Although I can see why my ninth book of historical fiction focusing on Ancient Greece was included on the list, Gore Vidal's 1980 novel Creation would better be described as a novel of the Ancient World. Our main character, Cyrus Spitama, a half-Greek grandson of Zoroaster, is a Persian diplomat who, over his lifetime, travels across Persia, India and China, and ends up a diplomat in Greece. During his life he interacts with his grandfather (the founder of Zoroastrianism), Xerxes the Great, The Buddha, Mahavira, Confucius, Lao Tsu, and (from the protagonists point of view) a young Socrates.
As virtually everyone on that list founded various religions or schools of thought, the book can be viewed as an introduction to religion in the ancient world, and although it does function a little closer to a travelogue than a traditional novel, it was still a pretty fascinating read. Having been raised on stories of the great Greek victories at Marathon and Salamis, the chance to see the same stories from a Persian point of view was quite interesting and a good reminder to issues of bias in our collective history.
1 month ago