Monday, 13 September 2010

Writing Inspiration in Rome

I just got back from a week in Rome, and as you can see it was beautiful. I went to research photos for a book I'm doing on the Adowa campaign for Osprey Publishing. This 1896 confrontation between Italian colonial forces and the Ethiopians led to a disastrous defeat for the Italians and continuing independence for Ethiopia. While I spent much of my time in archives, I did see some of the sights.

And what sights! How couldn't a writer be inspired by Rome? Here, for example, is the arch of the Emperor Septimius Severus (ruled 193-211 AD). Set up in the Forum, it commemorates his victories over the Parthians and Arabs.
The above scene shows the Roman army attacking the city of Seleucia on the Tigris River in what is now Iraq. Yeah, there's always been trouble in that part of the world.
Here are a pair of winged Victories over the arch. The arch originally had statues on top of Severus in a chariot flanked by his sons Caracalla and Geta, both of whom later became emperors. I was very proud that I could identify this arch and puzzle out most of the inscription without resorting to my guidebook. All that archaeological training has paid off!

The trip was very productive. I got the rest of the photos I needed for the Adowa book, material for a series I'll write for Gadling, and plenty of extra material I'll be posting here all this week. So join me every day for Rome Week here at Midlist Writer!

1 comment:

Sioux Roslawski said...

I am green with envy. What an incredible experience you're having.

I love the last photo the best. The close up of the arch---the gorgeous architectural details--is just another reminder: our country is just a newborn compared to the rest of the world...

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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