The Odyssey Book Recently Found Between Books 9 and 10
The Island of Lampedusa
"From the Cyclops' island we sailed for five days. On the morning of the sixth, when Dawn with her rose-red fingers shone once more, we spotted a small island. I told my men to approach it so we might see if the inhabitants were god fearing men like us or like the wretched Polyphemus we had just escaped the clutches of.
As we neared the island, people from the city came to port to greet us. This was a welcome surprise to us. My men and I docked our dozen ships there and asked the name of the island we had found. A young boy, not yet twelve, told us, 'Stranger, you are standing on the island known to the Achaeans as Lampedusa. We are known here for our large fleets of trim ships.'
For a moment I pondered how far from Ithaca we were. 'You say we are in Lampedusa? Why have the gods brought us here, I wonder. We are far from where I hoped for us to have been.' My men were off speaking with the Lampedusans by now, and I asked the friendly people, 'Where is the palace of your king? You do have one, no?' A native replied, 'Come, you and your men, our king will give you a princely welcome.' I collected my men and we followed our kind hosts.
When we arrived at the gate, Briseis, a harold on this island, asked us, 'Who are you? Why have you landed on Lampedusa? We are far from the rest of the Argives.' I told him how we were Ithacan soldiers, returning from fighting at Troy and how we were blown off course by Poseidon for blinding Polyphemus. Briseis told us to wait there while he told his king.
Moments later, the harold returned, telling us to come inside. We made our way to an enormous hall, filled with riches of bronze and silver, and were greeted by the king of the Lampedusans, Chaeresilaus, and his charming wife, Chromia. 'Please, sit and eat until you are full,' the shining king said with a smile. When everybody had enough meat to eat and wine drink,the king continued, 'Tell us of the war at Troy for I was terribly sick for many years during the war and was not able to see the fighting first hand. Who are you? Where are you from? Who is your father.' I told him, 'I am Odysseus, Son of Laertes, and king of the Ithacans. I also happen to be captain of the party that has landed in your beautiful harbor. We will be on our way as soon as we make the proper repairs to our fleet and make sacrifices to the multitude of gods who rule the vaulting skies, so long as you approve.'
'May the gods be praised! Odysseus, I have heard only the best about you in Troy. I wish I could have seen you fighting along with the other Achaeans. Why aren't you home yet? The war ended a while back,' the polite king asked. 'Lord of Lampedusa, it is a sad story. We lost men fighting the Cicones at Ismarus and more escaping Polyphemus, the greatest of the...