Aesop, the man with a fable to elucidate any situation, finds himself guarding the back of his friend Solon of Athens during the politically seminal year of 594BC, when the latter was foolish enough to get himself appointed Chief Archon of Athens in exceptionally complex and very dangerous circumstances.
A free market economy has run through to its ultimate point with the entire population enslaved by the 400 members of the High Council of the Areopagus, resulting in a fullscale peasant revolution, and the High Council have appointed Solon to make new laws to save them from their own suicidal profiteering and social excesses.
Solon averts the crisis with a series of stunning reforms, establishing the basis of future Democratic governments with the invention of the bicameral parliamentary system and the first use of juries, not to mention certain radical economic innovations, which make him a lot of friends and a handful of exceedingly dangerous enemies. At the same time he must find a way to end a timeless blood feud, and learn to control his own susceptibility to the aphrodisiac effects of absolute power.
Aesop's protective role is one to be performed with his tongue as his only weapon but that is well known to be sharper than any sword.
In the end it is Aesop who must make Solon understand that in creating a system that will rid the world of tyrants, he has become one himself. But Solon's solution to that problem is the most startling of all...
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