Often described as a titan, Helios in The Odyssey is a tenderness god recognized to bring light onto the earth. He rides his chariot transparent the sky, bringing around the sunlight on his journey.

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He is known to be an all-seeing god due to the fact that his place in the sky provides him a check out of the mortal realm. So just how does one garner the ire that this tenderness god? how did ours hero, Odysseus, garner his anger?

To delve right into this, we must think about Odysseus’ journey on his method home to Ithaca.

Who Is Helios in The Odyssey

The journey of Odysseus

Following Odysseus’ journey, one is conscious of his adventures on the island that the giants, Sicily, wherein he blinds Polyphemus and garners the hate of the god the the sea, Poseidon.

The sea god renders his journey unbearable and also incredibly tumultuous, for this reason much regarding call ~ above the waters come derail his trip home. Odysseus and also his males then encounter Aiolos, the master of the winds, wherein our hero receive a bag the wind and also once again sets sail.

Our war hero, traversing the sea when more, virtually reaches Ithaca just to be derailed through the greed of one of his men. This man, believing that Odysseus obtained gold, forcefully comes for the bag and spills that contents, releasing the gifted winds.

The winds lug them earlier to Aiolos, who refuses to help them when more. Instead, castle sail come a adjacent island, the home of the Laistrygones.

Land the the Laistrygones

Arriving in ~ the island, Odysseus and also his men soon uncover out the danger they unknowingly sought. They travel off and also dock in Aeaea, house to the goddess Circe.

Here, the giants cure them as weak prey; his guys were hunted and also used together a method of competition because that the Laistrygonians, hunting them for dinner. The Laistrygonians kill number of of Odysseus’ men and destroy 11 ships, forcing them come retreat come the sea, dwindled in number and also weak indigenous exhaustion.

The Goddess-Sorceress Circe

Cautious of the island, Odysseus sends out his right-hand man with 12 soldiers to check out the isle. There they witness the beauty, beauty of Circe, dancing around and to sing merrily.

The men eagerly seek her out, lowering your defenses, all yet Eurylochus, Odysseus’ second in command. The witnesses his guys turn into swine and also fearfully rush ago to Odysseus. Odysseus saves his men and becomes Circe’s lover.

Circe advises Odysseus to go into the underworld and seek Tiresias, the blind prophet. There, he was to asking for safe passage home, for after the ordeal v Polyphemus and also his multiple challenges at sea, he was desperate because that a safer way to return to Ithaca.

After living a year on Circe’s island, taking in the luxuries that come indigenous being her lover, Odysseus lastly journeys come the underworld to seek the blind prophet come ask for his wisdom. He to be told to shun the island Thrinicia who houses an excellent temptations come his men.

On this island, livestock well-known as Helios livestock resided; they were his sacred herd and should never ever be touch by mortal men. No wound no one hair of the magnificent livestock was to it is in taken, and also if they to be to land on Thrinicia, they to be to leave the spiritual livestock be, lest they suffer the anger of the young titan.

The Tragedy in Thrinacia

Once again, Odysseus and his guys sail the seas and journey in the direction of their homeland, yet a storm is sent out their means on your journey. Poseidon, Polyphemus’ father, commands the waves and the waters, sending out a storm come threaten Odysseus and his men.

Eurylochus begs Odysseus to dock ~ above a adjacent island to rest and to prepare their supper. Showing up on the island, Odysseus advises his men to leave the cattle of the sun god be, never ever to touch castle in any type of circumstance.

A month has actually passed since they docked in Thrinicia, and also the storm sent out their means seems to go on forever. They quickly run out of food and water, starving themselves because that days through nothing yet the cattle and also livestock insight.

Odysseus decides come pray in the nearby temples, asking the gods for their magnificent mercy and help; he again alerts his guys to leaving the cattle be and takes turn off in the direction of the temples. That prays come Zeus, the god of all gods, to permit them a for sure passage of the island, and also in return, the god answer by placing him to sleep.

In that specific moment, Eurylochus, who could no longer take the hunger, persuades Odysseus’ guys to slaughter the sun god’s cattle, providing the finest one come the gods.

He says, “if the is somewhat wroth because that his cattle with directly horns, and also is fain to wreck our ship, and also the various other gods monitor his desire, quite with one gulp at the wave would I actors my life away, than be gradually straightened to fatality in a desert isle.”

Unbeknownst come him, Lampetie, Helios’ daughter, resided ~ above the island and cared because that the magnificent cattle, witnessing their impiety.

Odysseus regains consciousness and also journeys earlier to his ship, just to discover out his men have slaughtered the Greek titan’s lovely cattle. The curses the gods who put him come sleep when his men foolishly go against his orders.

His shoulders sag in disappointment and also fear that what’s to come. After job of feasting on Helios’ cattle, they when again set sail off the island, not learning the hazard Helios and his anger had actually in store for them.


Together through her sister Phaethusa, Lampeter lived in Thrinicia and also cared for your father’s lovely cattle and also livestock. Lock took care of virtually 700 ageless pets altogether. Both sisters were bring away by your mother, Neaera, to look after the divine animals and also have remained there ever since.

Upon Odysseus and also his men’s arrival, Helios’ daughters quickly hid, remaining out of vision from the intruders. Lock go about their days staying clear of the men and herding the animals. Once Odysseus’ men slaughter your charge, Lampetie instantly runs to her father, Helios, come tell him of the news. She educates him of how Odysseus’ guys butcher his lover cattle and also even have the audacity to market the best one up to the gods.

