Translated  by Ian Johnston
Vancouver Island University
Nanaimo, British Columbia


Revised 2010
Reformatted with minor corrections 2019


For a Rich Text Format (Word) file of this entire translation, please use the following link: Odyssey [RTF]; for a pdf file of the text, please use the following link: Odyssey [PDF]


Abridged editions of this translation (about forty percent of the total text) are available here via the following links:


Odyssey Abridged [HTML]
Odyssey Abridged [RTF]
Odyssey Abridged [PDF]


Students, teachers, artists, and members of the general public may download and distribute all sections of this translation without charge and without permission. They may also freely edit or adapt the text to suit their purposes. Commercial publication of this text, however, is not permitted without the consent of Ian Johnston

Note that in the following translations, the numbers in square brackets refer to the Greek text, and the numbers without brackets refer to the English text. In the translation a shorter indented line is usually combined with the short line above it as a single line in the reckoning. Endnotes have been provided by the translator.


In this English text, the possessive of names ending in -s is usually indicated in the customary way by adding ’s (e.g., Zeus, Zeus’s; Atreus, Atreus’s, and so on). This convention has the effect of adding a syllable to the word (the sound -iz). It also sometimes produces a rather odd-sounding result. Thus, for metrical and euphonic reasons, the possessive of a name is in places indicated by a simple apostophe, without the s (an alternative fairly common in written English): e.g., Achilles’ anger instead of Achilles’s anger. This latter procedure does not add an extra syllable to the word. In the above example, Achilles’ has three syllables, unlike Achilles’s, which has four.



For Colleen




Book One: Athena Visits Ithaca
Book Two: Telemachus Prepares for his Voyage
Book Three: Telemachus Visits Nestor in Pylos
Book Four: Telemachus Visits Menelaus in Sparta
Book Five: Odysseus Leaves Calypso's Island and Reaches Phaeacia
Book Six: Odysseus and Nausicaa
Book Seven: Odysseus at the Court of Alcinous in Phaeacia
Book Eight: Odysseus is Entertained in Phaeacia
Book Nine: Ismarus, the Lotus Eaters, and the Cyclops
Book Ten: Aeolus, the Laestrygonians, and Circe
Book Eleven: Odysseus Meets the Shades of the Dead
Book Twelve: The Sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, The Cattle of the Sun
Book Thirteen: Odysseus Leaves Phaeacia and Reaches Ithaca
Book Fourteen: Odysseus Meets Eumaeus
Book Fifteen: Telemachus Returns to Ithaca
Book Sixteen: Odysseus Reveals Himself to Telemachus
Book Seventeen: Odysseus Goes to the Palace as a Beggar
Book Eighteen: Odysseus and Irus the Beggar

Book Nineteen: Eurycleia Recognizes Odysseus
Book Twenty: Odysseus Prepares for his Revenge
Book Twenty-One: The Contest With Odysseus' Bow
Book Twenty-Two: The Killing of the Suitors
Book Twenty-Three: Odysseus and Penelope
Book Twenty-Four: Zeus and Athena End the Fighting


Other Ian Johnston files of potential interest to the reader of the Odyssey are as follows:


List of English Translations of the Iliad and Odyssey
Lecture on the Odyssey




Ian Johnston is an Emeritus Professor at Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, British Columbia. He is the author of The Ironies of War: An Introduction to Homer’s Iliad and of Essays and Arguments: A Handbook for Writing Student Essays. He also translated a number of works, including the following:

Aeschylus, Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides)
Aeschylus, Persians
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes
Aeschylus, Suppliant Women
Aristophanes, Birds
Aristophanes, Clouds
Aristophanes, Frogs
Aristophanes, Knights
Aristophanes, Lysistrata
Aristophanes, Peace
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Abridged)
Cuvier, Discourse on the Revolutionary Upheavals on the Surface of the Earth
Descartes, Discourse on Method
Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
Diderot, A Conversation Between D’Alembert and Diderot
Diderot, D’Alembert’s Dream
Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew
Euripides, Bacchae
Euripides, Electra
Euripides, Hippolytus
Euripides, Medea
Euripides, Orestes
Homer, Iliad (Complete and Abridged)
Homer, Odyssey (Complete and Abridged)
Kafka, Metamorphosis
Kafka, Selected Shorter Writings
Kant, Universal History of Nature and Theory of Heaven
Kant, On Perpetual Peace
Lamarck, Zoological Philosophy, Volume I
Lucretius, On the Nature of Things
Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals
Nietzsche, On the Uses and Abuses of History for Life
Ovid, Metamorphoses
Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men [Second Discourse]
Rousseau, Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts [First Discourse]
Rousseau, Social Contract
Sophocles, Antigone
Sophocles, Ajax
Sophocles, Electra
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus
Sophocles, Oedipus the King
Sophocles, Philoctetes
Wedekind, Castle Wetterstein
Wedekind, Marquis of Keith.


Most of these translations have been published as books or audiobooks (or both)—by Richer Resources Publications, Broadview Press, Naxos, Audible, and others.


Ian Johnston maintains a web site where texts of these translations are freely available to students, teachers, artists, and the general public. The site includes a number of Ian Johnston’s lectures on these (and other) works, handbooks, curricular materials, and essays, all freely available.

The address where these texts are available is as follows:



For comments and questions, please contact Ian Johnston.