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Owls to Athens

(Hellenic Traders #4)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Cousins Menedemos and Sostratos are preparing for a trading expedition to Athens. While philosophy-minded Sostratos is thrilled to return to Athens, Menedemos is both reluctant to leave his father's wife Baukis, with whom he has fallen in love, and relieved to be removed from temptation. They stock up on luxury goods and rush to Athens so Sostratos can make it there in tim ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Forge Books
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 ·  86 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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Jun 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
HN Turtletaub is, of course, Harry Turtledove, of alternate history fame. Under the Turtletaub name he writes historical fiction, principally the adventures of Menedemos and his cousin Sostratos, ship captain and traders on "the wine dark sea." The novels are not exactly plot-free, but they contain a wealth of information about life in the 4th century BCE. I just love them and eat up all the detail on the history of the day. I don't think many others do, but if you like this era, like to read ab ...more
Leonardo Etcheto
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
In this one the trading is not as central to the book, since almost all the trade goods were previously acquired and they stay most of the time in Athens trying to sell them. Truffle oil was a new one this time however.
Some meditation from both Sostratos and Menedemos on the limits your situation puts on your ambitions (philosopher historian and war galley captain) but they have to make a living and it is a good thing to spend your energy on.
The way Demetrios sneaked into the port of Athens wa
Liz V.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
The last in the series is more of the same and has worn thin. This time set in Athens, Alexander the Great's would be successors are still fighting, and the cousins get to watch the Athenians welcome "freedom" from one conqueror in trade for another. ...more
Another fun adventure in the series. I really enjoyed all the historical detail and the episodes from real history (sycophantic Athens in particular) but got tired of all the "banter" between the two cousins. ...more
Dec 24, 2010 rated it liked it
This is the fourth and last installment in a series about two twentysomething Greek sailor-traders in the 4th century BCE. After Alexander died, his marshals divided up the oikomene, but the island of Rhodes stayed neutral and traded with everybody. In 307 BCE the two cousins sail to Athens, bringing perfume, papyrus, ink, beeswax and the like. They see the son of one of the marshals, Demetrios son of Antigonos, expel the deputy of another, and proclaim that he has restored democracy and indepen ...more
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: junk-food-lit
The fourth in "Turteltaub's" series following the adventurers of Rhodian merchants in the Hellenistic world, this volume takes out heroes to Athens. As always, well-researched and well-written, though occasionally the plot focus seems a bit fuzzy, sacrificed to exposition about the Hellenistic Greek world. Still, lots of fun . . . ...more
Aug 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this four book series. Sure hope there will be a fifth book, as I would love to know what happens next!
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Ed Leber
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Oct 29, 2012
Jan 04, 2017 added it
Set in 307 BCE, this time Menedemos and Sostratos travel to Athens. We get more on the Hellene culture of the time (the Dionysia with its accompanying theatrical productions of dramas and comedies) plus more of the post-Alexander squabbling between marshalls.

The book ends with discussion of going to Alexandria in the next spring. I wish the author would write that book - I am very interested in how life was in Alexandria at that time.
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Other books in the series

Hellenic Traders (5 books)
  • Over the Wine-Dark Sea (Hellenic Traders, #1)
  • The Gryphon's Skull (Hellenic Traders, #2)
  • The Sacred Land (Hellenic Traders, #3)
  • Salamis (Hellenic Traders #5)

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