Why this site?


Welcome to Life in the Roman Empire: Historical Fact and Fiction

I’m Carol Ashby, long-time materials research scientist, author of historical fiction set in the Roman Empire during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian, and author of the articles at this history site.

Sound like a strange combination? Not really.

As Carol I.H. Ashby, Ph.D., I’ve been a professional writer for most of my life, but my articles and books were mostly about my own research in lasers and compound semiconductors (think the electronics that make cell phones, laser pointers, and LED displays work). After dozens of articles in technical journals, several book chapters, and even a book on the fabrication of gallium arsenide devices, I’ve left that field.

But I haven’t left writing. Now I’m writing historical fiction set in the Roman Empire, and I take great delight in getting every single detail right. I’ve always loved history, and my fascination with the empire of the Caesars began in my first middle-school Latin class. My research career has prepared me for digging through scholarly books written by academic experts on many facets of the Imperial period. I’ve learned about everything from the operation of the political and legal system to the food, fashion, and architecture that affect the daily lives of the characters in the novels I’m writing.

I enjoyed writing about science, but I’m having even more fun creating stories about human conflict and difficult friendships that grow into love as characters discover their own faith in Jesus Christ. My goal is for those who read them to feel like they’re living under the Caesars themselves. The stories in the Light in the Empire series will take their readers from Britannia and Germania to Thracia, Dacia, and Judaea and, of course, to Roma itself. Perhaps you’d like to hop on a horse or board a corbita to explore the Empire with me.

I’m a bookaholic, and I’ve amassed more than ten dozen books on Roman history so I can “get it right.” What’s the point in having such a library if not to share the fascinating information it contains?

The articles here are the first of many on different aspects of life in the Roman Empire, and many more will follow.

I hope you enjoy reading the articles here as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. I’d love to hear any suggestions or comments for what you’d like to see here. I probably have a book on it, and I’d love to share what I’ve learned.

Fact and Fiction by Carol Ashby