Has Pliny The Elder Been Re-Discovered?

In the early 1980s the excavation of Herculaneum, sister city to Pompeii, was excavated. A large group of skeletons was found in a boat shed facing the sea as if they were attempting to escape but ran out of time.

Just how they may have been planning to escape is knowledge provided to us by the writings of an ancient Rome author named Pliny the Younger who wrote our only surviving eyewitness account of the Vesuvius eruption. He claimed that his more famous uncle, Pliny the Elder, was going to rescue these unfortunate escapees. How so? Pliny the Elder was the admiral of a Roman fleet stationed at Misenum, north of Naples, on August 24, 79AD, the day Vesuvius erupted. His nephew says he was curious to observe the volcano erupting from close up. He had wide ranging scientific interests and was the author of Pliny’s Natural History, the first encyclopedia in western history. Supposedly he had gotten word from friends that they needed to be resuced and he took off with his fleet to rescue them, leaving his teenage nephew behind to write for the ages.

Now Italian scientists are trying to date and identify the remains of a man found in such a rescue boat and hope they have discovered Pliny the Elder himself. It sounds far fetched but interesting nevertheless. It would be nice to have a reconstructed drawing of Pliny based on his skeleton since no sculpture portraits survive from antiquity.

Pliny the Elder and his family are the subjects of two historical thrillers which Cheops Books LLC is about to publish. The Roman statesman and scientist appears in Old Faithful Plot and Vesuvius Plot. In Old Faithful Plot Pliny is the subject of a time tunnel manhunt on the part of Adolf Hitler. The dictator thinks that the ancient Roman threatens the German people. In Vesuvius Plot as the governor of Germany Pliny must fight off the hordes of German tribes.

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Is Christopher Columbus a Fascist?

On a more serious note, I was looking up statues of Christopher Columbus online and came across one in Barcelona, Spain of all places. Would you believe that the article said the people over there in Europe want to pull the Columbus statue down? Have you heard about this? This is a very large,prominent statue of some artistic merit showing Columbus pointing out to sea. Apparently they don’t like the idea that Columbus oppressed native peoples in the New World either. But I said to myself why would there care over in Spain? When I read some more it said that the Catalans in Barcelona think of themselves as a “native people” too. They think they are being oppressed by the government in Madrid. They call Columbus a “Fascist” as well as Madrid and look back to the Spanish Civil War where they were on the losing side. This sounds like trouble to me, more trouble than anything going on in the United States about Columbus statues. For instance apparently Seattle has replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, but how many Italian Americans live in Seattle? Here it is just silly political correctness if it is anything at all.

Cheops Books, LLC publishes historical novels about Europe including Inn at the Crossroads, Cherusci Plot, and Vesuvius Plot.

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British Museum Preserves American History:

Supposedly the stupid Mayor of New York City, the same one who went to Hamburg when they were having the political riots in July, has declared that New York City might well remove its statue of Christopher Columbus. That statue has been standing since 1892 in its present location. It was erected to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492. What did Christopher Columbus do to offend the mayor? Supposedly that he was the harbinger of oppression for the native peoples of the New World. Of course that is like saying that America should never have been discovered which is really weird.

Pretty soon the British Museum will be the only place that has American artifacts and keeps them there. Earlier this year they had an exhibit of Americana and displayed some of their collection. Just as they preserve the Elgin Marbles they will have to preserve America’s history for America.

Cheops Books, LLC frequently publishes historical novels such as Inn at the Crossroads, Cherusci Plot, and Vesuvius Plot. Map Plot involves a key scene at the British Museum where Edward, Dora, T.E. Lawrence, and Leonard Woolley hide the Lawrence maps in the Rosetta Stone.

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Smoke and Mirrors: Trump’s Speech

We just got done listening to Trump’s weekly address, Trump’s speech. He is calling for unity. But if he is talking about Charlottesville, I can’t see how anybody could think that was real. Talk about a staged media event! Soros probably was involved. People in America are ahistorical. They don’t think about history or care about history. Probably you couldn’t have had a conflict about a Robert E. Lee statue in Virginia in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War in the nineteenth century either. People in New York don’t care what happens in Virginia and visa versa. America has a great regionalism and the citizens are content to leave it that way. People should be suspicious about a pretended conflict about something like that now. Who is trying to stage what? Who is trying to grab the attention of the news? There are no real political conflicts in contemporary America about the old Confederacy despite Trump’s speech. Charlottesville is all just smoke and mirrors.

Cheops Books LLC publishes historical novels such as the upcoming Inn at the Crossroads, Vesuvius Plot, and Cherusci Plot.

