The Odyssey is one of the oldest known works of Western literature and is widely considered the preeminent work of ancient Greek literature. The Odyssey recounts the adventures of the hero Odysseus in his journey home after the fall of Troy. It is a tale that takes place over ten years, with many digressions, and covers a wide variety of themes: war and peace, love and hate, humans and gods.
Odysseus was born in Ithaca, an island in Greece to Laertes and Anticleia. He was one of the few surviving members of the royal family after their city was destroyed by the giants because they refused to pay them tribute. As an infant he was left on Mount Parnassus to be devoured by wild beasts but was rescued by a shepherd named Polyphides who took him back to his parents who raised him as their own son.
He had many adventures during his lifetime but is best known for his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War ended in 1184 BC. While trying to get home, he had many encounters with gods and goddesses like Zeus, Poseidon and Athena; he also fought against monsters such as Scylla, Charybdis and Polyphemus; he traveled through many lands including Troy (modern day Turkey), Egypt and Ethiopia.