MARK OF THE THIEF arc giveaway

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in contest, Mark of the Thief | 197 comments

Here it is, the promised giveaway! I’m offering the chance to win one of 8 arcs (short for Advanced Review Copy) for MARK OF THE THIEF, and some secondary prizes (book giveaways from The Ascendance Trilogy).

MARK OF THE THIEF tells the story of Nicolas Calva, a mining slave in Ancient Rome. One dayMarkOfTheThief1 he is forced by a Roman general named Radulf to enter a sealed cave believed to contain the lost treasure of Emperor Julius Caesar, seeking Caesar’s childhood bulla. All Roman boys have bullas, amulets worn around the neck to bring them good luck. But Caesar’s bulla contains the magic of the gods. Nic finds the bulla, and the griffin who guards it, and when he steals the bulla for himself, suddenly he is thrust at the center of a war to control the fall of the Roman Empire. Nic holds a magic he does not understand and cannot control. As long as he has it, he is a target. But as the weight of Rome comes upon him, he begins to realize that he cannot survive without it.

If that sounds like something you want to read (or sell on eBay), here’s how to enter:

  1. Talk about the book on whatever social media you use (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). If you can tag me into the post (“Jennifer A. Nielsen, author” on Facebook, @Nielsenwriter on the others), then that’s great. Otherwise, let me know where you posted it here in comments. Every posting is a separate entry.
  2. In your post, let your friends know there’s a free download of the first chapter from Amazon  or Barnes and Noble.
  3. You can also leave a comment below telling me why you want this book for yourself, your classroom, school, book club, or for a gift for someone.
  4. You can enter by following my author page on Facebook or following me on Twitter. Both count as separate entries and I’ll see it online so you don’t need to tell me. If you already follow me, let me know below in comments and that will count as your entry.
  5. BONUS 5 ENTRIES! I’ve been super studying ancient Rome now for months. If you can post in the comments a fact that I don’t already know about Ancient Rome, you get 5 extra entries. I will only respond if you did it. Otherwise, keep looking!

 

Obligatory rules section.

  1. This is an international giveaway. Except to the Antarctic. Penguins, don’t bother entering. It won’t work, not again.
  2. The contest begins when it posts live and ends at midnight EST on Dec 14, 2014. After that, you can still do all the stuff above. I’ll like it, but it won’t help you win a book.
  3. I’m not responsible for lost entries. Sheesh, I’m barely responsible at all.
  4. If you are a winner, I will do everything possible to get the book safely in your hands, but things sometimes happen. Terrible post office disasters nobody likes to think about. I’m not responsible for those things either.
  5. I will post the winners here on the blog, on Twitter, and my author FB page at the end of the contest with instructions on how to get me your mailing address. That’s as far as I will go to hunt you down (because seriously, you don’t want me cyberstalking you).
  6. I have no idea whatsoever what your odds are of winning. Seriously, how could I possibly know that? Consider your odds one in six gazillion, so that if you win, you’re going to feel extra lucky.

 

Mark-of-the-Thief_Master_Scene_03c(Art Credit: Cameron Gardner)

Enticing Book Excerpt

“I was beginning to think I wasn’t actually alone. Somewhere in the blackness, something was awake. Its breath came in even and deliberate strokes. Whatever it was, it knew that I was here too.

The bones I had stumbled over weren’t from people who had died in here. They had all been killed.”

 

Wanna enter now? Go for it, and good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

197 Comments

  1. Ms. Jen,
    Thank you again for this giveaway. Very very interesting book that you are giving free to us. I just want to win this book because I super want to have this book and to complete my collection of your books. <3 I will surely post in facebook and my twitter to promote this book. Thank you. God bless you!

  2. I would like to win an ARC because I believe that I teach a fourth grade girl that may be your ultimate fan and she has marked on her calendar when the book will be out, I believe she told me Feb. 24th. If I could get this book in her hands early, I would make her day! Or year!

  3. My middle school students are reading your Ascendance trilogy and loving these books! I know they would be excited if I had an ARC of Mark of the Thief! I plan to use it as a library promo. The contest would be a drawing where students could enter to win a chance to be the first to check out Jennifer A. Nielsen’s newest book!

  4. I’m going for the bonus 5 points with a fact (or maybe three since you probably know them):
    1) When the ancient Romans made their curse tablets (defixiones), to add a sense of mystique, they would write everything on it backwards and throw in random words that had no meaning, sort of like how abracadabra is used.

    2) When the Romans were establishing their rule over the Celts, they exhibited some arrogance in believing their own culture was solely significant. This led them to construct the Fosse Way, one of their major roads, right through lands dedicated to the goddess Sulis, one of the Celts most worshiped deities. After having pacified an area of land, the army would move on, leaving a colonia, a town with farm allotments for its veterans, in their wake

    3) The Roman emperor would create a “client king” that would rule on his behalf to keep the peace and collect the taxes in their provinces in Britain. Emperor Claudius did this, appointing Cogidubnus, who was King of the tribe Regnenses, a client king.

    I learned these facts from my Latin textbook, so it’s pretty trustworthy 😀
    I hope that was alright that I did more than one. Either way, thanks for the chance!

    • Excellent, Natalie! I didn’t know #1 or #2, so you’re in for ten bonus entries!

  5. Ms Nielsen my fifth graders are beyond excited for your new book! We loved The False Prince series and have followed u on Twitter and FB since falling In love with Jaron!!!

  6. I would absolutely LOVE to win an arc copy of MARK OF THE THIEF! All the students at the school library I work in will think I’m totally awesome! (And that’s really hard to accomplish with middle schoolers!) I recommend THE FALSE PRINCE to them everyday. Thanks for doing the giveaway

  7. Hello! I am so excited that you are writing another series! The Ascendance Trilogy is my favorite book series. I have recommended it to all of my friends, and have my best friend hooked! The reason I want this book is that I’m a big reader, and its hard to find new material that’s funny, interesting, and clean. Your books are all that and more. By the way, I already follow you on Facebook. Thanks!

  8. I fell in love with your books from the end of the first chapter of False Prince. The ascendance trilogy created a group of life long readers in my classroom last year, and I can’t wait to share your next book with a new group!

    • And I follow you on FB and Twitter 🙂

  9. Your excerpt is great online! My students were disappointed to learn of its release date. MUST READ NOW. I’m teaching them virtue of patience. However, an ARC would be thrilling!

  10. I already follow both your False Prince page and your Author page on Facebook and I share your updates frequently with other teachers and parents.
    My JH special needs class Lived in Carthya last year. The Ascendance Trilogy was such an integral part of our school year that it has become part of our classroom culture. One of my most reluctant readers is one of your biggest fans.He already identifies with your main character. I want to share this book with him.

  11. Hi! I’ve been a huge fan of your books ever since I picked up the Ascendance Trilogy. I would love to win an arc of Mark of the Theif because I love your writing and the complex and strong characters you write. I already follow you on Twitter, and since I’m a theatre need I’ll give a fact about Roman theatre. Pantomime originated in Ancient Rome and back then it didn’t involve words, but did involve noises from the actor when necessary.

  12. I would love to have this book for my daughter. I brought home the first book “The False Prince” from the library for her to try. She finished it in almost one sitting and came to me saying “You HAVE to read this book so I have someone to talk to about it!” She has hooked some of her friends on this series because of how enthusiastic she is when talking about the books. Giving her an ARC would make her day.

  13. I think a good book is one that will still be magical, no matter how many times you read it. You have certainly done that with the ascendance trilogy and I am sure that the mark of the the if will be just as spectacular! Thank you so much for all of your work!

  14. hi! I just want to win because I’ve loved The False Prince and because I’ve never won an ARC before!

  15. shared on FB…can’t wait for the new book and an autographed copy would make a great gift for my son’s birthday!

  16. I want to read this because I loved your Ascendence Trilogy and I think Ancient Rome is really interesting!

  17. Ms. Nielson, I would love to win the ARC of Mark of the Thief because I can tell just from reading the synopsis that I will absolutely fall in love with the characters and the story. I’m so excited to get my hands on a copy, so winning the ARC would be amazing!
    Also, here is a fact you might not know about Ancient Rome:
    When visiting the temple of Aesculapius, the god of healing, Romans would leave offerings shaped like the part of their body that needed healing!
    Thank you!

    • I did not know that, Kaitlyn – you’re in for five bonus entries. Congrats!

  18. I already follow you on Facebook and have downloaded and read chapter one. Cant wait for more!

  19. My past three classes have loved The Ascendance series. We already have kids on a waiting list for Mark of The Theif after reading the first chapter. I’ve pre ordered Mark of The Thief, just hoping for an arc. I follow you on twitter and in you two Facebook sites.

    • OH!!! and I follow you on Facebook and Twitter!

  20. Mrs. Nielsen,

    Wow! Sounds like an exciting giveaway! I will do all that I can to enter it. I would love having this book for a multitude of reasons, but because I know you are busy lady ( 😉 ) I will only tell you two. Firstly, I adore history. I read anything, fiction or nonfiction, about history that I can get my hands on. This sounds like a great way to learn about Ancient Rome! Also, you inspire me to be a better writer. Reading The Ascendance Trilogy and about Sage helped me to further develop some of my characters. Additionally, I love your books and I love reading! (Okay, maybe that’s three reasons).

    I also already follow you on Facebook. 🙂

  21. Thank you for having another giveaway! I have been a fan of yours since 6th grade when I read The False Prince. I was thrilled to see this book because I studied a little of Ancient Rome last year, which allows me to make more connections to the book. I’m excited to read this book and to suggest it to my school library, my friends, and my classmates! I also want the book because I want to grow a collection of my own books from authors that I like. I also want to say thank you for letting fans send books to have them signed over the holidays, I can’t wait to get my books signed by you! I don’t think I know anything about Ancient Rome that you might not know, but I will try to find something and look through my notes from last year XD. Thank you for being an author that writes fantastic books and interact with your fans!

