What happened at the Land of the Lotus Eater?

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iklan100 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Driven by sea storms, in Book IX of theOdyssey,Odysseus and his men end up in the Land of the Lotus (or Lotos) Eaters, a rather lethargic place where the local inhabitants give some of them some fruit (of the Lotus plant supposedly) which induces 'forgetfullness', so that they forget about their homeward journey and goal and spend their time, too, in 'Lotus Eating' i.e. just dreaming and lounging about-- a term that has passed into common idiomatic use. Odysseus had to force a number of his men back to the ships, and they wept sadly and bitterly, but Odysseus insisted on them getting aboard and leaving, and when he had them on board, he had them tied up lest they wished to escape.

According to Greek mythology, the Lotus Eaters or 'Lotophagi', were people living somewhere in North Africa or near the coast of North Africa, who fed on this plant and remained in a stupor as a result, all the time. Many scholars today believe that in fact, it wasn't the Lotus flower but the Poppy, which yielded Opuim, which was in fact being thus mentioned.

Later, on leaving the Lotus Eaters, Odysseus and his men were then captured by the one-eye giant, the Cyclops Polyphemus, who herds them like sheep and eats them after fattening each one. Odysseus managed to famously blind him, to effect his escape.


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