Threptus the former beggar boy has teamed up with Floridius, a soothsayer and seller of sacred chickens. Together they earn a living helping people solve problems and mysteries. In this third book of the series, it is the time of Saturnalia - when all the rules are turned upside down and chaos ensues.
Threptus is enjoying the mayhem but the thunder omens are disturbing. Can Threptus help his friend matchmake and avoid the disaster threatened by the thunder omen?
An exciting mystery and a history lesson, served up with humour. It's all very educational and very romantic. I've said it before, but those chickens are marvellous. And so are these little books, with so much goodness in them. I often think that before it was destroyed, the temple of Jerusalem must have had gutters just running with blood, especially on Passover when every family brought their own sheep to sacrifice.
C: Oh- the flashback of the sacking of Jerusalem? It was opened in 81AD with days of inaugural days—. C: Yes, and Jerusalem was sacked in 70AD, which, by the way, was 40 years after the crucifixion of Christ.
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And in Jewish thought, 40 is always a symbolic number. So the Romans sacked Jerusalem with Titus as the general in charge, and they brought all this gold back to Rome.
It was erected after his death by his younger brother Domitian and it shows Roman legionaries taking booty from the temple. One of the objects they carry is the Menorah, the big gold candelabra.
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Archaeologists have just discovered it was painted deep yellow to show it was gold. Anyway, they built the Colosseum with Jewish slave labour and funded it with the spoils of the Temple.
The Thunder Omen
C: Yes! The Colosseum, essentially, was built because of the sack of Jerusalem, with the labour and the money. This was the place where many Jews and Christians were thrown to beasts. That would have been the lunchtime punishment section of the games program!
C: I find the program of events at a day at the Colosseum fascinating. C: Scholars think it could have been flooded when it was first built but when this proved impractical Domitian got rid of the flooding capability. One of her fields of expertise is the Colosseum in the Flavian period.
She kindly read The Gladiators from Capua and gave me notes on it.