CHAPTER 1: Mount Taygetus
His heart full of bitterness, the great Aristarkhos sat watching his son Kleidemos sleep quietly within the paternal shield that served as his cradle. Close by, in a little bed suspended by four ropes from the ceiling beam, slept his older brother, Brithos. The silence that enveloped the ancient house of the Kleomenids was suddenly broken by the rustling of the oaks in the nearby forest. A long, deep sigh of the wind.
Sparta, the invincible, was shrouded in darkness; only the fire that burned on the acropolis shot red flares into the black clouds of the sky. Aristarkhos shivered and pushed aside the cloth...