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A few thoughts about the volcanic eruption on Thera

Come on over to N. Gemini Sasson’s blog where I’m talking about the eruption on Thera (or Callisti, as I name it) which occurred in the Bronze Age, and which affected the people of Crete so badly.

“The island in the Mediterranean nowadays called Santorini has had many names throughout the centuries. One of the oldest known names, and the one I use, is Callisti. In ancient Greek, it means “The Most Beautiful,” and is alternately spelled Kalliste.
Strongyle, another of Santorini’s ancient names, meant, “The Round One.”
Thera, yet another name long used for this volcanic island, can be translated as “Fear,” which, as it turns out, was rather prophetic, as is the name of the central mountain, rumored by some to be Alcmene, meaning “Wrath of the Moon.”
Book number two of my series, The Thinara King, jumps right in the middle of this famed volcanic eruption on Callisti.
For many years, until “super” volcanoes were more clearly understood, this eruption was considered the worst in human history. It was so enormous, so destructive, (categorized as a Plinian type event) that it made the eruption of Tambora look like a tiny belch in the earth. It would have made the Mt. Saint Helen’s eruption seem like nothing more than a brief, sleeping baby’s gasp.”
HERE is the entire article.
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The deep thoughts of Anthony Barker

Anthony Barker, author of The Visiting Professor, (which he needs to get published one of these days,) has waxed wise and poetic on his blog about my series The Child of the Erinyes.

And I didn’t have to do a thing! 😀

HERE is the link to his inimitable (yet “male-ishly” convoluted) style.

I do maintain that the sacrifice of the male “before he got boring” originated in Africa–by the time of my story, the Cretan kings were merely being sacrificed to assist the crops.

Last Day to get The Year-god’s Daughter Free

FREE FREE FREE

THE BEGINNING TO THE EPIC SERIES, THE CHILD OF THE ERINYES

by Rebecca Lochlann

Friday, May 25th is the last day to grab a free copy of The Year-god’s Daughter for your Kindle. Pop on over to Amazon before the giveaway ends tonight!

Click HERE to download a copy.

The Year-god’s Daughter

For time beyond memory, Crete has sacrificed its king to ensure good harvests, ward off earthquakes, and please the Goddess. Men compete in brutal trials to win the title of Zagreus, the sacred bull-king, even though winning means they’ll die in a year.

Two brothers from predatory Mycenae set out to thwart the competition and their deaths as they search for exploitable weaknesses in this rich, coveted society.

Hindering their goal is the seductive and fearless Cretan princess, Aridela, an uncommon woman neither man can resist, and ancient prophecies, which predict that any threat to her people will spark Goddess Athene’s terrible wrath in a calamity of unimaginable consequences.

******************************

The sequel to The Year-god’s Daughter is now available as well, and Book Three, In the Moon of Asterion, will arrive soon.

The Thinara King

Book Two

Goddess Athene’s white-hot rage incinerates the isle of Callisti and inflames the seas. Crete is left in ruins.

Ash, earthquakes and tsunamis devastate Crete. The will of the survivors fades as the skies remain dark and frost blackens the crops. Aridela must find a way to revive the spirit of her people along with rebuilding her country’s defenses.

More threats loom on the horizon. Greek kingdoms see a weakened Crete as easy prey. And now Chrysaleon, he who carries the ancient title of Thinara King, feels the shadow of Death over his shoulder.

Will he thwart his fate? No other man ever has.

The Year-god’s Daughter Free on Kindle!

Click on cover

FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!

Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.

 

FREE FOR THREE DAYS: MAY 23, 24, AND 25, 2012!

Be sure to check the price before clicking on “purchase.” I’ve done my best to make sure these promotional days are activated, but I have been notified by other authors of problems getting their promo days to actually appear.

Reviews & Interviews: The Thinara King

From Chanticleer, March 24, 2017:

There’s only sorrow for Aridela, the heiress to the throne of Kapthor when she learns her heart is not hers to give freely and every decision she makes concerning her love life brings about dire consequences for her people in Rebecca Lochlann’s The Thinara King, Book 2 of The Child of the Erinyes series.

