The writing is evocative, sometimes magnificent, and never dull, the sounds of a trireme’s rush a ‘throbbing pulse, as strong and steady as the heartbeat of a giant’. I have never read better descriptions of the Piraeus and its trireme sheds or a finer synthesis of the complex dynamics of ancient Athenian life. Lords is a masterpiece of understated, multidisciplinary scholarship that combines field experience with meticulous library work. This is a wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who likes sound scholarship and good writing, illustrated with superb drawings by Samuel Manning. I hope now that Hale goes on to write another book, this time about actually rowing in a trireme. He is well qualified to do so.
This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 38. Click here to subscribe