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Calypso, Fair Goddess of Ogygia, and Nymph of the Odyssey


Calypso swimmingCalypso – the concealing goddess – swims underwater

It is in the Odyssey of Homer that The myth of Calypso is best defined. In that work Calypso and Circe are both goddesses who wish to make Odysseus her love partner. Circe uses magic for transformation, while Calypso needs no such powers. Odysseus overcomes Circe by a show of force, while Calypso is defeated only when Athena pleads the case of Odysseus. Both live on islands. Both have local nymphs for maids. In either case if Odysseus gives in, he will become an immortal nobody. He choses to become an immortal in the tales of his deeds. This is plain in the Odyssey 1.12 “Now all the rest, as many as had escaped sheer destruction, were at home, safe from both war and sea, but Odysseus alone, filled with longing for his return and for his wife, did the queenly nymph Calypso, that bright goddess, [15] keep back in her hollow caves, yearning that he should be her husband.” Calypso was more effective than Circe because when Odysseus arrived he had lost all his men. Her position is spelled out in the Odyssey 5.130, “Him I saved when he was bestriding the keel and all alone, for Zeus had smitten his swift ship with his bright thunder-bolt, and had shattered it in the midst of the wine-dark sea. There all the rest of his goodly comrades perished, but as for him, the wind and the wave, as they bore him, brought him hither. [135] Him I welcomed kindly and gave him food, and said that I would make him immortal and ageless all his days.” Calypso, like Helen, serves to define feminine as a sex-object mainly in terms of masculine desires. The name Calypso means ‘the concealer’ and she represents in the story of Homer the forces that cause a man to be diverted from his goal. There is the suggestion also that what is concealed is also more seductive to the imagination. Calypso is a goddess similar to Scylla and Charybdis because when they are done with you, you are gone. She may be the symbol of a cult that traps you with its seductive belief. Is Calypso really a task or a passion? Do we conquer her by going down the straight and narrow or is success the more circuitous route? Does this say someting about how we have to organize our lives?

One interesting aspect to the Calypso story is that she must have known that she could not succeed. A goddess is privy to what is decreed by the Fates. The destiny of Odysseus to return home is stated at Odyssey 1.16, “But when, as the seasons revolved, the year came in which the gods had ordained that he should return home to Ithaca, not even there was he free from toils, even among his own folk.”

The name Calypso, Καλυψώ may have its source in Indo-European language. It relates to the Greek word καλύπτ-which means to conceal. The Indo-European name may reference something more sinister. It may come from ‘k̑el’, ‘ to hide, conceal’ and ‘u̯l̥p– ‘(a carnivorous animal, esp. fox, wolf, etc.)’. Calypso may be an Indo-European goddess of the underworld whose function was not unlike the Valkyries of Norse myth. But she was a demon who actually ate the heroes and may have been much like Scylla to the Indo-Europeans.

In the link Proto-Indo-European Deities there is this about Kolyos:

“The Coverer” – the goddess of death. Her name survived into the Norse Hel, Greek Kalypso, and Hindi Sarva (Lincoln, 1991, p. 78). We have seen that the land of the dead has a god; Kolyos, on the other hand, is death itself. She drags people down into death with a noose or a snare. She is not a goddess to be friends with, then, but not one to make an enemy of either. Sacrifices to the dead involve a separation, while at the same time honoring; this sort of ritual is definitely appropriate for Kolyos. She is best offered a pig, which is not shared with her worshipers.

Keep far from us your snare,
You who lie in wait for us.
Keep far from us the time
when you will be our Coverer.
We honor you, we acknowledge your power,
but we do not desire your presence.
Take what we give you and do not return.

This would make Calypso like a wolf devouring the dead like food. In the context of death at the time of the Trojan war this would be like the devouring of the fire of the funeral pyre. Later it would be the earth that devours the dead as they are buried in a grave. This is a concept that fits Homer. Think of the hero who is up against overwhelming odds. For him death may look very appealing like a seductive young woman. The choice is between death and an end of suffering and life with continual pain. The immortality that Calypso may have offered is the same as death.

