A Slave’s Story2 books in series
A Rooster for Asklepios Publisher's Summary
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.
Christopher D. Stanley is a professor who studies and writes about the social and religious history of the Greco-Roman world, with special attention to early Judaism and Christianity.