City States

Egypt used the Greeks to distract the Persians and in the process triggered the birth of what we call civilisation.

The Disaster

storage/28/ancient_greek-colonies/153 The vacuum left by the collapse of the Minoan civilisation  was rapidly filled, first by the Myceans and then by the Greeks.  In Egypt the experimentation with Persian rule had been nothing short of disastrous for the priests.  A legitimate strain Of Pharohs, possibly tighter bred than is obvious from the available  records, ruled Persia.  Why was the Persian strain unaceptable in Eqypt ? Almost certainly because they had adopted the Zarathrustran religion which challenged  the role of the priests and therefore threatened the whole Egyptian system. The Priests looked around for a better solution.

Greek potential

J, M and J /13 /Ancient Greece/144 What they needed was someone who could  take control of the Persian nation and change its allegiance to the Zarathrustan creed. There were various city states having such as Rome, Carthage,  Sparta,  Athens, and Epirus but none of them appeared to be a match for Persia, nevertheless they were all considered as potential partners( or puppets). Looked at from a Mediterranean perspective the city states of Greece had the most extensive holdings. But there was a problem with Greece , it was not a nation; every individual city state was independant, every  colony established by those states was also independant.

Racial Differences

Greek cities/25/greek-languages/154 The Greeks were not even a single people.  The two dominant cities being of different racial groupings. Athens was populated by Ionians and Sparta by Dorics.

For a long period they did not have a single language.  Athens and Sparta grew to prominence by subjugating neighbouring city states.  The Greek “Nation” therefore  grew from a large number of relatively small city states. This initial graphic was deliberately chosen to show just how complex it was.  The Greek peninsula was very mountainous. The City States thrived in valleys and plains separated from each other by mountains.

Homer’s Gods

Greece 1/22/Raphael school of athens/148 Around 900 BC the popularity of the works of Homer helped to unify the language.  Amongst other legends Homer told stories of the Gods. As time passed there were attempts to reconcile the major gods between Sparta, Athens, and Thebes; eventually between Greece and Egypt. over time many of the prominent Greek Heroes were said to be descended from the Gods.

The rise of Athens

Greece 1/22/Athenian empire/146 Our modern respect for the famed Greeek philosophy is based on what happened in one state, Athens. As competition between the states became ever greater, there were ever shifting alliances. In time the various states banded together for mutual defence and trading advantage.

Eventually alliances were formalised as “Leagues.” The Ionian league was headed by Athens but covered little of mainland Greece, being mainly concerned with the islands and coastal areas of the Agean sea .

A fragmented structure

The Thessalian League  covered the eastern part of the mainland.   Sparta itself was the leading state  in the Peloponnesian League and the later Achean League.  Macedonia and Epirus were much closer to the modern concept of a nation. The Macedonians were Dorians,  the same race as the Spartans but Epirus was Illirican. These two states lay beyond the area involved in the leagues  and interstate politics.   Both the leagues were opposed to Macedonian ambitions for expansion.

It was this fragmented structure which Egypt chose to pursue its interests.


The Egyptians must have been desperate. They were seeking alliances with peoples whose ethical standards were appalling. Athens was an example of how democracy can go badly wrong. Only the establishment  contributed to political discussion, women were disenfranchised and discriminated against and the economy was based on the use of slave labour. The learned discourse on the organisation of the state, which we so admire today, never seriously challenged these injustices. In Sparta the final stage of a man’s education was that he should strangle a slave.  The unfortunate citizens of competitive city states were reduced to this permanent slave status. A Sparta declared war on their own slaves every year as a way of justifying this brutal treatment.  Spartan men never performed any productive work. All farming and industrial activity was consigned to the slaves.

Sexual Discrimination

Greek cities/25/miletus_map/178 [/tab]The task the egyptian priests set themselves was a difficult one.  If the same practices of infiltration by marriage which had been used in Persia were to be pursued in Greece then the status of women had to be changed. Social practice in Athens was grossly discriminatory against women. In Athens women were not able to vote or possess property. They were not even counted as citizens. They came into the category of a valued commodity as they could produce the next generation. In Sparta, despite its austere, militaristic society, it would have been easier, for women were allowed to play a part in social and political life. Probably from the very beginning the Egyptian target was Greek unity, to produce a cohesive force which could defeat Persia.

It would appear that they chose Miletus.

Why Miletus?

Greek cities/25/miletus/177 Miletus is on the western, Agean shore of Anatolia (now Turkey) and was part of the Ionian league.  Miletus was however perhaps the worst example of anti feminism which could be found. A wife was not allowed to eat at the same table as her husband and was not even allowed to address him by his name.


Despite this, the first identification of inspired Philosopy, Science and Mathematics in Greek society came from a person called Thales who lived Miletus. Thales was an immigrant ” from the east” and was said to have recieved  instuction from Egyptian priests and visited Egypt. He expounded theories on the occurence of natural phenomema, which excluded the will of the gods,  therby undermining the status of Homer’s Gods.  In  500 BC he took part in an attempted invasion of Persia and when that failed negotiated independance for Miletus and its colonies when the rest of the Greek city states in Anatolia were taken over by Persia. He may then have performed a role in the government of Milates. He did much of what might be expected of an Egyptian agent.

It was from Miletus that events unfolded which ultimately changed the history of the western world , amazingly one of the chief agents of change was a woman.

The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.