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Odysseus Unbound : The Search for Homer's Ithaca - Robert Bittlestone

Odysseus Unbound

The Search for Homer's Ithaca

By: Robert Bittlestone, James Diggle (As told to), John Underhill (As told to)

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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.

'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.' Tjeerd van Andel, University of Cambridge 'Bittlestone's argument romps home ... triumphant, though many will take issue with his conclusions, which is as it should be.' Daily Telegraph 'Though neither a classicist nor a geologist by training, [Bittlestone] makes an impressive and enthralling case ... the account of how he reached his conclusions is clear, engaging, funny, wonderfully illustrated - and informed by the work of leading specialists whose contributions are generously acknowledged.' Times Literary Supplement '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.' Gregory Nagy, Harvard University and Center for Hellenic Studies, Washington DC 'A fascinating and compelling book; recommended for both public and academic libraries' Library Journal 'The reader's reward is truly thrilling detection supported by breathtaking illustration, yielding a revitalized epic whose prime location of Ithaca is made newly recognizable and powerfully evocative.' Foreword '... magnificently illustrated ...' Sunday Telegraph '... the intellectual and investigative process by which Bittlestone undertook this endeavour offers unique insights into board level issues such as risk assessment, leadership and even performance management. This makes Bittlestone's journey into the past ... a truly fantastic voyage of discovery.' Financial Director '... extraordinary book ... our continued engagement with this most venerable of texts provides us with an enduring mystery in itself, and one that is perhaps unlikely ever to be solved.' arts.telegraph.co.uk 'A sumptuous production, this, with thousands of illuminating illustrations, likewise opulent in valuably synthesising charts of historical and scientific data ... [Bittlestone] is outstandingly fair-minded towards rival theorists. Eschewing academic Newspeak, he writes with clarity, verve and humour ... stupendous work. A non-scientific neutral, I find the geological arguments impressive to overwhelming.' Fortean Times 'Bittlestone ... has not been satisfied merely with proving that Paliki was once and island. Most of Odysseus Unbound is taken up with arguing that Homer's description of Ithaca maps so precisely onto Paliki's landscape that Bittlestone can identify the location of Odysseus's palace, his pig-man Eumaios's farm, and so on.' BBC History '... a remarkably produced book, and CUP is to be congratulated on its appearance ... [Bittlestone] has opened up a fascinating path for others to follow further, and we should be both grateful and full of admiration for what Bittlestone has managed to teach himself and us.' The Anglo-Hellenic Review '... a heavyweight book ...'. Daily Telegraph 'The attempt to bring together ancient texts, modern archaeology and the Earth sciences is potentially exciting, even if the final verdict is always going to be 'possible - but not proven' ... Bittlestone did persuade me that his ideas are worth taking seriously.' Geoscientist '[The author's] relaxed, approachable writing style, geared to the non-academic reader; photographs and scientific images along side beautiful descriptions and modern translations of excerpts from Homer's 'Odyssey'; the humour and infectious enthusiasm with which the whole thing is presented; all make for an extremely enjoyable read.' Greek-o-file

Prologue
Text, translation and images
Speculation
Catastrophe
Conundrum
Odyssey
Controversy
Schizocephalonia
Strabo
Geology
Coincidence
Competition
Ambush
Poseidon
Exploration
Thinia
Phorcys
Eumaios
Asteris
Telemachos
Assimilation
Analysis
Inquiry
Landscape
Quickbird
Doulichion
Laertes
Network
Pottery
Drama
Exodus
Revelation
Rockfall
Earthquake
Uplift
Shoreline
Epiphany
Ithaca
Intuition
Vision
Epilogue
James Diggle: A philologist reflects
John Underhill: The geology and geomorphology of Thinia
Exploratory technology
A comparison of Homeric theories
Postscript
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521853576
ISBN-10: 0521853575
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 450
Published: 19th September 2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Dimensions (cm): 25.3 x 20.3  x 4.6
Weight (kg): 2.053