ADVENTURES IN GAUL (Part 1)
Lutetia Roman Gaul (modern Paris, France)
In August 2011, Sonja and I journeyed to France, known as Gaul in Ancient Rome, to discover the historical sites where Catrin, Celtic warrior princess, journeys in APOLLO’S RAVEN. Our first stop was Lutetia, Lutèce in French, the name given to the future Paris by the Romans. The name of Paris comes from the Celtic tribe, Parisii, who lived there before the arrival of the Romans.
We made a mad dash to the Louvre Museum where we admired the statue of Marcus Claudius Marcellus (42-23 BC), the nephew of Augustus. His Apollo-like features were similar to Catrin’s love interest—the Roman nobleman, Marcellus.
We also saw the statue of Minerva, equated with the Greek goddess Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. In APOLLO’S RAVEN, a priestess of Minerva interprets Marcellus’ dream regarding his destiny with Catrin.
Lugdunum Roman Gaul (modern Lyon, France)
Boarding a train, our next stop was Lyon where Sonja finally realized, to her surprise, I was on a research mission for my novel—not a vacation. Our first stop was the Gallo Roman Museum, built into the Fourviere hillside adjacent to the Grand Theater and Odeon theatres. This museum of archaeological artifacts was a time travel back to 43 BC, when the Romans founded Lugdunum (now Lyon), the capitol of Gaul. According to Plutarch, a Roman historian, at the time of the founding of Lugdunum, white-plumaged ravens flew down from the sky. This was a good omen for the Romans to locate their settlement at this site. A mosaic from the museum is pictured below:
But this was not the site of the gladiator games in APOLLO’S RAVEN. I asked the curator,“Is there another amphitheater?”
He shrugged his shoulders and said, “No.”
My daughter looked at me and said, “What are you smoking? There’s nothing more than this.”
(To be continued—Quest for Catrin: Adventures in Gaul)