I'm not sure how much I should share about myself. I'll be brief! I'm a writer from Wales and these are my first two published books. I have another, set in a different period, which is starting to take shape. I'll save discussions about that for another time but there are a few cameos in it from, most notably, the Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard, who during the time of that story had recently divorced Charlie Chaplin. I'll leave it there and hopefully be a little enigmatic!
My first book begins in 213 BC at the point where Masinissa is about to embark into the war, initially on the side of Carthage and against his rival Numidian king Syphax. It begins romantically, as depicted on the cover of the book, with Masinissa and Sophonisba meeting in the byrsa, the walled citadel of Carthage. The word byrsa means oxhide. According to Virgil's account of the founding of Carthage when Queen Dido fled Tyre and Pygmalion's wrath she was offered land in Numidia that would be covered by an oxhide. Ingeniously, she cut the hide into thin strips and marked out the territory that would become the famed citadel.
The second book resumes the story with Masinissa still in an alliance with Carthage but his mood is mutinous for a number of reasons. Perhaps foremost among them is the presence on the Iberian peninsula of the Roman consul Scipio Africanus. Scipio has enjoyed significant battlefield successes and had captured the nephew of Masinissa, Massiva, who he had taken prisoner after the 209BC battle of Baecula. Seeking Masinissa's favour and alliance, he returns the boy to his uncle unharmed, a scene famously depicted by the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The scene on the cover of this book has also been painted many times, most notably by the court painter of King Louis XVIII Simon Vouet. Please don't look that up till after you have read the books! I hope if you do you will enjoy them.
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