  22. I am so unbelievably excited for this book. I love your wroting style and characters. You put twists in books that make sense, but are still fairly surprising. After I read The False Prince for the second time, I was actually amazed at how Jaron claims to have never told a lie, and it’s true. You have mastered the manipulation of our language. I hope I can love Nic as much as Jaron because Jaron is now one of my favorite characters. I also love mythology so I am really happy you’re bringing that in too.
    I also follow you on facebook and instagram

    • Forgot to mention, but I also follow you on twitter

  23. Ancient Romans, although not responsible for the invention of glass, made the use of glass more common and were the first to use glass in architecture. The first glass windows came from ancient Rome. Another invention was the lighthouse, still common today!

  24. I would love to have a copy for my classroom.Your books motivate my students. Well, your visits do too. lol

  25. Okay, here’s a rare fact: Did you know that Romulus actually cheated in achieving the honor to name Rome? He lied in saying that he saw the correct amount omen ravens in the sky from a hill. Remus should have been the actual founder of Rome, but was killed by his Romulus, himself. I have been a fan of your books since I read an excerpt of the False Prince. I would be honored if I could win the opportunity to win an ARC. Thank you. P.S. I already follow you on Facebook, so yea! 🙂

  26. I’d love to have a copy of your book to add to my classroom library. Thanks.

  27. My Grade 8 classes for the last three years have loved reading about Sage, and I’m so excited to share your new protagonist with them!

  28. Okay, so I posted this on Facebook and tagged you, mentioned the free download of the first chapter, I Liked you on Facebook as well, and now am leaving you a comment about how I’d like to win a book for myself since I’ve always wanted to read one by an author who I used to share a name with, but I don’t know much about ancient Rome except what I learned in high school so doubt there would be anything new to share with you! Thanks! =)

  29. Here are a couple of fact that I found about ancient Rome:

    1) Gladiator blood was recommended by Roman physicians to aid various ailments, including epilepsy and infertility. 2) Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ. 3) Urine (because of the ammonia it contains) was used to clean clothes. The urine was collected by fullones (the Ancient Roman version of dry cleaners) from around the city. 4) Hair dying was popular among women, with red and blonde being the most popular colors. Dye colors were achieved through different ingredients, like goat fat, beech wood ashes, henna, saffron, and bleach.

    I’m not sure how true these are but I thought they were interesting.

    Patience Mitchell

    • Okay Patience, I knew all of them but #2 – that’s good enough for your five bonus entries!

  30. My book club girls are so excited for this book. We read the Ascendance Trilogy together and everyone enjoyed it. We loved that the False Prince was an EB White read-aloud honor book because when we recommend the book to people we always say you should read this one aloud. I follow on Facebook and Twitter.

  31. I want to win because I absolutely LOVED The False Prince, books one and two (I have yet to read the third one because I am forced to wait on my library to get it, but they have yet to do so). I in particularly love Sage/Jaren, he is so different than any of the other stories I have read with main characters around his age or younger. I am super excited to read your upcoming book because of how much I enjoyed these.

    Facts about Rome:
    1)They used lead a sweetener.
    2)Emperor Caligula often appeared in public dressed in women’s clothing.
    3)People would socialize at communal toilets. Rome had over 140 public toilets.
    4)Some of the delicacies at a Roman feast included raw sea urchin’s, pig’s udder, peacock brains and flamingo tongues.
    5)When a Roman died their family mourned by wearing dull wool clothing.The would not bathe, comb their hair, cut their figernails, or change their clothes for a set period of time.
    The periods of mourning were:
    One month – for the children under six
    Eight months – for a close relatives
    Ten months – for a husband
    One year – for parents and children over six

    • It’s Mina not Mins…

    • Okay, Mina, I knew #1 was true for makeup, but not a sweetener. That’s 5 bonus entries for you! And Caligula was a total nutcase, right?

      • That he was.

  32. 1. At over a million people, Rome was the most highly populated city in the history of Europe until the 19th Century when it was overtaken by London
    2. It was actually treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress in all purple
    3. About 5000 animals were killed the day the Colosseum waa opened
    4. The word sinster originates from the Latin word for Left, or left handed
    5. The word palace originates from the palatine hill. In mythology the Palatine hill is where the wolf Lupa found Romulus and Remus

  33. 1) The area of Rome was ruled by the Etruscans just before

    2) gladiator blood was a popular medicine cause it was believed to cure

    3) Prostitution was 100% legal. There were government owned brothels

    4) They wore phalluses as good luck charms

  34. I’d like to win a copy for me and my family–all four of us loved the Ascendance Trilogy, and it would be very exciting to get a copy of this new book in the mail, even though we’d probably squabble about who gets to be the first to read it. x) Thanks for the awesome giveaway opportunity!

    P.S. I already follow you on Facebook (Sissy Gifford) and Twitter (@SiscoTetroski).

  35. I love books like this and even though my daughter is only 4 i’ve already started a book collection for her. Also I already follow on Facebook and twitter.

  36. I want this book so so badly since I need my Jennifer Nielsen fix after finishing The Ascendance Trilogy. Also, I need more protagonists who aren’t afraid of toying with my mind and who can charmingly get away with it!

    I already follow you on Facebook and Twitter. 🙂

    *keeps fingers crossed*

  37. I follow you on Facebook!

  38. I would love to win this book because I read like a ravenous wolf and never get enough. I absolutely loved your last series and am dying for something else to read!! Good books just don’t come often enough.

  39. Here’s something about Ancient Rome- left-handed people were considered unlucky. I found this interesting because I happen to be left-handed myself, and apparently whatever they believed about us left-handed folk wasn’t true. 🙂

  40. Aaah seriously can’t wait for this book, if the main character is Anything like any of the boys from the Ascending Trilogy! I loved them all!
    I follow you on Twitter and facebook and tweeted here: https://twitter.com/ByEllieM/status/539235952531898368
    Thanks so much for the giveaway! *fingers crossed*

  41. Romans were affectionate toward their pets, especially their cats and dogs. Some Roman dogs even wore identity tags in case they got lost.

  42. I would love a copy of your new book. After reading aloud The Ascendance Trilogy to all 6 of my middle school general reading class, I have 150 students asking me when your new title is out and when we can start reading. I follow on Facebook as well. Thanks for being such a great author.

  43. I am so excited for your new book! I loved all of the books in the Ascendance Trilogy– they are amazing. I’d really like a copy of Mark of the Thief because I have been waiting forever for The False Prince movie and I need something to read! Also, you are definitely one of my favorite authors. 🙂 I made a trailer for The False Prince a while ago and I think you’ll like it. This is the link: http://youtu.be/DsQIPxpxeCM

    Here are some interesting facts about Ancient Rome:
    1. Ancient Romans considered left-handed people unlucky. In fact, the English word ‘sinister’ comes from ‘sinistra’, the Latin word for left. Ironically, left-handed gladiators were seen as special bonuses because they had different fighting styles and made combat more interesting.
    2. Romans who were rich enough used toothpaste. Nitrum was burned and rubbed on teeth to restore color.
    3. Some female slaves were trained to fight as gladiators.
    4. The emperor Gaius (aka ‘Caligula’) planned to make his horse Incitatus a consul. Caligula actually succeeded in making Incitatus a priest and a senator.
    (This is a really long comment)

    • Rachel, I didn’t know #2 or #4 – ten bonus entries for you! Congrats! Caligula was seriously insane. Like, full on crazy.

  44. Here are some couple of facts I don’t know whether some of it were true. But I just remembered it from my History teacher back then from High school.
    1.) Romans copied the gods and goddesses of (Greeks) when they invaded it.
    2.) Ancient Romans used their pees in washing their laundries because pees contains ammonia that is a good bleaching agent.
    3.) Wealthy Romans would have lavish banquets that lasted for hours and in order to continue eating (whether they were full) they would induce vomiting.

    I will start posting about the giveaway later and btw Miss Jen nice art over your blog post. 🙂

  45. I read The Ascendance Trilogy and absolutely loved it! I have shown a couple of my friends the books, and I found one of them in our dorm room in San Fransisco, finishing it while the rest of our group played fusbol and pool downstairs! I would be truly honored to have a copy of Mark of the Thief! You are one of the best authors I have ever encountered (and that’s saying a lot!) and I would treasure a copy of your book. As it just so happens, I am currently studying ancient Rome in my history class! We’re reading Julius Caesar, and I play Brutus in our Mock Trial.
    Here’s a couple things I know:

    1) Caesar’s name, though pronounced See-zahr in America today, was actually pronounced Kai-zehr. In ancient Rome, they had no soft C’s. Likewise with Cicero. It was pronounced Kih-keh-roh. (I learned that one from my friend, who speaks latin.)

    2) The Roman Army eye test was passed if the tester could see the star Alcor, a little to the side of Mizar, part of Ursa Major, the big dipper.

    3) In Ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to have been born with a crooked nose.

    4) Romans invented shopping malls.

    5) Romans believed that walnuts could cure headaches, due to the fact that the walnut is shaped like the brain.

    6) Wealthy Romans had all body hair plucked.

    7) A Roman theory for a stomachache cure was to wash your feet, then drink the water they were washed in.

    8) In Ancient Rome, left-handed people were not trusted. The word ‘sinister’ in fact, is derived from the Latin term for ‘left’. However, for a gladiator to be left-handed, they were considered special bonuses because the fights they participated in were more interesting.

    9) 99% of Romans lived in apartment buildings. 1% of them lived in seperate houses.

    10) I learned this one in London: The healing power of Roman baths were discovered by a single man and some pigs. The man had a terrible disease, and was sent out of his village so as not to plague the town. A couple of pigs were sent to accompany him. A little while after being sent away, he discovered that the pigs, too, were sick. While out in the forest, he discovered a muddy spring, and decided to let them play around in it. When they came out, they were cured of their disease. The man them got into the spring, and after a little while, he too had recovered. He returned to his village and told them all about the spring, and thus, the Roman Baths were built with the same type of spring.

    Hope some of this was a surprise to you, Jennifer! Thanks for being such a wonderful storyteller!

    • Excellent job, Emily. You got me on #’s 1, 2, and 5. That’s 15 bonus entries for you! (I actually make a joke about #6 in book 1.)

