John William Waterhouse, Ulysses and the Sirens, 1891, oil on canvas, 100 x 201.7 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Odysseus is a classical hero and the central figure of Homer's Odyssey. The king of Ithaca, he fought with the Greeks in the Trojan War, but his journey home--the basis of the Homeric epic--took nine years. On his voyage he encountered many dangerous figures, including: the Cyclops Polyphemus, the sorceress Circe, the nymph Calypso, the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis, the Laestrygonian cannibals, the Lotus-eaters, and the seductive Sirens. He also visits the Underworld, and upon returning home to Ithaca, defeats the many suitors of his wife, Penelope.
Odysseus has no specific emblems, but can be recognized in various scenes from the Odyssey, often depicted in art in a series. While it is not typically seen in art, he has a distinctive scar on his leg.