Catalonia, The Roman Empire, and a Novel:
I am glad to hear that the effort is doomed to fail. I am glad that the US, EU, UK, France, and Germany all agree that they will not recognize a separate Catalonia. As you know, I have no sympathy for break away provinces, regions of countries, etc.
History shows that is not the way to go. Big and united means prosperous. Think of the Roman Empire. Small and divided means poor. Think of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages. One of the primary reasons Germany is the head of Europe is that there are no separtist movements afoot. Germany even held together during two world wars which it lost.
Spain’s constitution does say that you are not allowed to secede from Spain. So the Prime Minister of Spain is only upholding the constitutional law when he dissolves the government of Catalonia and calls for new elections. He is not acting like a dictator. He is acting in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln.
The hero of my historical thriller, Caesar’s Lost Legions, Caelius Antonius, has embarked on a mission to map the rest of Greater Germania on an expedition to the Elbe River near modern day Hamburg, Germany. The Romans under the Emperor Augustus want to make this region part of the province of Germania and add it to the greater Roman Empire.
But traitors such as Arminius have other ideas. Arminius has learned Roman ways while being tutored in Rome. He turns them against the Romans and massacres three legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It turns out to be one of the most decisive battles in all of history.
The Romans get their revenge five years later under Germanicus. But the Roman Empire is forever stopped from adding the territory around the River Elbe to Germania, centered around the Rhine River and Trier. Just think of how different history could have been if Arminius had not existed! The Roman Empire could have been bigger and better. And the “German question” might have been forever solved.
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Why The Merkel Election Isn’t Like Trump’s:
In the US when you get Trump elected President the election means Isolationism. Americans want to pull back from being involved in lots of international affairs. They want to cut back on immigration and make sure that they themselves have jobs and money before they invite anybody else in. But in America you can’t completely cut off immigration. The US is a country of immigrants. None of this is very deep or very serious or very old.
In America there is no core ethnic group like the Cherusci tribe from ancient Germany from whose ranks arose the traitor named Arminius who pretended to take on a Roman gloss when being educated at Caesar’s expense back in Rome. Then when he was “helping” to guide the Roman troops towards the Elbe River he and his fellow Germans fell upon the trusting dupes and slaughtered them. Germanicus appeared in 14AD, five years later, to seek revenge on the German tribes. But the Romans never again pushed toward the Elbe River. The line was drawn at the Rhine instead. This is terribly significant for western civilization and makes the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest one of the most important battles in history.
Merkel visited the site of the battle in 2009. Germany issued a stamp to celebrate 2000 years. Can you believe it? I bought one of these myself and put it up on my website under the novel in question.
There is a Hermann the German (Arminius’s German name) statue in Germany right now located on the A7 near Detmold. We unfortunately missed it. No one in Germany is talking about taking it down the way people here are trying to take down Robert E. Lee statues. No way! As has been pointed out the leader of the Alternative for Germany Party just used the word “volk”. He invoked the “volk”.
Merkel’s election echoes through the centuries. Trump’s does not.
Cheops Books LLC will publish a novel about the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest next year as part of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series.
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Should We Throw Henry VIII Out Of The History Books?:
Should we throw Henry VIII and other wrong doers out of the history books? This is one of the questions evoked by recent incidents in Charlotteseville, Virginia concerning pulling down the Robert E. Lee statue.
You have to see things in their historical context. Everyone is limited by the times in which he happens to live. For instance, are we supposed to tear down classic buildings like the Pantheon in Rome because it was originally built by Agrippa who was Augustus’s friend and a slaveholder? The Pantheon was rebuilt later by Hadrian who was also a slaveholder. Should we tear down Hadrian’s Villa as well as the Pantheon because the builders and rebuilders were slaveholders? I don’t think Italian tourism would go for that.
There is the famous example of Wagner and his operas? He might not have been played in Israel but nobody has suggested you should destroy his operas because his wife associated with Hitler and because he himself in the 19th century espoused the early doctrines of what later became National Socialism?
What about Henry VIII? Should we tear down Hampton Court because he abused women? The list goes on and on.
The University of Virginia library said by the way that America could not have existed without black slavery. Apparently the slaves were the only workers who could have survived in the fields in the south where there was still malaria and other tropical diseases. It was morally bad but a necessity all the same. It was the choice of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitioner from The Brothers Karamazov, a dark choice but one that was to lead eventually to the United States of America without whom the Nazis would not have been defeated in the twentieth century. History is neither moral nor immoral. It is amoral.
Many of the novels published by Cheops Books LLC are historical novels such as the upcoming Vesuvius Plot, The Cherusci Plot, and The Inn at the Crossroads.
