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, […]

RETALIO - excerpt

The first page …

‘Betrayal and collaboration used to lead automatically to a death sentence. You should be grateful this is the 1980s.’

She refused to look at me and instead jabbed her spoon into the coffee cup, almost scraping the glaze off as she rattled it round the tiny amount of liquid at the […]

Naples underground

The BBC’s series that started last week with fabulous film and virtual reconstructions of tunnels and monuments under present day Naples (#invisiblecities #italy) reminded me of my mini-excursion underground in 2012. Roman remains are built into the arteries of underground Naples and I was fascinated to see how Roman walls and arches were criss-crossed with later […]

Telling Roman stories - the audio of its day

Reading – Funerary relief, Museum of Roman Civilisation, Rome (Author photo)

The recent release of the first four Roma Nova audiobooks prompted me to look into ancient Roman oral storytelling traditions. Here’s what I found…

Storytelling in Roman societies covered stories (fabulae) from the classics through philosophy, politics, religion and travel to sheer entertainment. […]

Eating the Roman way

A boy holding a platter of fruits and a bucket of crab(?) in a kitchen with fish and squid, on the June panel from a mosaic depicting the months (3rd century) CC Commons – creator Sailko

Food is one of the most powerful ways of conveying information about characters. It shows readers not only status and […]

Living at the Roman dusk

Modern Roma Nova?

In the Roma Nova story, over four hundred Romans loyal to the old gods trekked north out of Italy in AD 395 to a semi-mountainous area similar to modern Slovenia.

Led by Apulius and his friend Mitelus at the head of twelve senatorial families, they established a colony based initially on […]