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Odysseus Unbound - The search for Homer's Ithaca

Selected translations of the Odyssey

Translation from Homer – James Diggle

The headlands of Phorcys Bay (13.95–100)
Then the seafaring ship approached the island. 95
On Ithaca there is a bay of Phorcys,
The old man of the sea: in it, two headlands,
Projecting, sheared off, crouching from the harbour,
Shield it from waves whipped up by blustering winds 100
Outside. 13.95–100

Selected translations from Strabo – James Diggle

(i) In §15 Strabo says of Cephallenia:

Where the island is narrowest it forms a low isthmus, so that it [the island] is often submerged from sea to sea. Near the narrows, on the gulf, are Paleis and Cranioi.

(ii) His next words, in §16, are these:

Between Ithaca and Cephallenia is the small island Asteria, which is called Asteris by the poet. The Scepsian says that it does not remain such as the poet describes it, ‘with twin bays for mooring’. But Apollodorus says that it does remain so to this day, and he mentions a little town on it, Alalcomenai, situated on the isthmus itself.

Available from
6th October 2005

press release