BOOK 5 – ODYSSEUS LEAVES CALYPSO
Returning to Olympus, Athena once more brings the question of Odysseus to
the attention of Zeus. He finally relents and sends Hermes, the messenger of the gods, to Calypso ordering her to release Odysseus. She had hoped to make him her husband.
When Hermes arrives, he finds a distraught Odysseus pining for his family.
Hermes orders Calypso to release Odysseus and she is dismayed by this news, but knows she cannot stand against Zeus.
Hermes returns to Olympus and Calypso tells Odysseus that she will now help
him to return to Ithaca. He is somewhat surprised at the nymph’s change of heart. She makes ready a small boat for Odysseus amply stocked with provisions.
You will recall that this decision by Zeus was made when Poseidon was
absent, and he whips up a tempest and Odysseus’ small boat is capsized and he is left struggling to keep afloat in the boiling sea.
Athena asks the sea nymph Leucothoie to save Odysseus, and he is able to
make landfall in the country occupied by the Phaeacians. Exhausted, Odysseus sleeps in an olive grove.