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In ancient Greece and across the Mediterranean, kingdoms strive for dominance. The great powers of Carthage and Egypt look on with avarice as the might of the Greeks is spent warring between themselves, oblivious to external dangers.
Year in and year out, the people suffer at the hands of their rulers and the famine and pestilence that comes with conflict. The great rulers of the day are themselves helpless to end this cycle of destruction. While life on the battlefield is cheap, the slave trade flourishes through the years of interminable battle and death. Kings and queens pray to the gods and seek wisdom from the oracles, but the gods, it seems, prefer combat to diplomacy.
At Olympia, the peace of the temple precinct is an island of calm in a sea of turmoil. Here on this sacred soil grows the seed of a better future, yet even here there lurks danger and deceit as the forces of destruction reach into the sanctuary of the gods. For this seed to thrive, it will take more than prayers and goodwill. Yet often hope springs from the most unlikely sources. There is one amongst the Greeks who sees light where others only perceive darkness. One who sees that there is another way to settle conflict - with honour and courage. One who will set aflame a torch that will burn for thousands of years, down through the ages. In an epoch of chaos and strife, a new force for peace is born.
*** AUTHORS: ***
Dr. John A. Martino is a disabled veteran, honourably discharged from the Australian Defence Force. He wrote his PhD in Classical History through Monash University and The University of Melbourne (with assistance from UNAM in Mexico City and ANU in Canberra) on martial violence in the Old World and the New. He has since sought 'solutions' to humanity's endemic warlike ways; this novel is the culmination of that yearning. He is an avid archer, Alfa Romeo enthusiast, prolific reader, very keen international traveller, animal lover and enjoys getting Socratic if not, at times, a touch Dionysiac over a good bottle of red with friends. He has a very supportive peer group and family (of Italian and Greek heritage), to whom he owes much.
Dr Michael O'Kane is an experienced field anthropologist who has worked extensively with Australian Aboriginal communities across Australia. He has also conducted field research with environmentalists in the Republic of Ireland and with farmers throughout Victoria. Michael is a published academic author who has held various lecturing, tutoring, and research positions. He is also a keen student of the art of boxing and the texts of stoic philosophy and is fascinated by the ancient world and its impact on today's reality. Michael lives with his partner Erin, their two children Felix and Patrick, and their curly retriever Molly.
Dr. Alexis Lyras is the founder and president of the 'Olympism For Humanity Alliance' and has held, since August 2012, an academic fellowship at the Conflict Resolution Program, Department of Government at Georgetown University. Lyras currently holds a faculty position at the Tsukuba International Academy for Sport Studies (TIAS), the academic arm of 'Sport for Tomorrow', a Tokyo 2020 / '21 Games project. He is now working on a global academic innovation initiative for the establishment of a worldwide 'Humanitarian Academic Ecosystem', which is committed to institutionalising 'Olympism for Humanity' teaching, researching, and programming across the planet.