The traditional lighting of the ceppone of Saint Lucia in Sorrento on 13th December


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Sorrento, ItalyIn Sorrento there is a neighborhood that takes the name of a Saint in whose honor it was built a small church: Saint Lucy.

The district of Saint Lucia is located just steps from the main square of Sorrento, Tasso square. It’s an area away from the downtown traffic, but allows easy access to all places of interest of the City.

In the Neapolitan tradition, Saint Lucy is the patron saint of eyesight and is celebrated on December 13th to commemorate the date of hes death: December 13th 304. Every year, the day before the feast of Saint Lucy, there is the tradition among the inhabitants of the district, to light a “ceppone“. It is said ceppone a big tree stump that burning during the entire day dedicated to the Saint: the bonfire of Saint Lucy.

Where does this tradition? We know that almost all the Christians customs and traditions come from the pagan traditions of the time went. Even the tradition of “ceppone” of Saint Lucy in Sorrento is born to a pagan ritual. Before to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the feast matched with the winter solstice that is the most “short” day of the year.

Is interesting that even with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar has remained a connection between the “light” and the celebration of the feast. On December 13th, in fact, is the day in which the sun sets earlier.

For the inhabitants of Sorrento the feast of Saint Lucia is a must. It’s a small fest with a few stalls, but with great sandwiches with sausage and broccoli and a good glass of wine to warm up in the cold pre-Christmas days.



Roman statue of Flora: Chloris found in the Hermitage


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Roman statue of Flora:Chloris found in the HermitageRoman statue of Flora: Chloris found in the Hermitage

He came back as she asked. She wanted to share her blanket with him, but he refused politely. He covered himself with a cape. Her head landed on his shoulder and he hugged her automatically. It was the very first night he spent with a women without any sexual context. As the morning came, Nerva stood up attentively again and minded not to wake her up. He took from her the ring and sighed heavily. He left the room and searched after Philo. It didn’t take long. Nerva knew the building. He spent here two or three nights already.

-Philo, go and bring her a breakfast. And don’t touch her. If she tells me that she felt offended in any way…

-We agreed yesterday about it. – The satyr smiled sleepy. – And I am no baby-sitter.

-Just do it. You can sleep there, in the entrance. If she asks where I am, tell here I explain everything, when I come back. If I won’t come back until the evening comes, give her a horse and sent her to Eboracum. Give her a companion, who brings the reward back to you. You’ll get what you ask.

-Is she really so important? – Philo stunned. – Is it your girl?

-Don’t ask. Just do it, please. And don’t say a word about it to anyone. – Nerva wasn’t in a good mood. Something bothered him and the heavy load made him standing rather less upright. His back was curved a bit. Maybe it was due to the fact that Philo was much shorter than Nerva.

-You’ve changed Nerva. She taught you good manners. Go and don’t worry. We’ll see us later.

He slapped Nerva on the shoulder and Nerva vanished. He went to Cornelius and reported that he searched for Julia the entire night. He lost her during the celebration and he was full of shame. She simply disappeared. Nerva said that he met Pompeius and shared his worry with the governor. Cornelius looked rather sleepy than worried. Nerva didn’t show his negative attitude. Instead, Nerva suggested that he would go to Pompeius and asks whether he found Julia. Cornelius agreed and went back to bed. Apparently, he didn’t care about Julia. It was strange. Nerva didn’t comment it and saluted. Then, he went, as suggested, to Pompeius. He was sure that he already spent all his luck already. The visit at Pompeius couldn’t be any easygoing track. Nerva was right.

By showing the massive ring, he was brought directly in front of Pompeius, in the lion’s den. The plenty of soldiers stood and made organized impression. Nerva didn’t show how insecure he was. He was prepared to be killed. Pompeius waited for him with a snaky look in his eyes. He smiled as if he would like to jeer Nerva. Nerva took it with dignity and saluted properly. Pompeius smiled and squinted.

-Here you are. And where is Julia from the Fabii family? – Pompeius asked.

-She’s in a safe place. She won’t come here until we won’t be sure that you’re on our side.

