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email from Dad

Dear Kim:

I’ve been trying to find a book I read probably thirty years ago, in the library system, using various search methods, all unsuccessful. Any ideas on how to do better?

I do not remember the title, is the main problem.

It is a novel, probably classed as science fiction. The plot ran something like this:

An oil exploration drilling site in northern Scandinavia is at work, just beginning a hole. A core sample of ice, at a shallow depth, shows a bit of flesh and clothing. They investigate and find a frozen man, and take him, still frozen, to a hospital where he is carefully thawed. To everyone’s surprise, he lives. By his clothing and possessions, it is suspected he is from ancient Rome. No one can understand his speech, so a special linguist in the ancient language is brought in, a nun. After several weeks or months, she learns to speak with him and learns he was once the foremost gladiator of Rome, who offended the Emperor some way and was sent away to die. He was poisoned and left to freeze in the far north.

On regaining his health, he is asked to demonstrate his ability as a swordsman, by a contest with a man who is one of the best in modern times. He kills him, and together with the nun, flees. I don’t remember much more.

I just wanted to re-read it, and haven’t been able to find it. Probably hopeless.

Any ideas?

Love, Dad



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