I have been reading the Odyssey since my high school years and I have always loved her wonderful lyrics and the stunning plot of the work in the form in which it was delivered to us.
Since then, I was interested in the return route of Odysseus and the purpose of his ten-year voyage.
I believe that the third verse of the Odyssey is the key that allows us to understand why.
He saw the cities of many and he understood their way of thinking
A lot of researchers have been working and writing about Odysseus’ path since antiquity to the present day.
Most felt that the trip was made within the Mediterranean Sea one author places it within the Black Sea and several, more contemporary, believe that Odysseus went out into the Atlantic.
I have read several such books and I believe that Odysseus really traveled beyond the Pillars of Hercules.
I also believe that the course presented by the French author and sailor Gilbert Pillot in his book “The Secret Code of the Odyssey – Did the Greeks sail in the Atlantic”, first published in France in 1979, could be more correct.
Let us not forget that Odysseus’ travels happened after the Argonauts and all these voyages after the travels of the Minoans. So Odysseus did not travel randomly.
I have always dreamed that it would be possible to connect the Odyssey’s excellent verses in relation to the places where our hero (our national hero?) traveled.
This thought gained a more solid base when I read in 2008 the announcement of the astronomer Constantino Baikouzis and the mathematician Marcelo Osvaldo Magnasco, who determined the day of the slaughter of the suitors as April 16th 1178 B.C.
Now I had the exact date on which to place the events of the last month of Odysseus’ return until the massacre, not only geographically but also chronologically.
For several reasons, I did not manage to fully shape my idea until recently when it was announced by another scientific group (St. Papamarinopoulos, P. Preka – Papadema, P. Antonopoulou, E. Mitropetrou, A. Tsironi and P. Mitropetrou) a new, more persuasive theory about the date when Odysseus and Telemachus killed the suitors, October 30th 1207 B.C. You may read this paper here.
So I finalized my project based on this date which may prove to be definitive.
So we may now sing the acts of the epic heroes on the correct dates, in the places where at least the last of them happened – Ogygia, Ithaca, Corfu, Pylos, Sparta. Later it is possible to organize actions in other places of the voyage.
So we can organize Alkinoos’ athletic competitions at Corfu on the right day and sail with Odysseus from Corfu to Ithaca and Telemachus from Ithaca to Pylos and vice versa on the correct days.
We can also go with Telemachus and Peisistratos from Nestor’s palace at Pylos to Menelaus’ and Helen’s palace in Sparta and vice versa on the correct days.
Finally, we may sing with the famous trobadour Demodocus in Corfu on the second day of Odysseus’ stay on the island of Phaeacians.
In all these actions, the residents of these cities will have the opportunity to participate with us and all other Greeks and foreigners who may want to walk alongside Odysseus and the other heroes of the Odyssey in the same places.
Later we will organize similar events in the other places where Odysseus passed, following the course described by Gilbert Pillot or other routes that other researchers have proposed.
In this way it is possible to organize a global Odyssey Network with all the people and schools and institutions and foundations interested in the Odyssey and Homer and classical studies.