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This article is about Homer's epic poem. For other uses, see Odyssey
"Homer's Odyssey" redirects here. For the The Simpsons episode, see Homer's Odyssey
(The Simpsons).
Homer's Odyssey, book i
A 15th-century manuscript of the Odyssey, book i, written by the scribe John Rhosos
for the Tornabuoni family, Florence, Italy (British Museum)
Greek text of the Odyssey's opening passage
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Euboean amphora, c. 550 BCE, depicting the fight between Cadmus and a dragon

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The Odyssey (/'?d?si/;[1] Greek: ?d?sse?a, Od�sseia; Attic Greek: [o.d�s.sej.ja])

is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a
sequel to the Iliad, the other Homeric epic. The Odyssey is a fundamental work in
the modern Western canon, being the oldest extant piece of Western literature,
second to the Iliad.[citation needed] Scholars believe the Odyssey was composed
near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek coastal region of
The poem mainly focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman
myth), king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes
Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War.[i] In his
absence, Odysseus is assumed to have died, due to which his wife Penelope and son
Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres (Greek: ???st??
e?) or Proci, who compete for Penelope's hand in marriage.

The work continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern
languages around the world. Many scholars believe the original poem was composed in
an oral tradition by an aoidos (epic poet/singer), perhaps a rhapsode (professional
performer), and was more likely intended to be heard than read.[2] The details of
the ancient oral performance and the story's conversion to a written work inspire
continual debate among scholars.[3]

The Odyssey was written in a poetic dialect of Greek�a literary amalgam of Aeolic,
Ionic, and other Ancient Greek dialects�comprising 12,110 lines of dactylic
hexameter.[4][5] Among the most noteworthy elements of the text are its non-linear
plot, and the influence on events of choices made by women and slaves, besides the
actions of fighting men. In the English language, as well as many others, the word
odyssey has come to refer to an epic voyage.

The Odyssey has a lost sequel, the Telegony, which was not attributed to Homer, but
rather, in antiquity, to Cinaethon of Sparta. In one source,[which?] the Telegony
is said to have been stolen from Musaeus of Athens by either Eugamon or Eugammon of
Cyrene (see Cyclic Poets).