The daughter of Alcinous, the king of the Phaeacians. She encountered the shipwrecked Odysseus — who had been cast ashore on Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians — when she and her attendants were washing clothes in a stream. He appeared to them destitute of clothes, holding only a leaf in front of him, but after telling his plight to Nausicaa she promised relief and hospitality. She led Odysseus to her father, who entertained him and bestowed gifts on him, and sent him away with a convoy to Ithaca.

Nausicaa is one of the most alluring figures in Homer's Odyssey. Later writers represent her as the wife of Telemachus, by whom she is said to have become the mother of Perseptolis or Ptoliporthus.1


The encounter between Nausicaa and Odysseus is depicted in various Greek vases, among which a Attic pyxis by Aeson (ca. 425 BCE; Boston). A bust of Nausicaa appears on a coin from Mytilene.



  1. Eustathius on Homer, p. 1796; Dictys Cretensis, vi, 6.


  • Homer. Odyssey vi, 17 ff.; vii, 2 ff.; viii, 457 ff.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library: Epitome, 7.25.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.