"Everything Douglas Bond writes...is a fascinating read."
Joel Belz, WORLD Magazine


HOSTAGE LANDS, my Roman Britain tale set in AD 211, one of the most satisfying books I have written, and judging from reviews, emails, and book sales, a clear favorite of readers.

And now HAND OF VENGEANCE, 8th century Anglo-Saxon crime fiction joins Hostage Lands in the Heroes & History Series, with more on the way. Join my blog www.douglasbondbooks.blogspot.com and this site to keep up on developments. I planned this book for over four years--it was barbarically fun to find my place on a wolf hide in the mead hall, to hear the harp strumming as the warrior poet sings his lays, to feel the clash of arms, the battle axe on the targe, and to hear the primal praises of Caedmon's hymn as the Spirit of God began his effectual work of grace in the hearts of Anglo-Saxon pagans. I think you'll love it!


Listen to an audio excerpt of HOSTAGE LANDS

Read a chapter excerpt of Hostage Lands

HADRIAN'S WALL (#hikehadrian) 84 mile hike with son Giles in 2014!

You can vicariously join us by following our progress on the 84 mile ancient Roman wall across Britain at my blog.

"...this book is amazing. When I finished Hostage Lands, I wished there was more of it to read. Great book, from cover to cover." (unsolicited reader review)

"Where's the wall?" asked Giles as we got underway. Lots of sheep, cattle, cats, and dogs, but we would have to put in some miles before we saw real Roman wall stones



Starting out, first evening, Bowness-on-Solway

[lots more to come]



Hostage Lands begins at Haltwhistle Grammar School, Northumbria, England, with the eccentric Latin teacher Miss Klitsa reading Virgil aloud to her students. One of her students, Neil Perkins, who lives on a large farm bordering Hadrian’s Wall, thinks Latin is a waste of time and prefers playing pranks on the teacher and daydreaming about ancient battles between painted Celts and Roman legions. In her teaching of Latin, Miss Klitsa also has taught her students about the 800 wooden writing tablets discovered at the nearby ruins of the Roman fort of Vindolanda, in 1973. Neil is often embarrassed when his teacher flits away into the past and waxes eloquent about the mysteries of the ancient world. That afternoon, while riding home on his ATV over high moorland pasture, he accidentally flips his machine, gouging a deep hole in the turf. Recovering himself and inspecting the hole, Neil unearths an entire manuscript written on Roman wooden tablets. He now desperately wants to know Latin so he can read the tablets and reluctantly shares his discovery with Miss Klitsa and seeks her help in translating the story.

The remainder of the manuscript is a third-century story of usurpation, treachery, and betrayal, penned in first person by the disaffected centurion, Rusticus, serving Rome at Hadrian’s Wall, her most unruly frontier. Made a pawn of ambitious Tribune Festus, Rusticus and his men are saved from massacre by Calum, a disinherited Celt chieftain’s son, now conscripted Roman auxiliary soldier, who was deeply changed when he saw Christians martyred in the Roman coliseum. Thrown together, Calum and Rusticus must unravel a dizzying web of warring allegiances, wherein Rusticus is nearly killed on a route march, made hostage of a rebel Celt clan, and compelled to face single combat with a barbarian chief. Through all, he must sort out who has the greatest demand on his loyalties. Calum speaks of a peace god named Christus, and Rusticus, finally disillusioned with Roman brutalities, longs for this peace. In midst of battles, night marches, boar hunts, and chariot races, the reader learns the differences between ancient paganism and the primal Christian faith practiced in third-century Britain by only a remnant. Their sentence pronounced by the Roman legate for their part in a seeming uprising, Rusticus and Calum are exiled to the hostage lands, on which they become a human boundary between Rome and the irrepressible northern tribes. The last chapter returns to the present, and the story ends with Neil Perkins beginning a more thoughtful approach to his life as he reckons with all he has learned.

STUDY GUIDES Available at this site only

Here's what readers and reviewers say about HOSTAGE LANDS

"My son tells us you are the next C. S. Lewis!" Deborah Graham, New Carlisle, Ohio

"We had trouble putting Hostage Lands down. We are familiar with the great authors. You are a great writer and communicator." Bill Busshaus

Dear Douglas,
We have just received a copy of your new book and we are delighted that the Vindolanda writing tablets have inspired you to write this historical novel for young people. We would love to be able to sell the book in our museum bookshops. Do you have a UK distributor? I also think that it would make a great Vindolanda press release to promote the book, Vindolanda & the writing tablets. Please let me know if you are interested. Best wishes, Patricia Birley ~ Director Vindolanda Trust PS: Conservator of the writing tablets & wife of Robin! (Readers may remember the quote from Robin Birley about his excitement at finding the writing tablets in 1973) 

"A great story that you don't want to put down," March 16 "Seriously, [Hostage Lands] was just a great read. I sat down to read the first couple chapters one evening and didn't end up going to bed until 2 because I wanted to finish the book. Kids will love it as will adults." Pat Connally

Jedi Master Snicket "(JMB)" - I've been learning a lot about Roman history, lately, and I must admit I was getting tired of hearing about it. But this book is amazing. When I finished Hostage Lands, I wished there was more of it to read. Great book, from cover to cover.

