Missing details of an Ancient World in Second LIfe (Part. 2) - "Tota Pomarium Videatur"

Salvete Omnes.
As announced in the previous post, we're already talking about historical mistakes findable on ancient lands of Second Life.
In this chapter we'll discuss about a very less considered aspect: food sold into ancient Roman markets. Venturing in any of theese land's markets, it's possible to see how offered products are almost the

... Have you ever wondered if products exposed in those markets are appropriate to the historical environment surrounding it?
There's to know that a significant part of the ancient Greeks and Romans' nourishment consisted of vegetables, roots, but also wild or cultivated fruits. Fruits were a great asset in the empire, and were consumed both local and foreign resources.
As you have seen in previous pictures, these stalls are full of fruits and vegetables; some of these foods, however, were not yet known by the Romans. Let us examine a few.

- TOMATO: a native fruit from Mexico and the high valleys of the Peruvian Andes, whose name comes from "Nahuatl" (Aztecs language) and it's pronounced "tomatl or jitomate",  arrives in Europe with the return to Spain of Christopher Columbus from the Americas. At first, it's considered poisonous so it's used as an ornamental plant; in the Sixteenth century it's used for the first time in kitchen in Italy.            - CORN, whose name comes from the language spoken by the Indians from Haiti, was cultivated for a long time on the new continent. About a thousand years B.C. Hopi's ancestors (southwest of the USA) grew of considerable corn's extensions, with which they obtain a paste used to prepare the "Tortillas". It was in fact the staple food of millions of American Natives, as well as most of them attributed it a divine origin. Starting from 1600, corn gradually replaced millet's cultivations in southern Europe; it's first used as basical feeding for animals, and the first using it in the kitchen are Basque people.
Avocados fruits
- AVOCADO, cultivated and consumed in Mexico since 5000 B.C. by the Aztecs, who called him "ahuacatl" (hence the Spanish "aguacate" or the Portuguese "abacate"). The fruit's transplant in the old continent, tried in the second half of the sixteenth century, near Rome, will prove a failure. We must wait the early 20thy century to let the avocado find its stable place in Europe.    - The PEPPER, perennial herb, is native to Central America. It was used to accompany meat dishes with red beans and corn, but was also used as an aromatic drug: the "chili", discovered by Columbus and the Spaniards and brought to Spain in the mid-sixteenth century, where it was used to enhance tomatoe's flavor. Then it's brought to Italy where it is called "coral horn", and very quickly to the rest of Europe, obtaining a spectacular success in Hungary, where it's setted up a sweeter mix: the famous "Paprika". 
- The POTATO, an herbaceous perennial plant, coming from central - southern America and imported for the first time in Europe in 1533, after Columbus' discoveries. From 1600 it becomes a common culture throughout Europe and it's used mostly for livestock nutrition. During the 1700s, known its high nutritional properties, it is consumed by all Europeans.

 In addition to pre Colombian food, we may also find kinds of products imported from Asia or Africa, not yet known by the Romans. Below we analyze some:
- The EGGPLANTS, native from India. They grown in Southeast Asia since prehistorical times and were introduced in Europe by Arabs in the early 4th century A.D.

