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Woodcut of Circe, Ulm, c. 1541

Woodcut of Circe, Ulm, c. 1541

Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Definition: Circe is the daughter of Helios who lives in a mansion in a forest on the island of Aeaea. She is a sister of Medea's father, King Aeetes of Colchis, and Minos' wife, Pasiphae. Circe is a goddess and sorceress who uses drugs to transform men into beasts. In the Odyssey she transforms Odysseus' men into swine when she wines and dines them. With the help of Hermes, Odysseus is able to avoid Circe's spells and persuade her to restore his men to human form. In Hesiod's Theogony, Circe bears sons to Odysseus, including Telegonus.

See Circe's Palace for Hawthorne's version of the story of Circe's Palace.

Alternate Spellings: kirke
The seductive Circe turns men into swine. Circe also transformed Picus into a woodpecker. See:
"Three Poets Observe Picus"
Theodora Stillwell Mackay
The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 96, No. 3 (Autumn, 1975), pp. 272-275

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