A fourth-century A.D. young dwarf narrates his adventures-- some fairly hideous--here and there within the disintegrating Roman Empire. Dominic, the son of a poor Gallic goatherder, is raised with love and tenderness. Both parents dead (the father is killed by Roman troops), the boy is taken in by an uncle, who after two years sells him into slavery. Then through extraordinary luck Dominic is bought by the leader of a band of vagabond performers, learns their skills, is introduced to a new religion (worship of the Egyptian Isis), and becomes part of a devoted family. Off to Rome for revels--and terrible tragedy. Twice again Dominic will be sold into slavery--some experiences will net him learning, travels to exotic places, and even affection. But later he'll return to the Gallic provinces--and hell itself--in the castle of a sadistic noble. There'll be, happily, a miraculous rescue. Among the lands Dominic travels: Rome, Athens, Constantinople, Alexandria, and some lovely, scenic wild places. An earnest narration unfolds elementary characters, relentless adventures, and views of ancient urban splendors. It all moves along at a lively clip.