Posts tagged ‘The Egypt Trilogy’

An almost Greek symposium at the Malibu Getty

Malibu Getty Tasting of 4 wines created in clay amphorae in the ancient way. The wines came from Northern Italy, Sicily, Santorini (Greece) and Napa.

It wasn’t quite Mt. Olympus, but with very little imagination at the Malibu Getty on Jul 21, you could see yourself as a Greek aristocrat roaming the grounds of a lush villa, preparing for a wild drinking night at a classical Greek symposium (symposion).

At least, I had no problem projecting myself back 2500 years into Athena in Korinth, Greece with Hektor at Xenon’s pleasure villa by the sea.

Del Dotto 2009 Napa Valley Zinfandel ‘clay vessel fermented.’ LOVE this bottle.

We started out the evening at 5pm when the Getty Malibu Roman Villa Museum closed, and we gathered in the auditorium for a wonderful talk by historian Oswyn Murray of Oxford University. In the fine way that the Brits do so very well, Murray informed and entertained with his dry wit and rich display of images.

I felt great relief that the symposium I describe in Chapter 3 of Athena (The Egypt Trilogy) is right on target. There was a little dismay when Murray declared that food was served first and almost never during the Greek symposium (drinking party) itself. A conversation with him afterwards assured me that customs certainly varied, and that food could very well have been part of a symposium in Korinth in 200 BC Greece.

Whew! No need to rewrite Chapter 3 of Athena and remove all mention of “whole roast lamb appearing in an aromatic cloud of rosemary and garlic.”

Here’s a list of the wines served:
2001 Gravner Anfora Bianco Breg, Friuli-Venezia-Guilia, Italy
2009 Azienda Agricola COS Pithos, Sicily, Italy
2009 Del Dotto Clay Vessel Zinfandel, Napa Valley, California (see photo)
2010 Domaine Sigalas Asirtiko Athiri, Santorini, Greece

Unfortunately, our wine was not served in drinking cups such as this kylix on display at the Getty. Oh well…maybe in another life?


July 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm 2 comments

The Isis story embellished with my photos

I’m posting a few of my Egypt photos here in hopes that I can bring the Isis story even more to life for my readers. Click on the image to enlarge. Look for more Sandra Gore photos in upcoming posts  🙂

Some of the following pictures are from one of my visits to Egypt. Some of the shots are from the British Museum in London, while a few precious ones are from the wonderful Petrie Museum just a short walk away. What a reservoir of history is the Petrie, and not just the ancient artifacts of pre-dynastic times – of which there is an abundant and rich display. The Petrie is a step back in time to the  first days of true Egyptology.

Isis might have seen this fisherman casting his net on the glassy Nile.

Isis The Egypt Trilogy

When Isis sees wings painted on the lintels above her head, they might have looked something like this.

Isis The Egypt Trilogy

Example of painted open Papyriform capitals. Imagine the jewels colors when they were new! Taken at Ramesseum outside Luxor, Egypt.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

A piece of sedge rope that would have tied Isis barge to the quay in Sais. British Museum

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Example of Aramaic writing. Aramaic was the lingua franca spoken by Eben, the Kabbalist and among the Persians soldiers. Isis spoke Aramaic with the General.

Isis The Egypt Trilogy

Here is the cow-eared goddess Hathor. The same face would have topped the pillars in the Hathor Temple. Known as the Queen’s Boat Hathor Head, British Museum.

Isis The Egypt Trilogy

Beaded “fishnet dress” similar to one Isis wore on her visit to the Temple of Min in Khent-min. Petrie Museum.

