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Latest post
The Daily Life of Gladiators: Celebrities Yet Social Outcasts in the Roman World Historical background note from Faithful by Carol Ashby. Full article on the daily lives of gladiators will appear shortly.

What’s new

A quest novel ranging from Germania Superior to Roma and back.

Is the price of true friendship ever too high?

The Legacy cover
Volume 4 of the Light in the Empire Series
Available May 28, 2018, in paperback, Kindle, and epub versions: Faithful description
Historical Background for Faithful

A novel set in Thracia and Roma

When Rome has taken everything, what’s left for a man to give?

The Legacy cover
Volume 3 of the Light in the Empire Series
Now available in paperback and Kindle formats at,, and international Amazon sites.
Historical Background for The Legacy

A novel set in Germania Superior and Roma

Sometimes you have to almost die to discover how you want to live.

Blind Ambition cover
Volume 2 of the Light in the Empire Series
Now available in paperback and Kindle formats at,, and international Amazon sites. Also available in epub format for Nook and other e-readers.
Historical background for Blind Ambition

A novel set in Judaea

Are some wounds too deep to forgive?

Forgiven Carol Ashby cover
Volume 1 of the Light in the Empire Series
Now available in paperback and Kindle formats at,, international Amazon sites, and at Barnes & Noble in paperback and Nook (epub) formats.
Historical background for Forgiven

Want to win a free e-copy of Forgiven, Blind Ambition, or The Legacy? Check out the review of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Silver Branch to discover how.

Article Update:
The Roman Navy: Construction of the Roman fleet during the First Punic War.

Next Major Article: Paterfamilias: the Extraordinary Power of the Roman Father
An article on the structure and customs of the Roman family. The fallout when this goes wrong is the topic of my next novel, The Legacy, which will be published in November. The power of the paterfamilias, the oldest male in the family, to control the details of the lives of his grown children is alien to most cultures today. It explains a great deal about the operation of Roman daily life and politics in both Republic and Empire.

Coming Soon:
Roman Taxation. I researched and mostly wrote this during US tax season, but then I had to stop and file my taxes and get my novel, Blind Ambition, ready for publication last May. This will appear right after I get my next novel, The Legacy, out in November. There’s nothing quite like reading about the Roman approach to taxation to make you appreciate the humane practices of the US Internal Revenue Service!

Roman Medicine: Articles on many aspects of Roman medical practice, such as nutrition for good health and treating diseases, infection control for wounds, and cataract surgery.

To receive notice about the publication of these articles and other additions to this website, please enter your email address above or subscribe to updates on the left sidebar.

Major Update:
Slavery in the Early Roman Empire: Details of Roman law controlling who could be freed, when they could be freed, and how they could be freed.

New posts:

Roman Coins: Interpreting the Inscriptions Inscriptions on Roman coins provide invaluable information about an emperor and for dating archeological sites. Tables of inscriptions are provided here.

Historical background for The Legacy, a novel by Carol Ashby set in the Roman province of Thracia in AD 114.

Historical background for Blind Ambition, a novel by Carol Ashby set in the Roman province of Germania Superior in AD 114.

Historical background for Forgiven, a novel by Carol Ashby set in Roman Judaea in AD 122.

How Forgiven’s cover was made

Dates in the Roman Empire: An article on the different systems for dating a year that were used by the Romans.

Cook Like a Roman:
Preserving meat the Roman way with salt or honey
Sauces for Boiled Meat (Jus in Elixam) Salted meat was boiled to remove the salt before serving. These sauces by Apicius are intended for use with the boiled meat.
Bulbs (Bulbos): Roman recipes for bulbs such as tulips, but don’t try to eat these because they might poison you.
Ostrich (Struthocamelus): Recipes for ostrich stew that are suitable for other red meats.
Snails (Cochleas): A Roman favorite since the time of Julius Caesar. How to fatten them and some recipes.
Treating Roman Indigestion: Salts for Many Ills (Sales conditos ad multa) Spiced salts that Apicius claimed could be used againt “all illness” and could even prevent colds.

Recent posts:

Latin wordsearch puzzles about slavery and chariot racing.

Cook Like a Roman:
Nonalcoholic substitutions to make in recipes that call for wine if you don’t have any on hand.
Garum: An article on the fermented fish sauce that was a vital ingredient in much of Roman cooking.
Fungi Farnei vel Boleti: Roman methods of mushroom cultivation and some recipes.
Perna: An article about the pig in Roman cuisine and two recipes: Trojan pig and roast pork shoulder or ham.
Caulis: Two recipes for cabbage.
Pastinacae: Two recipes for parsnips.
Betas: Beets as a vermifuge and a recipe for beets and leeks in a red wine sauce.
Cucurbitas: Seasoned cooked pumpkin or squash

Roman Squash Recipe by Regina Fujitani: A tried and proven modern version of Cucurbitas

Crossword puzzle about slavery in the early Empire.

Updated posts:

Chariot Racing
New information on how the starting gates worked, the faction system, and a famous charioteer.

Historical Fiction: Books I’ve Written, Books I’ve Loved
New review of Medicus by Ruth Downie
Review of The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff
Review of I, Claudius by Robert Graves

Bibliography and Other Sources
A book on women in Britannia written by the director of the main museum for the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall. While focused on Roman Britain, this book is filled with information relevant to many other parts of the Empire.
Four books about Greek and Roman medicine, including a translation of an 8-volume compendium by Celsus written during the reign of Tiberius.
Online/DVD courses on Roman life taught by professors recognized for teaching excellence.

Cook Like a Roman
The answer to who first prepared Caesar’s salad and a recipe for you to try.

The Roman Navy
Map of the Roman fleet locations added.

Slavery in the Early Roman Empire
New section on the Christian perspective on slavery in the 1st century AD

How to make a crossword puzzle



Fact and Fiction by Carol Ashby