Rome, AD 34: Vespasian is serving as a military officer on the outskirts of the Empire. But political events in Rome - Tiberius's increasing debauchery, the escalating grain crisis - draw him back to the city. When Caligula becomes Emperor, Vespasian believes that things will improve. Instead, the young emperor deteriorates from Rome's shining star to a blood-crazed, incestuous, all-powerful madman.
Caligula's most extravagant project is to bridge the bay of Neapolis and ride over it wearing Alexander's breastplate. And it falls to Vespasian to travel to Alexandria and steal it from Alexander's mausoleum. Vespasian's mission will lead to violence, mayhem and theft - and in the end, to a betrayal so great it will echo through the ages.