Interestingly the goddesses of the Indo-European culture were quite distinct from the gods as in explained at reference here:

While men were associated with doing things (the three functions), women were associated with being things.. In Homer Calypso fits this idea. She is a goddess of place. Calypso fits better goddesses like Europa and Asia who are goddesses of places. But the place she is goddess of is not necessarily a real place like Europe and Asia. The name of her island Ogygia is not likely Indo-European. Yet if she were a goddess of death then that brings her more into the realm of functions.

Jacques Cousteau suggested Calypso was associated with the sea because he named his ship after her and used a symbol of the nude Calypso swimming in the sea. But Homer has her differently occupied:

Homer, Odyssey 5.55 But when he had reached the island which lay afar, then forth from the violet sea he came to land, and went his way until he came to a great cave, wherein dwelt the fair-tressed nymph; and he found her within. A great fire was burning on the hearth, and from afar over the isle there was a fragrance [60] of cleft cedar and juniper, as they burned; but she within was singing with a sweet voice as she went to and fro before the loom, weaving with a golden shuttle. Round about the cave grew a luxuriant wood, alder and poplar and sweet-smelling cypress, [65] wherein birds long of wing were wont to nest, owls and falcons and sea-crows with chattering tongues, who ply their business on the sea. And right there about the hollow cave ran trailing a garden vine, in pride of its prime, richly laden with clusters. [70] And fountains four in a row were flowing with bright water hard by one another, turned one this way, one that. And round about soft meadows of violets and parsley were blooming.

Now compare the dwelling of Calypso to that of Circe:,

Homer, Odyssey 10.210 Within the forest glades they found the house of Circe, built of polished stone in a place of wide outlook, and round about it were mountain wolves and lions, whom Circe herself had bewitched; for she gave them evil drugs. Yet these beasts did not rush upon my men, [215] but pranced about them fawningly, wagging their long tails. And as when hounds fawn around their master as he comes from a feast, for he ever brings them bits to soothe their temper, so about them fawned the stout-clawed wolves and lions; but they were seized with fear, as they saw the dread monsters. [220] So they stood in the gateway of the fair-tressed goddess, and within they heard Circe singing with sweet voice, as she went to and fro before a great imperishable web, such as is the handiwork of goddesses, finely-woven and beautiful, and glorious.

Both goddesses are weavers, yet Calypso lives in a cave while Circe has a house of polished stones. Calypso has birds while Circe harbours wolves.

Links to possible pictures of Calypso from ancient Greece:

Modern pictures of Calypso

Homer says in Book I of the Odyssey: “Odysseus…the lady nymph Calypso held, that fair goddess, in her hollow caves, longing to have him for her lord.” This is reminiscent of the fact that early worship in Crete ocurred in caves.

Calypso worpshiping in a cave

Calypso may have invited the goddess Eleos to her island to perform ceremonies in a cave. Eleos was the goddess of compassion who was often enlisted to gain access to the goddess Athena. It was Athena who commanded Calypso to release Odysseus. In the Minoan culture ceremonies were often held in caves. Homer refers to Calypso being in Caves.

Hesiod says that Calypso was one of the charming daughters that sprang from Ocean and Tethys, making her one of the Oceanids. He also says: “(Theogony, ll. 1017-1018) And the bright goddess Calypso was joined to Odysseus in sweet love, and bare him Nausithous and Nausinous.” later he also says: “And they sped to the tribe of the haughty Cephallenians, the people of patient-souled Odysseus whom in aftertime Calypso the queenly nymph detained for Poseidon.” (Oxyrhynchus Papyri 1358 fr. 2 (3rd cent. A.D.)ll. 8-35)

Apollodorus says that Calypso is one of the daughters of Atlas and bore Odysseus a son Latinus.

