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Blogging from A to Z: G is for Gladius

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Pompeii gladius, via Wikimedia CommonsToday’s entry in my series of facts about Pompeii is gladius. Most of the time, when we think of a gladius, a specific type of Roman short sword comes to mind. Interestingly enough, though, the word is simply Latin for “sword,” and would have referred to any such type of weapon. It is also the word from which gladiator, meaning “one who fights with swords,” is derived.There are four verified types of Roman gladius, one of which was found at Pompeii. Rather than describe the differences myself, I thought I would share this video made by a Roman legionary reenactor. Enjoy!Original link
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Blogging from A to Z: F is for Fiorelli, Giuseppe

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Giuseppe Fiorelli. Public domain photo via Wikimedia CommonsHi, everyone. Today, I want to tell you about Giuseppe Fiorelli (1823-1896). An Italian archaeologist, Fiorelli’s methodical approach to excavation is largely responsible for the level of preservation we see at Pompeii today, although his work there stopped in 1848. Fiorelli was actually imprisoned for a while, having run afoul of Naples’ King Ferdinand II, because he believed that art and artifacts should be studied in situ rather than being looted for palaces and private homes.Fiorelli found that art and artifacts could be better studied and preserved if sites were excavated from the top down. Of course, many important items were ...
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Music Monday: “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and More

Hi, friends. Here’s John Fogerty doing a mini-concert of Creedence Clearwater Revival tunes as part of Rolling Stone magazine’s “In My Room” series. Enjoy!Original link
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Blogging from A to Z: E is for Eumachia

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Statue of Eumachia, Naples Archaeological Museum. Smuconlaw. / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, women didn’t have much place in public life in ancient Roman times. There were a few exceptions, though, and one of them was Eumachia.Eumachia was a priestess of the Imperial cult, dedicated to Venus Pompeiiana. Her father was Lucius Eumachius, who made his fortune manufacturing bricks, tiles, and amphorae. Her husband was Marcus Numistrius Fronto, who was a duovir (the next level of magistrate above aedile), and came from one of Pompeii’s most prominent families.Eumachia was a patron of the fullers’ guild; these were the tanners,...
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Blogging from A to Z: D is for Dogs

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Vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet, showing “Cave Canem” mosaicHi, everyone. Today’s entry in my series of facts about Pompeii concerns dogs. In ancient times, as now, people kept dogs as pets. There were many mosaics around the ruins showing dogs. One of the most famous is in the vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet, which shows a domestic dog with collar and leash and is labeled “Cave canem,” Latin for “beware of the dog.”There are feral dogs in Pompeii today. They are friendly, cared for by veterinarians, and available for adoption. There was, at one point, a foundation that managed all of this called “Ave Canem” (“Welcome, dog”). Unfortunately, the man put in charge of the“My...
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Blogging from A to Z: C is for Circumvesuviana

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The ruins of Pompeii have seen a modern town, Pompei, grow up around them. Pompei largely depends on tourism for its existence. So, there are numerous hotels and restaurants. There is also a train system.The local stop for the Circumvesuviana (“around Vesuvius) train, which connects Naples to Sorrento and has numerous lines in between, was a stone’s throw away from our hotel. We were on the Poggiomarino line and used it to get to Herculaneum and Naples. We would have gone to Sorrento had I not been completely exhausted by dealing with a medical emergency on the part of one member of our party. I just needed some sleep!What I didn’t realize until yesterday is that I had taken no photos of the...
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Frequently Asked Question: How Are Things in Your World?

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it must be time for a question from the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The complete question is:The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?Well, I’ll tell you. Seeing the announcement yesterday that the shelter-in-place has been extended through the end of April for my region and my company was hard. I’m an introvert, to be sure, but this is starting to wear on me. I am accustomed to deciding how much time I...
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Blogging from A to Z: A is for Aedile

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On the left side of the photograph is a political graffito asking people to vote for one Helvius Sabinus, who was running for aedile. Photo by the author.Hi, everyone. Welcome to the first entry in my 2020 blogging challenge. As you might recall, I’m sharing facts about Pompeii. My current work in progress is set there, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my research with you! Wherever possible, I will use photographs from my visit to the ruins earlier this year.Our first entry is aedile. An aedile was the most junior elected office in ancient Roman times. The aedile was a magistrate, responsible for management of public roads and public buildings. He, and they were always male, ha...
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Music Monday: “Everyday People”

Hi, everyone. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know how much I love Playing for Change. Their rendition of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” actually made me cry this morning. Even though I’m an introvert, the shelter-in-place is starting to get to me. Seeing so many joy-filled faces in community felt good … even as it reminded me of what I’m missing.Original link
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Why is setting important to historical fiction? | A Writer of History

In three separate surveys of reading habits and preferences (check the Reader Surveys tab on this blog), the top three reasons for reading historical fiction are: (1) to bring the past to life, appreciating how people lived and coped in very different times, (2) because it’s a great story, and (3) to understand and learn about historical periods without reading non-fiction.How can authors bring the past to life without exploring modes of travel, the circumstances of daily life, or the religious beliefs of the time? How can readers learn about a particular time period without seeing the characters of the novel confronting the conflicts and challenges of that era? How can a character’s emotion...
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What Happened to Latin After the Fall of Rome?