-You’re too unimportant to drive a hard bargain. – Pompeius said coldly. – You probably don’t know who am I.

-I know exactly who you are. – Nerva answered and squinted his eyes, too.

-Whether you’re brave and also adventurous, or a stupid man. Don’t play with fire. Where is she?

-Not here with me. Why do you want to have her?

-Why do you want to hide her?

-Yesterday, a man tried to kidnap her. You followed her. You said that Cornelius could be involved in the conspiracy. There are many reasons for why I do it that way. So, why do you want to have her? – Nerva repeated his question.

-I want to help you.

-Very generous. Why?

-Don’t be rude. – Pompeius smiled unfriendly.

-Why do you want to have her?

-You’re Appius’s soldier. You should help to protect people. Appius won’t approve your insubordination towards me.

-You’re right. I am Appius’s soldier. I will perform any order he gives me. I didn’t get any order to obey you.

-So, you’re acting on his command?

-I am acting for the well-being of Julia from the Fabii family. In what matter do you act?

-Senātus Populusque Rōmānus. That’s what I serve for.

Nerva didn’t answer. The soldiers standing in the room took off their swords and saw prepared for attacking him. The operation readiness didn’t change Nerva’s attitude. He knew that he had to be the last man standing and was ready to fight, even if the domination of Pompeius’s soldiers was outstanding. He stayed calm, because he knew that Julia would come back to Eboracum with Philo’s man. As long as her matter was clear, he was ready to die.

-So, you’re not under command of Cornelius?

-No, I’m not. – Nerva was nerved, but he tried to stay calm. He didn’t like talks. He used to be a messenger, not a politician, to slide between the words.

-If I promise to help you with protection over Julia of the Fabii family will you come under my command?

-No, as you already said, I am Appius’s soldier. – Nerva answered quickly.

-And if I kill you? You won’t say a word where the girl is and she will die somewhere alone, unprotected. Will you come under my command, if I promise you to save your life then?

-With all due respect – Nerva said with clinching teeth – I am Appius’s soldier.

-I understand. That’s the Appius’s school…

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Ancient Roman sculpture, Ludovisi Gaul and his wife, ca. 220 BC


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Ancient Roman sculpture, Ludovisi Gaul and his wife, ca. 220 BCAncient Roman sculpture, Ludovisi Gaul and his wife, ca. 220 BC

The Ludovisi Gaul Killing Himself and His Wife (sometimes called “The Galatian Suicide”) is a Roman marble group depicting a man in the act of plunging a sword into his breast, looking backwards defiantly while he supports the dying figure of a woman with his left arm. It is a Roman copy of the early 2nd century AD, of a Hellenistic original, ca 230-20 BC, one of the bronze groups commissioned from Greek sculptors by Attalus I after his recent victories over the Gauls of Galatia. Other Roman marble copies from the same project are the equally famous Dying Gaul, and the less well-known Kneeling Gaul.

Hadrian, Roman Emperor (AD 117-38)


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Emperor Hadrian's boyfriend. Hadrian had him deified after his deathEmperor Hadrian’s boyfriend. Hadrian had him deified after his death

Hadrian, Roman Emperor (AD 117-38)

Born in Rome but of Spanish descent, Hadrian was adopted by the emperor Trajan (reigned AD 98-117) as his successor.

Having served with distinction on the Danube and as governor of Syria, Hadrian never lost his fascination with the empire and its frontiers. Previous emperors had been content to remain at Rome in peacetime. Hadrian, however, travelled throughout the empire for nearly half his reign, building temples, baths and libraries wherever he went.

At Tivoli, to the east of Rome, he built an enormous palace, a microcosm of all the different places he had visited. He was an enthusiastic public builder, and perhaps his most celebrated building is the Pantheon, the best preserved Roman building in the world. Hadrian’s Wall is a good example of his devotion to Rome’s frontiers and the boundaries he established were retained for nearly three hundred years.