      • Wow! Those are actually the ones I least expected to get entries on. My friend just told me to add this one:
        The second triumvirate proscribed a large amount of upper class citizens for government revenue.

  46. Why would I like to win an arc?
    Well, ever since I read the Ascendance trilogy I was in love with your writing, I’m so thankful to have discovered that series because it was an amazing adventure and I may not be a kid but when a story captures you like yours did with me, it’s impossible not to appreciate the words and the story you created. So I’m looking forward to read another one of your books, because I can assure you I’m a huge fan of yours!!

    I do follow you both on fb and twitter 🙂

    And let’s see… facts about Ancient Rome:

    – did you know the “Andabatae”? they were gladiators who were obliged to fight blindfolded.
    – also gladiator’s blood was used as medicine and Romans surgeons were trained to block out the sound of people screaming… creepy, right?

    • I hadn’t heard of the Andabatae, Gaby – very cool and worth 5 bonus points!

  47. I LOVED the Ascendance trilogy!!! I would love to win this book to add to my Jennifer Nielsen collection 🙂 Would be even better autographed!!! I am so looking forward to reading this and congratulate you on all your awesome endeavors!!

  48. I already posted about your latest installment + the giveaway in my facebook account Miss Jen and already followed you in twitter and again facebook.

    I read some of the facts given by other people here in your blog and some of it were really amazing (especially the pronunciation of Caesar- that was cool), some were “is that really true?” (especially they use lead as sweeteners,wealthy Romans had all body hair plucked- I think that really hurts) and etc. I think I will be encountering more of the Roman facts in your new book (it makes me more excited and intrigued about your new installment) I hope it will be another great hit when it comes out just like the ascendance trilogy.

  49. Greetings from Germany.
    Susanna Jenniferae salutem dicit:

    I really would like an ARC of this book for my students.
    As a private tutor for Latin and lately more and more English I’m always looking for books to recommend – trying to make them read.
    “The False Prince” is already on my list and at the moment we read this book in my classes,

    This book would really meet my goal – in English and with Roman background.
    Facts:
    – Romans were likely the worst seamen in the acient world.
    – There were no galley-slaves – this was a invention in the 15. century.
    – Romans had a taboo of numbers – if the number of somethig was known there was a chance to curse a person.

    With hope in my heart…Vale.

    • I didn’t know Romans were the worst seamen of the ancient world – that surprises me, actually, but definitely earns you 5 bonus entries. Congrats!

  50. YAY 😀 Thank you so so much for this amazing giveaway. <3 I would love to win because I think your new book sounds amazing 😀 I also tweeted about it here: https://twitter.com/CarinaOlsen/status/539368945552482304 And I like you on Facebook as Carina Olsen. <3 Is that 2 entries? 🙂 Anyway. Crossing my fingers. <3

  51. I’d love to win a copy of The Mark of The Thief because you are an amazing writer and any book by you is going to be good :). Besides, I love fictional mythology books, especially Greek or Roman. Also, I recommended the Ascendance Trilogy to all of my friends and family (who are looking forward to this book almost as much as me) so if I won this book, I would lend it to all of them. If I don’t win this book, I’ll preorder it (which I haven’t done already only because I heard this was happening and was hopeful), but really, what’s better than having your (most likely) second favorite series (after the Ascendance Trilogy) before it comes out? Sorry this post is so long, and just getting longer because I also have some facts about Ancient Rome:
    1. The Romans had gods for doors (Forculus), hinges (Cardea), and thresholds (Limentinus).
    2. It was treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.
    3. Romans appreciated paintings. Wealthier Romans had most walls covered with paintings. Part of the reason why Romans would have their interior walls painted is that this made rooms seem larger. A room with no windows would likely have a spacious garden scene or an expanded outdoor scene painted on the wall.
    4. Romans generally were affectionate toward their pets, especially their cats and dogs. Some Roman dogs even wore identity tags in case they got lost.
    5. If you were invited to a dinner party in Ancient Rome, you would be shown to a room lined with couches, not tables and chairs. They used to prop themselves on their left arm and use their right to bring their food to their mouth.
    6. Ancient Romans believed that seeing an owl was a bad omen, sniffing cyclamen flowers would prevent baldness, and ringing bells eased the pain of childbirth. The presence of bees, which were considered sacred messengers of the gods, were seen as a sign of good luck.
    7. The Capuchin Crypt in Rome consists of five chapels and a corridor 60 meters long—and it is decorated with the bones of 4,000 deceased monks. The coffee drink Cappuccino takes its name from this order of monks who were known by their custom of wearing a hood or cappucio with their habits
    8. Rome’s population of more than a million was not matched by any other European city until London finally over took it in the nineteenth century.
    9. The first-ever shopping mall was built by the Emperor Trajan in Rome. It consisted of several levels and more than 150 outlets that sold everything ranging from food and spices to clothes.

  52. Mrs. Nielsen –

    I’m so excited for the Mark of the Thief ARC giveaway. The reason I would like to win a book is to: READ it, of course. The second reason is to read it aloud to my younger sister who has never read any of your books, but I KNOW she’ll like this is because of Roman history, and the third reason is because I want to add it to my library, which is very small.
    All of these reasons are why I want to get the Mark of the Thief ARC giveaway, but the first reason is the most important. I have patience, but not a lot when it comes to books.
    -Loreley

  53. I would like this this book because I LOVE Roman history!
    I bet it is really interesting.
    Natalie

  54. Mrs. Nielsen –

    Did you know that households in Rome were often called pater families if the father was the head? If the father’s father wasn’t dead, the father wasn’t didn’t have the title pater. The head of the household was like boss – he could order anyone in his family around.
    I learned that from a book I read a while ago. It was so super interesting.

  55. 1. Emperor Marcus Aeimilus Aimilanus became the emperor in June or August. He was killed by his own troops in October and ruled for only 88 days.
    2. St Helena is Constantine’s mother. She is claimed to have found the cross that Jesus was crucified on
    2. St Helena is also said to be responsible for the amount of cats in Cyprus, importing hundreds of them to get rid of snakes
    3. Pliny the elder (Roman Historian) taught that the moistness of the brain cause it to change based on the position of the moon. This is where the word Lunatic (lune=moon) came from.

    • Okay, Terri – you got me on #’s 2 and 3. You’re in for ten bonus entries!

  56. Awesome! I’ve been waiting for this giveaway. 😀 Let’s see how I can enter:

    1. I tweeted here.
    2. I couldn’t really fit that in the tweet. Should I tweet again?
    3. I want it for me! Because I love the Ascendance Trilogy and my brother loves your MG series (can’t remember the name off the top of my head – I liked it too), and because I love books set in Ancient Rome.
    4. I already follow – I’m @dpeter4389
    BONUS 5 ENTRIES! Ick, I know there’s no way I can come up with anything you don’t already know. I haven’t taken ancient history in like five years! I know lots of random European History facts, though. 🙂

  57. Mrs. Nielsen,

    Not too long ago, you and I were at the same conference. We had the chance to talk while standing on the stairs. Here is a message from my 4th grade students.

    Your heart pounding series make our brains grow larger! On the first page of The False Prince, we were hooked! Your details and characters captivated us into your book. Every time our teacher stopped reading, we all begged for just one more chapter. We enjoyed your imagination as you created an orphan from a prince.
    If you send our class an arc of Mark of the Thief, you will not only allow one person to read the book, but 29 people! Just think, that is 29 people who can tell everyone how AMAZING the book is! (Free advertising!) We look forward to reading your book in the near future!

    Miss BreAnn Wayman’s Fourth Grade Class

    p.s. Whether or not we win the arc copy, we will continue to enjoy your books. Thank you!

  58. I Tweeted a post (@artfulscribbler) This is one of the books I’m most excited for next year, I loved your False Prince series (Sage is actually one of my favorite fictional characters ever!) and this being in a Roman setting makes it even better. I love books set in Ancient Rome/Celtic Britain. I wrote a Roman novel myself a couple years back so it’s always exciting to see people come up with more! It’s definitely a fun time period to research.

  59. I have a problem with reading. When most people say that it’s because they don’t lke to read or read to slow, but I read too fast. I LOVE reading! I read almost every spare chance I have! I devour books in less than and hour or two. I’ve read the whole Harry Potter Series in a day. I absolutely adored the False Prince. I loved the ending and reread it 100’s of times. I can’t wait to see what other miracles come out of your imagination! You made me cry during the last book (a first!) and cheer at Jared’s wit and bravery. I cannot wait for this book to come out! You combine Mythology (my favorite) with witty and interesting characters (also my favorite). I will be posting about this book on my instagram account, tweeter_head. I normally have it private but I guess I’ll unlock it until the end of this giveaway. I’ve written this out two times before and pressed send without entering my e-mail, deleting all of my work… 😛 But I’ll get it this time. Thank You so much!!!!!

    1. The Roman Emperor Gaius (nicknamed Caligula after a type of military boot) tried to make his horse a consul, which was the most important job in the government.
    2. Gaius also declared war on Neptune and had his army attack the sea with swords. He was murdered at 29, I wonder why… 😉
    3. Women wore jewlery dipped in Gladiator sweat and blood, for luck… I guess it’s kind of like extreme ancient fangirling. 😀
    4. They absolutely hated anything to do with left. Very superstitious. The word left was sinister, a hint as well to their opinion of it.
    5. The only women who would wear togas were prostitutes.
    6. There was a tax on urine… it was used in laundry, medicine and soap. Ewwww…
    7.Early romans thought that Christians were cannibals. They heard of the sacrament and got the wrong idea.
    8. Togas were actually very heavy and could be as long as 18 feet!

    • Okay Savannah – you got me on #2, that’s so funny/weird. 5 bonus entries for you!

