The characters’ choices, both impulsive and innocent, often proved harmful to loved ones. Yet, their intentional and sometimes unwanted help, also built up, and transformed those around them. These dynamics are examined through the lives of the five characters as they encountered one another, and others, on the battlefield; in the baths and villas of Milan; Como; Ilyria, and finally, the new Rome in Byzantium.
The challenges facing the characters are juxtaposed against a background of crisis and change in the 4th century Roman Empire. As Constantine, an emperor to be, converted to Christianity, and the persecution of Christians ended, the first instance of state involvement with the church occurred.