The Last Stoic

ISBN: 978-1-897475-63-8

Trade Paperback: 254 pages

Publication Date: June 1, 2011

Suggested Retail (Paperback/EBook): $22.50/$2.99



Long-listed for the 2012 ReLit Award for Fiction.

The Last Stoic is a story of appetite and fear, both modern and ancient. Half of the story’s narrative occurs in the time and place of the ancient Roman Empire; the other half occurs in the present-day United States. The parallels between the two eras are so strong that the narrative continues uninterrupted as the setting shifts from historic Rome to modern America, alternating from chapter to chapter.

Marcus, a young man from a northern provincial border town, journeys deep into the heart of the empire and witnesses first-hand the excesses that can lead to ruin, both personal and political. His story offers an ancient commentary on the preoccupations of our own turbulent times. Shortly after his arrival, the empire is thrown into a panic by an unprecedented barbarian attack on the capital. Suspicion and paranoia abound. A young Roman/American runaway named Patrick, disillusioned with his own life and the state of his country, becomes convinced that Marcus is a dangerous traitor. Culminating in a public accusation made by Patrick, Marcus is wrongfully imprisoned, exiled and tortured as an enemy of the state. In prison, he confronts the many contradictions he has found in his adopted home, and in himself.

Throughout the story, in both eras, the writings of the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius (The Meditations) insinuate themselves unexpectedly into Marcus’ life. In prison, he is saved by a chance meeting with Sextus Condianus, the “last Stoic” of the title, a cell-mate who is able to fully recite Aurelius’ words and impart their wisdom. Ultimately, it is this unanticipated and unbidden instruction that gives the young man the strength he requires to survive. It becomes evident that the words of the venerable Stoic emperor have as much relevance to our own era as they did to his.


“Morgan has written a book that is highly original and beautifully executed. The balance between the Roman world and the modern world is maintained with skill and adroitness, and the narrative is deftly woven through both of these time periods, never faltering or losing momentum.

The Last Stoic is a fascinating, parallel look at two societies who are not, as it turns out, as different or distinct as one might think.”

– Helen Humphreys


 Excerpt from the Novel

Additional Background

Author’s Note

Book Club Guide

Chapter Notes



Order the book now! Only $20 for Canadian orders – includes shipping.


The Last Stoic can also be purchased (domestic and international orders) from these online booksellers:

Barnes and Noble

It is available at The Novel Idea and at the Indigo bookstore in downtown in Kingston, Ontario.


Complete audio from the book launch can be heard at the CFRC website:  Select June 24th, 2011 – 4PM to hear for the “Finding A Voice” episode that includes the book launch.  The Last Stoic portion of the reading starts at about the 11 minute mark.