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Scheria


Scheria (/ˈskɛriə/; Ancient Greek: Σχερίη or Σχερία)—also known as Scherie or Phaeacia—was a region in Greek mythology, first mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as the home of the Phaeacians and the last destination of Odysseus in his 10-year journey before returning home to Ithaca.

Before leaving Ogygia, Odysseus builds a raft and sails eastwards, instructed by Calypso to navigate using the stars as a celestial reference point. On the eighteenth day appear the shadowy mountains of the land of the Phaeacians, that looked like a shield in the misty deep. But Poseidon spots his raft and seeking vengeance for his son Polyphemus who was blinded by Odysseus, produces a storm that torments Odysseus. After three days of struggle with the waves, he is finally washed up on Scheria.

Meanwhile, the goddess Athena, who sneaks into the palace, disguises herself as a sea-captain's daughter and instructs princess Nausicaa, the daughter of King Alcinous in her sleep to go to the seashore to wash her clothes. The next morning, Nausicaa and her maids go to the seashore, and, after washing the clothes, they start to play a game on the beach, with laughs, giggles and shouts. Odysseus, who was exhausted from his adventure and was sleeping nearby, is awakened by the shouts. He covers his nakedness with thick leaves and goes to ask for help from the team. Upon seeing the unkempt Odysseus in this state, the maids run away, but, Nausicaa, encouraged by Athena, stands her ground and talks to him. To excuse the maids, she admits that the Phaeacians are "the farthermost of men, and no other mortals are conversant with them", so they run away since they have never seen a stranger before. Nausicaa, being hospitable, provides clothes, food and drink to Odysseus, then she directs him to the palace of King Alcinous.



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