Friday, January 22, 2010

Chariot Racing in Camulod

Forbidden is set in AD 50 in Cymru (present day Wales). The book I'm working on at the moment starts off in Cymru, but Morwyn and Bren travel to Camulod (Roman Camulodunum), present day Colchester in the East of England. During the very early years of occupation Camulod was the capital of Britannia, and Londinium (London) only became the capital after the Boudiccia rebellion razed Camulod to the ground in AD 61.

Colchester has a unique heritage with visible remains of the Roman walls, the Temple of Claudius, the Roman theatre and other sites. In a bid to preserve another piece of recently unearthed Colchester Roman history, a consortium is trying to buy the Victorian Sergeants Mess building on the former Cavalry barracks - and the gardens under which lie the starting gates of Britain's only discovered chariot racing circus. This is the only one in the Roman Empire discovered north of the Alps.

I found out about the circus from this site, and there's a lot of fascinating bits of information over there. If only I could go visit Colchester and explore all the ancient sites. Why didn't I appreciate this history more when I was living in England??


Kaye Manro said...

Interesting bits of information here, Christina!

I read the blurb for your Forbidden and loved it!

Helen Hardt said...

Fascinating! You must have done tons of research.

Christina Phillips said...

Thanks, Kaye! I hope to put the official blurb up in the not too distant future!

Helen, yes the research is endless, and this from the girl who claims to hate doing research!! It's the time it takes I hate - I really love discovering all sorts of weird and wonderful snippets of information!

Mel Teshco said...

I find the stories from history fascinating - I particulaly love some of the biblical stories that seem almost too amazing to be real - then again, fact is stranger than fiction! Can't wait to read Forbidden =)

Cathryn Brunet said...

Ooh, interesting.

Isn't history and the discovery of it fascinating?

Christina Phillips said...

Thanks, Mel! and I agree about the ancient stories, they are fascinating.

Cathryn, I know - it sends shivers along my arms to think they're still unearthing these amazing finds.

Shelley Munro said...

That sounds so cool. I can almost imagine the chariots racing around a track. Like you I wish I'd paid more attention to the sights and history when we lived there.

Thanks for link in the post below at Fangs, Fur and Fey about promo. That was really interesting since I'm also thinking promo at present.

Christina Phillips said...

Shelley, I found another link on Twitter the other day, about how to utilize Twitter to the best advantage. I'll hunt it out and do a post on it next week, because I found it very helpful!!

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Very interesting Christina.

I loved history and absorbed it like a romance novel. lol :) I am fascinated by the ancient Romans, the Greeks and the Gods they worshiped. :)But it's not only these countries. History overall was one of my better subjects.

I agree you must have undertaken lots of research, but hey, you love it. :) :)

Suz :)

Eleni Konstantine said...

Fascinating Christina. Amazing reading how people led their lives in past times.

Lisa said...

I live in Colchester and work for the museum service. Philip Crummy and his associates are doing a sterling job trying to save the site of the only chariot track in England from being lost forever. It is almost criminal the indifference being shown to such a major archaeological find when so much money gets squandered on 'trendy' projects

Christina Phillips said...

Suz, I loved history at school too, except we spent far too much time on the boring stuff like the Agricultural & Industrial Revolutions! (and yes I do love the research really!!)

Eleni, I love reading about the past although not so sure I'd enjoy living in those times (I love my modern conveniences too much!)

Lisa, I agree. It's very sad the Heritage Lottery Fund application was unsuccessful. To think of this incredible site being lost forever beneath housing is appalling.