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Francois Boucher  - The Visit of Venus to Vulcan

Passionate and Compassionate and History's First Feminist

And I welcomed
Odysseus warmly,
cherished him,
even vowed to make
the man immortal,
ageless, all his days...

Homer 800 B.C.

The Greek goddess Calypso was described in Homer's Odyssey 2,800 years ago. Calypso, who lived on Ogygia, an island near Malta, was unmarried, independent, and history's first documented feminist.

There she rescued the hero Odysseus from death as he drifted astride the keel of the his ship that Zeus had shattered with lightning.

For seven years, she kept Odysseus on her island, passionately loving him and offering to make him a god.

However, when Zeus finally ordered her to release Odysseus, she replied "Cruel folk you are, unmatched for jealousy, you gods who cannot bear to let a goddess sleep with a man, even if it is done without concealment and she has chosen him as her lawful consort." She further stated that the gods often slept with mortal women and no objection was ever raised to this behavior.

Calypso then helped Odysseus build a boat and stocked it herself with bread, water, and wine, and sent a following wind so that he would reach his home in Ithaca without difficulties.

She told Odysseus that she had a righteous mind and a heart that, not being indeed of iron, had compassion.

Many scholars say Calypso represents the pure, remote feminine, untouched and inaccessible, separate, distinguished and different from the world of men (or the view of the world by men).

Pietro di Cortona - Venus as Huntress Appears to Aenus

The great hearted
Odysseus was home at last.

The maid Eurynome
bathed him,
Rubbed him
down with Oil,
And drew
around him a royal cape...

Homer 800 B.C.