On this mountain in North Cyprus, overlooking the village of Vouni under, stands a palace. As you have a look at the fragmentary partitions, let your information be a determine from 483 B.C., when Persia and Greece fought to dominate the island. Cyprus is split into a number of small kingdoms. Your information is Himilcar, elder statesman and advisor to Doxandros, King of Marion. Marion is a metropolis not far-off, and the Persians constructed this palace for Doxandros, who has sworn loyalty to them.
Come to the outdated entryway on the southwest facet of the constructing. Are you able to hear Himilcar mumbling to himself as he approaches the palace?
“It’s been fifteen years for the reason that Greeks of Ionia started the Nice Revolt. Did they be taught nothing from defeat?
“Oh, greetings, stranger. I didn’t see you there. Come right here, below the porch. Our scorching Cypriot solar will bake your brains in any other case. What’s the Nice Revolt, you ask? In what cave have you ever been residing? The Greek cities of Ionia in Asia Minor rebelled towards our Persian King of Kings. The Cypriot kings who favored Greece, in cities like Soli, additionally rose in revolt.
“However the revolt was doomed from the beginning. The domains of the King of Kings stretch from Egypt to India and his military is past counting. He crushed the revolt on Cyprus in a matter of days.
“However are available in, are available in. I’m Himilcar, chief adviser to King Doxandros of Marion. Have you ever ever been in a Persian palace? Sure, it truly is Persian, Persian designed and Persian constructed.
“How did that occur, you ask? Through the Nice Revolt King Doxandros remained loyal to the Persians. As a reward, the King of Kings constructed this palace for him.
A pair of guards, their spherical shields slung throughout their again and their lengthy swords sheathed, stands in entrance of the doorway.
In a nook of the room a scribe sits cross-legged on a cushion, his writing board throughout his knees. At his facet are sheets of papyrus paper, sharpened reeds he’ll use as pens, and a clay jug of ink.
“Come down the steps right here on the best. These live quarters for the senior officers, and for me.
“Throughout the hallway from our residing quarters are the palace storerooms. Right here the king retains shops of meals, of fabric, of treasured herbs and dyestuffs. See how the massive vases, the amphorae, are sunk into the bottom. Again towards the entrance of the palace are the guard rooms. You’ll be able to hear the guards laughing over a cube recreation. No, they don’t stay there. They’re on responsibility, passing time till they’re wanted.
“Come by way of into the reception rooms. The atypical folks wait right here. On the best is the king’s official recorder. On the left is the queen’s. Individuals come right here to have land transfers recorded, to pay taxes, to convey a case earlier than the courtroom.
“Come, come, don’t be shy. The folks you see on this third room are the rich and the noble. You’ll be able to inform by the lavish embroidery on their robes. The wealthy have threads of gold and silver; the noble can put on Tyrian purple, most treasured of dyes.
“My very own workplace is on the best facet of this final ready room. Simply take a peek and see the jumble of scrolls on my desk. On daily basis I fall farther behind. Now we go straight forward into the throne room.
“Come up these seven steps. The steps are broad to announce that the king will obtain all his folks. After all he sees primarily the necessary ones. See the brightly painted columns and the thrones. There the king and queen obtain petitioners and well-wishers. The wealthy and the noble stroll about right here, looking for favor, at all times plotting for favor.
“The queen’s flats are on the left. The king and his son have rooms on the best. Magnificent as these rooms are, with their painted partitions and the pots of lilies and roses, I’ll present you the true marvel of the palace.
“See right here behind the King’s chamber? Two loos with bogs and past them, a scorching tub. The water comes from our personal cisterns and is heated and piped in. You’ll discover nothing prefer it between Crete and Persia.
“We will undergo right here to the massive courtyard. The rooms throughout are storerooms and garrison rooms for the troops. Armor and weapons are saved right here, together with meals provides. See the nicely? It goes right into a cavern we’ve reduce into the very mountain. It serves as one in every of many cisterns that maintain winter rain for us to make use of all 12 months lengthy.
“Excuse me, please. I need to communicate to that fellow over there. It’s possible you’ll look by way of the storerooms and workers quarters that encompass this central courtroom.”
The courtyard is crammed with exercise. Muscular males in kilts are sharpening armor within the shade. In a single nook a smith is placing a brand new innovative on a pile of swords. The prepare dinner and her assistants are plucking chickens throughout the best way, singing softly as they work. However right here is Hamilcar returning.
“Who’s he? The person I spoke with? No hurt in telling you, I suppose. He’s one in every of my spies.
“King Xerxes is getting ready to march on Greece. He must know which cities will assist him, and which could attempt to stab him within the again. Soli rose towards Persia as soon as, and may achieve this once more. So, I’ve spies in Soli.
“I need to return to my work. However you be happy to wander about. Could Anat bless you in your comings and goings.”
So farewell to the outdated ghost, from a time way back when Asia and Europe held Cyprus in a tug-of-war and bitterness divided metropolis from metropolis.
Discover out what occurred to the Palace by studying the longer model at [ttp://www.cyprus-seaterra.com/articles/vouni.html]