- The BANANA, contrary to what might be tought, has origins in the highlands of 'South-East Asia, in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Philippines territories. Recent archaeological studies supports the existence of the first wild specimens of this fruit date back to 5000 BC. The first organized banana's crops dates back to 200 A.D. in China territories. In 650 A.D. Islamic conquerors exported this fruit in Palestine; later, Arab merchants brought it to almost the whole Africa. Around 1500, banana plant was introduced from Africa to the Caribbean and Central America by portugueses, then imported (only at that time) in Europe.
- The WATERMELON seems to have origins in the Kalahari desert. There are reports of first crops thanks to some Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back to 5000 years ago, when the fruit was often placed in pharaohs tombs as a means of sustenance for the afterlife. In the 10th century A.D. watermelon was cultivated in China and it was introduced in Europe only in the 13th century, with the Moors invasion.
Egyptians used to place watermelons into pharaoes tombs in the way they could be fed of it in the afterlife
 So, what did ancient Romans eat?
As anybody, Romans were looking for new importing foods from every side of the world, experimenting and inventing new recipes with new ingredients. They also sought to graft and improve kinds of fruit trees, always inventing new varieties which unfortunately has been largely lost.Food for the Romans wasn't just a curiosity but a passion. There was any Roman taking care of his profession only. A great general could be a writer like Pliny, or an art collector as Maecenas, or an architect as Agrippa, or grafting fruit to invent a new product, which moreover would bear his name; for example Pliny the Younger mentions a pira (pear) Dolabelliana, (which has belonged to Publius Cornelius Dolabella 69-43 BC), or the pira Decimiana (perhaps of a certain Decinianus of the gens Claudia) or even the mala Mattiana, whose name comes from the botanical Caius Matius Calvena, known for his friendship with Julius Caesar and Cicero. The meat was rare food, at least for the poor class but also for the middle class. 
Below is a list of the most consumed foods by the Romans.
- BERRIES, considered fruits by the Romans. They include:
The ROSE (ie its rosehip), considered nutritious and healing (as rich of C vitamin). From it were obtained sauces for salty foods, sweets or velvety to eat alone or to garnishing cakes, or dissolved in water with other flower essences to make fresh drinks; the petals, however, combined with honey and other essences could become a fine food.
The BLACKBERRY (Rubus), used with honey and essences for bittersweet kitchens;
The RASPBERRY (Rubus), similar to blackberry as flavor but more acidic, was very used for fresheners or to stuff roasted sprayed with red and full-bodied wines;
The WILD PRUGNOLO or PRUNO (prunus), a spontaneous thorny plant of Europe, Asia, and North Africa; its sour taste and aromatic fruits were much appreciated by the Romans when eaten fresh or cooked with honey; by the same fruits was made a full of tannin vinegar (used instead of lemon, which was known but used as a medicine) that gave a sour taste to the foods;
The STRAWBERRY (Fragaria), particularly suitable for volcanic territories (as the Italic soil was), was much appreciated by the Romans; wealthy people owned it in crops, however it was not so difficult to find it in the undergrowth;
The PINE (Pinus), or the Pine berries (from whose white bark was also extracted a little tasty but nutritious meal), which were first used as dry fruit, to flavor meat or fish, or were mixed with honey or boiling molasses to make cakes;
the ACORN, the oak's fruit, from which was made a flour, after having purified it from tannin;
 The CORNIOLA (corna), a red cherry-like fruit, from the aromatic, harsh and bitter flavor; it was first used to feed pigs, then he came introduced in Roman cooking; marinated in salt water for a certain period and seasoned with bay leaves and fennel seeds, was used to season the game's filling or red meat in general, or to prepare bitter-sweet sauces, or more was made a syrup diluted with water and served as a sorbet, to prepare the diners' stomach to the new dishes. It was also used as an ingredient to prepare puddings, uniting him to less acidic fruits such as pears, apples, and elder;
JUNIPER berries, similar to plums for their small rounded appearance, they were collected in autumn and left to dry in a ventilated place to then collect them in pots and use them throughout the year; They were used in roasts and in very tasty and spicy fillings, with fennel and thyme, and were good for strong and dry red wines;The CHASTE TREE (Vitex agnus-castus), a plant that usually grows on all Mediterranean and West Asia coasts, until Persia. Its bitter tasted fruits were eaten by Roman gourmets, combined with jujube or honey, or were used in desserts and soups, for its slightly spicy flavor.

- The DRY FRUIT, among which we list:
  The WALNUT (Juglans regia), plans of the Eastern Mediterranean, also known to the 
  Greeks;  the Romans cultivated it since the time of kings, using it in different ways like  
  throwing nuts during weddings or in the secret rites of Diana Caria monastery's priestess
  in Benevento, where the walnut tree's fruit was sacred. Varro, Pliny and Dioscorides talked 
  about walnuts.
  The ALMOND (amygdala), native to the Western temperate Asia, eaten by Greeks and 
  Romans, both sweet and bitter, it was believed that eaten before drinking wine could 
  prevent the thrill; used in different traditional Mediterranean kitchens like those of Sicily  
  and Puglia,  it accompanied sweet and savory dishes, or was served along with luscious 
  The PISTACHIOS (pistacia), came from the East, were mixed with some Roman kitchen 
- FLESHY FRUIT, among which we mention:
  The FIG (ficus), native from Caria in Asia Minor; much appreciated if eaten cool or dry, 
  it formed the most used occasional nourishment during the day; especially in Campania, 
  the Romans were very fond of eating bread and figs; it was considered also sacred,  
  because when unriped it produced a liquid similar to milk, so sacred to the goddess 
  Rumina, ancient pre-Roman and Roman goddess;
  the APPLE (malum), not a fruit but a knob, where the real fruit is the core, while the
  edible part is the core's receptacle; Romans ate it both raw and cooked, sweetened with  
  honey or molasses; It was mainly used by lower classes for the ease in cultivating and 
  storing it;
Malum Cotoneum
  The APPLE QUINCE (malum     
  cotoneum), considered by 
  Romans a sacred fruit to  
  Aphrodite;  there were  
  different qualities but few 
  were  suitable to be eaten raw;
  they were generally boiled  
  with honey or molasses and  
  combined with almonds and 
  walnuts, or was made  a kind 
  of jam which were
  manifactured sweets and  
  THE MALUM MUSTERIUM, made from a 
  quince graft with common apple, obtaining a
  variety very appreciated by the Romans; tasting slightly sour but compact, it had the
  advantage to keeping for a long time so was used as dried fruit or as an interlude or to
  manufacture sweets;
  The PEAR (pirum), present among the Romans in several different quality; such as the 
  apple, it  was eaten raw and cooked and was useful to make special dishes; pears could 
  be well preserved and dried in the sun and eaten boiled in wine.
  The MEDLAR (Mespilus germanica), known by the Romans after the Cato period and were 

