Monday, June 13, 2011

History from a Pagan Perspective

This new book looks fascinating and I'm going to add it to my (already too long) reading list.
The newly released novel "Buried: The Discernment of Pagans in Ancient Rome" (ISBN 1456471651) opens with a hostile confrontation between [P]agans and Christians. Though the Christian viewpoint may be familiar, says author Frank Troy, the reader is then swiftly transported into the unfamiliar, dangerous and strangely beautiful world of pre-Christian Rome as it is seen and understood by the [P]agan narrator. Troy, a retired literature professor, has spent a lifetime studying the literature and philosophy of European civilizations prior to the arrival of Christian ideas and concepts.

The novel's principal narrator is a 27-year-old Roman aristocrat named Aeneas. Educated in Aristotle's Lyceum in Athens, a lover of boxing and philosophy, his narrative aims to help readers understand the how and why of paganism's magnificent achievements in a range of areas including philosophy, politics, art and science.

While fulfilling his military obligation in Alexandria in 387 A.D., Aeneas falls hopelessly in love with the beautiful female scholar Hypatia. After he is discharged from service the lovers travel by way of Athens and Delphi to Rome to meet Aeneas' sister, Honoria. Unexpected family obligations require Aeneas and Hypatia to separate, but they vow to reunite. Hypatia returns to Alexandria and Aeneas and Honoria travel north to join their father, the governor of Upper Germania. As the summer passes, Honoria falls deeply in love, only to lose her lover in a war between opposing generals. Their father too becomes a victim of the war, and the siblings flee to the safety of a family farm near Carthage and plan their reunion with Hypatia. Their future, however, becomes more complicated than they ever imagined.

Troy seeks to offer readers a tale that is rich with historical details and numerous surprising plot turns, along with the narrative that interprets events in light of [P]aganism's core beliefs about the underlying nature of reality and the purpose and meaning of life. Modern readers, Troy contends, will encounter an unfamiliar world view that is initially puzzling, yet as the novel unfolds, [P]agan core beliefs gradually become clearer. Troy aims to provide insight to readers so they can begin to see that even though ancient and modern core beliefs are fundamentally different, the practical problems faced by Rome were an amazingly accurate reflection of ours today.

What's up with this recent resurgence of interest in Hypatia?

Also, Dear Mr. Troy, Since it's pretty clear that you wrote your press release, if you want to sell to Pagans, perhaps you should capitalize our religion, just as you capitalize "Christian." OK?

It's available at Amazon; I can't find it at any of the independent bookseller sites I normally recommend.

Anybody read it yet?

Picture found here.


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