The coup d’etat

1. Kallysthenes

Yesterday, there was a great storm, strong winds and rain. Today it's quiet again. A pale February sun goes up upon the dark copper coloured heathen. Big patches of the soil are covered by still water mounds. It's still very early in the morning; the golden disk of the sun goes up upon the horizon, the black quiet surface. Slowly, the big red disk steps out of the horizon, orange colored rays expand themselves like the fingers of the goddess, fill and erhellen the dark sky above. As a sharp wind arises, step by step the yellow, blending disk of the sun emerges and was over the dark grey and then black heaven and the dark plains and mountains clear up. Around me, trees and bushes which were till now only black silhouettes against the sky, immerge, nature all around us come into life and clear up. Down, in the artisan part of the town, I hear an apprentice singing a morning song. The sky is silvery and far away to my right the sea mirrors and is bathed in a bright red, while the morning song of the priests to Zeus peals out from under the dark pillars of the temple down below the stairs. Soon there emerges everywhere a bright, fresh light. The sun is no longer visible as a hard-edged disk, it has blurred and is now only a bright yellow light. From the high platform of the palace I look around me. The hard cold winter, during which my old bones ached in my whole body, has given way to the warmth of the spring. Everywhere the grass is germinating, the bright leaves grow on the bushes, high oak trees with their silvery leaves are pushing their seed and will provide us with a high crop. I, King Kallisthenes the great, from the great family of the Pelopids, step outside from under the porch of my palace. enjoy the wonderful panorama. The crickets have stridulated all night. Now they have gone to sleep. But the birds now wake up and chirp along. A thrush just in the earth below my feet chirps and another one responds him and soon there is a twittering concerto going on in the hedgerows and on the branches of the large olivetrees and high oak trees all around our palace. I stretch my body and yawn.

I've just wakened up from a night when I had to summon all my strength to prove that I am still a man. I realize, I'm no longer in my blooming youth. This night I lay with this prince from Theben, Phaidos, who looks gorgeous, who has light blue eyes, blond hair and fleshly, full lips. Well, I believe he is a prince because he said it, and that he came from Theben, when they brought him to my palace, beaten and bruised everywhere. He had been found very early on a morning, lying behind a stone, at the way cross under the holy chestnut tree not far from old Laios, the pig herder, whom they found slain in the dorny bushes opposite. They thought he had killed Laios but I don't think it is probable. Phaidos is much to clever to kill a drunkard and he does not need money. Nowadays, with all the marauding jobless warriors around, a person who cannot look after himself can be killed easily, especially when he is drunk and shows he has money. But I do not believe his story, of his provenance; there are too many princes around. And Theben is conveniently far away from our kingdom which is in the centre of Achaia. Nobody in our kingdom knows the latest news from Theben.
When, many years later, a fugitive having lost his kingdom by his own brother and subsequently all his remaining goods at a shipwreck before Lesbos I lived as a guest of King Priamos at his palace in Troy, I was sitting in my bed, the tiredness and wounds of my old age wrecking my body, waiting for death to deliver me from my pains and remorse, I heard a interesting story about him. Of course it has been flowered up and mystified and went around the world.  And it's what Paris told me. He said that he had heard a bard singing about this hero Phaidos, who was now called Oedipus. After leaving my palace he had become famous, having left the country shortly after my beloved Alekis reappeared again. The bard sang that he had been upraised secretly at my court, I having figured as his stepfather. Rumors have it that he killed his father, Laios, the king of Theben who had given him to me after the prophet had told him that his son would kill him and that he would never the less kill him on the road and had returned to Theben and slept with his mother.
But at this time this was no theme to me. Laius was a notorious drinker, and what he said was generally not true.  There were a lot of bands of jobless warriors on the road. So, in fact nobody knew if what he said was right. But for me it does not matter. He might have told me a conventional lie. But nevertheless he must have had royal blood considering his handsomeness, his self consideration and his cleverness. He must have issued from these fair barbarians from the region of Kolchos.
It's not the first time I make love to somebody of my own sex. Actually I don't prefer one sex above the other. Of course I am married, have a son. Alekis is not from somebody else. But to make love with a woman is quite boring. When I lay together with a man, I can speak about the topics which are dear to me. About sports, politics and about the topics which are interesting. With a wife it's boring. As they are always indoors, and I wouldn't like to have a woman who runs about the streets and is speaking to everybody, finally she is giving me a heir and I must be sure of her, they can only speak about domestic matters which bore me. Many men are going to the so called hetaeres because they are usually well educated women, but this is not my piece of bread. And which man would like to have an educated woman at home! If they are too much educated they tend to want to be independent, they have contact with philosophers or even princes and are no longer reliable. Look at this cuckold of Menelaus, he has tried it with this Helena, a very attractive and too intelligent woman! Today in Troy she is going out with my son and makes now Paris himself to a cuckoo. No, I am consequent. When I want to enjoy my session intellectually, I sleep with some male! That's it. As for my wife, who has the function to get heirs for my kingdom, it's sufficient when she is quite good looking, discreet and can look well after my household. My first male love was a fierce soldier. I was on a raid I took on alone against the barbarian raiders who made the kingdom of my father so unsure. It was the best way to get a name as a courageous warrior to succeed my father as King. I was a very proud adolescent, our family descending directly from Zeus, who changed into a swan to make love with Leda, a legendary forbear of my family. I then did not yet know that the first victim I encountered revealed himself as my loving conqueror. I had dismounted my horse. We both were scarcely clothed, in a small loincloth of animal fur. Mine had been provided by a leopard I had killed in the wild mountains. He wore a lion fur. He had stout, muscled legs showed a breast large like the Mount Ida and a wonderfully cut navel. Under his barely hiding cloth you could literally see his member, stiff and looming up so much that it produced a mount on his loincloth. At this time I was quite sullen und tiresome, had felt for some time no sexual passions neither for women nor for men. But on the moment this giant loomed before me, a certain tingle took possession of my body, I wanted to conquer him, only to be master of a beautiful, muscled men. This idea gave me the powers of a dragon. I took the small end of rope between my hands, whistled through my teeth and threw myself on him. He was so surprised, that at the next moment he lay on his back, down under me. In an impulse to guard his most precious thing, he stretched his arm, give me a blow. But I held his arms at the wrists before he had had time to throw them forward, bound them with a rope sitting with tightly pressed legs on his loins, pressing his back down to earth, pulling his tightly roped arms over his head, at his chin and knocking him nearly unconscious. Then I leant back and bound his feet together. My knots were perfect; an old warrior who had been pirate before he enlisted on the roll of my father's soldiers had taught me. He wriggled in his ropes, trying to get free. And then it took me, as if an animal who had been sleeping in my bosom had suddenly wakened. Sitting on his loins, being shaken by his upheavals, suddenly my sexual thrive pulled me along. I tore his loincloth away, threw it far away into the dry sparse grass and took his stiff limb in my hands, rubbed at it till I felt his body shaking in lust, and was shuddering myself of lust. I was in a frenzy and did not control my body and my instincts any longer. Impulsively I moved my ass forward, over his cock which my hands held at the root. Wriggling with my loins I felt his penis sliding and penetrating my sore after, inch after inch. He came in my caves, in several big implosions and my youthful strength let him no time to recover between. Finally he lay there, exhausted.

But then, as I lay there, resting there, it came upon me, this shame. I, the King's son and the aspiring prince succumbing from the vice of the elder! This meant at our time, when a new, moral religion was about throwing over the ancient one, an impeachment of the moral laws and certain death for any individual who was not royal. My whole body loved the strength of his body, but he was not very clever, and I had to get rid of a person who could compromise me. I throttled him, with my bare hands, because I wanted nobody to know my secret vice, cut off his head, with the long, fair hair bound together, searched for his loincloth I had thrown away pretty far and returned to our city as a hero. Now I knew too much of my inner self, my dark sides, I had to hide my secret penchants from the others. Nobody had seen me, I thought, and I would look to it in future that I got rid of my penchants in secret. I married the princess my father betrothed to me, slept with her and produced the heir which was expected from me as crown prince till I left for my first excursion by ship.

