Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

Stockholm University - Classical Languages, Classical Archaeology, Ancient History and Geological Science

September 15 2006 14:00-16:00, Sal 435, Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7, Stockholm

Where was Homer’s Ithaca?

On September 15 at 14:00 Robert Bittlestone (Chairman, Metapraxis) will present a seminar at the Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur (Institute of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History) at Stockholm University on the geological, classical and archaeological discoveries described in his recent book Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca. The book has been co-authored with Professor James Diggle (Classics, Cambridge) and Professor John Underhill (Geology, Edinburgh) and the presentation is open to the public as well as to students and staff of the University.

The topic of Odysseus Unbound will be illustrated throughout with slides, satellite photography and computer animations. The content will be delivered in English and 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 speaker will answer questions at the end and will be available for further informal discussions and to sign copies of the book, which can be purchased from the University Bookshop (Akademibokhandeln).

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, Dublin, Washington, Boston, 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:Odysseus Unbound has made the final link between real location and Homeric description”… “Paliki-as-island is a sensational hypothesis”…“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”… “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”.

Svenska Dagbladet: “Som en nutida Schliemann har den engelske ekonomen och amatörforskaren Robert Bittlestone antagit utmaningen att lösa gåtan. Han vill identifiera Odysseus ö med Paliki, den nordvästra halvön som hör till Kefallenia, Kefallenia med "fastlandet" och Ithaka som Doulichion… Boken Odysseus Unbound erbjuder fängslande och stundom mycket rolig läsning samt en originell teori som behöver utforskas vidare. Det ska bli spännande att följa utvecklingen.”

The Website: At www.odysseus-unbound.org you can read about the project and plans for future work. In Sweden the book (ISBN 0521853575, author Bittlestone) is available online for 391 kr at www.bokus.com/b/0521853575.html and also from bookshops such as www.akademibokhandeln.se and www.hedengrens.se.

Directions: Ta T-banans röda linje till stationen Universitetet. När du kommer ut från stationen ska du gå till vänster och runt hörnet efter Pressbyrån. Gå sedan under Norrtäljevägen. Gå förbi Vetenskapsakademin (på höger hand) och kolonilotterna (på vänster hand) och gå över Roslagsbanan. Lilla Frescativägen ligger snett upp till höger. Gå förbi botaniska institutionen (med växthus) och bort mot Wallenberglaboratoriet. Vår institution ligger längst bort på vägen (Lilla Frescativ. 7). Avdelningen för antikens kultur och samhällsliv ligger 1 trappa upp. Take the subway red line towards Mörby centrum, get off at Universitetet. Exit the station and turn immediately left around the corner of Pressbyrån, follow the pavement under the highway. Pass the small gardens on your left and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on your right. Go over the railway bridge, turn right, pass the greenhouse and the Department of Botany. Wallenberglaboratoriet is at the end of the small road, with the circle in front of it. It is less than 500 metres from the underground to the department. Buses 40, 70, 540 and 670 also make stops at Universitetet next to the subway.

The event is open to the public. There is no attendance charge but numbers are limited, so early booking is advisable. For further information and to reserve your place, contact Dr Denis Searby: denis.searby@klassiska.su.se or tel. 08-162799.