In this triologism, Leigh Fermor effortlessly conveys the millennia-spanning history of an obscure village, implying that its inhabitants might be descended from sailors who accompanied Menelaus to Troy.  However tenuous, this possible link to a possible reality behind our earliest epics enthralls me, a feeling I had on many occasions in Greece.   As, looking at the colour of the sea from a breakfast table in Mykonos, I realised this was what Homer meant by ‘wine-dark sea’.

‘Oitylos which is still, as it was when its Troy-bound villagers climbed on board one of the sixty ships of Menelaus, its official name.’

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, introduction by Michael Gorra, New York: New York Review of Books, 2006 (1958), p. 117

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