  60. Here are some Roman facts for the bonus entries-

    1. Emperor Claudius had a third wife who was a nyphomaniac. She once competed with a prostitute to see who could have the most sexual partners is a night…

    2.Left handed people were ‘unlucky’ in Rome

    3. People would socialize at communal toilets

    4. Romans had very large banquets that would last for hours, and to continue eating, they would vomit. (sort of like Catching Fire, maybe that’s where Suzanne Collins got her idea)

    5. Urine was used to clean clothes

    6. Between A.D. 200 and 280 the price of a bale of wheat rose from 16 to a 120,000 drachmas

    I know I put a lot of facts, but i REALLY want to win a copy, so I guess it’s appropriate.

  61. I would like to win a copy of The Mark Of The Thief for myself, but I will give a copy to my school library if they do not already have one. This is just a normal submission. No roman facts here…

  62. Dear Mrs. Nielsen,
    I absolutely LOVE the Ascendance Trilogy. The way you write your characters, it seems so real. The way you portrayed Jaron, his feelings and all, it was like he was a real person. All of his thoughts were what a real person would think, and his pain was written in such a way that it seemed like I could feel it. I will never stop loving your books and writing.I can’t wait for The Mark of the Thief to come out and hope that I win a book! Below, here are some facts about Rome that you may not know:

    1. The Roman Army would bandage wounds with cobwebs, honey and vinegar.
    2. Emperor Caligula appointed his horse a priest
    3. Caligula also dressed himself in women’s clothing and told his guards to use call-signs that sometimes meant “Kiss me quick”
    4. The Romans recorded some of the first sightings of UFO’s ( if they really saw them) and wrote down that they saw ” fleets of gleaming ships floating in the sky)
    5. In 400 A.D, gladiatorial combat was outlawed, so citizens started drinking the blood of executed criminals for their cure of epilepsy.
    6. A popular dish for wealthy Romans was stuffed flamingo
    7. After a death of an emperor, an eagle( a symbol of the god Jupiter) was released into the sky to send his soul to heaven.
    8. Wealthy roman women would smear lead paste on their face to look pale
    9. Men were advised to use hippopotamus skin to make their hair grow.

    Sincerely, Kareena

    • Kareena, okay you got me on #4 and #9. Ten bonus entries for you – congrats!

  63. I just want to say that I have waited for the Mark of the Thief FOREVER. Your books are so amazing and even though the Ascendance Trilogy is my favourite series ever, and I’m so sad to see it end, the Mark of the Thief will be just as good!!! Yeah I’ll definitely promote you!!

  64. I just have a quick question: if we got the 5 or 10 bonus entries, then does that mean we are automatically entered in the drawing? I just want to make sure because I combined my reason why I want The Mark of the Thief and the Roman facts in my one post so I just want to make sure I am entered in. Thanks! 🙂

    • Kareena, your comment counts as one entry. Then you have bonus entries on top of that, for a total of eleven.

  65. Mrs. Nielsen –

    I already posted a comment on why I would like the Mark of the Thief, so I’m just going to repeat with all the new facts I found out about Ancient Rome. So I guess you could count the other one and not this one.

    I’m so excited for the Mark of the Thief ARC giveaway. The reason I would like to win a book is to: READ it, of course. The second reason is to read it aloud to my younger sister who has never read any of your books, but I KNOW she’ll like this is because of Roman history, and the third reason is because I want to add it to my library, which is very small.

    Now for the facts I’ve learned for the bonus entry! I’ve looked up a lot of items, and to me they seem weird. I’m betting you already know them.

    1 – If a gladiator lived long enough to retire, he received a wooden sword as a present.
    2 – Many Roman actors ‘overacted’, waving their arms and shouting. They had to attract the audience’s attention because the play went on for hours.
    3 – Rome has SPQR as it’s motto: the Senate and the people of Rome. Many cities in Italy have SPQ’s too: SPQMR (the Senate and the people of Monreale), SPQC (the Senate and the people of Catania)…
    4 – Martial, a famous Roman writer, wrote that the most annoying noises from the baths were the yells of the sausage-sellers callers and the shrieks of customers having their hair plucked out.
    5 – After winning a battle, the Celts would chop off the heads of their enemies and take them home.
    6 – When they built across boggy ground, Roman engineers put down bundles of sticks and sheepskins as foundations to stop the road from sinking.
    7 – The Romans buried their dead along roads out of town. The idea was that ghost would not find their way back to their old homes.
    8 – When a new baby was born, and it was placed at his father’s feet, if the father lifted the baby up the baby lived, but if he ignored the baby it was taken away to die.
    9 – Some Romans liked to eat snails fattened on milk, peacock’s brains and flamingos’ tongues.
    10 – At dinner, slaves gave guests small hot bread rolls to wipe their plates clean.
    11 – The Romans believed people called soothsayers or augurs could tell what the gods wanted and foretell the future by cutting open dead animals and looking at the insides.

    Strange, right? Anyways, I love your books, and I can’t wait for the Mark of the Thief!
    -Loreley

    • Okay Loreley, you got me on #6. That’s five bonus entries for you!

  66. It would be so awesome to win this giveaway, I have been a fan of you for so long!! I tweeted here, just in case you missed it:https://twitter.com/namelessjester/status/539887094794313729.

    Here are facts about Rome:
    – Gladiator blood was used for a variety of ailments including epilepsy.
    – It was treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.
    – Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.

  67. Ok Mrs.Nielsen, since I didn’t stump you last time, here are some more facts.

    1. The first shopping mall was built by Emperor Trajan. It consisted of many things from spices to clothes to food.

    2. The first University in Rome is the largest in England, and the second largest one in the world

    3. Careers for Roman women outside the housse included priestesses and lamp makers, professional midwives, hairdressers, and even a few female doctors.

    4. The Romans trained some female slaves to fight as gladiators.

    5. In battle, Romans sometimes grouped together and held their shields all around them in a move called the tortoise.

    6. Michelangelo began working on the ceiling of the roman Sistine Chapel in 1508 and the frescoes were revealed in 1512

    7. After the death of an emperor, Romans released an eagle to carry the emperor’s soul to the afterlife

    8. Cappuccino is named after the Roman order of monks, the Capuchin, who wore a hood or cappucio

    • Congrats, Meryem, I didn’t know #8. There’s your five bonus entries!

  68. 1. A wooden chest discovered on board the vessel contained pills made of ground-up vegetables, herbs and plants such as celery, onions, carrots, cabbage, alfalfa and chestnuts – all ingredients referred to in classical medical texts.
    The tablets, which were so well sealed that they miraculously survived being under water for more than two millennia, also contain extracts of parsley, nasturtium, radish, yarrow and hibiscus.
    They were found in 136 tin-lined wooden vials on a 50ft-long trading ship which was wrecked around 130 BC off the coast of Tuscany. Scientists believe they would have been used to treat gastrointestinal complaints suffered by sailors such as dysentery and diarrhoea.
    “It’s a spectacular find. They were very well sealed,” Dr Alain Touwaide, from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington DC, told The Sunday Telegraph. “The plants and vegetables were probably crushed with a mortar and pestle – we could still see the fibres in the tablets. They also contained clay, which even today is used to treat gastrointestinal problems.”
    The pills are the oldest known archaeological remains of ancient pharmaceuticals. They would have been taken with a mouthful of wine or water, or may have been dissolved and smeared on the skin to treat inflammation and cuts.

    2. The Training of Roman Soldiers

    The Roman Army was incredibly well-organised and well-drilled. Individual soldiers had to be incredibly fit and strong, and willing to follow orders without questioning them.

    Roman soldiers were able to march more then twenty miles a day wearing full armour and carrying weapons and equipment.
    They were trained to swim, build bridges, set up camp and fight as a unit.
    Roman soldiers were famous for their discipline in battle. They always followed orders and knew that if an army of soldiers worked together they would often be successful. In battle, the Romans fought in lines and formations.
    Some soldiers were specifically trained to fulfill certain roles. Some were expert archers, some were trained to use giant catapults (onagers) or large crossbows called ballistas, and some were trained to fight on horseback.
    This video clip gives a good summary of the life of a Roman soldier, and includes details about their equipment, weapons and army discipline.

    3. Roman Weapons, Armour and Equipment

    Roman legionaries wore armour made from iron and leather strips.
    They wore a metal helmet called a galea.
    Roman shields were curved so that they would fit round the soldier’s body and wide enough so that it could be butted-up to the shields of other soldiers when they were fighting in formation.
    The gladius sword was used by Roman soldiers when they were fighting in close combat. It was particularly good for stabbing.
    Soldiers also carried a javelin (a throwing spear).
    When marching, the soldiers carried food rations and camping equipment (including a cooking pot and a spade).
    This video goes into lots of detail about the clothing, equipment, armour and weapons which would have been worn and used by a Roman soldier.

    4. The Romans favored another specific volcanic ash when making concrete harbor structures that were submerged in the salty waters of the Mediterranean. Pulvis Puteolanus was mined from deposits near the Bay of Naples. “The Romans shipped thousands and thousands of tons of that volcanic ash around the Mediterranean to build harbors from the coast of Italy to Israel to Alexandria in Egypt to Pompeiopolis in Turkey,” Jackson says.

    Seawater is very damaging to modern concrete. But in Roman concrete, the Pulvis Puteolanus “actually plays a role in mitigating deterioration when water percolates through it,” Jackson says. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, it appears that chemical reactions among the lime paste, volcanic ash and seawater created microscopic structures within the concrete that trapped molecules like chlorides and sulfates that harm concrete today.

    • Traci Ann – You got me on #1, I didn’t know about that discovery. There’s five bonus entries for you!

  69. The institution of slavery provided a critical pillar that supported the existence of both the republican and empire phases of ancient Roman society. The size of this slave population is estimated in the millions, and comprised between twenty-five and thirty percent of the total Roman population. The majority of these men, women and children worked on the farm – tilling the soil and reaping the harvest. Others, however, labored as artisans, scribes or secretaries.

    A 19th century interpretation
    of a Roman slave auction.

    The Roman slave had no rights. They could not marry nor have a traditional family many did not even have a name. Slaves could not own property. Most had been captured during the various wars that Rome engaged in. The enemies of Rome were well aware that if captured, their inevitable destination was the slave-market. Many chose suicide as an escape.

