Posted 20 hours ago

The Last King of Lydia

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The personalities of the two men couldn’t be more different and I think that is a compliment to the writing. I think, if I’ve interpreted correctly, Leach suggests that life itself, the long stretch of days, might gain one or both of those but then again might not. It is a strange friendship that he strikes up with Isocrates as a fellow slave; an odd respect that he learns for his conqueror, the Persian King Cyrus.

This book probably isn’t for everyone, but it has forced me to re-examine my own perception of life and the meaning *waves hand around randomly* of it all.A wonderfully rich story with narration that brings the characters out from the past and reminds you of their humanity.

Teetered between 4 and 5 but in the end concluded that the extra star was worth it for the originality. Our features are original articles from our print magazines (these will say where they were originally published) or original articles commissioned for this site. King Cyrus of Persia will destroy Croesus hopes and dreams and as he awaits his execution atop a pyre, his city being pillaged, his wealth gone and his wife and son dead. The second half of the book then covers how Croesus handles the humiliation of losing everything he held dear and the loss of status.It is a beautiful comparison between someone who believes he is all powerful coming up against a true giant of a man who will make his mark on history. I didn’t know the subtleties and complexities of their lives, I often had no idea what characters were thinking, and the philosophy felt ham-handed and straining too hard for my attention. It is only when Croesus has truly lost everything that he reflects on the words of the seer and how painfully true they have proved to be.

Meeting just Croesus, his immediate family, and one or two advisors felt unrealistic and implausible. When Croesus consults the oracles about whether to go to war with Persia, it is a deliberate political calculation to favor Delphi, propped up by a rumor spread by Croesus's most trusted slave Isocrates about how they knew that Croesus was butchering a turtle and a lamb on a certain night -- a "story. We hear tell of his famously interrupted execution by being burned alive (possibly true, if exaggerated).

We follow Croesus through the great siege of Babylon, where he doesn’t really belong but it’s interesting to see anyway. I thought this was a really wonderful modern retelling of Herodotus' account of Croesus, written in a simple but beautiful style that maintains a suitably classical feel while also importing some modern touches.

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