Christian Book Previews, Donna Eggett, June 23.

Officially listed as teen fiction, Hostage Lands has an appeal which reaches a larger audience, from approximately 10 years old through adult. Set in English farmlands near the remains of Hadrian's Wall, this historical adventure can be read for its entertainment value alone; but, the reader will also find out what it can cost to be a follower of our Lord, as well as gaining some fine Christian perspectives for living.

In contemporary England, eccentric, extremely laughable Miss Klitsa's Latin class alternates between soporific trance and wild hilarity at the teacher's expense. The protagonist of this story, Neil Perkins, gets to drive his ATV to school everyday, and it isn't only teenage readers who grow green with envy. He often leads in the hilarity aimed at the redoubtable Miss Klitsa. Then one fateful day, Neil and his ATV hair-raisingly gouge a ditch near Hadrian's Wall and he finds an ancient manuscript. The only one who can help him is Miss Klitsa.

As Neil translates the manuscript, the reader falls headlong into a spine-tingling Roman/Celtic adventure of sword-play, treachery, fearful undertakings, wild men vs. civilized people, undying friendship, and impossible decisions. It's hard to put this book down and just as hard not to assimilate the lessons: true friendship; patriotism gone awry; willingness to die for another; various battle styles and the war equipment for each; some intriguing English archaeological lessons; accepting people as worthwhile even when you think them ridiculous; and a great deal more.

High school history and English teacher as well as author, Douglas Bond knows how to portray people of all ages. He is a rising star in the historical fiction genre for both older and younger people. Not satisfied with his own history background, Bond draws on the research of other historians. With a wide but understandable vocabulary, a talent for keeping the plot under control, a penchant for characterization, and a wonderful imagination, Bond presents a tale sure to engross any reader. A glossary of terms and a Roman timeline help keep the audience on track. As well as being a good read for the individual, Hostage Lands makes a fine read-aloud book. - Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com

Come along on a Bond Voyage Church History tour

Check out the various Church History tours offered at TOURS

Bond's CHS historical studies tour

Every other year the author co-leads a group of his Juniors and Seniors from Covenant High School, Tacoma Washington, on a historical studies tour of Great Britain. In March, 1973, Robin Birley, archeologist at the Roman fort of Vindolanda, uncovered 800 wooden tablets revealing never-before-known facts about Roman life on the wall in the last centuries of occupation. As a result of reading about that discovery, and the author's multiple visits to the wall, the ideas for this book have been simmering. At the archeological digs at Vindolanda hardly a day passes without the uncovering of remarkable artifacts, many that are nearly 2000 years old! Below students hold spear heads uncovered during two different visits when CHS students observed the digging. A spear head, such as these, plays a significant role in this tale.



Sample Chapter of HOSTAGE LANDS



Chapter One: Dead Words

"Of arms and the man I sing," intoned the teacher, red blotches of exhilaration glowing on her cheeks. She lifted her half-closed eyes to the blackened timbers of the classroom ceiling, and continued. "That is to say, ‘Arma virumque cano.’"

"Arms? Like, well, arms?" said a girl, her nose crinkled in bewilderment as she looked from her copy of Virgil to her own arms.

"Weapons, Sally, dear," said the teacher, Miss Klitsa, blinking rapidly, her bony knuckles turning white as she steadied herself with a grip on her lectern. "Swords, spears, catapults--you know, the tools of warfare. Now then, if I may recommence. ‘Troiae qui primus ab oris Italiam fato…’"

"Hey, I’m getting it. I’m really getting it!" said Sally. "That’d be something about a fat Italian, right?"

Snorts of laughter erupted throughout the classroom.

Miss Klitsa blanched, as if someone had slapped her. Her eyes fluttering at the class over her half-rimmed glasses, she blew her nose and began again.

Neil Perkins watched every gesture of the recitation from his desk at the north corner of the classroom. He always sat in the back, in the north corner, because through the leaded panes of a window he had a pretty good view of a stretch of moorland and sky—and of the wall. All things he’d seen before, too many times, but for daydreaming there was simply no better seat in the classroom. Miss Klitsa’s recitation continued, "…multa quoque…"

Neil rolled his eyes with embarrassment as the teacher’s voice rose and fell, one hand clenched in anguish over her heart, the bony fingers of the other splayed with twitching fervor, changing gestures from hand to hand as she spoke. He frequently asked himself at times like these: Why did Haltwhistle Grammar School, crammed up against an old pile of rocks in the north of England, why did the students from this hole-in-the-wall place have to have a teacher like Miss Klitsa?

