Many thought that the island existed only in the imagination of the Greek poet Homer and in his epic, the Odyssey. Certainly his description of it did not match the Ionian island now called Ithaca, but, after following a detective trail of literary, geological and archaeological clues, scholars led by Robert Bittlestone, a management consultant, have identified Paliki, an area of Cephalonia, as the site.
Calssicists have been overwhelmed by the compelling evidence.
James Diggle, Professor of Greek and Latin at Cambridge University and co-author of a book on the discovery, said that almost all of the 26 locations that Homer described in detail can be identified today in northern Paliki and its neighbourhood.
The topography of Homer’s island fits the area “like a glove”, he said.
Paliki was once a separate island. Since Homer’s day, earthquakes triggering massive landslides had filled in a narrow sea channel that separated it from the island of Same — modern Cephalonia, the setting for Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.