Historical fiction set in Late Republican Rome and focused on a group of friends and lovers who inhabit the city’s artistic demi-monde, on the fringes of the circle including Clodia Metelli and her brother Clodius Pulcher, the poet Catullus and the wider group of Neoteric poets.
The Education of Gaius is a free erotic short story which introduces the two primary protagonists Gaius and Tiberius whom we will meet again in later books in the series.
Gaius Manlius Torquatus is a young man of an aristocratic Roman family who is making a life for himself independently in Rome after returning from studying in Greece. More interested in poetry and the cultivation of his feelings than in the traditional military and political ambitions of the Roman aristocrat, he surrounds himself with poets, musicians and cultivated courtesans. His lover is the older and more world-weary Tiberius Fadius Gallus, a theatrical manager. When Gaius confesses to him that he harbours certain desires he is ashamed of, Tiberius determines to show him that there exist many men in the world who would be happy to help fulfill his fantasies.
Dancing Phaedra is the story of Antyllus, a young man who spent much of his life as a brothel slave until he is offered the chance to train as a pantomime dancer. This opportunity however carries with it the burden of continued sexual slavery to his new master, the Senator Gabinius, who prides himself on his patronage of the arts.
A proud, passionate, often bitter and angry young man, Antyllus’ vaunted belief in his own brilliance and exalted destiny is brought into painful conflict with a world that tells him he is a mere commodity.
Under the management of theatrical impressario Tiberius Fadius Gallus, Antyllus struggles to put his past behind him and seek fulfillment and autonomy through exercising his talent and his determination to flourish despite his grim beginnings.
Gaius and Achilles is a romantic novel focused on Tiberius’ friend, Gaius Manlius Torquatus, a young Roman who has rejected the military and political ambitions expected of one of his aristocratic birth and abilities and instead composes poetry, has tempestuous affairs with young men and attends dinner parties and theatrical performances to the early hours in the company of the artistic and dissolute.
Needing a break from the dramas of city life Gaius repairs to his country villa near Lake Albano, only to be distracted by an angry and rather beautiful young man called Achilles who has ended up in his household after being captured by pirates and sold into slavery…
Meeting Tiberius and Other Roman Tales is a collection of short stories featuring the characters introduced in the two earlier works at different stages of their lives. Often focused on the amorous lives of the principle characters, in particular of how they find ways of giving expression to their desires and fantasies of giving and receiving erotic pain, playing with the tropes of dominance and submission, these stories nonetheless are imbued with the atmosphere of their historical setting and allow us glimpses of our protagonists from new angles.