Couple of things: first, Amiculus will soon appear in a local news feature, which leads me to think a press page should be added to this site. Stay tuned.
Second, while waiting for the next stage of progress on Volume I, I thought I'd reintroduce you to the major players in the book and their roles in history, if any. I've already profiled Procopius, author of The Secret History; now I'd like to spotlight the villain of the book: Flavius Orestes, the father of Romulus.
Historically, Orestes was a Roman citizen from Pannonia and the son of one Tatulus, who was probably of German origin. ("Roman" in late antiquity was a term of some fluidity; it no longer just referred to a citizen of the city of Rome, or even from Italy, just someone who lived within the borders of the Empire. Often these "Romans" were recently-naturalized "barbarians," indicating how blurred the lines were becoming between the two worlds...but I'm digressing.)
Orestes was one of the "Romans" left behind when Attila the Hun bit off Pannonia and absorbed it into his own kingdom. He later became the secretary to Attila and his ambassador to Constantinople, was key in saving him from an assassination attempt, and may have had a hand in his death later on, if you believe the conspiracy theorists.
Orestes went on to marry the daughter of a Roman nobleman, have a son, and become the magister militum (generalissimo) of the Roman army in the West, or what was left of it. He won his empire through treachery and lost it a year later the same way, and may have had a brother Paul who came along for the ride, although he's only mentioned in one source.
The three main impressions I was left with about Orestes after reading various histories were: 1) the man had a skill for treachery, but little else; 2) he had a massive chip on his shoulder about something, and was trying to overcome this via social climbing and power accumulation; 3) fatherhood is something he should have left to just about anyone else. His hubris, viciousness and deep-seated insecurities gave him fascinating potential as a villain, one that I hope becomes more and more interesting as we peel back his layers through the series.
To the left you can see some art and models for Orestes. Fun Fact: The Roman emperor Maximinus Thrax was an illiterate Thracian giant whom the histories claim was 8'6" (almost certainly an exaggeration) and was strong enough to pull fully-laden ox-carts unaided. My use of him as a model is not as much for his dimensions or strength as for the threatening and formidable presence he carries.
Travis Horseman is a writer, actor, and an incurable graphic novel junkie. His love of comic books, theater and classical history have largely driven the course of his life, and he is doing his darnedest to unite them in Amiculus: A Secret History.