The Praise Singer

The Praise Singer is a historical novel by Mary Renault first published in 1978. Its narrator and main character is the real-life lyric poet Simonides of Keos, whose life (ca. 556 BC-469 BC) spanned the transition from an oral to a written culture in Ancient Greece. Renault's fiction argues that this transition was in part responsible for the cultural flowering known as the Golden Age of Athens--though she also gives credit to Hipparchus, Tyrant of Athens, who attracted talented artists like Simonides to live in his city. Renault depicts him as having the works of Homer set down in writing for the first time.

The book contains portraits of several other historical figures, such as the mathematician/philosopher Pythagoras, and the erotic poet Anakreon.

Unlike most of Renault's novels, the main character's most important romantic interest is with a member of the opposite sex--but it is an atypically egalitarian relationship with a hetaera, or courtesan, a fictional character named Lyra.

Ancient Greece Historical novels

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License