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Goin’ Japanesque!

Historie: Long Running Manga Themed on Mythic Ancient Rome

While ancient Rome almost seems to belong to a mythic age to us today, its history can be traced with abundant historic materials, which often provides great dramatic settings for various cultural artefacts. Ancient Rome has been chosen as the historical background for many movies featuring impressive film sets.

We are taking this opportunity to introduce to you Historie, the manga themed on ancient Rome.



The time is set in Asia Minor back around 343 B.C. The protagonist Eumenes is on his way to the Greek colony town Cardia, his long-absent home town.

Eumenes was born as the second son to Hieronymus, the head of the prestigious family in Cardia, and grew up as a smart and agile boy. The father saw a promising future for him.

Hieronymus, however, was assassinated by Hecataeus, one of his own close advisors. To make matters more complicated, Eumenes learned that he was not actually the son of Hieronymus.

Now Eumenes was sold as a slave and had to go through vicissitudes before he was finally freed and decided to head back to Cardia, his home town.

There he meets the one-eyed merchant Antigonus and Eumenes continues to lead a life filled with drama.



1. Eumenes

The protagonist Eumenes is a Scythian young man. The Scythians were then known as a barbaric tribe notable for their fearless courage.

He exploits his high education nurtured in the wealthy household and his agility to face and tackle his hardships.

He successfully rises up the career ladder and becomes a secretary to Macedonian king and meets Alexander, who is later to be become the king, “Alexander the Great.”

2. Antigonus (Philip)

Antigonus is a one-eyed man who claims to be a merchant from Perinthos. He recognizes the talent of Eumenes and asks the protagonist to help his business.

He actually is not a merchant but the king, Philip of the great Macedonia.

3. Alexander

Alexander is the son to Olympias, the fourth wife of king Philip II.

He is later to be called “Alexander the Great,” but at the current stage of the story, has sworn his loyalty to Philip II, the king of Macedonia.

He is a boy of exemplary conduct, trusted by people around him and filled with curiosity.

4. Hieronymus

The stepfather of the protagonist Eumenes.

But he actually is the very man who killed the protagonist’s mother.

He brutally murdered the mother of young Eumenes right in front of him.

Hieronymus discerns the talent of Eumenes as the boy watched the whole scene of his mother being murdered without even crying and decides to raise him as his son.

5. Hecataeus

Hecataeus is one of the close advisors to Hieronymus but capitalizes on an event one day and assassinates his master.

Being afraid of Eumenes for his talent, he sells Eumenes as a slave and sends him away.

Hecataeus takes over the house of Hieronymus after Eumenes and his stepfather are gone and later becomes a government official in Macedonia.



The manga is a grand historical drama featuring actual historical figures.

The ancient Greek world is depicted from the viewpoint of not the famous Alexander the Great but his close advisor, Eumenes.

The author obviously was aware that this manga had to be a long running title. Fans are now all anxious to know the further development of the story and how far the story goes on.

The author is Hitoshi Iwaaki, who is best known for Parasyte (Kiseiju), which was made into anime and live-action film.

What may perhaps feel strange to some readers is that the faces of the characters are not depicted with chiseled Grecian features but look more like Japanese.

But the greatly outlined story setting and the meticulously researched historical background will make you absorbed into the story and the slight strange feel you may have at first will easily cease to be any interrupting element. You will surely be more and more attracted to the protagonist Eumenes as the intriguing story unfolds.

The story starts from the childhood of Eumenes and goes on to depict half of his lifetime in detail.

The other characters in the manga, including those who never have any direct relationships with Eumenes, each has his or her own drama elaborately depicted as well.

Such detailed and varied narratives give a very rich and deep dimension to the manga and drive the development of the great historical drama.


The manga based on the actual history is still being continued. Many fans are eagerly waiting to know how the story will unfold for Eumenes as well as for Alexander the Great, who will become the ruler of the greatest kingdom on earth.

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon