Following the death of their Epicurean father -- a man following a hedonistic Greek philosophy that drove him into heavy debt -- young siblings Glaucia and Laon are removed from Greece and taken to Rome. The proceeds from their sale will be applied to a portion of their father's debt. Young Glaucia is sold into the service of the Gracchi family as a slave to their daughter, while Laon manages to escape following a ferocious beating. After his recovery Laon vows to rescue his sister from the danger she faces as a slave owned by Romans, driven on by fear on his sisters behalf of the vicious punishments employed by Romans towards slaves who disobey.
While seeking a means and way to both find and deliver his sister from slavery Laon encounters a variety of strange individuals who speak to him about a God whose love extends even to slaves. After returning to Greece with her Roman owners, Glaucia is confronted with the gospel there as well. As the light of Christ begins to dawn in their hearts, those around them are affected by their witness and begin to seek the face of their Creator in turn.
Shortly after the death of Christ and the expansion of His church, Laon encounters Paul -- author of much of the New Testament -- sharing the gospel from his house arrest in Rome. Likewise, the epistles he wrote to the churches abroad (such as Corinth) are newly penned, delivered and shared between believers. As such, Glaucia coincides with a time period in which the New Testament was still being written, an exciting prospect.
Originally published in 1874, Glaucia the Greek Slave: A Tale of Athens in the First Century is the first in the Emma Leslie Church History Series, which explores significant events throughout the history of the Christian church. Emma Dixon -- writing under the name of Emma Leslie in England -- was a prolific children’s author with over 100 titles to her name.