What if you suddenly discovered that you were not who you thought you were - that your true family history had been hidden from you since birth? What if the truth about your origins would cause others to despise you? What if the man who had arranged the deception was seriously ill and needed your help? What if you were a slave and that man held your life in his hands - and you his?
These are some of the questions examined in the first two volumes of the new historical trilogy A Slave’s Story.
A Rooster for Asklepios centers on Marcus, a slave in the household of Lucius Coelius Felix who enjoys a better life than most slaves (and many free citizens) as the secretary and accountant of a wealthy aristocrat. His master is rising in the civic hierarchy of the Roman colony of Antioch-near-Pisidia (Central Turkey), and his responsibilities and income are growing as well. If this continues, he could soon earn enough to buy his freedom, set up a small business, maybe even marry.
Then disaster strikes, and his master falls into a deep depression that is exacerbated by a nagging illness that his physician seems unable to heal. The future looks bleak until the physician receives a dream in which the healing god Asklepios seems to be calling Lucius to journey hundreds of miles across Western Asia Minor to his sanctuary at Pergamon for treatment and, if all goes well, a cure.
Accompanied by Marcus and his new wife, Selena, Lucius embarks on a long and eventful journey in which both master and slave encounter people and ideas that challenge long-held beliefs about themselves, their society, and the world around them. Values are questioned, loyalties tested, and identities transformed in a story that brings to life a corner of the Roman world that has been neglected by previous storytellers.
(ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK AND AUDIOBOOK--SEE LINKS AT BOTTTOM OF PAGE)
WHO WILL LIKE THIS BOOK?
*Readers who enjoy complex stories about flawed characters, epic journeys, and characters who struggle with their identities and commitments, including their views of religion.
*Readers who appreciate richly detailed and historically accurate accounts of daily life in the past.
*Readers who want to know more about the social and religious world of early Judaism and Christianity (including Roman religion and anti-semitism); how Greeks and Romans dealt with sickness and healing (medicine, miracle, and magic); and what life was like at specific Roman archaeological sites in Turkey (Ephesus, Pergamum, Hierapolis, Antioch, etc.).
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST TWO VOLUMES
“This compelling and enjoyable story offers the reader a superb ‘insider’ view of life in the first-century Greco-Roman world. I enjoyed traipsing around Anatolia with Lucius and Marcus!”
-Dr. Terence Donaldson, Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament, Wycliffe College, Canada
“The realism of this story reflects the author's deep first-hand knowledge of the landscape and culture where the narrative takes place.”
-Dr. Mark Wilson, Director, Asia Minor Research Center, Antalya, Turkey
“This well-researched book really brings the Roman world to life!”
-Dr. Alanna Nobbs, Professor of Ancient History, Macquarie University, Australia
“The amount of research, imagination, and effort involved in crafting this story earned my admiration, and stirred my curiosity, too.”
-Dr. Mark Nanos, Lecturer, University of Kansas, USA
CHRISTOPHER D. STANLEY is a social and religious historian who studies and writes about early Christianity and the Greco-Roman world. He recently retired as a professor at St. Bonaventure University in western New York. He has written or edited six books and dozens of professional articles on early Christian texts and history and presents papers regularly at conferences around the world. The trilogy A Slave's Story, which grew out of his historical research on first-century Asia Minor, is his first work of fiction.