1.) In the Leonidas the Gladiator series by Ashley Gardner, Marcella is the widow of the gladiator Xerxes, who was Leonidas's best friend. She is raising their five children on a small farm. Leonidas helps her out with money when he can. He took the escaped slave child, Sergius to her, and she added him to her family. She can always use more help around the farm, and she is a kindly woman.