I am Odysseus, Laertes’ son, world-famed
For stratagems: my name has reached the heavens.
Bright Ithaca is my home: it has a mountain,
Leaf-quivering Neriton, far visible.
Around are many islands, close to each other,
Doulichion and Same and wooded Zacynthos.
Ithaca itself lies low, furthest to sea
Towards dusk; the rest, apart, face dawn and sun.
Though archeological research has identified other sites from Homer’s epic poems, Ithaca has remained an enigma. Modern Ithaca bears no resemblance to the detailed account of ancient Ithaca’s geography. Odysseus Unbound Foundation conducts and promotes scientific and historical research to discover the actual locations of historical sites that have been described in ancient literature such as Homer’s Odyssey. It builds on the findings of ‘Odysseus Unbound’, the groundbreaking book by Robert Bittlestone with Professors James Diggle and John Underhill. It proposed Paliki, on Kefalonia, as a location for Ithaca, and attracted majro academic and public support.
Its introduction sets out the influence the Odyssey has on our culture and language:
“The Greeks regarded Homer as their teacher and the Homeric poems made an immense impact upon the whole of ancient literature. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle studied the Iliad and the Odyssey as a precursor to the development of their own ideas and for the last 2,500 years the Homeric poems have been required reading for every serious writer and philosopher. That legacy remains with us: in fact it is difficult to compose a significant paragraph in Italian, French, Spanish or English without using at least one word that was first articulated by Homer… Homer’s Troy from the Iliad was located by Heinrich Schliemann on the north-western coast of Turkey and has been extensively excavated since the 1870s. But Homer’s Ithaca from the Odyssey has remained an enigma – until today.”