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Summary Book IX

Book 9
Odysseus relates his story. He tells of the battle with the Cicones at Ismarus and the luckless nine-day detour to the land of the Lotus-eaters, where two of his men are narcotic fruit and forgot their homes. Then he tells of the arrival at the land of the wild and lawless Cyclopes, giants with a single eye who dwell alone and have no culture. Odysseus had ventured with twelve picked men into the cave of Polyphemus, a Cyclops and son of Poseidon. He requested hospitality, but the Cyclops, scorning the gods and the ways of men, devoured two of Odysseus' companions. Next morning, he breakfasted on another two, and imprisoned the rest in the cave. Odysseus lulled the monster to sleep with wine and then drove a sharpened stake into his eye. Polyphemus called out for help, but when his fellows responded to his cries, he announced that "Noman" harmed him-for Odysseus had told the Cyclops that Noman was his name. Odysseus and his men ultimately escaped by binding themselves to the underside of Polyphemus' sheep. Odysseus taunted the monster from his ship, and Polyphemus invoked the curse of his father, Poseidon (hence the god's enmity toward Odysseus). With his twelve ships, Odysseus sailed to Aeolia.

 Homer