During the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D., many citizens of Pompeii fled their doomed city to settle elsewhere in the Roman Empire. Among them were Gaius Tullius, his wife Ariana, and their infant son. They traveled to the family's estate in the hills overlooking Agrigentum in Sicily. There "Little Gaius"--Gaius Tullius Junior--grew to manhood, and it was expected that he would eventually take over his family's olive oil exporting business.
But the business held little interest for Gaius Junior. As he approached his nineteenth birthday, he found himself increasingly drawn to the sea. He yearned to sail across what the Romans called "Our Sea" and visit strange and foreign lands. In time he prevailed upon his parents to let him go.
The Villa Kerylos tells the story of Gaius's journeys--both his ocean voyages and his own voyage of self-discovery--not just from his perspective but also from those of his family, his ship's captain and friend, the merchants he deals with, and the woman who loves him. It tells of his dream of building a villa on an island: the Villa Kerylos, named for the sea-swallows that swoop and dive in the wake of his ship. It tells of his courtship and marriage, and the enduring truths he learns along the way. It is a tale of love and loss, adventure and peril, hope and despair, and the sheer joy of coming home at last.