I hope you enjoy today’s post as much as I do. Eva Scott’s newest historical, Barbarian Bride, just went on sale and she’s here with me today, talking about her Ancient Roman research. I know you’ll be surprised with some of her unique revelations!
I love writing historical stories.
There’s something about losing yourself in the romance of the past that really appeals to me. Half the fun is the research. Some topics (like Ancient Hun culture) are quite tricky with not very much by way of reliable information available. Other topics (like Ancient Rome) have a veritable cornucopia of verified history to draw from.
Ancient Roman civilization built itself from the template the Greeks laid down before them. I was fascinated to discover there were many Greek settlements in what is now Southern Italy at the time of the founding of Rome. These settlements and their Greek inhabitants provided the model for life in Ancient Rome.
Romans were an enterprising bunch. The provided us with the first apartment buildings, not so dissimilar from what we have today only much smaller. These building stretched to three or four stories only with the wealthy inhabiting the bottom rather than the top floor. With no running water it was a long hike to the top.
We all know the Greeks and Romans gave us the first hot showers and heated floors. Where would we be without those things today! I dread to think. What many people don’t know is some Romans possessed watches. Yes, watches consisting of tiny sundials they wore strapped to their wrists. I kid you not. Rather like that old cartoon from the 1960s – The Flintstones. Only the wealthy went in for these sundial watches and they didn’t work outside of Rome, being calculated to the city’s latitude.
Every time I embark on a new research project I am staggered by the similarities between our modern civilization and that of Ancient Rome. The kernel of ideas and technology can be found nestling in deep in the past, waiting for the proper time (and technology) to bring them forth.
So next time you check your wrist watch, or turn on your shower, spare a thought for these pioneering people. Thank goodness we moved on from the toga is all I can say!
Barbarian Bride by Eva Scott
On the bloody ground of the Colosseum, she fights to save her life. In the treacherous boxes above, he fights to save their love.
Though Klara didn’t love the man who was to be her husband, she didn’t want him murdered, and she vows to track down the man who committed the crime. Sickened that she’d been attracted to the mysterious Roman, Klara tracks Lucius Aurelius to the fringes of the Roman Empire, only to find that they’ve both been trapped in a clever plot to overthrow Klara’s father, the Chief of the Huns.
Klara is separated from Lucius, captured by slavers and sold to a gladiator school. She is the only one who can save herself, by fighting for her freedom. Lucius can ensure her battle is easier, but only by sacrificing himself. How much is he willing to give up for the fiery woman he’s come to love?
Settling back, Klara surveyed the room for the candidate most likely to know Lucius Aurelius. With so many unwashed, bearded rascals to choose from it was hard to pick. Finally her gaze alighted on a burly old man whose eyes reminded her of Lucius. Abandoning the revolting beer she made her way cautiously to where the man sat alone. He was intent on a dish of stew and didn’t notice her approach. Klara stood before him, awkward in her uncertainty of what to do next.
She cleared her throat. The man shoveled another spoonful of stew in his mouth and did not look up. She tried again, a little louder this time, and still the man ignored her. Sliding her knife from its sheath Klara slammed the point down into the table where it quivered menacingly. The spoon stopped half way to the old man’s mouth. He looked up under busy eyebrows and regarded her for a long moment before the spoon continued its journey. Chewing slowly he simply sat and looked at her.
Klara put her hands on her hips. Now she had the man’s attention, starting a conversation about Lucius seemed even harder than she thought it would be. The man lowered his gaze, scooping up another spoonful of stew, and she found herself dismissed.
“Hey!” she slammed both her hand down on the table. “I want to talk to you.”
“So talk.” The fact he didn’t bother to look up infuriated Klara. The man has no manners— and they call Hun barbarians.
“I’m looking for a man.”
He looked up then. “Really?” Pushing the bowl away he leaned back in his chair, letting his eyes roam over the curves of her body. “I’d be happy to oblige.”
Klara swept the empty bowl off the table with the back of her hand. It clattered on the floor and rolled under the table. Her chest heaved with suppressed anger.
“Might I suggest you would do better with men if you tempered your aggression? So unattractive in a woman.”
Klara wrenched the knife out of the table and held it towards the man. “Do you know a man named Lucius Aurelius?” she hissed.
The old man’s bushy eyebrows shot up and disappeared into his hairline. “Lucius? How on earth do you know Lucius?” He narrowed his blue eyes and leaned forward, his hand shot out grabbing her wrist. “Who are you?”
She tried to reclaim her hand but the man was too strong. Cleverly he’d grabbed her hand holding the knife so there was very little point struggling. She raised her chin and said, “I am Klara …”
“The Hun,” the man finished softly. He let her go and settled back. “I’ve heard about you. Sit down. You’re in luck.”
Eva lives on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia, in the town which brought the world the Bee Gees. When she’s not writing romance you can find her out on the water kayaking, fishing, or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee (and old Bee Gees records).
To find out more about Eva Scott and her writing, visit her WEBSITE.