Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Odysseus Unbound

Odysseus Unbound
The Search for Homer's Ithaca

Out of Print

Award Winner
  • Date Published: September 2005
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print May 2012
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521853576

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print May 2012
Unavailable Add to wishlist

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • 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.

    • 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
    Read more


    • This book has been voted by Foreword Magazine as one of its top ten university press books of the year.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "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

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521853576
    • length: 618 pages
    • dimensions: 214 x 260 x 46 mm
    • weight: 2.053kg
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print May 2012
  • Table of Contents

    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
    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.

  • Author

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


    • This book has been voted by Foreword Magazine as one of its top ten university press books of the year.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.