A vivid picture of life in ancient Greece through the stories of four very different men. The reader hears how Leonidas, raised under the strict system of Sparta, becomes king and leads his countrymen at the battle of Thermopylae, and how Themistocles, in prompting the Athenians to build boats and escape to Salamis, guides the Greeks to victory against the Persians. When Athens lay in ruins, the sculptor Phidias is instrumental in its rebuilding. It becomes such a vibrant city that the philosopher Socrates, when arrested on a trumped-up charge, prefers to die, rather than to live anywhere other than Athens. Numerous black and white illustrations enliven the text. Suitable for ages 8 and up.