He lived in the shadow of kings. One trusted him with his empire; the other feared his every move. Memnon of Rhodes (375-333 BC) walked in the footsteps of giants. As a soldier, sailor, statesman and general, he was, in the words of Diodorus of Sicily, "outstanding in courage and strategic grasp."A contemporary of Demosthenes and Aristotle, Memnon rose from humble origins to command the whole of western Asia in a time of strife and slaughter. To his own people, he was a traitor, to his rivals, a mercenary. But, to the King of Kings, his majesty Darius III of Persia, Memnon was the one man capable of defending Asia Minor from the rising power of the barbaric Macedonians. In a war pitting Greek against Greek, Memnon proved his quality beyond measure. His enemies fought for glory and gold; Memnon fought for something more: for loyalty, for honour, and for duty. He fought for the love of Barsine, a woman of remarkable beauty and grace, but most of all, he fought for the promise of peace.Through the deathbed recollections of a mysterious woman, the life of Memnon unfolds with brilliant clarity. It is a record of his triumphs and tragedies, his loves and losses, and of the determination that drove him to stand against the most renowned figure of the ancient world - an ambitious and brilliant young conqueror called Alexander the Great.
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