National Geographic : 1973 Jul
Attuned to austerity, a cousin of Pantelis, Polychronis Chintilas, still herds sheep on rocky Ithaca, despite his 80 years. The widower lives alone in this stone cottage, cooking over an open hearth. Masses of rock roses blanket slopes on Ithaca, where a riot of many-colored blooms erupts each spring. Virile warriors of antiqui ty relished after-bath rubdowns with rose-scented oil. "Votive offering to Ulysses." These words, scratched in Greek on a terra-cotta shard of the sec ond century B.C ., show that the people of Ithaca revered their hero a thousand years after his own day. Archeologists found this fragment of a mask in a crumbled cave shrine on Polis Bay; another inscription un earthed there honors Athena, the goddess who aided Ulysses on his homeward quest.