Since Phillip Long has written an extensive and informative review of this book, I will confine myself to a few brief comments.
Because of the length of Stanley's novel, 520 pages, I felt I had the time and luxury to became deeply immersed in the world of first century Asia Minor. In preparation for leading groups to this area of the world (modern Turkey) I have read quite a few of the textbooks on the history, geography, and culture of this area and period and I appreciated how Stanley artfully wove all of these topics into his narrative.
I particularly appreciated his informative descriptions of the festival and sacrifices associated with deities such as Apollo, Artemis, Asclepius, and Mên. As well as the "roles" of these deities in the lives of Romans came to life!
The two main characters in the novel are Marcus, a slave, and his master Lucius—an elite patrician from the Roman Colony of Antioch near Pisidia (a city visited by the biblical Apostle Paul at least three times and the home of his assistant Timothy). Life in an elite household was vividly described as was the interplay of various social groups, including blood relatives, clients, and slaves. The importance of household deities was described in detail—a topic that is important, but often not extensively treated in textbooks.
The travels of Lucius and Marcus and their small party from Antioch near Pisidia to the healing center at Pergamum forms a spine of the novel. As they journey, major cities such as Apamea, Laodicea, Magnesia, Claros, Ephesus, and Smyrna are visited. I have visited all of these places and Stanley's descriptions are accurate and bring them to life!
His treatment of the complex relationship between Romans and Jews is extensive and insightful. At the time of the setting of the novel, Christianity was not prominent in the Roman world, yet we get a fleeting glimpse of one slave who was a Christian and a hint of a riot in Ephesus associated with a Christian named Paulus (Acts 19:23-41).
For me, reading the novel was an in-depth and moving experience as I became immersed in the Roman World of the middle of the first century AD. The book is highly recommended! (see also P. Long's review for more details)
Carl Rasmussen, PhD
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A Rooster for Asklepios: A Slave's Story, Book 1 Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B08B2J4XJ2
- Publisher : NFB Publishing; 3rd edition (10 June 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 1502 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 522 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1953610072
- Best Sellers Rank: 917,734 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4.8 out of 5
7 global ratings