->'''Erinna''': ''Tell me about the voyage. Even if I am a widow, I'm a respectable woman so I hardly get out of the house, except to festivals and such, but you-you get to go across the sea. You know I'm jealous.''
->'''Sostratos''': ''You have less to be jealous of then you think. If you feel crowded and closed in here, imagine spending a night at sea aboard an akatos, where most of the men don't even have room to lie down to sleep.''
->'''Erinna''': ''But you see something new every day, every hour.''

This is a [[SeaStories sea story]] by HarryTurtledove about Rhodian traders in the [[AncientGreece Hellenistic era]]. It concerns the voyage of the trading ship "Aphrodite" to Italy ("Great Hellas") and back and their adventures along the way. The main characters are the cousins Menedemos the captain and Sostratos the purser.

This is the first of the "Helenic Traders" series. Further books are:
* ''The Gryphons Skull''
* ''The Sacred Land''
* ''Owls to Athens''

The series's title is a reference to ''Literature/TheIliad'', where Creator/{{Homer}} uses the famous piece of description "wine-dark sea" several times.
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!! ''Over the Wine-Dark Sea'' contains such tropes as:

* ActionSurvivor: Sostratos.
* AncientGreece
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: And all the warlords around them are trying to gain [[TheEmpire said authority]] by [[RapePillageAndBurn this manner]].
* {{Badass}}: Menedemos.
* ButIReadABookAboutIt: Sostratos often knows strange trivia about cities that he had never seen before in RealLife.
* BigBrotherInstinct: Sostratos has this toward his sister, Erinna.
* BazaarOfTheBizarre: Every port's "Agora" where they do business. Lots of interesting things can be found here.
* CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough: Menedemos is Captain Smooth, Diokles is Sergeant Rough.
* ChainOfDeals: What else is an IntrepidMerchant looking for?
* TheCaptain: Menedemos.
* TheCasanova: Menademos
* TheConsigliere: Antandros is this to his younger brother Agathokles,Tyrant of Syracuse, and negotiates with the heros after they deliver grain to Syracuse. He takes this role despite being the eldest simply because he has a more laid back nature.
* DeadpanSnarker: Both Menedemos and Sostratos are a bit of this. Both have totally opposite views of life. And both have to live on the same ship with each other.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: This is a story in which the heros own slaves and think Greeks are better then anyone else, among other things. The author does NOT go out of his way to make Ancient Greeks look like a perfect society. Sostratos at least feels occasional sympathy for slaves, though.
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: Menedemos several times reminds Sostratos that a sailor should watch what he says while at sea, because that is the wrong time to annoy the gods.
* DoYouWantToHaggle
* TheDutifulSon: Sostratos is very conscientious and gets along well with his father.
* TheEmpire: Lots of powerful people want to have this, which makes life difficult for unfortunate merchants.
* FamilyBusiness: The merchant galley Aphrodite is owned by the fathers of Sostratos and Menedemos.
* FriendOnTheForce: The Rhodian Navy collectively. And the Rhodian navy [[AlwaysGetsHisMan always gets]] it's {{Pirate}}.
* GentlemanAndAScholar: Sostratos, sort of. He is a quite nice person but he doesn't relate well to sailors.
* GlobalCurrency: Averted. Everybody uses silver drachmas but each mint has a different value so a bargainer like Sostratos who has a great knowledge about such matters has quite an advantage over those who think that a drachma is a drachma.
* GoodWithNumbers: Sostratos is this. This is what makes him able to compete with all the bargainers in the Mediterranean.
* HomeBase: Rhodes.
* HonestJohnsDealership: They have many bargaining matches with local buyers and sellers all along the voyage.
* FatherNeptune: Diokles the Oarmaster.
* FolkHero: AlexanderTheGreat is already this, though only dead for about ten years.
* HandsomeLech: Menedemos
* [[HiredGuns Hired Spears]]: They transport some of these. One tries to steal the peacock eggs and [[PlaceWorseThanDeath gets marooned]] because when someone [[MoralEventHorizon steals from his shipmates]] you can be pretty sure that ItsPersonal.
* HistoricalInJoke: A few. For instance, Sostratos comments on Italian cities that "none of them will ever amount to anything". Of course the reader knows that a [[TheRomanEmpire certain one]] of these cities will prove him wrong.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Sostratos has this problem.
* IntrepidMerchant: The basic theme of the book.
* JerkJock: Menedemos.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Menedemos.
* JumpedAtTheCall: Deconstructed. The intrepid heros hear that Syracuse is starving under a Cartheginian siege and needs grain. Menedemos decides to go because it sounds exciting and will pay a lot of money. Sostratos hates the idea but Menedemos overrules them. Neither apparently give a hoot about the beleaguered citizens of Syracuse. After all, an IntrepidMerchant has an honest drachma to make, doesn't he?
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: To the Creator/{{Homer}}ic epics.
* LittleHeroBigWar: Lots of wars are taking place or imminent; the heroes mainly want to stay out of the way unless the [[HiredGuns money]] is good enough.
* MacedonianSuccessionWars
* MacGuffin: The peacocks which they have to sell.
* MagneticHero: Menedemos.
* MerchantCity: Rhodes. Other cities too.
* MyGirlBackHome: The families of Menedemos and Sostratos. Especially that of Sostratos who has a closer relationship with them.
* NotSoSafeHarbor: Any harbor they put in at.
* {{Obstructive Bureaucrat}}s: The {{Mooks}} of the various warlords who bicker around them.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Sostratos feels that way toward Menedemos who can command a ship, inspire men and almost runs well enough to go to the Olympics. While Sostratos is mainly GoodWithNumbers and with [[ButIReadABookAboutIt reading]]. The first(and occasionally the second) of which help the sailors get paid but never get noticed.
* OverusedRunningGag: The peacocks which they carry and which are such a bother.
* PatrioticFervor: Towards Rhodes in particular and Hellenic culture in general. ''Not'' towards Macedonians.
* ThePhilosopher: Sostratos has ambitions of being famous as this one day. Right now he is busy being an IntrepidMerchant.
* {{Pirate}}: They are in constant fear of these. The heroes do not think of them in a romantic or heroic way and, in fact, several times express [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge their desire]] that all pirates [[CruelAndUnusualDeath be crucified]].
* RedOniBlueOni: Menedemos and Sostratos respectively.
* TheRepublic: Rhodes is a respected naval and mercantile power that is democratic for it's time; one of the few city-states to maintain its independence amid the troubles around. It is also the home of the heros.
* SiblingTeam: The brothers Agathokles and Antandros jointly rule the city of Syracuse with Agathokles, the younger, taking the lead.
* TheSmartGuy: Sostratos is skilled at math and loves philosophy and history.
* TheStoic: Sostratos seems to be this in the literal sense of the philosophy he tries to follow.
* SwordAndSandal
* TinMan: Sostratos.
* UpMarketing: What they do with peacocks.
* UpperClassTwit: Menedemos sometimes, except that he is a talented sea captain and knows how to inspire sailors.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Menedemos and Sostratos.
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