The sunlight God’s Anger

Upon listening the news native his daughter, Helios could not contain his anger. The marches as much as Zeus and also the gods and demands punishment because that the transgressions of Odysseus’ men. He intimidates to traction the sunlight down come the underworld, bright a light on the souls that the dead if his livestock were no avenged.

He demands all the god punish Odysseus’ males for quelling his anger, for his beloved cattle were slain mercilessly regardless of the forewarnings of both Tiresias and Circe.

Zeus heeds his warning and pledges to punishment those who have actually caused that grief. ~ above Odysseus’ journey off Thrinicia, he sends out a thunderbolt their way, destroying his ship. Odysseus’ guys all undo in the sea while Odysseus survives by swim to the shores of Ogygia.

Despite having nothing to carry out with the fatality of the Helios cattle, Odysseus can not avoid his males from committing such a sin. Therefore, Zeus imprisons that in Ogygia, where the nymph Calypso reigned.

Helios Cattle

The cattle of the sun god, likewise known as Oxen that the Sun, are stated to it is in herded by Lampetie and her sister, Phaethusa. Castle herd seven flocks of cattle and also seven herds the sheep, every numbering 50 heads, summing increase the sunlight god’s pets to 700 in total. Homer describes these immortal livestock as handsome, large browed, fat, and straight horned in The Odyssey, emphasizing the perfection that these magnificent beings.

The cattle represent love and also devotion. The god that the sunlight loved his animals dearly, enough for him to send his daughters to look ~ them and also enough come garner his wrath once touched. Odysseus’ men, intoxicated by both temptation and Eurylochus’ sweet words, steal the livestock of the sunlight god, butchering them and also offering the finest one to shot and amend your sins.

Zeus’ Thunderbolt

Zeus sends his thunderbolt to Odysseus’ ship in The Odyssey. This act symbolizes just how the transgressions that Odysseus’ men have angered the gods. That failed to manage his men and, in consequence, garnered the ire that multiple god on his way.

The an initial this had arisen was on the island that the Cicones, where his males paid no heed to his warning bring about the fatality of their brothers before fleeing come the seas.

The second defiance his men shown was ~ above the island of Helios, where they brazenly defy Odysseus’ warnings. This led to their inevitable demise in the hand of the gods.

Zeus’ thunderbolt, Vajra, symbolizes the almighty power the gods hold. The god that thunder scarcely offers the Vajra, for the pressure it has is excellent sufficient to sink an entire island, but its meaning is extremely symbolic to the gods.

Using his almighty thunderbolt, Zeus signifies the prestige of Helios’ anger and the prominence of vengeance for his kin. V this, he has shown an excellent favor to Helios and also thus quelled the young titan’s anger.

Helios’ function in The Odyssey

Helios from The Odyssey exudes elegance and also grace, adorning the skies with the radiance and beauty of his sun. That prefers not to dirty his hands and also instead have actually Zeus and also the various other gods look for vengeance in his stead.

His function in The Odyssey is that of a silent antagonist, one that indirectly reasons our hero the most injury in the play. He has actually Zeus, the god of every gods, kill every one of Odysseus’ men and have that imprisoned in Ogygia, derailing our hero’s return home for seven years.

While gift merciful and impartial, the Greek god was additionally a devout lover the his prized possession, the cow of the sun. His deep affection for the divine animals leads him to bitterness anguish when they to be slain in the hands of only mortals, so lot so as he threatened the gods to bring his son to the underworld, shining the warmth and also light to the souls the the dead.


Now the we’ve talked about Helios, his cattle, and his anger, let’s walk over some of the an essential points that this article:

Helios is the god of the sun, who owns 700 cattle and also livestock, every of which the stares in ~ from sunrise to sunset.Odysseus’ guys garner the rage of the sun god by slaughtering his beloved animals. Lock have offered the ideal to the gods together compensation for your sins.Odysseus angers Helios by failing come command his men, resulting in the fatality of the cow of the sun god.Helios, tease by your insolence, needs Zeus and also the god to punishment Odysseus and also his men, lest he drag the warm of the planet to the underworld, leaving the mortals to frozen from the cold.Zeus guarantees to spreading his vengeance by striking your ship in the middle of the ocean.The thunderbolt hits the ship, and every one of Odysseus’ guys drown to death, leave Odysseus the lone survivor.Odysseus swims to the nearest island, Ogygia, whereby he is imprisoned for 7 years by the nymph Calypso because that his failure to command his men properly.Helios’ cattle symbolize the deep adoration and possessive nature the the gods, the love they possess so much as to protect them with all their might, so together seen v Helios’ anger.Helios in The Odyssey portrays a quiet antagonist who doesn’t injury our hero directly however causes our hero the most far-reaching and most extended tragedy he faced in his journey.

In conclusion, Helios, the god that the sun and also one that the two remaining titans in mountain Olympus, organized his livestock closely to his heart. So lot so together the sin that slaughtering castle had really grave consequences.

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The males of Odysseus, led by hunger and also temptation, spreading the many extraordinary insolence any mortal might ever do against the Greek god. And so they to be drowned to death while your leader, Odysseus, was imprisoned in Ogygia for number of years, derailing his journey home.