It was one of the first days of spring, very early in the morning, the sun had just risen upon the horizon. I woke up very early. I clothed, took the knapsack which I had packed the night before and left the room very quietly. The servants were not yet up. Unhampered I queered the lawn between the building and the fortress walls and passed the door of the fortress which is crowned like Mykene by two lions, passing between the sleeping guards. The bridge leading over the trench was down. Beyond the fortress and the trench there is a long stretch of barren land, trampled down by horses' hoofs, as there the soldiers assemble before they set off for a their battles. There is also the market; all the merchants set up their tents around a well were the merchants water their horses and cattles. Just at the well there is a big oaktree, were they tie up their cattle before they enter the palace, and there my friend Anteros stood, holding Troas, my brown checked mare. I jumped upon her and we rode off on the road towards the seaside.

Since I was ten, I had begged of my father to let me off on an excursion. I wanted to know more of the world, to have the opportunity to do heroes' deeds as my father had done them. I felt that if I was to successfully succeed my father, I needed these deeds to fix my pretensions and get a reputation of my own. But he was nasty; he didn't want to let me go. He pretended that he dreaded losing his only male heir. But I think that was only a pretext. One day I asked him straightly: "He do you think that I could succeed you if you don't prepare me for the job." He sighed: "Kallisthenes" he answered, "Do you think that my father prepared me for the job?" That's it exactly, he dreads the day of his death and therefore doesn't think of his successor, believing that his death won't happen if he evades the thought. He fears that I could prepare a putsch, overthrow him, maybe kill him to succeed him at once, if he would just present me as his successor to the court. I don't blame him, because that's precisely what happened to many of his ancestors. Nurse told me lot of stories of my predecessors who had killed their father and especially the story of Pelops, who had had such an awe to be overthrown by his son that he managed to kill him and serve him as supper to a delegation of the Gods and such attracted a curse upon our family. In fact I dread he thinks of adopting one of my half brothers as his successors.  I have realized that my mother is no longer his favorite wife. There is this Helena who is much younger, has blue eyes and long, curly, blond hairs. Therefore I answered him on his pertinent question, just asking him directly: "What in fact are you thinking. Are you no longer preferring me as your first born son as your heir. Do you prefer this Cenes, the son of Helena, to me, as the rumors go now even in your kitchen?" Again, he sighed, but avoided looking directly in my eyes. He ended our conversation stating: "You just don't understand. Keep to your own job and don't interfere." Now, I knew. If I could not prove him that it was dangerous to him to evince me, he would do it.

Just in the right moment, there came the visit of my cousin Jason, son of Aeson, King of a small kingdom on the south-eastern shore of the Peloponnesus, who looked for heroes to help him sail to the edge of the world, to find and take the legendary golden fleece of Argos. He had been sent out by his father who thought it was a necessary for him to perform a deed to become his heir. Happy Aeson, if only I had a father like him. Disappointed by the half-hearted answer of my father, I spoke to him, told him of all my fears. He answered: "Kallisthenes, you are a great warrior, the strongest youth of your kingdom. Why don't you join me? If we find the golden fleece, you too as well as me, will have a great deed accomplished." I was at once enthusiast. I had now found a accomplice! I promised to join. He set off the evening of the next day and I promised to join him within the week. Despite that my father has his informers all over the palace, he heard about that to late, in fact, just the evening before I was due to leave. My aunt, queen Helena, was visiting. In her presence, during the dinner, he summoned me to cancel my arrangement. But now I stood up against him. I said I would not yield. He became very red and called for the guards. But now, to my great astonishment, Princess Helena stood up and beg him to let me go. He never turns down a request of Helena, when she looks up to him, with her big, blue eyes and with her smile.

So now, the next morning, I take off at once, as I know that my father will soon regret his decision and change his mind. He was too much afraid, because he knew, if I was enhancing my reputation I would be much more popular than him. It was the last moment. All preparation had taken lieu, the ship was ready, built by strong oak wood, the crew was all recruited and I expected that Jason and his crew were waiting at the harbor at the day we arrived there. If he had not let me go, I would have stolen away without notice.

Of course we, I and Anteros, had been dreaming about this excursion for many months, everybody in Greece spoke about this Jason who had been sent away by his father who had to fight against a bunch of usurpers. We longed forward and fevered to take part in this excursion. It was said to become the most daring voyage a Greek had ever made, we planned to go off to the east, plundering the Persian coast and sailing as far east as possible through the Black Sea. Our boat was built of oak wood, was very strong and had place for 24 rowers. We had carefully chosen our crew. Besides me and my cousin, Jason, there was Heracles, the strong hero who was said to emanate from Zeus. When I met him first, as he was presented to my father's court, this squarely built, monstrous man, with long hair and a long beard, wearing a lion's fur, carried as always an immense oaken club, who must weigh over 50 pounds thrown over his shoulders as if it were a simple twig. We invited him for dinner and in the dinner room he slung the club down and nearly hit my feet and leaned on it, and now, at last, I realized that he must be this famous Heracles, another sun of Zeus and of another victims of Zeus, Alkeme, who who was already sung as the strongest hero of Greece. By her deeds the feeble rightful husband of Alkmene and a twin brother was born before Herakles came out of his mothers wombs. He told us of the many deeds he had done and slung his club around so that we instinctively crouched down, as he told us that should have become by the wish of his father the king of whole Greece. But Hera had crossed the plans of Zeus and he was only second son. His half-brother forced him to do a lot of deeds: to slay of the Nemean lion and the nine-headed  Hydra of Lerna; to capture of the elusive hind who ran faster than the wind, the wild boar who through killed and tyrannized all inhabitants of Mt. Erymanthus; who shooted of the monstrous man-eating birds of the Stymphalian marshes, captured of the mad bull that terrorized the island of Crete and the man-eating mares of King Diomedes of the Bistones, fighted Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons to take her girdle to his king, seized the cattle of the three-bodied giant Geryon, who ruled the island Erytheia (meaning Red) in the far west. We took him not because of the deeds he sung about, we thought that only maybe a fourth of them were real. But we thought that he would be of great use to us because he had not only an immense physical force and would be a good rower and warriors but had also good administrative skill (he had managed to cleanse the immense stables of Augeas in just one day) and also because of his traveling experience as he had traveled as far as to the end of the world, in the direction of the down going sun to steal of the golden apples kept by the  Hesperides; and had traveled to the east as far as the entrance to the lower word to fetch up the triple-headed dog Cerberus, guardian of its gates. Besides, our crew comprised all the most famous heroes of Greece and I would not take bother my reader to enumerate them all.

We reached the port of Methoni just as the sun was on its zenith. Today it is the naval basis of our fleet because it is a natural port on the rocky coast well hidden and shielded from storms and pirates by a protruding completely barren promontory. From the high sea you cannot see it. Some barren islands are dispersed before its coast. Then it was just a small village for fishers. It consisted of one tavern, "The Fierce Cock" and some fishermen's huts. No merchants, no strangers were around. Our main trading port is at another location, but not much protected from pirates or eventual intruders. It is easily approachable from the sea, has no dangerous cliffs or rocks and is therefore much appreciated by the merchants' ships. It's position has not the same strategic advantage as Methoni. But then, we had no substantial fleet and no reason to have one. It has been my job to build up a fleet which allowed us to be a respected as a naval power.

