the others to cast lots,
who would have dared with me, lifting that pole, turn it in the eye, when sweet sleep had taken it. They cast lots for those that I would have chosen, four: and fifth with them I counted myself. In the evening he came back, grazing the sheep, and immediately pushed the fat sheep into the vast cave, all of them: he did not leave them in the open in the deep courtyard, or for some plan of his own, or perhaps a god so desired. So, after lifting it up, he adjusted the big boulder, he sat milking the bleating sheep and goats, all in order, and chased the piglet under them all.
As quickly as his chores had done, again, grabbing two men, he prepared the meal. Then I spoke to the Cyclops, approaching with a mug of my black wine in my hand:
< >. So I said; and he took and drank; he terribly enjoyed drinking the sweet drink; and asked again: <Give me some more, be good, and then tell me your name, right now, so that I give you a hospitable gift and you will rejoice. Even to the Cyclops the earth as a gift of fodder produces wine in the bunches, and to them the rain of Zeus swells them. But this is a river of ambrosia and nectar>>. Thus he said: and again I handed him bright wine; three times I handed him some, three times he drank, madly. But when the wine fell to the Cyclops around the heart, then I spoke to him with words of honey: <Cyclops, ask for my glorious name? Of course, I will say it; and you give me the hospitable gift as you promised. I have no name: No one calls me mother and father and all my companions >>.

So I said; and immediately he answered me with a merciless heart: <No one I will eat last, after the companions; the others first; this will be the hospitable gift>>. He said, and rolled over, falling on his back, and suddenly he lay down, bending his big neck to one side: he was overcome by sleep that tames everything: and from his throat wine came out, and pieces of human flesh; he was vomiting drunk. Then I drove the stake under the much embers, until it was hot; and with words to all my companions I took courage, so that no one, terrified, would withdraw. When the olive pole in the fire it was already about to ignite, although it was green, it shone terribly, so I quickly removed it from the fire, and my companions were around me; certainly a god inspired us with great courage.

They, raising the pointed pole of olive tree, pushed it into the eye: and I, pressing from above, turned, like a man with a drill a naval axis drills; others under the belt turn it, holding it here and there: the drill runs steadily; thus putting the burning ember in the eye of the monster, we turned it; blood flowed around the burning ember; burned the whole eyelid around and the eyelashes, the blaze of the fiery pupil; in the fire the roots were fried.

Like a blacksmith, a large ax or an ax in cold water he dips, with a sharp hiss, tempering it: and this is precisely the strength of iron; so the monster's eye winked around the olive pole. Fearfully he groaned, all around the rock screamed; terrified we jumped back: it tore the ember from the eye, dripping with blood, and threw it away from itself, waving its arms, and the Cyclopes called shouting, who lived around in caves and on windy peaks. And hearing the cry, they ran in crowds, some here, some there; and standing around the cave they asked what he wanted: < > And Polyphemus replied vigorously from the cave: <Nobody, friends, he kills me by deception and not by force >>. And those fleeting words in response said: < >. So they said when they went away: and my heart laughed, as the name and the good idea had deceived it. The Cyclops, weeping, torn by ferocious torment, groped a large boulder from the door, and was himself sitting at the door, with his arms outstretched, if among the sheep he could grab someone who would come out: so he hoped that in my heart I was a baby. In the meantime, I was thinking how to manage in the best way, if I could find some escape from death to my companions and to myself; I wove every kind of deception and plans, because life was at stake, great overwhelmed the disease. 

And this in my mind seemed the best way: there were some very fat rams, with very thick fleece, beautiful and large, and they had purple wool; these in silence I tied together with the twisted wickers on which the Cyclops slept, the killer monster, three by three; and the one in the middle carried a man, and the two on the side, advancing, saved the companion. Thus three rams each man carried; I, then, - there was a ram, among all the flock the most beautiful - by the kidneys, grabbing it, stretched out under the woolly belly; and with my hands the wonderful wool twisting tightly, I held myself with a patient heart. 

The places concerned are also related to the Myth of Ulysses, also entered in the LIM register 

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Photo: web

Information contributions: Ignazio Caloggero, Region of Sicily

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