Author: Jan Scholten
2.7.7 Stage 7, Promethium: the cattle of Helios
Odysseus and his men land on the beautiful island of Thrinacia, where Helios' cattle graze. Odysseus wanted to avoid the island having heard the warning of Circe and Teiresias, that they shouldn’t eat from the cattle otherwise they will face terrible problems. His men want to land to take a rest after the terrible Scylla. So Odysseus decides to land and stay for a night. The next day an unfavorable wind makes it impossible to leave. This wind remains for a month and soon the provisions are finished. Odysseus prays to the Gods for help and falls asleep. Then his men slaughter some of the most beautiful head of cattle and roast them on a spit. The Gods are wrathful, the skins of the cattle walk around and the cattle on the spit moo. When Odysseus wakes up he sees what his men have done and is enraged, but it's too late to change it. Helios threatens to stay in Hades if Zeus won’t take revenge, which Zeus promises to do.
This part in his travels is not difficult in itself for Odysseus. Stage 7 is also not the most difficult. It’s the Stage of cooperation and learning from each other. But the men don’t learn from Odysseus and don’t obey.
Prometheus was also reaching for the sun, here seen as Helios.