Miss Klitsa was not normal. What else was a boy of fifteen to conclude about a sixty-something-year-old spinsters with hair so red it made your eyes go blood-shot looking at it? Worse yet, the curly mass seemed to spew from her head like molten lava from a volcano. Come to think of it, she would have made a great physical science teacher, thought Neil, a living, fire-regurgitating specimen right in the classroom. Or maybe she should have taught ancient history. What could be better than a flesh and blood, walking, sneezing fossil for your ancient history teacher?

Which brings up the matter of her nose. Neil’s mother had tried to explain about chronic sinus difficulties and post-nasal drip, but never to the effect of producing in her son an ounce of sympathy for the poor woman’s condition. Finding a way to steal yet another of Miss Klitsa’s lacy pink handkerchiefs, which she habitually stuffed under her watchband between blowings, was a daily task that Neil assumed with disciplined regularity. Good days he succeeded. Bad days he failed. To date, his collection of pink hankies numbered thirty-four. Thirty-four good days out of forty-five days of school, he had to admit, was decidedly above average.

And there were other things about Miss Klitsa, like her tricycle. Neil found it difficult in the extreme to take seriously a teacher who pedaled a giant-sized tricycle, its pink paint chalky with age, its ancient basket huge enough to haul large dressed stones or a month’s supply of coal. Every morning, every evening, in nearly all weathers, Miss Klitsa hiked up her skirts and hoisted herself into the driver’s seat of that rattletrap piece of junk. She sometimes even rode in the rain, pedaling along with an unfurled umbrella. The thing was so old that Neil imagined that iron-aged Celts probably rode tricycles like Miss Klitsa’s. Maybe they’d found some buried in the peat at the digs in Vindolanda. He’d have to ask about it.

Miss Klitsa’s voice had switched back to English. She often broke in to explain something she thought was interesting--she thought was interesting, though Neil rarely did. "Some say Virgil wrote on papyrus, but he might just as well have written on thin wooden tablets, such as this," she said, holding up what looked like a flat sheet of wood a bit smaller than a sheet of paper. "Then dipping a stylus in ink, such as this--" She held up a tapered bronze pen-like thing. "He would set down his incomparable verse, which we now resume reading, ‘…hic illius arma…’"

Neil turned from the window and looked hard at the teacher. Odd as she was in nearly every other way, he mused, it was her interest—no, no, interest would not do—her obsession with Roman stuff, like tablets and that stylus, that made her the oddest. Of course there was the language--she was, after all, a Latin teacher. But she was obsessed. It was as if she came under its power. Neil watched her closely. Here it comes, he thought: that ecstatic gazing past the students in her classroom, that transported tone in her voice, that relaxed wonder that caused her cheeks to sag. She’s gone, said Neil to himself. It’s two thousand years ago, and she’s in Rome. He sighed and turned back to his window and to the wall. Or she’s marching around up there.

Suddenly, he felt a lurching coming from his insides. He often got these overwhelming urges to break out laughing. He could just see Miss Klista, her hair groping in the breeze from under her helmet, marching along in lobster-back armor and one of those skimpy red kilt things Roman legionaries used to wear--her knobby knees—oh, and a polka-dotted leopard skin over her bony shoulders. Clamping his fingers over his lips and nose, desperate to smother the laughter, he felt like his eyes might pop out with the pressure.

Though the ridiculous old woman often had this effect on him, Neil did find himself at other times—times of extreme weakness--temporarily arrested by her passion for all things Roman. She would raise a bony fist, throw back her head with a shake that made her hair waggle wildly, then she would sniffle convulsively, and shout, "Strength and honor!" Though for the most part he couldn’t help thinking of Miss Klitsa as stark-staring, foaming-at-the-mouth, certifiably bonkers, he had to give the old girl this much: she had enthusiasm.

Miss Klitsa paused in her recitation of Virgil and began describing an ancient battle waged on nearby Hadrian’s Wall, painted Caledonians charging madly into the disciplined ranks of a Roman legion. And Neil found himself, firmly against his will, transported with her. What am I doing? He thought, with an irritated shake of his head. The fit passed, and he resumed thinking of Miss Klitsa as, well, Miss Klitsa--demented, certifiable, and as obsolete as an old Roman sandal. He turned again to his window.

Neil studied the sharp outline of the ancient stone wall undulating atop the ridge. Of course he didn’t share Miss Klitsa’s mania for all things Roman; he figured she hadn’t had a real rival in that department since sometime before AD 476. But he had to admit, there were times when he wondered about who laid those stones and what they were thinking as they did it, or about the great battles Miss Klitsa described, waged right here. He could almost hear one: the clash of swords and shields, the hail of arrows and spears, the thunder of hooves from the cavalry, the cries of anguish and terror, the spilled blood—right there, on those stones. That was all pretty interesting. Again, Miss Klitsa’s voice drifted into his thoughts, babbling away in Latin, now. He’d had more than enough for today, and suddenly he had an idea..

