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Britain AD59: The scars of Roman conquest are still livid, the clash of two disparate cultures a source of bitterness and conflict. The Roman ruling class believe it is their duty to civilise the natives; the British tribes chafe under the conquerors' yoke.Marcus Julius Severinus, a young cavalryman in the Roman army, respects the Britons among whom he has been brought up. Newly promoted to Commander of the 'Foxes', he believes there is more to be gained by co-operation than by brute force. Governor Paullinus does not agree. When he attempts to cheat Boudica, queen of the Iceni, of her rightful inheritance, he underestimates the wave of rebellious fury that engulfs Roman and Briton alike. Even though the final battle is won, Marcus and his family have to pay a terrible price.Yet from the tragedy stems hope. Marcus's marriage to the daughter of a British chieftain symbolises a new era in which the two races forge a common destiny.
The one 'fact' that everyone knows about Emperor Nero is that he fiddled while Rome burned. But what elements of nature and nuture combined to make this notorious character? An entertaining view is presented by Titus Petronius, Nero's pleasure-loving Advisor on Taste, through whose eyes we see the tumultuous, and ultimately tragic, life of the emperor. But is it a view we can trust? As their relationship develops, Petronius finds to his dismay that his personal sympathies lie more with the mad emperor than with the forces that seek to keep him in check. Caught between his own beliefs and the political realities of his time, he finds himself walking a path which will lead him and others inevitably to disaster.
Ovid was banished by the Emperor Augustus and died in exile ten years late. No one known why he was banished. Years after Ovid's death Marcus Corvinus, grandson of the poet's patron, tries to arrange the return of his ashes to Rome for burial. But official permission is refused; and Corvinus makes the dangerous mistake of asking why the Emperor will not make space in Italy for Ovid's bones.