    Roman slaves did sometimes attempt to rebel against their masters and gain their freedom. The most famous incident was in 73-71 BC when the gladiator Sparticus defied his master and instigated a revolt in central Italy that eventually gathered thousands of fellow slaves to his ranks. This slave army enjoyed initial success by defeating several legions sent to destroy it. Sparticus and his followers even threatened Rome itself. However, Sparticus eventually lost his life in battle and several thousand of his followers were crucified.

    “The total wine issue per man for a year should be about forty-two gallons:” advice for keeping slaves in Ancient Rome.

    Cato the Elder (234 BC–149 BC) was a Roman statesman, general and author. In approximately 170 BC he put to paper some advice on the care and handling of slaves. His words offer us some insight into the role of the slave in Ancient Rome:

    Food Ration
    For the actual laborers four pecks of wheat in the winter months, and four and a half in summer. The overseer, housekeeper, foreman and head-shepherd should receive three pecks. The chain-gang should receive four pounds of bread a day in winter, five from the time when they begin to dig the vines until the figs start to ripen, and then back to four again.

    Slaves attend their mistress,
    from a Roman sculpture
    Wine Ration
    For three months after the harvest, they should drink rough wine. In the fourth month, half a pint a day, or about two gallons a month. For the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth months, the ration should be a pint a day, or four gallons a month. For the remaining four months, give them one and a half pints a day, or six gallons a month. For the feasts of the Saturnalia and Compitalia (December) there should be an extra ration per man of two and a half gallons. The total wine issue per man for a year should be about forty-two gallons. An additional amount can be given as a bonus to the chain-gang, depending on how well they work. A reasonable quantity for them to have to drink per annum is about sixty gallons.

    Olive Ration
    Keep all the windfall olives you can. Then keep the ripe olives from which only a small yield could be gained. Issue them sparingly to make them last as long as possible. When the olives are finished, give them fish-pickle and vinegar. Give each man a pint of oil a month. A peck of salt should be enough for a man for a year.

    Clothes
    A tunic three and a half feet long and a blanket-cloak every other year. When you issue a tunic or cloak, take in the old one to make rough clothes. You ought to give them a good pair of clogs every other year.

    References:
    This eyewitness account appears in: Cato, Marcus Porcius, De agri cultura liber (1882); Bradley, K.R., Slavery and Society at Rome (1994); Wiedemann, Thomas E. J. , Slavery (1987).

  70. 1. Some of the first recorded examples of UFO came from Rome. In 218 B.C.E there was a written record stating a fleet of gleaming ships floating in the sky of Rome.
    2.purple clothing was a status symbol reserved only for the emperor or senator. It was consider treason for anyone other than the emperor to be dressed completely in purple clothing.
    3. Romans thought not owning slaves was a sign of extreme poverty, so they would bring around 3 slaves to the baths with them.
    4.after a death of an emperor, an eagle will be released to bear his soul to heaven
    5.some romans used honking geese instead of watchdogs to alert them of intruders.

    • I didn’t know #5, Teresa – there’s 5 bonus entries for you!

  71. 1. The ancient philosophers believed that no man could live intelligently who did not have a fundamental knowledge of Nature and her laws. Before man can obey, he must understand, and the Mysteries were devoted to instructing man concerning the operation of divine law in the terrestrial sphere. Few of the early cults actually worshiped anthropomorphic deities, although their symbolism might lead one to believe they did. They were moralistic rather than religionistic; philosophic rather than theologic. They taught man to use his faculties more intelligently, to be patient in the face of adversity, to be courageous when confronted by danger, to be true in the midst of temptation, and, most of all, to view a worthy life as the most acceptable sacrifice to God, and his body as an altar sacred to the Deity.

    2.
    During the late empire, the Roman government institutionalized its information services and espionage activities to an extent unknown during Augustus’ time. And yet can we say intelligence activities kept the emperor any safer? Probably not. Only a minority of emperors died a natural death. Seventy-five percent of them fell to assassins or pretenders to the throne. In order to be safe, the emperor relied on many groups to provide him with intelligence. The distinguishing characteristic of espionage in the late empire is that no one department carried it out alone. Many groups, civilian and military, were assigned tasks that involved some surveillance.

    Did all this spying make Rome more secure on its borders or make its leaders well informed about its enemies? Again the answer is no. Foreign intelligence continued to be collected by the traditional means, that is, by the military scouts–the exploratores and speculatores. Large mobile units of exploratores were stationed in border areas, where they were used to monitor enemy activity beyond the empire’s limits. This was straightforward military reconnaissance. There is little evidence to suggest that the Romans placed their own agents among foreign powers. The one exception is a passage from the fourth-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus in which he talks about a group called the Arcani who evidently were paid by the Romans to’snoop among the savages’ and report what they saw. Even they eventually became corrupt and had to be removed. Unfortunately for us, the detailed description of these activities was lost with Ammianus’ history of Constans, which has not survived.

    Despite their protestations to the contrary, the Romans were heavily involved in espionage, but it cannot be said that they ever established a formal intelligence service. The closest they came was in using groups like the frumentarii and the agentes in rebus for various internal security tasks. Protecting the emperor and keeping him on the throne became so crucial after the third century that most of Rome’s intelligence activities were focused inward. Ironically, for all their reputation as empire builders, the Romans were never as good at watching their enemies as they were at watching each other.

    3.

    Researchers led by Berkely Lab’s Paulo Monteiro studied core samples of 2,000 year-old Roman concrete structures, especially those used in marine environments. (Portland cement is expected to have a useful life of less than 50 years in such conditions.) Their findings may lead to more durable and substantially more environmentally friendly concrete.
    For land-based applications, the ancient Romans mixed lime and volcanic rock. Underwater applications utilized lime mixed with volcanic ash. Wooden forms were filled with mortar made from the lime and ash. Upon contact with seawater, a hot chemical reaction transformed the mixture into some of the most durable concrete the world has ever known.

    The research also showed that the overall environmental impact of making the volcanic concrete is much less than our current methods. According to Berkely Lab:
    The primary chemical elements that make up the “glue” in Portland cement are calcium, silicates and hydrates (C-S-H). The Roman binder based on so-called pozzolan ash is slightly different: calcium, aluminum, silicates and hydrates (C-A-S-H).

  72. 1. Urine (because of the ammonia it contains) was used to clean clothes. The urine was collected by fullones (the Ancient Roman version of dry cleaners) from around the city.
    2. Not everyone wore togas. Only free-born Roman men as a were allowed to wear togas (as a sign of Roman citizenship), while Roman women wore stolas.
    3. While Romans were extremely hygienic, they did not use soap. Instead, to get clean they would apply perfumed oils to their skin and then scrape it off with a tool known as a strigil.
    4. Hair dying was popular among women, with red and blonde being the most popular colors. Dye colors were achieved through different ingredients, like goat fat, beech wood ashes, henna, saffron, and bleach.
    5. Wealthy Romans would have extravagant and decadent banquets that lasted for hours; in order to continue eating, they would induce vomiting.
    6. Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.
    7. Division is the essence of polytheism, as is the recognition that other religions bear their own validity. From its Judaic roots, Christianity inherited a very different view from this à la carte mode of worship, the notion of exclusivity. It was surely a novelty to most Romans, the idea that converts must abandon all other forms of worship when they embrace Christ. That insistence on imposing a definitive choice with grave and irreversible finality seemed to many, no doubt, an unreasonable burden to place on prospective adherents, an especially perilous tenet for a young and vulnerable cult to adopt, but exactly the opposite proved true. Demanding exclusivity turned out to be a brilliant way of playing the historical moment.

    Many Romans, stuffed with all manner of worship and stripped of free speech—which means also free thought—by an increasingly necessary but ever more despotic succession of emperors, sought ways to assert themselves as individuals, some choice they could honestly call their own. And of all it offered, that freedom to choose is what Christianity delivered best, a vindication of one’s personhood, a way to spit in the face of society’s disdain. And there’s no better evidence of that than the sorts of people to whom the religion at first appealed: slaves and women primarily, as well as others from Rome’s vast census of minorities, those who had little or no freedom of choice otherwise. Reeling in the top, the power-brokers, the men in charge, that would take longer and require some modification of policy, which is precisely where history takes us next.

  73. Facts about Gladiators

    Fact 1 The first recorded gladiatorial fight was staged in 264AD when three pairs of slaves who were selected to fight at the funeral of a prominent Roman

    Fact 2 The word ‘Gladiator’ was derived from Gladius which was the Latin word for sword

    Fact 3 Gladiator games were seen as a method to appease the Roman gods and avert Rome from disaster

    Fact 4 Gladiatorial combats were first fought in wooden arenas. The first stone built amphitheatre in Ancient Rome was called the Amphitheater of Statilius Taurus was built in 29 BC. The Roman Colosseum was built in 80AD

    Fact 5 Nearly 30 types of gladiators have been identified

    Fact 6 The role of the Gladiator became big business in the Roman Empire. Political careers could be launched on the back of spectacular games. Large sums of money could be won by gambling on the outcome of gladiator fights

    Fact 7 The games organised by Julius Caesar, on the death of his daughter Julia, featured 320 matched pairs

    Fact 8 Roman courts were given the authority to sentence criminals to death fighting as gladiators

    Fact 9 Slaves, criminals and prisoners of war were forced into the roles of the first gladiators

    Fact 10 By the period of the Roman Empire free men started to enrol as gladiators. Some were ex- soldiers, some wanted the adulation and the glory and some needed money to pay their debts. A Free gladiator was called Auctorati

    Fact 11 Gladiators were allowed to keep any prizes or gifts they were given during gladiatorial games

    Fact 12 Entrance to the gladiator games was free but spectators, between 50,000 – 80,000 were issued with tickets

    Fact 13 Trainee gladiators were called Tirones or Tiro

    Fact 14 Female Gladiators, some noble and wealthy, appeared in the arena
    Fact 15 42 different Roman Emperors witnessed the carnage at the Roman Colosseum

    Fact 16 Catervarii was the name given to gladiators when they did not fight in pairs, but when several fought together

    Fact 17 Bestiarii (Beast Fighters) were the gladiators who fought wild animals

    Fact 18 The Praegenarii were the ‘opening act gladiator’. This type of gladiator only used wooden swords, accompanied to festive music.