Jason was not waiting for us. The crew was not yet there. Fixed at the pier, lay the biggest ship I had ever seen. But it was bound to another boat, nearly to its deck in the water, leaking and lying on its side. Coming nearer, we realized that its mast was broken in two and by broking it had damaged the sides of the boat. We were disappointed: How could we ever sail with this hulk! And to far locations were we planned to sail, to regions were the sea was dangerous! We had to clear our path through a crowd of fishermen standing on the pier. I soon heard that the boat had been left down on water yesterday, for its maiden voyage, but as there had been a stiff breeze and high waves, it had been wrecked on  the rocks trying to get out of the port and had to be brought back by smaller boats to be repaired.

Jason was not among the people in the crowd. Nobody could tell us where he was. We looked for him. We thought that maybe the person who would best know where he was would be in the tavern "To the fierce cock" We entered. Just at the entrance we were stopped.  There was a crowed of fishermen squatting in a cercle around something. Fighting our way through it, getting much blasphemes, we found that two cocks were fighting in the middle, one against the other, and the men were betting. We continued and at last we spotted him sitting at a round table in the midst of completely drunk men. He was drinking a pint with a stout man.  His unkempt black hair hang from the bald head, the long bony nose reached nearly down to the chin, two big ears were ventilation the air and a long, unkempt black beard hung into his beer mug. The two seemed to be engaged in a lively debate. The bald man looked out of keen dark eyes at Jason and kicked at the table with both his fits. He shouted at his full voice: "You want to cheat me! No, no, under these conditions I shall never transport the tree trunk for the new mast." All guests of the tavern looked up. Jason looked up at me with an imploring look. When he saw that I was standing at his side, he shouted.  "Ha, it's you Kallisthenes. Pat is trying to cheat me of my small part of the deer we hunted this morning. And I had to get up so early to get at this fine piece of meat." When we will have it prepared it, we can live on it for at least the first month of our expedition. Soon we saw what we thought was the object of their row. An immense boar lay dead on a mat on the floor just besides them. Seeing us, the ruffian calmed down. We now sat down at the same table with Jason and this Pat and ordered a drink. Soon we heard about the real reason of their skirmish. It was not the boar. He had hunted this boar helped by Hercules when they had set off to cut down a big fir tree for the new mast. The trunk of the tree was in the forest.  Herkules had quit Jason before the village and was now looking for some wild beast to accomplish a new deed. The man at the table, Pat, was the landlord and was at once interested in buying the boar. As Jason had no money, he wanted to charter this boar against the help of some of the fishermen to transport the trunk. And now they were discussing about the price of this transport. The landlord was not willing to harness his horses and get the trunk for a simple boar. Or so he said. He seemed very keen to get the meat, as he eyed the boar.

"You are early." Jason told me. The rest of the crew will arrive later, I think." The bald man laughed a hoarse, high-pitched laugh and threw both arms up. "You see" he told Jason, smiling, "your men are very anxious to leave." We were sitting on our stools like being roasted on a fire. "And as I see your two colleagues here are interested that you be able to leave as early as possible. You too are certainly in a hurry to leave, because you want to become king as soon as possible. And anyway, you have to leave as I am told that there is a strong battalion coming from Kallithea on the way to Methoni." He turned around to face me. "You know who these men are. Tell him to hurry up. He is trying to cheat me on my pay to transport the mast of the ship. The boar was killed on our land; therefore it is only right that our seamen's league should become a fair remuneration for being cheated for a deer which rightly belongs to them." I didn't answer. I knew by now that my father had changed his mind earlier as we thought and that these were the men my father sent after me. I was in a hurry to leave before the soldiers of my father could bring me back to the court. I turned to Jason: "How much does he want?" He said: "He wants to cheat us. The boar he didn't risk his life to kill he claims as his own and asks besides for a ounce of silver to bring the trunk in." One ounce of silver! A fabulous sum for this deed! I was never much interested in barter but I knew that you could buy 4 strong and healthy slaves for less than once ounce of silver. The silver mines were not far from here and were of course royal property. Everybody knew me as the king's son and Jason had ventured to tell him that I was taking part at his expedition probably to impress him. The sum was exaggerated. I could not accept the deal if I was not dumb. Besides, I had no silver on me. But Jason looked at me as if I would hold the solution! I was supposed to be the richest of all, as my father was king of the greatest kingdom of the peninsula. And a king, as anybody knew, owned the oxes with which his serfs ploughed the earth. Earned all mines in his kingdom! Mar had found out by now that my father's soldiers had been instructed to get me back and that I was in a hurry to get out on the sea where they could not get me. But I did not dream to let myself be blackmailed by a subject of my father. I remembered that I had packed by chance an elephant and a giraffe made of ebony which a seafaring minstrel visiting my father's palace had once given me. The minstrel had brought these wonderfully finished small figurines back from countries far away in Africa, beyond the Sahara, where the people are of black skin. They were something like an amulet which could bring me fortune.

On first thought I considered to sacrifice one of these figurines, maybe the giraffe? But on second thought I rejected this idea. No, I did not want to give away the elephant or the giraffe, which I considered as big and powerful amulets to buy myself the service of a serf. They had cost me too much. I had accepted these gifts, during the banquet and as soon as I wanted to go back to my room, the minstrel followed me, slipped into my room and I had a such a fuss trying to throw him out.

Meantime Pat explained to us: "I have no horses as you seem to think. If I have to use my oxen which are now ploughing my fields, I loose at least 3 hours of work and if I don't pay anything to my pals for the dear they lost to strangers, I will be thoroughly thrashed by them and will have use to the skills of a expensive doctor to help me to work again afterwards. I knew that Myrdon was a doctor by calling and did not ask high stipends to heal his patients. This was certainly a lie. I did not want to discuss the matter with this cut-throat because time was running.

I took out my ebonite giraffe and placed it on the table. Then I took out my handkerchief where I had packed the seams of some flowers. Muttering some dark sounding paroles, as if I were praying to a God, I strew the seamen on the Giraffe! Pat looked anxiously. He had never seen an animal like this and it seemed to him that it was some bad omen. Like all landlords Pat was superstitious. Everybody knew about our godly ancestors and about the curse which was lasting on our family. Everybody knew, too, that I was a strange child that spent hours in the temple, muttering strange things to some unseen God, together with the son of the priest. Everybody knew also that I had bound a warrior who was twice as big as I was and had a breast and muscles of a giant and had bound him to me as my slave. Pat now assumed that I was putting a spell on him. He lost his strong countenance, smiled and said: "Of course, as I love my prince I will get the trunk for nothing." I did not react, continued to mutter, looking quite dangerous. Now he burst out, begged of me to let him live and keep his tavern. He even gave me a small pearl and came out on the street with us and looked to it, that the oxen where bound to the cart as promptly as possible. I sprung with him on his cart and helped him charging the truck on it. By the evening we were back and with the help of the fishermen the mast was fixed on the boat. We could call the crew in. Man by man the crew came in and when the sun set, we lifted the anchor of our ship and rowed out of the port. Just as we passed the horn we saw how the riders my father had sent to bring me back reached the shores and told us to come back. There was a strong wind blowing, we could set up our sail and had not to row.

As soon as we were on the high sea, the wind grew stronger, the heavens got black and a terrible storm came up. It lasted several days and we lost all the control about our ship. I do not know how we managed to save our lives. But at last it turned quiet again and when we looked out of the tent, it was evening and our boat stood along the shores of an island. Their inhabitants were dark skinned and had thick long body hair. Their head hair was black and long. They were nearly naked, had just a small loin cloth swung around their loins. In fact we were not much better clad. Our clothes had gotten wet and we had fixed them everywhere on the mast, on the railing and everywhere so that we looked like a ship of cloth merchants. On seeing us, climbing tired and wet out of the vessel they laughed and danced around. But they were friendly. We tried to speak to them but they did not understand our language. We could stock up our food and the fresh water. We put up our tent just on the shore. The next morning we took off. We were not very sure about the friendship of these funny clothed people. We had to row, as there was no longer any wind. We sailed very near along the shore. The sun was scorching and it was so hot that the man was perspiring.

