Odysseus Unbound, by Robert Bittlestone with the assistance of Professor James Diggle of Cambridge University and Professor John Underhill of the University of Edinburgh, puts forth a theory that a peninsula of Kefalonia is the location of Homer's Ithaca, the home of Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey. The initial insight leading to the argument came from a tourist roadmap of the Paliki area, which Bittlestone purchased following a visit to the region, in preparation for another visit — one this time to the modern island known as "Ithaki". Scholars for centuries have noticed that the island of Ithaki does not correspond to the detailed descriptions of the home of Odysseus offered by Homer in the Odyssey. Many explanations, from simple ignorance on Homer's part to "poetic license", have been used to account for the discrepancies. Bittlestone had noticed, that the western peninsula of Kefalonia appeared to correspond with the principal clues offered by Homer, yet it is not an island. On his previous trip, his daughter's question, about an inland hilltop fortress on neighboring Lefkas island — "But why did they build it here?" — had led to the thought that sea levels in the area might once have been much higher, that in turn leading to the idea that higher sea levels might once have cut off the Paliki peninsula from its mainland, making Paliki an island.
The tourist map seemed to confirm this: on it, Bittlestone saw, the neck of land connecting Paliki to Kefalonia did appear to be narrow and, more in this mountainous region low along most of its length. Confirmation was needed from at least two sources: philology — to ensure that the Homeric account of "Ithaca" was properly understood — and geology, to establish among other points that the narrow neck of land on Kefalonia could in fact have been the site of a sea channel, in the times of Homer and of Odysseus. James Diggle, co-author of the study which argued that Paliki was Homer's "Ithaca", is Professor of Greek and Latin at Cambridge University and a recognized authority on Ancient Greek texts, his detailed analysis of the "clues" contained both in Homer and in Strabo and other texts was crucial to supporting the Paliki argument. However, the various "clues" were self-serving and based on erroneous translations. Various lists of philological clues were assembled, derived from the ancient texts, to identify specific geographic details which might correspond to modern locations.
For example 26 such locations were identified "in or near Homer's'Ithaca'": Ithaca — Odysseus' island off the west coast of Greece: location disputed Ithaca city — Its capital Ithaca harbor — Its harbor, adjacent to the city Same — The island opposite Ithaca known as Samos Island: location disputed Doulichion — Another island nearby: location disputed Zakynthos — One of the Ionian islands to the south: location known — and similar lists were made for "Odysseus' Palace", "Doulichion", other locations. A list of 32 such "clues" was drawn up by the team, a chart prepared, showing how other "Ithaca" locations suggested by previous theories — including the modern island of Ithaki — do not correspond, while the Paliki peninsula does: Clue 1 — Does Ithaca lie low and to the west, the furthest out to sea of a group of neighboring islands, called Ithaca, Samos Island and Zakynthos? Clue 2 — Does Ithaca contain a bay with two distinctive jutting headlands? Clue 3 — Can a ship leave Ithaca harbor driven by a stiff following wind from the west?
Clue 4 — Is there a two-harbored island called Asteris in the straits between Ithaca and Samos Island, with windy heights that would enable an ambush to take place? John Underhill, the third co-author of the study, is Professor of Stratigraphy at the University of Edinburgh and a recognized authority on the structure and stratigraphy of sedimentary basins, on the geology of the Ionian islands, his contributions in several areas, including investigation of the prior existence of "Strabo's Channel", analyses of factors such as tectonic uplift, erosion were crucial in authenticating Paliki. The initial geological problem posed by Bittlestone — whether sea levels in the region might once have been higher, such that the narrow isthmus now connecting Paliki to the rest of Kefalonia might once have been submerged — turned out to be the opposite, the sea didn't fall but the land rose, the periodic earthquakes that triggered this upthrust brought down catastrophic rockfalls. Paliki sits on the edge of the European continental shelf, being pushed continuously from the southwest by the African plate, in a plate tectonics shift which causes constant earthquakes: the Ionian islands were devastated by one such earthquake as as 1953, there have been many before that.
