Eagles of the Empire

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Eagles of the Empire
SimonScarrow UnderTheEagle.jpg
1st edition cover of Under the Eagle, the first book in the series


AuthorSimon Scarrow
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
GenreHistorical fiction
PublisherHeadline (UK) & Thomas Dunne Books (USA)
Published2000-
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book
No. of books18
Websitehttp://www.catoandmacro.com

Eagles of the Empire is a historical military fiction series written by Simon Scarrow. Eagles of the Empire began in July 2000 with the publication of Under the Eagle and as of January 2021 there are 19 novels that have been released in the series, with the 20th novel due in 2021.[1]

Eagles of the Empire takes place within the Roman Empire beginning in AD 42 during the reign of Emperor Claudius. The books follow the lives of two officers in the Imperial Roman army, Quintus Licinius Cato and Lucius Cornelius Macro. The first book introduces Cato to the Roman army and then follows the development of the friendship and careers of the two soldiers. The series also contains many historical figures and interweaves this into the fictional plots influenced by historical events. The characters Cato and Macro were additionally used in one book of the TimeRiders series: Gates of Rome (2012), serving as supporting characters when the three protagonists travel back to Ancient Rome. Scarrow allowed his brother Alex to make use of the characters in his novel.

Locations[edit]

The first book, Under the Eagle, concerns the induction of Cato, his transition from imperial slave to optio (junior officer) and the lifelong friendship he forges with Centurion Macro.

The following four books are set in Britain, between the years AD 42 and 44 - detailing the Roman subjugation of the province alongside court intrigue that often leaves the protagonists in receipt of contempt from the Roman political class.

The sixth book, The Eagle's Prophecy opens with the two on leave in the city of Rome, and detailed to carry out a pursuit of pirates operating in the Mediterranean.

The seventh and eighth books, The Eagle in the Sand and Centurion, take place in the Roman Empire's eastern provinces, Judea and Palmyra, respectively. While returning to Rome from Palmyra, the protagonists are shipwrecked on the island of Crete in The Gladiator, which leads to them being sent to Egypt in the tenth novel, The Legion. The eleventh novel, Praetorian is set in Rome, while the subsequent three books (The Blood Crows, Brothers in Blood and Britannia, all feature Macro and Cato's return to Britain.

The series, in its entirety, documents Macro and Cato's attempts to live a soldier's simple life, however, their effectiveness as soldiers and Cato's former connections to the Imperial Court make this difficult. Through association with Cato, Macro also finds himself the object of the upper classes' intrigue and struggles for supremacy. The series also features Vespasian and Vitellius as supporting characters, during the formative years of their careers, and foreshadowing their future rivalry for the Imperial throne.

Novels[edit]

# Novel Year of Publication Location Year Set Historical Significance
1 Under the Eagle 2000 Germania & Southern Britannia AD 42 - 43 Invasion of Britannia
2 The Eagle's Conquest 2001 South East Britannia AD 43 Battle of the Medway
3 When the Eagle Hunts 2002 South West Britannia AD 44 Conquest of Britannia
4 The Eagle and the Wolves 2003 Southern Britannia AD 44 Annexation of the Atrebates
5 The Eagle's Prey 2004 Britannia AD 44 Conquest of Britannia
6 The Eagle's Prophecy 2005 Rome & Ravenna/The Adriatic Sea AD 45
7 The Eagle in the Sand 2006 Judaea AD 46 Influenced by the crucifixion of Jesus
8 Centurion 2008 Syria/Parthia AD 46 Annexation of Palmyra into Syria & The Roman Parthian Wars
9 The Gladiator 2009 Crete AD 49
10 The Legion 2010 Aegyptus AD 49
Blood Debt 2009
11 Praetorian 2011 Ostia & Rome AD 51 Plots of assassination of Claudius
12 The Blood Crows 2013 Wales, Britannia AD 51 Conquest of Britannia
13 Brothers in Blood 2014 Wales, Britannia AD 52
14 Britannia 2015 North Wales, Britannia AD 52 Capture of Caratacus, Invasion of Mona
15 Invictus 2016 Hispania AD 54 Death of Claudius
16 Day of the Caesars 2017 Rome AD 54 Nero succeeds as the 5th Roman Emperor
17 The Blood of Rome 2018 Armenia AD 55 The Roman Parthian Wars
18 Traitors of Rome 2019 Syria AD 56 Invasion of Armenia, The Roman Parthian Wars
19 The Emperor's Exile 2020


Main characters[edit]

Lucius Cornelius Macro[edit]

Macro, a veteran with 16 years service (as of the first novel's opening) has recently been appointed to the Centurionate. He is the epitome of a good soldier: dependable in a fight and does not question any orders given to him by a senior officer. In Under the Eagle he is the centurion of the Sixth Century, of the Fourth Cohort, of the Second Augustan Legion. By the time of The Eagle in the Sand he has risen to become the acting prefect in charge of Fort Bushir in Judea. In The Legion Cato and Macro join a legion in Egypt, with Macro receiving a temporary promotion to Primus Pilus ("First Spear" Centurion).