That Calypso is thought to be an Oceanid does not mean that she lived in the sea. Only two, Amphitrite and Doris, were permanently attached to the sea. The Odyssey seems to make her the goddess of her island, Ogygia. Asia and Europa were similar Oceanids but their territory was much larger. Her island was strangely idyllic with gardens, forests, and fountains. Though the Island was, at least, located in the western Mediterranean, no one knows which exact island it is. Though it is likely she swam in the sea she probably did not wear seaweed as Thetis is often pictured.

In her garden Calypso steps on olives while a nymph presses them on OgygiaCalypso pressing olives

Calypso and Her Impact on Greek Art and Culture


Questions and Answers

Question: Are there any other myths on Calypso other than in the Odyssey?

Answer: Yes there are. They relate to the children that she has by Odysseus.  You can read more about her at:
Click here

Question: what type of costume or clothing may be associated with Calypso, and Aphrodite?

Answer: In the Odyssey (Book VII) Odysseus states:
“And on the tenth dark night the gods brought me nigh the isle Ogygia, where Calypso of the braided tresses dwells, an awful goddess. She took me in, and with all care she cherished me and gave me sustenance, and said that she would make me to know not death nor age for all my days; but never did she win my heart within me.
There I abode for seven years continually, and watered with my tears the imperishable raiment that Calypso gave me.” From this we can conclude only that her hair was braided. Elsewhere she is referred to as fair. Circe is also described as having braided hair but I find no examples of braided hair among the classical Greeks. If it is true that her name means concealer and this relates to a bridal veil then we might be able to say that she dresses as a bride in a filmy outfit. This is also reminiscent of the gossamer outfits that the other goddesses wore.

Calypso lived during Mycenaean times and could be pictured in Mycenaean garb at that time. The Mycenaean costume was similar to the Minoan and consisted of a vest-like garment that exposed the breasts, a girdle, and a flounced Dress. The Minoan snake goddess wears such an outfit: Click here,

Question: is there a goddess for protection of men , travel, transportation

Answer: Athena is the best goddess for the protection of men. Aphrodite is the goddess of travel and transportation.

Question: do you have any more info. on calypso if so please email it to me

Answer: Hesiod says that Calypso was one of the charming daughters that sprang from

Ocean and Tethys, making her one of the Oceanids. He also says: “(Theogony, ll. 1017-1018)
And the bright goddess Calypso was joined to Odysseus in sweet love, and bare him Nausithous and Nausinous.” later he also says: “And they sped to the tribe of the haughty Cephallenians, the people of patient-souled Odysseus whom in aftertime Calypso the queenly
nymph detained for Poseidon.” (Oxyrhynchus Papyri 1358 fr. 2 (3rd cent. A.D.)
ll. 8-35)

Apollodorus says that Calypso is one of the daughters of Atlas and bore Odysseus a son Latinus.

Question: personality and physical characteristics

Answer: Calypso was a loving, kind, beautiful goddess, who, for some reason, lived on an isolated island.

Question: what is the greek and roman name for calypso

Answer: The name Calypso means the concealer. Both the Greeks and Romans used the name Calypso.

Question: Where can i find actual pictures of Calypso

Answer: According to Homer Calypso is an immortal goddess, in which case she is still around. But I know of no cases of her revealing herself to anyone lately. Oddly, she did not reveal herself to any of the ancient Greeks except Odysseus. The Minoans did have epiphanies recorded and illustrated, but they are absent from archaic and classical Greece. This is fairly obvious because a sculptor or painter of a goddess used their own model so each goddess has a different visage depending on the artist. We have no trace of Odysseus, not even his dwelling, so any pictures he may have made are lost.

Question: If Atlas is the father, who is the mother?

Answer: This cannot be determined.

Question: Was it true that she demaned Posidon give Odysseus to
her, and that in his anger to Odsseus he created a storm wrecking
his ship on Calypso’s island?