He raised his hand. "Magistra, magistra," he said, using the Latin name for teacher that he knew would arrest Miss Klitsa from her reverie. He’d used it before.

"Neilus, discipulus," she said with a smile.

Pasting on his most earnest languishing-after-knowledge gaze, he asked, "Did I understand you to say once that someone has already translated Virgil?"

"Indeed," she replied. "Many have exerted their prodigious talents in the most worthy endeavor of translating his magisterial works."

"Allow me to translate," whispered Neil’s friend John, hunkered behind his notebook in the next desk. "That’s Klitsa-speak for yes."

Ignoring his friend, Neil wracked his brain for a suitable reply to Miss Klitsa. "Astonishing," he said.

Snorts of muted laughter rose from the class. Miss Klitsa didn’t seem to notice.

"Moreover, one is safe in asserting," she continued, the bony fingers of her hands steepled in contemplation, "that all the known classics of the Roman world, Julius Caesar, Virgil, Horace, Marcus Aurelius, all have made their way--at times a halting way--nevertheless, they have made their way into--" Here she broke off with a frown, her hands fell limp at her sides, and her voice flattened to a monotone, "--into modern English."

"All of them?" asked Neil.

"Indeed," replied Miss Klitsa.

John leaned closer. "Now for the kill, mate," he whispered, his lips not moving.

"Yet you still teach us Latin," observed Neil.

"Naturally," she replied, recoiling as if to do otherwise was akin to withholding the benefits of good hygiene from her students.

"If you will forgive me for pointing out," he continued, "the non sequitur."

"Non sequitur?" she replied. "I do not follow you."

"Perhaps I am not making myself very clear," Neil continued. "Allow me to frame my question using another language—like, English. Does anyone actually speak Latin today, I mean, when they go to the shop--or to the pub?"

"Getis meum unam beerum," said John, under his breath.

More titters from the class.

"’Tis a great loss to civilization," began Miss Klitsa, with a sniff. "But, alas, I am compelled to reply that no people group today speak in the lofty strains of antiquity. ‘Tis an incalculable loss."

"Am I hearing you say, then, magistra," said Neil, "that Latin is, well--dead?"

Miss Klitsa narrowed her eyes at him, yanked her handkerchief from under her watchband with a snap, and made three delicate blasts on her nose.

"You shall hear me say many things, Neil," she replied, stuffing the handkerchief back in its place. "But you shall never hear me say that."

"But does the question not inevitably follow, magistra, that if everything worth reading is already translated into English, what possible good can come," he continued, "from any of us learning Latin?"

Miss Klitsa’s face took on a color dangerously close to that of her hair.

"Nuances, Neil Perkins," she said, bony knuckles white as she gripped her lectern and leaned closer, her eyes snapping. "The devil is always in the details, and the meaning is always in the nuances. Never forget that."

"Never," he replied with feeling. Then added as an afterthought another, "Never," calculating that a double negative of a negative imperative might actually be saying that he would never remember what she had just told him never to forget.

Drawing in a deep breath, Miss Klitsa clasped her hands together and gazed at the ceiling. "Now then, with Virgil, we continue. ‘…altae moenia Romae.’

"And--and that bit’s something about Rome," squealed Sally. "I really am getting it."

"Very good, dear," said Miss Klitsa, her voice taut with restraint.

"Now, what’s the rest say?" asked Sally, her face scrunched in bewilderment at the page.

"‘The lofty walls,’" said Miss Klitsa, "and yes, dear, ‘of Rome.’"

"See. I really do get it," said Sally, giggling.

Neil stole a glance out the window at the wall, black clouds gathering above.

"Precisely, Neil," said Miss Klitsa, following his gaze. She fixed her eyes on Neil over her half-rimmed glasses. "Our wall looms in our minds, does it not? Our wall, we say, but by rights it is Hadrian’s, really. And as familiarity so often engenders contempt, so we think little of it. Few of you appreciate the overwhelming privilege of living in the stupendous shadow of this ‘lofty wall of Rome.’ If those stones could only speak; if each mile castle would but give up her dead."

"Yikes!" said Sally, burying her eyes in the back of her hand and squirming in her seat.

"To you all this is but common," continued Miss Klitsa. "Today your fathers’ sheep graze on turf that received the tread of legions, the blood of Celts, the imprint of an emperor’s heel. But, oh, if you would hear the wall speak, how differently would you view those ancient stones, how lofty would they then appear to you."

"The stones talk?" said Sally, scrunching up her nose more than usual. "Like, for real?"

"‘Tis in figurative language that I speak, my dear," said Miss Klitsa, patiently.

"Is that like Latin?" asked Sally.

"To some, I fear," replied Miss Klitsa, a quaver in her voice.

