Recently, Jenny Strauss Clay has put forward the suggestion that the ‘goat island’ on which Odysseus lands before crossing over to the Cyclopes is ‘none other than Hyperia, the former home of the Phaeacians from which they emigrated to Scheria under the leadership of Nausithoos on account of the depredations of the Cyclopes.’ She arrives at this suggestion by combining the former proximity of the Phaeacians and Cyclopes (6.4–6) with the fact that the island ⋯νδρ⋯ν χηρεύει (9.124), ‘is bereft of men’ (i.e. in her opinion the Phaeacians).
The argument seems debatable. First, the word χηρεύει is a hapax, which Homer may or may not have used in a metaphorical way; our words ‘desert’ and ‘deserted’ are also used of places which have not been inhabited before. Second, nothing in the description of the island suggests previous habitation. Third, the Phaeacians are said to have left Hyperia to escape the plundering of the Cyclopes (6.4–6), but the Cyclopes are also explicitly described as lacking ships and shipbuilders (9.125f.). Consequently, Hyperia will hardly have been an island, nor the ‘goat island’ Hyperia.
Modern studies of Odysseus' visit to the Cyclopes often focus on the nature/culture aspects of the episode. The wild goats of ‘goat island’ in line 124 — βóσκει δέ τε μηκ⋯δας αἶγας — have regularly been included in these analyses. For example, C. Calame has well pointed out that ‘ce dernier trait distingue le complexe sémantique que définit l'Île Petite de celui que représente Polyphème et son monde: alors que Polyphème avait avec le monde des hommes le trait commun de l'élevage du petit bétail, la figure sémantique de l'Île Petite inverse exactement les traits caractérisant le monde des hommes.’