From pirate to emperor

Pirates have fascinated people for several centuries, but the fictional world of pirates, represented in novels and movies, is somewhat different to the reality, but where does fact end and fiction begin?

Helen Hollick has written a series of nautical voyages based around her fictional pirate, Captain Jesamiah Acorne and his ship, Sea Witch, but […]

Guns n’ things in Roma Nova

This could be a tricky subject, but if your stories have spies, special forces, military and special police units with a robust Roman attitude, you are going to get weapons of one sort or another. Anything else would be unrealistic.

However, my books are about people, not a way of seeing […]

Our friends(?) the Praetorians

Inventing a military unit like the 21st century Praetorian Guard Special Forces in my Roma Nova books was an interesting challenge!

I chose to use the old Roman name because, although later corrupt and power broking, they were the courageous, battle-hardened elite who guarded the Ancient Roman emperor’s life with theirs. And service to the […]

Maps and Rome

The old clichéd saying that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ is true, but so was its ‘decline and fall’ equally slow. Going from its traditionally accepted date of foundation the Roman Empire in the West of 753 BC, it lasted 1229 years in the West until the abdication of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD.

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Ruth Downie and Vita Brevis

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Ruth Downie back to the Roma Nova writing world. She’s talked before about historic truth and donkey poo, and wrote a poignant account ‘from below’ at the court of Boudica as part of A Year of Ravens. Of course, Roma Novans know her as the name on the endorsement for […]

Carina, Aurelia and the Pompeii gladius

Twenty-first century Roma Nova military train with state of the art weaponry; their firepower and weapon handling are undoubted. But they also train on a ‘volunteer’ basis with a modern carbon steel version of the traditional Pompeii gladius, a short sword in use from at least AD 79 and not uncommon in the 4th century […]