Between Eternities

Robert H. Pilpel, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $19.95 (559p) ISBN 978-0-15-111928-8
The world view of the cultivated pagan in second century Rome emerges from this rather ponderous fictional autobiography of Lucius ""the Swift,'' athlete and friend of the emperor, Stoic Marcus Aurelius. Lucius recounts his life in a pair of travelogues. His journal as a man of 60 accused of treason, fleeing through Gaul to Britannia, alternates with his memoir of boyish escapes, gadding with Marcus and comrades from Rome to the Calabrian coast and thence to Greece. At inns, baths, brothels, villas, slums, and ships along the high roads and waterways, they meet an assorted crew: a scruffy ``Rex'' guarding Diana's sacred grove; a patrician family of Christian voluptuaries; a lustful matron madly imagining she is Homer's Penelope. Especially detailed are the games at Venusia and Delphi which Lucius enters as runner and victor. The plot plays freely with history to achieve a wild though plausible surprise for the aging Lucius. Pilpel (To the Honor of the Fleet) writes formally, even sententiously, as characters weigh their experiences and discourse on death and moralityin the manner of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. Not skimmable, this is for readers willing to ponder facts and issues and appreciative of Pilpel's paintaking research. October 31
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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