Neil looked again at the wall. He’d grown up thinking of it as nothing more than a big pile of rocks, the southern boundary of his father’s farm, a source of stones to repair the barn, a narrow highway to balance his all terrain vehicle on while searching for a runaway ewe.

Miss Klitsa lowered her voice ominously. "Hear me, students. Each new artifact uncovered, each sandal and spearhead, each coin and sword hilt, I say, each one does speak! Still more, the letters, the diaries, the dispatches! Oh, make no mistake, my students, if we but had ears to hear, eyes to see what lies beneath our feet the wonders of antiquity would be exposed, the mysteries of the ancients revealed, and the dead made alive."

"Dead people made alive?" said Sally, her eyes screwed shut. "Oh, please, don’t. Not for real?"

"Yes, Sally." Miss Klitsa leaned forward and stared hard from face to face at the class, her eyes flashing. Reddened from blowing, her nostrils flared as she drew breath in short pulls and exhaled in shallow wheezes. "For real."

Neil was sitting up. She means it, he thought, narrowing his eyes at the teacher.

"And when those once-dead voices come to life and speak," she continued, her voice teetering on the verge of hysteria, her wide eyes darting from face to face around the classroom. "They will speak--" her eyes locked and seemed to bore in on Neil, "—in Latin!"


Hostage Lands study guide key (by one of my students)

Unit 1 (chapters 1-4)

Chapter 1

1.      Miss Klitsa had a passion for Roman objects that came from Rome including, Latin which was their Language. She was a Latin teacher. (pg. 11)

2.      Neil loved sitting by the window that looked out to the wall outside which he considered to be his own. (pg. 12)

3.      According to Miss Klitsa Latin is used to translate many pieces of literature and work such as Julius Caesar, Horace, and Virgil. She brings up a nuance and says that the devil is always in the details and the meaning is always in the nuances. By this she means that the meaning is what really matters and is found in the minute details. (pg. 15)

4.      Miss Klitsa wishes that the wall could speak and each stone could give their own story. This has to do with Latin because she says that every artifact and stone from ancient Rome speaks and when they do they will speak in Latin. (pg. 17)

Chapter 2

5.      The excitement of fun of getting to school and how he got to school in his ride was the thing that stopped him from skipping. (pg. 20)

6.      What Neil was experiencing when he went off the jump and went into a barrel roll down a hill was what he would read that happened to others. (pg.22)

7.      The four-wheeler smashed into the ground and dug up a huge whole where Neil found a spearhead and something else. (pg. 24-25)

Chapter 3

8.      He sees Miss Klitsa is right because he sees this as a chance where the past is going to speak to him like she was telling them in her classroom that day. (pg. 29)

Chapter 4

9.      They wrote numbers on the undersides of the tablets to make sure that they could keep them in order and not get them confused when they translated it. (pg. 36)

10.  Since the tablets were well preserved organized and written neatly with care they came to a conclusion that it was written by an educated man. She could tell by the way it was it was written neatly and legibly. (pg. 37)

11.  He becomes a very good Latin scholar because of his training in translating Latin when he took his time to translate all of these tablets with verbs, nouns, and once he got used to translating he grew and grew until it was just simple to translate. (pg. 38-40)


Unit II (chapters 5-7)


Chapter 5

1.      Centurion Marcus Aurelius Rusticus wrote this text under the “compulsion of the gods” about the foul treachery and murder at the northern frontier or their once great empire Rome.  (pg.41)

2.      In place of her grandeur the nation of Rome now has men that are treacherous and are not loyal betraying their country. Rome has become wicked and killers within the city. (pg. 41-41)

3.      When he says this he smells the painted people that shadow his route and hide behind boulders that are the wicked and sinful people in Rome. (pg. 42)

4.      Tribune Festus is in command cause in their army he was a centurion and every centurion was ordered each month to take a company of men on a route march to train and practice with them. He was unfit because he would lead his men north straight into the trouble and danger unlike all the other centurions. He had no military no military experience, did not know many things, and was only their cause he was rich and somehow related emperors.(pg. 43)

5.      Optio Linus comes to the conclusion that this is not a mere training march but a death march that they had been set up for to go and fight. (pg. 44)

6.      The order of Roman battle that Rusticus states it first they use slings and arrows, then as they close in they resort to the pilums, after that they go to their swords; this is their order of battle. (pg. 46)

Chapter 6

7.      A testudo is a battle tactic that was used by the Romans when it is yelled the men instantaneously cover themselves above and before making a tortoise shell out of their covered shields. (pg. 50). A pilum was another name the Romans used as their spear. (pg. 51)

8.      He thinks he hears a trumpet that is a signal to advance like the Celts had used. But, when he thinks about it he knew that the Romans did not have any reinforcements or signals to advance. (pg. 51)

Chapter 7

9.      Calum was with Rusticus because Calum had saved him when Rusticus was wounded by a spear and had passed out not far from where Calum was working. (pg. 54)