Observation of many geologic clues in the region shows that uplift — the result of earthquakes — has in fact occurred. The insufficiency of the uplift to account for the altitude of some of the terrain now at the channel site is explained by high volume landslips similar to those that impacted northern Pakistan in 2005: earth and rocks and whole sections of the mountainside itself falling from the high Kefalonia mountains which line the eastern edge of the isthmus, down onto what once had been "Strabo's channel". Findings of ancient Greek structures now buried beneath this erosion provided part of the confirmation for the proposal, which now is to be subjected to a battery of geological tests. On the other hand, one objection to the Odysseus Unbound theory is that the hypothesized channel was an implausible geographical structure, it is not clear what natural processes could have created a deep valley linking two arm
Administrative regions of Greece
The administrative regions of Greece are the country's thirteen first-level administrative entities, each comprising several second-level units prefectures and, since 2011, regional units. The current regions were established in July 1986, by decision of then-Interior Minister Menios Koutsogiorgas as a second-level administrative entities, complementing the prefectures. Before 1986, there was a traditional division into broad historical–geographical regions, however, was arbitrary. Although the post-1986 regions were based on the earlier divisions, they are smaller and, in a few cases, do not overlap with the traditional definitions: for instance, the region of Western Greece, which had no previous analogue, comprises territory belonging to the Peloponnese peninsula and the traditional region of Central Greece; as part of a decentralization process inspired by then-Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos, they were accorded more powers in the 1997 Kapodistrias reform of local and regional government.
They were transformed into separate entities by the 2010 Kallikratis Plan, which entered into effect on 1 January 2011. In the 2011 changes, the government-appointed general secretary was replaced with a popularly elected regional governor and a regional council with 5-year terms. Many powers of the prefectures, which were abolished or reformed into regional units, were transferred to the region level; the regional organs of the central government were in turn replaced by seven Decentralized administrations, which group from one to three regions under a government-appointed general secretary. Bordering the region of Central Macedonia there is one autonomous region, Mount Athos, a monastic community under Greek sovereignty, it is located on the easternmost of the three large peninsulas jutting into the Aegean from the Chalcidice Peninsula. Administrative divisions of Greece ISO 3166-2:GR List of Greek regions by Human Development Index
The Myrtos Gulf is a gulf on the north coast of the island Cephalonia, Greece. It is a bay of the Ionian Sea; the main villages on its shore are Zola. The total length is 10 km long and is 10 km wide, it stretches from Cape Kakata to Asos from east to west and from Zola to the Asos Peninsula to the north. The gulf has a mountainous coast. There are no ferry routes in this gulf
Vehicle registration plates of Greece
Greek vehicle registration plates are composed of three letters and four digits per plate printed in black on a white background. The letters represent the district that issues the plates while the numbers begin from 1000 to 9999; as from 2004, a blue strip was added on the left showing the country code of Greece in white text and the Flag of Europe. Similar plates with digits beginning from 1 to 999 are issued for motorcycles. With the exception of Athens and Thessaloniki, all districts are represented by the first 2 letters; the final letter in the sequence changes in Greek alphabetical order after 9,000 issued plates. For example, Patras plates are ΑΧΑ-1000, where ΑΧ represents the Achaia prefecture of which Patras is the capital; when ΑΧΑ-9999 is reached the plates turn to ΑΧΒ-1000 and this continues until ΑΧΧ is finished. Only the letters from the intersection between the Latin and Greek alphabets by glyph appearance are used, namely Α, Β, Ε, Ζ, Η, Ι, Κ, Μ, Ν, Ο, Ρ, Τ, Υ, Χ; this is because Greece is a contracting party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which in Annex 2 requires registration numbers to be displayed in capital Latin characters and Arabic numerals.
The rule applies in a similar way in Russia, Belarus and Herzegovina and Bulgaria. Combinations used for overseas residents are limited; until 2003, taxis used L-NNNN. Up until 1954 Greek number plates were quite simple: black numbers on a white background, indicating the serial number shown on the car's license; these started at 1 and advanced to 75-000 when the system was changed. The owner had to provide the plates and specifications were minimal: the size of the plates and numbers, as well as their respective colours; this meant that plates were not uniform. Taxis had to indicate the initial of the city. In 1954 it was compulsory for all vehicles to change to a new system. For just 2 years the system was L-NNNN or L-NNNNN with black characters on yellow background where L was the initial of the city they were licensed in. All these plates display "1953-54" in black characters on a white background using a smaller typeface in the top left corner; these plates were compulsorily withdrawn in 1956.