Hadrian openly displayed his love of Greek culture. Some of the senate scornfully referred to him as Graeculus (‘the Greekling’). He sported a beard, until then almost exclusively a Greek fashion and was well-versed in Greek culture and philosophy. Hadrian made his male lover, Antinous, a god after his mysterious death in the River Nile. His confidence sometimes became overbearing. For example, the architect Apollodorus of Damascus was banished and eventually murdered for refusing to agree to Hadrian’s plans.

Hadrian fell seriously ill, perhaps with a form of dropsy (swelling caused by excess fluid), and retired to the seaside resort of Baiae on the bay of Naples, where he died in AD 134.


They went out of the room into a big squared place that used to be a garden, when spring and summer ruled. At that time, the naked branches moved the way the wind blew.

-However, Nerva, you have to be honest with me. I told you yesterday that you have to trust me. I mean it. As I already said I am convinced that it was Cornelius’s idea to kidnap Julia. I don’t know his reasons. What I know is that he tries to become a senator as his brother, Julius. He came to Britannia a couple years ago. His legionnaires underrate the level of skills needed in the army. We won’t get support in our campaign against the offenders from the North, because the Emperor Hadrian needs troops in his Dacian Wars. We have to defend the empire with remedies we have. I can’t count on Cornelius and his soldiers. They’re just cannon fodder. However, Cornelius sends Julia back to Julius. It looks as if Julius started gathering his powers and backtrack from Britannia. I don’t like it. Therefore, I don’t want her to leave the island. It doesn’t matter whether she will stay here as my guest or whether she welcomes me in Eboracum, where her husband is. I wanted to visit him already weeks ago. I’ve heard a lot about him. I wanted to meet him personally.

-Why do you tell it to me? – Nerva wondered and it camouflaged his insecurity as he listened to Pompeius’s plan of visit.

-Because I am a real friend of Appius and you really are Appius’s soldier. – Pompeius answered and noticed that Nerva wasn’t comfortable with something. He assumed that Nerva didn’t like Maxentius and didn’t feel good by sending the girl back to her husband. – I think that the plenty of Appius’s soldiers were here lately due to Julia’s husband. Apparently, he’s not only a very interesting person for me. Appius keeps him in sight as well. There has to be reason for it.

Nerva swallowed heavily, but didn’t comment anything.

-Take Julia from the Fabii family and go back to the camp. You can get my horses. I will send a message to Appius and to her father that she comes to him after my visit in Eboracum. Expect me in two or three weeks. I have here a riddle to solve. I’ll keep Cornelius here for a week with celebrations and social life he misses so much. Have an eye at the girl and at her husband. If you wish to send your own messages, my messengers can overtake the delivery.

-With all due respect, I thank you for the offer, however, I can’t accept it.

-Of course, you will use your own horses and you’ll send your own messenger. That’s the school of Appius. – Pompeius smiled with respect in his eyes.

Nerva nodded and wanted to give back the ring.

-Keep it and use it wisely, when you need my help.

Nerva saluted and left the cold garden. As he came to the street, he steadied his back on a wall of a house some streets further and breathed heavily. Then, he drifted along for a longer while to check whether he was followed by anyone. As he was sure, he hadn’t any followers, he attentively came back to Philo. The satyr brought him to Julia. She sat with bounded hands and a small bruise on her wrists. Nerva wanted to kill Philo in the moment he saw Julia captured that way. He lifted the small man up and within seconds, Philo’s face became red.

-No, Nerva! No! – Julia screamed as she saw what was happening. – It’s my fault. I didn’t trust him. He said you will come back, but I thought he lied. I tried to escape, so he bounded me. – Julia explained shortly.

Nerva put Phil down and excused himself for the purpose he had. Phil breathed heavily and didn’t like amused.

-Nerva, you bastard. I did what you said. – He said angry and bumpily while trying to get a normal breath.

-Philo… – Nerva wasn’t able to justify anything.

The satyr came to Julia and with a small knife, he cut through the rope around her wrists. She tried to relax her hands after hours of lacking motion. She stood up and jumped to Nerva. He hugged her and Phil shook his head with fury.

