Classical Greece.

pogopossum

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Reading Killer of Men by Christian Cameron. Almost done.
Slow, but them so am I. It got a little lost among several SFFs. When I picked it up again, really got into it.
Have ordered Marathon, the second book in the series.

If you read Mary Renault or Robert Graves when you were younger try Cameron for someone who embeds his characters in the nitty gritty of the times. Other choices?
And on the general theme of historical fiction, here's a list.ere's a list. LINK
Or re-browse the above posts for relatively current suggestions.

edit: I neglected to mention a quirky series about a detective in Imperial Rome. Marcus Didius Falco - by Lindsey Davis. Enjoyed them all, but for the character more than the history. Try The Iron Hand of Mars. Or any of the eight novels.

edit Just noted that I didn't describe Killer of Men.
It places a boy from Platea, immediately adjacent to ancient Thebes, in the middle of the Ionian Revolt, the first round of the Greek Persian wars. Betrayed and sold into slavery he gradually develops the talent stated in the title. The book speaks to the simplistic view of Greece as the cultured civilisation of history and Persia and its dependencies as barbarians.
 
^yup. 20. I was editing back and forth and still had Killer of Men on the brain.
Even got that wrong. There are 7 books in Cameron's Long War series.
Thanks for the mention. I'll try Flavia Alba.
 
I'll try Flavia Alba.
They're quite good.

I've only tried one of the Flavia Alba novels so far, but I didn't warm to it. I love Falco's voice and narration but I couldn't get on with hers at all.

But I was in the middle of a Falco marathon at the time, making the absence of his wit all the more obvious -- in the one I read, even when he was present in a scene Davis deliberately didn't allow him to speak, perhaps to avoid any comparison. I might perhaps have been happier with her voice if I'd read those first or only after a long gap from the Falcos.
 
Steven Pressfield

Gates of Fire and Tides of War.

Last of the Wine by Mary Renault, mentioned in OP.

Latro in the Mists by Gene Wolfe
 

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