I always like to hear which character readers liked best, in this case its Philo. I have a particular soft spot for Philo as he is the character that I probably know best. This was by necessity since in Galba’s Men he gives a potted history of his life so I had to fix certain facts. Whereby the background of characters such as Epaphroditus remains somewhat sketchy and gets filled in book by book I know who Philo is, how he will respond in any given situation and the very particular way in which he speaks.
But I wouldn’t like to write a book solely from Philo’s point of view. I think it would be far too depressing. To get inside Philo’s head is to enter a pretty dark place. There is a whole slice of his life that he keeps shut off and doesn’t address which limits him, as Lysander puts it, to ‘reading and tidying things.’
Philo himself mentions in Palatine that feeding a flamingo a piece of cake rates as one of the few times he considered himself happy.
Philo’s world is a bleak one.
At least until he meets a certain young girl…..