Where was Homer's "Ithaca"? There have been many suggestions as to where, exactly, the "Ithaca" of the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer was geographically located: as many, perhaps, as the theories which once fought among themselves over whether Troy ever really existed, and if so where it was. Theories on the location of "Homer's 'Ithaca'" were formulated as early as the 2d c. BC to as recently as AD 2003.

Each approach to identifying a location has been different, varying in degrees of scientific procedure, empirical investigation, informed hypothesis, wishful thinking, fervent belief, and sheer fantasy. Each investigator and each investigation merits interest, as an indicator both of the temper of the times in which a particular theory was developed, and of the perennial interest in Homer's Odyssey, and his character Odysseus, and the possible facts of the latter's life. The processes of theory-building and scientific inquiry change: interestingly, some of the latest "Homer's 'Ithaca'" approaches most resemble some of the earliest. But some other things -- such as interest in epics, and in their heroes -- remain the same, over time.

Leading Precursors

Theorists, on the location of "Homer's 'Ithaca'" --

  • Eratosthenes (276 BC – 194 BC)
  • Demetrius
  • Apollodorus (born ca. 180 BC)
  • Strabo (63/4 BC – ca. AD 24),
    • Jones, P.V. (1917-1932). Strabo : Geography, Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

    Paliki, Homer's Ithaca ( a recent theory about the Ithaca of Homer)

    General References

    • Bittlestone, Diggle & Underhill (2005), cited above, Chapter 9.

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