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Leptis Magna: Emperor's Dream on the Edge of the Desert

Leptis Magna: Emperor's Dream on the Edge of the Desert

by Michael H Hugos


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Set in Roman Africa in the province of Tripolitania, Leptis Magna was the family home of an imperial Roman dynasty founded by Emperor Severus at the height of the empire. This story is told from the point of view of an heir of that same family 200 years later. This is a world much changed since his great, great, great, granduncle was emperor. It was an age historians call Late Antiquity, a time when one world came to an end and a new world was born. It was a period of epic transition.

This searching and historically accurate memoir by the son of a noble family tells of his journey to the court of the emperor to appeal for the protection of his city from raiding tribes. When he is accused of treason by a corrupt general and court official, his fate and that of his family and city are forever changed by the way he answers this charge. Based on a true story by a Roman historian.

In a world of fading Roman power, raiding tribes, and corrupt imperial officials, the people of Leptis Magna look to their bishop for guidance and protection. He is tormented by what he has done to become bishop, and does not know which way to turn. In the deafening silence and remorseless presence of the Sahara desert, an answer appears.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781494283810
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 11/25/2013
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.42(d)

About the Author

In writing this book I felt as if I was putting into words thoughts that came from a consciousness that was reconstructing itself by using me to link together historical facts and scenes. It is as if Mother Earth is growing a cerebral cortex in the form of the Internet. As this cerebral cortex connects fragments of history into longer stories and narratives, the people who live in those stories reach out to those of us who can hear them. We all hear different stories. I heard this one.

I came across Leptis Magna for the first time as a boy of eight years old in the year 1961 when my family lived in Tripoli, Libya. East of Tripoli about a two hour drive were the ruins of an ancient Roman city where the desert comes close to the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. One cool autumn day we took a drive down the coast road to explore that city.

As we entered Leptis I looked around and asked, "Dad, where did everybody go?" It was inconceivable to me that such a big city as this had obviously once been could now be abandoned. I don't remember what my father said in response, but as we walked, I sensed a presence. When I closed my eyes it was as if someone was whispering to me in a language I could almost understand. I sensed this person was trying to tell me something that was very important. His presence seemed to radiate from the bricks and columns and cobblestones. Everywhere we went that day as we wandered through the ruins, he was there.

He was a descendant of Emperor Septimius Severus. Over the years information about his city, his family and his period of history came to me in the form of old books found while wandering through used bookstores, pictures of Leptis taken by my parents on our visits there discovered inside an envelope in a family scrapbook, and countless articles and pictures that came to me while doing Internet searches on subjects I can no longer recall. I got the impression more than once that this information found me, I didn't find it. When one of these finds caught my attention, I knew it was because it was part of a bigger picture. I studied each one, and thought about what it meant, and how it might relate to other finds that came to me. This book comes out of those thoughts and discoveries.

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