In the Odyssey, Homer - the greatest poet of ancient Greece - tells the story of the adventures of Odysseus, during his voyage home after the fall of Troy in about 1200 BC. What, on the face of it, should have been a comparatively simple journey took ten years: gales and currents drove Odysseus in the wrong direction; he had to contend with the terrors of the Cyclops, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis; hindered as well as helped by the gods he lost his ships and crews, at last to be washed ashore on Ithaca - his homeland. Finally Odysseus had to kill the usurpers who wished to take over his kingdom and his wife, Penelope.
The distinguished archaeologist and author, Jacquetta Hawkes, puts Odysseus' voyage into its historical and geographical perspective. Her contribution is further enhanced by more than 100 black-and-white and colour pictures, many of which were specially photographed for the book by Tim Mercer, who recaptures the magical land- and sea- scapes that Odysseus and his companions would have seen in their travels.