When Aridela meets Chrysaleon, a Greek “barbarian” by the standards of her people, she falls in love. Chrysaleon, young, bold and brash, is as smitten with Aridela as she is with him, but he has been promised in marriage to her sister Iphiboë, who is bland and boring by comparison.

The marriage is all important, though, as it will consolidate his father’s power, linking his lineage with that of the Aridela’s culture, a culture that reveres the power and station of women. Kapthor is ruled by Aridela’s mother Queen Helice and guided by the powerful female oracle Themiste.

Aridela and Chrysaleon cannot help but consummate their forbidden love, yet as they do, a volcano erupts, devastating the island and killing many of Aridela’s relatives and friends. The volcano, seen as goddess Athene’s handiwork, is blamed on Chrysaleon, who has been identified by Themiste as the “lion” or the Thinara King, foretold in an ancient prophecy linking him to Aridela and a mysterious, unidentified bull figure. The prophecy states that this triad has the power to restore or destroy the world.

Rebecca Lochlann skillfully immerses the reader in a semi-fictional world of ancient rites and conflicts where characters live, die, and are reborn throughout her series The Child of the Erinyes.

The product of many years of study and fascination with the era and the mythology, The Thinara King establishes Lochlann’s connection with the novel’s setting and genre by smoothly combining many convincing elements: the handsome hero determined to win the strong-minded fair lady, the dark anti-hero plotting on the sidelines, the wise demi-goddess who keeps her own counsel and manipulates outcomes behind the scenes, the grisly battles fought at close range, and the spectacular festivals marking the passing of the years.

Lochlann’s over-arching narrative, switching from character to character, is deftly composed, making for many surprises without deviating from the backdrop with its elaborate history-rich trappings.

A tale of ancient kingdoms, of love promised and lost, heralded victory and hopeless defeat is the second novel in her much-acclaimed series, The Child of the Erinyes – another masterfully written historical fiction novel of Ancient Greece from Rebecca Lochlann.

Reviews at Amazon: read them all

Photo by Peter Vancoillie: http://skyscapes.info/

Photo by Peter Vancoillie: http://skyscapes.info/

At Booksquawk, May 5, 2012:

These are dark days for Aridela – sometimes graphically so; what she endures is not euphemistically portrayed – but deep inside she clings to the hope that she can withstand the abuse and prevail in order to appease Athene and restore freedom to her remaining people. Chrysaleon, too, endures much. On the verge of death, he has visions of an out-of-body journey to the heavenly land of the gods that enlightens him to his new status as The Thinara King – the one man with the power to change the destiny of everyone in the mortal world. But will he choose the right path? see more

“On Inspiration…” Interview at Triclinium & The Red Room with Elisabeth Storrs, May 13, 2012:

The Thinara King is the second book in a series. What was the inspiration for this series and how many books can we look forward to reading?

When I first learned about the amazing civilization that existed on Crete for thousands of years, and I read the conjectures about how Crete could have been the dominant influence upon the West (rather than Athens) had it not met its mysterious end, I began envisioning what our world would be like if that had happened. How would we be different? It’s hard to know, since what we truly do understand of Crete is miniscule. Nobody knows for sure if Crete was a matriarchal society, (Those who state so emphatically that this would have been “impossible” are biased by some kind of personal prejudice, I think) but I chose to write it that way, which naturally led into the “what-ifs” for our present day. I had help in this idea, partially from Robert Graves, who figured that the term “Minos,” for so long attached to a king, was probably originally a title attached to a woman: either a queen or priestess—some sort of important female. I took that idea and ran with it. see more

The Thinara King is OUT!

After many delays, the second book of The Child of the Erinyes series is out and available, at Barnes & Noble and at Amazon!

From the back cover:

“Goddess Athene’s white-hot rage incinerates Callisti and inflames the seas. Crete is left in ruins.

