Besieger of Cities - Alfred Duggan TERENCE: I’ll take “Obscure Hellenistic Era Kings” for $1000, Alex.

ALEX TREBEK: All right. “I am the son of Antigonos. I am nicknamed Besieger of Cities. And I drank myself to death, a prisoner of Seleukos I Nikanor, in 283 BC.”

[Jeopardy theme plays as the contestants perplexedly scratch their heads]

TERENCE: [milliseconds before the buzzer sounds] Ummm…Who is Demetrios Poliorketes?

ALEX: Correct!

Besieger of Cities is the fictional life of Demetrius, the son of one of Alexander the Great’s generals, Antigonus, who made himself master of Asia Minor only to lose it all at the battle of Ipsus. Demetrius, himself, as my Wordsworth Classical Dictionary says, was “a man of restless activity of mind, fertility of resources, and daring promptitude in the execution of his schemes.” His tragic flaw – as Duggan presents the man – is a colossal narcissistic ego and a feckless lack of will. For all his abilities as general and politician, for all his ambitious dreams, Demetrius never had the drive to make anything permanent of them.

I don’t have much to say about Besieger of Cities. All the faults and virtues I found in Children of the Wolf are here but the story was interesting enough to have kept me reading.

Besides, you have to admire anyone who’s willing to tackle such an obscure but fascinating figure and write a character study of him.