Reconciling 'real' Romans and Roma Novans

Family of Drusus, Museum of Roman Civilisation, Rome (Author photo)

I’ve been fascinated by all things Roman since I walked on my first mosaic in northern Spain. At age eleven, I wanted to know who the people were who had lived in houses with such beautiful floors: what did they eat, what did they […]

Slaves, damnati and freedmen in ancient Rome

In 161 BC, the Roman jurist Gaius wrote: “Slavery is a human invention and not found in nature. Indeed, it was that other human invention, war, which provided the bulk of slaves, but they were also the bounty of piracy … or the product of breeding.” (Institutiones)

A cold, yet trenchant statement. As in many […]

Why is CARINA (just) a novella?

Good question! I’ll try and explain…

We’re still in Roma Nova, the remnant of the Roman Empire that has toughed it out into the modern age. It’s an alternative 21st century with many aspects exactly the same as in our own timeline, but some are very very different; Praetorian Guards for one. They guard the […]

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 […]

The Aurelia/Caius grudge match

“Dramatis personae” – you may have seen this at the top of the cast list in those plays you read at school. “Personae” is Latin for people and “dramatis” means of the drama or play. For the Roma Nova novels, it seems entirely appropriate in a world of people who are definitely dramatic!

So […]

Power grabs

The Death of Caesar, Vincenzo Camuccini, 1798 (public domain)

In ancient Rome, grabbing power was the default way to become emperor. Even in the Republic, achieving consulship required some serious bribery and corruption, subverting the process, whipping up the emotions of the people with simplistic slogans and the like. Power rarely passed cleanly or […]