The New Student's Reference Work/Alcinous
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Alcinous (al-cĭn' o-us), a mythical king of the island of Scheria described in the Odyssey. Being separated from other people, he and his people lived in unbroken peace and prosperity. The description of the king's palace with its fine furnishings, and its wonderful court containing the orchard of everbearing trees and vines is well known and is quite remarkable. The chief employment of the people was navigation. It was said that the ships were intelligent, and without helm or pilot could find any coast or harbor. King Alcinous received Ulysses near the close of the latter's long period of wandering. He entertained him hospitably and furnished him with a ship to carry him to Ithaca. Upon its return to Scheria this ship and its sailors were transformed to stone by Neptune as a mark of his wrath for the favor shown to Ulysses.