Alcamenis, a ten years old boy from the island of Lemnos, who was taken slave by the Persian ships, is becoming the witness of all events which follow. With him the Persians take, also, his teacher and a little girl, Hipolyte, who will become his unique love.
These three persons are the axis of the myth I created to give the charm but also the cruelty of a world one might call up-to-date.
Hipolyte will become priestess at the Elefsinia Mysteries. Alcamenis, charmed by the narrations of his teacher for Sparta, manages to arrive at the town and to know this famous city. But Spartans do not want the strangers.
As a child and as a young man he will be experienced by all the hard approvals but, also, he will be initiated in the spirit of their absolute military virtue.
He will be a helot for Aristodemos. As a helot, as a moribund, as a fanatic warrior, he will be experienced by all the aspects of their life. He will fight for his beloved Hipolyte. He will win the respect of Spartans. He will participate in all the big battles.
As helot of Aristodemos, Alcamenis will live with him all the martyrdom of his smashing after his disgrace.
He will be friend of an aristocrat Athenian, Dexileo, and this friendship will help him to experience, also, the secrets of Athenians conception of life. And when the very handsome Dexileo will be wounded at the naval battle of Salamis and will be invalid, Alcamenis leaves Sparta (just at the moment that they decided to make him a real citizen) in order to help his friend.
The Spartan, who more than the others tortured Alkamenis in the first years, will save his son, four years old, a child of his love with Hipolyte.
The novel ends with the battle of Plataea (final horrible defeat of Persians) where Aristodemos ran first to the battle, ran as if he was dancing in order to die for his town and in that way to be expiated for the shame that he was returned alive from the battle of Three Hundred.
The end of the novel takes place seven years after the wars, when at the theater of Acropolis is playing (“is taught” they said then) the Aeschylus tragedy “Persians” which gives the naval battle of Salamis where he fought. And from all the cities the people ran, since the early morning, to take places at the theater. They believed that they would live again the triumph of their victory. But the tragedy was written to evoke awe. The awe of the defeated. The Poet gave it with all the splendor and compassion that every great calamity has.
This is the novel.
“ I tried to portray the human side, to find the daily way of life in the ancient
world, so that the events unfold at a time abolished but also magically present,
a time alive.
I believe that “SPARTAN” is a contemporary novel. Not only because it
brings that distant age to our days, but because it contains, prophetically,
everything that glorifies or plagues contemporary times.”
Aristodemos is a real historic person.
And all historic events are verified from the historic sources.
At the end of the novel I put the maps which show the genius strategy of Themistocles, all the movements of his ships, to make it clear how the few Greeks managed to win the colossal fleet of Xerxes.