Answer: Here is what Homer says (Odyssey, Book ):
“There is an isle, Ogygia, that lies far off in the sea; there dwells the daughter of Atlas, crafty Calypso, of the braided tresses, an awful goddess, nor is any either of gods or mortals conversant with her. Howbeit, some god brought me to her hearth, wretched man that I am, all alone, for that Zeus with white bolt crushed my swift ship
and cleft it in the midst of the wine-dark deep. There all the rest of my good company was lost, but I clung with fast embrace about the keel of the curved ship, and so was I borne for nine whole days. And on the tenth dark night the gods brought me nigh the isle Ogygia, where Calypso of the braided tresses dwells, an awful goddess.”

Answer: Apollodorus says (Library and Epitome, E 7.22):
“And thence he came to Thrinacia, an island of the Sun, where kine were grazing, and being windbound, he tarried there. But when his comrades slaughtered some of the kine and banqueted on them, for lack of food, the Sun reported it to Zeus, and when Ulysses put out to sea, Zeus struck him with a thunderbolt. And when the ship broke up, Ulysses clung to the mast and drifted to Charybdis. And when Charybdis sucked down the mast, he clutched an overhanging wild fig-tree and waited, and when he saw the mast shot up again, he cast himself on it, and was carried across to the island of Ogygia.”

It would seem that Zeus wrecked his ship before he landed on Ogygia. Poseidon wrecked the raft he used to escape Ogygia.

Question: i would just like main information on what calypso
ate and what she did in her spare time

Answer: Calypso is a goddess so she eats ambrosia and drinks nectar. In her spare time she likes to go swimming in the sea around her island. Her nymphs wait for her with towels and a robe on the beach. She then sits down on the sand for a snack served up by the nymphs. They had no swimming suits in those days so she might have an olive oil rub down to keep her skin fresh.

Question: How old was Calypso?

Answer: She is the same age as Aphrodite, who she resembled in many respects.


Answer: The ancient Greeks did not do this. She has been called the
daughter of Oceanus, Nereus, Atlas, or even Helios.

Question: Do you think Calypso was a positive or negative portrayal of a women in Greek literature? Possibly in comparison or contrast to Penelope?

Answer: As a seductress and a concealer she has a negative connotation, but as a rescuer and a perserver she has a positive connotation. Her contrast to Penelope is simple: Penelope is the goal while Calypso is a diversion.

Question: did Telemachus ever get to Calypso’s island Ogygia

Answer: Various writers get Telemachus to Circe’s island Aeaea but not to Calypso’s island Ogygia.

Question: how was calypso created/born?

Answer: The myths have Calypso born to divine parents, but her nativity is uncertain. Possible parents include Oceanus and Tethys, Nereus and Doris, or Atlas and Pleione.

Question: is there a description of calypso’s island?

Answer: Only what is in the Odyssey. The description is not good enough to locate it.

Question: Was Odysseus really held captive or did he choose to stay?

Answer: He was more stranded than captive. He could not leave until he had a vessel. Calypso did hide tools from Odysseus so in that sense she was his captor. But since he was not aware of this deception, he thought well of her and did not treat her as a captor. When she finally gave him tools and wood he was able to make a vessel for his departure.

Question: What is Calypso the goddess of?

Answer: Calypso was one of the many nymphs who had as a realm a physical region. Unfortunately the island, Ogygia, that is her realm has never been identified. Calypso was most propery the Goddess of Ogygia.

Question: What did Calypso wear?

Answer: A goddess can wear anything from nothing to an imperishable gown made by Athena. Normally she is pictured in a chiton, because this is what the ancient Greeks wore.

Question: how long has she existed?

Answer: Most goddesses are quite old, about 28,000 years, but some say they have existed 600,000.

Question: What kind of Goddess was Calypso?

