Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Talk like an Etruscan

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More ancient dirty words

a0129_2The subject of ancient curses is always popular on Karavansara, so why not post another selection.
I did some reading, and found some funny Factoids, so here’s another list.

Turns out the Egyptians (them again!) were liable to swear by their gods in pretty creative ways.
Nephthys (portrayed here on the right), goddess of the netherworld, was sometimes called “female without a vulva”. Thoth was described as “motherless god”.
Even Ra, the sun god himself, is in some papyruses called “an empty prickhead”.
Which is not certainly very modern, if you think about it, but not polite, not polite at all. Continue reading


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The burial place of Osiris

The temple of Isis at Philae used to stand guard at the first cataract of the Nile.
With the construction of the Aswan Dam the area was flooded, and later the temple was moved to a new location.
The original Philae is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Ptolemy, Seneca, Pliny the Elder. It was, as the plural name indicates, the appellation of two small islands, and the reputed burial place – one of the burial places – of Osiris, and only priests were allowed to live there.

And right now we can take a look at the temple and surrounding buildings in this fine animation.

The approach by water is quite the most beautiful. Seen from the level of a small boat, the island, with its palms, its colonnades, its pylons, seems to rise out of the river like a mirage. Piled rocks frame it on either side, and the purple mountains close up the distance. As the boat glides nearer between glistening boulders, those sculptured towers rise higher and even higher against the sky. They show no sign of ruin or age. All looks solid, stately, perfect. One forgets for the moment that anything is changed. If a sound of antique chanting were to be borne along the quiet air–if a procession of white-robed priests bearing aloft the veiled ark of the God, were to come sweeping round between the palms and pylons–we should not think it strange.
(Amelia Edwards – 1873-1874)


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The new Aculeo & Amunet – why not post a preview?

I am juggling ten thousand different projects – a 15.000-words story I have to deliver in ten days, a 70.000/130.000 words novel I need to to start and finish by Christmas, two ebooks to go as stretch goals for my (very successful! Yeah!) crowdfunding, the next Buscafusco, the new Corsair, and then I need to start planning my online courses…
Whew… my mother was right when she said that as a shop clerk I’d have an easier life.

Anyway, as it usually happens, as soon as I am buried in work, something different comes to my mind.
Like, the start of the next Aculeo & Amunet story, that goes more or less like this… Continue reading


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Aculeo & Amunet on the Road to Babylon

So I am currently writing a new Aculeo & Amunet story.
It’s good – I like the guys, and it’s like taking a vacation.
I’d love to have three or four stories for a new collection to publish for Christmas – I’ve one ready, and another I am writing right now… let’s say I’m sort of halfway there..295f12a6feb1e0d8e3cfbfe76f0e75f5

The story I’m working on right now is very loosely based on a 1976 song called The Road to Babylon, from an album called The Roaring Silence, by the Manfred Mann Earth Band.
As I said in the past, I use a lot of music for inspiration, background, soundtrack and assorted distractions when I write, and listening to this one really got me going. Continue reading


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Travelers’ tales, gossip and word of mouth

220px-Herodotos_Met_91.8This guy here on the right is Herodotus.
Or an acceptable likeness thereof – a Roman copy of a Grecian bust.
The Romans loved Herodotus – and according to Cicero he was the Father of history.
To me, he’s a fun read, and also the first stop for me when I decide to write a new Aculeo & Amunet story.

The Histories of Herodotus provide a wonderful collection of facts, hearsay and speculation about the Ancient World…

This is the display of the inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that things done by man not be forgotten in time, and that great and marvelous deeds, some displayed by the Hellenes, some by the barbarians, not lose their glory, including among others what was the cause of their waging war on each other.

Continue reading


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Amunet?

I found by pure chance this beautiful image, part of a stunning photoset by Captain Irachka Cosplay, that captures1  just my mental image of Amunet, from my stories in the Aculeo & Amunet series.
It was shocking, in a very pleasant way.
The photo is absolutely gorgeous (in case you thought I didn’t notice) and I take it as a sign that it’s time to start working on a new story about Aculeo & Amunet.

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In the next few days, I’ll try and get in touch with this lady, because it would be a wonder to be able to get one of her photos for the cover of the next Aculeo & Amunet collection. She also has a Patreon page, in case you guys should feel like giving her your support.


  1. unwittingly, of course. Let’s be serious, my stories are not so popular they could inspire a cosplayer.