Showing posts from October, 2014

An imperial era Roman bath for one.

Note the hole in the bottom for the water to drain out, which presumably could have been plugged for the occupant to soak. A slave or servant would likely have poured the warmed water from jugs in through the large aperture at the top, which I suppose could have been done either while the occupant was in it or before they stepped in. Most bathing was done in public in this period, at large baths, though many rich houses would have their own smaller versions for the private use of the owner, his family and his friends. The rich would also often frequent the public baths even if they had their own, as it was a place for socialising and doing business as well as ablutions. This is the first single-person sized bath that I have seen however.

I've not got a date for this one, other than it's imperial, but I can tell you that it currently resides in the museum for ancient Cosa, which is on the site of the ancient city, in the modern small town of Andeselma, Italy. It's made fro…

A note on Classical influences on two recent #2014HugoAward winners

I've recently read two works directly as a result of them being awarded prizes in the 2014 Hugo Awards. The first the debut novel by Ann Leckie, Ancilliary Justice, which won Best Novel; the second The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu, which won Best Short Story. Both of them do some interesting things with gender and sexuality in relation to the authorial possibilities of SF, and are worth reading (e.g. Chu's is currently only £0.38 to buy on Amazon or free on the Tor website and will not take much of your time). However, here, I really want to point out a couple of points where the ancient past or Classics are deliberately and consciously invoked as influences by the respective authors.

Ancilliary Justice by Ann Leckie

In answer to a question about real world inspiration for the primary civilisation in her novel, L. replies with the following:

That said, some of those pieces did come from the real world. I took a number of things from the Romans – though thei…