Friday, December 13, 2013

Hunky Roman Tribunes - by Nancy Jardine

Nancy Jardine is here today to tell us about hunky Roman tribunes!
Hello to all Heroines With Hearts. I’m delighted to visit you today, so close to the launch of my second Celtic/Roman historical adventure After Whorl: Bran Reborn (Dec 16th 2013).
I’m even more pleased to be able to witter on about Roman tribunes. Hunky tribunes- you say? Is the male protagonist in After Whorl: Bran Reborn, the second book in my Celtic Fervour series a Roman Military Tribune? Well…actually no. It shows my Scottish origins and I guess total bias, that my hero is an amazing Brigante Celt called…Bran. If you’ve already read The Beltane Choice you’ll know him by another name, but for the moment I’ll let you guess what that is.
Nevertheless, there is a Roman tribune, who might be an almost next best thing - depending on your viewpoint for he is indeed quite a character! In both After Whorl: Bran Reborn, and the third book in the series After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks (due for publication around March 2014), my Gaius Livanus Valerius is a very important character. The similarity of titles for books 2 and 3 is intentional, since the stories are ‘stand- alone’ yet they are also ‘intertwined’.
Gaius is not quite from the top-notch senatorial class, but his background is of good equestrian stock- this meant his father could purchase a commission for him to enter the ranks of the officer class in the Roman army. Normally that might be done around the age of eighteen, but there’s a little story in After Whorl: Bran Reborn about the reason for Gaius having to enter service a few years earlier than the norm. In fact, what it did mean is that Gaius had to serve in a non-officer class role till he was old enough to be elevated to a junior clerk post – effectively the ‘posh’ guy in with the ‘plebs’.
Has that early entry to military life made any difference to Gaius? Absolutely! Gaius is much more toughened by having had to work with the rank and file. My Celtic heroine, Ineda, may not call him exactly hunky but she does - eventually - consider that he is a very fit and good looking soldier. When Ineda initially gets to know Gaius, she learns he’s much older than the usual Tribune Angusticlavius. Complicated names here but let’s simplify. The head honcho was the Legatus Legionis – the Legate. Below him, at second in command, would have been the Tribune Laticlavius. The next tier down in the ranking usually had five men in the post of Tribune Angusticlavii – Gaius’ rank. They were around 25 years of age.
Since Gaius has reasons for prolonging his stay in Britannia, and not wanting to return to Rome, he’s accepted a second term of office at the rank of Tribune Angusticlavius and is closer to 30. Ineda finds out that as well as still being in charge of a large number of soldiers, Gaius has also been singled out by the Roman Governor of Britannia to do some extra special duties. A very well regarded and experienced soldier is my Gaius!
Gaius has already done duty in Britannia as part of a ala – a mounted regiment where he was a wee bit heavily involved with the Demetae and the Ordovices. I love those names- don’t you? Well, they were the troublesome tribes of the areas we would now call North and West Wales. So, in fact, Gaius has already sharpened his teeth on some warring Celts before he gets involved with my Brigantes, who were from northern England.
File licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.
What did I imagine my Gaius to look like? This image shows an older man wearing what was likely to have been what Gaius would have worn. Kick start that imagination of yours. Replace the man’s face with your favourite young hunk and you just might have Gaius!
This next link shows what Hollywood imagined a tribune to look like. If anyone remembers the deep sexy tones of rugged-faced Richard Burton, this is quite a young Richard when he played a Roman tribune who ends up with the robe of Jesus. Not quite the same uniform as my Gaius but replace the younger Richard Burton’s face into the uniform on the wiki image and that would be just about okay for Gaius, too!

For more information on those ‘six or eight pack’ breastplates worn by Roman Tribunes you can hop on over to my blog where I’ve got files on all manner of Celts and Romans:
My Pinterest board also has a nice selection:

Thanks for allowing me to visit today, ladies- it’s always a pleasure to share a lovely young man with you.

Facebook Launch Party **Giveaways**
For a chance to enter the draw for a ‘triquetra’ necklace and other prizes join Nancy’s Facebook Launch party  and look for details of how to win the prizes on offer.

Blog launch Tour **Special Prize**
A special Blog Tour ‘friend’ will WIN a mystery gift for the most commented visits to blogs during the launch tour for After Whorl: Bran Reborn. (i.e. most comments between 9th Dec and 18th Dec wins the prize). To be sure you don’t miss any blog posts check Nancy’s Blog regularly between the 9th Dec and the 17th Dec.

Nancy Jardine lives in the fantastic ‘castle country’ of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with her husband. She spends her week making creative excuses for her neglected large garden; doesn’t manage as much writing as she always plans to do since she’s on Facebook too often, but she does have a thoroughly great time playing with her toddler granddaughter when she’s just supposed to be ‘just’ childminding her twice a week.
A lover of all things historical it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.

You’ll find Nancy at the following places: Amazon UK author page  Amazon US author page Blog Website Facebook Goodreads About Me LinkedIn Twitter @nansjar Google+

After Whorl: Bran Reborn
is available for pre-order in paperback from Amazon UK (

Ravaged by war
…AD 71. After the battle at Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed.
Returning to Marske, Ineda finds her grandmother dead, though Brennus is not. Snared by a Roman patrol, they are marched to Witton where he is forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion.
Embracing his new identity as Bran, Brennus vows to avert Roman occupation of northernmost Brigantia. Ineda becomes his doughty spying accomplice, though sometimes she’s too impetuous. Trading with the Romans lends excellent opportunities for information gathering. Over time, Bran’s feelings for Ineda mar with his loyalty to Ineda’s father.
When she disappears, and cannot be found, Bran enters direct service with Venutius, King of the Brigantes.

Nancy, thank you so much for being our Friday Friend today, and for giving us such interesting information about Roman tribunes We wish you every success with After Whorl: Bran Reborn.


  1. The research you've done, Nancy. Incredible! I am always struck by the Roman reach and influence in Britain and northern Europe. Reading romance is the way I like to learn history.

  2. From your comment, Ana, I think you'd like my historical romantic adventures a LOT. I do try for a blend of romance with extremely sound historical background! Thank you for commenting!

  3. Thank you for inviting me today, Heroines with Hearts. I'll pop back in a bit and anwser any comments!

  4. Welcome back, Nancy. So nice to have you here. I echo Ana's sentiments--I'm impressed by the amount of research you've done. It brings back the history I learned in school! Good luck.

  5. Thank you, Jennifer. It's great to be back. If you're interested all my blog tour stops have something to do with my Roman or Celtic researching. My blog has details of where I am and what's been posted.