  native from Germany and not Japan; differently than japaneses, those eaten by the 
  Romans  were sour and hard, in fact before being eaten they were sweetened by storing 
  them in a dry and well ventilated area;
The SORBS, mentioned by Hippocrates as an astringent medicine; their pulp was dried and sometimes mixed with 
wheat flour, to  make bread or tasty buns;
PEACH (persicum), native to China, spread throughout the Mediterranean hollow thanks to Alexander the Great and arrived in Rome in the 1st century D.C., it was first a reserved fruit for the riches, then it was spread out to all the tables;
The APRICOT (Prunus), originally from northeastern China to the Russian border and discovered by Alexander the Great in his travels in Persia, were the Romans who brang it not only in Italy but also in Greece, between 70-60 B.C.; often it was dried in the sun to enjoy it in those long periods when production was off;
The POMEGRANATE, considered native from South West Asia, has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times and was spread by Phoenicians and Greeks in their colonies;
Lotus (Jujube)
The JUJUBES (lotus), native to Asia but already present in Italy since the time of Romans, were eaten fresh or withered, the withered one was often drowned in wine (making the so-called jujube' stock);
The PLUM (cereal prunum), known in many varieties, was anciently used and widely practiced; Greek doctors suggested to cook it with honey, for its laxative properties;
CHERRY (Prunus avium), whose first trees were imported to Rome in 72 B.C. by Lucius Licinius Lucullus after the firm of Mithridates;
The DATE (palmulae), used as exotic fruit imported from abroad;
The OLIVE rarely eaten fresh as a dessert fruit, while at times was eaten the fruit of persea, which was a plant still not well identified;

The CAROB, initially considered harmful for health, fell within recipts of some sweets where it was combined as powder with honey and crushed nuts, drawing an exquisite flavor;
The GRAPE, for the ancients one of the main dessert fruit; there were several varieties and were very appreciated both fresh and dried;
The ELDER, eaten as a fruit but with a special treatment;
The ARBUTUS, not so used in Rome except to make sauces and desserts; 
The CHESTNUT, known under different names, was eaten boiled, roasted, dried, cooked with fennel or in puree or soup; chestnuts also drew the flour;

And last, but not least, we find the CUCURBITS, including PUMPKIN, the CUCUMBER and POPON, native from Iran and used since the 5th century. B.C.

However, there is a fruit which recent discoveries has created a light "quid pro quo" (misunderstandings). In the Museum of Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in Rome, you can make an incredible discovery: at the second-floor, in the classic world's  frescoes, mosaics and stucco's gallery, there is a mosaic dated to the early 1st century A.D., showing a fruit basket containing from left, some figs, quince, a bunch of black grapes, pomegranates and an impossible food: a pineapple. The presence of this fruit has left speechless, because the Pineapple sativus plants, which belongs to the bromeliad family, arrived in the old Continent only after the Christopher Columbus' voyages. So before the American discovery, Romans could not know this tropical fruit.

Actually it is not the first time a similar figure may be seen on a Roman work; a fresco found in the ephebe house in Pompeii shows a pineapple and a Roman statue, preserved in Geneva, representing a child holding a pineapple for its crest.

