Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer

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How did Odysseus' betrayer justify taking the cattle and convince the others to disobey?

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Among Odysseus's crew, there is this man named Eurylochus.  He has been making trouble for Odysseus.  First, he is the one who forces them to go to the island where the sun god has his cattle.

Then, he persuades the men to kill some of the cattle while Odysseus is away.  He tells them a few things to get them to do it:

  • He tells them that starving is a terrible way to die and that they should not allow themselves to die that way.
  • He says that if they survive they can build a really nice temple to apologize for what they have done.
  • Finally, if the gods are going to kill them for killing the cattle, he is fine with that because he'd rather just be killed than die slowly of hunger.

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