Just finished reading the first three of the Warrior of Rome books the story of Ballista in 260+AD. Fire in the East; King of Kings & Lion of the Sun.
I enjoyed these books, the first best of all, they cover the story of a North German Angle barbarian in the service of the Roman Empire. It takes the known history of the time and wraps him into it. The history and tactics are spot on and the story telling is good.
Harry has also brought in the conflict the Roman state had with Christians and how they were seen as enemies even though they were not trying to bring down the state. There is a good sub plot of the differences between different Christian groups as well as how the Persians having a monolithic religion looked upon the Romans as sinners and worshipers of the dark. They worshiped the eternal fire, the fire of truth. The Romans of course had many gods and cults especially the imperial cult of the Emperors. How they dressed and acted became part of the catholic churches structure. This is one of the reasons that there was a difference between the Eastern and Western Churches which still exists now.
Indirectly it shows why eventually Rome took upon itself the Mantel of Christian faith and you can see how some of there festivals became part of our Christian culture. It reinforced my view that the adoption of Christianity by Rome also started it upon a path where it lost its way. It became a faith used by the state to wage war in the name of God. The good thing is that the reformation started us upon a path of separating the church from the state and except in the UK and the Catholic church the state and church are separate again and Christians are able to stand up for what they believe and not be seen as part of an aggressive state. Mind you that doesn’t stop those in power from trying to keep the church close and using its followers for its own ends.
This history leads into the story in the book ‘In the Shadow of the SWORD’ see review here.