Jun 18, 2009
Take me back
Having read quite a few historical novels, I have narrowed it down to two historical time periods in which I would like to have lived. Ancient Egypt and Rome during the days of Caesar.
I toyed with the idea of living during the time of cro-magnons, back when we first became humans, but realized that I really just wanted to observe them, not live like one of them. I know I couldn't handle their diet or the never bathing thing. I'm assuming they didn't bathe regularly.
I really just want answers to all sorts of questions. Did we mingle with the Neanderthals? How exactly did we domesticate dogs? Were they monogamous? If not, was it just the men who could have multiple partners or women too? I would love to have seen one of them creating the cave paintings. Was the painter revered among his/her people for being able to create such wondrous images? Did they dance and have music? Were they naturally wary of others outside their group?
Having eliminated becoming a full fledged cave girl from contention, I am left with Rome and Egypt as times that I would transport back to. There are a number of reasons....
Treatment of women - Comparatively speaking, women were allowed more self expression and freedom than in other historical time periods. Egypt was better then Rome but in both cultures women were educated, could be landowners and were able to voice their opinions freely and openly. In Egypt they enjoyed the same rights as men and often held office, example - Queen Nefertiti who became Pharaoh of Egypt (disputed by some..... bah...... probably men).
Political intrigue - Very sophisticated societies with regular upheavals that kept everybody on their toes. I'm sure it was very interesting, so long as you could be on the sidelines and not in the thick of things. Certainly wouldn't want to be an Egyptian heir, very risky.
Cleanliness & hygiene - both cultures valued personal hygiene very highly. Romans had indoor plumbing. Both cultures washed and bathed regularly. Oh and the men shaved in both cultures. Got nothing against a little facial hair but some eras had more than their fair share of scruffiness.
Good food and good parties - Nobody could put on a party like the Romans and Egyptians. Delicious food, good wine and wonderful entertainment. Both were polytheistic. Lots of gods means lots of festivals. I'm sure the festivals for Bacchus and Asar were especially raucous.
Beautiful gowns and jewelry - enough said.
Until someone invents a time travel machine I will have to be content to read about these cultures. Or maybe they will build a resort like in "West World" the 1973 Yul Brynner movie, only without the psycho cowboy killing everybody.