We travelled like this for many days. Now the sea was quiet, the sky blue without any cloud. There was a light wind from west. We set up the sails and our ship rode on the waves at a steady speed in direction of the settling sun. One day, we spotted far away on the horizon some purple sails. It must be a Phoenician trade ship coming up. We slowed down and looked. The sails were coming in our direction. We slid behind a had no sails up and so our ship was barely visible for men even when looking intently. Phonician ships were usually laden with expensive goods and as merchants they had no dangerous soldiers on board. A perfect occasion for us! We decided to ram it and take off its goods. It was high noon. A torrid heat! The men were tired and deserved a pause. I gave the orders to cease rowing and our ship slid slowly along the barren cliffs which were predominant along this part of the Peloponnesus, driven by the weak current of the sea. Then there came up a small, long harbour. We slid into it. The water was very clear; you could see the sand on the ground, and some algae whose leaves moved in the feeble current of the sea. Everything looked inert. I let the anchor down. I took up my position up on the stern. Some of the men profited from the occasion to let themselves down into the shallow water and get a little fresh. Herakles was sitting besides me and we looked very intently towards east, were the purple sails were coming nearer and getting bigger all the times. The Phoenicians seemed unsuspicious. I summoned up my most courageous Minians, took up arms and waited. All of a sudden the big Phoenician merchant ship sailed along the rocky spine before our little harbour that sheltered us. Silently, we had moved our ship to the entrance of the harbour and waited for the Phonicians. When the big wooden carcass was sliding just alongside our prow, we threw our spikes and climbed aboard the ship. There was a big stomached merchant on deck besides the man at the steer. We slid up behind him and Jason seized him and drew his hands behind him, while I pushed the dagger into his back. This was done in an instant, the sun was still shining, the man at the steer looking intently before him. He had realized something and just wanted to cry when he too fell, slain by the spear thrown by Herkules. I and Jason had gone forward towards the hatch to the lower deck. We closed it. The crew was completely surprised. We slew them all, threw the corpses into the water and went down to where they kept their merchandise. We made a rich booty which we all took into our ship and decided to go to the next port to sell the goods. A merchant bought us the whole merchandise for a price we then thought was quite high.  

We slandered along the big market. In our small country there was no such great wealth and therefore never so much merchants. We had never seen such a great market which so many goods exhibited.  Many goods were unknown to us. In our small country there was no such great wealth and therefore never so much merchants.

This boy was standing on the platform, in the process of nearly falling down. He was shackled both by his ankles and his wrists. He seemed unaccustomed to being exposed naked and bound to a great crowd. He was apparently very shy, trying desperately to hide his most private inner parts of which he seemed quite ashamed, but the merchant would not let him, he shouted at him, ordering him to excite the buyers by rankling himself in his chains and as the boy was slow in obeying, he slapped him and whipped him so that he forgot his urge to close his legs and wound his body trying to avoid the terrible strokes of the whip. He had a delicate face, long, black shining hair, brown eyes, a slim waist and elegant loins. He was bony and I thought quite starved but of course this made him all the more sexy for the kind of buyers who where standing around. They exhibited him completely naked, a raw chain fastened around his loins which entered into his slit, went up his back and was tightly bound to his wrist shackles. Despite his trying to look like a happy boy on the street, he seemed very tired, looked quite bedazzled out of his eyes. He was shackled both by his ankles and his wrists. His arms were bound high above his head. I was at once taken in by his charms. And I felt curiously pity for him. He had to stand on tiptoe and nearly fell. The merchant cried out that he was well trained in all erotic stands that the buyer could do everything he wanted with him. But he had a barren look and seemed rather stubborn and did not look as if he could be used by the by-standers in the way the lusted for. Suddenly he  shuddered and cried. The merchant administered him severe strokes by the whip on his loins, his legs and his ass. He seemed to have been well trained because he turned around, bent forward and showed his ass. Then it was that I wanted to finish the deal as soon as possible to spare him more strokes, pain and shame. I never saw such a kind of slave market where I come from. Only the Persians are using slave children, mostly gilded for their sexual pleasure. In our country its actually no issue, only in Athens they have definite rules, boys are so called educated by grown up men but its rather shameful to do it to slaves. Anyhow it did not seem that people were very much interested in this boy. Everybody realized that it would be quite difficult to dress him as a good bed slave for his master. His age too was no longer the age you could dress a boy and the crowd of potential buyers was not very taken by him. I had a lot of money left. I decided to buy him, a boy would serve me well on board ship, to clean, cook and help with small errands. Because there were only heroes on the ship nobody did any cleaning job. And as there were 50 heroes on it, there were 50 different opinions and all the time a shouting. And nobody was prepared to do the small duties.

Nevertheless, when the merchant realized that I had chosen on this boy and wanted him dearly, he drew the price up. I looked at the boy with eyes which were probably as uninterested till he too realized that maybe his sort would not be as dull and heavy as it had looked till now. Soon he ventured some looks from beyond his nearly closed lids and the heavy eyebrows. And now I suddenly realized that he was probably not the sort of boy he had seem previously. That only drew me up to bet more on him. I bought him for nearly the double I had calculated but I would never regret it.  

They delivered him to our ship bound by his wrists and ankles, still nearly naked with only a small loin cloth on. I carried him on both my arms through the town to an inn. But there we nearly got into a row, as all the present people were half drunk and tried to finger him everywhere. When some completely drank dirty man whose eyes very coming round and red out of their place, got his hand on him, patted his behind and finally tore him his loin cloth away, I got angry and slapped him on his cheeks. That nearly drew me into a row and I was happy to escape running away. I hired a room for my own and ordered dinner at my room. I pulled him behind me up the stairs, threw him into the room. While we ate and drank he laid on the floor against the wall. I was quite excited and drank a lot of wine and could not wait, in the heat of my drunkenness, seeing his fine body. Even now, more than fifty years later, I feel ashamed of myself as I could not restrain myself. When I got the know the all-embracing God the Persians call Ahura-Mazda, the jews call Yahwee and the Pharaon called Aton I prayed again and again that he forgives this my sin to have tried to misuse a boy. But then was carried away by a sudden wish to possess this fine body and did not think of the health of the boy. I unfastened his bonds, laid him on my couch and lay besides him. He recoiled from me and as much as I wanted I did not dare to touch him. He was young and had had a harassing day I suppose. When he realized that nothing was done to him he began snoring quietely and slept. I caressed his body. When he came in my mouth he suddenly waked up, bounced back as far as he could away from me, his green catlike eyes under his barely perceptible brows wide opened looking at me with barely hidden fears. I wondered what he had already experienced from warriors, I had to sooth him.  I was already lost to him, I loved him and I did not want to make him to my enemy. I left of him at once, straightened my body and looked at him. I told him I wouldn't do him any harm. I asked of his name. He told me a Persian name which I never succeeded in uttering and told me, in short, hacked phrases, interrupted by frequent sobs about his life. He had not had a nice childhood, had been a pheasant’s son, taken from his parents by the satrap’s soldiers and enrolled by force as a slave in his palace. There he had been raped again by the Satrap now, had been gilded and later on had to sing on his banquets. When the upraising Greek warriors of Phaikos plundered the palace of this Satrap, he had been taken by them and sold to the merchant who later auctioned him on the market place. I told him I loved dearly . He looked at me bewildered. Certainly nobody had told him anything like this till now. And certainly he felt outraged to be told by a man that he was loved. I now have to say that I was grossly mistaken in these days, thinking that everything was allowed to a king’s son. I taught him my language and he was so clever he soon learnt it. I christened him Myron. He was as fresh, nice and tender as I had taken he would be. As he had been at the Persian court of this of this Satrap Aleppo, Dareius the Bythien, he was cultured and an angel in bed better than any of these boys the Athenian nobles boast about. He was of great help to me during my expedition on the Bythian shores and to the country of the Skythes.