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Livia: A Novel On Free Promotion
Livia: A Novel will be on free promotion on Amazon Kindle for the next five days starting tomorrow, Tuesday, August 1. It is still another in a line of Greek and Roman novels for young adults by Dora Benley. But hurry! The promotion will not be repeated this year. Enjoy the new cover by Jean-Baptiste Wicar, a painting from the Art Institute of Chicago.
In Livia: A Novel, Livia has just returned from her search to find her fiance, Octavius, heir of Julius Caesar, in the wake of Caesar’s assassination. Octavius has fled Rome, and she was trying to save his life. She gets captured by pirates for all her trouble. When she finally catches up with her fiance she can no longer marry him. She learns that her own family, the Claudians, were behind Julius Caesar’s assassination. She can be Octavius’s mistress and nothing more. A proud girl, she spurns the thought and figure she must give him up for good.
Livia describes herself in her diary at this sad impasse:
“I can just imagine what I looked like: long coils of black hair curled in ringlets plastered all over my face, my neck, my bosom, and my shoulders — pasted on by dried salt and brine. A red silk dress clinging to my figure and slipping down over one shoulder a bit too far. Here and there still a jeweled earring or ankle bracelet poking through as a sad legacy from my other life. Looking all together like a prow ornament that had been fished up from the depths after some long ago shipwreck.”
At this low point of her life Livia would be surprised to learn that she will somebody marry the man she loves and stay married to him for 52 years. It will become one of the most legendary matches in Roman history and one of the most historically important, too. Just how this comes about is the story of this piece of fiction: Livia: A Novel by Dora Benley, another one of this author’s ancient Greek and Roman novels. If you liked this story about ancient Rome for young adults, this novel about Livia and Augustus, you will also like Book of the Dead, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra’s Stone, Caesar and Cleopatra: A Novel, Julia: A Novel, Julius Caesar: A Novel, Medea the Witch, and Jason and Medea: A Novel.
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Julia: A Novel by Dora Benley:
Julia: A Novel, another ancient thriller by Dora Benley, will be offered free on Amazon for the next five days starting on Wednesday, July 12 and continuing through the weekend. But hurry! This offer won’t be repeated this year.
Senator Gaius Julius Rufus was unlucky to be born during the first period of the Civil Wars that tore apart not only Rome but Italy into two factions, populares and optimates. He was sixty years old in May of 81 B.C., having spent most of his adulthood in Rome away from his grape and olive vineyards attempting to remain neutral and friendly with both factions while not doing much for either.
His rank and family made his efforts fruitless. He was a senator, an aristocrat. Worse yet, he was a member of the ancient and illustrious clan claiming descent from Aeneas and his mother Venus — the Julii. During the civil war between Marius and Sulla his daughter, Julia’s, life is at stake as well as her heart pining over the man she really loves and cannot have. What can he do to save her? Find out in this historical novel about the days of ancient Rome.
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Merkel Fiddles While Hamburg Burns:
Here is one of my photos of the concert hall in Hafen City in Hamburg in the Harbor Area on the Elbe River surrounded by photos of rioters. This is where Trump and Melania Trump attended Merkel’s concert for the G-20 meeting on July 7. We sailed up and down the river four times in 2012 and 2015 and really liked the place. Hamburg looked very modern with all sorts of very neatly kept buildings and lots of greenery lining the streets. The Elbe River was well populated with swimming beaches and beach hotels and houses. There was also a Lion King hall where they kept on playing Disney’s Lion King in perpetuum. We passed the old Cora Verlag Building that used to house the editor I dealt with when publishing 48 books in the Mystery and Mystery Thriller Lines. We even found a fascinating bookstore that specialized in ships and the North Sea and bought a Hamburg calendar and lots of postcards. I wish I could have purchased one of his North Sea calendars, but alas they were too big to fit in my suitcase! We rented a car here twice and returned here twice to board the Queen Mary 2 in Hafen City. The place seemed prosperous and upbeat.
Now we hear how the ambience of the city of Hamburg has been shattered by violent riots in the streets. Policemen are battling with non capitalists. Ever since we left Europe two years ago there have been nothing but terrorist attacks and now this. Melania Trump was apparently trapped in her hotel room by the extreme violence. So was the Australian Prime Minister. You would think that the Germans of all people would be better at keeping order in the streets. It is really shocking and makes me fear that Europe isn’t safe anymore. Tanks in the streets of Hamburg? The army called in? Military helicopters hovering above the conference site? It’s really too much.
