In this week itself, we talked about how the analysis of 4000-year old tablets from the ancient mercantile city of Kanesh (or Kaneš), in what now constitutes the Kayseri province in central Turkey, possibly revealed the locations of 11 lost Assyrian cities. Well, as it turns out, one of the Cappadocian tablet specimens recovered from…
I think Ms. George hits it right on the nose! Got it from Washington Independent Book Reviews.
Margaret George: In an interview on A Writer of History, Margaret George says: “I think the combination of escapism and education is what fuels a top historical fiction author. People want to escape into another time but they want to learn about that time as well. [The history] should not serve as just wallpaper against which the action takes place.”She specializes in fictional biographies of famous women like Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene (Mary Called Magdalene) and Cleopatra (The Memoirs of Cleopatra).
Interesting article on a form of punishment I have heard about over the years, but knew little about. Frankly, I can’t imagine how one would get all these into a sack, not a job I would want to take on.
Ancient Romans had a penchant for doling out punishments in rather theatrical fashion, with one pertinent example relating to the noxii, the criminals who were mainly accused of robbery, murder and rape. At times, the noxii were simply used as living props who were unarmored (or sometimes dressed in ‘show’ armor), and then declared as…
Three authors of historical fiction joined forces to create History Imagined, a blog for writers and readers who relish the opportunity to imagine long-gone worlds.
The Hellenistic World. Using Coins as Sources. By Peter Thonemann. Guides to the Coinage of the Ancient World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. xxxii + 232. Paper, $34.99. ISBN 978-1-107-45175-9. Reviewed by Philip Kiernan, Kennesaw State University The first in a new series on ancient coinage organized by the American Numismatic Society, this book […]
— from The Rise of Rome by Anthony Everitt. In 494 BCE, the people of Rome staged one of the most remarkable and imaginative protests in world history. Though this protest brought some reform, it underscored the seemingly never-ending struggle of the plebs against the major landowners and ruling elite:
“It was the strangest spectacle seen since the foundation of Rome. A long stream of families could be observed leaving the city in what looked like a general evacuation. They walked southward and climbed a sparsely populated hill, the Aventine, which stands across a valley from the Palatine, the site of Romulus’s first settlement. They were, broadly speaking, the poor and the disadvantaged — artisans and farmers, peasants and urban workers. They carried with them a few days’ worth of food. On arrival they set up camp, building a stockade and a trench. There they stayed quietly, like a weaponless army, offering no provocation or violence. They waited, doing nothing.
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Buy Everitt’s book, The Rise of Rome at Amazon
I have loved Historicals since reading The Calico Captive (Elizabeth George Speare) in the third grade. What was your first?
I love sinking into a past world lovingly created around a good story…the ancient world, Rennaisance, Elizabethan, Victorian, Edwardian…all can take me into hours of otherworldly delight.
Old favorites: Mary Renault, Georgette Hyer, Robert Graves, Marguertie Youcenar, Lawrence Schoonover
New favorites: Stephen Saylor, Charles Finch, Robert Harris, Lindsey Davis
My biggest surprise: Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings. Not a fan of the man or his work, but I fell in love with this book.
Historicals are magical transport into the past.
What are your favorites? Why do you read Historicals?
A Dangerous Age
Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 15.7.1-2 (tr. J.C. Rolfe):
It has been observed during a long period of human recollection, and found to be true, that for almost all old men the sixty-third year of their age is attended with danger, and with some disaster involving either serious bodily illness, or loss of life, or mental suffering. Therefore those who are engaged in the study of matters and terms of that kind call that period of life the climacteric.
observatum in multa hominum memoria expertumque est, senioribus plerisque omnibus sexagesimum tertium vitae annum cum periculo et clade aliqua venire aut corporis morbique gravioris aut vitae interitus aut animi aegritudinis. propterea, qui rerum verborumque istiusmodi studio tenentur eum aetatis annum appellantκλιμακτηρικόν.
Nice tidbit of info from a list I’m on. Courtesy of Al Schlaf. Now I want that book.
2010 reprint by The History Press) pp. 5r6-58, the cheapest were stuffed
with reeds or straw, next best, raw wool and the best, feathers or goose
down. citations at Pliny the Elder and Martial, among others.
Des Moines, IA