Posts Tagged ‘Ancient Rome’
Ancient Romans Colonized My Brain!
(Blog post excerpt by Ron Gompertz)
In the summer of 2000, I moved to Barcelona with my family for reasons both professional and personal.
Unlike many people who change countries, we weren’t fleeing chaos. We weren’t forced to move under duress. No one was shooting at us.
But the truth is that I was fleeing something.
I was running away from my own complacency.
There’s a French word, “depaysment,” which roughly translates to mean “out of your element,” and that’s what I needed. Moving to Spain jerked me out of my comfort zone.
Of all the expat adventures, comic defeats and small victories that emerged from my five years abroad, the one I’m most proud of is “No Roads Lead to Rome.”
Here’s how the book hit me.
One weekend, I was hiking with a friend in the Collserola, the hills above Barcelona. We were lamenting the decline and fall of damn near everything when the story hatched like a bird in my brain. I imagined two Roman soldiers having the same conversation 2000 years earlier. We were walking in their footsteps. The world had changed, but people had not.
As revelations go, this tiny insight could have easily escaped me. People have always felt like things are changing too fast and rarely for the better.
Big deal, right?
Within minutes, I was possessed by an old Roman legionary and a young conscript. I could hear them lamenting their lot in life. How could the Senate vote to build another monument when people can’t even afford a decent pair of sandals? How did those vexed Roman numeral crunchers conclude the bread dole was too expensive? Much of the dialogue between my grizzled old centurion, Marcus Valerius, and his chatty young sidekick, Gaius Severus, took root that afternoon.
When I learned that around 123 AD a slave had botched an attempt to kill the Emperor Hadrian in Tarraco — Tarragona, Spain — the first line in the novel wrote itself: “When it comes to assassination, execution is everything.” Read the rest of this entry »
(James Mace, Author of The Soldier of Rome series – guest post on All Voices, Local to Global News)
About James Mace
Since I can remember I have always had a passion for history. My love of Roman history started when I first watched the series “I, Claudius”. I then proceeded to read every Roman book I could get my hands on.
I got my start writing bodybuilding and physical fitness articles for Bodybuilding.com, as well as a lesser-know magazine, HardCore Muscle. I turned to writing historical novels when I was in Iraq. My intent was to write the stories that I wanted to read, but could not find. While we may hear stories about the Emperors and Generals of antiquity, we almost never hear the stories of the men who did the actual fighting under them. Sadly, most historical data is lost, the individual soldiers being long since forgotten by history. My attempt with The Artorian Chronicles is to tell the story of a common legionary and what could have happened throughout his career.
More recently I have turned to other periods in history and have started work on a pair of historical novels about the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. The working title for the first book is “Brutal Valour”. I’m tentatively planning for it to be released sometime in 2012, along with the fifth book in The Artorian Chronicles, “Soldier of Rome: Judea”.
My interest in Rome goes back to when I was about twelve. I’ve always had an interest in military history, and it was my Dad who first introduced me to Rome. In his well-read opinion, the Roman Legion was the most powerful fighting force the world has ever seen. My parents soon after introduced me to the Masterpiece Theater series, I, Claudius. Though it was not action-based, I fell in love with the characters and the history. I spent years reading anything on Rome I could get my hands on; making trips to the book stores when I had exhausted my parents’ library. Read the rest of this entry »