Everything suggests that Romans knew this fruit since the 1st century A.D. and this mystery has pioneered several hypotheses, including one that Romans could have arrived in America. Myth bustered right away, as the innumerable sources doesn't minimally referr to the New Continent, as it is certain their logistic capabilities would not allow them to reach so far places and above all beign able to stow fresh food for too long periods. It 's more likely that Romans have imported this fruit from West Africa, where pineapple was grown.So, let's hope this "virtual excursus" between the Roman food has made clear about ancients culinary habits. For a virtual roleplay land where knowing how to role play is the main pourpose, a touch of authenticity in these things would not hurt, indeed the game would result more interesting; in this sense builders and marketplace sellers play a main role, as people trust them and their creations to make spectacular and also authentic backgrounds. 
I wish you all a nice Ancient SL and see you to the next post!

 Hermes (a.k.a. Tonio Renfold).

Ancient Heritage on virtual grids: missing details of Ancient Worlds in Second Life (Part 1)

The metaverse is a really interesting world, which offers various ways to concretely represent what we can't bring in the real world. Between the many popular activities, both on the web (such as forums, blogs, social networks, etc ..) and in virtual grids like Second Life, we find the Roleplay, proposed in different scenarios: from fantasy to sci-fi, or those inspired by fictions and films, but also based on historical events or settings.
And it is right in historical scenarios that we focus our attention.
In the virtual world of Second Life, these scenarios are identified as belonging to the so called AW (acronymus for Ancient World), whose historical periods vary by Hellenistic age to the Victorian, through the various Mediterranean and Mesopotamian settings, until Northeast European lands.
To make the game more intriguing and compelling, some lands  got insipired by mythological stories of the periods which they belong; while others are based on stories and characters of famous Hollywood films (such as Cleopatra, played by Liz Taylor, The Gladiator of Russell Crowe, 300 of Zack Shneider or the famous TV saga licensed HBO, Spartacus).
 Sometimes theese stories are so intriguing and surreal that often fall into banality, representing a very far past from what has been handed down by our ancestors and from what has been discovered over the centuries by many historians and professionists.

Getting more in details, the purpose of this page is just to keep clear the many historical inconsistencies foundable in theese lands (as in those films they are inspired at), paying particular attention to the many historic Roman lands existed in the metaverse.
Want to know more? Then be patient and let's wait to read th next topic. For now "Valete Omnes".

The Ancient Pagan Origins of Easter

Easter Sunday is a festival and holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world
who honour the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred three days after his crucifixion at Calvary. It is also the day that children excitedly wait for the Easter bunny to arrive and deliver their treats of chocolate eggs.Easter is a ‘movable feast’ which is chosen to correspond with the first Sunday following the full moon after the March equinox, and occurs on different dates around the world since western churches use the Gregorian calendar, while eastern churches use the Julian calendar. So where did this ‘movable feast’ begin, and what are the origins of the traditions and customs celebrated on this important day around the world?

Easter - Christianity

Resurrection of Jesus.

Most historians, including Biblical scholars, agree that Easter was originally a pagan festival. According to the New Unger’s Bible Dictionary says: “The word Easter is of Saxon origin, Eastra, the goddess of spring, in whose honour sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. By the eighth century Anglo–Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.” However, even among those who maintain that Easter has pagan roots, there is some disagreement over which pagan tradition the festival emerged from. Here we will explore some of those.

Resurrection as a symbol of rebirth

One theory that has been put forward is that the Easter story of crucifixion and resurrection is symbolic of rebirth and renewal and retells the cycle of the seasons, the death and return of the sun.
According to some scholars, the Easter story comes from the Sumerian legend of Damuzi (Tammuz) and his wife Inanna (Ishtar), an epic myth called “The Descent of Inanna” found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets dating back to 2100 BC. When Tammuz dies, Ishtar is grief–stricken and follows him to the underworld. In the underworld, she enters through seven gates, and her worldly attire is removed. "Naked and bowed low" she is judged, killed, and then hung on display. In her absence, the earth loses its fertility, crops cease to grow and animals stop reproducing. Unless something is done, all life on earth will end. After Inanna has been missing for three days her assistant goes to other gods for help. Finally one of them Enki, creates two creatures who carry the plant of life and water of life down to the Underworld, sprinkling them on Inanna and Damuzi, resurrecting them, and giving them the power to return to the earth as the light of the sun for six months. After the six months are up, Tammuz returns to the underworld of the dead, remaining there for another six months, and Ishtar pursues him, prompting the water god to rescue them both. Thus were the cycles of winter death and spring life.