When I returned home I integrated him into my staff. Myron would never leave me, even as he is a Persian and therefore a sworn enemy, he now knew that his parents and the family had been taken by the Athenians as slaves and died there. He is now not only a servant, but in fact a member of my family. He was Alekis' preceptor. He is probably a bit soft, has no political ambitions besides being faithful to me and is therefore nearly indispensable to me. He is still of great value with his fine modern manners of the Persians. After coming back for the raid, I finding my father had died and I would inherit the kingdom, I had a new gorgeous palace built, planned by Myrkes, in the newest Knossian style like the palace of Pylos, and well hidden from pirates in a crest up on the hills overlooking the sea and a nice gulf to enjoy ourselves. My father had left me a well disciplined army, a country at peace for nearly 20 years.


 Phaidos I believe, is in his heart a peace loving man, an angel, he who till now certainly knew only of war, spoil and destruction. In the region of Theben there are always uproars and as everybody knows all Thebans have issued from the dragon's tooth and behave like them. Rumor goes, that this blind singer who sings of the recent war against Troy, of these Gods of the Olymp who are now taking a leader place amongst our Gods, have elucidate Mother Earth, who are warring even between them and need women only to give them the male heirs they need to establish their family on the throne they have usurped. That's why there are so many princelings making our roads unsure. They kill there unknown fathers for a rough word and they sleep with their mothers. they know only how to pilferage, how to make wars for an ambitious king. When wars are finished, they don't know how to gain their lives. The simplest is to pretend to be one of the numerous princelings which these unscrupulous kings of the new vague have fathered and to begin their own little wars. They swarm around the whole Achaian penninsula which could once be worked by peasants under peaceful conditions. Now only my kingdom is peaceful and well administered, in the surrounding countries these workless prince lings linger around, and there prevails pilferage and sodomization of the poor peasants' brats.
In my kingdom they can't remain for long. I, or rather my soldiers, chase them over the frontiers as soon as they see them. But Phaidos is different, it's not possible that he is one of them. He has such a slender body, such soft and fleshy lips, and he doesn't behave like a brigand.

Myron, a slave and my best friend, had been away for several weeks on a raid on the Athenian shores. I had bought him in a raid I had made as a young prince to the East coast, belonging to the Persian Empire, on a stopover in Phokaia. Phokaio had just declared itself a free town and their citizen made frequent raids into the Persian land. I had landed our boat and there was a slave market going on. I stayed under the spectators and had no wish to buy. But on seeing this beardless slender boy, exposed on the scaffolding, whose sex had been exposed by an unscrupulous merchant, who wanted to get as much as possible out of this fresh boy he had bartered at the palace of the Persian satrap I fell instantly in love with him. He was still quite young. A mere boy. I was on a voyage my father had allowed me in a moment of a good mood, also he coiled back from his decision the same day I was due to leave. Some Greek towns on the Persian shore had declared themselves independent from the Persian King and asked for support from their Greek fellow citizen in Achaia. We, a bunch of young boys eager to win some warriors honours, had decided while feasting that we would go there to help them out getting some adventure. I left the shores of Achaia before the messengers could inform me of my fathers change of mind and when I came back from this expedition, having sailed and rowed till the most easterly coast of the  black sea, and down the persian coast till the country where they admire only one God and eat no pig's flesh, and I was rich, having plundered on my way back several rich merchant ships from Athens, my father was dead and I had to fight for my rights as the first borne. I set up an army of my best followers and we bat my brother with his associate. Since then, more as twenty years have passed. I am the now the greatest King of our dynasty and have kept the peace in my country and around it for more then twenty years. The peasants and the merchants in my country are rich, richer than the Athenians and my army is the strongest of Achaia. Our wealth began because I supported the merchants who came to look for me as I am renowned by all countries extending as far as Phoenicia.

Yesterday we, Phaidos and I, lay on our couches, designed by Myrkes who was then the most popular architect, and watched as he poured dark, rich wine from Byblos into the goblets, added fine viscous, dark honey from high pine trees and stirred it with a silver spoon. Myron, who commands now my fleet and traveled with me on my first expedition to the Skythian lands, has bought it in Phaikos. I had also asked him to look for a good wine seed, which I could plant in my own land, as it is fertile and there is much sun to bring it to a fine ripening. But the plants are young and don't yet carry berries.
Previously, in the temple of Zeus, I had sacrificed one of my best rams to Zeus. The legs had been bandaged with fat and been burnt on the fire to appease Zeus. Everybody knows that we are not looked on well by the Father of the Gods, ever since my forbear tried him by serving his son to him and other Gods. Since then there is a curse on our family as Zeus was not pleased when he realized that he had eaten one of his own offsprings. The fishermen had caught many tuna fishes and after the first had been offered to Poseidon, they were roasted and served. Now, we were lying on our couches in a cool tavern, separated from the folk by a hedge of brambles. A fire has been lighted outside, in the hot, sun struck rocks. Slaves bring us the nicely roasted pieces of meat; we dip them into a sauce made up of honey, mint, rosemary  and other spices. In a corner besides our couches there is a large tin basin filled with sea water, where living oysters, crabs and lobsters are kept. These were fished out by our servants on our demand, fried on the fire and served besides the meat and fish. As side dishes bread and cooked beans are served.
I grabbed my tumbler full of this nice sweet wine, stand up, walk towards Zeus' altar and spill it on the stones. Zeus is our family God as my ancestors are originating directly from his loins. Or, more exactly, from his feathers because on this occasion he sojourned on earth as a swan. With loud voice I ask for his support. Make the prayers, go back to my couch to lye besides my guest, whom has just been brought to me as a raider but whom, as he is fair-headed, blue eyed I took to the feast. He is lying on my couch as we reserve it to all our guests. At last, after so many days of thirst, I met again a nice looking, slender fellow! So many days without a love with a male. Women are salt, but the men are the pepper of the love-meat! Suddenly I took up my mind. It would be him, this Oasis I meet at last after having traversed this long desert without a fine creature to love besides Myron that I will honour of my love. I am still a good looking fellow, strong and of a great renown as hero and the richest King of Achaia. Of course we were alone under men, as is now the practice in modern countries, our women do not take part in our banquets, they are living aside, in the women's part of the palace, far away from the temptations of good looking guests.

Alekis, my son, left the banquet which I had given to the honour of his coming of age, after he has been enrolled into priesthood and could sacrifice for the first time to Zeus. It is celebrated amongst his comrades of the same age. This is his last free evening before his marriage. The Princess, who is lodged in the guest wing of my palace with the King her father, does not yet take part in the feast. Now I was on my own. I am no longer forced to give my first son a good example as a King. There are only members of the court on my feast. The high priest is celebrating in the temple, giving prayers and hymns to our Gods for the forthcoming marriage. This newcomer, our guest, the prince from a near East, is laying on the couch, resting on his back, his body slightly turned towards me, his left leg bent, his right leg hanging down from the couch to the floor. His holds his torso up by his bent elbows, the head resting on the cushion and yawns looking longingly at me. I know that I am a nice looking follow. I have a strong muscled body, long black hair, a fine cut moustache. I was well shaved, as my hairdresser-slave from the Persian court, bought at a fortune the at the market of Ephesos, dresses my hair all mornings and sprinkle myself with the spiciest perfumes from the Phonians. I now looked directly into his green-brown eyes. And now I knew whom it was I was waiting for all this time to love. Who else could it be, besides this fair-haired, sleepy prince who had traits like Alekis. I took up a pear, which slaves had laid on the small table besides me. I think that all the time since the beginning of the banquet this love of the Gods watched me and certainly discovered my secret wish to be with him. I hand the pear over to him, put it directly into his mouth, between his sensuous lips. Discreetly I bend towards him caress him between his legs with my right foot. Bent my head towards his chin, put the small end of the pear between my lips which had always been opened. We eat it while my hand following my foot gropes for his lap. I bend my mouth towards his ears and murmur into them that we should see each other privately. What happiness, he understands on the first words! He lifts his head and his broad lips place a big, noisy and wet kiss on my cheeks.

