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Authors: Denise A. Agnew

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For a Roman's Heart

BOOK: For a Roman's Heart
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Trapped between cruel parents and the need to hide her gift of second sight from suspicious villagers, Adrenia Tertia Brigomalla walks a line as thin as the threads she weaves. The need for independence burns fierce in her heart, but not as hot as her unexpected attraction to a Roman soldier who comes to the village in search of a deserter.


Though hardened by war, Centurion Terentius Marius Atellus defies any man to harm an innocent. Nothing shakes his relentless determination to track down a murderous legionnaire with a taste for young women. Yet Adrenia’s spirit and vulnerability spark a protective instinct stronger than duty…and temptation that could be his downfall.


Fragile trust built on stolen kisses and a premonition saves his life and drives his offer of the ultimate protection

marriage. While she revels in the feral passion he awakens within her, Adrenia would sooner brave the fires of Hades than trade one yoke for another.


It’s a decision that could leave them both dangling above a precipice they may not survive…


Warning: Searing passion meets gritty reality of Roman life. Trespass only if you dare...

eBooks are

They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.


This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.


Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

577 Mulberry Street, Suite 1520

Macon GA 31201


For a Roman’s Heart

Copyright © 2011 by Denise A. Agnew

ISBN: 978-1-60928-326-1

Edited by Bethany Morgan

Cover by Kanaxa


All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
electronic publication: January 2011

For A Roman’s Heart





Denise A. Agnew



To the real Terentius, my husband, Terrance Brennan Agnew.

Author’s Note


Roman history is a complex and fascinating subject. Long before I started writing
For A Roman’s Heart
, I had an interest in all things Roman, but I hadn’t researched it in any great depth. In the 1990s I was fortunate to live in England for three years, and yet I didn’t take nearly as much time to learn about the archaeology of Roman Britain as I could have. Because I lived near the areas described in this book, I knew the setting for my story would center primarily near those locations. Once I decided to write
For A Roman’s Heart
, I knew the research would take significant time and energy. Researching Roman Britain, though, became a joy. It’s been a wonderful journey, and I’ve learned so much.

Integrity requires that I research the history for my historical novels to the fullest extent, yet I know I’m writing fiction, not a history book. Because of that, I have taken literary license in many places. The fort described at Godmanchester, England—Durovigutum—is loosely based on a fort that has been excavated. Because the fort was long gone by AD 167, this is an area where I’ve altered history. The villa property owned by the character Decimus Caelius Cordus is also a conglomeration of many villas that once existed in England.

From my research on the Roman system of
tria nomina
—three names, I realized that my heroine’s family’s names would confuse the reader. Further research showed me that a variety of naming conventions came and went from Republic times to the time of the Principate, especially with regards to female names. Girls were often named after their father in the feminine form. If there was more than one girl in the family they might be called, for example, Adrenia Major—first born, Adrenia Minor—second born. Because there are several girls in my heroine’s family, she is named as three or Tertia as the third girl born. Since I loved the idea of the hero and heroine eventually calling each other by the first name in an intimate fashion, I also took liberties with history when they call each other Adrenia and Terentius.


I thought it important to mention that women in ancient Rome were considered marriageable by age fourteen. It would not be unusual, therefore, for a woman of fourteen to marry a man far older than her. Married life and sexual relations were very different in those times from ours, although if we had a time capsule there might be more things we’d have in common now with our Roman ancestors than we ever imagined. In researching this history, I was amazed at how much of our modern lives are molded based on many centuries of Roman rule over a large percentage of our Earth.


Fictional Battle vs. Fact

While Legio II Italica was formed by Marcus Aurelius in AD 165, the battle depicted in my book featuring Legio II Italica is pure fiction. The Marcomannic Wars, called
Germanicum or
Germanica, were a series of wars lasting from AD 166 until AD 180. The Roman Empire fought against the Marcomanni, Quadi and other Germanic people along both sides of the upper and middle Danube. According to some sources, Legio II Italica and Legio III Italica crossed the Alps into Pannonia in AD 168. While the Marcomanni and Victuali Vandals had crossed the Danube into the province, according to Historia Augusta, the imperial army’s approach persuaded the tribes to withdraw.



Aedes: Repository and shrine of legion standards


Ala or Alae: Calvary unit


Ballista or ballistae: Artillery engine firing either stones or arrows


Beneficiarius: Legionaries stationed at various places that may have undertaken police work and perhaps gathered intelligence


Caledonia: Scotland


Caligae: Type of military sandal/footwear


Caldarium: Hot steam room in bath


Catapultae: Catapult


Carroballistae: Type of ballistic weapon


Catuvellauni: Tribe of ancient Britain based in the area now known as East Anglia


Centurion or Centurio: Officer rank in command of a century


Cohort: A unit of four hundred to eight hundred men


Cuirass: Body armor


Deva: Chester, England


Deva Victrix Castra Legionis: The Fortress at Deva, home to the Twentieth Legion


Dominus or Domina: Master, Mistress, Sir, Madam


Durobrivae: Water Newton, Cambridgeshire, England


Durovigutum: Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, England


Duroliponte: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England


Eboracum: York, England


First Spear: Nickname for the Primus Pilus, the top centurion of the first cohort


Frigidarium: Cold room in bath


Germania: Germany


Gladius: Short spear worn by soldiers


Iceni: Ancient tribe of Britain in what is now known as East Anglia


Impluvium: Rectangular section in an atrium floor or courtyard that collects water


Italia: Italy


Laconicum: Hot room in bath


Lancea: A type of javelin


Lararium: Altar in the home where offerings and prayers are made, usually set in the atrium.


Lares: Roman household deity


Legio: Legion


Legion XX Valeria Victrix: The Twentieth Legion Valorous and Victorious


Legatus Legionis: Legion commander


Londinium: London


Mansio: Public area with accommodations for travelers


Neapolis: Naples


Noviomagus: Noviomagus Reginorum is now called Chichester, situated in the modern English county of West Sussex.


Optio: Second in command to a centurion


Palla: Garment for women


Paterfamilias: Highest-ranking male in a Roman household


Praetorium: Commanding officers house in fortress


Praenomin: Essentially, a first name


Primus Hastatus Posterior: Centurion fifth in command of the first cohort—Terentius’s rank


Primi ordines: Centurions of the first cohort in a legion


Principia: Headquarters of a Roman fort/administrative offices


Quaestionarius: Interrogator


Signum: Standard


Spatha: Long sword


Stola: Garment for women


Strophium: Bands of cloth tied around the bust


Tepidarium: Warm steam room


Thermae: Bath complex


Tunica: Female version of a tunic


Tribunus Laticlavius: Senatorial tribune and second in command of the legion

Via Devana: Roman road leading from Deva and terminating in Durovigutum— Godmanchester—and connecting to an Iron-Age track way called Ridgeway that eventually led to Camulodunum—Colchester


Via Praetoria or Pratoria: Road leading from the most important gate to the
porta praetoria
up to the headquarters building—
—which lay behind the Via Principia

BOOK: For a Roman's Heart
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