Ancient vs. Modern Violence: Julia: A Romance:
Two Cheops Books LLC editors, Gary Bennet and Kay Bognar will debate the issue of the modern versus ancient violence on Monday at 2PM on the Cheops Books Facebook Page. Gary will present the modern point of view. Kay will argue for the ancient point of view found in the novel Julia: A Romance which is being published on Amazon Kindle on April 9. You are all invited to join the group with prizes available for winners.
Here are the five questions under discussion. The novel concerns the time period of Sulla in the first century B.C., but the discussion will be a little more far ranging than that to prove a point:
1)Compare/Contrast the Battle of the Somme in WW1 with the Battle of Cannae in the Second Punic War. Which was more violent? Which had more lasting implications?
2)Compare/Contrast Sulla’s victory over Athens to Hitler’s move into the Sudetenland.
3)Compare/Contrast Sulla’s victory over Athens to Hitler’s move into Poland in 1939 that precipitated Britain’s declaration of war. Which was more lasting and permanent?
4)Compare/Contrast Titus’s expulsion of the Jews from ancient Israel to the solutions in the current problems in the Middle East. Who acted more serious?
5)What do you think causes this big difference in violence and philosophy of warfare in ancient Rome versus nowadays?
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Rodin and Elgin Marbles at the British Museum:
What I wanted to comment on was that last night right before I went to bed I found out that there is to be a major exhibit of Rodin sculptures at the British Museum starting in April and going through July. What is more exciting is that Rodin was inspired by the museum’s collection of marbles from the Parthenon, the Elgin Marbles, when he visited the British Museum in 1881. So there is going to be some sort of joint exhibit. I haven’t heard all the details yet. For one thing, are they going to move the Elgin Marbles to the exhibit room for special exhibitions?
This is the best exhibit I have heard about at the British Museum since at least 2013. I think that was the year of the exhibit on Pompeii at the British Museum. It is certainly the first one about the classics since then.
Have you ever seen the Elgin Marbles? When I was at the British Museum as a kid for some reason that I cannot remember we got lost and never made it past the Rosetta Stone which I remember seeing. I have been to the ruins of the Parthenon once but I have never seen the Marbles.
Cheops Books LLC publishes historical thrillers set in ancient Athens and ancient Greece as well as ancient Rome such as Helen of Troy, the Minotaur, Medea the Witch, and the upcoming novels Caesar’s Lost Legions, and Julia: A Romance.
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Rodin and “The Thinker”
Knossos And Julia: A Romance:
When Julia marries Marcus Sisenna through an arranged marriage that her father, Senator Rufus, brokered, she had no idea about all the new experiences and responsibilities that she is taking on. She goes from being a girl who liked to sit in her father’s library in their expansive house on Palatine Hill in Rome to a woman of the world. Just as the Roman Empire extended to the boundaries of the known world, so would Julia’s new horizons.
The man she is marrying is the second most powerful man in Rome, Marcus Sisenna, Sulla’s right-hand man. When there is a plot Sisenna is immediately put in charge of investigating it. The Greeks rebel, so they end up in Greece. Since Sulla had just conquered Athens, the natives are restless.
Julia finds herself in the Palace of Knossos of all places! She can see bare chested priestesses with flounced skirts depicted in statuary. Whispers go on around her, the voices of the rebels.
Take your armchair tour of Greece and the Roman world. Read Julia: A Romance next year.
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The Carthaginian City of Nora:
In Julia: A Romance the heroine encounters various challenges from different sources. One of the biggest challenges comes from her future husband’s position in the empire and his travels. He insists that she learn Greek but he won’t say why at first. Nor will he tell her the important part to be played in the plot of intrigue by cities such as the Carthaginian city of Nora.
At the time of the novel, 82BC, Rome has just put an end to the first civil war between Marius and Sulla with Sulla’s victory. Sulla, the Dictator of Rome, has also just conquered the city state of Athens. Sisenna mentions to Julia that certain disaffected Roman aristocrats had recently been sent to a kind of exile on Sardinia near the ancient city of Nora. It is one of the many colorful locales that plays a part in the novel. In a sense the historical thriller takes in locations all over the ancient Greek and Roman world.
Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley will be published next year by Cheops Books LLC.
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Greece Plays A Role In Julia: A Romance:
Sulla conquered Athens in 87 and 86BC. A stream of slaves was sent to Rome to fill the houses of the patricians with tutors, governesses, and secretaries. For the Greeks were known to be better educated than other slaves from other countries. And in fact Greek was considered a prestigious language that only aristocratic Romans spoke. To have a higher education back then meant to go to Athens and enroll in a school of philosophy or rhetoric.
But the Greeks were troublesome and likely to create plots and revolutions, too. Marcus Sisenna, Sulla’s right-hand lieutenant and political ally in Julia: A Romance, must help to ferret out the origins of a Greek conspiracy rife in Rome at the time of his dictatorship. Delphi becomes a hotbed of rebellion along with the island of Crete and the Palace of Knossos. Who knows where it ends? Look for Julia: A Romance next year from Cheops Books LLC.
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Gunboat Diplomacy: Franco and Gibraltar
Here is your answer to a lot of things. This may even answer what my aunt remembered about Franco in 1972. I get the chills when I hear in the news that Spain sent a gunboat into your territorial waters near Gibraltar. You say it has been going on every five years for the past 300 years. No American would permit such an intrusion. Here it would be considered suspicious and odd that a country like Spain would even remember Gibraltar for 300 years let alone act on it. It would get everybody stirred up on this side of the Atlantic, and the population here would demand it be stopped. In Britain you say it does not mean anything to you. Your nerves have gotten used to more violence, more intrusions, more gunboats, more soldiers, more air force planes, more shooting, more everything that has to do with war. To us here in the US the gunboat in Gibraltar’s waters seems to spell real trouble in the future. The Spanish are not to be trusted. I bet you anything that when the Brits were staying in Madrid during the time period of Franco, too, they saw soldiers in the streets, they noticed that the soldiers were trying to keep them isolated from the other Spanish citizens, and they had a hard time coming and going as they wished. The difference is that Brits and Europeans in general think nothing of this sort of behavior. They may even prefer it in fact because it brings peace and order to the capital city of Spain under the Fascist Dictator Franco, and we all remember that the Brits were willing to make another deal with another Fascist Dictator. It was the same thing in 1968 with De Gaulle and I’m sure it was the same thing in Nazi Germany with Adolf Hitler. What even western Europeans may think odd is what my aunt experienced in Athens in 1973 with soldiers in the street. But here things were so disorderly that even the local population was not listening to the soldiers. And terrorists were sneaking into the Athens Airport. In fact, they did not even have to sneak. They could just walk right in because there were no guards on duty at all. Employees of any kind were hard to find in the Athens Airport in those days which is why only weeks later Americans really were massacred there. When you say that “gunboats are part of the drama” in Gibraltar, I know I am onto a real difference between Americans and Europeans.
Mr. Benley in Key to Lawrence: Special Edition is always lecturing his daughter, Dora Benley, about her fiance, Edward Ware, the British lord. Winthrop Benley is the quintessential successful Robber Baron type who berates the Old World for starting World War. Later it would be World War 2. Americans are still having a hard time getting used to this sort of thing. Even the terrorists come from the Old World. Certainly Franco did.
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