Saturday, 2 February 2019

Browsing The Blogs February

New for the weekends
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Alison Morton: Where DID those Roma Nova titles come from?



Choosing book titles is like being prodded by Pluto in the underworld with a red hot trident for eternity.  One commenter on social media said: “They sound great, but I can’t help but cringe at the titles. Not quite Latin. I suppose that’s probably the point, but ouch. Intriguing, though.“

I admit, I thought ‘ouch’ back, but also smiled to myself. Perhaps she hadn’t looked them up on one of the excellent online dictionaries such as Perseus (Tufts University), LatDict, Notre Dame University or a good paper Latin dictionary (OLD or Collins).

So I’m taking the opportunity of changing the covers to spiffy new ones to go into the gory detail. You have been warned…  READ MORE >  



Anna Belfrage : The ultimate sacrifice – of a man, his honour and his son




Remember my recent post about Fernando IV? I began by describing just how tumultuous the reign of his father was, Sancho IV being plagued by one rebellion after the other. Why? Because very many felt Sancho had usurped the throne, thereby setting aside the rights of his little nephew, Alfonso de la Cerda. I bet quite a few of those rebelling against Sancho also thought life would be much easier in a country nominally controlled by an untried youth than it was under Sancho’s capable, if somewhat hard-handed, rule.  READ MORE >



Annie Whitehead : 1066 - The Mercian Angle


In 1066, when Edward the Confessor died, Harold Godwineson was declared king. Yet he felt the need to ride north to secure the pledges of the northern nobles, and thought it prudent to forsake his long-term partner and marry the sister of two powerful northern earls. Why?
READ MORE >  



Smugglers!
Five and twenty ponies,
Trotting through the dark –
Brandy for the Parson, ’Baccy for the Clerk.
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy,
Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by!


‘Gentlemen’? Were smugglers really gentlemen? 
Smuggling. The very word conjures an image of a quiet moonlit night, a tall ship rocking gently at anchor out in a slightly wind-ruffled bay and men wearing three-cornered hats making their swift, but silent, way along remote West Country lanes that zigzag between high banks and thick, foxglove and cow-parsley-strewn hedgerows. The men are leading a string of pack ponies tied nose-to-tail, their hooves muffled by rough sacking. On the ponies’ backs are casks of brandy or kegs of tobacco… But is that how smuggling really happened?