Cato Demands Carthaginian Hostages At The Banquet:

Gaius Antonius landed in Carthage a week later and came ashore with Lavinia’s Uncle Cato. The colorful buildings were crowded together in the harbor touching side to side with hardly a space in between. Around them flourished small gardens. He could pick out brightly colored red hisbiscus and flaming pink bougainvillea.

They were taken to one of the most opulent houses. The head of the city received their all Roman delegation in high style. Servants raced around them to serve them an impromptu banquet.

As they were seated at a banquet he heard strange music and the sound of mourning people. Cato gave him the eye as they watched the citizens parade in a group towards a religious temple not far away. It rose over the harbor. He had been tutoring Gaius before they set out in the customs of the Carthaginian people and their history.

He had informed Gaius that they practiced a horrible, primitive religion that demanded sacrifices of baby infants to the God Cronus. Cato had showed Gaius ugly images of this repulsive God with his hands extended palms up and sloping towards the ground. The children were placed in those arms. They fell into a gaping, fiery pit. Then they were buried in a special cemetery devoted to that purpose.

If Gaius had any qualms about coming down hard on the Carthaginians he lost it after experiencing this horror. These people were not worthy to survive. Their customs, their religion, their culture seemed blackened because of this crime.

The leader of the Carthaginians pleaded as they progressed with the banquet, “I don’t understand what the problem is.” And he addressed Cato in good Latin, abandoning the Phoenician language out of deference, for the Carthaginians had always been a seafaring people. “Our neighbors attacked us. I assume we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Cato slapped down a copy of the treaty that had ended the last war against Carthage. It had almost ended with the destruction of Rome except for the generalship of Scipio Africanus.

“You agreed not to move your armies outside your city state without our express permission,” Cato pointed to the exact provision.

Everyone at the banquet cast him alarmed expressions.

“Very good, sir,” the leader of the Carthaginians tried to wax diplomatic as he wrung his hands. “But we thought that meant major wars of aggression. We did not think it had to do with raiding and more minor infractions of our neighbors. Rome is too far away to consult about matters of the moment like that.”

“The provision is literal,” Cato glowered at him worse than he glowered at senators in the Senate House. Gaius could see all the men in the room cringing. “We must consent to every act of aggression no matter how small or insignificant. How else can we protect ourselves? We don’t know what you might try next.”

The leader threw up his arms. “From now on we will try to obey your wishes in the matter. But you must excuse us this time. If we had not acted, we would not now have a fishing fleet. Then we would starve.”

Cato shook his head. “I must demand more. As a surety of your good behavior over the next year, we want as hostages one hundred of your noble youths to take with us back to Rome.”

Silence descended upon the banquet hall as the Carthaginian leaders exchanged haunted looks. They retired from the banquet into an adjoining chamber to discuss the matter of the hostages in detail and in privacy.

Cato nodded at Gaius. He took advantage of the opportunity to sketch the meeting place in detail just as he had already sketched the harbor works, the houses grouped together, and the flowering plants placed just so. It was a way to relieve the tension of waiting.

Cato did not look tense. He did not think the Carthaginians had any choice but to placate Rome with hostages. And he intended to exploit his position for everything that it was worth.

There was a commotion and a stir in the banquet room. Whisperings could be heard. Suddenly the leaders of the community burst through doors in the back of the room. Gaius gazed into their eyes the way Cato had taught him. The answer concerning the hostages was on their lips.

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Cato Sends Gaius to Carthage To Make Drawings:

Gaius Antonius sat there in amazement as the senators crowded around Cato at the conclusion of the Senate session. They were all gossipping about the last war and all their family memories that Gaius did not share because he was too young to remember. His father directed attention to him by telling another senator that he had brought Gaius along just in case there was a declaration of war today and he could volunteer his son as a recruit.

Gaius hung back until he was all alone in the Forum. He took a new way home and instead of returning to his house on the Palatine Hill in Rome he saddled up and took off for his country house outside town near the port of Ostia.

He sat there sketching the scenery to quiet his mind. He was joined by the daughter of the local mayor whom he had befriended recently. She questioned him what brought him here today. He spilled out his troubles to her.

She seemed disturbed. “Rome won’t quit until there is no other power in the Mediterranean,” she lamented. “They want to wipe out the Carthaginians just like they wiped us out too a while back.”
The girl who was descended from a local Etruscan family. The Etruscans had preceded the Romans in this area of Italy. Now hardly anyone spoke the original language which had practically died out during the past several generations.

