Roman History Through a Hundred Novels


James Hawking surveys Roman history through fiction

I know histhry isn’t thrue Hinnessy, because it ain’t like what I see ivry day in Halsted Sthreet. If any wan comes along with a histhry iv Greece or Rome that’ll show me th’people fightin’, gettin dhrunk, makin’ love, gettin’ married, owin’ th’grocery man an’ bein’ without hard coal, I’ll believe they was a Greece or Rome…
–Finley Peter Dunne, Observations of Mr Dooley

Novelists of widely varying reputations, abilities, purposes, and nationalities have chosen to set fiction in an ancient world dominated by Rome. Fiction makes the history of the Roman world come to life because fiction is freed from the constraints which make history tell the victors’ story. Fiction set in the Roman era sometimes features women, slaves, so-called barbarians, children, and even pets. The 100 works of fiction which will be discussed in this paper provide a history from Romulus’ founding until the final rummaging through the ashes. In keeping with the Historical Novel Society’s first steps toward establishing a canon of historical fiction, I am marking my 10 personal favorites with an asterisk (*).

Foundations and Carthage

Alfred Duggan’s Children of the Wolf* opens with seven bare hills and the fratricidal foundation of Rome. Not a city in the true sense, but “an encampment of brigands,” early Rome practices the mixture of brutality and clemency which was to make it great. Simple rustic spearmen, desperate for women, follow a man who claims to be the son of Mars while privately entertaining more naturalistic explanations for his mother’s pregnancy.

Gustave Flaubert’s Salammbo recreates the revolt of Carthaginian mercenaries with Roman power in the background. Salammbo, a priestess with a personal python, evokes the exotic aura of the doomed alternative to Rome. Ross Leckie’s Hannibal follows the elephants through the frozen passes of the Alps, onto Italy and ultimate failure. “The cloying, rich, sweet and sickening, sticking, stinking smell of death” is the kind of phrase which typifies the novel. Whether you like the work may depend on whether you respond to this vivid kind of description of brutality. (It makes me anticipate Scipio, the sequel.) Bryher wrote Coin of Carthage about the Italian peninsula during Hannibal’s invasion. A sharp Greek trader predicts a Roman triumph because they represent “a people rather than an army.” Carlos Fuentes’ story “The Two Numantias” focuses on Scipio the Younger’s destruction of a Spanish city, using the hero’s role as a patron of Polybius and a Latin language purist to meditate on fiction, history and language.

The Late Republic

The civil wars of the late republic receive irreverent treatment from John Arden in Vox Pop*, relating events between 91 BC and 81 BC. Actors and pirates become involved in the Mule Driver’s (Marius’s) attempts to undermine Sulla (Stain) and to foil Strychnine (Mithridates) in this view of the late republic from the perspective of the common man and his Egyptian mistress Cuttlefish.

Steven Saylor’s series Roma sub Rosa puts Gordianus the Finder to work solving homicides. Roman Blood, set in the time of Sulla’s proscriptions, begins with a hungover detective approached by a slave of Cicero to work on the case of the accused parricide Sextus Roscius. In Arms of Nemesis, the hero works for a conscienceless Crassus who hopes to reap political benefit by executing his slaves at the villa where the murder took place. A charismatic Catalina and a headless corpse provide the mystery in Catalina’s Riddle, a story which does not abuse our patience. The Venus Throw alternates between international intrigue and household life, with a subplot involving the poet Catullus and his enamorata Clodia. Saylor’s books guarantee a meticulously accurate Roman setting and a well-plotted mystery with enough clues for reasonable deductions.

In John Maddox Roberts’ SPQR, a commissioner on the first rung of the political ladder, solves the murder of a wealthy freedman. Joan O’Hagan’s Roman Death portrays Roman domestic relations and the court system in yet another case of Cicero’s. Benita Kane Jaro’s The Key intersperses invented fiction with quotes from the poems of Catullus, resulting in a wonderfully lyrical yet ironic story of his love for Clodia.

Howard Fast’s Spartacus shows the horror of Roman slavery and the nobility of the revolt. The thin and conflicting historical record of the events gives the author a chance to play Fast and loose with history, but the novel is still more accurate than the film made from it. Arthur Koestler’s The Gladiators joins the Spartacus revolt in progress. Chapter titles such as “The Lofty Reasons” are in keeping with the book’s stated theme – the question of revolutionary ethics. Those to whom this is appealing might turn to Koestler while the rest of us read Fast or rent the video.

