Human Values – Love

Love Heart

Love and Falco; in Shadows in Bronze, it seems a doomed subject as Falco begins on his task with regrets that he may never see Helena Justina again. Falco is filled with regrets at lost opportunities. (You may wish to read Shadows in Bronze, a Falco novel by Lindsey Davis.)

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Values and Civil Order

Book Cover, Time to DepartWith so many of the Falco novels focussing on aspects of Law and Order in ancient Rome, it is worthwhile to examine some aspects of this presented in Time to Depart. Falco’s friend Petro is a leader of a cohort of Vigiles.

You may wish to read Time to Depart, a Falco Novel by Lindsey Davis.

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Leadership Reflections

Book Cover, The Iron Hand of MarsIn this part of examining the issues raised in Lindsey Davis’s novel The Iron Hand of Mars, we will be taking a look at Leadership, or more specifically, leadership by historical and fictional characters as presented in this work of historical fiction. Due the nature of the environment (Rome and its military legions, and the activities thereof) observations about the nature of leadership generally, are raised.

You may wish to read The Iron Hand of Mars, novel by Lindsey Davis.

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Falco and Family

FalcoWhen Falco was but a tyke, his family consisted of his father Marcus Didius Favonius (aka Geminus), his mother Junilla Tacita, and seven children: Festus, Vittorina, Maia, Falco, Junia, Allia and Galla. At the time of this novel his older brother Festus, late of the Legio XV Appolinaris, has been dead three years. We may hear more of how Festus came to his end in the Judean War. His older sister Vittorina died during December of AD71 whilst Falco was in Free Germany, serving the Emperor. Vittorina died of ‘womens troubles’; the remainder of his sisters are alive.

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Values and Virtue

Book Cover, Poseidon's GoldPoseidon’s Gold is somewhat focussed around relationships within the Falco family. It also reveals Falco’s determination to make an honest woman of Helena Justina and bring no dishonour to her family, by marrying out of station-in-life. Due illegal trading by Festus and probing by centurions of his Legion, Falco is charged by his mother to protect the good name of his family; he also takes up the task of protecting his Father’s good name as an auctioneer against the overweening possessiveness of the art collectors, who seek to ruin him, and that, feloniously.

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Human Values and family

Family of four walking along the beachThe family is the only unit in society based on need. To a degree, this was the same in Roman times, although the extensive fiduciary support we have come to take as the norm in this day and age (i.e. supporting parent benefits, child endowments, etc.) did not exist in Falco’s times.

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Character and Values

Book Cover, Venus in CopperWe have looked at the basic plot and the landlord’s fiddles which Lindsey Davis raised in Venus in Copper, and examined some of the characters, albeit with a quick glance. We take the opportunity to look at some of the actions of the main characters as the narrative unfolds. On page 290, Falco makes a broad conclusion that all landlords are bullies. Why does he say this, and what bears the weight of Falco’s comment in the narrative?

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Human Values and the Falco novels

human valuesThe Falco Novels cover a wide range of human behaviour. All behaviour is values-driven. After all, people, usually seek their own good, their own ends. Look after Number 1 would be a common value held by many people. Giving to the poor and charity would be another value held by others.

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Human Values

human valuesOur values are our principles, our guides. Values are our codes of internal conduct, the principles upon which we run our lives and make our decisions. Our first values are given to us by our parents, and these are added to by those values given to us by our peers, our teachers, the wider community. Our moral values are often sourced from our faith systems. It is from these that we select the principles which rule our lives and our behaviours.

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Nemesis

Book Cover, AlexandriaRome, AD 77 AD, two years before the eruption of Vesuvius – best known for its eruption of AD 79 that led to the destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Some say Nemesis is the Avenging Angel; the retribution of the Gods for the sin of hubris, arrogance, under heaven. Others say Nemesis is the Arch-enemy, an antagonist who stands out from the rogues gallery. Thus, Falco and Petro are faced with an undiscovered nemesis, patron of rather odd cultic murders, until the pieces fall into place.

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Alexandria

Book Cover, AlexandriaMarch 2009; I have found a copy of Alexandria, and just finished reading it. Delighted. A review will appear here soon.

Before publication, I was doing a search for new Falco websites (I found Microsoft’s Powerset, which appears to be a Wikipedia enhancement) (some enhancement…. ) when lo—and—behold, I found Alexandria in the search results. Random House had put up a taster and the blurb. Well, now that the proper book cover is available, I have refreshed it with the correct book cover.

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Saturnalia

Book Cover, Saturnalia

It is the Season of Misrule in Rome, sheer misery for Falco. Uppity slaves give orders to their cringing masters, masters try to hide in their studies, women are goosed, statues wobble, a prince has a broken heart, Helena’s brother will not decide if his heart is broken or not, children are sick and even the dog can’t stand it any more.

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See Delphi and Die

Book Cover, Scandal takes a holidayThrough his brother-in-law Aulus, Falco hears details of two young Roman women who have died in Greece while seeing the sights of the ancient world. Falco and his wife, Helena, travel to Greece to meet up with the tour party which included one of the women, seeking clues to her murder, passing through Olympia, Corinth, Delphi and the oracle of Trophonius at Lebadeia before finally arriving at Athens.

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Scandal Takes a Holiday

Book Cover, Scandal takes a holidayMarcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina travel to Ostia Antica, ostensibly on holiday. However, Falco is forced to confess to Petronius – present there on secondment – that he is in fact investigating the disappearance of Infamia, the pen name of the scribe who writes the gossip column for the Daily Gazette. He is at first believed to be merely a drunken truant, however investigations uncover some murky secrets.

All Rome reads this and eagerly awaits its publication. People love defamation.

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The Accusers

Book Cover, The AccusersFresh from his trip to Britannia, Marcus Didius Falco needs to re-establish himself back in Rome. A minor role in the trial of a senator entangles him in the machinations of two lawyers: Silus Italicus and Paccius Africanus, both ex-consuls with notorious reputations.

Rome, Autumn AD 75. Falco reflects on informers in general:

I had been an informer for over a decade when I finally learned what the job entailed.

There were no surprises. I knew how society viewed us: lowborn hangers-on, upstarts too impatient for honest careers, or corrupt nobles. The lowest grade was proudly occupied by me, Marcus Didius Falco, son of the utterly plebeian rogue Didius Favonius, heir to nothing and possessing only nobodies for ancestors. My most famous colleagues worked in the Senate and were themselves senators. In popular thought we were all parasites, bent on destroying respectable men.

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