O' hEaghra, a native Hibernian and Druid, who is known in Rome as Harra, must watch the execution of the woman he loves, and even worse he is the direct cause of her impending death. His travels have taken him from his native Hibernia - ancient Ireland - to as far north as Scandinavia, as far south as Africa, and as far east as Seres - ancient China - and along the way he has studied medicine, philosophy, and combat arms in a dozen cultures. Harra's life as a slave in Rome includes serving as assistant to Galen, the arrogant but preeminent physician in second-century Rome, and he participates in Galen's experiments on animals, all done by vivisection. He also serves the indigent population in and around Rome as physician and healer. On one of Galen's assignments, he meets Alba, the Virgo Vestalis Maxima, the eldest of Rome's Vestal Virgins, and he's immediately smitten by her beauty and her presence. Right or wrong, he falls in love with a woman who by all tradition is untouchable, who by law must avoid all intimate or physical relationships with men. Yet he pursues contact with her, sometimes daily contact, although short of physical consummation. Their relationship is discovered, and Alba is scheduled for death, a death as brutal and cruel as any Roman could have devised. Alba, the deconscecrated Maxima, will endure a preliminary "cleansing" by scourging, a polite Roman term for being whipped until no skin is left on the body, and then be transported through the streets of Rome to her burial site, an inescapable underground chamber. Harra must do everything his Druid teachings have taught him to save the woman he loves.
About Francis Gene Collins
See more books from this Author
Published December 5, 2012
by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
History, Literature & Fiction.