Duggan’s Winter Quarters follows a legionary from Gaul after the defeat of the loathsome Crassus at Carrhae. In this well-crafted novel, the Gauls join the Parthians, fighting where no Gauls have fought before, trying to fashion a name for heroism. Empire of the Eagle by Andre Norton and Susan Shwartz starts with more Roman legionaries who survive the Carrhae disaster and then fight their way through India on to China – not much history here, but there is an authentic spirit of the hardened legionary, living to fight and adapting to new circumstances.

Colleen McCullough’s series Masters of Rome exhibits meticulous research and a subtle interpretation of the political history of Rome from the time of Marius through to Caesar. The struggles over the laws and the forms in the late republic become personalized through the interactions of the oligarchy. By staying close to the facts of a specific time and place, McCullough, achieves a generalized portrait of politics in any era, much as Anthony Trollope does in his parliamentary novels. The First Man in Rome, beginning in 110 B.C., centers on Marius’s rise to dictatorial power and the shaping of the Roman army by recruiting among the lowest free classes – the Head Count. The Grass Crown* features the aristocratic bohemian Sulla seizing Rome, upholding conservative values by an unprecedented attack on the city. Fortune’s Favorites continues the story of Sulla with more of Pompey’s ego and Caesar’s charm added to the mix. Caesar’s Women personalizes the political still more with a vivid portrait of Caesar’s wives, mistresses, and female relations. Each of the volumes contains a glossary and lists of characters, making the confusing political and family relationships somewhat easier to follow. By carefully presenting her facts, McCullough seems to be daring some hypothetical pedant to challenge her flawless work. The next entry in the series is tentatively called Let the Dice Fly.

Rex Warner’s Young Caesar and Imperial Caesar are told in the form of a first person narrative by the man who always said “Caesar” instead of “I.” They offer little except to have provided Robert Graves (as reviewer of the former) with a chance to formulate an evaluation algorithm for historical fiction:

1) He knows his stuff, and writes convincingly
2) He knows his stuff, but writes unconvincingly
3) He does not know his stuff, but writes convincingly
4) He does not know his stuff, and writes unconvincingly

More of this later. Thornton Wilder’s The Ides of March shifts Clodius’s interruption of the rites of the Bona Dea seventeen years forward, intentionally confusing it with the events around Caesar’s assassination, creating what Wilder calls a historical “fantasia,” evidently a synonym for mishmash. Allan Massie’s Caesar is narrated by the imperator’s protege, the “other Brutus.” The author cleverly inserts his narrator at the center of Roman intrigue by assigning him the overextended Clodia as a lover and the undistinguished but sly young Octavian as a catamite.

The Early Empire and Early Christianity

Massie’s Augustus is a self-justifying and self-congratulatory vita narrated by the first emperor. “Marcus Tullius Cicero was the cleverest man I have ever known, yet I outwitted him constantly,” is an example of the kind of ironic characterization that is one of the many delights of this work. John Williams’ Augustus presents the emperor’s life through a series of documents giving us views such as those of Marcus Agrippa, Cicero, and Antony.. Julia’s memorable diaries from Panadeteria carry much of the narrative and are the most compelling parts of this 1973 National Book Award winner. (U.S.) Duggan’s Three’s Company resurrects one of history’s nonentities, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (Octavian and Antony’s partner in the Second Triumvirate). Although politically irrelevant in his role as Pontifex Maximus, he was the last of the freely elected Roman magistrates. Gossip from Clodia ends each chapter. The heroine in Marilyn Todd’s I Claudia is a fictional creation who becomes a sleuth to conceal her practice of a still older profession. The puritanical and hypocritical standards of the Augustan Age provide a moral backdrop for this amusing mystery. The well-regarded German writer Hermann Broch’s Death of Virgil captures meditations of the poet in his final illness, weaving his real poems and imagined thoughts into a unique art form of its own. Augustus tries to dissuade the poet who threatens to destroy the Aeneid.

