Grecian Wars

The egyptian influence encouraged conflict; both the Persians and Greeks were weakened.

The sack of Sardis

The Egyptians used Miletus to distract Persian attention away from Egypt itself. After Croesus ill fated expedition against Persia in which he was accompanied by Thales, the Persians invaded Lydia and Croesus submitted.   In 540 BC  Persia occupied all the Ionian settlements in Western Anatolia (now Turkey) except Miletus. Egyptian influences in Athens managed to persuade Athens to support an Ionian revolt against Persian rule.  The revolt originated in and was driven from Miletus , perhaps driven by Thales although the “credit” is give to Histiaeus and Arisogras. The centre piece of this revolt was that the Ionians made a particularly brutal attack on Sardis, the Persian local capital.  Many thousands of people, perhaps tens of thousands, were burnt to death as the Ionians prevented citizens escaping from the burning city. This was guaranteed to get an instant response from the Persians and that is exactly what happened. It took the Persians six six years to put down the revolt during which time the rebels were continually supported from Athens.


Greek cities/25/marathon/149 Xerxes prepared to invade Athens. Sparta became involved because they murdered the Persian Ambassador sent to Sparta to seek an alliance. The two major leagues therefore were now committed to a common objective common. The Persians were initially defeated on the beachead at Marathon, by Athenians (490 BC), without the need for Spartan involvement.

Greek cities/25/Marathon2/150

] Greek cities/25/Marathon3/151

Persian Success

Xerxes Came back with a larger army in 480 BC. Macedonia was defeated and turned into a vassal state just to secure his route.  The potential was now laid for an alliance between Macedonia and Athens.


Greek cities/25/302/161 All of the North East of Greece was conquered and the Persians moved south to cross the isthmus of Corinth. On the way they had to move through the pass of Thermopylae, a narrow track along the beach under a high mountain ridge.

This is the battle where the legendary 300 Spartans held up an enormous Persian army for seven days.  In the end the Persians won and the Spartans, along with about 2000 Thebians and Thespians, who are rarely mentioned, were slaughtered.  It was a short lived victory.  The Persian navy was caught in a storm and many ships were destroyed. Subsequently the depleated fleet were defeated at Salamis. Deprived of supplies and fresh troops the Persians were defeated at Plataea and left, never to return..


Greek cities/25/aspasia_painting/181 Egypt was impressed but after the defeat of the Persians  now pursued a new agenda.  The Greeks were provoked into internal conflict.

Enter Aspasia, who was said to originate from Miletus. She became the most famous of the Athenian hetaira. The hetaira were courtesans who lived outside of the constraints of antifeminism. There were expected to be true companions for their clients and be able to conversle knowledgably about politics and philosophy. It is even possible that Aspasia invented or at least refining this proffession. It was very convenient. She became the mistress of Pericles the governor of Athens.

The school of Athens

Greek cities/25/aspasiaalcibiades/182 Apsapasia formed a formed a school which discussed current events, literature, philosopy and rhetoric.  She composed speeches for Pericles  and was accused of  denegrating the Greek gods. The ladies who attended her school and indeed may of the men, took her ideas and infiltrated every part of Athenian society. Most people believed that it was Aspasia not Pericles who plotted the war against Sparta.

More Conflict

Greek cities/25/aspasias-school/176 The Athenians  now formed the Delian League a development of the Ionian league but now including additional Ionian states from the west and notably Thessaly. The first Peloponnesian war (460-445 BC)  between the Peloponnesian league (Sparta) and the Delian league,  the Athenians gained an advantage but instead of pressing home their victory opted to send large numbers of their army and their fleet to support the Inaros revolt against the Persians in Egypt. It seems that the war had a disastrous affect of the Athenian economy and Egypt payed the Athenians as mercenaries but more importantly shipped grain to Athens.

Greek cities/25/pericles-and-aspesia/183 It was be remembered that Pericles was still governor of Athens and was said to be obsessed with Aspasia.

Military Disaster

The Egyptian adventure initially met with success but in 454 the full Persian army entered Egypt and the Athenian army was in the main part destroyed. This turned the advantage back to Sparta and the first Pelopennesian war ended with no significant advantage to either side. Egypt was not impressed by the Athenians eventual capitulation and turned instead to Sparta. In the second Pelopennesian war Sparta set out to develop a navy.  Initially they they managed to disrupt the grain supply from the Dardenelles to Athens.

A Weakened Greece

Greek cities/25/plato_aristotle/179 Egypt now formed an alliance with Sparta and supported them in an attack on Cyprus which became temorarily a Spartan possession. Sparta then abandonned Egypt and came to terms with Persia, who funded the building of the Spartan fleet  which led to Sparta’s victory in the second Peleponnesian War. Greek mercenaries seeking refuge from an impoverished Greece fought regularly in internal wars of succession in Persia. Both Egypt and Persia played a significant role in encouraging conflict between Sparta and Athens. The motivation of Persia was obvious, they wanted to take  the Aegean sea and the Delian league states in Anatolia. Egypt’s objectives were far less obvious. The Egyptians had brought about a situation whereby in the Eastern Mediterranian the dominant races were the Persians and Greeks, although to the west the Carthaginians and Romans were gathering strength.

The rise of Macedon

The Egyptians now shifted their attention from a weakened Athens and Sparta and quietly Egypt mobilised Macedonia and Epirus to do its bidding. Aspasis’ disciples, including Aristotle, dispersed throughout the Delian League and into Macedonia and Epirus.   This picture of Plato and Aristotle is in fact extracted from the larger panorama of the Athenian school, which rsaises the question was the famous Athenian school one and the same as Aspasia’s school?  The Greeks never realised how extensive was the Egyptian manipulation. Despite great differences in culture, the Egyptians became a fascination for the Greeks. Leading Greek thinkers visited Egypt regularly . Over time the Greeks adopted Egyptian Gods and particularly Egyptian scholarship which much later permeated throughout the Western World. All through the agency of a courtesan!

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.