Julia: A Romance: Opening Lines

The historical thriller Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley will soon be published by Cheops Books LLC. One of the most humorous characters, the most delightful, is Julia’s father, Senator Gaius Julius Rufus, Julia’s father who is always out to save himself given the difficult political situation in Rome. Julia merely becomes a tool to get what he wants in the end.
The novel begins with these lines:

Prologue:

Senator Gaius Julius Rufus was born fifty years too late or one hundred years too soon. If he were born fifty years sooner, he could have taken his ease on one of his estates sprinkled, as flecks of pepper on a map, over the Apennines and the Campanian sea-coast without concerning himself in Roman politics. If he were born one hundred years later he would be a child at the dawn of the Augustan Age, the beginning of the pax Romana, and would have contented himself with the life of a country gentleman.

He was unlucky to be born during the first period of the Civil Wars that tore apart into two factions, populares and optimates, not only Rome but Italy. He was sixty years old in May of 81 B.C., having spent most of his adulthood in Rome away from his grape and olive vineyards attempting to remain neutral and friendly with both factions while not doing much for either.

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The Carthaginian City of Nora:

In Julia: A Romance the heroine encounters various challenges from different sources. One of the biggest challenges comes from her future husband’s position in the empire and his travels. He insists that she learn Greek but he won’t say why at first. Nor will he tell her the important part to be played in the plot of intrigue by cities such as the Carthaginian city of Nora.

At the time of the novel, 82BC, Rome has just put an end to the first civil war between Marius and Sulla with Sulla’s victory. Sulla, the Dictator of Rome, has also just conquered the city state of Athens. Sisenna mentions to Julia that certain disaffected Roman aristocrats had recently been sent to a kind of exile on Sardinia near the ancient city of Nora. It is one of the many colorful locales that plays a part in the novel. In a sense the historical thriller takes in locations all over the ancient Greek and Roman world.

Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley will be published next year by Cheops Books LLC.

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