The story of the earliest days of Christianity provides a special Roman context. The Yiddish language writer Sholem Asch shocked many of his co-religionists with a trilogy of novels favorably portraying the origins of the messianic religion. Mary shows the Virgin as a Jewish maiden weaving vestments in the Temple and then hearing an angel telling her that she will bear the son of God. The Nazarene is told from the point of view of a Roman soldier doomed to live two millennia after the crucifixion. The rediscovered gospel according to Judah Ish-Kiriot sheds new light on the Passion. The Apostle* follows Paul from flinging stones at Reb Istephan, down the road to Damascus and through the mission to the Gentiles. “Among Jews a Jew, Greeks a Greek” expresses the tone of a novel that treats pagan, Christian and Jewish traditions with respect. Graves’ King Jesus, on the other hand, begins with a secret marriage between Herod’s son and Mary: no Virgin in this version. The mission of the messiah here concerns Jewish politics, which may offend believing Christians while non-believers might wonder why he bothered with the story.

Paul Maier’s Pontius Pilate connects Pilate to Roman history through an attested relationship to Sejanus. Maier struggles valiantly to make a sympathetic character out of a model of cowardice. Anatole France’s story “The Procurator of Judea” depends on a trick ending, but it is an authentic view of Jewish society through Roman eyes. Lew Wallace, an American governor of the 19th Century, wrote Ben Hur without much regard for the historical background. The prose is quaint, and the journey from galley slave to spiritual and material wealth is wildly improbable, but the story keeps even a sophisticated reader’s interest nonetheless, and the attention to detail is pleasing if not particularly accurate. This book has been overwhelmed by its film versions, but this makes reading about the chariot race more visual. The Christianity in Lloyd Douglas’ The Robe seems to center around relic worship. It uses the names of such characters as Sejanus and Julia, but it distorts their role and the time frame in which they lived. Then Vice-President George Bush named it his favorite book when asked during the 1988 presidential campaign. Kingdom of the Wicked by Anthony Burgess brings together the pagan world and the early Church. The apostles are humanized by their rivalries and weaknesses, and the Roman officials are portrayed in accurately and originally.

The First Century from Tiberius to Domitian

The Claudian emperors provide the most typical backdrop for Roman novels. Tiberius, another autobiography “discovered” by Massie stands in contrast to the monster of Suetonius or Tacitus. A modest military man, Tiberius represents Roman republican values with an overlay of Greek learning. I Loved Tiberius by the Norwegian writer Elizabeth Dored operates on the wild premiss that Augustus’s daughter Julia really loved Tiberius in spite of unanimous historical sources which suggest she tromped him with a cross section of Roman society. Dored’s Julia is punished for a misunderstood hallway hug, but this makes for a more sympathetic narrator and a better story. Albert Camus’ play “Caligula” presents an amoral emperor, murdering raping, hunting legacies, and humiliating his dinner guests by making love to their wives. Caligula ascribes these actions to his existential love of liberty.

Perhaps the best-known of Roman novels, Graves’ I Claudius* and Claudius the God draw from a broad selection of ancient sources, staying faithful in detail while contradicting the main intent. Graves’s wise, liberal and valiant Claudius probably would not have been recognized by his contemporaries, including his mother who thought him an idiot, but the reinterpreted character makes for a compelling narrator, although one wishes Livia’s libel lawyer were given a chance to present her side. Toward the end of the second novel, Graves’ Claudius reveals his plan to have his son escape to Britain, paint himself blue, and come back to restore the republic, making the supposedly wise fictional Claudius even more foolish than his historical counterpart. The Sybilline oracles prophecies are always coming true, taking the story to the border of myth. And yet, the novel captures Roman history intensely with the tabloid fodder of Suetonius, making it, alas, the greatest of the novels discussed set in the era under discussion.

Nero’s Rome is probably the most popular of ancient settings. Henryk Sienkewicz’s Quo Vadis features a beautiful Christian slave and the obligatory presence of Peter and Paul. The chronology is confused, and the use of the character of Petronius as the relatively virtuous pagan is whimsical, but the central story captures both the Roman and the Christian ethos. A new translation by W.S.Kuniczak has made this novel and others by Sienkewicz, often considered Poland’s national writer, more alive to English language readers. Naomi Mitchison’s Blood of the Martyrs memorably describes the sadistic spectacles used to persecute the Christian scapegoats. Her martyrs indulge in homoerotic activity before their Christian services, but this quirk only serves to humanize them. The Finnish writer Mika Waltari’s The Roman features a fringe political survivor who supervises the persecutions, in spite of the opposition of his wife who fears such activity will spoil the lions. The book sweeps through first century history from the point of view of a political survivor.

