Odysseus and his men blinding the cyclop Polyphemus (detail of a proto-attic amphora, c. 650 BC, museum of Eleusis)

Odysseus with his companions and Polyphemus, Cyclops Painter

Escape of Odysseus, Villa Albani, Rome

Polyphemus and Galatea, Relief , Turin

Polyphemus, Jean-Léon Gérôme

Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus. Joseph Mallord William Turner, c. 1829

The earliest legend which remains to us of Hellenic gastronomy is associated with cannibalism. It is the story of Pelops--an episode almost pre-Homeric, where a certain rudimentary knowledge of dressing flesh, and even of disguising its real nature, is implied in the tale, as it descends to us; and the next in order of times is perhaps the familiar passage in the Odyssey, recounting the adventures of Odysseus and his companions in the cave of Polyphemus. Here, again, we are introduced to a rude society of cave-dwellers, who eat human flesh, if not as an habitual diet, yet not only without reluctance, but with relish and enjoyment. William Carew Hazlitt, Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine

Palaipafos, Sarcophagus with Polyphemus

Mythology Images

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