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Once Upon a Time, on Lesbos

452 pages6 hours


At the end of the seventh century B.C. the rival aristocrats of Mytilene - the strongest city-state on the island of Lesbos - heading the various political factions, contended with each other for supreme power. Alcaeus, the poet, and his elder brother, bellicose Antimenidas, joined forces with Phanias and Pittacus and made plans to overthrow Myrsilus, who had risen to power with the support of the middle class, the merchants and marines. Their conspiracy was betrayed and everyone but Pittacus, who changed sides at the very last moment and became the prime target of Alcaeus' libels, had to flee into exile, to inland Pyrrha. Young Sappho, who was their contemporary, and whose political sympathies lay with Alcaeus, followed them, too.

This novel relates their adventures from that point on. Historical information available with regard to the protagonists, as well as ideas and feelings depicted in their poetry and dicta preserved to this day, are the basic elements which intertwine with fiction in the effort to achieve successful restructuring of their time and life in an era which set the foundations for Greece's Golden Age. The outcome is an exciting story full of passion, bravery, love, friendship, and of unparalleled achievements.

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