Culture and romance clash in this historical novel, set in ancient Greece after its conquest by Rome.
rarest loveliness by Phidias, Praxiteles and Scopas, Thrason, Myron, Pharax and Phradmon, stood between the pillars. Within the court were fragrant flowers of every shade, and in the centre towered one grand design in fountain form, from which came sprays of perfumed water, hiding the sultry sky and falling back with musical rhythm into the many-coloured marble basin. Slaves with fans of gorgeous plumage wafted the perfumed air into the Golden Room.
In this retiring room, on a couch of citrus-wood inlaid with precious stones and pearls, reclined Venusta. She was clothed in a linen robe of saffron-yellow, with delicate pattern interwoven, and embroidered borders from Phrygia and Babylon. Her face spoke plainly that the Romans ruled the Ionians.
Close by her was Nika, standing like a beautiful dream. She was draped in white silk from the Isle of Cos, and through this diaphanous dress the outlines of her lovely form were seen. Around her waist circled a zone of gems--ruby, sapphire, emerald, hyaci