‘Thence for nine days’ space I was borne by direful winds over the teeming deep; but on the tenth we set foot on the land of the Lotus-eaters, who eat a flowery food….and the Lotus-eaters did not plan death for my comrades, but gave them of the lotus to taste. And whosoever of them ate of the honey-sweet fruit of the lotus, had no longer any wish to bring back word or to return, but there they were fain to abide among the Lotus-eaters, feeding on the lotus, and forgetful of their homeward way…’—Odyssey IX.82ff. (online text: Eng., Grk.)

Ancient Localizations

Herodotus 4.177

Online text: Eng., Grk.

“There is a headland jutting out into the sea from the land of the Gindanes [coast of Libya]; on it live the Lotus Eaters, whose only fare is the lotus.”

Pseudo-Skylax Periplus 110.1, 4

*Pseudo-Skylax, Periplus 110.1, 4 links the coast of Libya (as does Ptolemy Geography 4.3) and the island Bracheion (Djerba) with the Lotus-Eaters.

Polybius Histories 34.3

Online text: Eng., Grk.

“So also Meninx [Djerba] answers to his [Homer’s] description of the Lotophagi.”

Strabo 1.2.17

Online text: Eng., Grk.

“The customs of the inhabitants of Meninx [= Djerba] closely correspond to the description of the Lotophagi. If any thing does not correspond, it should be attributed to change, or to misconception, or to poetical licence, which is made up of history, rhetoric, and fiction.”

Pliny the Elder Natural History 5.4.26

Online text: Eng., Lat.

“We next come to the Greater Syrtis, 625 miles in circumference, and at the entrance 312 miles in width; next after which dwells the nation of the Cisippades. At the bottom of this gulf was the coast of the Lotophagi….”

Places

(please click the photos to view full-size)

Coast of Libya

Djerba