Homer [ca 750 BCE] : Lotus Eaters & Cyclopes [first two episodes in travels of Odysseus, for which click here]
           Poet's concern: quality of story, its plausibility yet novelty.
        Horizons of Homer's World:  Who? Where? When? What? Why?
              {for ancient pictures of Homeric World, click here}
            Characters? Places named or implied? Time frame? Actions & Reasons?
            Whbo: Odysseus, Crew, Lotus Eaters, Cyclopes (plural)) & the Cyclops (singular, called Polyphemus);
           Places. Imaginary {from our & Homer's point of view}:
                                land of Lotus Eaters, land of Cyclopes, island populated only by wild goats. Times. Imaginary: ca 1200 BCE, ordinary world during Trojan War
                            [actual order of life in Homer's time, ca 750 BCE];
                            ca centuries before the War at Troy (ca 1200 BCE).
Actions & Reasons?
Questions raised in class: Similarity & difference with previous: Jamaal broke the ice by remarking that the Lotus sounds like a drug, that made Odysseus' men forget their normal culture.

On the Cyclopes, then, several people pointed out how Odysseus describes Cyclopes' culture as lacking key elements of the culture described on the shield, e.g. (exempli gratia "for example") laws, an assembly or council (c.f. the trial by council of elders), regular work of the land (agriculture), in short civic institutions & civil behavior towards one another, two basic features of city life & of civilization as understood by…Homer, the Greeks.

Someone else pointed out that Homer also makes Odysseus emphasize the lack of something that was crucial to Greek culture though not represented in the design of the shield: ship making & sailing to explore many lands & learn about many peoples, for purposes of trade & finding new places to settle. Climax of discussion: how Homer imagines Odysseus describing an uninhabited island that the Cyclopes could not visit because they had no ships. In his picture of Odysseus sizing up the island, Homer lets us see how a Greek of his own day would have looked at the new territories discovered in the course of exploring the coasts of the Black Sea, the Aegean, southern Italy & Sicily. In short, Homer gives us a picture of the Greek penchant for establishing colonies (colonizing), often at the expense of peoples already there (earlier arrivals, not strictly speaking, we said, either "native" or "aboriginal" or "autochthonous," that is not born from the earth in that place, but merely immigrants of an earlier age).

Homer represents Odysseus as coming from a culture that hunts, pastures animals, & farms, also sails, thus is interested in rich land for plowing, meadows for pasture, fresh water, & safe harbor.