Odysseus leaves the island of the nymph Calypso

At the council, the immortal gods decided that Athena should help Telemachus return to his homeland unharmed and not let the suitors attack him. Hermes must fly to the island of Ogygia and command the nymph Calypsoto let go Odyssey. The Thunderer immediately sent Hermes to Calypso.

Putting on his winged sandals and picking up a wand, quick as a thought, Hermes rushed from Olympus. Like a sea eagle, he flew over the sea and in the blink of an eye reached Ogygia. This island was beautiful. Sycamores, poplars, pines, cedars and cypresses grew luxuriantly on it. The lawns were covered with lush grass, and the grass was fragrant with lush violets and lilies. Four springs irrigated the island, and streams ran from them, winding whimsically between the trees. There was a cool grotto on the island; in it the nymph Calypso lived. The whole grotto was overgrown with vines, and ripe bunches hung from them. When Hermes entered the grotto, Calypso was sitting and weaving a blanket with a wonderful pattern with a golden shuttle. Odysseus was not in the grotto. He was sitting alone on a cliff near the seashore, gazing into the sea. Odysseus shed tears, remembering his native Ithaca. So he spent whole days, sad and lonely.

Zeus sends Hermes to nymph Callipso
Zeus sends Hermes to the nymph Callipso.
(Drawing on a vase.)

Seeing Hermes enter, Calypso stood up to meet him. She invited him to sit down and offered him ambrosia and nectar. Having had enough of the food of the gods, Hermes conveyed to the nymph the will of the king of gods and men Zeus. Calypso was saddened to learn that she had to part with Odysseus. She wanted to keep him on her island forever and grant him immortality. But she could not resist the will of Zeus.

When Hermes left Calypso, she went to the seashore, where the sad Odysseus was sitting, and said to him:

- Odysseus, dry your eyes, do not grieve anymore. I'm letting you go home. Go get an axe, chop down trees and make a strong raft. You will set off on it, and I will send you a fair wind. If it pleases the gods, then you will return to your homeland.

- Goddess, - replied Calypso Odysseus, - you are not preparing a return to my homeland for me, but something else. How can I cross a stormy sea on a fragile raft? After all, a high-speed ship does not always cross it safely. No, goddess, I will only decide to get on the raft if you give me an unbreakable oath of the gods that you do not plan to ruin me.

- The truth is told, Odysseus, that you are the smartest and most far-sighted of mortals! - exclaimed Calypso, - I swear to you by the waters Styx, I don't want your death.

Returned with Odysseus Calypso to the grotto. There, during the meal, she began to persuade Odysseus to stay. She promised immortality to Odyssey. She said that if only Odysseus had known how many dangers he would have to go through during the journey, he would have stayed with her. But Odysseus' desire to return to his homeland was too strong, Calypso could not make him forget his native Ithaca and his family with any promises.

The next morning Odysseus started building a raft. Odysseus worked for four days, chopping down trees, cutting logs, tying them up and knocking them down with boards. Finally, the raft was ready, and a mast with a sail was fixed on it. Calypso gave Odysseus supplies for the road and said goodbye to him. Odysseus unfurled the sail, and the raft, driven by a fair wind, went out to sea.

Odysseus had already been sailing for eighteen days, determining the path by the constellations - the Pleiades and the Big Dipper. At last the land appeared in the distance-it was the island of the Phaeacians. At this time, God saw Odysseus' raft Poseidon, returning from the Ethiopians. The lord of the seas was angry. He grabbed his trident and struck the sea with it. A terrible storm arose. Clouds covered the sky, winds the sea, swooping in from all sides. Odysseus was horrified. In fear, he envies even those heroes who died with glory at Troy. A huge wave hit Odysseus' raft and washed it into the sea. Odysseus plunged deep into the depths of the sea, he swam out with difficulty. He was hampered by the clothes given at parting by the nymph Calypso. Nevertheless, he caught up with his raft, grabbed it and with great difficulty climbed onto the deck. The raft was violently thrown in all directions by the winds. That drove him ferocious Boreas, then Notes, then played them noisy Evr, and, after playing, threw Marshmallow. Waves piled up around the raft like mountains.

Boreas - north wind, Not - south, Evr - east, Zephyr - west.

The sea goddess saw Odysseus in such danger Levkoteya. She took off under the guise of diving out of the sea, sat on Odysseus' raft and assumed her real image. Turning to him, Leucothea commanded him to take off his clothes, throw himself off the raft into the sea and swim to the shore. The goddess gave Odysseus a wonderful veil that was supposed to save him. Having said that, she took the form of a diving Leucothea and flew away. Odysseus, however, did not dare to leave the raft. But then the god Poseidon erected a huge wolf like a mountain and brought it down on Odysseus' raft. As a gust of wind blows a pile of straw in all directions, so the wave scattered the logs of the raft. Odysseus barely had time to grab one of the logs and sit on it. He quickly tore off his clothes, tied himself with a blanket of Leucothea, threw himself into the sea and swam to the island. Poseidon saw this and exclaimed:

- Well, now you've had enough! Now swim through the stormy sea until someone saves you. Will you be pleased with me now!

So exclaiming, Poseidon drove his horses to his underwater palace. Pallas Athena came to the aid of Odysseus. She forbade all winds to blow, except Boreas, and began to calm the raging sea.

For two days Odysseus rode on a stormy sea. Only on the third day the sea calmed down. From the top of the wave, Odysseus saw land not far away and was terribly glad. But when he was already swimming to the shore, he heard the sound of the surf. Waves roared between coastal cliffs and underwater rocks. The death of Odysseus would have been inevitable, he would have been smashed against the cliffs, but Pallas Athena helped him here too. Odysseus managed to grab onto the rock, and the wave, receding, forcefully tore him off the rock and carried him out to sea. Now Odysseus swam along the shore and began to look for a place where he could swim ashore. Finally, he saw the mouth of the river. Odysseus prayed to the god of the river for help. God heard him, stopped his current and helped Odysseus to reach the shore. A mighty hero came ashore, but the long voyage so exhausted him that he fell senseless to the ground. Odysseus came to himself with difficulty. He took off the blanket of Leucothea and, without turning around, threw it into the water. The veil quickly floated and returned to the hands of the goddess. Odysseus, on the other hand, found two thickly overgrown olives, under which there was a pile of dry leaves. He buried himself in the leaves to protect himself from the night cold, and the goddess Athena plunged him into a deep sleep.