The Scent of Hyacinth weaves a romantic adventure around the legend of Numa Pompilius, Rome's second king, and a water nymph named Egeria. Tradition ran that Egeria was the mistress of wise King Numa, that he consorted with her in the secrecy of a sacred grove, and that the laws which he gave the Romans were inspired by communion with her divinity.
Prima, the daughter of assassinated King Romulus, holds precariously onto the reins of power and survives the dangerous machinations of ambitious senators only by advancing her friend Numa Pompilius to the heights of government.
Numa, whose training as a religious scholar intensifies his innate distaste for politics, decries the intrigues and power plays that accost him in Rome. With divine advice from his mistress, this gentle lawgiver brings an end to war and institutes the priesthood, augurs and vestals for the rough-edged Romans.
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March 13, 2005
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