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Peter Marshall set off with a companion in a small sailing boat to voyage around the Aegean – Poseidon’s Realm – in order to explore the evolution, nature and legacy of Greek civilization and to test his hunch that it cannot be fully understood except from the point of view of the sea. After travelling for six sailing seasons and for over 5,000 miles, making forays inland and branching out into the Ionian and Black Seas, surviving near shipwreck and sinking, Marshall returned with this original, critical and lyrical account of the achievements of the ancient Greeks.

Not only an exciting sea adventure and personal quest, Poseidon’s Realm brilliantly illuminates the culture and the people who helped form the seabed of Western civilization. This remarkable book also offers an unforgettable portrait of arguably the most beautiful and magical sea in the world.


‘In his wonderful new book, Poseidon’s Realm, Peter Marshall once again shows himself to be the ideal guide to explorations both geographical and intellectual. This time, we accompany him on his fascinating and occasionally harrowing adventures around the Aegean. As always, he inspires the reader through his vivid and engaging writing, and along the way offers us profound insights into Greek history and culture. No one has done a better job than Marshall has in this book to make the rich legacy of Greek civilization “a common treasury for all”. Moreover, as we ride the wind with this Philosopher-Mariner, perhaps the greatest lesson he teaches us is that the taste of the sea can at the same time be the taste of freedom.’
John Clark, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, author of many books

“I must congratulate Peter Marshall on a wonderful, rich and satisfying book. It is not always the case that I can’t wait to get back to a manuscript to keep reading, but this has definitely been the case with Poseidon’s Realm. He conjures the landscape, atmosphere and even smells of the region most beautifully, and the way he has woven in the myths, history and arts of the ancient world is extremely skilful. I found the final chapter particularly moving, even elegiac, and was really rather sad that my own reading journey had come to an end alongside his personal voyage.”
Tamsin Shelton, senior freelance editor

“Peter Marshall is a rare being, a poetic and philosophical polymath who is also very politically aware. With some marvellous books behind him… Spoken with ancient sentiment, with a timeless here-and-nowness and a true love of life that permeates these pages, Peter’s curiosity and positivity is basic to the energy of this writing which is consistently interesting, travelling as we do through the imagination as well as dreaming of the real thing… A fascinating journey in stages through the Aegean, through ancient and timeless Island Greece is a must-read for anyone who loves to phos, that unique Greek light which holds so much memory and hidden gnosis”
Jay Ramsay, poet and author, Caduceus 98

Poseidon’s Realm is a thoroughly enjoyable read. It makes one want to return to the Aegean and explore further the still warm stones of history. Peter Marshall writes beautifully and his discussion of how the great sea god moulded Greek culture and ideas is as clear and sparkling as the waters themselves.”
Michael Poole, author, publisher, yachtsman and former UPI journalist

“The writer’s depth of knowledge about each of his destinations is impressive, and it is fascinating to read the history… The stories are engrossing, and because each chapter is fairly short, it is easy to read… The amount of detail and the many entertaining stories in the book make it well worth reading in entirety. I certainly found it to be a good read.”
Mary Allen, Westerly Owner’ Association, Winter 2017, Edition 99