Oceanus and Tethys
|Siblings||Pleiades, Hyades, Hyas or the Oceanids and the Potamoi|
|Children||By some accounts Latinus, by others Nausithous and Nausinous, the Cephalonians|
In Greek mythology, Calypso (//; Greek: Καλυψώ, "she who conceals") was a nymph who lived on the island of Ogygia, where, according to Homer's Odyssey, she detained Odysseus for seven years. She promised Odysseus immortality if he would stay with her, but Odysseus preferred to return home.
The name "Calypso" may derive from the Ancient Greek καλύπτω (kalyptō), meaning "to cover", "to conceal", or "to hide". According to Etymologicum Magnum, her name means "concealing the knowledge" (καλύπτουσα το διανοούμενον, kalýptousa to dianooúmenon), which – combined with the Homeric epithet δολόεσσα (dolóessa, meaning "subtle" or "wily") – justifies the reclusive character of Calypso and her island.
Calypso is generally said to be the daughter of the Titan Atlas and Pleione. Hesiod, and the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, mention either a different Calypso or possibly the same Calypso as one of the Oceanid daughters of Tethys and Oceanus. Apollodorus includes the name Calypso in his list of Nereids, the daughters of Nereus and Doris. John Tzetzes makes her a daughter of Helios and the Oceanid nymph Perse, the parents of Circe, perhaps due to her association with Circe; the two goddesses were sometimes confused due to their behaviour and connection to Odysseus. According to a fragment from the Catalogue of Women, Calypso bore the Cephalonians to Hermes as suggested by Hermes' visits to her island in the Odyssey.
In Homer's Odyssey, Calypso attempts to keep the fabled Greek hero Odysseus on her island to make him her immortal husband, while he also gets to enjoy her sensual pleasures forever. According to Homer, Calypso kept Odysseus prisoner by force at Ogygia for seven years. Calypso enchants Odysseus with her singing as she moves to and fro, weaving on her loom with a golden shuttle.
Odysseus comes to wish for circumstances to change. He can no longer bear being separated from his wife, Penelope, and wants to tell Calypso. He is seen sitting on a headland crying, and at night he is forced to sleep with her against his will. His patron goddess Athena asks Zeus to order the release of Odysseus from the island; Zeus orders the messenger Hermes to tell Calypso to set Odysseus free, for it was not Odysseus's destiny to live with her forever. She angrily comments on how the gods hate goddesses having affairs with mortals.
Calypso provides Odysseus with an axe, drill, and adze to build a boat. Calypso leads Odysseus to an island where he can chop down trees and make planks for his boat. Calypso also provides him with wine, bread, clothing, and more materials for his boat. The goddess then sets wind at his back when he sets sail. After seven years Odysseus has built his boat and leaves Calypso.
Homer does not mention any children by Calypso. By some accounts that came after the Odyssey, Calypso bore Odysseus a son, Latinus, though Circe is usually given as Latinus' mother. In other accounts, Calypso bore Odysseus two children, Nausithous and Nausinous.
The story of Odysseus and Calypso has some close resemblances to the interactions between Gilgamesh and Siduri in the Epic of Gilgamesh in that "the lone female plies the inconsolable hero-wanderer with drink and sends him off to a place beyond the sea reserved for a special class of honoured people" and "to prepare for the voyage he has to cut down and trim timbers."
A fragment from the Catalogue of Women, erroneously attributed to Hesiod, claimed that Calypso detained Odysseus for years as a favour to Poseidon, the sea-god who detested Odysseus for blinding his son Polyphemus.
Philosophers have written about the meaning of Calypso in the world of ancient Greece. Ryan Patrick Hanley commented on the interpretation of Calypso in Les Aventures de Télémaque written by Fénelon. Hanley says that the story of Calypso illustrates the link between Eros and pride. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer brought attention to the combination of power over fate and the sensibility of "bourgeois housewives" in the depiction of Calypso.
Calypso, blonde-haired goddess by Jan Styka (20th century)
Calypso by George Hitchcock (about 1906)
The Goddess Calypso rescues Ulysses Cornelius van Poelenburgh (1630)
Calypso calling heaven and earth to witness her sincere affection to Ulysses by Angelica Kauffman (18th-century)
Mercury ordering Calypso to release Odysseus by Gerard de Lairesse (1676-1682)
Odysseus und Kalypso by Arnold Böcklin (1883)
Calypso by Henri Lehmann (1869)
Calypso's Isle by Herbert James Draper (1897)
Ulysses on Calypso's island by Ditlev Blunck (1830)
Odysseus bij Calypso (Rijksmuseum) Gérard (de) Lairesse
- Grimal, s.v. Calypso.
- Pontani, Filippomaria (2013). "Speaking and concealing – Calypso in the eyes of some (ancient) interpreters". Symbolae Osloenses. 87 (1): 45. doi:10.1080/00397679.2013.822722. ISSN 0039-7679. S2CID 162397268.
- Entry καλύπτω at LSJ
- Homer, Odyssey, 1.14, 1.51–54, 7.245; Apollodorus, E.7.24. She is sometimes referred to as Atlantis (Ατλαντίς), which means the daughter of Atlas, see the entry Ατλαντίς in Liddell & Scott, and also Hesiod, Theogony 938.
- Hyginus. Fabulae Theogony 16.
- Hesiod, Theogony 359; Homeric Hymn 2.422. According to Caldwell, p. 49 n. 359, the Hesiod Oceanid is "probably not" the same; see also West 1966, p. 267 359. καὶ ἱμερόεσσα Καλυψώ; Hard, p. 41.
- Apollodorus, 1.2.7
- Tzetzes ad Lycophron, Alexandra 174
- E., Bell, Robert (1993). Women of classical mythology : a biographical dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507977-7. OCLC 26255961.
- Most, p. 173, [= fr. 150.25-35 Merkelbach-West]
- Gagné, p. 232
- Homer, Odyssey 7.259
- Homer, Odyssey 5.151-155
- Apollodorus, E.7.24
- Hesiod, Theogony 1011
- See Hesiod, Theogony 1019, Sir James George Frazer in his notes to Apollodorus, E.7.24, says that these verses "are probably not by Hesiod but have been interpolated by a later poet of the Roman era in order to provide the Latins with a distinguished Greek ancestry".
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- Budin, p. 230
- Hyginus, Fabulae 243.7.
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- Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, Massachusetts., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Hesiod, The Shield. Catalogue of Women. Other Fragments. Edited and translated by Glenn W. Most. Loeb Classical Library 503. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-674-99623-6.
- Homer, The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, Massachusetts., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Homeric Hymn to Demeter (2), in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, Massachusetts., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Hyginus, Gaius Julius, Fabulae in Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae: Two Handbooks of Greek Mythology, Translated, with Introductions by R. Scott Smith and Stephen M. Trzaskoma, Hackett Publishing Company, 2007. ISBN 978-0-87220-821-6.
- Smith, William; Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London (1873). "Calypso"
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- West, M. L. (1966), Hesiod: Theogony, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-814169-6.