From The Palace of Nestor at Pylos in Western Messenia II: The Frescoes

Heroic feats in battle, the wise counsel of kings, the ruler’s love for his people. These were likely the subjects of ballads sung by Mycenaean musicians, like this lyre-player depicted in a 13th-century B.C. fresco from Pylos. Traveling from town to town, troubadours would have been ancient propagandists—entertaining all classes of society with stories suggesting that God’s in his heaven, the king’s on the throne and all’s right with the world. This musician’s fine ivory instrument and exotic dress indicate he may have enjoyed the esteem of the elite.