The Characters


Thraitta comes to find her brother Xanthias in the marketplace.

Thraitta is originally from Thrace (her name means ‘Thracian woman’); she is now enslaved by Iolaos and Nikokrateia.

She and her brother Xanthias were separated when they were first enslaved. Like her brother, she has pale skin and red hair, and tattoos on her body. When Iolaos brings her to the sanctuary, she recognises Xanthias and tries to persuade him to come with her. In story 2, we are told about Xanthias’ original question to the oracle, when he first reached the sanctuary and was seeking his freedom.

Xanthias’ original question, about his freedom, was based on a question tablet dating to the middle of the 5th century:

Anthropos, about freedom?

His question to the oracle after he sees his sister, is based on a question dating to the 4th-3rd century BCE:

Whether, by leaving, there will be something else that is good for me, Zeus…?