Issues about epic find

March 24, 2006

I read with some concern Tom Palaima's review of Odysseus Unbound by Robert Bittlestone, James Diggle and John Underhill (March 10).

The authors' hypothesis is that Paliki, the western peninsula of Cephalonia, was cut off from the rest of the island during the late Bronze Age via a submerged isthmus, and that Paliki accords with Homer's description of Ithaca. A vital part of their evidence for this is the ancient geographer Strabo's description of Cephalonia, which your reviewer fails to take into account.

Palaima also attacks the proposed identification of Kastelli as the palace site on the grounds that "there is no surface pottery... to support this".

Yet the authors describe the discovery of a high density of shards, a number of which were identified as Mycenaean.

C. M. Jackson Head of classics King's College School, Wimbledon

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