Getorix: The Eagle And The Bull
Claodicos is a leader of the Celts, and he and his son Getorix are captured by Romans after a mighty battle. They are brought to Rome, and are about to be sacrificed as a part of the triumphal parade. Fourteen-year old Getorix, who is not much of a warrior, strives hard to be seen as worthy of this sacrifice, an event that in his own culture would be dignified and honorable. However, he is stunned when it is accompanied by no ritual, and when he is saved at the last moment by the son of the victorious Roman general. However, to live as a slave is intolerable to him, and readers come to understand the struggle he feels between remaining alive and dying honorably, as he believes his father would expect of him.
The other slaves in the household really come to life, and the detailed historical setting is enhanced by a variety of illustrations, maps, and diagrams throughout the text, all carefully labeled in an index. Indeed, the supplementary material is outstanding: a list of characters indicating if they were actual people; a historical note to set the stage; extensive author’s notes about research, the Celts and Romans, the calendar, and more; biographies; a bibliography; and a glossary. A second book about Getorix is planned (the opening chapter is included), which is cause for celebration. This is a compelling novel, both for young adults and adults, that teaches a great deal about Rome of about 100 BCE.