“The Romans want the Carthaginians to speak Latin,” she said.

“But I guess there is a certain danger letting the Carthaginians make war against a neighboring city state,” Gaius lamented.

She shook her head sadly and disappeared. “You are just a Roman like the rest of them. And here I thought you were different!”

Gaius tried to follow her. But a messenger arrived from his father. He directed Gaius to follow the messenger back to Rome. Cato wanted to speak to him.

Marcus Porcius Cato? That was enough to wipe the memory of the Etruscan girl from his mind. Feeling very nervous he followed the messenger back to Rome to the imposing house of Cato not far from his own on Palatine Hill.

He entered the great man’s study in trepidation. He was amazed that the great man had even paid attention to his lowly presence in the Senate Chamber. But then Cato had seemed to pay attention to everyone great and small. That was part of his genius as he put down his pen and stopped working on his history of Roman customs and the life of a Roman country gentleman, the first prose work anyone had ever attempted to write in Latin before.

Cato smiled at Gaius, which surprised him even more. Given his stern face with all the lines, he was surprised if the older man could smile at all. He seemed to scowl at everyone all the time.
“Do you know why I didn’t call for a vote for war today?” Cato asked.

Gaius shook his head “no”.

“Because I wanted you to precede that vote. You must go to Carthage for us and make drawings of the buildings there in the harbor and around town so we know what we are confronting. We will find a pretext for you to leave Rome during our next session of the Senate.”

Gaius nodded nervously, not knowing how to say no to Cato.

“Perhaps we will ask them to send hostages as a show of good faith, that they are not making war against our interests,” Cato suggested to him.

He could not believe what was happening when Cato then invited him to lunch with him in his garden. Even more amazing, he introduced him to his granddaughter, who expressed a great interest in his drawings and examined them one by one very carefully.

“I like knowing you,” she smiled. “You seem like the man of the moment.” She gazed into his eyes.
Gaius was so overcome with her scintillating smile that at once he thought he would do anything to please her. He knew what his mission would be.

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Carthago Delenda Est: Carthage Must Be Destroyed

Gaius Antonius fancies that he has a future career as an architect. He spend his days drawing and sketching buildings in Republican Rome of the second century B.C. Rome is growing, dominating Italy as well as some of its neighbors. He likes to picture Rome of the future when it goes on a building binge. He would like to be there to construct the buildings.

His father, also Gaius Antonius the Elder, severely criticizes his son. He was born into a patrician family. It is his duty to go into politics and the military, not sketch and draw buildings. Alas he has no interest in being his father all over again and constantly tries to shirk such responsibilities.

His father, the senator, drags his son to the Senate House in the Forum to listen along with his other male relations. The great elder senator, Cato, rose to make a speech about his latest visit to Carthage to collect their yearly indemnity imposed after the Second Punic War decades ago. He was complaining how Carthage was again getting out of hand, making war against its Numidian neighbors and could not be trusted. He reminded Romans of the woes of the last war with Italy invaded by elephants. They should act now before it was again too late. He concluded his speech with a call to arms, “Carthago delenda est.” Or ‘“Carthage must be destroyed”.

Gaius’s father rose and proposed in effect a “draft” of the noble youth to respond to Carthago delenda est. He volunteered his own son, Gaius, as the first recruit, making his son’s hair stand up on end on his head.

Scipio Aemilianus, descendant of the famous Scipio Africanus, victor of the last Punic War, rose and suggested that they give Carthage a last chance and send a delegation to bring back three hundred noble youths as hostages about Carthage’s behavior towards its neighbors.

When the Senate session concluded, Scipio summoned Gaius to his house. He told him that he wanted him to help guide the hostages to Rome ostensibly which was why he invented the requirement. Really he wanted him to use his drawing talent to make notes about the appearance of the city. He was to draw everything so the Romans knew what was what before declaring war. And on the way to Carthage he was stop in New Carthage along the coast of Spain to study the famous sea wall and make drawings of everything he could find there. Scipio would wait for his findings before declaring war.

Gaius was amazed that such a responsibility was being thrust onto his shoulders. He could not refuse. In just one day his whole life was being changed and transformed. He looked down at his pen and wondered about the drawings he was about to make and their vast significance.

Carthago delenda est.

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Did Edward Ware’s Ancestor Fight In The Punic Wars?

