Quirinius: Britannia's Last Roman (Paperback)
ISOLATED FROM THE REMAINING EMPIRE, FLAVIUS QUIRINIUS, A PROVINCIAL ROMAN NOBLE, RAISES AN ARMY AGAINST MARAUDING SAXONS.
The time and place: Britain from 440 to 491 AD, cut off from the Western Roman Empire as its provinces slump into Germanic kingdoms and Italy is reduced to an Eastern Roman vice-regency. This is the period whose events were transmuted into the Welsh legends of the Mabinogion, and into other accounts both fictional and factual, but this book takes a late Roman view of these clashing cultures that made a new world.
Several battles are recounted to mark the rise of Flavius Quirinius, a provincial Roman noble, among them a mucky action against bandits, his first victory against Saxons raiding from the south, a foray to the ghostly and abandoned Hadrian's Wall, where he meets Scottish raiders, and a fight with marauding Saxons along a highway. The peak of Quirinius' career, however, is a large Battle of Badon, at which he decisively defeats a Saxon army.
"A subtle and compelling evocation of post-Roman Britain, and the historical origins of the Arthurian myths. The sense of landscape and nature, and the lives of people living at the perilous edge of history, fighting for a future amid the ruins of their vanishing Roman past, is impressively dramatic and vividly conveyed."-Ian Ross, author of several historical novels
"Deeply researched and well-written, this adventure into a time both little known and very seminal to our own is a pleasure to read. Hildinger is at home in this world. I hope to see more of his fiction."-Cecelia Holland, author of numerous historical novelsExcerpt
"Hmm " Ater said, frowning, his chin in his hand. "Your correction is hard, Quirinius, very hard." His secretary and attendants laughed obediently, joined by many those in the Council chamber.
"It's nothing to the correction, Eugenius, that you deserve and that, one may hope, you will soon get."
Ater narrowed his eyes, like a short-sighted man, or one who looks for something important in the distance.
He's worried, Quirinius thought with some satisfaction. He looked about at the other councillors, whose attention was now about equally divided between the two men. None of them were smiling.
"Let me be entirely clear." Quirinius paused to strain the attention of the councillors, Bishop Marinus, and the three or four kinglets whose attendance made ruling the western hill country easier. And then abruptly he sat up and leaned forward. "I formally accuse the Senator and Clarissimus Eugenius Ater of murder. I lay an indictment here against him for the murder of Senator Marcus Quirinius Claudianus."