The idea of this book is based on real historic events as well as a number of David Harris and H. Dubs’ studies, who found out that there was the city of Lijiang built in the I century BC in the province of Guangxi, which corresponds to the Chinese name of Rome. The same name is found in the list of cities dated 5 AD. The city was supposedly built by the Roman legionnaires, who came to China after the Crassus’ army defeat in 53 BC.
Plutarch's biography of Crassus also says about prisoners-legionnaires, and Plutarch writes the Parthians sent them to the city of Margiana or Merv. The next place they arrived to from Merv were Xiongnu steppes, who lived on the territory of modern Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. There legionaries took part in the construction of Xiongnu capital on the Talas River, 15 km from the modern town of Jambul. In 36 BC this city was destroyed by the Chinese General Tan, and the Romans turned out to be in captivity in China.
Those people are mentioned History of the early Han by Chinese historian Ban. In 1989, Guan Yiquan, a Professor of the historic faculty of the Institute for Nationalities, Lanzhou, introduced new maps with another four cities built by Lijiang’s residents. According to his toponymic research, the city of Lijiang was later renamed Tszelu, which means "the prisoners captured during the assault on the city."
The fate of the hero is incredibly intertwined with the outstanding personalities’ lives in the second part of the I-st century BC. The real historic events and facts from the life of different nations of that time are fascinatingly interwoven into the storyline. Fighting and face-off on the battlefield are replaced by more dangerous intrigues and conspiracies in the courts of the Parthia, Xiongnu, China and India’s rulers, where a friend can often turn into an enemy, and the real enemy’s face is never seen. In such circumstances, the protagonist is constantly forced to choose between honesty and betrayal, justice and humiliation, life and death. However, he thinks that friendship and loyalty are the most important things in the world. He is ready to sacrifice his life to save his friends and comrades and always remains true to himself and his principles even when exposed to mortal danger. The most beautiful and greatest feeling on earth constantly accompanies him on this difficult path – it’s love. Love to weapons helps to bring his skills to perfection, doing him almost invincible in battle; love for the native city makes him fight for life and strive to return to Rome; and love for a woman is the guiding light, which helps him go through terrible trials and eventually find true happiness.
The Roman saga. Part I. The City of Temptations – ISBN 978-5-9906463-0-8
Life in Rome in the middle of the first century BC was full of wars, stunning blows and unbelievable battles. Love, revenge, betrayal, victories and defeats accompany the main character throughout his life. A brilliant career in Gaius Julius Caesar’s army is suddenly interrupted because of the plans drawn up by three most influential persons in Roman Republic in order to share power between themselves and achieve even more fame, honor and influence. A young legionnaire Latium Cornelius Scipio is forced to start recruiting the former legionaries and training them for service in Marcus Licinius Crassus’ new army, who decided to conquer Parthia and India. While carrying out this task, he meets with his former comrades, and not all of them have kept a good attitude to him. He faces with unexpected obstacles caused by both officials and ordinary robbers, and resorts to arms in order to save his life and return to Rome, where he unexpectedly meets his love and encounters with unknown enemies, who want to learn a his father’s secret. He still does not know that, though.
The Roman saga. Part II. The Battle of Carrhae – ISBN 978-5-9906463-0-8
Unexpected misfortune forces Latium to leave Rome and join the Crassus’ army, with whom he participates in the battles against the Parthian army led by a cunning and prudent commander Suren. Even arriving in Asia, Latium cannot get rid of doubts that bother him due to the strong love and the need to make a stark choice. Faced with the betrayal and unable to change the course of events, he remains true to his military duty, fighting even in the situations when others stop resistance and surrender. His loyal companions friendship, the experience of previous battles and love of mysterious beauties help him survive, but cannot save the whole army and its commander from a terrible tragedy.
