Buku Wrath of the Gods by Glyn Iliffe

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Wrath of the Gods by Glyn Iliffe

Author:Glyn Iliffe

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: Canelo Books

Published: 2019-03-24T16:00:00+00:00

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Wrath of the Gods by Glyn Iliffe

* * *

Heracles leaned against the bow rail, the spring sun beating down on his neck and shoulders as he watched the island of Crete coming slowly closer. Squinting against the glare of the waves, he noted the clusters of white houses on the hillsides, marking the numerous ports and fishing villages along the extensive coastline. The glittering seas in between were dotted with numerous ships, bringing their goods to harbour or taking valuable cargoes to the cities of Greece and beyond. Trade was the key to Crete’s wealth, and made its king powerful beyond measure.

Two of the ships Heracles could see were bigger than any of the merchantmen. These were Cretan war galleys, rowed by shackled slaves and manned by scores of armed men, whose bronze helmets and spear points gleamed brightly in the sun. The vessels were just a small part of King Minos’s fleet, paid for by the gleanings from the ceaseless flow of trading ships they protected. But they did more than simply keep the island’s commerce safe. They also projected its ruler’s power and ensured the second great source of his income: tribute. Most of the smaller islands and coastal cities paid Minos for access to the trade his empire controlled, as well as protection from pirates and invaders – and from Crete itself.

 

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Wrath of the Gods by Glyn Iliffe

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Wrath of the Gods by Glyn Iliffe

 

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Wrath of the Gods by Glyn Iliffe

Author:Glyn Iliffe , Date: June 11, 2019

,Views: 37

Author:Glyn Iliffe

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: Canelo Books

Published: 2019-03-24T16:00:00+00:00
* * *

Heracles leaned against the bow rail, the spring sun beating down on his neck and shoulders as he watched the island of Crete coming slowly closer. Squinting against the glare of the waves, he noted the clusters of white houses on the hillsides, marking the numerous ports and fishing villages along the extensive coastline. The glittering seas in between were dotted with numerous ships, bringing their goods to harbour or taking valuable cargoes to the cities of Greece and beyond. Trade was the key to Crete’s wealth, and made its king powerful beyond measure.

Two of the ships Heracles could see were bigger than any of the merchantmen. These were Cretan war galleys, rowed by shackled slaves and manned by scores of armed men, whose bronze helmets and spear points gleamed brightly in the sun. The vessels were just a small part of King Minos’s fleet, paid for by the gleanings from the ceaseless flow of trading ships they protected. But they did more than simply keep the island’s commerce safe. They also projected its ruler’s power and ensured the second great source of his income: tribute. Most of the smaller islands and coastal cities paid Minos for access to the trade his empire controlled, as well as protection from pirates and invaders – and from Crete itself.

The wind changed, eliciting a string of barked orders from the helmsman. The crew was quick to respond, angling the yard so that the canvass sail billowed out with a snap and sent the galley continuing efficiently on its course. The hull was heavy with a mixed cargo of silver, wood and cowhides, which kept it low in the water. It had picked up the hides yesterday at Tiryns, where Heracles and Iolaus had bought passage to Crete.

Heracles looked across at his nephew, asleep on a pile of sacks beside one of the rowing benches. The voyage was providing Iolaus with his first experience of the ocean. He had spent most of the first day at the bow rail, retching up whatever his stomach could muster while the crew looked on impassively. He had found respite in the evening, after they had anchored in a small cove on the island of Melos and made a campfire on the shore. While Heracles had kept his own company, strolling along the sand, Iolaus had spent his time talking with the crew until nightfall. They had woken before dawn and departed for Crete. The seas had proved choppier than the calm waters of the previous day, compelling Iolaus to deliver his breakfast over the side and cling desperately on to the bow rail again until the afternoon, when his exhaustion finally gave way to sleep.

The helmsman steered the galley towards a large harbour, protected by two spurs of rock cast out from the mountain behind. White-tipped waves crashed on the jagged boulders outside, but inside the waters were a calm, vivid blue. Though it was still some way off, Heracles could see several galleys at anchor, their naked masts like stalks of corn.

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