Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer
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How did Odysseus know that Lampetia tattled on his men to Helios, and that Helios had gone to Zeus to get revenge?

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When Odysseus and his men become stranded on the island where Helios keeps his sacred cattle, Zeus sends storms that strand them for a full month.  Although his men had been willing to leave this cows alone at first, after a month they began to question Odysseus's authority.  One day, Odysseus goes to pray, but instead of granting his prayers to help his crew leave the island, the gods put him to sleep.  Eurylochus takes this opportunity to persuade the crew to eat the cattle and come what may because it must surely be better than wasting away on this island forever.  They do it, and Lampetia tells her father, Helios, what the men have done.  Helios asks Zeus to avenge his loss, and Zeus says that he will sink their ship with a lightning bolt.  After relating this story to his auditors in Phaeacia, Odysseus says that he learned about Lampetia's and Helios's actions from Calypso (who kept him captive for several years), and she had heard it from Hermes.

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