(From the publisher):
"It was a familiar story. The armies plundered, the farmers died, the merchants starved, nobody sowed the field." Bryher has taken the confusion and hazards of the Second Punic War as background for her new novel. Her protagonists are marginal characters, men who do not make history but witness and endure it. Through the fates of two Greek traders (and a donkey, Sikelia), she evokes the greatest struggle in which ancient Rome engaged.
Zonas and Dasius come from Greek settlements on the Italian seaboard and their allegiance to Rome is tenuous. When Hannibal's brilliant campaign carries the Carthaginian troops into southern Italy, the traders have no compunction to seek out the enemy, who, far from his native bases, pays well for leather and oil.
Both the men, however, are compelled by more than gain. Adventure, the call of the road, the mirage of the golden sands of Africa lure them into unknown territory, among alien, untrustworthy people and shadowy dangers.
Original title: The Coin of Carthage
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)→ Rome