In Greek mythology, Calypso was either a goddess or an ocean nymph, who inhabited a mythical island called Ogygia. Calypso appeared in the Odyssey, the Greek epic that describes the wanderings of Odysseus* on his way home from the Trojan War*. Although accounts vary, Calypso was apparently the daughter of a Titan, possibly of Atlas.
nymph minor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful
epic long poem about legendary or historical heroes, written in a grand style
Titan one of a family of giants who ruled the earth until overthrown by the Greek gods of Olympus
When Odysseus was shipwrecked and washed up on the shore of Ogygia during his voyage home, Calypso fell in love with him. She kept him on the island for seven years and offered him eternal life and youth if he would remain with her forever. However, Odysseus
* See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.
yearned to return home to see his wife, from whom he had been separated for a long time. Zeus* took pity on the hero and sent Hermes* with an order for Calypso to release him. She agreed and gave Odysseus supplies for his voyage. Legend says that she bore him at least one son.