Chrysaleon of Mycenae inherits the crown of an annihilated world.

The Thinara King

As death looms closer, he stumbles upon an ancient prophecy foretelling the rise of the Thinara King. This ruler will possess unimaginable power and upend sacred traditions. Commandeering the title could save his life. But it could also destroy everything he has fought to achieve, and create an easy path for the brother he hates to step in and steal it all.

Will love transform him, or will he betray Aridela and defy the obligation of the labyrinth?

The epic Bronze Age tale continues as Athene tests her champions beyond endurance, beyond rescue, beyond salvation.”

Currently, The Thinara King is available for the KINDLE, the NOOK, and in paperback form.

Comments from those who have already dived in:

“Lochlann weaves raw passion and black betrayal into an epic tale of destiny–a master storyteller at the height of her powers.” Sulari Gentill, author of The Rowland Sinclair series and The Hero Trilogy, published by Pantera Press.

Shutterstock

At BOOKSQUAWK: “Author Lochlann does a fine job describing the destruction: inescapable waves of blistering heat and choking ash; the endless series of earthquakes and resulting tsunamis. The survivors are soon subjected to even more horror at the hands of a vengeful and opportunistic conqueror from the mainland, whose soldiers overrun the embattled island and pillage what little is left of the once proud and mighty civilization.” Melissa Conway, author of Xenofreak Nation and Selfsame.

“This is storytelling at its best!” V.R. Christensen, author of Blind and Of Moths and Butterflies.

Thank you for reading! I welcome and look forward to all comments!

Reviews: The Year-god’s Daughter 2011-12

At Booksquawk, January 7th, 2012

Divine destiny is a deep-seated theme throughout. Constant regional earthquakes are interpreted by the ruling priestesses as omens, and most everything is imbued with celestial meaning. The reader is immersed in a vivid culture of devoted spirituality. Athene must be appeased with violent sacrifice and every year that sacrifice is the queen’s

THE-YEAR-GOD'S-DAUGHTER

2013 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

latest consort – a man who bested all other competitors for the honor of living large for a year and then allowing his blood to consecrate Crete’s soil.

see more

At Historical Novel Review, January 7th, 2012

Set amongst the mystery of the Minoan Labyrinth and the heart-pounding thrill of the bull-dancing ring, The Year-God’s Daughter is the first volume of The Child of the Erinyes, a sweeping epic of a series spanning time from the Bronze Age to the near future. see more

Reviews At Amazon, 2011 and 2012: read them all

 

The cabal

These days, the definition of “cabal” is:

1. The artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); also, a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues.

Merriam Webster gives these examples:

1. a cabal plotting to overthrow the government.

2. a conspiracy theory about the existence of an international cabal devoted to world domination.

I thought it would be interesting to have “cabal” in the Bronze Age Mediterranean mean something else, very different yet somehow linked to its modern-day definition.

In The Greek Myths, Robert Graves has these things to say. He uses the word tanist the same way I use “cabal.”

“Once the relevance of coition to child-bearing had been officially admitted,  man’s religious status gradually improved, and winds or rivers were no longer given credit for impregnating women. The tribal Nymph, it seems, chose an annual lover from her entourage of young men, a king to be sacrificed when the year ended; making him a symbol of fertility, rather than the object of her erotic pleasure. His sprinkled blood served to fructify trees, crops and flocks, and his flesh was torn and eaten raw by the Queen’s fellow-nymphs – priestesses wearing the masks of bitches, mares, or sows. Next, in amendment to this practice, the king died as soon as the power of the sun, with which he was identified, began to decline in the summer; and another young man, his twin, or supposed twin – a convenient ancient Irish term is ‘tanist’ – then became the Queen’s lover, to be duly sacrificed at midwinter and, as a reward, reincarnated in an oracular serpent.

