Ecumene - this is what the famous lands were called in Ancient Greece. Everything that lies outside the Oikumene is either not inhabited at all, or is inhabited by some alien tribes, or is generally still a blank spot on the map.
The young Greek sculptor Pandion gradually realizes that he has been sitting too long at home: everything possible has already been taken from his native lands, now he needs to study further, get fresh impressions, look for new forms, new meanings, experienced teachers. The journey begins, behind is the familiar world, ahead is the alluring unknown.
In search of inspiration, the young man plans to visit the Greek islands, but the villainous fate throws him much further - to Africa. And not at all as a student - Pandion falls into slavery to the pharaoh. Together with his fellow sufferers, he works like hell, survives with all his strength and, of course, does not lose hope. The slaves raise uprisings, they are suppressed, the participants are severely punished - the reader perceives every failed attempt to escape as his own failure, he feels every lash of the lash on his back - the events are so vividly and emotionally described.The mind rebels against injustice, the heart fervently desires freedom for the unfortunate.
The rhinoceros hunting scene is a real thriller! The pharaoh wished to have this formidable monster in his menagerie, and a handful of slaves, armed with ropes and sticks, were sent to prey. An enraged giant monster rushes across the savannah, trampling, maiming and killing unfortunate hunters, but the death of people is not a problem, the main thing is to bring the rhinoceros.
The multi-day pursuit of fugitives across half the African continent is a journey of torment. Slaves die of thirst, from the teeth of wild animals, from the betrayal of their neighbors, but those who did not give up will receive a reward. Through deserts and rivers, through the jungle, through herds of elephants and the mouths of predators - through mortal dangers to the only star - freedom! Hot, colorful, intense - very interesting to read!
Greece, pharaonic lands, black Africa - these southern lands are woven into a yellow, orange, blue, green carpet, dusty and faded under the merciless sun, exotic and beautiful. Yes, we are talking here not only about freedom, but also about looking at the world through the eyes of an artist. Was Pandion's sacrifice in vain, or did he still get what he set out for? The price was high, but experience, the son of difficult mistakes, will remain with him forever. And, who knows, if not for this steep route of one person, Greek art might have been missing something important. The paths of art are inscrutable, the paths of a little man in a huge world are inscrutable.