Saturday, September 12, 2015

THREE CLUES TO A MYSTERY So why these three images on the new cover? I suppose the funeral procession at the bottom is obvious. It helped me a lot to envisage the scene of Klereides’ funeral in Chapter 6.

The image on the left? Well, I had registered that there must have been plenty of merchant ships carrying supplies to and from big cities like Athens of timber, grain, wine, pottery, olive oil and more and, of course, passengers like my heroes Lysanias and Sindron.

They and crews would need water on the journey and I worked out what the big vessels for holding this, supported in harnesses of rope or leather to prevent spillage, would have looked like, even before I came across this picture. The multiple handles would take the harness. Something like this became the murder weapon in my novel and the ‘amphora’ of the title.

And the blacksmiths at the top? It seemed to me that the taking of power from the aristocrats in 461BC must be seen as tantamount to a revolution. And I knew that similar times in later history had resulted in interest by artists in depicting ordinary people and work situations.

When I came across it, this bas relief scene of blacksmiths at work seemed just such a piece and it gave me the inspiration for a dramatic incident at the funeral party also in Chapter 6. Incidentally, the muscular arms and hammers suggested the working class violence that the aristocrats may have feared at the time.

Put them together and what have you got? A new cover but also an indication of the thinking behind at least some of the novel.

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