Isis The Egypt Trilogy

Glass vials like these might have held medicines, oils or the poisons designed to terminate Isis’ pregnancy – or even her life if captured. Petrie Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

The curled hair and beard of a Persian man. British Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Example of how hieroglyphs were painted in colors. This was taken in the tomb of the sons of Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor Egypt

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Isis had a chest of precious papyri like this. British Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Sit-hathor might have worn a wig like this when she summoned Isis to the temple to tell her of the mission. Cairo Museum

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Egyptian swords and dagger from the Petrie Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Heavy gold bracelets like these adorned Ankh-hor’s arms when he feted Isis and Qeb-ha at the feast in Hermopolis. British Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

These eyes are made with faience, the process somewhat between ceramic and glass, of which the amulets were made that Isis traded for goods in the market. British Museum

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Palm-fiber sandals from 18th dynasty (more than 3000 years old). Petrie Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Sacred Sistrum with head of Hathor that Isis might have used in the temple scene with the Crown Prince and Setne the Scribe. British Museum

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Persian lion shield ornament. This would have adorned the leather vests of the Persian soldiers in the desert. British Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

A strand of polished Carnelian beads as might have been “strung on long ropes” in the marketplace of Khent-min. Petrie Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Gold pieces from an Egyptian necklace. Most likely would have been strung with beads made from faience or semi-precious stone such as turquoise or carnelian. British Museum.

Egyptian “board game.” Not senet, but would have been played in similar fashion. British Museum

This could have been done in mosaics on the floor of Isis’ villa. British Museum.

Faience and gold amulets, cartouche, pendant. Any of these would have been commonplace in Isis’ world. Petrie Museum.

Isis the Egypt Trilogy

Egyptian glass fish showing millefiori glass technique. Isis would have stored her precious scented oil in vials made of this glass. British Museum.

July 1, 2012 at 12:24 am Leave a comment

Research for Athena – The Emerald Tablet at the Malibu Getty Roman Villa

photographs by yours truly. For those of you who are reading, or have read, Athena (now re-titled as The Emerald Tablet), I’m posting here a few photos I took at the Getty Museum in Malibu – photos which served as inspiration particularly with scene-setting.

Before you jump in with objections that the museum in Malibu is a ‘reconstructed’ Roman villa from Herculaneum, I want to point out that the Romans borrowed many elements of design from the Greeks, including interior decoration in addition to the ever-present columns.

There are also quite a few Greek works of art displayed at the Getty Roman Villa Museum, as well as a few, but exquisite, Egyptian pieces.

I definitely used the peristyle gardens with portico on three sides as my mind’s vision of Athena and Eugenia sipping pomegranate juice while they watched the children play beside the sparkling fountains. Of course, Athena’s view through the unusual open side of the columned arcade was of a long walkway through palm trees to the Nile, rather than a slope to the Pacific Ocean. A Greek or Roman garden villa would typically be enclosed on all four sides. An open-ended garden configuration would be rare. In my mind’s eye, there is a larger grass plain surrounding the pool and many more trees, both palm and flowering – and all filled with singing birds.

Getty Museum Roman Herculaneum villa

Peristyle three-sided garden opening onto the Nile (in my mind’s eye.) Here Athena and Eugenia sip pomegranate juice and watch the children play. Malibu Getty.

The ceiling of Athena’s bedchamber in the Alexandrian villa by the sea with painted lyres and flying Eros might have looked something like this from the room at the Getty Villa that I call the ‘marble room.’ The details are different, but I think you might catch the mood.

detail of ceiling from Herculaneum Roman villa Getty Museum

Athena’s bedchamber ceiling in her villa in Alexandria might have looked something like this.

The fountain statue of Aphrodite in the small enclosed garden outside Athena’s bedchamber in Hector’s Naukratis villa was made of gold, but I imagine Aphrodite to be caught in surprise just as this marble Roman Venus.

Getty Villa Malibu

Imagine this marble statue made in gold and you will see the fountain outside Athena’s bedchamber in Hektor’s Naukratis villa.

Remember the discussion between Isis and  Tony at the Metropolitan Museum of Art about Polykleitos and his cannon of perfect art? This Roman copy of a Greek statue shows the ideal proportions of the human male according to the man who inspired Renaissance sculpture almost two thousand years later.

Getty Herculaneum Roman Villa Museum in Malibu

The perfect male body according to the canon of Polykleitos, Greek Sculptor. I wouldn’t argue with him.

From here I will let the photos and captions tell the story. I hope you see the Athena story come alive as it is for me. I hope you can smell the sweet fragrance of roses and hear the thousands of birds singing in the myrtle trees.

