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The Royal Characters in Rob Edmunds’ Novels

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 The Royal Characters in Rob Edmunds’ Novels

 The wells of history are deep and rich with great and intriguing characters for literary compositions, offering contemporary writers and dramatists endless choices for creative outputs. Some of these figures from history hold important lessons for today’s world of political leadership, culture and discipline, because they lived before us and possess experiences from which today’s political and social cultures may learn a thing or two of value. Several creative writers have concerned themselves with historical figures and novelist Rob Edmunds is one of such literary producers. He has fashioned two gripping novels about the Numidian King Masinissa and Sophonisba, a Carthaginian aristocrat and daughter of a revered Carthaginian general. Edmunds writes about these two and more in Masinissa: Ally of Carthage and Masinissa: Ally of Rome.

Born in 238 BC, but what exactly is Masinissa’s place in our world? Rob Edmunds tells The Daily Scrum: “Masinissa is a very important figure in history,” he says. “And he is still revered today across eight countries in North Africa and the Sahel region as the founding father of the Amazigh/Berber people.” But for one costly mistake, King Masinissa would have occupied a far more important place in today’s intellectual world and his place in history would have been far more elaborate and celebrated.

The novelist has observed that, “if he had not switched his alliance from Carthage to Rome during the Second Punic War and Carthage rather than Rome prevailed, our world might be quite different, including at some fundamental levels such as the alphabet we’re using now.”

Edmunds has noted elsewhere that he “united the divided Numidian kingdom and turned it into the breadbasket of Rome.” Such accomplishment is part of what informed Edmunds literary fixation. He is concerned with how one man was able to gather his people into one cohesive mass and sustain one of the world’s most renowned civilizations with courage, leadership and unflinching devotion.

Rob Edmunds has provided us with a cultural and dramatic inroad into a crucial part of world history and he opens Masinissa: Ally of Carthage with a historical appeal, tension and romance, as readers are immersed in the early throes of the Punic war and one also gets an early glimpse of Masinissa meeting Sophonisba, daughter of Hasdrubal Gisco. Part of the drama is what is depicted on the book’s cover as a public post of the author reveals. But delving into Rob’s novels, one finds opening scenes and dialogues arresting and worthy of one’s reading time.

Here is a reflective passage of the tenderness between Masinissa and Sophonisba: “Masinissa was excited by the prospect of spending time with Sophonisba, and it was the first moments with her that he always looked forward to the most. It was a mixture of the pleasurable thoughts of reunion after their absence in which he could reform her beauty of his imagination and also share her delight at seeing him again. She provided him with a sort of reflection of himself, as if he were looking at her in a sort of pellucid emotional mirror. She exhibited immediately and guilelessly the emotions he felt, and she quickly released him from any social strictures he may have felt, and he was the giddy, besotted fool he longed to be.”    

These two novels from Rob Edmunds are writings of noble characters, aristocrats, accomplished and well-trained soldiers and some of the defining interactions which fashioned many of our obtaining cultural and social orders. Indeed, Masinissa played crucial roles such that it will be extremely difficult to ignore his place in discussions around the Roman and Carthage world. And for those with burning interests in the daring heroes of Rome, the courage of their adversaries and how our world has evolved, the novels of Rob Edmunds are exquisite and accomplished choices for a deep understanding of history through the lens of creative fiction. Rob’s novels are available where good books are sold and from troubador.co.uk

Steve Ogah
Steve Ogah
Novelist, Poet & Essayist, Steve's the author of Barack Obama's Logic & the novels; Khaki Boy & Freedom Campus. Steve is a UEFA accredited Sports Media Rep.