John Hersey’s The Conspiracy describes the story of the Pisonian conspiracy through a number of intriguing communications between principals. Balanced characterization makes the effort less heroic than tyrrannicide might normally seem; the poet Lucan’s attempts to buy his way to freedom by turning his mother over to the secret police is horrifyingly vivid. Maier’s Flames of Rome, a documentary novel with 25 pages of notes, contextualizes its story of Flavius Sabinus, secret Christian. David Wishart’s Nero ingeniously explains who was responsible for the fire Nero blamed on the Christians. Petronius the Arbiter narrates a tale which does not sympathise with young ‘Lucius’ (Petronius always uses his birth name rather than ‘Nero’) but it explains some of his actions through youth and bad influences. The French writer Hugo Monteilhet’s Neropolis deserves to be translated, if only for the account of Nero’s plans for the new Rome’s permanent open air sex market and the contrast with the humane simplicity of the early Christians. Nero’s life continues to be a subject for writers even after his death, with Lion Feuchtwanger’s The Pretender recounting the intriguing story of a potter who impersonated the dead emperor in the East and tried to effect a restoration.

Henry Treece’s This Dark Island memorably portrays Claudius’s bumbling interference with his own military. Red Queen, White Queen pits poetic Celts against practical Romans in a war to avenge the indignities heaped on Queen Boudicca. Simple language and broad characterizations do not lessen the impact of the widowed queen’s struggle and defeat. George Shipway’s Imperial Governor describes the same period from the viewpoint of Roman civilian and military administration, exemplified by the efficient Gaius Suetonius Paulinus. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Forest House occurs after Boudicca’s defeat, creating a feminist interpretation of the world of the Druids.Jack Holland’s Druid Time moves between Rome and Britain, being rather unique in casting Nero’s mother Agrippina in a somewhat favorable light.

Feuchtwanger’s trilogy, Josephus*, Jew of Rome, and Josephus and the Emperor sympathetically chronicles the life of the historian Flavius Josephus. The young Josephus is a diplomat to Rome, a scholar-priest, a conciliator with the Romans, a rebel general, and a turncoat within the first volume. Written during the Hitler era, this German Jew’s novel highlights the heroism of the Jews’ efforts to survive through a rabbinical school and Josephus’s own histories of his people. The Tenth Measure by Brenda Segal creates a more unflattering portrait of the historian’s role. This poetic novel lives up to the tragic beauty promised in its epigraph, “There are ten measures of beauty in all the world . . . and nine of these are in Jerusalem.” David Kossoff’s Voices of Masada recreates the final siege of the war with archaeological evidence and historic imagination. Ernest Gunn’s The Antagonists effectively dramatizes Masada as a conflict between stubborn Eleazar and the competent Roman commander Silva. The Triumph, a less successful sequel, involves the struggles between Titus and Domitian. Fast’s Agrippa’s Daughter tries to build sympathy for an unfortunately sanitized Queen Berenice, normally represented as a harlot with chutzpah.

Lindsey Davis offers the hard-boiled informer Marcus Didius Falco, an ancient Roman version of the 1940’s private detective. Silver Pigs opens the series with Falco sneaking up to the 6th floor of his insula in order to avoid his unspeakable landlord, Smartacus. Falco’s relationship with Helena, the imperious daughter of a senator, begins in this volume and continues through the series. Falco solves the mystery of some silver ingots, called pigs because they are made from molten silver flowing into channels as does milk to suckling piglets. Shadows in Bronze has Falco posing as a door-to-door salesman and a pater familias on vacation by the Bay of Naples. Although perfectly accurate in material history, Davis provides touches of pleasing social anachronism. For instance, in Venus in Copper Falco suggests that he needs a girl to take his messages while he is out. The Iron Hand of Mars shows Falco boasting that he has his own resources for boning up on senators, and gossip is his stock in trade. Falco represents Vespasian on a mission to Germany. In Poseidon’s Gold Falco defends the reputation of his late brother and deals in classical objets d’art. Last Act in Palmyra takes him to the Near East where his employment as writer for a comedy troupe sets him to musing on his play that opens with a recently murdered father’s ghost appearing to a son. On a cheerful note for those of us who appreciate the series, Falco implies that he lived at least through the age of Trajan, giving Davis the scope for at least forty more years of Falco. Time to Depart* derives its title from the custom of allowing a convicted criminal a chance to choose exile. Falco continues, as always, a committed republican serving the autocratic and parsimonious Emperor Vespasian. The series is at its best when Falco is relating to his extended family of irritating sisters, undisciplined nieces, and worthless brothers-in-law. In Course of Honour Davis steps outside of Falco to create a love story centering on Vespasian’s mistress, the freedwoman Caenis. By presenting the life of an independent Roman woman, a unique perspective is gained.

