|Pages/Publication Date:||256 / 2003|
Born into a stern farming family on the island of Keos, Simonides escapes his harsh childhood through a lucky apprenticeship with a renowned Ionian singer. As they travel through 5th century BC Greece, Simonides learns not only how to play the kithara and compose poetry, but also how to navigate the shifting alliances surrounding his rich patrons. Along the way, he encounters artists, statesmen, athletes, philosophers, and lovers, including the likes of Pythagoras and Aischylos. Using the singer's unique perspective, Mary Renault's 1978 novel combines her vibrant imagination and her formidable knowledge of history to establish a sweeping, resilient vision of a golden century.