“More than a hundred years went by after the time of this story, before Rome fell; before the last of the Legions were withdrawn from Britain and Rutupiae Light went out and the Dark Ages had begun. But already the great days were over. Rome was harassed by the barbarians all along her frontiers, while at home generals fought to become Emperors and rival Emperors struggled among themselves for power.
Marcus Aurelius Carausius was a real person; so were Allectus the Traitor and the Legate Asklepiodotus; and so of course was the Caesar Constantius, whose son Constantine was the first Christian Emperor of Rome. For the rest: The body of a Saxon warrior buried with his weapons was found in one of the ditches of Richborough Castle, which was Rutupiae in the days of the Eagles. The Basilica at Calleva was burned down towards the end of the Roman occupation and later roughly rebuilt, and the eagle which I have already written about in another story was discovered during excavations in the ruins of one of the courtrooms behind the Main Hall. At Calleva also – Silchester as it is now – there was found a stone with a man’s name carved on it in the script of the ancient Irish; and the name was Evicatos, or Ebicatos, which means ‘Spear Man’.” – Rosemary Sutcliff
The Roman Novels by Rosemary Sutcliff
Rosemary Sutcliff (1920‒92) wrote three of her four great historical novels for children set during the last years of the Roman occupation of Britain – The Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch...Read more
The Sound of Chariots
Rosemary Sutcliff knew about chariots. In the first of her four Roman books, The Eagle of the Ninth (1954), her young hero, the centurion Marcus Flavius Aquila, politely suggests to his British...Read more
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