The Eagle of the Ninth Setting

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The Eagle of the Ninth takes place in Britain in A.D. 117. Marcus, the protagonist, incurs a wound in his first battle and is forced to resign from the army. His father's legion, the Ninth Hispanic, marched north to Scotland nine years before on a mission to quell an uprising among the Caledonian tribes beyond the Roman wall. The legion disappeared, and rumors about this mysterious disappearance have tarnished the legion's reputation. With his freed slave, a Briton named Esca, Marcus sets off on a quest to find out what has happened to the Ninth Legion. Disguised as a traveling oculist whose medical skill makes him welcome among the enemy Celtic tribes, he roams the countryside in search of the standard of the lost legion, a bronze eagle. The narrative describes the scenery in colorful and romantic terms that contrast the Romanized southern part of England with the wilder...

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