Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

Anglo-Hellenic League: Lecture at the Reform Club

March 29 2006 18:45, The Reform Club, 104-105 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5EW

Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

After the Annual General Meeting of the Anglo-Hellenic League at the Reform Club on March 29 there will be a lecture at 18:45 followed by a reception. The speakers will be Robert Bittlestone (Chairman, Metapraxis), Professor James Diggle (Classics, Cambridge) and Professor John Underhill (Geology, Edinburgh) and they will present a seminar on the geological, classical and archaeological discoveries described in their recent book Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca.

The Anglo-Hellenic League is a registered charity founded in 1913. Dedicated to promoting Anglo-Greek understanding and friendship, the League has a long history of charitable and cultural work. From its inception it has benefited from royal patronage, while the Greek and British Ambassadors en poste are patrons. The League’s distinguished publication, The Anglo-Hellenic Review, is a bi-annual magazine for all those with an interest in Greek achievements, both past and present, and includes reviews of books of Greek interest published in the English language.

The topic of Odysseus Unbound will be illustrated throughout with slides, satellite photography and computer animations. The content is aimed at a non-specialist audience as well as those who are studying or lecturing in ancient history, languages, geology, classics or archaeology. The speakers will answer questions at the end and will be available for further discussions during the reception afterwards. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and for signature by the authors.

The Discovery: At a Press Conference in London on September 29 2005 a radical new solution was presented for the 3,000-year old enigma of the location of Odysseus’ island of Ithaca that is described in such detail in Homer’s Odyssey. Within 24 hours the news of this discovery had been relayed by over 100 newspapers, TV and radio stations world-wide. Since then the authors have delivered televised seminars about the discovery to audiences in London, Oxford, Cambridge, Washington, Athens and Kefallinia.

The Book: Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca was published by Cambridge University Press on October 6 2005 and is now in its second printing, having sold out its initial run of 10,000 copies. Printed with over 300 full-colour illustrations, it combines a gripping modern day adventure story with a detailed analysis of the geological and classical underpinning to the discovery of ancient Ithaca.

Reviews: “I've just finished reading Odysseus Unbound and I have to say that the experience was utterly enthralling from start to finish”… “A fascinating and compelling book”… “Bittlestone has had the benefit of expert advice from James Diggle, probably the greatest living Hellenist, and John Underhill, professor at the University of Edinburgh (well known to football fans: he referees) ”… “Impossible to put down, more impossible still to forget once you have read it”….“One of the most compelling books I have read for ages – a gripping detective story, gradually unfolding layer by layer”… “If Robert Bittlestone is correct, this will be one of the most important archaeological discoveries since Schliemann’s uncovering of Troy in the late 19th century”…“The account of how he reached his conclusions is clear, engaging, funny, wonderfully illustrated”… “Scholars will now have to think again about received wisdom on the Odyssey”… “The photos are beautiful, the logic is elegant, the science is very educational, and the conclusion is convincing”… “Lavishly illustrated, Odysseus Unbound uses 21st-century technology to affirm the genius of the past”…“This is my recommendation for the 2005 book of the year”.

The Website: At www.odysseus-unbound.org you can read about the project so far and the plans for future work. At the Reviews page you can follow the emerging classical controversy: can Odysseus' island be identified this closely? If so, how could Homer have known the geography so well? TV, radio and newspaper reports from all over the world can be accessed on the Press page, together with a diary of recent and forthcoming Events.

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture welcomes the release of the book ‘Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca’. The book opens exciting prospects for future research regarding the location of Homeric Ithaca. The Ministry eagerly follows Mr. Bittlestone’s hypothesis and looks forward to staying informed about any future developments.”

The Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration in Athens has facilitated the geological researches of Professor John Underhill in the Ionian Islands since 1982. The results of his recent investigation of the Holocene geomorphology of western Kefallinia are unexpected and thought-provoking. We are pleased to be working closely with him and his team at the University of Edinburgh with the joint objective of furthering our understanding of the geological history and the tectonic setting of these islands.”

The event is open to the public, although priority will be given to League members and their guests. The entry fee is £15.00, which includes admission to the lecture and the drinks reception afterwards. To book, please contact the administrator of the League, Sophia Economides: anglohellenic.league@virgin.net or 020 7486 9410.