Author(s): Adrian Goldsworthy
AD 98: The bustling army base at Vindolanda lies on the northern frontier of Britannia and the entire Roman world. In twenty years' time, the Emperor Hadrian will build his famous wall, but for now defences are weak, as tribes rebel against Roman rule, and local druids preach the fiery destruction of the invaders. Flavius Ferox is a Briton and a Roman centurion, given the task of keeping the peace on this wild frontier. But it will take more than just courage to survive life in Roman Britain...
In her Reith Lectures, Hilary Mantel made the case for historical fiction. One thing it did, she said, was introduce the past in a dramatic way. A near perfect example of this is Adrian Goldsworthy's Vindolanda. Set near the end of the first century and located on the northern frontier of Britannia, a Roman garrison comes under pressure from marauding tribes. These tribes, Caledonian's and other highlanders, are gathering strength and are being encouraged to rebel by the strange and powerful energy of druid priests. Told from the perspective of a Roman centurion, Flavius Ferox, the garrison is compelled to strike before the tribes become a unified force to large to be defeated. Flavius leads his men into hostile territory and must rely upon military discipline and a code of honour to defend the frontier. The victor in this novel is neither one side nor the other, it is the dramatization of history. Professor Goldsworthy uses fiction to describe both the conditions and the methods used by the Roman army to conquer and control Britain. Like a good film (which I'm sure it will become), the author has made history accessible. Mike
'An instant classic of the genre. No historian knows more about the Roman army than Adrian Goldsworthy, and no novelist better recreates the Classical World. Flavius Ferox, Briton turned Roman Centurion is a wonderful, charismatic hero. Action and authenticity combine in a thrilling and engrossing novel' Harry Sidebottom.
Adrian Goldsworthy studied at Oxford and became an acclaimed historian of Ancient Rome. He is the author of several books, including Anthony and Cleopatra, Caesar, and The Fall of the West. Visit adriangoldsworthy.com.