Libertus the freedman lives in Glevum (ancient Gloucester) during the long Roman occupation of Britain. He's a talented pavement maker (thats mosaic maker to us) who tries to make an honest living. He needs the patronage of the provincial Governors representative, Marcus Septimus, but he doesn't need Septimus to involve him in a murder inquiry. He may have constucted a mosaic for the uncouth retired centurion Germanicus but it didn't make him obliged to investigate his death, did it? Unfortunately, when the body is found in the furnace room of Germanicus' villa, Marcus Septimus decides that Libertus is the right man for the job.
Soon Libertus and his slave Junio finds himself involved with the dead man's enemies, ex-wife, his brother and the patricians who might conceivably want the lout out of the way. Here is a small slice of Roman life in 186 AD, a time of settled occupation in a province on the fringes of the Roman Empire. It fills in the gaps of what we know of life under the Romans and adds colour to history book accounts.
This report prepared by Alan J. Bishop