The Roman Banquet In Classical Times:

The second day of the Roman wedding was often a Roman banquet or reception for the guests which meant feasting. What did the Romans eat?
You might be likely to find them gathered on the couches and sofas around the banqueting table devouring a pork roast the way you would associate with Henry VIII. For the Roman aristocracy liked pork as much as the later day English aristocracy. But alas they did not have forks, which were an invention of later times. They had to content themselves with only spoons and knives. And more than their modern counterparts they ate with their hands.

If they were not serving pork they would probably be serving fish, which was a favorite of Romans. They had their own favorite fish sauce, too. It was called either garum or liquamen. It has often be compared with American ketchup in its popularity.

And what about dessert for the Roman banquet? For the wedding banquet you were not likely to be served a wedding cake. In fact in the aristocratic form of marriage that was reserved for the bridal couple only during the ceremony and was fed to them by the priest in a ceremony resembling what later became the Roman Catholic wedding ceremony. But they were likely to enjoy fruit, honey, and nuts mixed up in some kind of custard or even cookies. And while they ate they were likely to be entertained by jugglers, musicians, acrobats, and actors.

In Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley, and soon to be published by Cheops Books LLC,  you will find a full-scale banquet after the wedding ceremony. This all takes place before Julia and Marcus Sisenna, the groom, depart for a mysterious honeymoon trip to Greece where they will meet untold adventures.

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Preparations For A Roman Wedding:

The bride wore a white woolen dress with a translucent flame yellow veil very much like a Vestal Virgin to show off her virginity. A young boy relative would light the torch of Ceres to guide the wedding procession to the house of the groom. The bride carried a copper coin to give to the Lares of her new neighborhood to show that she would soon be part of it. The bride was greeted by a torch bearer from the groom’s household. Then the bride was carried over the threshhold by her attendants. She was greeted by the groom. They exchanged vows, “Where you are Gaius, I am Gaia.” Frequently a sacrifice took place. The bride and groom held hands. That night the wedding would be consummated. The next day the groom would hold a banquet for his friends.

There was also a confarreatio Roman wedding ceremony reserved for the highest nobility about which we know very little except that it was somehow more religious. It was presided over by the Flamen Dialis and the Pontifex Maximus with ten witnesses present. The bride and groom shared a cake made of spelt.

In every Roman wedding a big deal was made of the date which had to be approved by augurs to make sure that it was lucky. It could determine how the whole marriage would turn out in the future.

Julia: A Romance is an upcoming historical romantic thriller by Dora Benley to be published by Cheops Books LLC. It incorporates a full-scale, lavish Roman wedding.

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Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 in German:

Captive at the Berghof: Part 1 by Dora Benley and published by Cheops Books LLC will bring out a German edition on December 15. Newly translated and released for the first time, this volume represents Cheops Books LLC’s first release in a foreign language of any kind. We thought it was particularly appropriate to publish Captive at the Berghof in German. It is after all about Germany during World War 2 and the lead up during the 1930’s.

Hitler has found out about Colonel Sir Edward Ware’s secret undercover activities for Winston Churchill, and he’s playing hardball. He kidnaps Thomasina, Edward’s daughter, and won’t give the child back unless Edward and his wife, Dora, hand over the key to world domination – the Lawrence maps. They’d better do something fast before Thomasina truly becomes Hitler’s daughter.

Captive at the Berghof was meticulously researched on the ground in Germany by the authors. They visited Nuremberg and climbed the stands where Hitler spoke and where Hitler was photographed by Leni Riefenstahl. They also ate in the current day Burger King which used to be the station where the lights for the arena were controlled. They did not miss the site of the Berghof in the Alps Mountains where Hitler used to spent much of his time.

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Medea the Witch Special Promotion Starts Wednesday:

Cheops Books LLC is featuring Medea the Witch on its Special Promotions Page this week. You will be able to download it for free starting Wednesday on Amazon Kindle. It is a mythological tale about ancient Greece that features the Thera volcano. It formed a huge caldera that you can still visit today on the island of Santorini in a region that is still seismically unstable.

Medea the Witch is the story of Jason and Medea told from the point of view of Medea. This is not the more familiar tale of Jason’s voyage to Colchis in which the latter encounters Harpies and monsters at every turn (i.e., the material of the 1950’s movie Jason and the Argonauts), but rather it is the tale of the clash of two very different cultures. Medea comes from the fading world of Goddess worshipers with a long matriarchal tradition. She is suddenly thrust into Jason’s Greek world of the followers of the Sky God Zeus where women are best left behind veils. No one understands her “magic” and she is called a “witch.” She is left to defend herself as best she can. The death of her tradition combines with the havoc wreaked by the Thera volcanic eruption at the end of the Bronze Age to presage the end of her world.

If you liked Medea the Witch, you will like other tales by Dora Benley including Minotaur, Helen of Troy, Book of the Dead, Mary’s Gone, and Latin Lessons.

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Medea the Witch by Dora Benley will be offered free on Amazon Kindle starting Wednesday and continuing for the next five days. But hurry! An offer like this won’t be repeated this year.

Medea the Witch is the story of Jason and Medea told from the point of view of Medea. This is not the more familiar tale of Jason’s voyage to Colchis in which the latter encounters Harpies and monsters at every turn (i.e., the material of the 1950’s movie Jason and the Argonauts), but rather it is the tale of the clash of two very different cultures. Medea comes from the fading world of Goddess worshipers with a long matriarchal tradition. She is suddenly thrust into Jason’s Greek world of the followers of the Sky God Zeus where women are best left behind veils. No one understands her “magic” and she is called a “witch.” She is left to defend herself as best she can. The death of her tradition combines with the havoc wreaked by the Thera volcanic eruption at the end of the Bronze Age to presage the end of her world.
If you liked Medea the Witch, you will like other tales by Dora Benley including Minotaur, Helen of Troy, Book of the Dead, Mary’s Gone, and Latin Lessons.

 

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