The Descent of Inanna
The Descent of Inanna.

The drawing parallels between the story of Jesus and the epic of Inanna “doesn't necessarily mean that there wasn't a real person, Jesus, who was crucified, but rather that, if there was, the story about it is structured and embellished with a pattern that was very ancient and widespread.
The Sumerian goddess Inanna is known outside of Mesopotamia by her Babylonian name, "Ishtar". In ancient Canaan Ishtar is known as Astarte, and her counterparts in the Greek and Roman pantheons are known as Aphrodite and Venus. In the 4th Century, when Christians identified the exact site in Jerusalem where the empty tomb of Jesus had been located, they selected the spot where a temple of Aphrodite (Astarte/Ishtar/Inanna) stood. The temple was torn down and the So Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built, the holiest church in the Christian world.
The story of Inanna and Damuzi is just one of a number of accounts of dying and rising gods that represent the cycle of the seasons and the stars. For example, the resurrection of Egyptian Horus; the story of Mithras, who was worshipped at Springtime; and the tale of Dionysus, resurrected by his grandmother. Among these stories are prevailing themes of fertility, conception, renewal, descent into darkness, and the triumph of light over darkness or good over evil.

Easter as a celebration of the Goddess of Spring

Rather than being a representation of the story of Ishtar, Easter was originally a celebration of Eostre, goddess of Spring, otherwise known as Ostara, Austra, and Eastre. 
Celebrated at Spring Equinox on March 21, Ostara marks the day when light is equal to darkness, and will continue to grow. As the bringer of light after a long dark winter, the goddess was often depicted with the hare, an animal that represents the arrival of spring as well as the fertility of the season.
The idea of resurrection was ingrained within the celebration of Ostara: “Ostara, Eástre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted by the resurrection-day of the christian’s God.”
Most analyses of the origin of the word ‘Easter’ maintain that it was named after a goddess mentioned by the 7th to 8th-century English monk Bede, who wrote that Ēosturmōnaþ (Old English 'Month of Ēostre', translated in Bede's time as "Paschal month") was an English month, corresponding to April, which he says "was once called after a goddess of theirs named Ēostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month".

The origins of Easter customs

The most widely-practiced customs on Easter Sunday relate to the symbol of the rabbit (‘Easter bunny’) and the egg.  The rabbit was a symbol associated with Eostre, representing the beginning of Springtime. Likewise, the egg has come to represent Spring, fertility and renewal.  In Germanic mythology, it is said that Ostara healed a wounded bird she found in the woods by changing it into a hare. Still partially a bird, the hare showed its gratitude to the goddess by laying eggs as gifts. Another document about the pagan traditions associated with the egg,   clearly explains: “The egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Persians, who had also the custom of colouring and eating eggs during their spring festival.” In ancient Egypt, an egg symbolised the sun, while for the Babylonians, the egg represents the hatching of the Venus Ishtar, who fell from heaven to the Euphrates.

Relief with Phanes
2nd century A.D. Orphic god Phanes emerging from the cosmic egg, surrounded by the zodiac.

In many Christian traditions, the custom of giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life. Christians remember that Jesus, after dying on the cross, rose from the dead, showing that life could win over death. For Christians the egg is a symbol of Jesus' resurrection, as when they are cracked open, they stand for the empty tomb.
Regardless of the very ancient origins of the symbol of the egg, most people agree that nothing symbolises renewal more perfectly than the egg – round, endless, and full of the promise of life.
While many of the pagan customs associated with the celebration of Spring were at one stage practised alongside Christian Easter traditions, they eventually came to be absorbed within Christianity, as symbols of the resurrection of Jesus.  
The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox.
Whether it is observed as a religious holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or a time for families in the northern hemisphere to enjoy the coming of Spring and celebrate with egg decorating and Easter bunnies, the celebration of Easter still retains the same spirit of rebirth and renewal, as it has for thousands of years.

Original source by
The ancient pagan origin of Easter - Ancient Origins

The pagan roots of Easter - Heather McDougall
The Origins of Easter – by Ross Abasolo

Settlers in Melita Insula

The aedile administration of Melita informs all citizens and colonii:
"Dedicated role players can receive a small house or apartment on the island, for free. If a dedicated role player wants a more luxurious residence, we might consider building and renting a small villa to him or her, depending on how involved is that player in the sim".
For this pourpose we are offering the following builds:

An huge domus for a patrician/equestrian family/group formed of at least 3 person.
Located on a middle position, between the harbour and the cultural center, it enjoys of a nice view.
Prims allowed: 40.