Answer: Calypso is described as a nymph whose realm was the island she inhabited.  The nymphs that served her were nymphs of the caves, streams, and trees of the island. She is also described as an Oceanid. The word “nymph” derives from an indo-European word “sneubh-” which means “to marry”. The word Oceanid is not so easily derived from a Indo-European background. She is similar to the Oceanids, Europa and Asia. It might be better to refer to her as an Oceanid served by nymphs since the island of her realm surely had springs, streams, and trees. Both nymphs and Oceanids are eternal goddesses but the Oceanid would have slightly higher status.

Question: Is there anything in Greek mythology about a group of women known as the “Daughters of the Ocean?”

Answer: There were anywhere from 7 to 3000 Oceanides. Hesiod includes Calypso as one of these.

Question: Why is Calypso stuck on Ogygia alone? Did she offend a greater God(dess)?

Answer: She is not stuck. Ogygia is her realm. She can leave, but she will return to her home. There are nymphs who serve her there. She can also visit in the palace of Zeus.

Question: what are calypso’s fears

Answer: Goddesses have little to fear.

Question: What did she do for her people?

Answer: She is a goddess with a very restricted realm and may not have had any people. But there were lots of nymphs with only a tree or a spring for a realm. These goddesses had only occasional contact with mortals. But still they were important. Unless the mortal who needed the resource of the realm was kind to the local nymph, the mortal could not make use of the resource. Angering the nymph might result in a fatal “accident.” Some nymphs were coerced to provide other favors, perhaps sex, or perhaps fortelling the future.

Question: What’s calypso’s whole like TOTAL story…?

Answer: It is impossible for us mortals to know the total story of any
goddess let alone Calypso.

Question: I’m doing a Travel Brochure for my english class and i have to tell whats so speacial about calypsos island. where can i find some
information about that and can you help me out if you have any information.

Answer: All the information about Calypso’s Island is to be found in
the Odyssey of Homer.


Answer: Calypso is a goddess and needs no justification. Her character has a function in the story perhaps, but her existence just has to be accepted. The truth is that islands happen in the Mediterranean sea and if the storm winds blow you may get stuck on one of them. If the island that you find is supportive, do you stay, or do you try to return home. If you do not return home you have no story to tell to your family and friends.

Question: what is the Ogygia Isle?

Answer: Ogygia is an island in the Mediterranean Sea that is the realm of Calypso. The island of Gozo has a cave, Calypso’s cave on Ramala bay. For this reason Gozo is sometimes given as Ogygia. Gozo is one of the islands of Malta, just south of Sicily.

Question: When Calypso captured Odysseus what exactly did they do for those 10 years?

Answer: Calypso administered her realm while Odysseus lived as her consort. She worked and he played. For pleasure he would have hunted, fished, and performed athletics. Together they feasted and made love. Not a single ship stopped at the island in the ten years. Nor did there seem to be other men on the island. The realm was entirely self-contained and operated by nymphs with Calypso as queen. They may not have depended for supplies because Calypso could get them by flying through the air. But if this were the case she could have delivered Odysseus in the same way. Otherwise everything had to be made locally. There would have had to have been local farms and fields where food and supplies were grown. Yarn had to be spun, cloth woven, and dresses made. Food had to be prepared. Calypso had to organize all this and administer any justice that was appropriate. Odysseus could have helped with this. In the evening everyone gathered for a feast. There was singing, dancing, and storytelling.

Question: what is calypso’s symbol?

Answer: A dolphin.

Question: were did she live?

Answer: She lived on an Island in the Mediterranean Sea called Ogygia. The location of this island is not certain but there are possibilities:

The islet of Gavdos, opposite Sfakia, is the southern-most border of Greece and Europe. It is 23 nautical miles away from Loutro, right in the middle of the Libyan Sea. According to Callimachus, this is the ancient isle of Ogygia where, as Homer claims in “Odyssey”, the nymph Calypso lived. Other names of Gavdos in the past were “Cavdos” and “Clavdos” (Ptolemens and Ierocles), “Glavdi” (the Epistles), “Gozzo” (the Venetians).

