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Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer's Ithaca [Hardcover]

Robert Bittlestone , James Diggle , John Underhill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

From Booklist

The discovery of historical Troy in the 1870s instigated the hunt for historical Ithaca, but the island today named Ithaca is not likely where Penelope loyally awaited the return of Odysseus. Seizing the mystery with gusto, Bittlestone concentrates on the neighboring island of Cephalonia. With Homer in one hand and a digital camera in the other, Bittlestone walked about the island, convincing himself that Cephalonia is the real Ithaca. Convincing the learned world of his theory becomes Bittlestone's story and the source of its charm. Returning to his native Britain, he approached a classics don and a geology expert. They not only did not dismiss Bittlestone, they participated in his quest. Bolstered by their advice about philology and the active tectonics of Cephalonia, Bittlestone provisionally identified places in the action of the Odyssey. Resplendent with hundreds of landscape and satellite images, Bittlestone's freelance investigation is enthralling, accessibly presented, and possibly true--and, like its subject, finds its soul more in the journey than the destination. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"A fascinating and compelling book; recommended for both public and academic libraries."
-- Library Journal

"This curious, spellbinding book is a masterpiece of writing for the general public. The geological argument in particular is first-class and leaves me in no doubt about the possibility of the theory being proposed."
-- Professor Tjeerd van Andel, Honorary Professor in Earth History, Quaternary Science and Geo-archaeology, University of Cambridge

"This book is a gem. Its reconstruction of prehistoric Ithaca has a convincingly Homeric "look and feel" to it. Reading the Odyssey is unlikely ever to be the same again."
-- Professor Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University, and Director of the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC

"Resplendent with hundreds of landscape and satellite images, Bittlestone's freelance investigation is enthralling, accessibly presented, and possibly true--and, like its subject, finds its soul more in the journey than the destination."
-- Booklist

“The rest of this beautifully produced book, illustrated throughout in color, chronicles Bittlestone's full-scale, ultimately convincing attempt to prove this thesis, with the aid of everything from outer-space photography to linguistic, geological, and seismological analysis.”
-- Choice

Book Description

Where is the Ithaca described in such detail in Homer's Odyssey? This sumptuous book tells the extraordinary story of the exciting recent discovery of its true location. Over a century after Schliemann's discovery of Troy, this breakthrough will revolutionise our understanding of Homer's texts and of Bronze Age Greece.

From the Publisher

• Offers a compelling solution to one of the oldest problems in classical scholarship using a combination of literary, geological and archaeological clues • Tells the story of the author's discovery in lively prose enhanced by numerous stunning colour images • Enables the reader to follow the events of the Odyssey through a real landscape brought vividly to life

About the Author

Robert Bittlestone studied economics at the University of Cambridge. He is the founder of Metapraxis Ltd, a company specialising in the detection of early warnings for multinational companies. He is the author of numerous business articles and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture & Commerce.

James Diggle is Professor of Greek and Latin at Cambridge and a Fellow of Queens' College. His publications include The Textual Tradition of Euripides' Orestes (Oxford University Press, 1991), and Euripidea: Collected Essays (Oxford University Press, 1994), Theophrastus: Characters (0521853575). He was University Orator at Cambridge for eleven years, and has published a selection of his speeches in Cambridge Orations 1982-1993 (0521466180).

John Underhill is Chair of Stratigraphy at the University of Edinburgh and Associate Professor at the Department for Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University.
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