10.  Calum saved Rusticus because his Celtic detachment was under orders to cut timber not far (half a league) from where they were fighting and one of Calum servants told him about the battle. He also played a trick on all the mad Celts that saved Rusticus and his men by acting like they had a legion when they didn’t. In Rusticus’s whole battalion only one other man survived the battle. (pg. 55) 


Unit III (chapters 9-11)


Chapter 8

1.      Calum was reluctant to take Rusticus to the shrine because he was a Celt and had his own god to give thanks and to pray to other than Jupiter which was from Calum’s culture.  (pg. 59)

2.      Calum’s theory of why Festus hates Rusticus is because he knows Rusticus thinks of Festus as a fool and he know that Festus is a man that feels and even a hint or glance at Festus from Rusticus to show his feelings could have caused this. (pg. 62)

Chapter 9

3.      He says that Rusticus fought the barbarians and went into battle with them because of his own glory and fame he wanted when really he went in under orders of Festus. Festus got it wrongs because that was really his true intention to send Rusticus into battle.

Chapter 10

4.      He believes that the theory on Legate Julius’s illness is not a real illness but a drug to make him ill. He also believes that Festus ordering the route march is because it was a military strategy for a reason and excuse to march north. (pg. 73-74)

5.      Calum responds saying that the place and people of the land don’t matter that much to Festus. What only matters to Festus is his own fame and glory he gains from it. (pg. 75)

Chapter 11

6.      He gets that news that Festus has ordered the injured Rusticus not to go back to the Hospital or his quarters but to the barracks in bunk 47. (pg. 76)

7.      His consultation concerning Festicus to Rusticus is that Festicus is against Rusticus and all his delusion is not good. Calum suggests the Rusticus goes with him to the village because the barracks will not serve him.

8.      He thinks that Festus’ retaliation on the Celts will be going and raiding the village with woman and children in it destroying everything. (pg. 79)

9.      Rusticus’ view on raiding a village and killing innocent woman and children is that there are times when women and children must die and that they will eventually die in any event. He sees a little boy peer out the door and wave to them, this is why he is uncomfortable with his own view. (pg. 80)

10.  Festus’ argument of why the rule of Rome is best is because he states that Rome is law and is the order and peace if they would rule as the king. Festus is in values of Rome that are out of accord with civilized values and many men like him have been made. (pg. 80-81)


Unit 4: 12-14

Chapter 12

1.      Rusticus no longer thinks Celt plaid Barbaric because he saw how the old women’s was very nice made out of linen and gold, while Calum’s tunic was all ripped and dirty. (pg. 84)

2.      Rusticus starts to recognize some words from Iona and the old woman because he recollects some of the words from his youth when he was growing up that his grandmother also used. (pg. 85)

3.      The ritual that Calum performed was the whole family held hands, looked through the smoke hole in the roof, and prayed. Rusticus tallied this ritual to be a form of native paganism. (pg. 85)

Chapter 13

4.      The one reason that Rome has failed to conquer the Celts is because they do not have any knowledge of them or any way of knowing their tactics and being able to defeat them. (pg. 89)

5.      Rusticus must now take on the role of Festus’s assurance of Calum. He wants Rusticus to make sure that Calum does his job and does not betray Rome after his own kind. (pg. 92)

6.      Rusticus was afraid Calum would make his last stand then and there because just as a backup plan Festus had captured Iona and was threatening to harm her if Calum did not return successful in his job. (pg. 94)

Chapter 14

7.       “Everything ROMAN must go, Calum said. (pg. 101)


Unit 5: 15-17

Chapter 15

1.      Calum and Rusticus take the secret passage because they know that Festus has men watching for them at the main gate to do something when they came out. (pg.103)

2.      Rusticus believed that Prometheus gave him his two legs to march on and he hates horses because Barbarians and auxiliary troops rode horses but, Romans would never stoop so low. (pg. 105)

3.      The horses were necessary for their travel because Calum knew Rusticus was not ready for the long march ahead of them. Also they road because he road with purpose knowing that they would arrive somewhere. (pg. 105, 107)

Chapter 16

4.      Rome does not know of the tunnel through the wall because the Celts who dug it for iron and copper don’t want them to know about it. (pg. 109)

5.      Calum serves the Prince of Peace or God. The evidence is shown through his attitude throughout the whole story helping and forgiving Festus for the things he has gotten him into. (pg. 110)

6.      Calum says with the sword and spear in his hand that he will serve the Prince of Peace first. Also he says that he cannot fight for Rome or for Peace. (pg. 110)

7.      Calum will not need to rebel because he knows that Rome will be destroyed and taken over by the Prince of Peace who has made many other great kingdoms fall under him. (pg. 111)

8.      Hadrian’s Wall is already a monument to Rome’s Failure because it has failed to subdue the northern tribes and like Calum said it will not stand forever. (pg. 111)

