Lingua latina in Roma Nova

Salvete!

Fear not, I’m not going to write this post all in Latin, but I thought I’d make a glossary of words used in the Roma Nova novels. Some are Latin, some derived from Roman customs or functions.

You’ll only find them sprinkled here and there in the books, something novelists do to add authenticity or atmosphere. It’s a fine line how much to include; writers can become too wrapped up in their own created world and forget that not everybody is equally obsessed!

Latin Meaning Comments
 Salve! Hello  Plural, salvate!
 Vale! Goodbye, literally ‘fare well’
Macte! Well done! The first Latin Conrad ever said to Carina
Plica, Editio, Promere, Mittere File, Edit, View, Send Computerspeak
Merda! Shit!
Custos (plural custodes) Police Replaced the vigiles (singular vigilis) who had been corrupted during the Great Rebellion
Sanitas bona! Cheers! (Literally, good health!) Dexia first uses this to Carina in the Washington legation
Consiliaria (f)
Consiliarius (m)
Councillor Equivalent to a cabinet minister in the Western sense
Imagines Plaster and marble busts and masks of ancestors Often displayed in the vestibule, or hallway
Domus Mitelarum House of the Mitelae The ancestral home of the Mitela family
Senior Justiciar Rank in the custodes, equivalent to sergeant Derived linguistically from justitiarius but I changed its meaning from judge to law enforcer
Proscriptee Somebody whose civil and public rights have ben removed and whose property is forfeit. Proscription is only ordered in very serious cases. A leftover from Dictator Sulla’s time in the Republic, but no decapitations these days
Scarab Slang word for a cop Completely made up word and concept, but based on the hard-backed dung-beetle, i.e. one that processes shit.
Macellum Shopping centre/mall From the Latin for  provision market
Primipilus Senior centurion of a legion/regiment Equivalent to an RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) A tough, experienced and terrifying solder who knows everything about everybody
Novendiale A commemorative feast nine days after a funeral Derived from novem, nine
Manes The spirits of the dead As per Ancient Rome
Pluto in Tartarus! One of the strongest swearing expressions in Roma Nova (Look away now if you are of a delicate disposition.) Equivalent to ‘Fucking hell!’
Domina (f)  ‘Lady’ a form of address, from a person of lower civil rank to a higher Derives from dominus, Latin equivalent of ‘sir’ or ‘master’. Aurelia calls Silvia ‘domina‘, but Junia, Aurelia’s steward, calls Aurelia ‘domina‘.
Argentaria Prima The biggest commercial bank in Roma Nova. Handles some transactions on behalf of the state Derives from argentaria, a banking house, sometimes a silver mine. Prima means first
Nuncia (f),
nuncio (m)
Equivalent of ambassador who heads up a Roma Novan overseas legation. Nuncia literally means ‘she who conveys messages’.  Roma Novan embassies are called legations. It sounds more Latin than ’embassy’.

For  some official and legal terms and institutions comparing Ancient Rome with Roma Nova, have a look at this post.

The words in the table above are just a few plucked out of the six books. Do let me know if there are any others you’d like me to add to the list.

Vale!

RETALIO London launch!

Left to right: Catriona Troth, me, Jessica Bell, JJ Marsh, Gillian Hamer. Seated in front J D Smith

I was delighted when Triskele Books invited me and Jessica Bell to join them for a joint launch. Four of the five were launching books – JJ Marsh (Bad Apples), Gillian Hamer (Sacred Lake), J D Smith (The Rebel Queen) and Liza Perrat (The Silent Kookaburra). Jessica was launching her tough memoir Dear Reflection.

Triskele Books has some fearsome talent in its ranks and commands a great deal of respect in the indie publishing world and beyond. JJ Marsh’s Cold Press was an Editor’s Choice in the same edition of The Bookseller as SUCCESSIO.

The English Restaurant in Spitalfields hosted us and provided a sense of atmosphere.  Catriona Troth masterminded the author interviews, asking questions and then inviting each of us to do a short five minutes’ reading. I chose the scene from RETALIO when Aurelia is being grilled by the Roma Nova exiles about exactly how close her relationship was with the charming but ruthless Caius Tellus…

Well, we drank fizz, we met old friends and made new ones and we sold a few books. But we had fun and that’s what should happen at a book launch.