We eat the tuna fish and the fine meat, roasted on the grill and served with mint. It was followed by fine fresh figs laid in honey. But everybody was still eating and drinking as Phaidos and I retired to my private rooms. Myron is not here, fortunately, as he is apt of being quite jealous and I do not wish to offend him. We have stilled our hunger and thirst and are now hungry for each others body. He undressed, lies on my bed, stretches his beautiful body without further comments, and I, who am so hungry of beautiful male bodies, lay down between his thighs, kiss and caress his feet, his beautiful slender and long legs, his lap, his rosy nipples. Soon I become so hot, I pulled his body up to me and pierce his flowery buttocks. Between our caresses he tells me his name. Phaidos! Such a nice name, like the one of my best childhood friend who was killed savagely by the Barbarians at Tauris. We never stopped caressing each other this night until, exhausted, we fall into sleep, lying one very near to the other. This morning I awoke, early, it was still night, I awoke as he turned away from me and suddenly I longed for Myron. But Myron was away, on the farthest shores, on an errand which would last several months I had sent him myself to deliver me of his presence during the weddings. I remember where I first saw him on my first and only excursion far away from my country. And I slumber again.

I rised early. I told the maid to bring Phaidos a nice breakfast. I am not hungry. I want to have a look at the ancient bridal chamber, where Alekis will have to sleep with his new bride. Is it installed in a comely fashion? I know, Alekis is very sensitive. Yesterday had been a hard day for Alekis. There was the ceremony of the betrothal of the groom, held together with Alekis and with the emissaries of the brides parents. All guided by the priests. Alekis vanished shortly after the beginning of the meal. I was looking for him and didn't find him. I am proud of my son, and I want to tell him so. But when I looked around for him, I did not see him again. Nikos, the son of the high priest was away also. The ranks had lighted. Lots of my kinsmen were away, in their houses with their brides or behind the bushes. The remaining ones were seated at a table and discussing the oncoming marriage. A very good tactical coup from me. To bind the second strongest force of Achaia to our house. Of course also all the common folk had been invited to Alekis' last night of freedom. They were all around, profiting from an occasion to eat meat and drink wine and beer. There was a long queue before the bull stuck on the spite. I did not realize that somebody quite more important was missing at the table of the royal guests. But about this later on!
Today Alekis will be married in the temple of Hera and will have to pass the night together with his bride, a beautiful blond girl from the northern mountains. He will have to consume his marriage the same evening and during the night under the low vaults of the bridal chamber. This chamber dates back to the times were the Goddess was reigning. It is a cave in which the first ancestors of us and even the predecessors of our ancestors used to fulfill the rites of the fertility in times were the King was chosen in spring by the high priestess and  was sacrificed each year again in Spring. It goes deep inside the rock on which our castle stands. Therefore it is very damp, cold and gloomy, there are a lot of sacred paintings representing big tigers, big elephants being chased by our ancestral heroes, there is even a chase of a complete herd of wild horses, harassed to spring down into a crevice. There are sparse candles lit. This is nothing for Alekis who is so sensible and always so cheerful, happy and even volatile. I like him so much. He has a fair complexion, a nicely shaped nose, sincere mouth and blue, franc eyes. He is a worthy successor of myself. But he has a bit too much of my wife's honesty and too much of her fair barbarian complexion, he looks too much like his mother and the priests have too much distrust against her.The bridal night is very important for the royal prince. If he succeeds to make a male child, he will be accepted as the successor. Otherwise he will be killed! Killed by the double axe who is the sacred arm of our highest God! This is a remnance from the very old times. The instruments of progenegration, the penis and the balls are cut away, the feet and the hands are cut, the hair is shaven of the insuccessful groom. Afterwards he is inmured and left bleeding and starving to death. The second son of he king comes to the bride. It was a great risk I took to marry him. But it had to be done. Alekis is the crown prince. He has no real choice as the eldest. That is the eldest I do accept. I do not accept his older brother, the son of my first wife. He was, as I am sure, made by my highpriest. I know it now, I realized it at last. This son of a bitch, this Nestor, has always been a bad friend of mine. He pretended only to be a friend of mine. But probably I did not produce a child, let alone a boy at my first bridal night. He did it for me, because Helen, this witch, was all the time in love with Nestor and pretended she was in love with me. Meander is not my son, he doesn't look like me and he is a cunning serpent. No. He is the son of Nestor and it is proved now, that Helen ran away to my brother.
Alekis could abdict. I would understand it, he is not of the flesh and blood to be a bloody king. But then, he would have to emmigrate. Being always a threat to the reigning team, he would be persucuted by the priests everywhere and a crime is quickly and discreetly done. Besides, what could he do for a living? Being of royal blood he cannot be a singer or do some manual work. He could have become a priest. I spoke with him. But with the abhorrence he has for the our new sanguin male centred religion, he could not hear about this issue. If he were second he could do what he wants. Alekis is not a born warrior. Till now he only had liked music, dance, modeling and painting. He abhors the art of wars. Still I did all I could to let him be my successor. I do think that under his reign the kingdom would florish. He has great talents for negotiating and would certainly be a good administrator. Of course it is a drawback when a king has no penchant for warring. Especially in our time with our neighbours who are all of the barbarians of the north, have married into our race and now reign everywhere. Of course they have more success in battles, with the new weapons of iron, their charriotts! And the discipline, their enthousiasm, ther drive is better, because they have women on which they can spit and they have their male Gods, especially their hero Herkules. But, back to Alekis, I think that he can then take the services of his brother. I try to hold back my experience that when there is a administrative king and a warring brother both reigning, the possibility of a coup is quite probable. And it will all end in a internal war. I cannot consider this. Frankly, my feelings for Alekis are too strong. His brother has a stubby body, a restricted intelligence, the same features, the same bushy eyebrows, eagle like nose as my father, who reversed his brother as king and introduced the new male religion, which I frankly cannot overturn openly.. I simply adore Alekis' wit, nice features, nice long black hair. And I have a strong feeling that he has herited from me a penchant for others of his kind, which is more and more being swarthed away by the ruling morals established by the priest. My endeavour of my whole lifetime, to fight against this splitting up of different sexes, putting down the female to the benefit of the male sex, was a failure. The wholeness of the human nature,we had previously nobody is only male or only female, is now being abandoned for a dangerous splitting up! It's all right for me. If I would have another mission, I would be more straight and stand to it myself. But Alekis must come on the throne, to defend our old, healthy, standards. If only he would do live his queer ambitous like I do, use men for gaining new sexual exprience, as they do there whereever phaidos really comes from I would not be worried. But what worries me specially for Alekis, is that he takes his and his lovers feelings too seriously, and that's what a king is not allowed to do. It is not what I feel. I could live happy with a man or a woman. But that's not the case of Alekis. He is a really only capble to love someone of the same sex as he is. And he abhorres hunting, warring, winning over other, what we men are supposed to do. In our society, the new society my father's priests have created, as a normal citicen, he would be only allowed to live in a sort of ghetto, having to wear womens clothes, having been amputated, not having any rights as male citizen and less rights as women, being laughed at by anybody. But as a king he hasn't any rights to live. Maybe he could escape his sort  by running away, emigrating in other countries, but there his sort would be even worse as the sort of our women men. He is not allowed to behave differently to what the people, influenced by the priests, find belongs to their moral concepts. Lately under the influence of the priests lately certainly by influenced by this intolerable sky-god religions, which these warrable, stinking and uncivilised hebraen people of the leventina begin to export everywhere they go to. They were influenced by Pharao Echnaton. And they expand everywhere, like the flies. Do to there insane politics they produce children in such quantites that they can't live in their already very arid land. Therefore there begins to take foot a terrible new current, the genders are being strictly departed, the wife is bound back to a submissive position, the man is taking over. This whole new trend now has taken foot in the tribes which swarm in our land from the north, or better from the country the Atheans call Chalkis, the country where the Athenians claim their Argonauts discovered but this is to veil the fact, that originally they came from there. In Athens it seems that men had an extraordinaly hard life under the women Goddess, and that it is why they have established such strong rules against women. But I think that it is not like this. In fact the Athenian King is quite lazy to think for himself. To  boast his personal revenue he allowed these pharisaen mercants to settle in his land. And they have succeeded with their sorcery and the infiltration of the ruling society in bringing over their religious ideas that God must be a man.
We, in Achaia, never had anything against women, on the contrary, women and men were absolutely equal in social and political life. It was absolutely not so, that we were emprisoning our women. Of course we are of a tribe which emigrated much earlier than the Athenians. But now things are changing. Under the influence of the newcomers of he west, our priests are systematically widening their sphere of control. They eagerly learnt from the devilish behviour of these hebraens. They have debarrassed themselves of the women priests and begin to reign for themselves. What before was not much important, that there are two sexes and that the masculine sex should only copulate with the females, in order to produce new children to put up new soldiers.
