How a city rose from the ashes

Evan and his companions leave Pylos and head to Messenia, a region protected by mountains.

Ancient Messenia is located in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese, and founded in 369 BCE. The site was settled in the Early Bronze Age, though it may date back to the Late Neolithic period. Today the site is protected under the World Heritage foundation. You may be wondering why Messenia is an important site. The ancient Messenians were subjugated by their fellow Greeks, perhaps not a new concept as recent history can attest, but it was certainly wasn’t the norm.

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What to write???

I’ve been sitting at the computer for over an hour cleaning out my email inbox—I had emails sitting unread from over 12 months ago. Not a good thing, but I am hoping to keep up this year! As I was deleting, I felt bad as I had wanted to read them but just didn’t have the time. Also, it was form of procrastination as I contemplated the next article to write for my blog.

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In the beginning…

For my next series, I’ll be delving into the world of the Minoans but before I get into this amazing civilisation I’d like to explain why. Many of you following my blog would know back in May, I published a novel called Search for the Golden Serpent. One reviewer wrote:

“This is a tale of a modern-day hero’s adventure through time travel and to ancient sites such as Atlantis, Thebes and Pylos.” Linnea Tanner

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Plato’s Atlantis

The legend of Atlantis begins with Plato who wrote two Socratic dialogues Timaeus and Critias. These are the only two existing written records which refer to the lost continent. The fact that Plato wrote about the fabled city gives credence to the existence of such a place. Like Homer before him and the legend of Troy, Plato heard the story of Atlantis and retold it. According to a number of sources, Plato while a boy was listening to his great grandfather, Solon and other men who recounted the story. Much like the Homer’s Iliad, the legend of Atlantis has a basis in fact, and it’s a matter of washing out the dregs to get to the gold.

Plato from the School of Athens by Raphael, 1509 Wikipedia

Plato from the School of Athens by Raphael, 1509
Wikipedia

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The Birth of a New Empire

The notion of royalty being a part of the armed forces is not a new one and goes back thousands of years. Princes William and Harry are fulfilling a long line of royalty commitment to defence. Throughout history, there are written accounts of members of the royal family from the king to the prince/s that went to war. Some, as it were only in title but many did fight. It was their duty to lead. King Ramesses II led his legions of Egyptians during the most famous and propagandist battles of Kadesh, blazing across the desert on his chariot. The kings of the Greek city-states led their men and the leaders of the Trojan allies were commanded by kings and/or princes. One, however, was notable for his prowess as a warrior akin to Hektor was also the founding father of Rome.

Aeneas fleeing with Anchisis, Iulos and a fourth person from Troy, protected by Aphrodite circa 510 BC; found in Etruria  Kestner-Museum, Hanover Germany  Picture taken by Marcus Cyron Wikipedia

Aeneas fleeing with Anchisis, Iulos and a fourth person from Troy, protected by Aphrodite
circa 510 BC; found in Etruria
Kestner-Museum, Hanover Germany
Picture taken by Marcus Cyron
Wikipedia

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Who were the Trojans and where did they come from?

Many scholars, including Carl Blengen American archaeologist who worked at the site in the 1930s, believed the Trojans were of Greek origin. This conjecture was attributed to the Greek names given to the characters in the Iliad but that isn’t the case. Homer mentioned a close relationship between the Trojan allies and in particular with the Dardanians. Excavations at the site of Troy/Ilios/Troya/Troia have found artefacts that showed the Trojans were in fact indigenous to the region and related to the Indo-European people who migrated to the area.

An artist's impression of Troy VIh/VIi in around 1400 BC http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsMiddEast/AnatoliaTroy.htm

An artist’s impression of Troy VIh/VIi in around 1400 BC
http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsMiddEast/AnatoliaTroy.htm

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The Man Behind the Wooden Horse

For ten long years’ war raged between the Greeks and Trojans with no end in sight. Each side equally matched, both in valour and skilled fighters. It was the era of the golden age, men with a status of demi-gods and many others favoured by the immortals. The war won with a trick, a ruse which duped the Trojans and sealed their fate. Hektor’s funeral marks the conclusion of the Iliad, there’s no mention of how and who wins the conflict. Yet how it was won has become part of the story’s lore. It is also why many people believe Homer is not the author of both the Iliad and Odyssey. Those who have been following my blog know what my thoughts are and new readers may refer back to the post.

Scenes of the Trojan War Odysseus second from left Antalya Archaeological Museum Wikipedia

Scenes of the Trojan War
Odysseus second from left
Antalya Archaeological Museum
Wikipedia

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Greek Hero Dies of Shame

Aias (Ajax the Great) came from the island of Salamis where the famous sea battle occurred during the second Persian War when the Greeks destroyed Xerxes’ fleet. Homer refers to Aias as ‘the great’ because of his size, not only taller than the average Akhaians but also broad-shouldered and powerful. He stood out in the crowd so much so King Priam spotted him from the walls of Troy:

‘Who then is this other Akhaian warrior, valiant and tall, towering above the Argives with his head and broad shoulders?’
Iliad, Book 3 Line 225

Achilles and Ajax play a board game with knucklebones on this late 6th-centurylekythos, a type of oil-storing vessel associated with funeral rites   Diosphos Painter  500 BCE  Louvre Museum courtesy of Wikipedia

Achilles and Ajax play a board game with knucklebones on this late 6th-century lekythos, a type of oil-storing vessel associated with funeral rites
Diosphos Painter, 500 BCE
Louvre Museum Courtesy of Wikipedia

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5 Star Review of The Curse of Troy

I asked Carrie Slager The Mad Reviewer if she would review my short story in exchange for a copy of The Curse of Troy. She gracefully said yes even though she only reviews  anthologies of short stories rather than just one short story. Carrie is well read and knows her mythology which is why I asked her to review my story.

She has written a wonderful review. Please go to her website to read the review.

Thank you Carrie.

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Helen

Now on Sale: The Curse of Troy

Hello dear friends,
The day has finally arrived! The Curse of Troy is now uploaded and available to purchase.

Blurb

Helen of Troy! The most beautiful woman in the world. Her face launched a thousand ships. Betrayal, greed and power unfold in this compelling Greek tragedy. It was a war renowned throughout times gone by as the greatest and bloodiest of them all. It was a romance between two star-crossed lovers. Helen, Queen of Sparta, home-wrecker and whore, flees with her lover Paris, Prince of Troy… That’s the story known to history.

But is this all true? History is told by the victors, and facts can be changed to twist the truth. Is it possible Helen of Sparta never went to Troy? Could she be a scapegoat in a devious plan and organised by the power hungry Agamemnon?

Perhaps. This is Helen’s story in her words, as told to a wandering historian.

HelenAmazon US $1.99
Amazon UK £1.28
Kobo CAD $1.96
Smashwords US $1.99

Review for The Curse of Troy

The author has told a story worthy of a full novel with a well-accomplished suspense and anticipation.  It leaves the reader wishing for more.
Anne Marie Webster, Author Just Deserts and Jack the Lad and other stories

Click here for the full review.