Since middle school I have been fascinated by the mysteries of the Odyssey: what are these locations? From whence come these personalities and what is really happening? How is a mountain dropped on a town? What plant protects from enchantment? Study of the text alone is insufficient.
In 1903 Victor Bèrard pubished his researches into the Phoenician sources of the Greek epic. When I realized that this gem had never been republished, much less translated, I felt as though I had chanced upon buried treasure. It remains one of my most interesting and satisfying reading experiences. The author maintains, and convinces, that there is no fantasy or invention in the classic, but only a faithful reworking of Phoenician sailing lore into Greek narrative legend-history. Identification of Greek-Punic doublets, in the text, sites and legends, is utilized to confirm each conclusion.
The routes of Ulysses and Telemachus are traced stop by stop, and the details of the action related to the geography and legends, in light of nautical information and sailing lore. I am delighted with the opportunity to reintroduce it to interested readers.