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Minnette describes herself as...Somewhere between thirty and dust...red hair, blue eyes...six kids, one slightly used husband, and any number of pets from time to time... wanttabe hippy... wanttheirmoney yuppie...pro musician and actress for 20 Years... native Oregonian... lover of music, beauty, and all things green. Willing slave to the venerable muse. Minnette currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband, having replaced the children with one dog. The dog, Pierre, pretty much runs the show.
She's also a great speaker, a really enjoyable writer (in several different genres) and an all-round very nice person. Over to you Minnette...
LONDINIUM – FROM THE ASHES
Londinium was a skeleton of its former self. Four years before it had been razed to the ground by the sweeping fury of Boudiga and her hoards of angry Brits. Nothing had been left save the charred cement fragments of a few buildings. Those who escaped came back to a leveled wasteland.
Thane had to admire the Romans; soldiers and civilians alike stripped to their loincloths worked together to rebuild the city. Ramshackle houses and tents sprang up everywhere mixed in with piles of lumber, clay pots of paint and mounds of lime, mortar, sand and brick.
A grand forum and basilica were nothing more than a spider web of scaffolding, but Thane knew they would get it back to its former splendor; indeed more so. Since Julius Alpinus Classicianus had taken over as procurator, relationships began to heal with the Brits. An intermixture of Brit, Roman and even Gauls scurried about the city like ants building their hills.
It took them an hour to move through the town, skirting building sites and vendors crying from the street. They stopped only once to get loose meat slathered with butter tucked into unleavened bread, a delicacy Thane had learned to appreciate after the Roman occupation. THE GLADIATOR PRINCE, CHAPTER XX
In 60AD before there were castles, before there were Saxons, or Anglos, or Vikings, or priests, there were retired rich Romans in London, then called Londinium. There were no walls (much to the chagrin of her citizens), few soldiers, beautiful fountains, forums and spas. This was a retirement village for the elite Roman generals and their wives. That is until Boudicca and her warriors razed Londinium, and her people, to the ground.
Britannia was first conquered because the young inexperienced Julius Caesar needed a conquest to prove himself as a leader. After two disastrous attempts, the Romans did not try again until 43AD, when they successfully invaded with the aid of the Trinovantes and Iceni tribes. Ironically, the two tribes who they would later wipe out when Boudicca rose up against them in 60AD.
Londinium in its first incarnation was a thriving town filled with the rich, shops, villas, and houses. The elite of Rome came with their wives and children, slaves, cousins, and anyone else who could afford the trip. A summer playground, Londinium was a bustling city in 60AD. At this time, Rome had been in Britain for 17 years and the city sprang up with the growing population. They considered it secure from the outside world; so secure, in fact, that there was no wall and very few Roman soldiers to protect the city.
When General Suetonius arrived after hearing about rumors of a gigantic Celtic horde moving to Londinium, he stood upon a hill overlooking the city and ordered his legions to retreat; the city was indefensible. He would have to find better ground to meet the Brits with the 10,000 soldiers he had with him. Many of the Londinium people stayed behind, not believing the rumors. Two days later the British Celts moved on the city and burned it to the ground.
It is a very interesting parallel to think about Londinium, a modern thriving city, with ancient Celts in their hillforts only miles away and American western cities build a few miles away from Indian villages. The Romans considered Celtic territory as rugged frontier just as Americans considered the west in the same light. There are many other parallels as well; the native Celts traded with the Romans for food, medicines, blankets, and modern conveniences, just as the Indians did. The Romans also brought disease with them to the isle early on just as Europeans brought disease to America as well. Of course, the final parallel is very chilling; just as the Europeans pushed the Indians off their land, killed them outright or absorbed them into their culture, so did the Romans, Anglos, and Saxon merge and destroy much of what was the Celtic way in Britain. By the end of Rome’s 400-year occupation of Britain, Rome left the British Isle to fend for itself and it entered into the dark ages.
This was a very interesting time to write about in all the books, but especially in The Gladiator Prince since it takes you from the countryside of Britain, to the skeletal beginnings of a new Londinium, onto a ship sailing over the Mediterranean, and finally, to the sparkling magnificent city of Rome itself. The contrasts between these worlds were deep, colorful, and eye-opening.
Thanks to Sheila for inviting me to her wonderful blog… and letting me share a glimpse into the ancient world. :o)
Thank you Minnette!
Find out more. Go towww.minnettemeador.com