When the shortness of the king’s reign proved irksome, it was agreed to prolong the thirteen month year to a Great Year of one hundred lunations, in the last of which occurs a near-coincidence of solar and lunar time. But since the fields and crops still needed to be fructified, the king agreed to suffer an annual mock death and yield his sovereignty for one day – the intercalated one, lying outside the sacred sidereal year – to the surrogate boy-king, or interrex, who died at its close, and whose blood was used for the sprinkling ceremony. Now the sacred king either reigned for the entire period of a Great Year, with a tanist as his lieutenant; or the two reigned for alternate years; or the Queen let them divide the queendom into halves and reign concurrently.

The title Hecate (one hundred) apparently refers to the hundred lunar months of the king’s reign, and to the hundredfold harvest. The king’s death by a thunderbolt, or by the teeth of horses, or at the hands of his tanist, was his common fate in primitive Greece.

The twins’ mutual murder recalls the eternal rivalry for the love of the White Goddess between the sacred king and his tanist, who alternately meet death at each other’s hands.

The column, on which the Death-in-Life Goddess perches, marks the height of summer when the sacred king’s reign ends and the tanist’s begins. (At the heliacal rising of two-headed Sirius.)

This combat is mythologically recorded in the story that the Olympic Games began with a wrestling match between Zeus and Cronus for the possession of Elis, namely the midsummer combat between the king and his tanist; and the result was a foregone conclusion – the tanist came armed with a spear.

The historical setting of the Scylla myth is apparently a dispute between the Athenians and their Cretan overlords not long before the sack of Cnossus in 1400 BC. The myth itself, almost exactly repeated in the Taphian story of Pterelaus and Comaetho, recalls those of Samson and Delilah in Philistia; Curoi, Blathnat, and Cuchulain in Ireland; Llew Llaw, Blodeuwedd, and Gronw in Wales: all variations on a single pattern. It concerns the rivalry between the sacred king and his tanist for the favor of the Moon-goddess who, at midsummer, cuts off the king’s hair and betrays him. The king’s strength resides in his hair, because he represents the Sun; and his long yellow locks are compared to its rays.

In The Year-god’s Daughter, The Thinara King, and In the Moon of Asterion, the sacred king has a tanist, but I didn’t want to use that term. In my timeline, the word is “cabal.” At Mycenae, it simply means “brother,” but on Crete, the word “cabal” has twin meanings: brother and killer. The cabal is the king’s “tanist,” or symbolic “brother,” who also kills him, thus turning him into a god.

In the course of the series, the word “cabal” gradually and eventually transforms into its modern definition, which plays a part in the story.

The sacred cave

Skotino_cave_229L

In The Year-god’s Daughter, Aridela, Selene and Iphiboë sneak out of the palace to meet their fates. They travel by cart to Skotino Cave, which even these days attracts large numbers of tourists. It lies some distance to the east of Knossos.

Of course, in the Bronze Age, this cave would have had another name. I chose for my story The Cave of Velchanos.

Within the walls of Skotino, Aridela’s life forever changed.

Biblio: Bronze Age books

Major influences:

Baring, Anne & Cashford, Jules. The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an image, 1991
Graves, Robert. The Greek Myths, 1955
Hawkes, Jacquetta. Dawn of the Gods, 1968
Kerényi,Carl. Dionysos: Archetypal image of indestructible life, 1976
Markale, Jean. Women of the Celts, 1972
Pellegrino, Charles. Unearthing Atlantis, 1991
Rush, Anne Kent. Moon, Moon, 1976
Walker, Barbara G. The Womans Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, 1983

Partial Bibiography:

Barnard, Mary (translated). Sappho, 1958
Bell, Robert E. Women of Classical Mythology, 1991
Butler, Alan. The Goddess, the grail, and the lodge: tracing the origins of religion, 2004
Castleden, Rodney. Minoans: Life in Bronze Age Crete, 1990
Castleden, Rodney. The Knossos Labyrinth, 1990
Chadwick, John. The Mycenaean World, 1976
Chadwick, John. Linear B and Related Scripts, 1987
Christ, Carol, P. She Who Changes, 2003
Condren, Mary. The Serpent and the Goddess: Women, religion and power in Celtic Ireland, 1989
Cottrell, Leonard. The Bull of Minos: the discoveries of Schliemann and Evans, 1953
Dickinson, Oliver. The Aegean Bronze Age, 1994
Durant, Will. The Life of Greece, 1939