Colonel Sir Edward Ware is known to have quite a pedigree, at least as long as the Queen’s. He can trace his ancestry back to ancient Rome. His ancestor, Lucius Antonius, fought with Julius Caesar in the Alexandrian War. He was the grandfather of Caelius Antonius, mapmaker for the Roman legions who were massacred by ancient Germans at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

And Caelius Antonius was the grandfather of Caius Antonius, an assistant of the famous Latin encyclopedia writer, Pliny the Elder, who helped the famous essayist escape an attack of the Germans at the time of Vesuvius and Pompeii.

But before that farther back in the history of Rome did Colonel Sir Edward Ware have a Roman progenitor who fought against Hannibal in the Punic Wars? Believe it or not it may be so. Recently archaeological evidence indicates it. An early collection of documents yet to be completely translated has been found in a key location.

A Gaius Antonius —- same clan name as Edward —- was appointed by the Roman who later became the great victor, Scipio Africanus, to make drawings of what he saw in Carthage in the way of siege machines and weapons when visiting on the pretext of being an ambassador of sorts to Carthage. And where were these documents found? At the Punic Wall in the modern day Spanish city of Cartegena in southern Spain just across the straits from Africa and Carthage and not far from modern day Gibraltar.

The Punic Wall was what used to protect the ancient Carthagenian city in Spain. What story does this wall have to tell? These letters may tell us. Cheops Books LLC has just acquired the rights to translate them and reveal to the world their long hidden tale.

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New Road Secret From Cheops Books LLC

As Cheops Books LLC plans to be on the road again researching ideas for its fiction, it wants to share with you one of its newest, best travel tips: Airbnb. We have been looking to cut dollars off the high cost of travel that has more than doubled in recent years. It used to be that you had to plan to be in a different motel along the interstates every night. Now thanks to Airbnb you can book private residences as you go instead at a fraction of the cost.

Want a yard for your dog? A fenced in yard at that? Want a shower instead of a bath tub? Want a kitchen for a change to make your own meals and cut food expenses, too? Again look no farther than Airbnb.

This road secret applies to international travel as well as local and state to state travel. You are likely to find places to rent in London, Paris, and Rome as well as Cheyenne, Wyoming, but you will probably get a bigger selection in the more populous capitals. Airbnb seems to be everywhere to serve you.

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Latest Crazy Plot for Edward Ware Thrillers:

Try this plot on for size. Midsummer Dora and Edward leave the Desert Southwest, Cheops Books LLC Headquarters, and drive north through Wyoming to keep it cool. They might even stop at Yellowstone to let the coolness permeate everything before heading due east through Pittsburgh to visit Dora’s parents and onward to New York to board the ship. The ship takes them predictably to Southampton where they rent a car at the Southampton Airport for the next twenty-two days. The spies are onto them.

They visit all the tourist sites in the south of England from Bath to Dover. They make themselves look like tourists when they are secretly meeting with operatives. They make sure to have tea with Winston Churchill at his estate at Chartwell in Kent. Then they deceive everybody and make themselves hard to follow when at the very end of August they board a ship in Southampton that takes them to Gibraltar. They seem to be playing with the apes. Really at night they are signalling spies on the African Coast not far away in Morocco.

They hope nobody notices as they stop briefly at Cartegena in Spain and Valencia in Spain to meet with operatives while other tourists tour around and see the sights. Finally they disembark in Rome as the plot thickens.

Great works of art have been the repository of the Lawrence maps before. This time they visit the Bargello Gallery and deposit them in a secret niche carved in Bernini’s statue, Apollo and Daphne.
Quickly they hurry out of Rome on a train to Milan. They take the train from Milan to Paris, meeting Winston at the Ritz just to confuse any possible spies or pursuers. They make their way back to Britain and then America.

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Pre-Order Julia: A Romance On Amazon:

All spiffed up with a brand new cover, Julia: A Romance is ready to pre-order. Get your copy on publication date April 9.

Julia has every reason to wish that she had not been born the daughter of a Roman senator during the Roman Civil Wars of Marius and Sulla. Her father, Rufus, is trying to escape the proscriptions lists and save his life by betrothing his only daughter in marriage to Marcus Sisenna. Marcus Sisenna is the right hand man of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, one of the leading men of Rome of the day. Rufus needs his armies and the protection both Sulla and Sisenna can provide. But Julia does not want to marry a man who has already had five wives and who is just marrying her for her father’s money and estates. She does not want to be added to his collection of trophies. Julia wants personal happiness despite the time period into which she has been born. Her father thinks only of keeping his wealth and estates together. Her divorced mother is interested only in her own lovers. To whom shall Julia turn for assistance? The answer may surprise you. For it is obviously just the opposite of what the desperate Julia might expect.

