Festival of the Ancient World: Special Preview Evening

An enchanting voyage retracing Odysseus’ journey home

The author Robert Bittlestone, while island-hopping around the Ionian Sea in western Greece, had a strange realisation about the descriptions of Ithaca, the home of the hero Odysseus in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey: they didn’t make sense. While Homer describes Ithaca as a flat and gentle, the island we know as Ithaca today is a rocky, mountainous island, surrounded by near-vertical cliffs with scented pine trees clinging on for dear life. Bittlestone formulated a theory that Homer’s Ithaca was somewhere else – that names had got jumbled up. He teamed up with geologist John Underhill and the rest, as they say, is history.

Re-trace Odysseus’ final journey

From the comfort of Hampton Court House you can travel vicariously around the Ionian Sea, re-tracing Odysseus’ final journey towards his home and questioning the descriptions of landscapes in Homer’s Odyssey. You will discover the archaeology, history, landscapes and geology of this beautiful region, as well as delving into detail with one of the world’s greatest and most influential stories.

Classicist, sailor (and now Director of Form Seven) Adam D’Souza set off with a group of friends after university to re-trace the end of The Odyssey and test Bittlestone’s theories. This enchanting illustrated talk will combine serious intellectual study of ancient texts with amusing anecdotes about the trials and tribulations of sailing.

Wednesday 3 May, 7.00pm
Adults £10, under 18s free. Admission is free for Festival of the Ancient World ticket holders
The Form Seven Cookery School students will host a Supper Club after the talk, for which you are warmly invited to reserve a place