Macro has been close friends with Cato since Cato saved his life in the first book. This bond deepens when Macro confesses that he is illiterate and asks Cato's help in learning to read, and so maintain his position as an officer.

Quintus Licinius Cato[edit]

Cato is the son of an Imperial Freedman (former slave) in direct service of Emperor Claudius. Being born a slave himself, and the property of the state, he was given an opportunity by the Emperor as a favour to Cato's late father to enlist in the legions and be given his freedom. Cato has lived a relatively luxurious life as a slave within the Imperial palace, in comparison to the rank and file of the legions, and after accepting the Emperor's offer. he joins the Second Augustan as Macro's Optio.

In the first novel, he is only seventeen years of age, tall and gawky, and so weak-looking that many of the officers, including Macro, place bets on how long it will be before he quits, or is killed. The Emperor grants Cato an immediate commission as a Centurion, but because of his age, Vespasian makes him an optio as a compromise, which causes the officers and his fellow recruits to resent him further. He is however, extremely determined and proves the officers wrong throughout the series. Cato attains the rank of Centurion at the end of When the Eagle Hunts and during the events of Centurion, he is promoted to acting prefect of the Second Illyrian. Halfway through The Gladiator Cato is promoted to the rank of tribune for his mission to Egypt, temporarily outranking Macro, but at the end of the book he is awarded a temporary rank of prefect. In The Legion Cato joins a legion in Egypt and receives a temporary promotion to Senior Tribune.

Because of his palace upbringing, Cato is well-read, often portrayed as more cerebral and forward-thinking than Macro. Macro is dismissive of this at first, but eventually comes to respect Cato's talent for thinking ahead and seeing "the big picture."

Julia Sempronia[edit]

First appears in Centurion. Daughter of Senator Sempronius, the Emperor's ambassador to the court of Palmyra. Both Romans are trapped in the citadel while it is under siege by an army led by one of the King's rebellious sons. Refusing to be put aside as a "helpless woman," Julia helps to nurse the casualties in the citadel's makeshift field hospital. She meets Cato there, and becomes his lover and accepts his proposal of marriage. While traveling back to Rome, she and her father are shipwrecked on Crete with Macro and Cato, where she is captured by the rebel leader Ajax, but manages to escape. Cato eventually learns of her death from an undisclosed illness in Britannia. Cato learns of Julia's unfaithfulness upon his return to Rome in Invictus, however in "Days of the Caesars" she is revealed to have been faithful by Domitia (Vespasian's wife), using her supposed infidelity as a cover to raise funds on behalf of Brittanicus. However, Tribune Cristus (the man she supposedly had an affair with), gives an ambiguous answer as to whether they had an affair or not, when Cato confronts him at the end of the book, before he commits suicide.

Lavinia[edit]

Lavinia appears in the first two books and is the lover of both Cato and Vitellius. She is a slave-girl who is owned by Flavia, Vespasian's wife. In The Eagle's Conquest she betrays Cato and unwittingly helps Vitellius try to assassinate the Emperor. However, when the plot fails Vitellius kills both her and the assassin to cover himself.

Ajax[edit]

First appears in The Eagle's Prophecy as the son of the Greek pirate leader Telemachus. He is captured by Macro and Cato and gives them and Vespasian the hiding place of the pirates and is used as a bargaining counter to make Telemachus surrender and hand over the Sibylline Scrolls to Vespasian. His father is crucified and Ajax is sold into slavery. He becomes a professional Secutor gladiator and is bought by a wealthy family on Crete, used both as a fighter and a sex slave by the household's wife. Freed when a massive earthquake devastates the island in The Gladiator, he leads an army of other escaped slaves and captures Macro and Julia but is defeated by Cato and his troops. However, he escapes in the end and returns in The Legion to further defy Cato and Macro by joining forces with the Nubians. Escaping capture several times, he is finally cornered by Macro and Cato in an Egyptian marsh and devoured by a crocodile.