Docks Insula.
Located near the plebis insula, at few steps from the harbour, theese builds are pretty big to guest familyes as well. 
Two apartments available (minimum two members for each group/family).
Prims allowed: 25 for each apartment.

Plebis Insula (1).
Four homes one next another, built with a typical punic/phoenician architecture mixed
with romans details.
Apartments are for single members or familyes as well.
Prims allowed: 20 for each home 
Plebis Insula (2).
One build in roman style with a typical Pompeian coloured plaster
For single members or familyes as well.
Prims allowed: 25 

All those interested may contact Hermes (Tonio Renfold) or Arachne Demonia in world, directly or leaving a notecard, or sending an email on Contact Us section of this blog, specyfing avatar name, role invested in land and type of build requested.

Estate policy

Salve colonus. So you just arrived in Melita and you are looking for a shelter, hold on. Follow me at the tavern for a cup of wine, after we are done you may rest upstairs and spend a night or two. If you have decided to stay longer and be an active citizen you may contact one of the city's aediles (administrators) and ask for a domus (house), yes, it is free, if you plan to live in Melita Insula and be an active citizen, along with some resources (40 prims). 

There are are more options of course if you belong to a rulling class and you bring along your family or your service staff, in this case you may occupy a larger domus or even a villa, for free, along with enough resources. Your only obligation is your reasonable amount of participation to the colony's activities.

Every colonist, citizen, visitor or passerby is expected to follow all laws of government as they have been explained by the time you arrived on the island. For more details about our estate policy and rules you may contact any of our administrators. Enjoy your stay!

Hermes, the Numidian

My true name is Juba'aal and I come from the land of Numidia, which the Romans called Africa Nova ... just like they do with me, calling me Hermes.
I'm a rudiarius, retired from the games when I gained the Rudis, and also a libertus, thanxgiving Domine Notorious Felonis, wich granted me the manumissio after all my efforts. After a while I left Sicily venturing in the Empire, till the capital, where my troubles began. I've been  accused of embezzlement and sentenced to exile on an island geographically halfway between two worlds that belonged to my past: the island of Melita. Here I continued to exercise my job of lanista to entertain the few Roman citizens who passed or settled in the island, paying my debts with part of the wins.
Once my exile was done, I sadly left the island of Melita with my Familia Gladiatoria, looking for new scenarios in which to sell shows, so I took the first ship to the Aegean Sea and I left Melita for the Dodecanese , a place for me unknowed.  Here I landed on the island of Lutho, where I was well received by the local population and the Quaestor, who gave me the authorization to prosecue my activities in this majest island.
Everithing seemed to proceed for the best...until that terrible day where the gods, Vulcanus first, exploded their anger on that small island. All around was a mix of ash and debris. Many survivors, within many inn roman citizens, could leave the island taking the big roman cargo moored in the harbour and soon diverted to Pergamus. Beh, many except me: a voice into my mind suggested me to not follow them and that I could reach my fortune again elsewhere. So i left that island on a fishing boat, heading to another island, and one more; everyday on a different one, until landing in Rhodes.
There an unexpected meeting with an his old knowledge, gave him the opportunity to move back to Roma and there to work again as lanista for the biggest gladiatorial school of all the empire.

Roman Warships pt. 1 & the Celeuma's Song

We know alot about this powerful means of conquest and control of the seas, especially with reproductions on coins, bas-reliefs, pompeian frescoes and historical descriptions, while the archaeological finds are limited in large measure to "navi onerarie" (cargo ships) and their loads.
The Roman warships were classified in:

naves praetoriae (flagships): long, rowing and very fast;

naves longae and naves liburnicae: very fast and with several rows of oars;

naves actuariae: read, for troops transportation;

naves speculatoriae: of reconnaissance, to observe the enemy;

naves tabellariae: small units for sending dispatches.

The type of ship is generally related to the orders of oars present on each of them.

"navis longa" with two rows of oarsmen sitting on the same bench. It was also equipped of a square sail and developed a good speed thanks to its weight and small size. It was superseded by more
functional trireme.

"navis longa" with three series of rowers. It was the most commonly used warship, was equipped with a rostrum and, in newer units, there was a tower to house archers at bow to launch arrows from higher positions. At the aft was built cab blanket commander. Its crew was 200 men including 150 rowers and 15 between Officers and NCOs.

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