I love Alekis, he has so nice pitch black hair, his water blue eyes almond shaped. I know, I should not do it. Nobody loves his own son. And often I am to lax in his upbringing. But each time I want to be stern with him, I only have to look at his slender body, his wellshaped great ears which are prove of his extraordinary courage. I like people with blue eyes. Eyes which are like the sea when the sun shines! Everybody must fall in love with him, or then hate him out of jalousy. Girls look at him, make him loving eyes. All his aunts my sisters adore him. He is absolutely his mother who died trying to give me a second child. Alekis now alone reminds me of my mother. But he doesn't even look at the girls. He worships boys. Especially the son of the priest. the brown eyed Hakis. He always smiles at him. Always wants to see him, to play with him. I don´t like this, it´s no longer permitted in our society,  since the strangers´ tribes from the lands where the sun rises invaded the most of my neighbour countries. The priest is one of theirs and was sent their by his father, the grand priest of my father. Because we have to adjust to the newcomer in order not to pass as barbarians, because it´s a advantage for the others to fight against barbarians. He complained to me. He wants to bring his flock to more moral. It is no good, that boys are going together with boys as our barbarian forbears did and as still happens down there where the sun rises, from where these degenerated merchants come, from Attica.  Also its no good to get back to the religion of the earth goddess. As everybody knows, as the invadors from east told us, the Gods come from the sky, they live on mount Olymp and they overthrew the Goddess which they sent back deep down into the earth. What Alekis is doing is bad, has no respect for me and him who struggle to pass a strong, still thriving and and dominating Achaia. It reinterduces the old shrines of the Goddess, worshipped by the family of Alekis mother. My granddad overthrew them. With the help of the grandfather of the priest. He was the Holy King, my whole strenngth as King of rhe c. At the time when the Goddess wanted to sleep with him so that she could bear the holy child who would become the new holy king he killed her in bed with a poison. Of course he had learned that his son would supersede him, then immolate him, as all his predecessors had immolated their fathers, nearly children, to be immolated later on by their children. Only the priestess of the Earth Goddess stayed on. After the deed of my grandfather, Alekis the Great, the rules of the Earth Goddess were overthrown. The predecessor of my grandfather, his father, a wonderful boy that had tried to escape his fate but then had been raped and immolated in a particularly painful way was made to the Saviour God Herakles. Alekis the Great had introduced new masculine Gods who were the Gods of the Olymp and a new rule that instead only the ones who did not receive a prince before the f but he changed the rules don't like it, he is not of royal blood, his nurses son. 
Everybody made fun of my Alekis. The priests already complained to me. With the new philosophy coming up, I have a hard stand to keep the religious peace in Achea. But it's not for nothing that I am beloved by my people, have had a really long reign till now. I am at the peak of my reign. My reign was peaceful, after I had feithed against my worst enemies in the north, the east. I now they want to marry my son to fix a during friendship. Because now the push from South, from these Spartans and from the east, from these Athenians, have become harassing. For a long time I did have no male children. At last I have now Alekis. He is my real son. Before there was this boy of my brother, who slept with my wife. I did not kill her as would have been my prerogatives. But there was never any real love  to my wife. And now she has run away, I don't know where. I suppose to my brother who is located at the palace of my neighbour.
Well, this morning the weather is perfect. The marriage is on its best ways and will strengthen the position of my son Alekis for a far future. I feel well, have enjoyed this night together with this Phaidos. I explain to my servant, to bring him breakfast to his bed. As soon as he is gone, I climb down the steep stone steps from my palace to the garden and go in direction of the temple precinct. But I don't come far. As soon as I have embarked on the holy street made of big stones and bordered by rhodendendron bushes, followed in a due distance of two feet by my personal guard, the high priest comes to my encounter. He rides on a horse, his clothes dirtied by watersplashes. He is very nervous. He demands a quick entertainment with me. It's for the future of our kingdom he says. I beckon to Myron who is always on my sides, like my personal guard, tell him to go to the bridal chamber, and he knows the access keys. But of course he is of no relevance. He is a slave, son of the slave who was guard to my father. He wouldn't dream of doing anything which was not ordered to him. He turns around and goes to the chamber. I follow Nikos the elder to the temple room.  I realize that not only his long red robes are splayed over by dirt, wet earth turned dry and sticking on the fabric. His boots too are dirty with dried mud. Where has he been, yesterday evening, he who was dispensed of taking part at the banquett because he had to make the prayers? I do not think he was praying in the temple. I suppose he made a long journey on horse. But where to? I must find out. Therefore I follow his invitation.
We sit down at the long table. And now he says something which I never expected. Nikos the elder tries to persuade me to abandon my idea about the marriage of Alekis, about the enthronment of Alekis. What does he think is his position in this realm? I arranged the good marriage of Alekis and my advisors arranged it. He is not one of my advisers. I get up. I want to sermon him, bring him back to his position. I am the person who takes the decisions here, I, the King, nobody else. I am not going to let myself be dethroned by a priest who is my subject! The guards followed me into the temple precinct. I beckon to the second guards, since the attempt of murder on my life some 5 years ago I am always guarded by my best and most trusted palace guard. But then there is a loud bump on the door, the doors are open by my guard and Myron storms into the room. Before I have time to say anything, he takes me by my shoulders, and pushes me in a corner. With quiet voice he tells me, and my heart pumps down to my reigns, that the marriage vault is splashed over with blood, that Nikos, the friend of Alekis and son of Nikos the older lays on his back, in a lake of blood, his head split by the holy twosided axes, spoilt with blood of this axe, which was not there but well kept in a cupboard in the Hera temple.
Quickly, I beckon my guard, tell them to keep all entrances to the temple district guarded, not let out anybody. Look back. Nikos the elder still sits at the table, looking at me with great eyes. I tell the leader of my guard to take him prisoner and not let him out of here. Of course he is angry. As I exit the temple and turn my back to these holy people and hear his loud exclamations. But I have not the faintest idea to tell him anything. I sense that here has happened a very dangerous conspiration. And I do not look through it. All I know, is that I have to act quickly. Post my most trusted military garrison everywhere to keep the country quiet. There is no time to loose. As it seems to me, and I must be very attentive, Nikos the elder was away tonight, to discuss a p with the maybe the father of the future bride of Alekis. As my spions told me, Kapiollanos, my brother, has been seen in the entourage of him lately.
But now, the plot is dangerous and may even bring me in difficulty. The only ones, who know about the keyes to the axe and to the marriage vault are me and Nikos the elder. What happened to my beloved Alekis. Now it looks like he killed Nikos and ran away. But why could this be possible? I don't believe in it. Now it's my reign and life which is in danger, I have to find out, very quickly, who did this to Nikos and what happenend to Alekis, I can't make the investigation as I am a suspect myself and I know nobody in this kingdom whom I could trust.
Thinking about this I go back to my palace. I go back to my private chambers. And there is Phaidos, breakfasting, sitting naked on the bed, lovely and beautiful like Ganymed. We kiss each other, again we make love together. I look into his eyes, and they are sincere and really in love with me. I dress and he too dresses. Then we sit together at the table of my private dinner chamber. I want to know exactly where Phaidos comes from, which son he is. And now I know I can trust Phaidos, after what he told me about his life. Zeus has given me a clue of how to resolve this riddle, I think. Phaidos must be the incarnation of Ganymed, the most trusted friend of Zeus, sent down by my father to help me. And I tell him about what happened this morning. And that I expect of him to resolve this riddle. But what can he do? He doesn´t know anything from our society. I must agree. But it is very very urgent, I have now my general weekly conference with raimos, my secret counsellor. I take Phaidos with me. Raimos is accustomed to my special ideas  He does not even frown, as I turn up, to this very secret conferencce, with a totally unknown stranger. because already different rumours are spread, it seems that the bride and her mother has returned to their palace, that already a whole army is on its way to the border to my kingdom. My brother is now definitely at the sides of King Melopes and a civil war is about to erupt in my kingdom.
son, Alekis. I shudder. Where is he now? Has he been kidnapped? Is he sitting somewhere, in some corner  of a dark, cold cavern, all limbs bound together with hard, rough ropes, kneeling on the cold and wet floor. Being tortured because of me. I can´t stand this idea, the beautiful, fragile body of Alekis being tortured with hot irons, strangulating cold wetted ropes or cloth, even been pierced with hot or maybe cold nails. My features harden. I strain to keep an indifferent attitude, with all nobles in front of My first thought is about my most beloved me, trying to find a weak point where  they could attack me. After all these years my reign lastet, I don´t have many real friends left, Alekis mother, whom he absolutely ressembles, and who was my only true love, of a tribe who is nearly completely extuinguished by my tribesman, died years ago and I have always thought that she was poisoned but could never charge it to the one I think is the culprit. I absolutely must now know who is behind these atrocities! one after the other, i fix my courtiers, look into more or less brown, yellowish, green eyes, fixedly, till they, not able to keep their false lying faith to me any longer, close their lids or look in another direction. That´s what I know all the time. Nikos has spoken to every one of them and has alienated them from me. Only the guards of of my former wife´s tribe or of a foreign tribe altogether, are still loyal to me. A feeble base to my reign but a good one. In fact everybody has gained money and strength during my long reign keeping up peace and trade. The simple people have all profited. Nobody wants this to be changed. Especially the rich traders, peasants and merchants stand to me.
Now the moment has come for me to consolidate this situation. Not the best moment, admittedly. But of course this reform was in the air since a long time. Also only a handful of my best friends knew about my plans, it leaked somewhere and I have my personal ideas where. But it´s clear, I have to act, act quickly. If only I had listened more to what my spies where insinuating since a long time. I must act, since my decision stands definitely. What happened to Alekis, just at this moment as the most decisive act in my reign was to follow, is now quite clear. I look around me, the three people on whom I can have gathered around me, most of my worst enemies are assembled, of course with the exception of Nikos the elder who is probably still with my brother and the enemy king. I do not want to rely any longer on this lazy noble stands, now I will act as they do not expect of me to act, the plan stands, I will deprive all these nuisance of nobles of their power and will put up a parliament of 4 classes, tradesmen, merchants, paysants and noble, they will vote about important issues, like my successor, taxes, on so one, each class will be a separate entity, and will have, a single voice. I am the king and the King will keep the last word.
Of course they don't expect it of me. They think I am to anxious about what happens to Alekis, because he probably is in my enemies power. I give the sign to my followers, the sign which has been elaborated so many times, the apple being pierced by Zeus's arrow, my quietely disperses, places themselves behind the nobles and disarms them, they brake out into vehement curses, but now it's too late, they are being transported into the realms prisons.

