Circe the Sorceress

By: Nick T.
Circe is the Greek goddess of magic and her name, when translated, means falcon. Her story in Greek Mthology is very interesting and different. She met famous Greek Heroes, and she was an amazing pythoness as well. Also, her parents were famous and where she lived is unlike any other. Circe is the greatest sorceress in all of Greek Mythology.
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Circe turns Odysseus's men into pigs


Circe met many heroes during her lifetime. Some included Medea, Jason, the Argonauts, and the most famous, Odysseus. When Circe lived on the isle of Aiaia Odysseus washed up on shore after recently visiting the Laestrogonians. Circe did not like men very much, so when men met Circe she would turn them into animals. When Odysseus and his crew met Circe, they were unaware that she was going to turn them into animals. The messenger god, Hermes, gave Odysseus a magical herb called Moley. When all the men ate with Circe, everyone was turned into a pig except for Odysseus and Eurylochus (Eurylochus was suspicious of Circe so he did not eat). Odysseus made two deals with Circe, if he would eat with her, then she would turn his crew back to men from swine and if he slept with her, then she would let them leave. He did these things and left Aiaia for good. When Odysseus stayed with Circe for one year he slept with Circe and she bore him 7 children: Agrios, Latinos, Telegonas, Romanus, Romus, Anteias, and Ardeias. Other than Agrios, Latinos, Telegonas, Romanus, Romus, Anteias, and Ardeias, she had one more son, Faunus (father is unknown). Another story was when Medea, Jason, and the Argonauts visited the isle of Aiaia in order to find the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece is said to have special powers that can make a land very fruitful and healthy. Medea was a daughter of Helios the Sun god. When Circe saw her, she had a strange look on her face. She knew what would happen to Medea in the future, but when Medea pleaded for her to tell her, she would not talk about it. All she did was givethem a cup of water and Medea and Jason and the Argonauts went on their way.
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Circe's Poison Chalice


Circe was a beautiful woman always dressed in black dresses or clothing. Circe is known best as one of the greatest sorceresses in the world. She used her magic skills for the better of only herself. She would only use magic to make herself look better and magic to make people she did not like very unattractive. For example, in stories Scylla was a beautiful woman who was loved by the sea-god Glaucus. Glaucus asked Circe for charms so Scylla would fall in love with him. Circe was very jealous and put special herbs into the pool that Scylla bathed in changing her into a 6 headed 12 legged creature who was so ugly no one would marry her, so she moved into the mountains and dwelled in a cave not to far from Aiaia. Circe was such a powerful sorceress, you could even tell when her prescence was near because the trees would turn white, the ground would quake, and the forest would move.

Circe had a mother and a father. Her mother was Perseis, goddess of the sea, and her father was Helios, the Sun god. Perseis’s father was Okeanos the Titan of ocean streams and fresh water.
"Kirke, a goddess with braided hair, with human speech and with strange powers; baleful Aeetes was her brother, and both were radiant Helios (also known as Apollo) the sun-god’s children; their mother was Perse, Okeanos’ daughter" (Theoi Project). Helios’s father was Hyperion, the titan of light or the early sun god. At the beginning of each day, Helios would ride his chariot east to west bringing the sun with him lighting the day. His chariot was driven by four horses: Pyrois, Eos, Aethon and Phlegon. At the end of each day, Helios lets his horses rest in the Islands of the Blessed. Then, he rides his father in law’s (Okeanos) ocean currents back to his eastern place. Hephaestus made him and his horses a golden ferry so his journey back home would be safe. Perseis was an ocean nymph who was loved by Helios. Perseis comes from the word persô meaning to destroy, slay, or sack with fire even though she was an ocean nymph.

Circe lived in the island of Aiaia. Romans believed that Aiaia was located on Cape Circaeum on Mount Circeo, 100 km south of Rome. Circe had some neighbors when she lived on Aiaia. Charybdis, the whirlpool monster, Scylla, the 6 headed 12 legged beast, and the Laestrygonians. She was not well liked by her so called “neighbors” because she thought she was better than all of them. She also turned the beautiful maiden Sylla into the 6 headed 12 legged monster, and she was not too happy about that.

Circe waits for sailors to wash up on her island. In Greek Mythology a wanderer is normally treated as a special visitor, but Circe would drug them then she would turn them into animals or serve them for dinner. The most famous part of Circe’s life was when she met the great hero, Odysseus. Circe still roams the world because the gods and all the mythical creatures never die.

Circe’s life was full of misleading and deceit. She would always lure people towards her palace, then she would turn them into animals. Her life would have been better if she would have been nicer instead of using her magical abilities for her own entertainment and not helping her neighbors. She turned her neighbor into a hideous monster and no one wanted to be near her. Circe will still always be known as the greatest sorcerer in all of Greek Mythology.



Works Cited
1) “Kirke.” Circe. Aaron J. Atsma. New Zealand:Theoi Project, 2000-2008. 9 December, 2009.
2) Nardo, Don. Quests and Journeys:Discovering Mythology (should be underlined). San Diego, California, 2002.
3) Stewart, Michael. "Kirke", Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant.
4) Wickersham, John M. “Odyssey, The.” Myths and Legends of the World. Ed. New York: Macmillan, 2000. Student Resource Center – Bronze. Web. 9 Dec. 2009.
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