An Interactive Map of Odysseus’ 10-Year Journey in Homer’s Odyssey

odyssey interactive map

The Odyssey, one of Home­r’s two great epics, nar­rates Odysseus’ long, strange trip home after the Tro­jan war. Dur­ing their ten-year jour­ney, Odysseus and his men had to over­come divine and nat­ur­al forces, from bat­ter­ing storms and winds to dif­fi­cult encoun­ters with the Cyclops Polyphe­mus, the can­ni­bal­is­tic Laestry­gones, the witch-god­dess Circe and the rest. And they took a most cir­cuitous route, bounc­ing all over the Mediter­ranean, mov­ing first down to Crete and Tunisia. Next over to Sici­ly, then off toward Spain, and back to Greece again.

If you’re look­ing for an easy way to visu­al­ize all of the twists and turns in The Odyssey, then we’d rec­om­mend spend­ing some time with the inter­ac­tive map cre­at­ed by Gisèle Moun­z­er“Odysseus’ Jour­ney” breaks down Odysseus’ voy­age into 14 key scenes and locates them on a mod­ern map designed by Esri, a com­pa­ny that cre­ates GIS map­ping soft­ware.

Mean­while, if you’re inter­est­ed in the whole con­cept of ancient trav­el, I’d sug­gest revis­it­ing one of our pre­vi­ous posts: Play Cae­sar: Trav­el Ancient Rome with Stanford’s Inter­ac­tive Map. It tells you all about ORBIS, a geospa­tial net­work mod­el, that lets you sim­u­late jour­neys in Ancient Roman. You pick the points of ori­gin and des­ti­na­tion for a trip, and ORBIS will recon­struct the dura­tion and finan­cial cost of mak­ing the ancient jour­ney. Pret­ty cool stuff.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hear Homer’s Ili­ad Read in the Orig­i­nal Ancient Greek

What Ancient Greek Music Sound­ed Like: Hear a Recon­struc­tion That is ‘100% Accu­rate’

Dis­cov­er the “Brazen Bull,” the Ancient Greek Tor­ture Machine That Dou­bled as a Musi­cal Instru­ment

Learn­ing Ancient His­to­ry for Free

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Comments (14)
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  • Jonathan Burgess says:

    Pret­ty pic­tures, “inter­ac­tive,” but no indi­ca­tion of the sources of the local­iza­tions or method. A great exam­ple of the vapid­i­ty of inter­net tech­nol­o­gy when used aim­less­ly. For a the­o­rized and researched approach to the wan­der­ings of Odysseus, see the site “In the Wake of Odysseus” by J. Burgess

  • Shadow says:

    This is a good map I tried screen­shot­ing for my project but it did­n’t let me.

  • David Conrad says:

    Works ter­ri­bly on my tablet, but then, so does this site.

  • Cicero31 says:

    This map con­tains an impor­tant omission:nOdysseusu2019s near return to Ithaca.nn In Bookn10 of The Odyssey Odysseus and his men, car­ry­ing the leather sack in which Aeo­lus had con­fined the winds and car­ried by a fair wind from the west,come with­in sight of Itha­ca. “u201cFor nine days we sailed, night and day alike, and now on the tenth our native land came in sight, and lo, we were so near that we saw men tend­ing the bea­con fires. (28 ff. Trans­la­tion A.T. Murray).Then, of course, Odysseus falls asleep and his men open the sack allow­ing the winds to escape and blow them all the way back to the city of Aeo­lus. That they had come so close to home in space and end up so far from it not only in space but in time has always struck me as one of the most poignant episodes in the poem. This map includes no indi­ca­tion what­so­ev­er of that part of the jour­ney. (Peter D. Grudin)

  • dario says:

    It should be remarked that this is just one of many pos­si­ble spa­tial inter­pre­ta­tions of Odysseus’ trip.

  • Zlatko petrović says:

    Ako se oslan­jamo na Home­rovu Odis­e­ju onda ova teori­ja ne odgo­vara. Primer Kik­lopo­va peći­na na Sicil­i­ji je toloiko mala da taj događaj nije mogao da se odigra.Odisej je plovio Okean Rekom tj . Jad­ra­nom čija ostr­va i danas ima­ju stare Grčke nazive. U Grapčevoj peći­ni na Hvaru pron­ađen je isti broj ljuskih kos­tu­ra koliko je Polifem pojeo Odis­e­je­vih lju­di. Topon­i­mi vetro­vi položaj zvez­da i daljine se u pot­punos­ti pok­la­pa­ju sa Jad­ran­skim morem.

  • Dinos Zoumperis says:

    I think some of these local­iza­tions here are real­ly far-fetched.

  • Kimbo says:

    i had to do this for my school and it isnt inter­ac­tive and i can­not find Ogy­gia or anythig like that. please fix this so oth­ers who come to this site arent dis­ap­point­ed like i am

  • Maruja says:

    I think that the map is a great resource for teach­ing, and maybe that is its aim or objec­tive. Of course, I am now inter­est­ed in the ref­er­ence giv­en: ” In the wake of Odysseus” but nev­er­the­less, is impor­tant to inter­act with this places and to see them in a map and to make stu­dents know where the action took place. All is per­fectible, I con­grat­u­late the effort tak­en by the author Gise­le Moun­z­er. The map is not only use­ful but beau­ti­ful.

  • sarita armstrong says:

    Homer is quite clear in the num­ber of days Odysseus trav­els, the wind direc­tion and the type of craft he is using. As a sea­far­er one can put all this togeth­er and do a pas­sage plan of his jour­neys, as I have done in my book ‘The Odysseus Code’. For exam­ple, the dis­tance Odysseus trav­els between Ogy­gia and the land of the Phaea­cians makes it impos­si­ble for Scheria to be Cor­fu or even for Ogy­gia to be with­in the Mediter­ranean. He sails from Ogy­gia for 17 days non-stop (i.e. 408 hours)in an east­er­ly direc­tion. At less than 2.5 nau­ti­cal miles per hour he would not have had steer­age way on such a heavy craft — work it out! Homer even tells us what type of craft it was as we have a detailed descrip­tion of its con­struc­tion. But this way of tack­ling the ques­tion is ignored by aca­d­e­mics who insist on plac­ing all the jour­neys with­in the Mediter­ranean Sea because they relate the sto­ry to the Greeks of the Bronze Age where­as Homer is incor­po­rat­ing the myths and leg­ends of the more ancient and more nau­ti­cal­ly capa­ble Phoeni­cians and Minoans whose skills were large­ly lost after the upheaval of the Thera vol­cano around 1500 BC.

  • Barbara says:

    Too many mis­takes.

  • nora says:

    did not even work

  • nora says:

    did not even work boi

  • Craig Jacobs says:

    How does one map where a float­ing island (i.e. Aeo­lia) was?

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