In my childhood, I never took interest in History and hence Greek Epic story was almost unknown to me until I watched Brad Pitt starer – Troy movie. Troy movie gave us glimpse of Trojan War which is part of Iliad and its sequel Odyssey – Greek epic poem. We heard/read about many Trojan Heroes from Achaeans side like Achilles – Leader of the Myrmidons, son of the nymph Thetis and Peleus; Patroclus – Achilles’ closest companion and son of Menoetius, Agamemnon – King of Mycenae, son of King Atreus, husband of Clytemnestra, father of Electra and Orestes; Menelaus – king of Sparta, Husband of Helen (Cenrtal figure of Trohan War); Odysseus – King of Ithaca, the wiliest Greek commander and hero of the Odyssey; Aias (Ajax the Greater) – son of Telamon, with Diomedes, he is second to Achilles in martial prowess; Diomedes – son of Tydeus, King of Argos, husband of Aegialia; Nestor – King of Pylos, trusted adviser to Agamemnon. There were some more Trojan Heroes from Troy side like Priam – King of Troy; Hector – Trojan prince, elder son of Priam and the greatest fighter of Troy; Paris (known as Alexander) – younger son of Priam, Lover of Helen.
“The Talisman of TROY – Heroes to the Death” book set on Post Trojan Wars. Most of Trojan Heroes were dead during Trojan War or Post war because of different reason. If someone saved from Death then they have to fled except Nestor.
Ajax had dragged a supplicant from Athena’s temple. No one had realised that Ajax had raped Cassandra until Calchas, the Greek seer, warned the Greeks that Athena was furious at the treatment of her priestess and she would destroy the Greek ships if they didn’t kill him immediately. Despite this, Ajax managed to hide in the altar of an unnamed deity where the Greeks, fearing divine retribution should they kill him and destroy the altar, allowed him to live. When the Greeks left without killing Ajax, despite their sacrifices Athena became so angry that she persuaded Zeus to send a storm that sunk many of their ships. When Ajax finally left Troy, Athena hit his ship with a thunderbolt, but Ajax still survived, managing to cling onto a rock. He boasted that even the gods could not kill him and Poseidon, upon hearing this, split the rock with his trident, causing Ajax to eventually drown.
After a stormy voyage, Agamemnon landed in Mycenae with Cassandra – Daughter of Priam. Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, had taken Aegisthus – son of Thyestes, as a lover. When Agamemnon came home he was slain by Clytemnestra. Clytemnestra also killed Cassandra. Her jealousy of Cassandra, and her wrath at the sacrifice of Iphigenia and at Agamemnon’s having gone to war over Helen of Troy, are said to have been the motives for her crime. Aegisthus and Clytemnestra then ruled Agamemnon’s kingdom for a time.
Odysseus (known as Ulysses) is probably best known as the eponymous hero of the Odyssey. This epic describes his travails as he tries to return home after the Trojan War and reassert his place as rightful king of Ithaca. On the way home from Troy, he and his twelve ships were driven off course by storms. They visited the lethargic Lotus-Eaters and were captured by the Cyclops Polyphemus, only escaping by blinding him with a wooden stake. Odysseus finally escapes finds his way to the hut of one of his own former slaves, the swineherd Eumaeus, and also meets up with Telemachus returning from Sparta. Athena disguises Odysseus as a wandering beggar in order to learn how things stand in his household. Odysseus then returns to his own house, still pretending to be a beggar. He experiences the suitors’ rowdy behavior and plans their death. He meets Penelope and tests her intentions. Odysseus’ identity is discovered by the housekeeper, Eurycleia, as she is washing his feet and discovers an old scar Odysseus received during a boar hunt. Odysseus swears her to secrecy, threatening to kill her if she tells anyone. Next day, Odysseus takes part in the competition himself; he alone is strong enough to string the bow and shoot it through the dozen axe heads, making him the winner. He turns his arrows on the suitors and with the help of Athena, Telemachus, Eumaeus and Philoteus the cowherd, all the suitors are killed. Now at last, Odysseus identifies himself to Penelope.
At the time of returning from Troy, Menelaus‘ ship was blown off course as happened to many Greeks and reached to Egypt and then reached to Sparta where he come to know that his brother Agamemnon has been killed by Clytemnestra. Lately, with help of Uncle Menelaus, Sister Electra, Pyrrhus (known as Neoptolemus) – son of Achilles , Agamemnon’s son Orestes avenged his father’s murder by murdering Aegisthus and Clytemnestra.
At the heart of this story is Diomedes – the Last of Greek Homeric heroes and a man desperate to return his beloved homeland after years of Trojan war. But destiny has decided otherwise. Betrayed by his murderous wife and persecuted by hostile god, he has no choice but to turn his sails west towards Heperia – the mysterious mist-shrouded land that will one day be called Italy. He carries with him the magic Talisman of Troy- a mystical – powerful idol, that can make the nation that possesses it invincible. There Diomedes learns that Aeneas – his lifelong Trojan enemy- has landed on the latian coast and thus witness the last great duel, between the champion of a dying world and the founder of a new nation.
I don’t know, how much author took liberty while writing this novel compare to epic novel – Iliad but I loved this novel so much and enjoyed it. Get it and Read it.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi was born in Piumazzo di Castelfranco Emilia, province of Modena and after getting a degree in Classical Arts at the University of Bologna, he immediately entered the world of Archaeology, achieving a specialisation in topography of the Ancient World at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.
His works have also been subject of awards, such as the “Man of the Year” in 1999 at the American Biographical Institute in North Carolina, “Corrado Alvaro Rhegium Julii” in 2003, “Hemingway” in 2004 and “Bancarella” in 2008.
His The Last Legion novel has only been the basis for the movie, bearing the same title, released in 2007 and starring actors such as Colin Firth, Ben Kingsley and others, and his Alexander Trilogy has been bought by Universal Pictures for yet another cinematic rendition of the story of Alexander the Great.