In this delightful book Ingrid Rowland tells a story which weaves history, biography and a sense of place around three figures from the past: Plato, Archimedes and Caravaggio. For the non-specialist reader like myself, this unusual combination makes for a page-turning read. Rowland’s intelligent light touch can speak to a general readership, while never ignoring the complexities of historical evidence, personal testimony, hearsay, or legend. The Divine Spark of Syracuse offers a packed and thrilling journey into the various pasts of this great city. By the end it has become one of the main protagonists.