Thrinacia

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For the genus of moth, see Thrinacia (moth)
The Companions of Odysseus Steal the Cattle of Helios (fresco by Pellegrino Tibaldi, 1554/56) Pellegrino Tibaldi 001.jpg
The Companions of Odysseus Steal the Cattle of Helios (fresco by Pellegrino Tibaldi, 1554/56)

Thrinacia (Homeric Greek ΘρινακίαThrinakíā, from θρῖναξ "trident"; English pronunciation /θrɪˈnʃə,θr-/ ) is the island home of the Cattle of Helios in Book XII of Homer's Odyssey , guarded by Helios' daughters Lampetia and Phaethusa.

Odysseus and his crew arrive at Thrinacia after passing Scylla and Charybdis. Odysseus has been warned by both Circe and the shade of Tiresias to avoid Thrinacia, but his men beg him to let them stop and rest. He reluctantly agrees, but makes them swear an oath not to touch the cattle on the island. However, for the next month unfavorable winds blow continuously and they are unable to leave. When Odysseus goes to pray for a safe return to Ithaca, his crew, fearing starvation, slaughter and eat some of Helios' cattle. In punishment, when they finally sail away from the island, Helios successfully pleads to Zeus to send a thunderbolt at their ship, killing all the men except Odysseus. Odysseus is spared but, as forewarned by Circe and Tiresias, is himself punished when his return to Ithaca is delayed by a seven-year sojourn on Ogygia.

Homeric Thrinacia was later identified with Sicily, and its name re-interpreted as Trinakria (Τρινακρία, from τρεῖς and ἄκραι, as "[island] with three headlands"). [1] But Homeric Thrinacia is also associated with Malta, and Sicily is instead also identified with the episode of the Cyclops Polyphemus.

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References

  1. "Θρινακίη" in Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940.