    Fact 19 Elite types of Gladiators were the Rudiarius who were gladiators who had obtained their freedom but chose to continue fighting in gladiatorial combats

    Fact 20 Gladiatorial schools “Ludi Gladiatorium”. The gladiator schools also served as barracks, or in some cases prisons, for gladiators between their fights.

    Fact 21 New Gladiators were formed into troupes called ‘Familia gladiatorium’ which were under the overall control of a manager (lanista)

    Fact 22 At the end of the day the gladiators who had been killed were dragged through the Porta Libitinensis (Gate of Death) to the Spoliarium where the body was stripped and the weapons and armor given to the dead gladiator’s lanista.

    Fact 23 Prospective gladiators (novicius) had to swear an oath (sacramentum gladiatorium) and enter a legal agreement (auctoramentum) agreeing to submit to beating, burning, and death by the sword if they did not perform as required .

    Fact 24 Gladiators often had tattoos (stigma, from where the English word stigmatised derives) applied as an identifying mark on the face, legs and hands.

    Fact 25 Trained gladiators joined formal associations, called collegia, to ensure that they were provided with proper burials and that compensation was given to their families.

    Fact 26 The early enemies of Rome included the Samnites, the Thracians and the Gauls (Gallus) and gladiators were named according to their ethnic roots

    Fact 27 Gladiators were always clothed and armed to resemble barbarians with unusual and exotic weapons and their fights depicted famous victories over barbarians and the power of the Roman Empire

    Fact 28 One of the most famous gladiators was the Emperor Commodus (177-192 AD) who boasted that he was the victor of a thousand matches. The Roman Emperors Caligula, Titus, Hadrian , Cracalla, Geta and Didius Julianus were all said to have performed in the arena.
    Fact 29 The Emperor Honorius, decreed the end of gladiatorial contests in 399 AD

    Fact 30 The last known gladiator fight in the city of Rome occurred on January 1, 404 AD.

  74. 1. There is a law against using magic to transfer growing crops.
    2. There is a law that allows cats to live without disruption in the place they were born
    3. Romans did not consider children as beings with developed souls.So they would bury a body of a dead child in the backyard like a pet.
    4. They had toilet god, and door good
    5. They thought the death of famous romans were predicted by the hoots of the owl, including Julius Caesar, and augustus.

    • Teresa, you got me on #1 and #2, so that’s ten bonus entries for you!

  75. OMG OMG OMG!!!! I really want to win!!!!! I’ve been following you since the begining!!!! And am looking forward to this for so long!!! I’m gonna go post write away on my Instagram!!!! I hope you will check it! And I win!!! I really want and I honestly love all of your work!!!! OMG I’m freaking out write now! I really want the mark of the THEIF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah!!!!!!!!

  76. I’m not so sure if you know these or not! But here they are!
    1. Purple clothing was a status symbol and reserved only for emperors or senators. To achieve the colour, a dye was made from murex seashells. It was treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.
    2. Left-handed people were considered unlucky.
    3. Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.
    4. Wealthy Romans would have extravagant and decadent banquets that lasted for hours; in order to continue eating, they would induce vomiting.
    5. Hair dying was popular among women, with red and blonde being the most popular colours. Dye colours were achieved through different ingredients, like goat fat, beech wood ashes, henna, saffron, and bleach.
    6. While Romans were extremely hygienic, they did not use soap. Instead, to get clean they would apply perfumed oils to their skin and then scrape it off with a tool known as a strigil.
    7. Not everyone wore togas. Only free-born Roman men as a were allowed to wear togas (as a sign of Roman citizenship), while Roman women wore stolas.
    8. In ancient Rome, after a person pooped, a communal sponge was used to wipe. The sponge was then rinsed in a bucket of salt water before being used by the next person.
    9. In Ancient Rome, if people wished to commit suicide , they applied to the Senate and, if their petitions were approved, were given free hemlock
    10. Women in ancient Rome wore the sweat of Gladiators to improve their beauty and complexion.
    11. And lastly (I honestly don’t think this is true but a lot of people say it is), the fact that The people of Ancient Rome had a toilet God!

    Hehe I hope I win!!!!! Ah! I’m freaking out again! Please God let me win!!!!!!!!

  77. I would love to win a copy because I really, really like your books, and hey, it’s fun to win things! I also follow you on Twitter. Thanks!

  78. And before I forget… Why do I want to receive this wonderful giveaway?

    Honestly I have read so many books and. Every time there was a giveaway I always too scared thinking about whether I want to tell me where I live (I know weird) but as soon as I knew about this giveaway I just knew I had to go!! I love all your books and by just looking at it and seeing that YOU wrote it, I know it’s going to be my favourite book. I know it’s going to be amazing. Also my sisters birthday is on febuary 14th (and mines on febuary 21st) and she really wants that book for her birthday however it’s coming out on the 24th. So if I could give that to her earlier I know that I would make her entire day, week, month, and year!!!! And my entire year will be amazing as well!!! If you knew me personally you would have realized how much I talk about this book!!!!

    Another reason is simply to make my two eat friends jealous because they have been looking forward to your books as well. And I got them into the Ascendance trilogy. Ever since then they have been bugging me to buy me books that you have written.

    The last reason why I want to win is probably because I simply love you and your books! I loved sage/Jaron and I know (before even reading) that in going to absolutely love nic!!!!!

    OMG!!!! Please let me win!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!

  79. Hello! I would like an ARC copy of the Mark of the Thief because I am a huge fan of the Ascendance Trilogy and know that this will be an amazing book too! Also I’m following you on Facebook
    Some Ancient Roman Facts:
    1. In many houses, the central hall would have troughs carved into the floor to collect rainwater.
    2.It was recommended to bathe the eyes with a liquid made of boiling the liver and to apply the marrow to those that were painful or swollen.
    3.Romans would drain marshes to get rid of mosquitoes.
    4.Prandium was to Roman word for lunch and dinner was called cena.
    5.To punish those who worshipped Christ, Emperor Nero would dip some in wax, then light them as candles to illuminate his path.

    • Haley, well you got me on #2 and #5 (ew, on both – Nero was a horrible emperor!). That’s ten bonus entries for you!

      • Hi Mrs. Nielson! I posted up above already but I found a couple more facts I thought you might find interesting!
        1. Roman women usually took her first name from a feminine version of her family’s. This could lead to several girls in the family with the same name.
        2. Romans believed the blood of gladiators would cure epilepsy.
        3. After the sport of gladiators was outlawed, Romans used the blood of criminals instead.
        4. Medics in the Roman army would often bandage wounds by using a mixture of cobwebs, honey, and vinegar.
        5. There was a law against using magic to transport growing crops.
        6. Even though the Romans had no stirrups, Julius Caesar could ride at a gallop with his hands behind his back.

  80. I shooting for a fact you might not know. Caligula (I think he was an emporer) tried to make his favorite horse a consul — the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and the most important job in the government.
    Obviously he was kinda crazy.

  81. I’m not so sure if you know these or not! But here they are!
    1. Romans were highly superstitious and feared anything to do with the left, which is why their words for “left” and “left-handed” were sinister and sinstra, giving us the modern meaning of “sinister.”
    2. Ancient Romans believed that seeing an owl was a bad omen, sniffing cyclamen flowers would prevent baldness, and ringing bells eased the pain of childbirth. The presence of bees, which were considered sacred messengers of the gods, were seen as a sign of good luck.
    3. The Cult of Mithra (spreading from India to Persia to Asia Minor to Rome) was popular among Roman soldiers. Mithra was supposed to have slain a bull whose blood is the lifeblood of the universe. Mithraism has ties to Christianity, with Rome usurping Mithra’s supposed December 25th birthday as Christ’s birthday, in no small part to appease the large Mithraic following whose pagan religion had been outlawed.
    4. In ancient Rome, an infant was placed at the father’s feet shortly after birth. If the father took the child into his arms, it showed he accepted responsibility for its upbringing. If the baby was not accepted, it was be abandoned and left to die.
    5. Roman statesman Cato the Elder urged that babies should be bathed in the warmed-up urine produced by an adult who had eaten cabbage. If a child would not settle to sleep, he recommended placing goat dung in its diaper.
    6. Girls were expected to marry at the age of 13 or 14 in arranged marriages. Strewing nuts, symbolic of the casting off of childish toys and of fertility, was an important part of the wedding. The bride wore a saffron-coloured wedding gown with a flame-red veil over her hair.
    7. In Roman custom, a bride was carried over a threshold for good luck with the words “Ubi ti Baius, ego Gaia.” (“Where you [are] John, there I [am], Mary.”) Tripping over a threshold was considered bad luck.
    8. After criticizing Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire, the famous philosopher/rhetorician Cicero was murdered and had his head and hands displayed on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum. It is rumoured that Fulvia, the wife of the influential Roman politician, Antony, pulled out Cicero’s tongue and stabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin.
    9. To die honorably, the defeated gladiator would grasp the thigh of his victor who would then hold his opponent’s head or helmet and plunge a sword in his neck. To make sure the gladiator was not faking his death, an attendant dressed as Mercury would touch him with a hot iron rod and another attendant dressed as Charon would hit him with a mallet.
    10. Theories as to why Rome fell include political weakness and corruption, immorality, Christian pacifism and superstition, racial mixing, class conflict, environmental problems, a divided capital (Rome and Constantinople), plagues, and mass migrations of wild Germanic people. Another theory is that water supplied by lead pipes caused widespread health problems including brain damage and impaired intelligence. Some scholars speculate that Rome never fell, it just adapted to a changing world.

    • Btw. I posted the giveaway details in my Instagram. I hope you’ll go check it out. My Instagram is @xosairaox

    • Credit to you on #3, Saira. That’s five bonus entries for you!