In 1956 the system was again changed to just numbers NNNNNN. NNNNNN could be any number from one to six digits starting once again with "1" and ending this time at about "451000", though not all numbers were allocated. Characters were black on white background with a blue band at the top of both front and back plates indicating city/district of registration and type of usage. After 1960 the blue band on the front plate was abandoned and hence that plate became shorter in height; this time it was not compulsory to change plates after 1972. Hence these so-called "six-figure plates" can still be spotted on a few old vehicles. In 1972, they became lettered and the system was LL-NNNN while trucks used L-NNNN. Again, they were black characters on white background but with a different typeface, it was not compulsory to change these plates. In 1982, the system changed to LLL-NNNN and the first two letters are prefecture letters. Again, it was not compulsory to change to the newer system plates in 2004. In 2004 the euroband was added to the left and the typeface changed, in all other respects the previous system continued.
The first 2 of 3 letters of a licence plate represent the prefecture where the car was registered. The full list of plates in Greece is below: ΑΑ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΒ Kavala prefecture - Kavala ΑΕ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΖ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΗ Xanthi prefecture - Xanthi ΑΙ Aitoloakarnania prefecture - Agrinio area ΑΚ Laconia prefecture - Sparti ΑΜ Phokida prefecture - Amfissa ΑΜ tax free cars ΑΝ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΟ Achaia prefecture - Patras AO used in Mount Athos in style of AO-NNN-NN. ΑΡ Argolis prefecture - Nafplio ΑΤ Arta prefecture - Arta AY Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΧ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΒΑ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΒ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΕ Piraeus prefecture BZ Piraeus prefecture ΒΗ Piraeus prefecture ΒΙ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΚ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΜ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΝ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΟ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΡ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΤ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΥ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΧ Piraeus prefecture ΕΑ Dodecanese prefecture - Kos island ΕΒ Evros prefecture - Alexandroupoli ΕΕ Pella Prefecture - Edessa ΕΖ Cyclades prefecture - Ermoupoli ΕΗ Euboea prefecture - Chalkida EI Euboea prefecture - Chalki
Ionian Islands (region)
The Ionian Islands Region is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. The administrative region does not include all of the Ionian Islands; the population of the Ionian Islands in 2011 was 207,855, decreased by 1,50% compared to the population in 2001. The region remains the third by population density with 90.1/km² nationwide, well above the national of 81.96/km². The most populous of the major islands is Corfu with a population of 104,371, followed by Zante, Cephalonia and Ithaca; the foreign-born population was in 2001 19,360 or 9.3%, the majority of, concentrated in Corfu and Zante. Most of them originate from Albania; the fertility rate for 2011 according to Eurostat was 1.35 live births per woman. The regional Gross Domestic Product for 2010 was 4,029 million euros; the GDP per capita for the same year was 18,440 euros per capita, lower than the national median of 20,481. However, the GDP per capita of Cephalonia and Zante, 23,275 and 24,616 was much higher than the national figure.
Additionally, unemployment for 2012 was 14.7, the lowest among all Greek regions, much lower compared to the national unemployment of 24.2. The region is a popular tourist destination; the airports of Corfu and Cephalonia were in the top ten in Greece by number of international arrivals, with 1,386,289 international arrivals for 2012, with Corfu being the sixth airport by number of arrivals nationwide, while Zante and Cephalonia being in the top ten. Cephalonia Airport had the biggest increase nationwide by 13.11% compared to 2011, while Corfu had an increase of 6.31%. The region was established in the 1987 administrative reform, comprising the prefectures of Corfu and Ithaca, Lefkada and Zakynthos. With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, its powers and authority were extended. Along with West Greece and Peloponnese regions, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of the Peloponnese, West Greece and the Ionian Islands based at Patras; the region is based at Corfu and is divided into 5 regional units: Corfu Ithaca Kefalonia Lefkada ZakynthosThe region's governor is, since 1 September 2014, Theodoros Galiatsatos, elected in the May 2014 local administration elections for the Coalition of the Radical Left party.
Mantzavinata is a village in the southwest of Kefalonia island, where the famous Mantzavino Wine is sold. Mantzavinata is 4 km southwest of Lixouri on the Paliki peninsula. Mantzavinata has a small square called Lemonata. A wine festival is held each August in Mantzavinata. Mantzavinata is surrounded by hills. Farming and agriculture are the main industry in Mantzavinata, although due to the nearby beaches, tourism plays a significant part in the economy. Together with the smaller village Vouni and the islet of Vardianoi, it forms the community of Katogi; the Maspali hill was an ancient acropolis. At Vazza, a Roman mosaic is displayed today at the Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia. Two of the three churches are original structures from the 17th century; until the 1940s, Mantzavinata was an important centre of raisin production. World War II, the complete destruction of the village in the 1953 Ionian earthquake increased emigration, it took. The former farmland around Mantzavinata is popular for house building.