I think part of the problem must be Merkel’s immigration policy and all these Middle Easterners wandering around Europe committing terrorist acts. But these rioters run deeper. They remind me of the groups that Hitler was fighting 100 years ago in the streets of Munich, the German communists. I looked up photos of Hamburg on July 7, 2017, and they remind me of World War 1 and World War 2. Absolutely shocking! It rattles me to the core just to look at people tearing about the city we were driving through only two years ago, driving across the bridge out of town and returning to a hotel on the outskirts, Zur Linda, the water wheel restaurant on the edge of town, the Hors Muhle, and then returning to the harbor area. And all Merkel can do is play classical music? Somehow her reaction seems disconnected and ominous like the legendary image of the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Hamburg plays a role in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War. Hamburg is where Dora and Edward end up at the end of the novel Map Plot before returning to Britain together. It is the farthest expansion point of the Roman Empire into Germany. The Romans were trying to reach the Elbe River in the Cherusci Plot when the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest stopped them. Among them was one of Edward’s ancestors.
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Lucius Antonius: Ancestor of Colonel Sir Edward Ware
Lucius Antonius was the original ancestor of Colonel Sir Edward Ware in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. Born in ancient Rome in the first century B.C. he was an officer under Julius Caesar during the Alexandrian Campaign in Egypt in 47 and 48 B.C. After the war was over he married one of Cleopatra’s surviving serving women. When his commanding officer Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Forum in 44 B.C., Lucius Antonius and his new bride fled to Britannia, the Roman colony in England. That was to be the home base of the Antonius family from that point on. Two later heroes of Edward Ware Thrillers at War novels came from his line and from Britannia: Caelius Antonius and Caius Antonius. These were the heroes of the Cherusci Plot and the Vesuvius Plot respectively. They were to gain fame fighting the Germanic tribes in the first century AD.
Cleopatra’s Stone from the point of view of Lucius Antoniuis has just been published by Cheops Books LLC.
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Cleopatra’s Stone by Dora Benley
Cleopatra’s Stone will be on special promotion on Amazon Kindle starting on Tuesday, June 13. Download it for free during the five days the promotion continues. But hurry! An offer like this won’t be repeated this year.
Lucius Antonius has sailed to Alexandria, Egypt along with Julius Caesar’s triumphant legions in pursuit of Pompey the Great. Caesar may be able to clap Ptolemy, the boy king, in irons. But his sister, Cleopatra, is another story. Just returned from hiding out in the Arabian Desert, she has chiseled a black stone of unknown age from a sacred monument because the bauble appeals to her. Assassins are on the loose to get revenge for the desecration. What will Cleopatra do to protect herself? The Serpent of the Nile is full of wiles — deadly ones for Caesar in this historical thriller novel, Cleopatra’s Stone, by Dora Benley.
Cleopatra’s Stone is brought to you by Edward Ware Thrillers At War, an imprint of Cheops Books, LLC. The novels tell the story of Edward Ware’s family from ancient times in ancient Rome to the present day, always involved in war and conflict and with the British Isles and eventually America as a home base. If you liked this novel try other Edward Ware Thrillers At War novels in the same series by Dora Benley such as Dark 3: Special Edition and Salisbury Plot.
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Two Mediterranean Cruises That Dora And Edward Would Like:
Dora and Edward would want to visit Rome and Venice for certain and Gibraltar thrown in would not be a bad addition. So we would recommend that they sign up for the Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 50th anniversary cruise Q729 offered by Cunard Lines this autumn starting on September 8. Not only does the Mediterranean cruise stop in Venice which is a must see for the couple who spent so many fretful hours there fighting Hitler, it also stops in Gibraltar as a last stop before reaching Southampton and England once again. Edward and Dora would enjoy taking a motor launch across the Venetian lagoon. They might even revisit the beach at the Lido where they spent some nervous hours at the famous hotel trying to figure out how to escape the island. Dora eventually hired a private yacht to take her, her husband, and her daughter to Paris to meet Winston Churchill at the Ritz Hotel.
Another possible Mediterranean cruise for the well-heeled, well-traveled couple might be a second Cunard offering for late this summer. This cruise is also aboard the Queen Elizabeth, the newest offering of the Cunard Line which ought to be overly familiar to Dora and bring back memories of her time on the Lusitania in 1915. This cruise is aptly named Mediterranean Highlights. This cruise stops in Citavecchia, the new port for Rome now that Ostia has silted up. They can take a tour and explore the haunts of Edward’s long-ago ancestors in the time of the late Republic and early Empire. They might even visit the Forum on a bus tour or on a romantic horse and buggy ride or perhaps via the Roma Train from the cruise port. They could gawk at the House of Augustus on Palatine Hill where Edward’s ancestor once dined with the first Emperor of Rome while discussing the rebellious Germans who were to do in Augustus’s legions in 9AD.
At another port of call in Naples they can visit the Vesuvius volcano that lends its name to one of the historical thrillers in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series, the Vesuvius Plot. They can go ashore and visit Herculaneum and/or Pompeii, very nearby Pliny the Elder’s villa. Why Pliny the Elder? Find out how the great Roman writer is tied into the series by reading the upcoming Old Faithful Plot and the Vesuvius Plot soon.
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