Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

Harrow and Merchant Taylors' Schools - Monday April 30 2007 at 17:30

Where was Homer’s Ithaca?

Robert Bittlestone – Chairman, Metapraxis Ltd.

James Diggle – Professor of Greek and Latin at Cambridge and Fellow of Queens' College

John R. Underhill – Professor of Stratigraphy at the Grant Institute of Earth Science, University of Edinburgh

It’s the oldest marine adventure in the world. It was already ancient history when Aristotle and Socrates were in the cradle. It has spawned a hundred spin-offs and inspired writers and artists, philosophers and poets, statesmen and soldiers for the last three thousand years. It’s the original Odyssey: a Bronze Age blockbuster and a cornerstone of Western civilisation. And not surprisingly, most people have presumed that Odysseus’ homeland of Ithaca is as imaginary as Ithilien in Lord of the Rings.

Robert Bittlestone, James Diggle and John Underhill think they’re wrong. On Monday April 30 the authors of Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca will present their proposal and the latest discoveries on the island of Cephalonia that can help us decide on whether it really is the island that Homer described in the Odyssey. This is a joint event between Harrow School and Merchant Taylors' School, to be held at Harrow. Parents and also students and staff from other schools with an interest in classics, ancient history, geology and computer science are warmly invited to attend, subject to capacity. There is no charge for admission and the seminar will take place at 5.30 p.m at Harrow School, 5 High Street, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex HA1 3HP. For further details and to register, contact Judith Affleck: jpa@harrowschool.org.uk

Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca by Robert Bittlestone, with James Diggle and John Underhill. 618 pages, 340 colour illustrations. Cambridge University Press ISBN 0521853575. RRP £25.00. The book will be available for purchase at the special price of £20, signed by the authors.