The Diomedeia: Diomedes, the Peoples of the Sea, and the Fall of the Hittite Empire (Paperback)
The Diomedeia is to Diomedes as the Odyssey is to Odysseus or the Iliad is to Ilios. It indicates "the tale or song] of Diomedes". Diomedes is most famous as one of the major Achaian (Achaean or Greek) heroes in Homer's Iliad, but the trajectory of his mythic life goes well beyond Homer, from the Argolid to Ilios (Troy) to southern Italy. But I was most drawn to the fact that this tale indicates a major awakening of character over his lifetime, rare in mythology but a fine opportunity for a novel.
This is a historically-based novel with authentic, legendary, & fictional characters interacting across the extraordinary panorama of the Bronze Age Collapse in the Hittite Empire between the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean seas. Diomedes, previously a hero of the Trojan War, and the polyglot Peoples of the Sea raid inland into the Hittite Empire during its final months. It is both a study of ancient mythic consciousness and an exciting adventure of love, character, destruction, desperate survival, and the lived mystery of pagan rituals. It was a time of such chaos, royalty was overthrown, palaces and temples were burnt, and the power of the gods was thrown into doubt, yet the ancient Great Goddess, who had been suppressed, began to regain her former dominance.
Diomedes, though prominent in Homer's Iliad--a warrior the equal of Hektor or Achilleus, a thinker as cunning as Odysseus and as wise as Nestor, and the only man who dared wound gods--has seldom, if ever, been the chief protagonist in literature. He is given his due within. His wandering adventures and suffering after the destruction of Ilios (Troy) are traced as far north as Kolkhis (Colchis) in the Black Sea, through involvement with the last Hittite royal family in Anatolia, and as far south as Alasiya (Cyprus) in the Mediterranean. He ascends the heights of glory but also must descend into the dark Underworld in an attempt to save the one he loves.