The Roman saga. Part III. Parthian Captivity – ISBN 978-5-9906463-0-8
After Marcus Licinius Crassus’s army suffered the crushing defeat near Carrhae by the Parthians, the legate Latium Cornelius Scipio is captured and there is no chance for his friends in Rome to neither redeem nor free him. His life like the lives of his fellow-warriors turns into a continuous series of torments, until those who survived the Parthians bloody entertainment are sent to the north of the Parthia to build a local ruler’s palace. Along the way in the mountains they are ambushed by bandits, who are going to kill them all. However, Latium’s experience saves them in this terrible situation and the local satrap promises him to think about the release after completion of construction. After experiencing many difficulties the Romans finally come to this city of Merv, and Latium spends several years building the palace and the city walls. However, his unintentional participation in the court intrigues between the ruler's wife and sister leads to Latium’s friends’ death. Danger looms over him too and he cannot even imagine how the fate is going to dispose of his life soon.
The Roman saga. Part IV. Far into Xiongnu Steppes – ISBN 978-5-9906463-0-8
Dreams of returning to Rome, which were so real in Parthia, seemed unrealistic, when Latium and part of the Romans were sold to the Xiongnu chief. These tribes lived wars and robberies, but their new Shanyu decided to build a new capital on the Talas River, which was supposed to be like a real city rather than a large camp Xiongnu had had before. It is the Romans who have to conduct the construction and they are building the city walls and buildings for a few years interrupting for local wars with Xiongnu’s enemies in order to survive. Latium cannot put up with the fact that the fate leads him farther and farther from his native Rome. Even in Xiongnu steppes he dreams of escape. However, incredible and mystical coincidences, in which he stubbornly does not want to believe, wait for him on this way. His old friends support helps him cope with the despair and even learn a new language, which he needs to communicate with the strange slaves from the Han empire. They are constantly captured by Xiongnu and brought to help the Romans in the construction. Xiongnu’s Shanyu promises Latium to give freedom and let him go home for his good work, but this time it is not his fault that that does not happen. The danger comes from where no one was waiting for it, and the Romans led by Latium have to enter again into an unequal battle with the dangerous and powerful enemy.
The Roman saga. Part V. Behind the Great Wall – ISBN 978-5-9906463-0-8
The siege of Xiongnu’s capital on the Talas River ends with the victory of the Chinese troops. Xiongnu’s chief, his family and relatives are beheaded and the city is burnt. Latium and the surviving Romans are captured by a Chinese military general, who keeps their lives in order to exploit in the intrigues at the imperial court. In the Han Empire Latium experiences a new, confusing culture and way of life. Constant intrigues and betrayals await him at every turn, and he has to forget about pride and adherence to his principles for a long time in order to adapt and survive in the difficult conditions of the strange and frighteningly huge country. In Han Empire he becomes one of the first foreigners who meets with the Emperor Yuan Di, and one of the four legendary beauties – Minfey. Here he unexpectedly falls in love and his feelings are reciprocated. However, this love has no future and Latium again faces a real challenge. As a result, he makes a tough decision, which the death of his close people is urging on him to.
The Roman saga. Part VI. Return to Rome – ISBN 978-5-9906463-0-8
His hope to return home has never been so close to reality as it is now. Overcoming the mountains and going out to a big river, Latium really starts to believe in his salvation and the opportunity to see Rome. His way goes through India, where he once again has to face the greed and envy of people living there. One of them is a traitor Andromachus with whom the fate brings him in an Indian city. The road to home turns out to be not as short as expected. Latium has to serve as a warrior, command and fight alongside with his new comrades, use stealth and finally flee from his former benefactors. Not far from the borders of the Roman province of Asia he meets with his friends, whom he has long believed to be dead, and now he is more than ever eager to return to Rome and benefit the city he was born in and its people, but many of his naive impulses fall on Rome citizens’ deaf ears. In his hometown Latium has to face new challenges, which are much harder than war, betrayal and jealousy. One of these problems is a strange mysterious mark on his shoulder, which meaning has been hunting him for his entire life.