Nostos is first considered as a poetic genre. In the epic tradition and within the Homeric poems, it typically designates the song about the sea travels of Greek heroes home from Troy. The identification of some extra-Homeric narrative motifs leads the author to explore the uses of nostos and of etymologically related words (such as nostimos, nosteō, and neomai). The textual analysis highlights homeward as well as non-homeward, sea-oriented and non-sea-oriented meanings. The underlying concept is that of "surviving lethal dangers." Evidence of the semantic range in question comes from Homer as well as from other poetic texts.