The man was disfigured with wounds, but seemed to rouse himself a little as from a deep sleep, almost of death itself.
Pain had clenched his eyes, but the sight of the maiden drew them toward her.
By the time Heliodorus wrote his "Aethiopica"--or "Ethiopian Romance"--in the third century, the genre was already impressively developed.
Heliodorus launches his tale of love and the quirks of fate with a bizarre scene of blood, bodies, and booty on an Egyptian beach viewed through the eyes of a band of mystified pirates.
The central love-struck characters are Charicles, the beautiful daughter of the Ethiopian queen, and Theagenes, a Thessalian aristocrat.