But for now I take the rule on my own. I impose a rule of civil war on the country. Phaidos is attributed with a strong guard and parallel with Nikos, the goldsmith an absolute supporter of me, who will draw the plan to the new assembly and strengthen my reign. He will look for the perpetrators of Alekis and for Alekis. I am sure he is of the same strength as I am and of the same gender as Alekis, they will find each other! Quickly I return to my palace, followed by my three advisors and by the nucleus of my guard. But on the way, I remember Nikos, laying slain on the floor of the cavern serving as bridal chamber. I had other things in my mind, I just left the little corps laying there, guarded by two reliable guards. The moment this comes into my mind, I stop. My followers don't know what I'am doing. I am just before the entrance to my palace, on a monumental terrace bordered by high cypresses. I turn around and go down the monumental stone stairways, down a steep slope planted by olive trees, the sacred olive grove which was given us by God Apollo. When I get there, to the entrance of the holy cavern, the hole of the holy earth Goddess, I enter by the entrance the two monumental wings of the thick coppery door are wide open. It should be closed all the time, only open on the day of the matrimony of the prince. And I remember: "An old saying goes: beware of the unholy day the entrance to the marital cavern will be wide open and it is no holy day. A head will fall prevailing for many deaths and famines and the bad ghosts will be back to hellas." Well, one head has already been slayed and a coup has taken place. Will it mean to a restore peace to Hellas? The doubts come again to me, as I stand beside the crushed head of young Nikos, who was so intelligent, had such a brilliant future before him. Fate, who governs you, has taken its place again in Hellas, like more than 10 generations before and the future does not look very bright. But Fate is a Goddess who is implacable, hard and stubborn and cannot be influenced by any prayers or sacrifice. I had preferred that the Goddesses were not come to life during my reign. But I am only a week mortal, the oldest Goddess takes no heed to my wishes. I kneel down and press my cheek on Nikos severed head. He was a nice and promising boy and I regret his death as much as my sons death. Then I bow to the waiting doctors and they cloth him in the white cloth of the dead and bring them to his mother, who is still living and will cry and mourn upon his body for the whole night. Already they hate me like the evil and are certainly thinking about revenge. The corpse will be buried in the Royal cavern, that's my wish which I tell the second priest who is present. The first priest, Nikos the elder, is banned for ever from the Kingdom. I have hesitated too much for this coup, the evil has happenend and will take its way, within a few months the whole face of Hellas and maybe other regions will have changed.
I get up, sigh. The King has no pause, things must go on. Followed by my trusty followers I climb the holy olive grove and the King's stairs. The whole afternoon the new government consisting of the chief of the Guard, the three remained counsellors without the first Priest who always presides the Government together with the King, sit under the King's only supremacies. The stranger, Phaidos, who entered this Kingdom yesterday only, is appointed to the King's first counsellor, and I create again some enemies and do not act accordingly to the rules. But I want to let myself as much freedom as possible to look for Alekis and for his depredators. It's now internal war. In the evening there come the news that the now frustrated King whose daughter was to marry Alekis has formed an alliance with my greatest enemy where my brother Kaiphallos stays as a courtier. And Nikos the Elder has now also got refugium there. Kaiphallos has a lot of followers in Achaia and there can be assumed that there will shortly be an uprise in Achaia and the two armies will invade Achaia. The mysterium of Nikos death and Alekis vanishment has to be clarified very soon if I want to keep my throne.



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