The old man shuffled to a halt and raised his head, as awestruck as he had been the first time he stood before the temple. Nothing like this had yet been built in his native Athens. High above him the monumental doorway seemed to carry all the weight of the heavens, its colossal pillars casting a moonlit shadow far beyond the temple precinct into the shimmering expanse of the desert. Ahead loomed rows of huge columns, soaring into the cavernous antechamber, their towering human forms scarcely visible in the spluttering torchligh. The only hint of what lay beyond was a whispering, chilling breeze which brought with it the musty odour of incense, as if someone had just opened the doors of a long-sealed burial chamber. The old man shuddered in spite of himself, his philosophical demeanour momentarily giving way to an irrational fear or the unknown, a fear of the power of gods whom he could not placate and who had no interest in the well-being of his people.