As someone who not only speaks three Romance languages but is presently studying Latin so that I can read inscriptions myself, I found this really interesting!Nicholas C. RossisReaders of this blog will be aware of my fascination with all things linguistic. So, I just had to share Susanna Viljanen’s and Dan Toler’s answers on Quora on what happened to Latin once Rome was no more.It may surprise many to realize that Latin is alive and well over fifteen centuries later. Latin never disappeared. It simply evolved. But it evolved differently in different places, and that’s how we ended up with the diverse set of modern Romance languages.What Happened to Latin After the Fall of Rome (476 AD)?Afte...
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And then this happened …

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I had no idea this was a milestone, but that’s how many posts I’ve made since starting this blog. My thanks to those of you who read and/or subscribe.Original link
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State of the Author, COVID-19: Additional Adventures Edition

Before you start to worry, don’t. I’m fine. So is everyone else in our home. Like many people with day jobs, I am working from here. My husband and son are considered essential employees, so they’re still going to their respective jobs. Our son’s buddy, who has been staying with us for a time, is helping me reorganize the house and redoing the back yard (he likes to garden).The adventure has become complicated, though. The other day, I noticed some standing water by our front yard garden hose spigot. Our son told me he’d been filling his work truck water tank from there and thought he might not have closed the spigot all the way. No problem. Dumped some mulch there to absorb it.Well, yesterd...
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Music Monday: “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)”

Kenny Rogers passed away over the weekend. His rendition of Mel Tillis’ heartbreaking “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)” was my favorite of his repertoire. Rest in power. Original link
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10 Historical Romance Heroines Who Don’t Need Saving – Goodreads News & Interviews

Some great recommendations here!via 10 Historical Romance Heroines Who Don’t Need Saving – Goodreads News & InterviewsOriginal link
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Reflections on Writing Historical Fiction – Stephanie Dray | A Writer of History

Historical fiction has the capacity to educate, to comment on contemporary events without the baggage of those contemporary events, and sometimes–if you’re lucky–you can even make a contribution to the historical record because novelists ask different questions than historians tend to.via Reflections on Writing Historical Fiction – Stephanie Dray | A Writer of HistoryOriginal link
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Weekend Reads: Authors Give Back

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Hi, everyone. I decided to participate in the Authors Give Back promotion via Smashwords. All of my books are free except “Hugs and Hisses,” which is heavily discounted. The reason it’s not free is that I donate all of my royalties to Humane Society Silicon Valley and I would like them to get something.So, why am I doing this? Because so many people are hurting. Because times are difficult. Because libraries are shuttered to help prevent spread of the coronavirus. Because it’s something small that I can do to help. So, starting today and running until April 20, you can find the selections at the link below. All I ask is that you consider leaving a review at your favorite site.Sharon E. Cathc...
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Tips for working at home aka how to survive being a shut-in #WriterWednesday #QuarantineLife #AuthorToolboxBlogHop


Some excellent advice here for those of us new to working from home …D.E. HaggertySounds awesome, doesn’t it? Work from home. No boss breathing down your neck. No need to get dressed in business clothes. Hell, no need to shower or get out of your pj’s if you don’t want to. But as I’ve learned over the years as a work-at-home writer, it’s not as easy as it seems. And now many of you are forced to work at home, too.Do not panic! I’m here to help with some tips and tricks for working at home. Because – despite initially missing colleagues and some gossip by the water cooler – I can’t even imagine ever having to go into an office. Blech!Anyway, there are things you can do to make working at home...
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San Francisco Bay Area Lock-Down

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“Boundary Stone (Plague 1665/66), Eyam, Derbyshire” by eamoncurry123 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Hi, everyone. My company had already asked everyone who could work remotely to do so because of the coronavirus, so I’m in week two of that. However, the area where I live is now in a six-county lock-down through at least April 7. Only essential employees are supposed to work on-site, and there is a list of what constitutes essential. My husband is one of them. I can go into the office to get more supplies to work from home if needed (and probably will, some time next week), but am to continue working from here.Through all of this, I kept thinking about the village of Eyam (pronounced EEM). Never...
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Music Monday: “Nessun Dorma”

Hi, everyone. It’s no secret that many parts of Europe are in complete lock-down, including Italy. Here is a lovely performance by gifted tenor Maurizio Marchini, singing “Nessun Dorma” from his balcony in Florence, to entertain his neighbors and help raise morale. May we all be so kind and resilient.Original link
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