  82. I’ve read all the facts and I have seen almost every fact that didn’t surprise Jennifer Nielsen has been repeated over 10 times. Does the whole fact have to be unknown to you, or just part of it? Most of my facts start of obvious, but hopefully turn to
    1. The roman javelin was the Pilum. (That wasn’t my fact)
    After being thrown, no matter what it hit it bent so it couldn’t be thrown back by the enemy.

    2. The Scutum is a Latin word meaning shield. It was the shield in the Roman army). It had a big metal bump in the center of the shield called the Boss. It was for punching the opponents.

    3. Modern day England was known as Britannica.

    4. Hadrian’s wall was a wall built to keep the Natives in Northern Britannica from attacking the southern Roman legions. It had a south mound, then a small mound, then a vallum. The vallum was a ditch/hole where the soldiers could hide in and shoot arrows, it was situated behind the small mound so soldiers could fire arrows over it. After the vallum there was a north mound, then a Military Way for the soldiers to patrol. After that there was the Wall it self, on the safe side of the wall there was posthole and then a ditch.

    5. The Greek inventor Hero invented the first vending machine. You inserted a coin and it dispensed holy water.

    6. Hero also invented the first automatic doors. Priests would see people coming to the temple, and open the doors automatically so the people would think that it was the Gods. It was only the priests lighting a fire, which heated water. The water changes from the container into a bucket which is attached to pulleys. When the bucket gets to heavy it pulls down. The pulleys move, opening the door.

    I think that only number 5 and 6 will surprise you, but maybe the others will to.

    • #’s 5 and 6 are pretty cool, Luke, but those are Greek, not Roman. However, I didn’t know about the javelin being bent. Five bonus entries for you on that!

  83. More facts because I really want to win a copy.

    1. Rome had a ruler named Marcus Clodius Pupienus Maximus.
    He ruled from AD ca. 164 – AD 23.

    2. Rome also had a ruler named Elagabalus who ruled from AD 204 – AD 222

    3. An ancient Roman architect named Vitruvius wrote a book called De Architectura with a a chapter on aqueduct construction.

    4. The barrier dividing the Circus Maximus track contained obelisks, statues, temples and lap counters

    5. The last Succession of the Plebeians (Exercise of power by Rome’s lower class) was in 287 BC

  84. I hope these couple of facts from the internet will get me bonus entries Miss Jen hehe…
    1.) In ancient Rome the olive mixed w/ dust and sweat which the gladiators and athletes scraped w/ strigils was collected and sold as rhypos for the manufacture of unguents, belief to confer something of the energy of these fighters to the Roman ladies.
    2.) It is funny that Roman flour contained a lot of dust and bits. At that time, if not be careful when eating bread, people could lose their teeth.
    3.) The majority of the Roman soldier’s diet was comprised of grains, such as corn, wheat and barley. Grain was the soldier’s main source of carbohydrate, and it was ground and used to make bread, porridge, soup and pasta. Approximately one-third of a ton of corn was consumed yearly by each Roman soldier.
    4.) Excavations of a mass gladiatorial grave near Ephesus have allowed scientific reconstruction of the diets of one group of gladiators by examination of bones, according to Andrew Curry in a 2008 issue of “Archeology.” Bone analysis confirms that gladiators ate primarily vegetarian diets and that, despite their attempts to supplement calcium with ground burnt bones, they often showed signs of calcium deprivation.
    5.) Ancient Roman human sculptures especially for men sculptures had small penises because it was considered offensive to the model to make his penis large because it was not to be the main focus of the piece, especially if the man was someone important. Also, men had smaller penises back then because they were generally smaller people who did not consume hormone induced foods.
    6.)While the Romans adopted many aspects of Greek education, two areas in particular were viewed as trifle: music and athletics. Music to the Greeks was fundamental to their educational system and tied directly to the Greek paideia. Mousike encompassed all those areas supervised by the Muses, comparable to today’s liberal arts. The area that many Romans considered unimportant equates to our modern definition of music. To the Greeks, the ability to play an instrument was the mark of a civilized, educated man, and through an education in all areas of mousike it was thought that the soul could become more moderate and cultivated. The Romans did not share this view but did, however, adopt one area of mousike: Greek literature.
    6.) Facts about Pantheon

    ~In the seventh century was converted into a church under the name “Santa Maria ad Martyres”. For this reason it is the only building of ancient Rome to be come down to us practically intact.
    ~There is a moat around the Pantheon. A curious Roman legend tells that a great magician named Pietro Bailardowho had used the services of the devil, at the end of his life he decided to repent and came to Rome to confess and take the Eucharist. But when he went outside the Pantheon he found the devil waiting for him to get what was due, then the magician threw nuts to the devil and ran back into the Pantheon. To anger the devil caught fire and sank to the underworld leave a moat around the church. According to others the devil before sinking nervously began to turn around the Pantheon, a long time to form a groove.

    • I didn’t know #2, or the second fact about the Pantheon, so that’s ten bonus entries for you!

      • Other facts Miss Jen.

        1. In 173 BC, a large fleet of ships was seen in the sky near Rome.

        2. Cobwebs were used to stop bleeding from fractured skulls and shaving cuts.

        3. The Romans wondered whether plants enjoy travel in the same way as people do. There was a law against using magic to transfer growing crops from one place to another.

        4. Faustina, the wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, had a collection of several hundred wigs.

        5. The Latin word musculus means both “little mouse” and “muscle”, since muscles rippling under the skin were thought to be like little mice.

        6. The emperor Commodus frequently fought as a gladiator, armed with iron weapons, whereas his opponents had lead ones.

        7. A person found guilty of parricide was sewn up in a sack with a dog, a rooster, a viper, and a monkey, and thrown into the sea.

        8. Kissing a she-mule on the nostrils cures hiccups and sneezing.

        9. Even though the Romans had no stirrups, Julius Caesar could ride at a gallop with his hands behind his back.

        10. The emperor Maximinus was said to have drunk seven gallons of wine per day and to have been eight feet, six inches tall.

        11. There is a museum dedicated only to pasta.

        • I didn’t know #3 or #5 – that’s ten bonus entries for you!

  85. I just want to say that I love your books so much! I also love writing and someday I wanna be as good as you! I know it sounds cheesy but still 😉 The Ascendance Trilogy are my favourite books of ALL TIME! Even more so than Harry Potter and Divergent!! I always recommended them to my friends! Jaron and pretty much all of your other characters are a big inspiration for all my stories! I also hope that TFP will be made into a movie (it’ll be amazing!) and hopefully I can audition because I love acting!! I am coincidently studying Ancient Rome in school at the moment and I can see why you find it so interesting!! I will be doing everything in my power to win the ARC so here are some facts!
    1) Gladiator blood was recommended by Roman physicians to aid various ailments, including epilepsy and infertility.
    2)Purple clothing was a status symbol and reserved only for emperors or senators. To achieve the color, a dye was made from murex seashells. It was treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.
    3)Left-handed people were considered unlucky.
    4)Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.
    5)People would socialize at communal toilets. Rome had over 140 public toilets.
    6)Wealthy Romans would have extravagant and decadent banquets that lasted for hours; in order to continue eating, they would induce vomiting.
    7) Hair dying was popular among women, with red and blonde being the most popular colors. Dye colors were achieved through different ingredients, like goat fat, beech wood ashes, henna, saffron, and bleach.
    8)Only free-born Roman men as a were allowed to wear togas (as a sign of Roman citizenship)

  86. Some more facts…. 1) Romans had flushing toilets. 2) Urine was used to clean clothes. 2) The Roman army NEVER left a man behind. 3) Roman soldiers had no armour on their back as they were expected to never turn their back on their enemy. 4) If mutiny in the army was attempted they would al line up and every tenth man would be killed. 5) When soldiers finished their time serving in the army the government gave them a plot of land to farm on or some money to set up a business. 6)The Roman army participated in a 30km road march 3 times a month in order to stay fit.

  87. I’ve followed you on Facebook, twitter and instagram and posted. Here are some reasons why I should win an ARC.
    1) It would be the most amazing Christmas present ever and I would never ever forget it.
    2) It may sound weird but I would treasure the book.
    3) I need it
    4) It would help me with my writing in ways that you could not even imagine.
    5) I cant wait until February, I simply cannot
    6) I would be ecstatic if I got it 🙂 but sad if I didn’t 🙁
    7) I want it sooooooo badly.

  88. 1. Mary Beard, a professor of classics at Cambridge University, wrote in the New York Times: The books Greeks and Romans read “were not “books” in our sense but, at least up to the second century. The “book rolls”—long strips of papyrus, rolled up on two wooden rods at either end. To read the work in question, you unrolled the papyrus from the left-hand rod, to the right, leaving a “page” stretched between the two. It was considered the height of bad manners to leave the text on the right hand rod when you had finished reading, so that the next reader had to rewind back to the beginning to find the title page, bad manners—but a common fault, no doubt, Some scribes helpfully repeated the title of the books a the very end, with just this problem in mind.”

    “These cumbersome rolls made reading a very different experience than it is with the modern book,” Beard wrote. “Skimming, for example, was much more difficult, as looking back a few pages to check out the name you had forgotten (as it is on Kindle). Not to mention the fact that at some periods of Roman history, it was fashionable to copy a the text with no breaks between words, but as a river of letters. In comparison, deciphering the most challenging postmodern text (or “Finnegan’s Wake,” for that matter) looks easy.”

    2. Ancient Roman Book Market

    Julius Caesar was a writer… Beard wrote in the New York Times: “All reading material was laboriously copied by hand. The ancient equivalent of the printing press was a battalion of slaves whose job it was to transcribe one by one as many copies of Virgil. Horace or Ovid as the Roman market would buy.”

    “Bookstores in Rome clustered in particular streets . One was she Vicus Sandalarius, or Shoemaker’s Row, not far from the Colosseum (convenient for post-gladiatorial browsing). Here you would find the outsides of the stores plastered with advertisements and puffs for titles in stock, often adorned with some choice quotes from the books of the moment. Martial, in fact, once told a friend not to bother to venture inside, since you could “read all the poets” on their door posts.

