From the pen of the international bestselling author of The Last Legion, comes a new political thriller set during the tempestuous final days of Julius Caeser’s Imperial Rome.
It is early March in the year 44 BC. The Roman Empire stretches from modern-day Syria in the East to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. It incorporates the entire Mediterranean Basin. Gaius Julius Caesar, Pontifex Maximus, dictator in perpetuity, indomitable military leader who has subjected much of the known world to Roman law, is fifty-six years old. He is at the height of his physical and mental powers; his reign is supreme and his reach immense. Or so it appears. In truth, Caesar is exhausted and ill—he resembles nothing if not a wild animal trapped in the prison of his own terrifying nightmares. His divine missions—to end the bloody season of fratricidal wars, to reconcile warring factions, to singlehandedly save Roman civilization—may be too great for one man, even a man like Caesar.
Indeed, the tide is turning against Caesar and there are those who conspire against him. They accuse him of being a bloodthirsty tyrant. They say that when he dissolved the alliance with Pompey the Great at the river Rubicon, he put an end to liberty within the Republic. Caesar has thus far resisted the attempts of his betrayers to bring him down, though he cannot resist forever. His power is being drained away and it seems that nothing can save him, not Publius Sextius—his most loyal centurion and comrade in many a battle, who is racing toward Rome in an attempt to put a stop to his assassination—or the loving devotion of his wife, Calphurnia; not even the attentions of his lover Servilla.
Caesar’s fate is sealed. The soothsayer’s prophecies will out and when the Ides of March have passed, the world will have changed forever.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi
Valerio Massimo Manfredi is a professor of classical archaeology at Bocconi University in Milan. He is the author of many works of fiction, including the Alexander trilogy, Spartan, and The Last Legion, which was made into a film starring Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley, directed by Doug Lefler. His novel about the assassination of Julius Caesar, The Ides of March, was published by Europa Editions in 2010.