John McManus BSc, PhD, DSc, FRSE, graduated from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, University of London. He lectured first in the University of Dundee, transferring to the University of St Andrews in 1988 and became Professor in 1992. John McManus has published more than 200 scientific papers mainly on sediment transport and deposition in lakes, rivers, estuaries and coastal environments. In addition, two books have been published on the history of coal mining in Fife. "Mining between Ceres and St Andrews" (Windfall Books, 2010) and "Coal Mining in the East Neuk of Fife" (Dunedin Academic Press, 2017) and he continues to research the history of the Coal Mining industry in the east of Scotland.
Octodurus is a market town that is occupied by the Romans. There is harmony between most of the local villagers and the Romans, but some resent the occupation and are determined to cause trouble.
Gaius is a young herdsman living in a local village who visits on market day to help his father with the family's stall. Whilst in town, he meets an intelligent and attractive centurion's daughter, Cordelia. He falls in love with her and so begins a passionate relationship, but how will this be viewed by the local villagers...
Whilst grazing his goats up in the mountains, Gaius is caught up in an earthquake, which reveals hidden treasures within the mountain. Gaius' family are excited by his find but are somewhat trepidatious as to whether the Roman legion stationed in the garrison will allow them to profit from the find. Will Cordelia's father help them to benefit from it?