Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gladiator Cheated

This from LiveScience via Yahoo News: Just goes to show that referees on the take is nothing new and that history is constantly being modified.

Roman Gladiator's Gravestone Describes Fatal Foul

An enigmatic message on a Roman gladiator's 1,800-year-old tombstone has finally been decoded, telling a treacherous tale.

The epitaph and art on the tombstone suggest the gladiator, named Diodorus, lost the battle (and his life) due to a referee's error, according to Michael Carter, a professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada. Carter studies gladiator contests and other spectacles in the eastern part of the Roman Empire.

He examined the stone, which was discovered a century ago in Turkey, trying to determine what the drawing and inscription meant. [Top 10 Weird Ways We Deal With the Dead]

His results will be published in the most recently released issue of the Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik(Journal for Papyrology and Ancient Epigraphics).

Tombstones talk

The tombstone was donated to the Musee du Cinquanternaire in Brussels, Belgium, shortly before World War I. It shows an image of a gladiator holding what appear to be two swords, standing above his opponent who is signalling his surrender. The inscription says that the stone marks the spot where a man named Diodorus is buried.

"After breaking my opponent Demetrius I did not kill him immediately," reads the epitaph. "Fate and the cunning treachery of the summa rudis killed me."

The summa rudis is a referee, who may have had past experience as a gladiator.

The inscription also indicates Diodorus was born in and fought in Amisus, on the south coast of the Black Sea in Turkey.

Though Carter has examined hundreds of gladiator tombstones, this "epitaph is completely different from anything else; it's telling a story," he told LiveScience.

The final fight

The story the tombstone tells took place about 1,800 years ago when the empire was at its height, its borders stretching from Hadrian's Wall in England to the Euphrates River in Syria.

Gladiator games were popular spectacles, many of them pitting two men against each other. Although deaths from wounds were common, the battles were not the no-holds-barred fights to the death depicted by Hollywood, said Carter.

"I believe that there are a number of very detailed rules involved in regulating gladiatorial combat," Carter said.

Though the exact rules are not well understood, some information can be gleaned from references in surviving texts and art.

For starters, most, if not all, of the fights were overseen by the summa rudis.

Among the rules he enforced was one in which a defeated gladiator could request submission, and if submission was approved by the munerarius (the wealthy individual paying for the show), the contestant could leave the arena without further harm.

Another rule that appears to have been in place was that a gladiator who fell by accident (without the help of his opponent) would be allowed to get back up, pick up his equipment and resume combat.

Death of Diodorus

It's this last rule that appears to have done in Diodorus. Carter interprets the picture of the gladiator holding two swords to be a moment in his final fight, when Demetrius had been knocked down and Diodorus had grabbed a hold of his sword.

"Demetrius signals surrender, Diodorus doesn't kill him; he backs off expecting that he's going to win the fight," Carter said.

The battle appears to be over. However the summa rudis — perhaps interpreting Demetrius' fall as accidental, or perhaps with some ulterior motive — thought otherwise, Carter said.

"What the summa rudis has obviously done is stepped in, stopped the fight, allowed Demetrius to get back up again, take back his shield, take back his sword, and then resume the fight."

This time Diodorus was in trouble, and either he died in the arena or Demetrius inflicted a wound that led to his death shortly thereafter.

This event would have happened before a crowd of hundreds, if not thousands, of people in a theater or in part of an athletic stadium converted into a sort of mini- Colosseum.

After Diodorus was dead, the people who created his tombstone (probably family or friends) were so upset, Carter suggests, that they decided to include some final words on the epitaph:

"Fate and the cunning treachery of the summa rudis killed me."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Suspicious Diagnosis goes E

As in Electronic. Ebook formats include Kindle compatible and sell for $5.99 USD at the publisher's web site, MLR PRESS.

You'll find an excerpt to read there, AND, the ebook has a new cover. See?

Another text excerpt and an audio mp3 from the book can be accessed from my web site here: Jardonn's Erotic Tales.com

Speaking of excerpts, here's a shortie:

I blame him. I thank him. I love him because he makes me secure. Hate him because he makes me vulnerable to my loving him so much. I shudder at the thought of losing him. Tremble with the notion of him leaving me. For upheaval. For a change of scenery. For anything, or another. I recognize fear as the price for keeping him, but I'd prefer to use plastic. A credit card, a pay-as-you-go, a lay-away plan, a time share. Time erodes doubts, but never fully eradicates. My only consolation is my suspicion that he suffers same as I do. I hope he suffers.

Plethora of Art VIII

Slot 7 results are in. Slot 8 covers are now posted for viewing and voting...

Elisa Rolle's My Reviews and Ramblings

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Love Hurts...

Or so the 1975 song of the same name claims.

Of course, by definition, it's not really the love that does the hurting, but rather one's reaction to it. As the timeless lyrics of the Nazareth song suggest though, love can leave one with more of a mess to sort through than he arrived with. In my latest release, Rite of Passage, novelist John Ashley Price deals with such adversity.

In love, he did what many of us do or have done and trusted blindly, and he ended up in the aftermath of love gone wrong. Broke, penniless, and with nothing but his name, John now suffers from anxiety so strong anytime he gets near anyone "interested," he doesn't know how to cope with the adverse reactions. Just to be around a man who shows interest sends John's body into instant fight or flight mode--a panic attack.

