ΟΔΥΣΣΕΩΣ  ΙΘΑΚΗ

Odysseus's Ithaca : The Discovery
 

      Where exactly was Odysseus's homeland of Ithaca? Despite the fact that, during antiquity, the present-day Ionian island of Thiaki was called Ithaca, contemporary science generally rejects the thesis that this was the home of Homer's hero Odysseus. The most detailed attempt to determine the location of Ithaca, based on the text of the Odyssey and on archaelogical excavations, was provided by the archaeologist Dörpfeld. In his work, "Alt Ithaca", he argues that the correct Ithaca is the present-day island of Levkas. However, this theory is not widely accepted. Based on the text of the Odyssey, and combining this with fieldwork guided by his reading of the Odyssey, Berislav Brckovic has concluded that the real Ithaca was located in what is today the peninsula of Erisos, located in the north of the largest Ionian island of Cephallonia. The book is an attempt to prove this thesis. The author has examined all the lines of the Odyssey that mention Ithaca, locations there that are referred to either by name or through a description, and the features through which Homer depicts the location of Ithaca, in the discourse of his heroes Odysseus, Telemachus and other characters of this famous story. Convinced that Homer's lines are not poetic fiction, but a depiction of real places, the author searches for these places and finds them on the Erisos peninsula of Cephallonia. Through a linguistic analysis and interpretation of Homer's lines, the author establishes the correspondence between the poet's words and real places. The author attempts to make his interpretation as precise as possible, remaining true to the meaning of the Greek words and expressions, incorporating them logically in his explanations, and avoiding assumptions for which he believes there is no confirmation in Homer's lines. With a simple but comprehensive interpretation, the author sets out to convince us that each detail, separately examined in its own chapter, can be linked with the actual locations he considers to be the correct Ithaca. The subject of the book, the location of Odysseus' Ithaca, still is considered unresolved. For this reason, this work is significant not only for classical philology and archeology, but also for the wider public. The book examines the subject in conformity with the standards of philological science, and the author's approach sheds new light on the problem at hand. The author visited the location to which he links his interpretation of Homer's lines on three occasions, and is fully convinced that his thesis is true. There is almost complete correspondence between the lines and some of the locations, and although archaeological science first has to prove whether Brckovic's thesis is true, the evidence here presented, which is in accordance with scientific criteria, will be hard to ignore in the discussion of the location of Odysseus' s Ithaca.

                From the review by Damir Salopek, senior foreign language instructor at the Department of Classical Philology of the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, Croatia.



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