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Odyssey Webquest

boatGreetings, Modern-Day Greek Sailors!

(What's that you say? You're Vikings? Well, close enough, we're shorthanded lately...something about a Cyclops eating a few of our men...)

Today we will be going on a quest to retrace the steps of our great bard Homer and his hero, Odysseus. Along the way we will meet Odysseus' wife Penelope, his son Telemachus, and a host of gods, goddesses, monsters, and notable characters of Greek mythology.

Your goal is to gather the information you will need to understand Homer's Odyssey by following all of the steps below. You are NOT limited to these sites; they are just to get you started. However, you must make sure all sources you use are written by experts.

Good luck, sailors!



mapWhere Are We Going? (Geography Of The Ancient Greeks)

-Guiding Questions: What did the known world look like to the Ancient Greeks?

-Where had they traveled (what would have been on their maps and what was unknown)?

-What is the setting of The Odyssey? What are the important places in The Odyssey?

-Can you find a map that depicts Odysseus' journey?


Google Lit Trips (start here)

Internet Public Library

British Museum (click on the "Explore" link)


Arizona State University: This short handout from a university geography class does a great job showing how geography affected the Ancient Greeks.


Greek Geography (thanks to a period 2 student for this one!)



greekMay The Gods And Goddesses Favor Us On Our Journey!

IMPORTANT CLUE: There are also lots of books about gods and goddesses in the IHS (Ithaca High School, of course!) Library!

 Guiding Questions:

-Who were the important gods and goddesses involved in Homer's epics?

-How did the ancient gods act as alter egos for the heroes?

-In what ways did the gods impact the lives of the people?


History Channel--there's tons of stuff in here if you click all the links

Internet Public Library

British Museum

Theoi Project


How did the Greeks worship their gods?



hydra...And Help Us With These Guys!(Monsters and Other Characters of Greek Mythology)

IMPORTANT CLUE: There are also lots of books about Greek mythological creatures in the IHS Library! 

Guiding Questions:

-What characters does Odysseus encounter that serve as an obstacle on his journey?

-How do those characters interact with the gods/goddesses?

-What is the history of these monsters and other characters before and after they meet Odysseus?

Hint: Look up these guys: Lastrygonians, Lotus Eaters, Cyclops, Scylla and Charybdis, Sirens, Circe

Internet Public Library

History Channel--there's tons of stuff in here if you click all the links

Theoi Project

San Diego State


bardCalling All Bards and Rhapsodes! Sing About Our Heroic Deeds! (Epics, Myths, Epic Poetry, and Homer)

Guiding Questions:

-What is epic poetry?

-What is the difference between a myth and an epic?

-What do we know about who Homer was? When did he compose The Odyssey?

-What was The Iliad and how is it related to The Odyssey?

-What is a "Homeric simile" (="epic simile")?

-The Greeks of Homer's time had an oral storytelling tradition. What does that mean and how did it work?

-What/who are rhapsodes?


UPenn: Homer and epics Homer

This UC Santa Barbara professor's site has some info about The Iliad as well as Greek oral tradition in general:


On this site, a NY State University professor has attempted to read part of The Iliad the way he thinks Homer would have said it--good to get the feel of it--need headphones to listen. English translation is below the Greek. Do you hear how it is spoken a lot like a song?

Homeric Similes: This online book is a bit of work to understand but has tons of info if you take the time


Epic Simile



horseWHEN are we? Um...we landed on the Island of the Lotus Eaters and forgot what we were doing...many days passed...can you tell us what time period it is?

Guiding Questions:

-When was the Trojan War and why was it fought? How did it turn out?

-What was the Trojan Horse?

-Can you explain the difference between the Acheans and the Argives?

-Can you describe the sights and sounds of a live performance of The Odyssey in Ancient Greece?

-What Greek values of Homer's time are reflected in The Odyssey? Especially consider what the Greeks of that time believed abouthospitality and those who violate its rules, and those who demonstrate moderation.

-Gender: What was the role of women compared to the role of men at this time?(Hint: While you're looking up the role of women, make sure you know who Penelope and Calypso were in The Odyssey)


History Channel: Trojan War

University of Pennsylvania: Trojan War Summary

Odysseus' role in the Trojan War

Archaeology Magazine: On this interesting page, an archaeologist involved in a dig at Troy answers the question of whether the archeological evidence proves the Trojan War happened like Homer described in The Iliad:

UPenn Archaeology Museum--click on the links along the top

Hospitality in Greece and the Odyssey

Importance of family in Ancient Greek Literature

Women and slaves in Ancient Greece

Women in Ancient Greece

Women's changing role in Greece

University of Pennsylvania Archaeology Museum: Women's Daily Life