In book 9, 10 , 11 and 12 of "The Odyssey", what three things did Odysseus' men do that led to their destruction?

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cybil eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Three actions taken by Odysseus' men that lead to their doom include the following. In Book 9 right after they leave Troy, they attack the Cicones for no reason except to gain loot. The Cicones send for reinforcements, and Odysseus loses 12 men in every ship. Next in Book 10 they come to the land of the Laestrygonians, who are giants. Out of nothing more than curiosity, they seek to see what they look like, and the Laestrygonians attack them, smashing their ships with boulders and spearing the men like fish. Odysseus loses all of his ships but one here. Finally in Book 12 when this ship arrives at the Island of the Sun-God where he keeps his sacred cattle, they have specifically been warned not to eat these cattle. However, Odysseus goes off to the other side of the island to pray for wind when the ship is becalmed and they run out of food. In desperation the men eat the cattle, and the Sun-God threatens to take the sun and shine it in the Underworld unless Zeus destroys these men. Zeus sends lightning to strike the ship, and it is swallowed by Charybdis, the whirlpool. Only Odysseus manages to survive, and he eventually ends up on Ogygia, the island of Calypso, who keeps him there for seven years before Zeus sends Hermes to tell her to release him.