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Ancient Rome – Pompeii’s Roman Baths


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Ancient Rome - Pompeii's Roman Baths. Ro an baths were very important to the Romans. It wasn't just hygienic, but it was a social opportunity. The baths had complex heating and cooling systems. They had ornately decorated each building

Ancient Rome – Pompeii’s Roman Baths. Roman baths were very important to the Romans. It wasn’t just hygienic, but it was a social opportunity. The baths had complex heating and cooling systems. They had ornately decorated each building.

-We should take a bath. – Marcus Lucius recommended.

-Fair enough. – Nerva confirmed with a nod.

Just a moment later, they stood in tepidarium. Marcus Lucius asked the slaves whether Julia had finished her bath. He didn’t want to interrupt her. The slaves confirmed politely. Then, they stepped into the room and got undressed. Nerva looked at his body and scanned it for wounds. He smudged the blood drops and moved his head puzzled.

Stepping naked into the warm, cosy water, they felt as if they came into another world. It wasn’t like a tepidarium known from Pompeii, but still a warm bathroom heated by an underfloor heating system. It made them feel pleasant with constant, enjoyable radiant heat. This room wasn’t full of marbles and mosaics. It seemed that it was left in a hurry finishing the whole building. However, the available functionality was the most important thing.

-You look worried. – Nerva said after he plunged completely into the water twice.

-Do I? – Marcus Lucius was a bit insecure for the very first time.

-Yes. You really do. What is bothering you, brother? – Nerva was convinced that looking at the problems of others will make it easier to manage his own worries.

-I sent a messenger to Julius Fabius. I promised him to send Julia to him as early as possible taking the current situation into account. Is it wise to send her back anyway because winter is not her favourite time of the year and it’s not easy to travel now? It’s almost two months of travel for her. Appius won’t manage to send any further message up to her journey and I need his advice. We have to decide on our own and protect involved people as much as possible.

Nerva nodded. He didn’t have to be an expert for emotions to understand that Julia was important to Marcus Lucius. She was an extraordinary person and nobody could question this. It was a simple fact.

-You know women, Nerva. What should I do? – Marcus Lucius asked.

Nerva laughed:

-I just know the surface of their bodies. I don’t go deeper at all. It’s not the matter of my interest.

This time, Marcus Lucius had to laugh.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pompeii, Its Life and Art, by August Mau


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The House of the Faun (Italian: Casa del Fauno), built during the 2nd century BC, was one of the largest, and most impressive private residences in Pompeii, Italy, and housed many great pieces of art. It is one of the most luxurious aristocratic houses from the Roman republic, and reflects this period better than most archaeological evidence found even in Rome itself.

The House of the Faun was named for the bronze statue of the dancing faun located, originally, on the lip of the impluvium, a basin for catching rainwater; it has been moved to the center of the impluvium, as seen in the picture to the right. Fauns are spirits of untamed woodland, which literate and Hellenized Romans often connected to Pan and Greek satyrs, or wild followers of the Greek god of wine and agriculture, Dionysus.

The Dancing Faun, Pompeii, located in one of the largest, most luxurious homes in Pompeii. This home, named House of the Faun after this bronze statue, contained many important works of art

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pompeii, Its Life and Art, by August Mau:

10 facts about Athens – 10 things you never knew about the Greek capital


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The Acropolis, Athens, Greece

1. The origins of Athens date back to 3000BC, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. It has been continuously habited for at least 3,000 years

2. Athens is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy and literature, the Olympic Games, political science, major mathematical principles and theatre

3. Perhaps Athens’ most famous landmark, the Acropolis refers to the sacred hill where Greeks built many temples; the most important is the Parthenon, in honour of the goddess Athena, from where Athens gets its name

4. The very first Olympic Games may have been held in 776BC in Olympia (hence the name), but the first modern version of the games as we know them were held in Athens in 1896 – and they returned again to the city in 2004

5. Athens is the most populated region of Greece, with a population of around 4,591,568 people in 2011. However, it is also one of the smallest regions in the country, being less than 1% of the total area of Greece

6. According to Greek mythology, the olive tree was given to Athens by the goddess Athena, and Greece is now the world’s third leading producer of olives. It is thought that some trees planted in the 1200s are still producing olives

