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Slave King recreates a major slave revolt in Sicily led by a Syrian magus turned leader, circa 140-132 BCE, decades before Spartacus. He forges a coalition of slaves, farmers and herders to defeat Roman armies and establish an egalitarian entity. The novel uses biased ancient sources but challenges them to speak for the oppressed and present alternative cultural-historical perspectives. Among its chapters are scenes of exorcism, ancient marriage customs and a play.