Homer’s Ithaca possibly found

Brit­ish re­search­ers say they may have solved a cen­turies-old mys­ter­y: the lo­ca­tion of Ith­a­ca, home­land of the he­ro of Home­r’s The Od­ys­sey.

The ep­ic po­em de­scribes Ith­a­ca as the birth­place of King Ulys­ses, who wan­dered dec­ades at sea be­fore a long-awaited home­com­ing to his queen, Pe­nel­o­pe.

Up­on com­ing home to his wife Pe­nel­o­pe in Ith­a­ca, Ulys­ses slaugh­tered a group of suit­ors who had been tor­ment­ing her for years. This 1812 paint­ing of the scene is by Louis-Vincent-Léon Pal­lière.
A modern island of Ithaca ex­ists, and for cen­turies clas­si­cists have thought it was the one in the sto­ry. But there was al­ways a glitch: Hom­er as­serts that the is­land was the west­ern­most of the Io­ni­an ar­chi­pel­a­go. But the west­ern­most is­land is real­ly Ke­falo­nia, which is al­so much big­ger than the place Hom­er de­scribed.

The re­search team in­clud­ed busi­nes­man and am­a­teur ar­chae­o­lo­gist Rob­ert Bit­tle­stone, heir to a tra­di­tion be­gun by an­oth­er busi­ness­man, the fa­mous Hein­rich Schlie­man­n—dis­co­v­er­er of the ho­mer­ic city of Troy, in 1870


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