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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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Pliny The Elder’s Trier: As Seen By The Germans

These photos suggest the Trier of Pliny the Elder in 79 AD. None of these buildings or monuments actually come from that era, though. Trier was founded in 16BC and was initially called the City of Augusta Treverorum, or the “City of Augustus in the Land of the Treveri”. By the time of Pliny’s tenure as the Roman governor there the town was about 95 years old — almost one century. The monuments at that point were about to be replaced with later ones that have survived to the present day. Some of these statues and gardens were even built as late as the Renaissance but in a classical style. In other words, we can only imagine what Pliny the Elder’s Governor’s Palace and Palace Gardens in ancient Trier must have looked like. When the authors of the book, Vesuvius Plot, visited Trier, they were looking for inspiration to recreate the life and times of Pliny. These statues, gardens, baths, bridges, and city walls and gates come as close as anything we are likely to find in the future.

During the scenes in the historical thriller when the German tribes attack Pliny in the Governor’s Palace in Trier, imagine them attacking in this classical setting with the reflecting pond surrounded by classical statues and gardens cut in precise geometric form. Pliny overcomes the tribes and tricks them with this supreme sense of order which is the hallmark of the author of the world’s first encyclopedia, Pliny’s Natural History. He fights battles with the same order with which he lives and works. He overcomes the barbarians who tried to push the Romans out of Germany only several decades before in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, which forms the subject of another Edward Ware Thrillers at War novel, the Cherusci Plot. His right hand man in the grandson of the Roman who drew the maps for the Emperor Augustus in the time of the Teutoburg Forest, Caius Antonius.

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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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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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On What Mediterranean Cruise Would Dora And Edward Sail?
Getting various advertisements for Mediterranean cruises in the email made us wonder what Mediterranean cruise Dora and Edward would have picked. The Mediterranean was not a chief setting for any book in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. But Edward and Dora did occasionally visit a port or two.
Edward visited Venice on a spy mission in Map Plot, a soon to be published installment of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. He was there in the early 1920’s looking for a letter that Hitler, the rising star of the National Socialist Party in Germany had written to his financial backer, Herr von Wessel, also the husband of Edward’s nemesis, Helga von Wessel.
Again Edward visited Venice and brought Dora along in 1935 in Hitler’s Agent, another installment of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War to be published in October. He had his wife had just rescued their daughter, Thomasina, from Hitler’s clutches. They were fleeing back to England and had to go the long way around since Hitler had the border with France blocked by troops doing “spring maneuvers”. But Hitler sent his friend Mussolini after the Wares, and they had to plot their course to flee Venice.
On the way home from Venice Dora and Edward stop in Gibraltar at the ancient Pillars of Hercules at the entrance to the Mediterranean. Dora recruits some Barbary apes in the cause of fighting Hitler’s agents in a rare light moment.
In the epilogue of Vesuvius Plot Edward, Dora, and Churchill sit at Ware Hall reflecting about Edward’s long ago ancestors who migrated from ancient Rome to Britain and got involved in various adventures. That would necessitate a visit to Citavecchia, the port of Rome.
Tomorrow Cheops Books LLC will pick an actual Mediterranean cruise or two that Dora and Edward might have taken to provide background for their adventures in pursuit of defending the Lawrence maps, key to world domination.

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Trump and Titus the Emperor:

We will have to see what Trump will do.  Frankly last night at dinner we were looking at photos of Trump at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. I looked up Josephus and got out my Titus coin to examine more carefully. The Roman response to Judea in those days was one which I have never seen in my lifetime. I thought I was seeing it on 9/11. But it petered out. WW1 still casts a long shadow. I think that war is still going on as a kind of 100 Years War. One of these days we have to get over it and start remembering Titus and generals like him. He settled the Judea issue for the next 1900 years, almost 2000 years. Don’t kid yourself. Back in ancient times the Jews were acting like the Arabs. They were the same Middle Eastern people. They had constant civil wars and acted fractious. So Rome conquered them. I think it is horrible that the governments nowadays do little or nothing to really end terrorism such as what you just experienced in Manchester. They make speeches and say they are against it. But their reaction says in so many words we just have to put up with it. This is something that the Romans would never have done. Not that I am advocating slavery which is one of the means they used to deal with it. Lots of the Jews were made Roman slaves. But a decisive military response would be in order.

The War on Terror has failed because nobody takes it seriously except George W Bush, and he only had 8 years in office. Besides even George W wasn’t pursuing the War on Terror the way Vespasian or Titus would have. You need to march into the Middle Eastern countries, take over, send in military governors for the next several generations and build modern forms of amphitheaters and baths, build roads, create jobs, etc. That is what the Romans did. That is the only thing that works in the long run. You are not fighting an “idea”. You are fighting a civilization that is way behind the times and needs to get up to date.

Titus appears as an important character in the upcoming Cheops Books, LLC historical thriller, the Vesuvius Plot.


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