With Anita Chapman

With Anita Chapman

In full flow

In full flow

The books

The books

With critique partner Denise Barnes

With critique partner Denise Barnes

The 2016 HNS Conference reunion! With Antoine Vanner, Anita Chapman and Lorna Fergusson

The Romantic Novelists! Denise Barnes, Carol Cooper, me Talli Roland, Anita Chapman

Milling. Debbie Young, Rohan Quine, Jane Davis

General view

General view

Catriona Troth and Jessica Bell

Catriona Troth and Jessica Bell

Hooray for RETALIO!

Hooray for RETALIO!

Interviewed by Catriona Troth

Thank you so much Triskele Books and Jessica Bell for making it such a memorable day.

(Many of the photos are by Erika Bach, Anita Chapman, Jill Marsh, Jane Davis)

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out in April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Thank you, Matthew Harffy, JJ Marsh and L J Trafford

Writers are strange people. They live in the Middle Ages, Ancient Rome, sometimes in Victorian India, on the high seas, during the Age of Enlightenment or just down the road at number 24. I count myself lucky to know some remarkable ones who’ve been kind enough to provide endorsements for RETALIO.

Matthew Harffy is the author of The Bernicia Chronicles, a series of action-packed historical fiction books set against the backdrop of the clash between peoples and religions in Dark Ages Britain.

The Historical Novel Society says, “Matthew Harffy’s tale of England in the Dark Ages is nothing less than superb.” And that was only the first book in the series!

Matthew has gone on to greater glory and the fourth book, Killer of Kings, is out on 1 June 2017. So he seemed a natural choice to read RETALIO…

Matthew says:
“Alison Morton’s RETALIO is an international thriller, full of intrigue and espionage, set against an imaginative retelling of a history that feels authentic and real. The fight-back for Roma Nova has begun, and what an entertaining ride it is!”

Thank you, Matthew!

JJ Marsh is about to launch her sixth Beatrice Stubbs European crime mystery, Bad Apples, at the beginning of June. That’ll be a treat for anybody who likes an intelligent crime story.

JJ, who’s part of  Triskele Books, and I met in a distanced way on Facebook – we both belong to the Alliance of Independent Authors – but when she and I were selected alongside each other as indie Editor’s Choices in prestigious UK publishing trade magazine ‘The Bookseller’, I decided I needed to investigate further.

We’ve now met several times and I was invited to take part in last year’s Triskele Lit Fest on the historical fiction panel. She has a good eye for a devious plot and loves a heroine who drives the action in a story.

JJ says:

“Tense, thrilling and incredibly timely, this is what happens when women fight back. When a progressive society is taken over by an egomaniacal despot, women can succumb or retaliate. Morton shows alarming prescience. RETALIO is a terrific concept engendering passion, love and loyalty. I actually cheered aloud.”

High praise from a crime writer!

When I read the first of LJ Trafford’s Four Emperors series, I laughed and cried at the same time. She writes about the dark side of Rome in a semi-flippant gossipy way, featuring the unelevated members of Nero’s court who are merely trying to survive. Sometimes they don’t make it.

She conveys the grimness and sheer fear of living under Nero and his successors with a deft touch. A thorough Roman. Her next book Otho’s Regret is out in July and I’ll be in the queue for that.

L J says:
“RETALIO is an engrossing read from the very first page with a cast of characters who grapple with their situation and loyalties. Aurelia is a tough but principled heroine you’ll root for over the course of every twist and setback she faces as she heads towards the finale and a meeting with her arch nemesis. An exciting, gripping and page turning read.”

What a terrific review!

Having your peers think you can scribble a few decent words in a reasonable order is very supportive. When writers of the calibre of these three do, then that’s treasure indeed.

And here’s my thanks to Douglas Jackson.

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out in April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Thank you, Douglas Jackson

No ruin in Roman Europe has been safe from me from the age of eleven. I’ve dragged members of my family along ancient cobbled roads, up towers and aqueducts and into theatres and arenas. But sharing this thirst/lust/obsession with similarly-minded is a joy.

I love being a Roman writer and being seen as one. I’ve talked concrete, ball-bearings, legionary foot problems, gladius design, Republican virtue, tactics at Cannae, fictitious handshakes, Apicius’s cookbooks, imperial women, dodgy medical practices, informers, sea trading and the cursus honorem with the best of them.

Writing is another obsession, an isolated act done in a secluded room with a lot of tea to hand. However, you need a team of colleagues and informed supporters to give feedback (brutal and kind), advice and encouragement. Little inspires you more than receiving praise from those in the same field. So I was delighted when Roman fiction and thriller writer Douglas Jackson agreed to read RETALIO. We’d met up from time to time at conferences and events. He is such a genuine guy and we had illuminating conversations about thrillers, Romans, heroines, book progress and the joy of writing.

