Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey is a classic adventure filled with shipwrecks, feuds, obstacles, mythical creatures, and divine interventions. But how to visualize the thrilling voyage?
The map below traces Odysseus’s travel as recounted to the Phaeacians near the end of his wandering across the Mediterranean. Odysseus’s ten-year trek began in Asia Minor at the fallen city of Troy (the green marker) following the end of the Trojan War. His ultimate destination: his home in Ithaca (the red marker). Click the markers for information on each step of his journey. It is important to note that the 14 locations plotted on this map have been widely debated by both ancient and modern scholars.
Barry Powell, translator of a new edition of The Odyssey, asserts that the currently agreed upon location of the Island of the Sun (#11) is in fact modern-day Sicily. However, the characters in The Odyssey are in “never-never land,” and consequently, the locations plotted cannot be deemed entirely accurate.
Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His new free verse translation of The Odyssey was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. His translation of The Iliad was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.