The Odyssey

What is Zeus' command to Kalypso?

Chapter five of the Odyssey

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Zeus said to his son Hermes, "Hermes, you are our messenger, go therefore and tell Calypso we have decreed that poor Ulysses is to return home. He is to be convoyed neither by gods nor men, but after a perilous voyage of twenty days upon a raft he is to reach fertile Scheria, the land of the Phaeacians, who are near of kin to the gods, and will honour him as though he were one of ourselves. They will send him in a ship to his own country, and will give him more bronze and gold and raiment than he would have brought back from Troy, if he had had had all his prize money and had got home without disaster. This is how we have settled that he shall return to his country and his friends."


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Athena pleads to the gods and Zeus at Mount Olympos on behalf of the imprisoned Odysseus and Telemakhos, who is in danger of being ambushed. Zeus tells her to protect Telemakhos, and sends Hermes to order Kalypso to release her prisoner - although Odysseus must first sail alone on a raft to Skheria, where he will receive lavish gifts from the Phaiakians before returning home in a proper ship.