Archive for May, 2012
Apuleius Books is pleased to announce the publication of a new novel by Paul Kastenellos – Antonina, A Byzantine Slut.
In the year 531 AD the late Roman (Byzantine) general Flavius Belisarius married a prostitute named Antonina. Though little known in the west, Belisarius was perhaps the noblest person ever to lead great armies and is considered to be one of the ten – some would argue three – most successful commanders in history.
Belisarius loved and was faithful to Antonina their whole lives together. Antonina loved him yet engaged in a ten year affair with their godson. They accompanied Belisarius on his military campaigns in which he regained North Africa and Italy for the Emperor Justinian who now resided in Constantinople. She also became the chief confidant of the Empress Theodora and acted as her agent in the reconquered lands. In an age when wives might be secluded and without political power, Antonina raised and led an army in Italy and stood a year-long siege in Rome.
Regrettably, the historical picture of Antonina has been colored by the hatred for her of Belisarius’ adoring but prissy biographer. In this book we see the life of her famous husband through Antonina’s realistic eyes, and Antonina, through his. Theirs is a love story worth telling.
Antonina “descended from a family of charioteers; and her chastity has been stained with the foulest reproach. Yet she reigned with long and absolute power over the mind of her illustrious husband; and if Antonina disdained the merit of conjugal fidelity, she expressed a manly friendship to Belisarius, whom she accompanied with undaunted resolution in all the hardships and dangers of a military life.”
Edward Gibbon … The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
“All this can be properly attributed to folly, for it is she who sees that a wife is attractive to her husband and a husband to his wife, that peace reigns in the home and their relationship continues. A husband is laughed at, cuckolded, called a worm and who knows what else when he kisses away the tears of his unfaithful wife, but how much happier it is for him to be thus deceived than to wear himself out with unremitting jealousy, strike a tragic attitude, and ruin everything!”
Erasmus of Rotterdam … In Praise of Folly
Apuleius Books is pleased to announce the kindle marketplace version of Antonina: A Byzantine Slut appearing without DRM for the reader’s convenience.