Anne de Leseleuc’s Marcus Aper chez Les Rutenes is one of a series where the orator from Tacitus’ Dialogues solves mysteries in his role as a an advocate in Gaul. A potter’s daughter’s death provides the plot for a roman policier of sorts as well as an opportunity to describe a thriving ancient industry.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii mixes a willful lack of fact, a melodramatic plot, and a style so hackneyed that the author is the eponym for an annual worst sentence contest. However, this may be the first novel of the genre, certainly the first commercially successful one, making it historic if not historical. Louis Untermeyer’s poignant short story “The Dog of Pompeii” captures the sense of the moment frozen in time in a much more effective and decidedly shorter fashion.

Second and Third Century

Memoirs of Hadrian by the celebrated French writer Margaret Yourcenar presents a civilizing Hadrian, humane and eager to spread Greek culture with Roman rule. Much of the action seems to take place in Hadrian’s mind, giving the novel a static quality. Geoffrey Trease’s Message to Hadrian lives up to its subtitle as an adventure story as a young British orphan explores wider and wider roads leading to the proverbial focal point of all roads. Rosemary Sutcliff’s exciting The Eagle of the Ninth, aimed at younger readers but without compromise of thought or language, explains the disappearance of a legion and the discovery of an eagle in a story which ends in Isca Dumnoniorum, modern day Exeter.

Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean, taking place during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, concerns itself more with philosophy than history. Robert Pilpel’s Between Eternities alternates between the enlightened rule of the philosopher-emperor and the reign of terror of Commodus, the gladiator-emperor. Ron Burns’ Roman Nights shows sleuth Licinius Severus meditating on the philosophy of his emperor Marcus Aurelius while attempting to foil the felonious Commodus. (Burns’ other Licinius Severus narrates Roman Shadows in the first century BC, a mystery most interesting for its antipathy to Antony and sympathy for Cicero.) Andivius Hedulio by Edward White shows Commodus killing elephants with arrows and ostriches with clubs while a conspiracy to murder him unfolds.

Duggan’s Family Favorites recounts with historical accuracy the incredible rise to power of the the Syrian priest who became the Emperor Elagabalus whose grandmother claimed he was the bastard of Caracalla by one of her slutty daughters. The teenaged emperor took as lovers a male charioteer and a male prostitute before seriously violating propriety by marrying a Vestal virgin. His grandmother hopefully sent him a bevy of female prostitutes, but he hooked them up to chariots and raced them to popular acclaim. Antonin Artaud’s version of the story, Heligobale, ou l’Anarchist Couronne*, opens with the olfactory image of the latrine in which the emperor’s body was eventually stuffed and the sperm said to surround his cradle in the perverted environment to which he was born. The image of 300 bare-chested women leading his god’s giant phallus to Rome is particularly vivid regardless of the gender or orientation of the reader.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Last Galley consists of vignettes set in chronological order, many of them through the Roman period. “Giant Maximin” tells the story of an eight-foot giant who rose to be emperor only to fall, as so many smaller politicians have, over excessive taxation.

The Christian Empire

Constantine by Frank Slaughter reads in part like a Latin pony with dozens of nouns carefully explained. Slaughter’s hagiography gives us a saintly man who murdered his father-in-law, son and wife, but unlike Constantine’s contemporary defenders who skipped over the deeds, Slaughter prefers to deal with and explain away the historical facts. It is an admirable effort from a historical perspective. Evelyn Waugh’s Helena is equally uncritical without the virtue of either historical accuracy or the author’s customary satirical verve. France’s Thais is set in Christian North Africa where a courtesan is converted by an anchorite, and vice versa. The courtesan’s calling a gathering a philosophers “a bunch of old goats” marks the high point of the book.
The reaction against the Christian empire receives a sympathetic portrayal in Gore Vidal’s Julian*. Letters between two of his mentors document his struggle with his intolerant “Galilean” enemies. Julian’s journal shows his plan to restore the old gods in a temperate and tolerant fashion. Dmitri Merezhovskii’s Death of the Gods presents Julian as less sure of himself than Vidal’s, and the Christians are less villainous, making the story a little blander. The Dutch writer Hella Haasse’s Threshold of Fire describes Christian persecutions of virtuous pagans, centering in 414 AD. Nostalgic crowds taunt Emperor Honorius with chants of “Minerva” or “Games” when he makes one of his rare visits to the capital