9.       Calum went to Rome because he was sent there when Septimius Severus sought ways to secure the alliance of all Celt’s in Britain.  When Calum got to Rome he saw horrible things of Christians being persecute, tortured, and put to death in extremely immoral ways. (pg. 113-114)

10.  He spent his last week trying to find these people that were being persecuted as Christians, and spent time praying with them. He discovered that these people had done no crime against Rome. (pg. 115)

11.   The Rumors that Rusticus does not want to talk about is that this Prince of Peace that was crucified and put death rose again to life. (pg. 115)

12.  Calum Father’s brother’s name is Brude. (pg. 115)

Chapter 17

13.  The wounded man’s face had kindness in his eyes and the deep lines in his face seemed more carved by the years of smiling than by hate and war. (pg. 119)

14.  Calum and Rusticus were not killed immediately because Calum was stitching up the hurt man and trying to heal his wound when the rest of the men came. Their lives depend on whether that man stays alive. If he dies they die. (pg. 120, 122)


Unit 6: 18-20

Chapter 18

1.      In the walls of the Celt round house was covered with many weapons such as shields, swords, spears, armor, helmets that were taken after Rome was defeated in battle. They were all weapons wielded by past Roman soldiers. (pg. 124)

2.      He was enchanted with Brude’s story because of the way he told it he told it like a clever fellow, gesturing, acting out the tale, his voice speaking then rising into song, and the firelight flicked on his cheeks and cast eerie shadows upward on his features as he spoke. (pg. 128)

3.      These things came to Calum easier probably because of his experience with these things and the culture he was raised in. But, also because of his trust and faith in God and heaven. (pg. 128)

Chapter 19

4.      They know Festus will not them live because even if they come back with a lot of information he will have his retaliation on the people and they would neither live. Calum suggests that they try to stop Festus in his plan to destroy the Celts. (pg. 131-132)

5.      Calum’s view of his alliance to Rome is an alliance to the city and to the people. His allegiance to Rome is not to please the ambitions and plans of one man. He has every right to defend his own country. (pg. 132)

6.      Erp is Brude’s older brother and he tells Calum and Rusticus to stay with them and that they are safe as much as the clan they are with are. He tells them that he must prepare for the war that is to come. (pg 133).

Chapter 20

7.      Yes Erp does know who Rusticus truly is. The author tells us by foreshadowing it when he says that his eyes would lock onto mine every now and then and I could not shake them off. (pg. 134)

8.      He asks Rusticus “why have two Roman soldiers gone willful missing, in defiance of the known punishment for such desertion?” He also asks about their plans for Rome and against them. (pg 137).



Unit 7: 21-23

Chapter 21

1.      Rusticus worries that the Celts he is staying with know his true identity as a Roman and not one of them. (pg. 138)

2.      By holding the Chariot races the Celt’s are practicing and rehearsing battle with Rome. (pg. 140)

Chapter 22

3.      When Rusticus hurled the spear he hit the target directly in the heart, but hurled himself off the chariot into the ground. (pg. 146)

4.      When Calum is asked to entertain the clan he tells them the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and how he grew up leading people to him. He tells them about how Jesus died for their sins on the cross. (pg. 147)

Chapter 23

5.      Rusticus says that he will overtake Calum and help to save him by changing his course. He is showing loyalty to the Celt’s and the information he has about them (pg. 156)

6.      The surprise attack by Brude and his men is the boon from the Celt’s that Rusticus’ plan is held on. (pg. 157)

7.      When Rusticus goes back through the wall he is accompanied with Brude’s two sons Branduff and Cedd who know the Roman tongue.

8.      That just because the people of Rome are raised there doesn’t mean they will be loyal forever. It is showing that many people choose different paths to travel on other than Rome and its culture. (pg. 160)


Unit 8: 24-26

Chapter 24

1.      Calum believes true faith begins when “a man is empty and ready to be filled.”

2.      Calum went into save Iona wearing Rusticus’ honor to act as a centurion to confuse the tribune and blend in to not be caught when he snuck in. (pg. 166)

Chapter 25

3.      When he is talking Rusticus realizes that he has the all the information that Festus wants to secure his freedom and redeem himself. No, he should not use it because Festus will kill him n matter what. (pg. 168)

Chapter 26

4.      Rusticus gets Linus’, his optio, attention by saying something behind his back to get his attention when he recognized his voice. (pg. 173)


Unit 9: 27-29

Chapter 27

1.      When Calum arrived at the fort he went to Iona, but he was charged for treason and captured soon to be put to death. Linus’ opinion is that it is the Roman way and Rusticus should tell his information to Festus to help them. (pg. 175)

2.      The choice before Linus based on Calum and Rusticus’ conversation is either to be allies with Rusticus and help him or be his enemy and do anything to kill him. (pg. 177)

Chapter 28

3.      The act that warms Rusticus to the two valiant Celts is that they are defending him and fighting with him against his enemies. (pg. “the whole chapter”)

