Last Update: 28 Mar 2021
Odysseus and Nausicaa
After the island of Calypso, Odysseus reached the island of Scheria, which is most likely the Greek island of Corfu. On this island, the trees bore fruit all year round and the ships were magical because they could travel without captains.
Odysseus built a layer of leaves, then lay down under an olive tree and fell asleep. It was a bright, warm day.
Suddenly a beautiful girl came to the river. It was the beautiful princess Nausicaa. Nausicaa was about to be married and did not want to appear lazy. So she and her maids washed all her clothes, laid them out to dry, and then then began to play in the sun. Suddenly their ball rolled towards the sleeping Odysseus and the girls ran to get it.
In his deep sleep, Odysseus heard the happy voices and woke up. He quickly cut off a few bunches of twigs to hide his nakedness and stepped out of the bushes.
When the girls noticed him, they were frightened and ran away screaming. Only Nausikaa stood there fearlessly.
Odysseus approached Nausikaa and said:
"If you are a goddess, you must be Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. If you are a mortal, you must be a princess. How fortunate and proud your family must be!
I was a castaway for twenty days, struggling with the sea, until the waves brought me to your island. I don't know where I am. If you have a heart, take pity on me and gave me clothes to dress and some bread to stop my hunger... and then show me the way to the city.""
"Stranger, you seem to be a civilized man, your story saddened me. You are on the island of Corfu, where the famous Alkinoos is king. I am his daughter, Nausikaa. We are a peaceful and just people, and I will receive you as you deserve.."
So said Nausikaa, and commanded her maids to take care of the stranger. And as Ulysses ate some bread and dressed himself, he suddenly appeared taller and more handsome, and Nausikaa admired him.
Then Nausikaa and her maids set out for the city. Odysseus followed from a distance to avoid rumors.
Just outside the city, Odysseus stopped to pray at a temple to Athena.
Then Nausikaa led him to her father's palace.
When Alcinoos and his wife Arete learned who he was, they honored Odysseus with precious gifts and promised to help him return to his home in Ithaca.