A sprawling tale of the lives of the poor, the dispossessed, and the enslaved set during the death-throes of ancient Republican Rome, Ashes traces the fortunes of one such family as it perseveres across generations.
An ancient Roman odyssey that spans generations, that leads from the cruel streets of the slums of Rome to chariot races in the Circus Maximus, from bloody, no-holds-barred street boxing to the pursuit of fugitive slaves across the length and breadth of Italia, from the great landed estates of the Roman countryside to the law courts of the Roman Forum.
Ancient Roman Slave-catchers Aries and Syriaticus are hired to capture and return three treasured slaves. The chase leads south across Italia, from Surrentum to Pompeii to the Valley of Diana to the mountains of Bruttium to the fields of Sicily to the Aetna volcano. On the way, they have an orgy, start a war, and face mobs of slaves bent on murder, among other adventures.
Ancient Roman slave-catcher Aries returns to Rome to find his father falsely convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to slavery. Rescue and vengeance, however, Aries finds, carry a price—learning the truth about his family’s origins. In a comic interlude, a physician tries to buy and ravish a lovely slave-girl, while her beloved, a female gladiator, struggles to thwart him.