A love story of Rome in the days of Tiberius and Caligula, told in such modern vein that one is taken into the kinds of discussions about local politics and personalities that might be here and now when a question of presidential succession was uppermost. Crosier has successfully mastered the intricacies of other times, other ways -- plus historical facts and personalities -- so that he can make them subordinate to his main theme, the conflict between Aulum, to whom Metella has been half-promised, and Lucius, scholar and gentleman, who had won her love. Metelia was a modern girl -- and determined to marry the man she loved, and the violent death of Sejamus saves her for Lucius, as Aulus is banished. But his scheming does not stop; Caligula recalls him and he pursues vengeance to other parts of the Roman world, -- Antioch, Alexandria, Syria -- until at the close, he is killed by his henchman. The central love story sometimes bogs down in the multiplicity of characters, real and fictional, but the sense of life, the vigorous portrayal of the times, with the stirrings of new awareness of human responsibilities and values, with the beginnings of Christianity. Some of the best characterizations are those of minor characters. A novel for the intelligents is chiefly.