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The Priestess and the Slave

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  19 ratings  ·  5 reviews
A tale of honor and dishonor, of love, pain, madness, and endurance, told with painstaking historical and archaeological accuracy. Set in Classical Greece in the fifth century BC, The Priestess and the Slave conveys the extraordinary history of the time through the eyes of two narrators - a Delphic Pythia deeply embroiled in the political turmoil earlier in the century, an ...more
Paperback, 116 pages
Published April 20th 2009 by Hadley Rille Books
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Shauna
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of historic fiction or of ancient history
Fifth-century BCE Greece has been much studied and written about, but the focus is usually on the men—their wars, their philosophical discussions, the histories they wrote, the plays they went to, their politics and politicians.

The historical novel The Priestess and the Slave, by focusing instead on two women of that time, is a breath of fresh air. For once, we see how half of the fifth-century Greeks lived and what their concerns were. This novel focuses on two very different women, one a prie
...more
Ann Schwader
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received a free audio copy of this novella, in exchange for an honest review.)

Listening to this short novel felt like time-traveling to a new and different version of Greece in the 5th century BC: a version where women actually matter. Focusing on the lives of the Delphic Pythia Thrasulla (early in the century) and the Athenian house slave Harmonia (much later), the braided narrative offers readers a remarkably accurate and entertaining glimpse into everyday life at this critical
...more
Pamela
Jul 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
This elegant short novel, set in classical Greece of the 5th century B.C., tells the interwoven stories of Thrasulla, a Pythia who is one of the oracles of Apollo,and Harmonia, a slave in an Athenian household. The author, with degrees in Classics, brings authority and detail to this story of those so often neglected by history, those without power. Women in classical Greece led especially limited lives, but Jenny Blackford brings both suspense and compassion to Harmonia's tale, which is restric ...more
Cherie
This is a story about two women in ancient Greece, one a Priestess at Delphi and the other a slave in Athens.
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Nov 24, 2017 added it
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This novella alternates between the lives of two women in 5th century BC Greece, one of them a Delphic oracle and the other a slave. Both threads are clearly, knowledgeably, and engagingly written. The author is a Classicist, and she evokes the setting vividly and effectively, while avoiding awkward expository lumps. I found both main characters well-drawn, and Harmonia's story arc (the slave's story) moving. My one reservation is that neither of the two characters shapes their stories, instead ...more
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Jenny's first full-length book of poetry, THE LOYALTY OF CHICKENS, was published by Pitt Street Poetry in 2017. They also published THE DUTIES OF A CAT, an illustrated suite of her cat poems, in 2013. Her degree was in Classics (Greek and Latin). Pamela Sargent called her subversively feminist historical novella set in ancient Athens and Delphi, THE PRIESTESS AND THE SLAVE, "elegant."

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