4.      Linus’ reasoning behind his decision is that he is strategically smart and wise, but also the fact that Rusticus cannot do this without them. (pg. 180)

Chapter 29

5.      In this attack to the huge forces of Rome their best ally is the element of surprise. (pg. 182)


Unit 10: 30-32

Chapter 31

1.      Calum stops the guards that are running at them by holding a knife up to Festus’ neck and threatening to kill him. (pg. 190)

2.      “Make way! Mae way for Cegate Julius” Cegate Julius the ruler of Rome at the time enters the scene at its moment of suspense. (pg. 191)

3.      Julius’ request of Rusticus when he talks about the sound of battle is to go out in honor of Rome and defeat Brude and his barbarian army for loyalty in Rome. (pg. 194)

Chapter 32

4.      Rusticus accepts it and takes the trumpet sounding the cry for a single combat match. He is hesitant because he does not want to go up against the likes of Brude. (pg. 201)


Unit 11: 33-35

Chapter 33

1.      Calum is reciting the Lord’s prayer at the beginning of the chapter praying for Rusticus (pg. 202)

2.      Calum’s for Rusticus against Brude is only to fight to defend himself, but not the intentions of fighting to kill. (pg. 203)

3.      He is irritated by the things and plans Calum says that often confuses him or end up being bad and risky for both sides. He is very unclear and confusing in his commands. (pg. 203)

4.      The characteristics of Calum that he is not from this world is the things he says that Rusticus believes are not possible and can never be achieved like the peace between the two nations in God. (pg. 204)

5.      The sword fight is Rusticus defending himself from Brutus’ attack knowing that when someone is driven by rage they are not precise. Also not to show any emotions of weakness or strength to your opponent. They are sharing sword slashes one hit at a time. (pg. 205)

6.      The event that Calum told him about the little boy in the coliseum being killed for believing in Christ rushed into his head. This rushed into his head when he heard the Romans chanting Die, Die, Die. (pg.  207)

7.      His reasoning behind both Rusticus and Brude is that it will not matter in the end whether either wins or loose. For Rusticus Rome will just praise in spilled blood and nothing else. For Brude if he dies the Celt’s lose a great leader for nothing in return (pg. 208)

Chapter 34

8.      Legate Julius did not know of the march that Rusticus and his men took before that time into the land of the barbarians sent by Festus. The Roman soldiers were killed and destroyed. (pg. 213)

9.      The Legate looked at Festus and snapped his fingers having the same thing done to him that he had done to Calum. (pg. 216)

Chapter 35

10.  Calum’s proposal for peace is that each country would take a hostage from the other to ensure that each nation abided by the rules that were brought forth. (pg. 218)

11.  Calum and Rusticus are the two hostages for both sides and they will be farmers or workers with land. They will be physical barriers and the hostage land owners that will make sure no one breaks the laws. They will be physical barriers because they own the land in the hostage lands. (pg. 220)




Unit 12: 36-37


Chapter 36

1.      Their wedding ceremony was unique because it did not follow Roman or Celt culture. Instead of praising false gods and making a ceremony to them they praised God and his word in their wedding. (pg. 222)

2.      Rusticus stands up when asked to tell a tale and tells the same one as Calum about the birth of Jesus Christ and his life to die for our sins. (pg. 223)

Chapter 37

3.      I believe the real enemy in this story was everyone’s selfishness for themselves and only for themselves being disloyal and sinning not caring about others lives. (pg.225)

4.      Christ is beyond the other God’s because he is actually real and is the creator of us and our magnificent world dyeing on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. He is the almighty creator of everything. (pg. 225)

5.      Neil’s father proposes that he reads the Latin text from the beginning to see if it is true or not. (pg. 228)



Hadrian’s Wall, by Anna Michael (17)

The Lion Rampant flutters,

The wall ahead stands tall,

Prayers or curses muttered,

Which army this day will fall?


Each man moves in order,

As the army makes for war,

Standing either side the boarder,

On the right hand there’s the shore.


On the left sleeps the moors,

The rolling hills like waves of sea,

Minds and legs all weary sore,

Days are remembered when one was free.


No sail from the sea shows,

No help from the rear arrives,

Waiting for the sign of our foes,

Dreading the bloody death-cries.


Conscripted for Bonnie Prince Charlie,

To fight against King George,

Gazing across the barley,

I feel the heat of the Devil’s forge.


A flag unfurls over Hadrian’s Wall,

Horse’s hooves pound the thistles and earth,

The battle begins with the gunshot’s call,

The men charge for all it’s worth.


“Claymores!” That cry rang through our ears,

As army to army we clashed,

Our God granted grace and took our fears,

Though claymore with claymore crashed.


Old One-Hundredth rang in our head,

Cheering our hands to war,

“Wars into peace I’ll turn,” Christ said,

For Christ, not Prince, our guns we bore.