Rosemary Sutcliff‘s imagined fate of the ninth legion, as told in her historical novel for young adults The Eagle of the Ninth, which is the basis for the new film The Eagle, is about to receive support from a new documentary by UK producer-director Phil Hirst. According to the UK Daily Mail:
For centuries, historians have puzzled over the disappearance of a legion of 5,000 battle-hardened Roman soldiers in northern Britain around 108 AD.The ancient riddle, which has captivated storytellers, has just been dramatised by Hollywood in The Eagle, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell. Now, experts have revealed that the children’s book on which the film is based is more fact than fiction …
The dramatic new evidence hinges on a single gravestone tribute and was brought to light by historian and film-maker Phil Hirst, whose documentary Rome’s Lost Legion will be screened next month.
I know this is going to be controversial, not least from various conversations and comments on this blog! But it is good publicity for Phil Hirst’s documentary, the film The Eagle, and let us hope also, the book The Eagle of the Ninth. (The documentary Rome’s Lost Legion is on the History Channel on March 18. The Eagle opens in UK cinemas on March 25. The book has been available since 1954 …)