Island of Gozo, lying just off the coast of northern Malta. The Gozitans have always claimed theirs as the fabled Island of Calypso where the sea-nymph held the Greek hero, Odysseus, captive for 7 years.

Question: I’m doing a report on Calypso and I’ve heard that Calypso was the “goddess of the sea”. But according to your site, she is not. Why is shes known as the “goddess of the sea” and if she is indeed not, what exactly is the the goddess of??

Answer: Aphrodite is more commonly called the goddess of the sea. Of course the god of the sea is Poseidon. Pontus is also so called. but
Amphitrite the wife of Poseidon, is possibly more appropriate as goddess of the sea. Calypso is called the goddess of the sea because her true realm is Ogygia, an island in the sea that is not easy to locate. It is possible that this island only appears to lost sailors who are about to be drowned.

Question: what time period did Calypso live in?

Answer: Calypso is an immortal goddess who is just as alive today as
she was during the time of ancient Greece.

Question: did she have any more guests on the island

Answer: Homer’s Odyssey is the only real source we have about Calypso. Circe had other guests so the possibility is there. But there is less dispute about the location of Circe’s island. There is the suggestion that Ogygia existed just for Odysseus.

Map of Voyage

Question: Is Calypso a witch?

Answer: The concept of devine comes from the Indo-European word deiw- which means to shine and its deritives sky, heaven, and god. The concept of witch comes from the Indo-European word “weik” which relates to magic and religious notions. It is the difference between a mortal who performs a ritual for a divinity and the divinity itself. So what a goddess does is not really magic. Magic is when a mortal appeals to or appeases a deity in some way and the result is the action of a deity as a result of this appeal. Calypso is an ancient Greek goddess. There is a confusion between witch and goddess because many early Christians tried to demonize the deities of the Greek religion. They did this to encourage belief in their own faith. But a witch is a special Christian concept. A witch
is an agent of the devil and gets her power from the devil. Ancient Greeks had no concept of the Devil. Furthermore a goddess has her own power and needs no other spirit. A witch is a mortal who calls upon a satanic power to carry out her deeds. A goddess such as Calypso can be called upon through prayer to accomplish deeds in her realm. Since the realm of Calypso is the island Ogygia, calling upon her is really useless, especially since we have only a faint idea where her island is. Calling upon Hecate, the Greek goddess of charms and luck is more likely, since her realm is very wrought up
in human affairs. In fact persons calling themselves witches today still call upon Hecate. They deny making any pact with the Devil as Christians claim. In the popular literature there is little distinction beween the devotees of Hecate and the Devil. In Greek literature Medea acts just like a witch but she is a priestess of Hecate. Circe also acts just like a witch but she, like Calypso, is a goddess in her own right.

Question: What would she look like in modern time?

Answer: If she visited you she would look exactly like a friend of yours. In fact she would be indistinguishable since her divine powers are restricted to the Island Ogygia. If Athena were to visit you as your friend you could recognize her by her uncany wisdom. She might also turn into a bird and fly away. But Calypso is probably limited in her powers to her island and would be hard pressed to demonstrate her divinity.

Question: Does Calypso have any siblings?

Answer: We know too little about Calypso to make this determination. Circe may well be her sister.

Question: did she have a child with Odysseus

Answer: Some accounts gave Calypso two chidren by Odysseus: Telegonus and Auson. Most likely, though, this is a confusion between Circe and Calypso.

Question: Please. I have to dress up as Calypso for a project. I have to use something that would make it obvious who I am supposed to be. How should I dress???

Answer: Your situation is difficult. The best solution is to wear Calypso’s symbol, which is a dolphin. You could wear a peplos with images of dolphins on it.  But not everyone would understand this and might be confused by the dress.  Better would be to go naked and ride on a dolphin. But this is probably not practical. Maybe you could wear a skin colored body stocking.

