When I was a young boy, if I was sick or in trouble, or had been beaten at school, I used to remember that on the day I was born my father had wanted to kill me.You will say there is nothing out of the way in this. Yet I daresay it is less common than you might suppose; for as a rule, when a father decides to expose an infant, it is done and there the matter ends. And it is seldom a man can say, either of the Spartans or the plague, that he owes them life instead of death.
Renault was a scholar of the period, so it tracks as well researched and accurate, but she manages to put the reader into the mindset and culture in a way that more exclusively dedicated historical fiction authors aspire to but fail.
Someone had said that Autolykos the athlete was wrestling in Taureas' palaestra, so we asked our tutors if we could watch. They agreed to pass through but not to stop. We found that Autolykos had finished his bout and was taking a rest; the place was full of people admiring his looks and waiting for him to wrestle again. A statuary, or a painter, was sitting and making a sketch of him. He was used to all this and took no notice of it.
He was the vilest speaker I ever heard: vulgar, ignorant, not seeking to teach his hearers, but rather to stir in men as vulgar as himself the irrational excesses to which such people are prone; a whore among orators.
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