BOOK X – THE VOYAGE CONTINUES '
Aeolus, The Laestrygonians, and Circe
Odysseus arrives at the island of Aeolus, the King of the Winds, and they
receive a warm welcome.
They are able to replenish their supplies and renew their strength for they
are only ten days sail from Ithaca. As a parting gift, Aeolus gives Odysseus a large leather bag which contains all the winds that if free, would drive them off course.
Within sight of Ithaca, there is some dissent among Odysseus’ crew.
They have wrongly assumed that he possesses valuable treasures from Aeolus, and they carelessly rip open the bag, setting free all the winds. The gale blows the ships back from whence they have come and Aeolus
is angry with Odysseus and forbids him to come to his island again.
They are now becalmed and are forced to use the oars. Eventually they
land on an island inhabited by cannibals who are the Laestrygonians. All Odysseus squadron of ships are sunk save his, and they suffer a severe onslaught from the cannibals.
Distraught, Odysseus arrives at the island of Aeaea, the home of the goddess
He makes a camp on the shore and he sends half of his men to explore the island under the command of Eurylochus. When he returns, he tells of a lavish villa where a strange beautiful woman lives where her servants entertained them.
However, they were all turned into swine, but Eurylochus was able to escape.
Odysseus is determined to rescue his crew and on his way to the centre of the island he meets a young nobleman who is Hermes in disguise. He gives Odysseus a magic herb that will protect him.
When Odysseus meets Circe her spells have no power over him and he overcomes
her and she returns his men to human form. Being a goddess, she recognizes Odysseus and had foreseen his arrival on her island. The two become lovers and they remain on the island for a year.
The crew soon becomes anxious to return home and Circe agrees to help them,
but she cannot guarantee them a safe voyage home and suggests they go to Hades, the land of the dead, and obtain the advice of the prophet Tiresias.