jesatria replied to your photo: jesatria: dana-brodys: stfunithingas: …
I would totally read your book. It sounds awesome!
Hee, thanks! I mean, it is tough. Especially since I’m still portraying a dominant culture well on its way towards imperialism. And they take slaves — but those slaves are people and characters in their own right, not just window dressing. Slavery was a complex issue, both socially and economically — and not at all racially based in the same way we think of later African slavery. They enslaved the people they conquered, but a lot of slaves bought their way out, or their children’s ways out, or got freed when their masters died, and many sons and grandsons of slaves achieved great heights in society, and mostly no one gave a fuck what race they were at that point. And then of course there were some people (a lot of educated Greeks mostly) who would sell themselves into slavery because it was a way out of poverty at home. But, none of that means that slavery wasn’t still awful or that there wasn’t abuse. Just because beating or killing your slaves was socially frowned upon doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, and rape was a common problem because, hey, they were your property so you could do what you wanted, right? So, that’s tough to deal with in a way that is realistic but still sensitive and not looking supportive of those things. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t deal with it just because it can be hard.
And, I mean, that’s just one aspect. Roman society at the upper level was snobbish and they spent a lot of time judging each other for everything they could think of. There were (as I’ve posted about before) about eighteen different sliding scales of hierarchical power. Most of my characters are high-status because, well, those are the people who most affected events, and I like big events and epic stories — but I try not to act like they’re the only people who exist. Some of them are quite nice to their lessers, and some of them aren’t. Some of them are wildly xenophobic, and some of them love the idea of travel and learning. So it’s all a balancing act.
tl;dr Who doesn’t think historical research is fun? Losers, that’s who.