Easwaran, Eknath (translated). The Upanishads, 1987
Eisler, Riane. The Chalice & the Blade: Our history, our future, 1987
Ellis, Richard. Imagining Atlantis, 1998
Farnoux, Alexandre. Knossos: Searching for the legendary palace of King Minos, 1993
Feuerstein, Georg. Sacred Sexuality: the erotic spirit in the worlds great religions, 1992
Fraser, Antonia. The Warrior Queens, 1988
Gadon, Elinor W. The Once and Future Goddess: a sweeping visual chronicle of the sacred female and her reemergence in the cultural mythology of our time, 1989
Gimbutas, Marija. The Language of the Goddess, 1989
Goodrich, Norma Lorre. Priestesses, 1989
Grant, Michael. Myths of the Greeks and Romans, 1962
Grant, Michael. The Ancient Mediterranean, 1969
Graves, Robert. The White Goddess, 1948
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology, 1940
Harrison, Jane. Prolegomena to the study of Greek religion, 1903
Hawkes, Jacquetta. The Atlas of Early Man, 1976
Homer. (Robert Fitzgerald, translated). The Iliad, 1974
Homer. (Robert Fagles, translated). The Odyssey, 1996
Houston, Jean. A Mythic Life, 1996
Johnson, Buffie. Lady of the Beasts: the Goddess and her sacred animals, 1994
Kerényi, Carl. Eleusis: Archetypal image of mother and daughter, 1967
Kerényi, Carl. Athene: Virgin and Mother in Greek religion, 1978
Lane, Richard J. & Wurts, Jay. In Search of the Woman Warrior: four mythical archetypes, 1998
Leonard, Linda Schierse. The Wounded Woman, 1982

Mackenzie, Donald A. Crete and Pre-Hellenic: Myths and Legends, 1917
Matthews, Caitlín. Voices of the Goddess: a chorus of sibyls, 1990
Mellersh, H.E.L. The Destruction of Knossos: the rise and fall of Minoan Crete, 1970
Meyer, Marvin W. (editor). The Ancient Mysteries: sacred texts of the Mystery Religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, 1987
Mountainwater, Shekhinah. Ariadne’s Thread, 1991
Neumann, Erich. The Great Mother: an analysis of the archetype, 1955
Nilsson, Martin P. The Mycenaean Origin of Greek Mythology, 1932
Petrocheilou, Anna. The Greek Caves: a complete guide to the most important Greek caves, 1984
Ruether, Rosemary Radford. Gaia & God, 1992
Runnels, Curtis, & Murray, Priscilla M. Greece Before History: an archaeological companion and guide, 2001
Salmonson, Jessica Amanda. The Encyclopedia of Amazons, 1991
Shlain, Leonard. The Alphabet versus the Goddess, 1998
Sjöö, Monica & Mor, Barbara. The Great Cosmic Mother: rediscovering the religion of the earth, 1987
Spretnak, Charlene. Lost Goddesses of Early Greece: a collection of Pre-Hellenic myths, 1978
Stone, Merlin. Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood: a treasury of Goddess and heroine lore from around the world, 1979
Stone, Merlin. When God was a Woman, 1976
Sykes, Bryan. The Seven Daughters of Eve: the science that reveals our genetic ancestry, 2001
Taylour, Lord William. The Mycenaeans, 1964
Walker, Barbara G. The I Ching of the Goddess, 1986
Warren, Peter. The Aegean Civilizations, 1975
Wilde, Lyn Webster. On the Trail of the Women Warriors: the Amazons in myth and history, 1999

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