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Odysseus Unbound
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  • Page extent: 618 pages
  • Size: 253 x 203 mm
  • Weight: 2.053 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521853576 | ISBN-10: 0521853575)

  • Published September 2005

Unavailable - out of print May 2012


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.


Prologue; Text, translation and images; Part I. Speculation: 1. Catastrophe; 2. Conundrum; 3. Odyssey; 4. Controversy; 5. Schizocephalonia; 6. Strabo; 7. Geology; 8. Coincidence; 9. Competition; 10. Ambush; 11. Poseidon; Part II. Exploration: 12. Thinia; 13. Phorcys; 14. Eumaios; 15. Asteris; 16. Telemachos; Part III. Assimilation: 17. Analysis; 18. Inquiry; 19. Landscape; 20. Quickbird; 21. Doulichion; 22. Laertes; 23. Network; 24. Pottery; 25. Drama; 26. Exodus; Part IV. Revelation: 27. Rockfall; 28. Earthquake; 29. Uplift; 30. Shoreline; 31. Epiphany; 32. Ithaca; 33. Intuition; 34. Vision; Epilogue; Appendix 1. James Diggle: A philologist reflects; Appendix 2. John Underhill: The geology and geomorphology of Thinia; Appendix 3. Exploratory technology; Appendix 4. A comparison of Homeric theories; Appendix 5. Postscript.


"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

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