A Profile of the Greek Hero Odysseus (Ulysses)

Greek Art. Odysseus and the Sirens. Attic red-figured stamnos, by the Siren painter. From Vulci, c.480-470 BC. British Museum, London, UK. Leemage/ Universal Images Group/ Getty Images

Name: Odysseus; Latin: Ulysses
Home: Ithaca, an island of Greece

Mates: Penelope; Calypso
Children: Telemachus; Nausithous and Nausinous; Telegonus
Occupation: Hero; Trojan War fighter and strategist

Odysseus, a Greek hero, is the leading figure in the epic poem the Odyssey, attributed to Homer. He is the king of Ithaca, normally said to be the son of Laertes and Anticlea, husband of Penelope, and father of Telemachus.

The Odyssey is the story of Odysseus' return home at the end of the Trojan War. Other works in the epic cycle provide further details, including his death at the hands of his and Circe's son Telegonus.

Odysseus fought for ten years in the Trojan War before coming up with the idea of the wooden horse -- just one example of why "wily" or "crafty" is attached to his name.

He incurred the wrath of Poseidon for blinding Poseidon's Cyclops son Polyphemus. In retaliation, it took Odysseus another decade before he could arrive home barely in time to drive out Penelope's suitors. The Odyssey covers a decade's worth of the adventures of Odysseus and his crew on their return to Ithaca from the Trojan War.

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People From the Trojan War You Should Know


Pronunciation: o-dis'-syoos • (noun)

Also Known As: Ulysses

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Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. "Odysseus." ThoughtCo, Feb. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/who-is-odysseus-119103. Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. (2017, February 28). Odysseus. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/who-is-odysseus-119103 Glossary, N.S. Gill's Ancient/Classical History. "Odysseus." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/who-is-odysseus-119103 (accessed January 21, 2018).