Calypso actually would have worn Mycenaean garb, but this involve baring your breasts. The garment consisted of a vest like blouse that bared the breasts, a girdle or cinch around the waist, and a long flounced skirt. Goddesses also sometimes carried a wand or staff with their symbol on the end. Seaweed might also help the illusion of being a nymph of the sea but it might confuse you with Thetis.

Question: what impact does calypso have in the future?

Answer: The story of Calypso is bound up with the Odyssey which has been a source of inspiration for about 2750 years. It is likely this will continue. The purpose in that story has been much debated and no clear answer has presented itself. But that in itself is a hint. It is a fascinating factor in a fascinating story that still sparks the imagination. This is the kind of thing that motivates study and develops thought. This is the best path for a bright future.

Question: What did Calypso wear?

Answer: All goddesses were shape changers and could wear anything they could thing of. When she wanted to appear as a goddess she wore gossamer. Gossamer is a material woven by spiders that is lighter than silk and much more transparent. But when woven for a goddess it is imperishable and never needs
be replaced.

Question: Calypso’s effect on Greek ARt

Answer: Homer was very influential on the Greek mind set but there is little evidence that Calypso was a part of that influence. There are references to Calypso and images of her produced but there never became a cult of Calypso. A careful study of Calypso reveals that avoiding her is better than embracing her. Calypso tries to seduce Odysseus away from his goal, but she fails. Later artists have valuable goals which they embrace without distraction.

Question: Has she an emblem?

Answer: A Nereid riding on a Dolphin would work. Click here

Question: Could “La Isla del Perejil” (= “Parsley Island!), curresntly
disputed by Spain and Morocco, be Calypso’s “Island of Ogygia”? I’ve found a Spanish site that suggests so! La ninfa Calipso.- La isla Ogigia estaba en el fin del mundo. Calipso vivía en una gran cueva cuya entrada estaba oculta por una parra. Al lado de la cueva había una verde pradera de perejil y lirios, regada por cuatro riachuelos y bosquecillos de olmos, chopos, álamos y cipreses.

Answer: Yes. Almost any island in the Meterranean qualifies since the location has yet to be established.

Question: I heard somewhere that Calypso is said to be as beautiful as Aphrodite is this true??

Answer: All goddesses are perfectly beautiful. The only distinction is your own attitude.

Question: What was Calypso’s weapon?

Answer: A goddess needs no weapon in the ordinary sense. What the fates seem to do is weave several threads that connect at a number of points. A mortal’s life follows one thread at a time. When the life arrives at one of the juncture points the life can be switched to another thread. This new thread can be better or worse. A goddess knows the content of each thread and what the consequences of the switch are. In this way she can make life better or worse for the mortal by switching the thread that is followed. This is her power. In addition some of the deities do bear weapons. If Calypso needs one of those weapons used she can strike a deal with the other deity. She can usually get what she wants this way, but the result is subject to the will of the other deity.

Question: What was Calypso’s nickname?

Answer: I do not think you want to use a nickname on a goddess. The problem is that the name of a goddess may have magical properties. This is why curses often contain the name of a god. But if the name is confused the property is gone.

Question: Does Calypso have any sibings?

Answer: Her parentage is uncertain and so are her siblings. She might have been the sister of Circe or Pasiphae.

Question: Who is Calypso’s mother in some theory’s?

Answer: “Hyas, son of Atlas and Pleione, [was killed] by a boar, or by a lion.” Hyginus Fabulae 248″ For this reason Pleione is taken as the mother of Calypso.

Question: Who were the children she had by Odysseus?

Answer: By Odysseus, Calypso became the mother of two sons, Nausitho201s and Nausino201s

Question: What places are there on Calypso’s island? Like are there caves or land marks that might have exsisted?