Historical figures[edit]

  • Vespasian: Legate of the Second Legion and Macro and Cato's commander in the first five books during the Roman conquest of Britain. Vespasian also appears in The Eagle's Prophecy as the Prefect of the naval fleet. Vespasian is often fighting in the front line with his men but is consistently at odds with his tribune Vitellius who threatens him with the knowledge that Vespasian's wife Flavia is a member of the dissident group who are conspiring to overthrow the Emperor.
  • Flavia Domitilla: Vespasian's wife, who, he is chagrined to learn, is a member of the "Liberators," a group of conspirators plotting Claudius's assassination; however in Day of the Caesars, the conspirators have changed their target to Nero, hoping to allow Brittanicus to succeed his father. She also reveals that Julia was faithful to Cato. She kills herself when the coup fails.
  • Titus: Vespasian's son, who appears as an infant in the first two novels.
  • Vitellius: An imperial spy with disturbing ambition who attempts to steal Caesar's pay chest in Under the Eagle and assassinate the Emperor during The Eagle's Conquest, but is thwarted by Macro and Cato both times. In The Eagle's Prophecy he is the prefect of the naval fleet but is replaced by Vespasian who leaves him to die at one point. However Vitellius survives with the Emperor and Narcissus unaware of his attempted treason. At the end of the novel, he has also seen a snippet from the Sibylline prophecies captured from the pirates which convinces him that he is destined to become emperor.
  • Narcissus: Claudius's Chief Secretary and effectively Prime Minister of the whole Empire. He recruits Macro and Cato for "special" tasks around the Empire, promising them rich rewards for success, but making it clear that their lives are of little value to him or the Empire.
  • Claudius: Emperor of Rome, portrayed in The Eagle's Conquest and Praetorian as a forgetful, half-witted buffoon.
  • Caratacus: leader of the rebellious tribes of Britain.
  • Boudicca: a young British noblewoman, who Macro becomes smitten with in the third novel, When the Eagle Hunts.
  • Agrippina the Younger: the Emperor's wife and mother of Nero; appears in Praetorian;
  • Nero: Claudius's stepson; appears in Praetorian;
  • Brittanicus: Claudius's son; appears in Praetorian;
  • Sextus Afranius Burrus: Praetorian Centurion, later prefect; appears in Praetorian;
  • Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus: appears in Praetorian.
  • Marcus Antonius Pallas: appears in Praetorian.
  • Marcus Salvius Otho: appears in Brothers in Blood as a tribune

Publishing history[edit]

# Title Pages Chapters Audio
1 Under The Eagle 256[2] 40[3] 12h 5m[4]
2 The Eagle's Conquest 434[5] 54[6] 13h 36m[7]
3 When the Eagle Hunts 448[8] 35[9] 12h 3m[10]
4 The Eagle and the Wolves 432[11] 41[12] 12h 48m[13]
5 The Eagle's Prey 480[14] 42[15] 13h 36m[16]
6 The Eagle's Prophecy 501[17] 45[18] 13h 49m[19]
7 The Eagle in the Sand 516[20] 34[21] 11h 33m[22]
8 Centurion 352[23] 32[24] 12h 27m[25]
9 The Gladiator 384[26] 33[27] 13h 31m[28]
10 The Legion 384[29] 36[30] 13h 19m[31]
11 Praetorian 368[32] 30[33] 12h 16m[34]
12 The Blood Crows 384[35] 37[36] 13h 54m[37]
13 Brothers in Blood 384[38] 36[39] 13h 53m[40]
14 Britannia 352[41] 32[42] 12h 10m[43]
15 Invictus 384[44] 32[45] 12h 41m[46]
16 Day of the Caesars 367[47] 41[48] 12h 3m[49]
17 The Blood of Rome 480[50] 38[51] 13h 22m[52]
18 Traitors of Rome 464[53] 32[54] 12h 47m[55]
19 The Emperor's Exile 434 36
20 Forthcoming[1]
Total 7370 670 231h 53m

Overview[edit]

Books in the Eagles of the Empire series are first published in hardcover and are later re-released as paperback editions by Headline publishers.[56] In the US the first six books, the last being The Eagle's Prophecy were published by Thomas Dunne publishers (Macmillan publishers)[57] Since 2011 and the release of Praetorian each of the books are also released as audiobooks.[58] The series has also been translated into multiple different languages.[1] The page totals given to the right are for the UK first editions.

Sales[edit]

As of 12 March 2018 Scarrow has sold over 4 million copies of the books within Eagles of the Empire in English alone.[1]

Cover illustrations[edit]

Under the Eagle, the first in the series has had 5 different covers, the initial cover only being used for the 1st edition, hardcover. This was then updated on released of the paperback edition.[59] On release of the second novel The Eagle's Conquest the third version of the cover was used.[60] This remained until Scarrow started refraining from using 'Eagle' in the titles of the novels with the first release after this being Centurion in 2008 resulting in another re-brand.[61] The current branding was updated with the release of The Blood Crows in 2013.[59][62]

Novel titles[edit]

The novels since Under the Eagle first being published have contained the word 'Eagle' in the title however since the 8th book Centurion the author has refrained from using 'Eagle' - the reason for this is unknown, however some speculate that this has been done in effort to make the books accessible to a wider audience, and also explains the change in cover illustrations.

