Owls to AthensBook - 2004
When their ship journeys to Athens, the philosopher Sostratos attends a local festival and visits the site of his unfinished education, while Menedemos, who embarks upon an affair with their host's wife, gets them into a quandary.
In Athens, the cousins watch political history being made as Athens trades their sovereign ruler for an invader who announces plans to institute a newfangled "democracy." Meanwhile, Sostratos visits the Lykeion, the site of his unfinished education, but his fears of being mocked turn into triumph when he gets a good price for his wares. Menedemos, in typical fashion, starts an affair with a married woman, this time having the audicity to get their host's wife pregnant. In love as in trade, Menedemos's and Sostratos's quick wits have usually been enough to get them out of their self-created messes, but this may be pushing it...
Like a Patrick O'Brian novel set in the third century B.C., Owls to Athens is an entertaining tapestry of cameraderie and adventure amidst the world of classical antiquity in all its living, breathing, earthy reality.
When their ship journeys to Athens, the philosopher Sostratos is thrilled to attend a local festival and to visit the site of his unfinished education, while Menedemos, who embarks upon an affair with their host's wife, gets them into a quandary more challenging than they have ever encountered. 10,000 first printing.
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Owls to Athens is the fourth book in the Hellenic Traders series by H N Turteltaub. Like the others in the series it is a work of historical fiction concerning the adventures of a pair of Greek traders from Rhodes. "Taking owls to Athens" was a contemporary Greek saying, roughly the equivalent of the modern "selling snow to eskimos".
Menedemos and Sostratos finally sees the two Rhodians arrive at Sostratos’ beloved Athens. The majority of the novel takes place in Athens rather than the more peripatetic activities of the previous novels.
The two men take the goods acquired in the previous installment in The Sacred Land and attempt to increase their fortunes by trading them for goods and silver in the Western Aegean. Turteltaub has set up a perfect scenario to examine Sostratos’ past as a student in Athens. At the same time, Turteltaub can look towards the future as he makes Menedemos’ relationship with his father more difficult.
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