New Roman-Era Series: The Gift
48 BCE: While Rome’s cruel cohorts set the torch to Alexandria’s quays and trading vessels, a thoroughly unexpected group of conspirators; a wizened astronomer, a young librarian, a sand-blown camel driver and a scribe, creep out of the city with a priceless hoard of ancient knowledge. They believe their mission is to save the secrets hidden within for the future and mankind’s ultimate salvation. But what do they actually know of the objects in their care? What neither of the younger conspirators knows yet, is that they are part of a plan already in motion involving deceit, sleight of hand and distraction. They are serving unknown masters and the star-gazer leading them onward has little light to shed on the coming voyage across the sea or their ultimate destination. Gifts lie waiting aboard their first galley bound North, that will change them forever. Whether the truth of their conspiracy will be revealed, remains to be seen. These academics are in for many lessons they never expected, on subjects they never imagined. While Ptolemy Egypt taught them a lot, the hardest lessons await upon the pitching decks of sea-going galleys and deep in the oak forests of Gaul…
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The unknown diversity of the ancient world has long been an interest of mine. Many advanced Empires rose and fell long before those wolf-raised twins built a hovel upon one of the seven hills. Our small slice of history makes bare mention of many of these, so the idea for a broad tale, told over time that involved cross-cultural enlightenment of academics on the run from Rome, has been percolating through my brain for decades. The Gift: Voyages sets the stage and establishes the initial characters… but it’s going to cover a lot of ground and water before it ties itself up. Here’s a recent essay about ancient diversity. Sample opening chapters of The Gift: Voyages, are available on Amazon’s sites.