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Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer's Ithaca
     

Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer's Ithaca

by Robert Bittlestone, James Diggle (With), John Underhill (With)
 
Where is the Ithaca described in such detail in Homer's Odyssey? The mystery has baffled scholars for over two millennia, particularly because Homer's descriptions bear little resemblance to the modern island called Ithaki. This highly illustrated book tells the extraordinary story of the exciting recent discovery of the true location of Homer's Ithaca by following a

Overview

Where is the Ithaca described in such detail in Homer's Odyssey? The mystery has baffled scholars for over two millennia, particularly because Homer's descriptions bear little resemblance to the modern island called Ithaki. This highly illustrated book tells the extraordinary story of the exciting recent discovery of the true location of Homer's Ithaca by following a detective trail of literary, geological and archaeological clues. We can now identify all the places on the island that are mentioned in the epic--even the site of Odysseus' palace itself. The pages of the Odyssey come alive as we follow its events through a landscape that opens up before our eyes via glorious color photographs and 3-D satellite images. Over a century after Schliemann's discovery of Troy, the information in this groundbreaking volume will revolutionize our understanding of Homer's text and of our cultural ancestors in Bronze Age Greece. Robert Bittlestone was educated in classics and science before reading economics at the University of Cambridge. He is the founder of Metapraxis Ltd., a company specializing in the detection of early warnings for multinational companies. Bittlestone is the author of many articles about the importance of visualization and has applied these principles to the enigma described in this book. James Diggle is Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Queens' College. John Underhill is Chair of Stratigraphy at the University of Edinburgh and Associate Professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

Library Journal
While the Homeric texts are a prominent feature of Western culture, the actuality of the world described in the Iliad and Odyssey is more problematic. Professional economist and amateur archaeologist Bittlestone takes up the challenge by drawing on the resources of satellite imagery, seismic research, geological evidence, and textual materials to propose an alternate location for Odysseus's Ithaca, one that more accurately fits the archaeological and textual evidence. Richly illustrated with photographs and maps, the book chronicles the explorations and investigations undertaken by Bittlestone and others to discover the lost "Strabo's Channel" (Strabo was a Greek geographer, historian, and philosopher and author of the ancient text Geographia), which would point to a different route for Odysseus. Appended to this book is an essay by James Diggle (Greek & Latin, Cambridge) that assesses the textual sources and one by James Underhill (stratigraphy, Univ. of Edinburgh) that assesses the geological evidence. A fascinating and compelling book; recommended for both public and academic libraries.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521853576
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
09/30/2005
Pages:
618
Product dimensions:
7.99(w) x 9.96(h) x 1.81(d)

What People are Saying About This

Gregory Nagy
"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, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature, Harvard University and Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC
Tjeerd van Andel
"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, Honorary Professor in Earth History, Quaternary Science and Geo-archaeology, University of Cambridge

Meet 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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