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Goodreads Ad For Julia: A Romance:

Come see the ad for Julia: A Romance on Goodreads. It complements the giveaway now going on to win 1 of 100 free copies of the Kindle edition of the historical romantic thriller by Dora Benley. The ad reads: Forced to marry a tyrant, Julia finds a special friend in an unexpected place in ancient Rome. Enter the giveaway.The picture that goes with the ad will be the book cover.

Julia is rushing down the hallway of Marcus Sisenna’s mansion in republican Rome of about 82 BC. The hallway is filled with Greek statues of the classical time period lining the walls on both sides. But on a shelf in front of her she sees a strange two foot statue of a type she has never seen before. She stops cold and stares at it with her hand clapped over her mouth. A bare-chested snake priestess with a flounced skirt has snakes coiling around her arms. She glares straight back at Julia.

Julia has got herself in quite a fix. She is betrothed to be married to the second man in Rome, the righthand man of the Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the 80s BC in Republican Rome. She hates the way Sisenna has been married five times before and is having an affair with her own mother. Her father, coward that he is, has given away her hand in marriage to save his own life and his own estates.

And now here she is poised on the bring of what could be another war. The Greek colonies are in rebellion, and Julia, fiancee of Marcus Sisenna, is a target. What should she do to save her own life? Who can she turn to? Certainly not her own mother or father! The answer may surprise you. It certainly surprises the fair Julia.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Julia by Dora Benley

Julia

by Dora Benley

Giveaway ends April 09, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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A Peek At The New Cover In The Making For Julia: A Romance:

The cover artist is at work on the new cover for Julia: A Romance by Dora Benley. So far we have only a black and white sketch. Here it is! We are sharing it with you today in our blog post.

Julia is rushing down the hallway of Marcus Sisenna’s mansion in republican Rome of about 82 BC. The hallway is filled with Greek statues of the classical time period lining the walls on both sides. But on a shelf in front of her she sees a strange two foot statue of a type she has never seen before. She stops cold and stares at it with her hand clapped over her mouth. A bare-chested snake priestess with a flounced skirt has snakes coiling around her arms. She glares straight back at Julia.

Julia has got herself in quite a fix. She is betrothed to be married to the second man in Rome, the righthand man of the Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla in the 80s BC in Republican Rome. She hates the way Sisenna has been married five times before and is having an affair with her own mother. Her father, coward that he is, has given away her hand in marriage to save his own life and his own estates.

And now here she is poised on the bring of what could be another war. The Greek colonies are in rebellion, and Julia, fiancee of Marcus Sisenna, is a target. What should she do to save her own life? Who can she turn to? Certainly not her own mother or father! The answer may surprise you. It certainly surprises the fair Julia.

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Dora and Edward Come To Arizona:

Yes, I assume you wear boots and a raincoat and layers of clothing underneath when you go outside for a hike in the winter time. For instance, when I lived in Charlottesville I always kept a pair of boots in the hall closet. I used them to get to the mailbox when it snowed. What I meant was the weather sounds so very unpleasant, who would want to venture outside in it? It cannot be that much fun to grope around in the rain using poles with spikes at the end. Wouldn’t you want to wait until the weather cleared up before you ventured outside for a hike?

You would like it here in Tucson right now. We are having mostly spring weather in the winter time. You would be able to scale mountains every day in the Saguaro National Park. You could even venture up on Mt. Lemmon which peaks at 9 thousand feet right in the middle of town here. With your binoculars you could see all sorts of birds. There are far more here for some reason than there are on the East Coast or in England. This is a huge birder area. When we put a finch sock outside on our patio it is gone almost instantly. Doves and quail populate the yard. We also have humming birds which are unique to North America. You don’t have them in England. Apaches had myths about the humming birds whispering in your ears. I will send you photos of the birds.

I have been corresponding with an Italian from Rome named Giovanni lately. He recently spent several months in Tucson scaling mountains. There are mountains in Italy, but he thought the ones here were better and more fun. See what I mean?

Dora and Edward take their search to hide the Lawrence maps all the way to Arizona in Armistice Plot to be published later this year. With mountains like this, they did not need to find Mt. Everest. Hitler’s spies would never find them again.

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