The Odyssey Author:Homer, trans. by Butcher and Lang The germ of the whole epic is probably the popular tale, known all over the world, of the warrior who, on his return from a long expedition, has great difficulty in making his prudent wife recognize him. The incident occurs as a detached story in China, and in most European countires it is told of a crusader. We may suppose it to be older than t... more »he legend of Troy, and to have gravitated into the cycle of that legend. The years of the hero's absence are then filled up with adventures (the Cyclops, Circe, the Phaeacians, the Sirens, the descent into hell) which exist as scattered tales, or are woven into the more elaborate epics of Gaels, Aztecs, Hindoos, Tartars, South-Sea Islanders, Finns, Russians, Scandinavians, and Eskimo. The whole is surrounded with the atmosphere of the kingly age of Greece, and the result is The Odyssey, with that unit of plot and variety of character which must have been given by one of masterly constructive genius.