Beacon at Alexandria by Gillian Bradshaw follows Charis, a maiden of Ephesus, who flees a forced marriage, impersonates a eunuch, and becomes a physician with surprisingly modern views on hygiene, bleeding, and dissection. A strong feminist message pervades this story of the era of Theodosius I. Helen Mahler’s Empress of Byzantium focuses on the Empress Aelia Eudoxia, the daughter of an Athenian philosopher who married Theodosius II. The emperor, his wife, and his sister Pulcheria (later canonized) are all in love with the same male courtier and each other, forming an intriguing incestuous, bisexual quadrangle. The action takes place amidst an attempt to reunify the Eastern and Western empires in the 5th Century. Imperial Purple by Bradshaw invents the story of a coup attempt in a later period of the same emperor’s reign, showing the action through a dyer of cloaks and her fisherman husband, working together with Pulcheria to assure a worthy successor.

The Fall of The Empire and After

Cecelia Holland’s Death of Attila describes the army of the Huns in disarray after the wedding banquet and death of their leader who leaves a vacuum after his death. Events on the fringe of the Roman world are moving quickly toward the center by this period. Wilkie Collins’ Antonina tells of the sack of Rome through invented characters because, Collins notes in his preface, stories where historical figures form the main characters must necessarily falsify some details. Antonina, an innocent Roman maiden, becomes a pawn in the pagan plots of Ulpius. The Goth who falls in love with her incurs the wrath of his countrymen in a tried and true Romeo and Juliet plot, but the style is as elegant as that of Collins’ better-known works. Stefan Zweig’s The Buried Candelabrum* pursues the menorah stolen from the Temple by Titus and removed from Rome during a sack by the Vandals. The seven-branched sacred object was made of gold to increase the respect in which even pagans would hold it and to preserve it for the Jews who pursue it even after the empire falls.

The end of Roman rule in Britain has its own literature. Late Roman Britain forms the setting for Jack Whyte’s recent novel The Skystone, which tells the tale of the meteoric rise of a local blacksmith. Duggan’s The Little Emperors takes place after the empire has sent word that Britain is on its own and describes the competition for the right to rule as Romans. John Cowper Powys’ Porius, restored to its full original length in a recent edition, takes place over eight days in 499 AD, marking the transition toward Arthurian legend with the familiar characters of Mallory and Tennyson appearing under their Welsh names.

Graves’ Count Belisarius tells the story of the title character’s Job-like sufferings at the hands of the Emperor Justinian, territory also covered by Bradshaw’s The Bearkeeper’s Daughter, which focuses more on the actress-prostitute Empress Theodora. Gary Jennings’ Raptor traces the career of the hermaphroditic Thorn who didn’t allow his/her condition to act as a bar to a highly active and varied sex life while helping Theodoric in his attempt to restore Roman ways. George Gissing’s unfinished Veranilda highlights the architecture and religion of ancient Rome in the difficult era of the 540’s. Cecelia Holland’s Belt of Gold describes 9th Century Constantinople through the eyes of one of Charlemagne’s knights stopping off on the way home from a pilgrimage, but in spite of the presence of Blues and Greens, this moves us into another period of historical fiction.

James Hawking’s Top Ten:

Alfred Duggan, Children of the Wolf; John Arden, Vox Pop; Colleen McCullough,The Grass Crown; Sholem Asch, The Apostle; Robert Graves, I Claudius; Lion Feuchtwanger, Josephus; Lindsey Davis, Time to Depart; Antonin Artaud, Heligobale, ou l’Anarchist Couronne; Gore Vidal, Julian; Stefan Zweig, The Buried Candelabrum.

c James Hawking 1997

First published in Solander: The Magazine of the Historical Novel Society, Issue 1, Spring 1997.

In This Section

About our Articles

Our features are original articles from our print magazines (these will say where they were originally published) or original articles commissioned for this site. If you would like to contribute an article for the magazine and/or site, please contact us. While our articles are usually written by members, this is not obligatory. No features are paid for.