Future novels[edit]

Headline has confirmed the Eagles of the Empire series up until novel 20 by signing a six book deal in March 2018 with Scarrow, four of which will be Eagles of the Empire novels.[1] Two of these have already been published; The Blood of Rome and Traitors of Rome, with the following two being released in late 2020 and 2021 following the pattern of one release each year.

Scarrow has also stated that whilst initially he only planned to write around ten novels in the series this has since changed to 25. Scarrow also hinted at two potential endings for Eagles of the Empire. One being Cato and Macro facing each other on alternate sides of a battle during the Year of four Emperors, AD 69 resulting in the death of one of them. The other being their retirement in AD 69 in Pompeii.[63] This has significance due to the supporting and reoccurring characters through the series, Vespasian becoming Emperor at the end of that year.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Scarrow strikes six-book deal | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Under the Eagle (Eagle #1)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  3. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2000). Under The Eagle. Headline. ISBN 9780747266297.
  4. ^ "Under the Eagle Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  5. ^ "The Eagle's Conquest (Eagle, #2)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  6. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2001). The Eagle's Conquest. Headline. ISBN 9780747266303.
  7. ^ "The Eagle's Conquest Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  8. ^ "When the Eagle Hunts (Eagle, #3)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  9. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2002). When the Eagle Hunts. Headline. ISBN 9780747266310.
  10. ^ "When the Eagle Hunts Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  11. ^ "The Eagle and the Wolves (Eagle, #4)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  12. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2003). The Eagle and the Wolves. Headline. ISBN 9780755301140.
  13. ^ "The Eagle and the Wolves Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  14. ^ "The Eagle's Prey (Eagle, #5)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  15. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2004). The Eagle's Prey. Headline. ISBN 9780755301164.
  16. ^ "The Eagle's Prey Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  17. ^ "The Eagle's Prophecy (Eagle, #6)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  18. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2005). The Eagle's Prophecy. Headline. ISBN 9780755301188.
  19. ^ "The Eagle's Prophecy Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  20. ^ "The Eagle in the Sand (Eagle, #7)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  21. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2006). The Eagle in the Sand. Headline. ISBN 9780755327751.
  22. ^ "The Eagle in the Sand Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Centurion (Eagle, #8)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  24. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2008). Centurion. Headline. ISBN 9780755327768.
  25. ^ "Centurion Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  26. ^ "The Gladiator (Eagle, #9)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  27. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2009). The Gladiator. Headline. ISBN 9780755327782.
  28. ^ "The Gladiator Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  29. ^ "The Legion (Eagle, #10)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  30. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2010). The Legion. Headline. ISBN 9780755353743.
  31. ^ "The Legion Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  32. ^ "Praetorian (Eagle, #11)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  33. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2011). Praetorian. Headline. ISBN 9780755353774.
  34. ^ "Praetorian Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  35. ^ "The Blood Crows (Eagle, #12)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  36. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2013). The Blood Crows. Headline. ISBN 9780755353804.
  37. ^ "The Blood Crows Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  38. ^ "The Blood Crows (Eagle, #12)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  39. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2014). Brothers in Blood. Headline. ISBN 9780755393930.
  40. ^ "Brothers in Blood Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  41. ^ "Britannia (Eagle, #14)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  42. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2015). Britannia. Headline. ISBN 9781472213310.
  43. ^ "Britannia Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  44. ^ "Invictus (Eagle, #15)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  45. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2016). Invictus. Headline. ISBN 9781472213358.
  46. ^ "Invictus Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  47. ^ "Day of the Caesars (Eagle #16)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  48. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2017). Day of the Caesars. Headline. ISBN 9781472213396.
  49. ^ "Day of the Caesars Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  50. ^ "The Blood of Rome (Eagle #17)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  51. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2018). The Blood of Rome. Headline. ISBN 9781472258373.
  52. ^ "The Blood of Rome Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  53. ^ "Traitors of Rome (Eagle #18)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  54. ^ Scarrow, Simon (2019). Traitors of Rome. Headline. ISBN 9781472258380.
  55. ^ "Traitors of Rome Audiobook | Simon Scarrow | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  56. ^ "Simon Scarrow". Headline Publishing Group, home of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books and ebooks. 28 January 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  57. ^ "Macmillan: Series: Eagle Series". US Macmillan. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  58. ^ "Eagles of the Empire Series Audiobooks | Audible.co.uk". Audible. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  59. ^ a b "Editions of Under the Eagle by Simon Scarrow". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  60. ^ "Editions of The Eagle's Conquest by Simon Scarrow". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  61. ^ "Editions of Centurion by Simon Scarrow". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  62. ^ "Editions of The Blood Crows by Simon Scarrow". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  63. ^ "Simon Scarrow piensa en 25 títulos para su serie de la antigua Roma". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 January 2020.