Cerbonius was a colourful character — priest, refugee, hermit, bishop, bear-tamer, animal-lover, miracle-worker and sensational papal visitor — who was later canonised by the Roman Catholic Church. He is remembered for his intimate relationship with God, “a man with a venerable life, who gave evidence of great holiness”, as St. Gregory the Great wrote in his “Dialogues”. Continue reading “Why the Geese?”
- How many days a week did Romans work?
- Was there, prior to the Christian era, a common weekly day of rest?
- From when was Sunday considered holy?
I’ve come to a juicy episode, part of chapter 6. And the strange thing is that I feel deep emotion for the character I’m creating. The chapter introduces a runaway slave, whom Silvanus finds in the woods. Listen to the story and let me know what you think…
“Aren’t you afraid of Jupiter and Mars and all the others? Do you pray to that god of yours?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t really know much about him.” I notice tears forming in his eyes and his voice begins to tremble. “My Mother used to talk a lot about him. Before they… killed her.”
Continue reading “Pillage and Rape”
The forecast said rain or heavy rain for each day of the week I’d planned to be in Elba for my background research. But this was my only chance and the bookings couldn’t be cancelled. In any case, Silvanus experienced bad weather – very bad weather – so why shouldn’t I? Continue reading “Successful Trip”
At long last I’ve planned my next trip to make friends with Silvanus and Cerbonius. It means travelling not only over 700 km south but more than 1440 years back in history. It promises to be exciting.
Unfortunately, I’ll only be a week on Elba, and that will probably pass quickly. For most of the time I’ll be in Marciana, coincidentally over San Cerbone’s Day, 10th October. I wonder what I’ll learn from him…
I’ve created a glossary of unfamiliar names and terms used within these posts and in the book Aquila. It will be growing as I write more…
Hover over the following terms to discover who or what liquamen and Totila were, or visit the complete glossary.
Poverty is a major issue in the life of Silvanus’ family. It’s hard enough to find food each day, let alone being able to afford new clothes, tools, or – in the case of Dad, Cornelius – a fishing boat.
Together with poverty, there is often a deep-set longing for riches. If only I had the money…
- … I’d buy new shoes
- … I’d go to a proper school
- … I’d travel
- … I’d be able to marry, support a family.
So it’s not surprising, when Silvanus happens to find a cave full of crystals, that he gets excited and begins to dream big… Continue reading “My Preciousss!”
Some gleanings from from the Zürich Writers’ Workshop, 13.-14.4.2013
I was in the Storytelling Fundamentals stream with instructor Sam North, who teaches Creative Writing at Exeter University. We were about 15 participants from all over the world – Philippines, Sweden, Nigeria, India, USA, UK, Switzerland – mostly living in the Zürich area. A very interactive, stimulating group. I hope to keep in contact with you guys and gals! Continue reading “Show or tell?”