Casca: The Eternal Mercenary


July 7, 2003, 02:45 PM
"Anyone remember these books?
I'm trying to find a series that I never actually read but that piques my interest now. Can anyone remember a series from the 80's or early 90's whose "hero" was the Roman soldier who stabbed Christ in the side? The series revolved around the soldier, who was cursed to be immortal, and his adventures throughout history (as far as I understand). I have no idea of the quality of the series or the author or anything else but, after seeing the movie "The Seventh Sign" again, it came to mind."


I know you locked the original thread, but I thought there'd be some people interested in the answer. Actually, there is some gun-related conent here as well.

The series is "Casca: The Eternal Mercenary." It was written by Barry Sanders, who also wrote the song "The Ballad of the Green Berets." I may have the spelling wrong on "Casca" and "Sanders," so if you can't find it on a web search try variant spellings.

Sander's died about 10 years or so ago in somewhat mysterious circumstances. It may have been a suicide, it may have been something meant to look like a suicide.

The books are interesting. Once the hero gets to the firearms era the details are almost always spot-on. I haven't read them all, but I don't remember any particular bloopers. Sanders himself had an interesting life and it shows. He wrote for SoF for awhile as well.


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July 7, 2003, 03:22 PM
Barry Sadler.


Harold Mayo
July 7, 2003, 04:00 PM
Thanks to everyone who PM'ed me about the Casca books, even though the wicked moderators shut down the original thread...:neener:

July 7, 2003, 04:27 PM
This Roman actually existed.

Casca Rufio Longinus was a Roman NCO serving in Palestine way back when. His spear -called the 'Spear of Longinus' is still owned by the Hapsburg family of Austria and occassionally displayed thereabouts.

Barry Sadler was probably killed by his girlfriend/prostitute during a heated arguement in Cent-America.

The Casca books are collectors items.

July 7, 2003, 04:56 PM
A lot of the pulp fiction is just dreck, but occasionally there's something good...

A while back I read several, which I think were written by Stephen King under yet another pseudonym (references to "King" places and people, etc...), about a group of folks who were doing some sorta time travel/spatial jumping... I kept thinking that hey, all some guy would have to do to make a living would be to follow these folks around and scavenge brass - How do the heroes carry everything? Sheesh...

And don't get me started on Dick "The Seel" Marcinko...

July 7, 2003, 05:00 PM
*squinting and turning head sideways*

Yeah, I think I see some gun content in there...


July 7, 2003, 05:47 PM
Nicholas Monserrat wrote a series of books called "The Master Mariner" with a similar concept involving a sailor cursed with immortality. Better than pulp fiction- he also wrote The Cruel Sea, the classic novel about the WW2 U-Boat war in the North Atlantic, based on his own experiences in the British Navy. Check it out if you like that kind of thing.

Harold Mayo
July 7, 2003, 06:07 PM
For an AWESOME historical fiction read, check out Dewey Lambdin's series about an Englishman pressed into service in the Royal Navy around the time of the Revolutionary War. The series takes the protagonist from his impressment all the way through (currently) his forties. Along the way he ends up doing some interesting things (well, of course he does...). One of the major selling points of the books (gun-related) is that the protagonist, Alan Lewrie, ends up befriending some Loyalist colonists and they show him the use of a RIFLE! From there on out, he carries two or three of them and ends up making good use of the range and accuracy of the weapon...especially when it is compared to the old Brown Bess that is in use by most British troops.

July 7, 2003, 06:27 PM
Sadler also wrote a series about a vietnam sniper turned mercenary that is pretty good. The titles I remember are Phu Nham, Seppuku and The Shooter.

July 7, 2003, 10:17 PM
I read one (maybe two) of the Casca books, but haven't been able to re-find them, otherwise posess myself of them. Would like to, tho'.

July 7, 2003, 10:33 PM
I used to have just about every book in the Casca set, but somehow got separated from most of them. I think I have three left.

They are out of print, so you will have to go to the used book stores to find them.

I wish someone would approach the Sadler family and ask them to authorize a bound collection of the entire series.


July 7, 2003, 10:48 PM
I found those books at but they're ridiculously expensive.

July 8, 2003, 01:10 AM
The writing is not the best in the world but the history is pretty well researched and interesting. BTW, totally ignore the two new books that came out a couple of years ago. Sadler's estate or his publishers had someone else pick up the series and they really stink.

July 8, 2003, 03:30 PM is a great place to find out of print books.

July 8, 2003, 05:54 PM

Just a little tidbit regarding Sadler's Casca series. When I was a 18 or so, Sadler's first Casca book was released. I had just started working as a paramedic in a little city (River Oaks) that butts up against Fort Worth, TX. River Oaks is fairly small and an older part of town, and most buildings are of older construction (i.e., crumbling, falling down around one's ears, etc.). Near the middle of town is a L-shaped strip center, the closest thing to a shopping mall in the town, which has seven or eight small businesses. One such business was, at the time, a Mom and Pop bookstore. My partner and I only ran a call every other day or so, thus, we usually had long periods of boredom. During one such period, we went to this local bookstore. Immediately upon entering the store, I was face-to-face with a life-size cardboard figure of Barry Sadler, which was a marketing gimmick for his new book. I commented to the lady behind the counter that I would like to purchase one of the paperbacks; she replied, "Do you want the autographed one or the plain one?" Naturally, I requested the autographed copy. As I was paying my bill, I asked how such a rinky-dink store in such a podunk town was able to get a signed copy of such a new book. She replied that Mr. Sadler has just left the premises after having been there for a two hour booksigning event. I had missed him by minutes. I still have the book, and it turned out that Sadler had some family member or friend who resided in or near River Oaks, thus, his presence at the little store (long gone). I'm sorry I did not get to meet the gentleman. Thanks for indulging my history field trip.



July 8, 2003, 10:39 PM
TexasVet wrote my reply to this thread before I did! ;)

I always thought that the Casca books would make the basis for a good TV show . . . if done properly. In fact, IIRC, there was some real crummy sword and sorcery series on a couple of years ago which had the Casca Longinus character in it, by name at least . . . but the character was a minor player in the series, and was NOTHING like Sadler's Casca.

BTW, did anyone else notice how on the cable channels they're using a video clip of the late Barry Sadler to hype "collector's music" by Christy Lane?

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