Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

Henry Box School - Monday November 19 2007 at 18:30

Was Homer’s Ithaca a real place?

Robert Bittlestone - Chairman, Metapraxis Ltd

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, Professor James Diggle and Professor John Underhill think they’re wrong. On Wednesday November 28 2007 Mr Bittlestone will present their proposal and the latest discoveries from the island of Cephalonia that can help us decide whether it is the actual island that Homer described in the Odyssey. The talk will be illustrated with slides, satellite photography and computer animations and the audience will be invited to simulate an earthquake (don't do this at home). The content is suitable for all ages and no prior knowledge of Homer or the Odyssey is needed to attend. Those who are studying or teaching ancient history, languages, geology, classics or archaeology are welcome to discuss individual questions with the speaker afterwards.

The event will take place at 6.30pm on Monday 19 November 2007 at the Henry Box School, Church Green, Witney, OX28 4AX. Pupils and parents, members of the wider classical community and those from other schools are warmly invited to attend. This will be a free event and there will be refreshments and a book signing. Further information about the project can be viewed at www.odysseus-unbound.org and to book a ticket, please contact Penny Goodwin on 01993 848125 or email cc4046@henrybox.oxon.sch.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 £30.00. The book will be on sale at the special price of £20, signed by the author.