Getty Museum Malibu Herculaneum Roman Villa

Alexander the Great

Getty Museum Malibu Herculaneum Roman Villa

Epikouros (Epicurus) – Hektor’s favorite philosopher. “We are all atoms moving in space.” Our choice is to choose pleasure or pain.

Getty Villa Museum Malibu

Menander, the great Greek comic playwright who wrote ‘Double Deceiver,’ the play Hektor invites Athena to see in Korinth.

Getty Malibu Herculaneum Roman Villa Museum

A mask of a Satyr, a common symbol in Greek and Roman times of all base desire. Sappho’s poem sings of the satyr and the lilac-tressed nymphs Iphis and Io.

Getty Herculaneum Roman Villa Museum Malibu

A Greek artist memorialized a commonplace  activity of  a symposium.

Getty Malibu Roman Villa Museum

The participants at a symposium would have drunk wine from a cup (kylix) like this.

This gold hair decoration is actually from Alexandria Egypt and might have held Athena’s chignon.

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

An example of the Korinthian (Corinthian) column. Of the basic three types of Greek columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian), the ornate Korinthian with acanthus leaf capitals was most popular with the Romans. As Ptolemy’s taste ran to the exuberant, I would imagine he would prefer them as well.

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

Ptolemy’s wild ‘Syracuse-style’ collection of marble in his presence chamber might have looked something like this.

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

A Greek vase showing Hercules battling the Hydra.

A Greek helmet, certainly used for ceremonial purposes such as Ptolemy’s birthday celebration at the Hippodrome.

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

Glass vials like these would have held the fragrant oils used in Athena’s bath.

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

These gold snake bracelets might have been gifts from Hektor.

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

The Muse of music Euterpe. O may my muses continue to whisper in my ear as I write Elektra!

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

Painting on wood from Egypt of the Alexandria hybrid god Sarapis created by Ptolemy I (Soter) to unify Egyptians and conquering Greeks.

Getty Greek Theater

The Getty’s modern day version of the Greek Theater

Poster for Greek theater presentation at Getty Malibu Roman Villa Museum

A Greek actor might have looked something like this.

Getty Roman Villa Museum Malibu

And finally a plaque showing Hermes Trismegistus (right) debating Myth and Science with Ptolemy the astronomer and mathematician (left).

June 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm 4 comments

The Isis story in 3 versions: Original R-rated, X-rated Erotica and PG-13 Beach Read

The first book of the Red Mirror Series is where the story of Isis begins. An edgy adult fable for the sensual, intelligent reader.

The adventure of Isis begins. An edgy adult fable for the sensuous, intelligent reader. R-rated

The steamy, mystic story of Isis boiled down to essentials with links to the hottest scenes. X-rated

The steamy, mystic tale of Isis and her men with links to the hottest love scenes. Erotica Rated X

A zippy romp through ancient Egypt following the adventures of Isis. The sanitized version - PG-13.

A zippy romp through ancient Egypt following the adventures of Isis. Sanitized version.  PG-13

The edgy Isis story of one woman and four men on a quest for power and love through time is told in three versions. I wrote each in their own style and with a tone intended for a different audience.  Adult R-rated, sanitized PG-13 and X-rated erotica.

The mystic adventure of the Red Mirror Series begins with The Red Mirror, my original book. Detailed and intricate, historically accurate, the glossary offers a crash course in Egyptology. An adult adventure (R-rated) for the sensuous intelligent reader. 90,000 words – 290 pages

Isis Beach Read, written in a direct style that focuses on action, moves at a zippy pace. Beach Read tells the same Isis story while simplifying names and eliminating some characters and sub-plots. Sanitized sex (PG-13). 75,000 words – 234 pages

Isis Erotica,  the most condensed version, is written in a style that oozes sensuality. The torrid love scenes are steamier still (X-rated). Bonus feature: direct links to the erotic scenes in eversion and special table of contents with relevant page numbers in print version. 60,000 words – 200 pages

The Isis Erotica eversion can also be downloaded in 3 separate ebooks, Part I The Red Mirror, Part II The Persian General and Part III The Emerald Tablet.

“Isis rules! Fifty Shades of Grey? Even better. Isis rules in 50 shades of full color.” 

May 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm Leave a comment

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