Odysseus Unbound - The Search for Homer’s Ithaca

Robert Bittlestone

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Robert Bittlestone, leading author of ‘Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca’ and founder of the ‘Odysseus Unbound’ (OU) project. Robert never fully recovered from the loss of his wonderful wife Jean in 2011 and he died at home on 4 May 2015. He will be hugely missed by his family, friends, colleagues and the wider OU network, to all of whom he will remain a constant inspiration.

Robert was educated in classics and science before reading economics at the University of Cambridge. In 1979 he founded Metapraxis Ltd with the goal of helping large complex businesses improve their management information and board reporting. Today Metapraxis is a leader in strategic planning, financial analysis and data visualisation. In 2002 Robert returned to his love of the classics and he applied his management, organizational and visualization techniques to solving the age-old mystery of the location of ancient Ithaca. The publication of Odysseus Unbound: the Search for Homer’s Ithaca in 2005 was greeted with accolades for the intellectual and investigative process he employed, in collaboration with his co-authors, and for the engaging, thorough and lively way he laid out the hypothesis and supported it with compelling evidence and analysis.

The publication of Odysseus Unbound was only the start of the journey and Robert led the way over the next ten years in recruiting sponsors and supporters to test out the hypothesis using the most sophisticated tools available to geoscientists. This research has steadily strengthened the arguments in favour of the case.

Robert’s infectious enthusiasm, boundless energy, brilliant insights and inspirational leadership will be sorely missed. His colleagues are determined to carry forward the groundbreaking work that he began and bring it to a successful conclusion.

Messages of appreciation for Robert are most welcome and can be conveyed through this link.


Robert Bittlestone…RIP my friend…and thanks for signing my CD cover. I will cherish it always!

I’m happy knowing I quenched your thirst at least once along this journey of life we shared ever so briefly together!

Travel well Robert!

Robert Flamiatos

I knew Robert personally, both in connection with the OU project (the aim and findings of which I supported) and because we were fellow-members of the Athenaeum. His demise far too early was a very great sadness to us all.

Paul Cartledge

Robert drove on the project with extraordinary energy and made all of us who have worked on Homer do some serious rethinking, to the great benefit of Homeric and Mycenaean studies.

Peter Jones

Our deepest condolences to you, your colleagues and of course Roberts’s family.

We were honored to have attended the presentations that were held here in Lixouri to do with ‘Odysseus Unbound’; as my children have gone from Primary school through to High school they have been keen followers of the ‘Odysseus Unbound” project, as I am too.

Carol Vowles (Danelatou)

So sad to read this, he was a great man.

Silvio de’Septis, Turkey

On the hour25 forum of the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies we made an announcement to honour the memory of Robert, and a short discussion also.

In friendship,

Rien de Meij, USA

What a loss of a brilliant mind! For me Odysseus Unbound was one of the, if not the greatest, pleasure in reading about antiquity of the last decades.

Jean-Philippe Laugs, Netherlands

Mr. Bittlestone, he saw things in a new light and had the determination to follow it through - with careful evidence-gathering and analysis, rather rare these days.

David Olson, Africa

Robert was so clever, creative and full of life… such a wonderful person, a gentleman, an innovator, a pioneer. Lixouri, Paliki, Cephalonia, Greece and the classic literature as a whole owe so much to his passion for discovery of the trails of the long forgotten Homeric topography and to his amazing envisioning and synthetic capabilities.

Ioanna Faraklou, Greece

Robert was a true visionary…

Brian Hughes

As I write this it is with great sadness as I have learned that Robert Bittlestone passed away earlier this year. I would have loved to have met him.

I know he now walks with Odysseus.

Searching for Odysseus… in Robert’s footsteps

Ken G Canada, Motorcycle Greece