One of my favourite Roman fiction authors – Lindsey Davis

Lindsey Davis with Alison at the 2014 Historical Novel Society Conference

I was lurking in Waterstone’s Tunbridge Wells one day in the mid 1990s. (It had an apostrophe in the name then so I’ve left it in for authenticity.) My favourite genres were historical fiction, sci-fi, thrillers and crime. Wandering round the tables and […]

Mos maiorum – 'doing the right thing' in ancient Rome

Unwritten codes of behaviour, maintaining standards, behaving ‘properly’ are as old as the hills, at least as old as the Seven Hills of Rome.

The mos maiorum, loosely translated as ‘ancestral custom’ was the unwritten code of ancient Rome. It included time-honoured principles, behavioural models and social practices that affected every aspect of life in […]

Sex and marriage in Roma Nova

Author photo, Venus and Mars, House of Mars And Venus, Pompeii, Naples Museum

Well, yes to sex – they are Romans – but not so much marriage, more informal family arrangements.

Marriage in the majority of cultures has meant one man and one woman, with the woman leaving her father’s family and joining the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]