Today many families built their new homes outside of the center near the beaches Xi and Mania. This new settlement is known as Kounopetra; the name'Mantzavinata' comes from the Italian words mangiare and vino, -ata is the typical ending for places in Kefalonia. Mantzavinata had several persons with the surname Mantzavinos/Mantzavinatos, one of whom founded a subdivision in Patras known as Mantzavineika. Another founded the Mantzavinateio Hospital in Lixouri. List of settlements in Cephalonia Website of the cultural association Mantzavinata & Vouni: "I Kounopetra" Katogi on GTP Travel Pages Historical Photos of Mantzavinata on Europeana.eu
Agios Dimitrios, Cephalonia
Agios Dimitrios is a village, about 2 miles north of Lixouri in the Paliki peninsula of Cephalonia. The village which lies on the hillside just above the gulf of Argostoli and is a five-minute drive along the main road out of Lixouri; the overall geography of Agios Dimitrios can be appreciated in a satellite view from Google Maps. The village straddles the main road running north from Lixouri; the immediate view from the main road is of small houses, a taverna, a variety holiday accommodation, including a two hotels. The area is rural and consists of agricultural land. There is a low density of building. Turning off from the main road to the East, towards the sea, brings one past small residences with some accommodation for renting and down to the shoreline of the gulf of Argostoli; the shoreline is a long narrow strip of sandy beach with scrub vegetation and no facilities. A small number of fishermen work from the area in small boats; the immediate sea is shallow with extensive weed beds. This area is known to be inhabited by turtles.
In addition to agriculture and tourism, a small activity in fishing is supported. Nearby to the south, just before the village, is an auto mechanics car workshop and garage. In addition to the small number of local residences, there are various holiday accommodations, from bed & breakfast studios and hotels. There are small hotels, for example the Hotel Terra Mare with several acres of associated grounds in which holiday bungalows are set. Taverna Angelos is situated on the main street. Another Taverna, can be found by turning up a side road off the west side of the main street. There are no banks in the village; the nearest shops are back south on the main road towards Lixouri, 25 minutes to walk but five minutes in a car. They comprise a general grocery and household goods store, a takeaway food shop, a butcher who sells a range of meats. Most main shops, medical services, schools are to be found in Lixouri. An exception to this is a nearby store located south of the village on the main road to Lixouri, a large outdoor centre, stocking swimming, snorkeling and leisure equipment.
The fact that the local beach is narrow and there are no facilities means that tourists are hardly seen and it is therefore a quiet area in which to walk and admire open views over the bay. Cephalonia is renowned for having several world-class beaches and it is easy to travel to one of these by car, what most tourists who come to stay in this part of the island do; as with many areas in Cephalonia, Agios Dimitrios was based on agriculture and a small contribution from fishing. In recent years tourism has become an increasing priority within the economy of Cephalonia with investment from the EU under the Operational Programme'Western Greece - Peloponnesus - Ionian Islands' Programme under the Convergence objective co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund for the period 2007-2013; the budget of the programme is around €1.14 billion. Within this framework are several priorities which include Priority 3: Infrastructure works & accessibility in Ionian Islands Priority 6: Digital convergence & entrepreneurship in Ionian Islands Priority 7: Sustainable development & quality of life in Western GreeceThese high level strategic priorities are starting to have an effect and the evidence can be seen in Agios Dimitrios.
The number of buildings dedicated to tourist trade and tourist accommodation has increased with an increase in local development. There has been an increase in the number of non-Greek nationals becoming residents and developing properties within the village. There has been a migration back to Cephalonia of Greek nationals, displaced as a consequence the earthquake in the 1950s. Recent geological studies suggest that the Paliki Peninsula, in which Agios Dimitrios is sited, was a separate island. Known as the Paliki Hypothesis, it is now suggested that in the Bronze Age, a large earthquake caused a landslide to fill in a sea channel creating the bridge between the Paliki and the main island. One implication of this is that the Paliki Peninsula, the area in which Agios Dimitrios is located is in fact the original location for Homer's Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, to which he journeyed after the Trojan War and written as the epic tale, Homer's The Odyssey. Taverna Angelos Panorama Apartments Kefalonia New Homes Kefalonia log House Video of Myrtos Beach Google Maps satellite view of Agios Dimitrios