AD 255; the Roman Imperium is stretched to breaking point, its authority and might challenged throughout the territories and along every border. Yet the most lethal threat lurks far to the east in Persia, where the massing forces of the Sassanid Empire loom with fiery menace.
The far-flung and isolated citadel of Arete faces out across the wasteland, awaiting the inevitable invasion. One man is sent to marshal the defences of this lonely city; one man to shore up the crumbling walls of a once indomitable symbol of Roman power; a man whose name itself means war, a man called Ballista. Alone, Ballista is called to muster the forces and the courage to stand first and to stand hard against the greatest enemy ever to confront the Imperium.
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by Harry Sidebottom
""He has the touch of an exceptionally gifted story teller, drawing on prodigious learning." TIMOTHY SEVERIN, AUTHOR OF THE VIKING TRILOGY
'Sidebottom's prose blazes with searing scholarship.' THE TIMES 'Harry Sidebottom's epic tale starts with a chilling assassination and goes on, and up, from there.' PROFESSOR MARY BEARD, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE 'A vivid, ract and gripping novel... from a major scholar who happens also to be a brilliant master of fiction.' DR JAS ELSNER, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD"
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