Odysseus has been warned, by both the blind prophet Tiresias and Circe, the nymph sorceress, to avoid the isle of Helios, the sun god. However, Eurylochus, a member of Odysseus's crew, begs Odysseus for permission to land. Foolishly, Odysseus relents, but on one condition: none of the men must kill any of the island's cattle. The cattle, the oxen of the sun, belong to Helios, and killing them will incur the wrath of the gods.
While Odysseus is away praying to the gods, Eurylochus ignores his orders and leads the men to hunt and kill some of Helios's cattle. When Odysseus finds out, he is furious. He knows that some kind of divine vengeance awaits. Zeus responds to an angry Helios by agreeing to send down a bolt of lightning to destroy Odysseus's ship. All hands on deck are killed, including Eurylochus, but Odysseus manages to escape. He swims ashore on the island of Ogygia, home to the sea nymph Calypso. This will also be Odysseus's home for the next seven years, and this unplanned stopover will hold up his journey and delay his eventual return to Ithaca.