Posts Tagged ‘Roman Empire’

Today’s post completes the list. Number four of the ‘Top Four places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. And as I said yesterday, this destination fills the senses.

From vistas of endless countryside, desolate and strikingly beautiful, to the scent of foreign spices filling the heat-laden air. From the intensity of the sun which presses into your skin, to the taste of pure, clean water which soothes your dry mouth and throat as it quenches your thirst. From the cacophony of the familiar ‘modern-city-noise’ to its striking contrast – the traditional calls of camel-train drivers and the (mostly) amicable religious competition: resounding cathedral bells vs. the five-daily calls to prayer from the tall Islamic minarets. And yes, this is what my imagination tells me that Israel will be like, when I eventually get there.

Of course, it may equally as likely, be completely the opposite. Speaking with a young Israeli couple during our unintentional few days extra holiday the other week, (courtesy the Queensland floods,) it’s now difficult to tell that you’re even in Israel if you’re in the south of Tel Aviv. According to them, there are now so many immigrants living there – mainly from South Africa, interestingly – that they form the large majority of the population. Plus I’d need to add in the concrete walls, the barbed-wire fences, the hundreds wearing military uniform and carrying weapons… yes, it’s probably more than likely that the Israel in my mind will need some radical updating before it reflects the land as it exists today. No matter. I just want to go.

Like the Day 1 Destination, Rome of 350AD, I’ll be doing the touristy bit and visiting the ‘Ancient’ places. Those I’ve been reading about for years in my Bible. I’d like to think I was walking where Jesus walked and seeing the places (well, the modern versions) that He saw. To experience the history with my own eyes, as it were. How incredible that would be!

Anyway, that’s the last one on my list. Four places that I want to visit. It makes me wonder what would be the four places I would NOT want to go. Which is much harder for me to answer – I doubt I’d be able to find four! So I shan’t be blogging about that over the next four days. (Hooray!)

Instead, I have been inspired by two different sources to write on a different, non-travelling topic. But I’ve written enough for this post, so if you’re interested in finding out more, stay tuned for tomorrow’s offering! Have a lovely rest-of-the-day, dear readers! Oh – and I’d love to know what YOUR favourite place to see is…

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The Roman Empire. 350AD. Constantine’s legacy is being fought over by his three sons. The new state religion, Christianity, is fumbling to find its feet, as civil war rages across the known world.

Ancient Rome – the setting for my forthcoming novel. Forthcoming, as in: conception has occurred, but I’ve barely reached the end of the first month of the first trimester. And considering conception occurred a few years back, it will most likely be a number of years before the ‘possibly-getting-close-to-being-published-now’ stage. And yes, I feel guilty about that. In our instant society, it seems as though to take your time over something is an indication of something being ‘wrong with you’. Which is sad, I think. (But possibly accurate in my case, anyway!) But it’s true though – how often do modern writers produce at least a novel a year – or if not, then one every few years? Actors are known for what films they have released, and how regularly they work – musicians, too. In fact, I would say that most industries are the same, as it’s a symptom of the time, not of the media. We’re an instant, output-based world now, and the days of a novelist spending years if not decades agonising over a manuscript, are long gone. Which is a pity. But still…

This post is the first of four on ‘places I want to visit prior to death or rapture’. D’Oh! Can’t visit Ancient Rome. Bumma! So I guess modern Rome will have to do. And once there, I guess I’ll just have to do the touristy thing and visit all those places where the ‘Ancient Rome’ has been preserved. Further research on my novel. I want to walk where Theophilus walked and see what he saw. Maybe not smell what he smelled, exactly, but at least be able to imagine it!

So why Ancient Rome, exactly? Well, I first fell in love with the historical novel when I spent many an hour with Brother Cadfael as a teenager. Being half-Welsh myself, I felt a connection with Ellis Peters’ creation, and developed a fascination with her ability to conjure character profiles and detailed storylines from historical figures and factual events. And Rome of 350AD? Well, I’m a Christian. And for almost a decade now, I’ve been interested in the Hebrew Roots of my faith, and the growth of the ‘Church’ in the West, particularly from the time of Constantine onwards.

So yes, that’s why Ancient Rome – or Rome, at least – makes the list of Top 4 places to visit. Tomorrow’s destination is closer to home. Well – it’s in Australia, anyway. So stay tuned, dear readers, and have a lovely rest-of-the-day!