In his Gaius Valerius Verrens series, Douglas places us firmly in the Roman battlefields of the first century AD from the final part of Nero’s reign and that terrible year of the Four Emperors before the Flavians became the ruling dynasty. “Action-packed and rigorously researched” fits his series perfectly which he built on from his earlier books Caligula and Claudius. His writing is so vivid – you are there, terrified, elated and rooting for Verrens at every step. I loved Hero of Rome and am currently devouring the second in series Defender of Rome.

Douglas says:
“RETALIO is a classic tale of resistance and resilience as an exiled Aurelia Mitela leads an army of the dispossessed to free Roma Nova from the clutches of the despicable Caius. As always Alison Morton’s alternative world where a fragment of the Roman Empire has survived to the present day feels utterly authentic and Caius’s Roma Nova, where women have been turned into virtual slaves is chillingly reminiscent of the Nazi occupied territories of the Second World War. RETALIO reaches an explosive climax in the tunnels of the capital as Caius’s empire crumbles, and the only regret when the action stops is that this is the final book of a remarkable trilogy.”

What a terrific review!

I want to thank Douglas publicly for taking such an interest in Aurelia’s personal and public battle against the tyranny of her nemesis and in providing me with a terrific endorsement  to sit on the front cover of RETALIO – praise from him is gold indeed.

Douglas – gratias maximas tibi ago!

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out in April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

Bookmuse gives RETALIO its seal of approval.

The esteemed Bookmuse site has reviewed RETALIO and I was so moved by it I almost cried. Their reviewer understands RETALIO and the Roma Nova books in her gut as well as her heart.

“A read so painfully pertinent you could almost wish it were true. If you haven’t come across this alternative history series yet, I almost envy you. This is Roma Nova, what could have happened if the remnants of Roman empire was run by women.

But Roma Nova is now in trouble. One deceitful, vain and amoral man – Caius Tellus – has taken power and intends to ‘restore order’. In making Roma Nova great again, he reverses all the progress of decades and brings the land to its knees, driving a wedge between those loyal to the previous regime and his own macho cohort intent on rolling back progressive rights.

Aurelia Mitela, a senior government minister, is in exile in Vienna. But she is not alone. The people and ethics she defends are alive and well, and her supporters are legion. It’s time to get organised and fight to regain control of the country they love.

This is a love story for a country and its principles, as well as a relationship, a political and military adventure, a commitment to beliefs and a cast of unexpectedly detailed characters. Tension runs throughout as no one can be sure an ally is trustworthy until it’s too late. A page-turning pile-driver of a novel, it explores the nature of power, and those who use it for self-aggrandisement or common good.

Read it now, then go buy some horses.”

Read the full review here: http://bookmuseuk.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/retalio-by-alison-morton.html

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, came out on 27 April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

RETALIO publication day!

Today, RETALIO goes out to the world. An ebook at the moment with the paperback to follow soon. Is it as exciting as the first? Yes, of course, but in a different way.

It’s a sense of completion for me, bringing readers the third part of the AURELIA trilogy and discovering for myself what exactly she did in the Great Rebellion.

Why did she warn her granddaughter in SUCCESSIO that Carina’s own nemesis was a new form of Caius? What was Aurelia trying to convey?

We saw the ground laid in AURELIA, the horror unfold in INSURRECTIO.

Now, in RETALIO, the reckoning between Aurelia and Caius is here.

Available now as an ebook from AmazoniBooks, B&N Nook and Kobo
(Paperback to follow soon)

——

Early 1980s Vienna. Recovering from a near fatal shooting, Aurelia Mitela, ex-Praetorian and former foreign minister of Roma Nova, chafes at her enforced exile. She barely escaped from her nemesis, the charming and amoral Caius Tellus who grabbed power in Roma Nova, the only part of the Roman Empire to survive into the twentieth century.

Aurelia’s duty and passion fire her determination to take back her homeland and liberate its people. But Caius’s manipulations have isolated her from her fellow exiles, leaving her ostracised, powerless and vulnerable. But without their trust and support Aurelia knows she will never see Roma Nova again.

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA and INSURRECTIO. The sixth, RETALIO, is due out on 27 April  2017. Audiobooks now available for the first four of the series

Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, for FREE when you sign up to Alison’s free monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.