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THE LOTUS-EATERS

Odysseus and his men meet a group of natives known as the Lotus-eaters in Homer's most durable epic, The Odyssey. A mellow group, these guys allegedly seduce and detain sea-faring soldiers with the fruits and flowers of the Lotus; some of the men become so addicted that they are carried back to the ship, in tears, by their fellows. Real-life searches for the infamous (is)land have yielded no solid evidence despite theoretical leads... Real or not, Lotus Eaters reappear in song and myth. Mystery about the elusive people and exact specifics of the lotus plant remains... The Greek word lĂ´tos can refer to a fodder plant, a date-plum, the nettle-tree, a jujube, etc. The Blue Lotus, a.k.a. the Water-lily, can be processed into a soporific or a mild hallucinogenic and is found throughout Egyptian iconography. Whatever the lotus plant of yesterday is now called, it surely has mood-altering effects.

 

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