Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer's Ithaca

Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer's Ithaca

Hardback

By (author) Robert Bittlestone, With James Diggle, With John Underhill

List price $58.13

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 450 pages
  • Dimensions: 203mm x 253mm x 46mm | 2,053g
  • Publication date: 1 October 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521853575
  • ISBN 13: 9780521853576
  • Illustrations note: 250 illus
  • Sales rank: 475,231

Product description

Where is the Ithaca described in such detail in Homers Odyssey? This sumptuous book tells the extraordinary story of the exciting recent discovery of its true location. Over a century after Schliemanns discovery of Troy, this breakthrough will revolutionise our understanding of Homers texts and of Bronze Age Greece. 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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

'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

Table of contents

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.