Homer – on the Cyclops and Handling of Wine

“The Cyclops took the wine and drank it up. And the delicious drink gave him such 

exquisite pleasure that he asked for another bowlful.

‘Give me more, please, and tell me your name – here and now –

I would like to make you a gift that will please you.

We Cyclopes have wine of our own made from the grapes that our

rich soil and rains from Zeus produce.

But this vintage of yours is a drop of the real nectar and and ambrosia.

So said the Cyclops, and I handed him another bowlful of the sparkling wine.

Three times I filled it for him: and three times the fool

drained the bowl to the dregs.

At last, when the wine had fuddled his wits,

I addressed him with soothing words.

‘Cyclops,’ I said, ‘you ask me my name. I’ll tell it to you: and

in return give me the gift you promised me. 

My name is Nobody. That is what I am called by my mother and father

and by all my friends.’

The Cyclops answered me from his cruel heart.

‘Of all his company I will eat nobody last, and the rest before him.

That shall be your gift.’

He had hardly spoken before he toppled over and fell face upwards

on the floor, where he lay with his great neck twisted to one side,

and all – compelling sleep overpowered him.”

(Homer: Odyssey IX, 353-574 from E.V. Rieu’s translation for Penguin, 1991)

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