Answer: All the information about Calypso’s island is contained in the Odyssey. There is a suggestion that the idea of Calypso’s island comes from the same place as Circe’s island. Circe’s connection to birds suggests that both Calypso and Circe have their roots in a bird goddess of the ancient Minoans. Kythera was an Island that contained a sanctuary that might serve as a model for Calypso’s island.

Question: What were the strengths and weaknesses of the goddess Calypso?

Answer: As a goddess Calypso is not judged by her strengths and weakenesses but rather the realm that she rules. But the nature of her realm is not at all clear. Why anyone would assign women to resources is not at all clear either but peoples that influenced the Greeks seemed to do this. Perhaps this relates to a dowery that often come with a woman. The word ‘nymph’ at any rate implies a mariagable woman. These creatures are usually pictured as young woman ripe for marriage. Each is assigned a domain which consists
of a maneagable resource such as a spring, a tree, or a meadow. There is a hirearchy among these creatures for they are clumped into local groups ruled by a higher status nymph who has the others as servants. Her realm is usually a larger geographical area. Calypso seems to be such a goddess.  The nature of her realm seems to be the island on which she lives. She has other qualities which are probably related to the nature of things on the island. A goddess cannot be distinquised from her realm and her properties are those of her realm. But there really is not that much known about her
Island Ogygia. La Isla del Perejil, The islet of Gavdos, and Island of
Gozo all claim to be this island.

Question: Why was her symbol a dolphin? What traits is she best known for and why? How did she feel about her parents?

Answer: I do not think her symbol is a dolphin. I think Jacques Cousteau used the symbol of the dolphin and named his ship after her. There is no reason to believe she even lived in the sea. By some she is referred to as an Oceanid, but Homer did not say so. And few Oceanids remained in the sea. But Calypso is plainly a seductress and Freudian imagery connects sexual connotations with water and the sea. The image of Calypso riding on a dolphin seems pretty sexy to contemporary man and so Calypso is now connected with dolphins but she was not in ancient Greece. I have not found any ancient images of Calypso from ancient Greece.

Calypso is best know for being a seductress. She and Circe have this in common. But though Circe turns her men into pigs, Calypso hides them away. Her name means “she who conceals”. There are a number of stories of women who rule over islands. At the time of Homer there were many tales of the sea because around that time exploration by Greek ships was common. Though the rewards of such trips were great, the dangers were great too. You have to wonder why there were such islands of women in these tales. But they seem to match stories of Mermaids in our own time and so are likely to be just sailor fantasies.

We really know little about her parents. There is no agreement as to who her parents were. But they seemed to have left her well off. It is doubtful that her failure with Odysseus had anything to do with her parents.

A Cave is mentioned as her home and it is interesting to note that Caves were a place of worship in ancient Crete. She may be a made-over goddess from ancient Crete but her name is Greek and so also has a Greek origin.

Question: what is calypso’s physical description?

Answer: Calypso is not a physical being and so a physical description is not appropriate. Hesiod does describe her as lovely (Theogony, 359) . Homer describes her as “a nymph, immortal and most beautiful”. (Odyssey, I-15). According to the Ancient Greeks these goddesses were shape changers and could appear in any guise. Normally they appeared in a manner to fit the viewers expectations unless they were involved in deception. But, of course, your expections might differ from those of Hesiod or Homer. Even so the goddesses could not all be equally beautiful, even in your eyes, or you could not tell them apart. Aishwarya Rai has been called ‘the world’s most beautiful woman.’ But she is a mortal. Calypso would have to be even more beautiful because she is a goddess. The ancient Greeks would want you to idealize the goddess by considering Aishwarya Rai and all the other beautiful women you have known. Most goddesses have symbols with which they are associated and often can be used to identify them. The best symbol for Calypso is a veil as this is associated with her name. Some have associated Calypso with a dolphin but this is more problematic. At any rate if a beautiful goddess comes to you wearing a veil then you might recognize her as Calypso.