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(texte français: cliquez ici)   The routes home
Odysseus' nautical world
A cosmological interpretation
Sea routes and the epic text
The routes home
Rounding Cape Malea
6 Toward a New World
7 Mythological figures for stopovers
From the next World to this world
9 In Odysseus'wake. Arrival at Ithaka
10 Ithaka, Ormos Polis
Ithaka, the islet of Daskalio
12 Ithaka, Port Saint Andrew
13 At the Arethuse source
14 The periplus to Ithaka
15 Our friend Odysseus

In the Eastern Mediterranean, well-known by ancient Greeks, Homer describes the sea routes followed by his heroes returning from Troja so accurately that one can trace them on a map.

Crossing of the Aegean from east to west by the respective squadrons of Nestor Menelaus, Odysseus, Ajax, on Tim Severin's Argo in 1985 and jean Cuisenier’s Tzarambo in 2000.

"To listen to the old Achaean king narrating his return as if one would read a sea log today, it took Nestor and his squadron only five days to reach Pylos in Messinia. That is to say : one day from the Achaean harbour on the Hellespont to Tenedos (Bozcaada) ; one day from Tenedos to Lesbos (Mytilene) ; one day from Lesbos at Cape Gereste (southern end of the Euboea) ; one day and one night from Cape Gereste to Argos (Gulf of Nauplie) via Cape Sounion ; one day from the Gulf of Nauplie to Pylos via Cape Malea.
This oral "sea log" of the wise Nestor sounded like a sequence of nautical instructions to the audience of the poem, to whom it was first adressed,: a model of the measures to take when crossing the Aegean from north-east to south-east in direct route, the list of the seamarks to recognize and the predictable duration of the travels between the successive ports of call. For anybody who learns this today through the reading of the Odyssey this text also provides indisputable information : captains of the homeric times and probably long before them captains of the mycenian times were quite capable, when the opportunity should arise, to set off on crossings on the open sea and by night. They did not hesitate to make this choice deliberately when signs in the sky led them to expect favorable conditions".
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Jean Cuisenier, Le Périple d’Ulysse, pp. 186-188
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