Julia Visits The Forum in Julia: A Romance:

One of the most perennial Roman monuments associated with the days of the Republic and Empire was the Roman Forum, or Forum Romanum in Latin. It was located in the valley between the Capitoline Hill and the Palatine Hill where all the aristocrats and the Emperor lived. This was the central meeting place of the city where the Senate House was located as well as numerous shops. Triumphal processions were held here by conquering generals. This was where Roman citizens came to vote for candidates for office. Public speeches were also held here where everyone gathered around to listen. It was the site of criminal trials even those politically motivated such as Catiline. Even gladiatorial matches could be held here. And nearby and convenient to the Forum were the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum. And important temples such as the Temple to the Vestal Virgins were nearby.

In the romantic historic thriller Julia: A Romance, the heroine makes many trips to the Forum and through the Forum in her efforts to evade either her evil, interfering mother, Octavia, or the man who wants to marry her at all costs, Marcus Sisenna, the second most powerful man in Rome. It is also a good place to hide since it was so crowded. It is part of the color of such novels that they are set against the backdrop of such historic settings where the likes of Juliius Caesar and Augustus Caesar walked.

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Ancient Roman Saturnalia in Dora Benley Novels:

The Saturnalia was the ancient Roman Christmas and New Year’s season. It was held in honor of the god Saturn from December 17 to December 23 as marked by the Julian calendar. He was the god of seed and sowing, and it was now the end of that season with the approach of the winter solstice on December 25 of the Julian calendar.

It might not exactly be Christmas, but it sounded like it. Romans put up trees in their houses and might even have decorated them. They exchanged gifts. Charity to the poor was emphasized as well as role reversals such as slaves sitting in the master’s chair and visa versa. It was a time of charity and good will to men. The Forum in Rome must have been very busy with all the shopping that went on.

The festival called the Saturnalia does not take place in the historical romantic thriller Julia: A Romance. That novel takes place in the summer time. By December Julia would be a bride of about six months in her new household. But the festival figures in the historical romantic thriller by Dora Benley entitled Cleopatra’s Stone. It takes place right before the hero of the novel, Lucius Antonius, flees with his bride to Roman Britain where he sets up the dynasty that will eventually lead to Edward Ware, the hero of the Edward Ware Thriller Series.

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