Many of the following physical reactions are known to be felt when one experiences a panic attack:

slow heart beat
difficulty breathing
fear of losing control or dying
sweating, chills, hot flashes
racing thoughts
stomach pain
numbness in limbs

And John get to experience them all. I put the poor man through the wringer in Rite of Passage. But he'll learn that not all love hurts before the book is through. Take a chance. Go along with him on his journey.

 Rite or Passage by Bryl R. Tyne
 Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13:  978-1-61581-926-3
Pages:  80
Cover Artist:  Dan Skinner/Cerberus Inc.


Forty-one-year-old John Ashley Price was a Western writing superstar until his accountant stole his heart—and everything else he owned. Now, unable to write and suffering from debilitating panic attacks, all he wants is to start over someplace where dropping off the radar is the norm. Someplace he won’t meet anyone. A place where writing should come easy. Hence his relocation to Divide, Colorado.

Of course, John didn’t count on Pat Smith—or Pat’s determination and raw sex appeal. Pat has his sights set on winning John’s heart as well as his trust, and he’s making serious headway… until John learns the truth. Just how does Pat know so much about him?


BELLY full, I carried in enough wood to start a good fire, ran myself an extra-large glass of water, added a few ice cubes, and headed back upstairs to write.

Well, Sheriff Chad Hardy, where were we? I got comfortable, noticing the late afternoon sun out the room's single window.

You like sunsets, Chad Hardy?

He didn't, and he cemented the fact by whipping his horse around, effectively placing his back to a horizon of reds and golds.

Not even in the end? I had to ask, I mean, most cowboys rode off into the sunset at the end of my books.

No? Not even in the end. He didn't believe in sunsets.

I couldn't blame him…

…And closed my laptop, stood, stretched, wondering how in the hell Carol had gotten this desk up here. No doubt, my “neighborly neighbor” had a part to play in it. I lifted the front left corner and carried it forward and to my right until I could sit peacefully with the setting sun at my back. Less than a minute later, I was typing away.

Words turned into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and so forth until I had two pages of what I considered “good words.” I leaned back in my chair, feeling rather smug. Fingers laced across my chest, I caught movement in the mirror opposite the room's solitary window and felt the frown that I was sure creased my forehead as I honed in on the streak of movement in the reflection….

I was on my feet, before I could think to move, and looking out my window.


Tracking the only movement I could see through the trees, I watched the wood split—the axe stick—he lifted the entire getup, block of wood and all, and swung it over his shoulder, then back to the stump. Three even pieces toppled to the ground in different directions.

Shirtless, the man kept a rhythm. Judging from the force and repetition of his swings, if I was closer, I was certain I would've noticed the sheen of sweat coating his skin. Through a hundred-plus yards of thinly populated trees, I spied, mesmerized.

Corded muscles drawn taut. The swing. The snap. The release. The quiver….

Okay, okay. I could see his ripped form in my mind's eye only, but I was no less content to lean on that sill and watch my neighbor from a distance. His intention was clear—at least, to me—grab the new guy's attention and keep it. I mean, who in his right mind chopped wood wearing only jeans and a cowboy hat in fifty-degree weather?


I broke my concentration to glance over my shoulder at my laptop, but in the next heartbeat, I was back at that window with my mind fathoms beneath any gutter.

“Well, Sheriff Hardy, looks like you've met your match.”

Sweat beaded at my temples, accumulated across the back of my neck. I adjusted the shrinking fly of my jeans, ran my tongue over dry lips; but sandpaper never moistened anything. With only one thought in mind, I leaned harder on the sill—definitely been awhile since any man’s held my interest.

Sadly, the last one I could recall by name was Mark. The excitement left my lungs in a single, solitary sigh; I even gained a bit of slack in the crotch of my jeans at the thought.

How deflating.

The more I dwelled, the tighter my chest got, and I turned away from the window. Wasn't bad, per se, that I thought of the man, but he'd affected my actions… and my reactions. Bastard had no right.

I pulled myself together, reminded myself the fewer complications the better. “Looks like you win, after all, Chad Hardy.” Time to concentrate on the one man in my life who hadn't given me a shovel full of shit.

I retook my chair, placed my fingers on the keyboard, and waited. Within seconds, I was once again typing away. Seemed all my character needed was some competition to spur him into action.

Like most of my attempts to write lately, though, this one proved a lost cause, also. I hadn't gotten a full page down when my mind drifted back to the scene outside my window. By the shadows cast on the far wall, the sun had all but disappeared, and the wood chopping had ceased a good while ago. I closed my laptop and hung my head, debating—Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s—which one was the quickest route out of misery?

Purchase Link

Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, STARbooks Press, Untreed Reads Publishing, Changeling Press, and Amber Quill Press. Check out Bryl's bi-monthly column: My Way   Find out more about the author at: bryltyne.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Danube Divide is Free

This week's free e-book read at MLR Press is Danube Divide, my homoRoman historical set in the Eastern Empire of 378 CE.

There's an epic battle between Goths and Romans, a mass migration of refugees crossing the Danube, a pretend crucifixion for purpose of mansex, a real crucif... WTH is wrong with me? IT'S FREE! No need to pester you with my sales pitch.

Get Danube Divide now until Sunday June 5th at the MLR PRESS SITE.

Look at top of MLR's page for a small picture of this big picture:

Right click on the little picture, save the file to your hard drive and it's yours forever.