Centurion (novel)

Author(s) Simon Scarrow
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Eagle series
Genre(s) Historical novel
Publisher Headline (UK)
Publication date 2007
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Preceded by The Eagle in the Sand
Followed by Gladiator

Centurion is a novel (ISBN 0755327764) written by Simon Scarrow, published by Headline Book Publishing in 2007. It is book 8 in the Eagle series, continuing Macro and Cato's adventures in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire that began in The Eagle in the Sand.



In between the two great powers of Rome and Parthia lies Palmyra, a small desert kingdom. Parthia, Rome's enemy, longs to gain control of Palmyra to strengthen its base and launch an invasion of the Roman provinces. To protect the Empire, the Second Illyrian cohort prepares for a campaign, and at the helm of the unit are Prefect Macro and Centurion Cato.

When the Parthians destroy a Roman Hillfort and attempt to plunge Palmrya into open revolt, Macro, Cato and a small task force are dispatched to defend its King and his supporters who are besieged in the city's citadel. But when Parthia hears of the Roman army's presence, it starts amassing its armies for war. Macro's cohort has no choice but to fight its way into the citadel and defend it from the rebel prince Artaxes and his forces until General Longinus arrives with his legions. But Parthia is not the only enemy facing the Romans as Macro and Cato find themselves confronted with a traitor in the citadel who murders Prince Amethus. With a Parthian army on its way the quest for peace has never been more challenging, or more dangerous, and the cohort must do all it can to hold strong and fight to the end.

Longinus was being suspected of treachery by Rome and the chief of intelligence Narcicuss sent Marco and Cato to Sysia to watch out the activities of Cassius Longinus and obtain evidence of conspiracy. General Longinus was well aware of the presence of the two agents of Nurcicuss and was looking for an opportunity to throw the two emissaries from Rome eavsdropping him from close quarters. The opportunity came when rebellion broke out in Palmyra, Artaxes, the 3rd. son of King Vabathus, claiming the throne and having a clear intention to turn the state to the hands of the Parthia.

Macro and Cato spearheaded a relief column through eventful journey to the city of Palmyra, and with a lot of strokes of good luck and bravery, they managed to enter the citadel in order to hold it till Longinus arrived with his legions.

The tragedy of the novel is that King Vabathus had to witness the slaying of two of his sons and had to slay the third himself. There was a small touch of romance, Prefect Cato falling for the aristocrat daughter of the ambassador Sempronius, and a very measured description of the love affair between Cato and Julia, had added salt to the highly suspenseful description of the campaigns.

This novel is (arguably) comparable to "Imperial Governor" by George Shipway.

Main characters


  • Quintus Lucinius Cato(Acting Prefect of the Second Illyrian)
  • Lucius Cornelius Macro (Prefect of the Second Illyrian and Acting Senior Centurion of the Tenth Legion)
  • Gallus Amatius (Legate of the Tenth Legion)
  • Horatius (Centurion of the Tenth Legion)
  • Braccus (Centurion of the Tenth Legion)
  • Septimus (Centurion of the Tenth Legion)
  • Castor (Centurion of the Tenth Legion)
  • Porcius Cimber (Centurion of the Tenth Legion)
  • Marcus Metellus Crispus (Optio of the Tenth Legion)
  • Parmenion (Centurion of the Second Illyrian)
  • Metellus (Centurion of the Second Illyrian)
  • Aquila (Cavalry Centurion of the Second Illyrian)
  • Caius Menathus (Cavalry soldier of the Second Illyrian)
  • Cassius Longinus (Governor of Syria)
  • Lucius Sempronius (Roman Ambassador, Julia's father)
  • Julia Sempronia (Roman Surgeon, Sempronius' daughter)


  • Vabathus (King of Palmyra)
  • Amethus (Prince of Palmyra, first son of Vabathus)
  • Balthus (Prince of Palmyra, second son of Vabathus)
  • Artaxes (Prince of Palmyra, third son of Vabathus)
  • Thermon (King's Chamberlain)
  • Krathos (Palmyran Minister)
  • Carpex (Slave of Balthus)
  • Archelaus (Tetrarch of the Second Syntagma of the Royal Guard)
  • Demetrius (Commander of the Royal Guard)
  • Jesmiah (Palmyran civilian, older sister of baby Ayshel)


  • Metaxas (Prince of Parthia)

Novel Website


After Eagle in the Sand, Headline Book Publishing reportedly decided not to use titles with the word Eagle anymore to attract new fans.


Best-seller listing

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