Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

Royal Grammar School, Guildford - Monday January 19 2009 at 19:00

Where was Homer’s Ithaca?

Robert Bittlestone, Chairman Metapraxis Ltd

James Diggle, Professor of Greek and Latin, Cambridge University

John Underhill, Professor of Stratigraphy, 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 Homer’s 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 January 19 2009 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 Ithaca described in Homer’s Odyssey. No prior knowledge of the subject is assumed although those studying classics or geology will find it especially relevant. The talk will be illustrated throughout with slides, film clips and satellite images.

Parents, students and staff from RGS and neighbouring schools are warmly invited to attend, subject to capacity. There is no charge for admission and the presentation will start at 7.00 p.m. After the talk the speakers will be available to answer questions and to sign copies of their book "Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca".

Royal Grammar School, High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3BB. For further information and to reserve your seats, contact Head of Classics Jimmy Pressley, j.pressley@rgs-guildford.co.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. The book will be on sale at the special price of £25, signed by the authors.