The Cattle of Helios

The Cattle of Helios is an episode in the Odyssey of an epic poem written by Homer. The island in the peom is thought to be set on Thrinica, known as Sicily today. Helios, also known as the sun god, is said to have had seven herds of oxen and seven flocks of sheep, each numbering fifty headexternal image MMBFZLEOVCNL3XNYMF7DPHO672FBNTI5.jpgs. In the Oddessy, Homer describes this cattle as handsome, wide- browed and curved-horned. The cattle were guarded by Helios’ daughters, Phaëthusaa and Lampetie, and everyone knew that anyone who harmed Helios' animals would be punished by the gods.

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In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew landed on Thrinacia. The cattle of the sun god were kept there. They came to the island and saw herds of cattle and flocks of sheep belonging to the sun god. The herds were tended by the goddesses Phaethusa and Lampetia who are the children of Helios. Odysseus told his men not to eat any of the cattle because they would be punished. The men disobeyed his orders and Helios' daughters told their father what they had done. Helios told Zeus what Odysseus' men did and Zeus destroyed the ship and killed all of the men accept for Odysseus because he had told his men not to harm the cattle and didn't eat any of them so his life was spared.