Ariadne: Resources for Athenaze


Greek attitudes toward "the other"


Odysseus blinding Polyphemos
Odysseus and his men blinding the Cyclops Polyphemus.
Detail of the "Eleusis amphora", a proto-attic work, c. 650 BC, museum of Eleusis, Inv. 2630

Read the description of Odysseus approaching the island of the Cyclopes: Homer, Odyssey 9.105-139 (2 webpages)

How would you describe the society of the Cyclopes? What elements of their society would have been seen as “barbaric” or as “civilized”? How does Polyphemus treat outsiders/his guests? How do both Polyphemus and Odysseus violate the institutions of hospitality? What does Odysseus learn from his encounter with the Cyclopes?



Classical Studies
Cornell College

Last Update: November 11, 2009 4:17 pm
John Gruber-Miller