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The Last King of Lydia

by Tim Leach

Immerse yourself in an old and eternal story. If you are the richest man in the world, do you possess happiness? And what if the wheel of fortune turns ? A tale of power, conquest and human tragedy set in the Ancient World.

Extract

Croesus watched as each family came forward in turn to make an offering of its own. The poor could offer only the crude clay pots and bowls that they had used for decades of simple meals, an old blanket for the cold winter months, the small crude smock intended for a child that had been stillborn. Merchants offered the fine wines that they had hoarded for a day of celebration or for the bribery of a stubborn official, pulled the gold rings from their fingers and hurled them into the hungry, wasteful flames. Old men threw in the iron spears they had kept to remember their glorious, younger days, and children were encouraged to donate the toys and trinkets that were their own personal treasures. Many of the people burned too much, burned away their legacies of golden cups or silver jewellery that they had spent a lifetime trying to acquire and pass on to their children. Dozens of families ruined themselves for generations, infected by the sacred destruction of so much wealth. Within an hour, a tenth of the wealth of the city had been burned as an offering to the Gods.

Parallels

The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Histories by Herodotus
 

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