CONTENTS:- Introduction; The treasure of King Rhampsinitus; Polycrates and his ring; The ladies of Syracuse; The widow of Ephesus; Cupid and Psyche; Tragic love.
It is to the Asiatic Greek, Herodotus, that we owe our knowledge of the earliest examples of classical Greek short-tales. Widely regarded as the father of history, two of his tales have been induced in this book. "The treasure of King Rhampsinitus" is a tradition of Rameses the Great and deals with human ingenuity. In the tale of "Polycrater and his Ring" he gives an (originally prosaic) account of an exceptionally fortunate king. "The ladies of Syrause" is largely conversational, and gives a vivid and rather amusing glimpse into the life of the author's (Theocritics') native city. "The widow of Ephesus" is a gem of ironic humour, giving an amusing picture of romance. Apuleis' tale, "Cupid and Psyche" fuses a compelling old fold-tale with classical Greek wit, and he weaves it into a lovely story of a human soul wooed by the spirit of divine love. "Tragic Love" is a story possessed of an extraordinary plot, and is rather dramatic in its narrative albeit with a natural stroke of expression. All stories in this collection of classical tales is worth reading, and keeps the readers engrossed.