7. Approximately 17.5 million people visit Greece each year – more than the country’s population. To accommodate the influx, Greece has one of the highest numbers of international airports for any country, the largest being in Athens

8. Adjacent to the Greek parliament and a number of significant hotels, Syntagma is the central square of Athens. It is the city’s hub, with the museums of Vasilissis Sofias to the east and the shopping district of Ermou to the west

9. In around 550BC, the Athenians ruled an area named Attica, which contained a rich reservoir of resources: valuable elements such as silver, marble and lead. Attica is now the name of the biggest department store in Athens (if not Greece), where you will find designer and luxury items

10. The height of the tallest of Athens’ seven hills. Brave visitors can climb to the top of Lykavittos via the seemingly endless stairway. The not so brave can take the funicular railway for a spectacular view of the city from the Acropolis to the Aegean


Why Athens was great? Primary history by BBC


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Athens, Greece

Why Athens was great

Athens was the largest city in Greece, and controlled a region called Attica. Between the many mountains were fertile valleys, with many farms. Athens became rich because Attica also had valuable sources of silver, lead and marble. Athens also had the biggest navy in Greece.

Athens was a beautiful and busy city. People came to the city from all over Greece, and from other countries, to study and to trade. The city’s most famous building was the temple called the Parthenon. It stood on a rocky hill called the Acropolis. Inside the Parthenon stood a statue of the city’s protector-goddess Athena.

This is one of the oldest doors in ancient Rome, Italy


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This is one of the oldest doors in ancient Rome, Italy

This is one of the oldest doors in ancient Rome, Italy

It reminds me of the song:

Jont – Another Door Closes

So if another door closes
I hope you see the window opening
As people suffering all the time
Don’t waste your days life slips away
Like butter from a knife

And if you had a good day my sis
Make sure you raise your back, give your wife a kiss
The secrets species x and lines
Stolen from nests time after time
Like butter from a knife

Oh can’t you see we’re all crashing, in slow mo
Holding to this wheel we know
What I see is, don’t want to be sleeping too long
Why can’t we try to fly ourselves back to an old skin Making do is no way to live
What I see is, we’re only here
Then we’re gone, gone, gone

So turn your collar up to some wickedness
And fudge the lines between the crimes
You’ve been taught to miss
As ancient ladies baking bread
Bent underneath this pyramid
And all these things that you and her have never said

And when the time comes that you and her must kiss Well if you miss her mouth and screw it up a bit
You can impress her when you say,
“Darling each and every day life slips away”
Like butter from a knife

Oh can’t you see we’re all crashing, in slow mo
Holding to this wheel we know
What I see is, don’t want to be sleeping too long
Why can’t we try to fly ourselves back to an old skin Making do is no way to live
What I see is, we’re only here
Then we’re gone, gone, gone

So if another door closes
I hope you feel the window opening
As people hurrying down the lines
Don’t waste your days life slips away
Like butter from a knife

Read the book Vengeance and remission for free and send us your feedback please


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We’ve decided to make the book for free, so feel free to download it from Smashwords in your favourite format and send me your feedback :-)

It is a story about a Roman soldier, Marcus Lucius, son of the great warrior Maximus, who protects his friends (Appius, Octavian) and falls in love in Julia Fabia, while he is on the way to revenge his killed wife, Decima. It’s a story with many risky actions, intrigues and it’s about friendship, loyalty and of course love. It’s set in the times of the emperor Hadrian.

Review by Emilia Wagner (2013) :
I read it and I liked it a lot, but LOVEFOOL Saga is for me even better. What I was surprised of was the end. There was a lot of action, mysteries and intrigues. I loved it. I was like the BBC series about the emperor Claudius. I think everybody would be pleased to see it as a movie (like Gladiator with Russel Crowe) or a series. It’s very good written, fluently and lyrically. I loved the battle scene. It was impressive! It sounded like music! Like a symphony! Awesome! There is a lot of historical background, but it’s not depressing.

Cover Vengeance & Remission Book