Felix Ravenna: A Mosaic.  A historical thriller inlaid with small pieces of life in Ravenna, Italy, in 514 C.E.

This story began in one of many delightful phone conversations with my daughter. She was explaining why she thought I should go to Ravenna and told me the story of Theoderic leading his people across the frozen Danube and down into Italy. I wondered what it would have been like then. Little did I know I was entering a period with scant information.

Argolicus was a real person at the time of Theodoric’s reign in Italy. He is mentioned nine times in Cassiodorus’ Variae (iii 11, iii 12, iii 29, iii 30, iii 33, iv 22, iv 25, iv 29, iv 42). His childhood and ongoing friendship with Cassiodorus come from my imagination as well as his call to Ravenna and appointment as comitiacus officium.  

Kosmas Phalkon Athinon is purely contrived from my imagination but represents movements in Constantinople to regain Italy.

Marcian and Maximiums are mentioned in the Variae (iv 22) but only in relation to Argolicus in a dispute of an inheritance in Rome. I took it from there. Their plot against the Theoderic is a plot device but they represent a real contingent of upper echelon Romans who wished to return to the splendour that once was Rome.

As far as I know, Triwila’s relatives Sunilda and Eraric come from my imagination.

The teenagers were all significant military leaders in the later war with Justinian and Belisarius. I took them back to their beginnings. And, yes, extreme hairstyles are nothing new with teenagers. “The Hun” was a style.


Author:  Zara Altair

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