Scylla and Charybdis

Posted by Smokey Stover on May 15, 2005

In Reply to: Scylla Question posted by David FG on May 13, 2005

: : : : : What is the meaning of "Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes"? What is "Scylla"? What is "Charibdes"?

: : : : It is a reference for those classics buffs (a friend who has a 1st in classics from Oxford can hardly tie his laces and seems typical of the breed) - however, a mere mortal such as moi, knows it refers to a naval hazard - probably faced by Odysseus or somebody of that ilk. I think one was the rocks and the other a whirlpool - in any event it has come to mean the same as 'between a rock and an hard place' i.e. no safe place to be.

: : : : L

: : : Charybdis was a whirlpool and Scylla a rock off the coast of Sicily, according to both Homer and Horace. It does indeed mean in a place between two equal dangers.

: : : DFG

: : Who made the not-so-famous mythical journey through them?

: : L

: Odysseus (I am almost sure)


Be sure! Easy enough to find Scylla and Charybdis, but much more difficult to find Odysseus' home on Ithaca. There's some feeling that the residents of Ithaca might have moved lock, stock and barrel to some other island, such as possibly Leucas (I'm not sure of the spelling). SS