For Flavius there is only one way to return honour to his family name – glorious deeds done in battle and his own death.
The Roman army in Macedonia is on the verge of a great victory that will finally give it control of Greece. But for Flavius, who has become a pariah back in Rome, the battle is a chance to win his name respect.
‘The Honour of Rome’ is a 1,200 word short story.
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Here’s an extract of the story:
The men ran at double pace over the baking earth, their equipment clanking as they moved, leather and metal bouncing off each other, their javelin points bobbing up and down like a sea of fishing floats. He stopped a moment and watched as his cohort moved past. He looked at their faces, none of them stopped to look at him, all had a tunnel vision – straight in front, keeping their eye on the man in front, being sure not to break formation.
The senior centurion of the second maniple did look up as he jogged past. His eyes falling on Flabius for a moment and then fixing back on his men.
“Keep it tight lads, no stopping, we’ve got to get across the stream before they do,” shouted the centurion as he rushed past. Not a word or a nod for his commanding officer.
Flabius turned to the south, down the hill to see where the Macedonians were forming just as quickly below them. It was a race to get over the stream and attack the enemy before they could form proper ranks. Both armies were acting mostly on instinct, rushing formations into the battle as quickly as they could be armed and mustered into approximate units. After days of stalemate and waiting across the shallow valley, the battle had started as if by chance. A brief encounter between opposing patrols had provoked an attack by one side and then a stronger counter attack by the other. It was what they had all been waiting for, but none of them expected it to happen like this.
There were already two cohorts of legionnaires and several formations of alae in the messy scrum on either side of the wide, shallow stream at the foot of the hill. Probably they were now up against a superior number of pike bearing Macedonians and their Celtic allies, armed with swords, shields and javelins. This was going to be a hard fight, and possibly one that the army of Rome might not win. The prospect pleased Flabius more than anything had for weeks. He smiled grimly and jogged after his men down the hill to the battle.