How does a Roman gladiator end up as a corpsicle in the Arctic? Canada, Alaska, or Russia? Or do they find him on/in the sea ice which would be even stranger.
I'm revealing details of the plot, but he rose to prominence, became a full citizen and pissed off the current (at the time) Emperor who had him physically marched to Northern England where he's poisoned and dumped in the ocean to experience the worst of both deaths. It turns out that the concoction they used prevented the cells in his blood from crystallizing once frozen and ultimately led to modern-day medical treatments.
Good book with plenty of complicated, well-thought out details which all strangely fit together in unlikely ways.
Could it be this book?
Thanks for the lookup, Abs. It was published while I was in college, though I probably read it years later. I remember it was a NY Times Bestseller at the time. I'll have to see if I can find a copy and reread it and see whether the story holds up after so many years (one reason why I liked it at the time was the amount of sex in the book).
Update: Just repurchased the book. Amazon is selling a modern repackaging of the story, though the formatting leaves a bit to be desired (lines running together on the very first page).