• Serifos - Odysseus and Cyclops Polyphemus

Odysseus & the Cyclops

The Epics of the “Odyssey” and the “Iliad” anointed Homer, not only as poet, but also as an omniscient, founder and integrator of every science, including geography.

In the ancient years, many were the wise men that tried to depict on a map the mythical journey of Odysseus, confident that it did not take place in fantasy lands. Some placed the journey in the North Sea and the greater Atlantic Ocean area, others in the Black Sea and the West Mediterranean. In the meantime, there was also the aspiration of many emigrants who, wanting to honor their homeland, presented their own lands as stops in Odysseus’s journey.

Thus, in one of the version of the Greek mythology, the Cyclopes are supposed to have resided in Serifos -this is why it is often referred to as the ‘island of Cyclopes’. These creatures, children of God Poseidon, monstrous and huge, used to live in the southwest part of the island, between Mega Livadi and Koutalas. There you can find the Throne and the Cave of the Cyclops –which is nowadays blocked due to precipitation.

According to the myth, during his long-suffering and multiannual journey back to Ithaca, Odysseus passed by Serifos. Wandering on the land, along with his sailors, he encountered the wildest of the Cyclopes, Polyphemus, who imprisoned all of them in his cave and started devouring one after the other.

Six of the companions were eaten, until Odysseus (with the help of the others) managed to stab a flaming wooden trunk in Cyclops’s eye.

In a desperate attempt to stop their escape, the now blind Polyphemus lifted a huge rock, which he threw towards their ship. It is said that the rock became a barren island, the islet “Garbias” (or “Mikronisi”), which can be seen southwest of Kalo Ampeli, by the edge of the bay.