    For those who did go in, there was usually a place to sit and read. With slaves on hand to summon up refreshments, it would have been not unlike the coffee shop in a modern Borders. For collectors there were occasionally secondhand treasures to be picked dup at a price. One Roman academic reported finding an old copy of the second book of Virgil’s “Aeneid”—not just any old copy but, the bookseller assured him, Virgil’s very own.”

    A new book could cost as much as two years of salary for a professional soldier, “The risks on cheaper purchases were different.” Beard wrote, “A cut price book roll would presumably have fallen to pieces as quickly as a modern mass-market paperback. But worse, the pressure to get copies made quickly meant they were loaded with errors and sometimes uncomfortably different from the authentic words of the author, One list of prices from the third century A.D. implies that the money needed to buy a top-quality copy of 500 lines would be enough to feed a family for four (admittedly on very basic ration) for a whole year.

    31. After the fall of Rome, Latin continued in a variety of dialects which later developed into the Romance languages such as Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, French, and Spanish. Though not directly related, Latin has also significantly influenced English.a
    2. There seems to be no evidence that a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” was used in Roman gladiatorial games.The editor or judge of the game (such as an emperor) would more likely gesture with a thumb turned horizontally, probably in a striking motion toward the heart, or cover or compress his thumb to signal “put away the blade.”e
    3. To die honorably, the defeated gladiator would grasp the thigh of his victor who would then hold his opponent’s head or helmet and plunge a sword in his neck. To make sure the gladiator was not faking his death, an attendant dressed as Mercury would touch him with a hot iron rod and another attendant dressed as Charon would hit him with a mallet.j
    4. Gladiatorial combat probably dates back to the Etruscans or Samnites who made prisoners fight to the death during the funerals of aristocrats. It perhaps served as a kind of a substitute for old human sacrifices.a
    5. The Roman Emperor Gaius (nicknamed Caligula after a type of military boot) tried to make his horse a consul, which was the most important job in the government. He also dressed in women’s cloths, presented himself as a god, had incestuous relations with his sisters, and had a habit of giving the manly Praetorian Guards watchwords like “Kiss me quick.”a
    6. In battle, Romans sometimes grouped together and held their shields all around them in a move called “the tortoise.”e
    7. Most Roman aqueducts were over 55 feet high. Their great height not only controlled the flow of water but also made it more difficult for someone to steal water and for enemies to put poison in it. The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia was built of stones with no mortar and is still used to carry water today.j
    8. In A.D. 64, a huge fire destroyed half of Rome. Some claim Nero purposely set it so he could rebuild the city how he wanted it. The saying “Fiddling while Rome burns” comes from the story that Nero played his lyre while Rome burned.a
    9. Roman days were divided into 12 hours, measured by a sundial.b
    10. The Monte Testaccio is a vast, nonbiodegradable garbage dump where an estimated 53 million amphorae (ceramic vases) were thrown. It is one of the largest and most organized dumps found anywhere in the ancient world.a
    11. Roman coins were used to publicize the emperor, his achievements, and his family in a world with no mass media.a
    12. Some scholars speculate that pagan Romans would have been happy to add Christ to their list of gods, and that some did. The Christians, however, would have none of it.j
    13. The Romans had gods for doors (Forculus), hinges (Cardea), and thresholds (Limentinus).b

    14. wine bread

    15. The early Romans thought the Christian sacrament was literally a form of cannibalism

    16. The early Romans thought Christians were literally practicing some sort of cannibalism when the word was out that they consumed bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.d
    17. The diet of ordinary Romans consisted mostly of starchy food and did not include many green vegetables, fresh meat, or fats. Hence, many children suffered from malnutrition.b
    18. At its peak, Rome included more than one million people. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city’s population fell dramatically to less than 50,000 people.j In 2007, there were over 2.7 million people living in the greater Rome area.
    19. In order to escape her forced engagement to a senator, the emperor Valentinian II’s sister Honarias sent Attila the Hun her engagement ring as a plea for help in the spring of A.D. 450. He interpreted it as a marriage proposal and demanded Rome as a dowry.c
    20. Rome’s last emperor was Romulus Augustus, whose name recalls both the founder of Rome and Rome’s first emperor. He was deposed by Odoacer, the leader of the Barbarians.a
    21. Theories as to why Rome fell include political weakness and corruption, immorality, Christian pacifism and superstition, racial mixing, class conflict, environmental problems, a divided capital (Rome and Constantinople), plagues, and mass migrations of wild Germanic people. Another theory is that water supplied by lead pipes caused widespread health problems including brain damage and impaired intelligence. Some scholars speculate that Rome never fell, it just adapted to a changing world.j
    22. After the fall of Rome, the Colosseum became overgrown with exotic plants—seeds had inadvertently been transported with the wild animals that were used for fighting. During the Middle Ages it became a fortress for the city’s two warrior families.i
    23. If not for the painstaking work of medieval monks who copied and illustrated the works of Roman writers and philosophers, many keystones of western culture would have been lost forever.a
    24. Founder of classical humanism, Petrarch (1304-1374) discovered many manuscripts from ancient Rome, and by the fifteenth century, Florentines were modeling their embattled republic on the Roman republic. During the Renaissance, Rome was second only to Florence as a major force of influence.j
    25. Now assumed to be an ancient Roman manhole cover or part of a first-century statue, past generations thought Rome’s “Mouth of Truth” (La Bocca della Verità) to be a sort of ancient lie detector. Allegedly, it would cut off a person’s hand if it was placed in the mouth while the person spoke a lie. Later, priests in the Middle Ages would put scorpions in it to help perpetuate the myth.i The Mouth of Truth also appeared in the film Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

    • All right, how about an extra five entries for #10 – I didn’t know about the Monte Testaccio!

  89. I have a question. So will you be announcing the winners in dec 14th?

    (Ah!!!!! I wanna win!!!!!!!!)

  90. The way you wrote the Ascendance Trilogy changed how I think about writing, and has profoundly shaped my own writing style. Honestly, you ruined me for enjoying anything of less quality.
    I can’t promise that I will talk about your books on any social media (sorry), seeing as I am not on any, really. But know that you have a couple of steadfast fans here in my family and potential fans in my friends. I know that I would savor the opportunity of reading your book before I ever even expected to, especially seeing as I have lately been on the hunt for more books that I can truly enjoy. Thank you for writing a series where I can respect and truly like the characters, and not be sure what the ending is.

  91. I would like to win an ARC because your books are very interesting and mysterious
    Well, pompona, the roman goddess of plenty is always mistaked for demeter. In Roman form of demeter: Ceres

  92. Fact: Romans Recorded Some Of The First UFOs
    Fact: Spiderweb Bandages
    Fact: Urine Tax
    Fact: Sinister Left-Handed People
    Fact: Drinking Gladiator Blood
    Fact: They Invented The Shopping Mal
    Fact: They Wore Phalluses As Good Luck Charms

  93. I posted on Instagram and Twitter. I really hope I can win one of the arcs!

  94. Purple clothing was a status symbol and reserved only for emperors or senators. To achieve the color, a dye was made from murex seashells. It was treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.
    Emperor Claudius’ third wife, Valeria Messalina, was a nymphomaniac. According to ancient historians, she once competed with a prostitute to see who could have the most sexual partners in a night. (Ancient romans are really strange)
    Emperor Caligula often appeared in public dressed in women’s clothing.
    Caligula’s favorite horse, Incitatus, lived in a marble stable, with an ivory manger. Caligula also tried to make him a consul — the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and the most important job in the government.
    In the first century B.C., the poet Gaius Valerius Catullus addressed two of his critics, another poet Furius and a senator Aurelius, in a poem considered so vulgar and obscene that it was not translated outside of Latin until the 20th century.
    Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.
    Wealthy Romans would have extravagant and decadent banquets that lasted for hours; in order to continue eating, they would induce vomiting.

    • I didn’t know about the poem, Adam – congrats, that’s five bonus entries!

  95. Because there were apparently few women in early Rome, Romulus (c. 771-717 B.C.) kidnapped neighboring Sabine women. Most of the girls were prizes of whoever got them first, while a few of the more beautiful ones were brought to leading senators by special gangs.

    Nero’s reign had many memorable moments, including killing his mother Agrippina and his wife Octavia. When he died, he said, “What an artist I die!”

    After the death of an emperor, an eagle (symbol of the god Jupiter) was released to bear his soul to heaven.

    A fasces, which was a bundle of tied rods with a red ribbon that often included a bronze axe, symbolized the power and unity of Rome. Italian “fascism” derives its name from fasces.

    On the day the Colosseum officially opened, 5,000 animals were killed. During its history, it has been estimated that over 500,000 people and over a million animals were killed there.

    The Vestal Virgins were women priests who tended the sacred fire of Vesta, goddess of the hearth fire. If they lost their virginity, even as a result of rape, they were buried alive in an unmarked grave. In the 1,000-year history of the temple, only 18 Vestals received this punishment.

    By the early fourth century, the Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles throughout the empire. Each Roman mile was about 1,000 paces (about 4,800 feet) and was marked by a milestone.

    Roman statesman Cato the Elder urged that babies should be bathed in the warmed-up urine produced by an adult who had eaten cabbage. If a child would not settle to sleep, he recommended placing goat dung in its diaper.

    One of Rome’s most famous and significant archaeological feats was the Cloaca Maxima (Greatest Sewage), which was an ancient sewer system. It was thought to be presided over by the goddess Cloacina (literally “sewer” or “drain”).

    The word “palace” comes from the Palatine Hill, where Augustus established the emperors’ tradition of building their palaces.

  96. The Colosseum had a large sun roof that could be stretched over the crowd to keep the spectators in the shade. The Colosseum took 12 years to build, and the exit time for all 70,000 spectators was only three minutes.
    The Circus Maximus could seat nearly 250,000 fans. In its passageways and arches under the seats, cooks and prostitutes catered to the fans’ other needs.
    Wealthy Roman women would smear lead paste on their faces to look fashionably pale. They might also use ass’ milk or crushed snails as a facial moisturizer. Crushed ant eggs were often used to highlight women’s eyebrows.
    Toothpaste was regularly used by those who could afford it. Nitrum, probably either potassium or sodium carbonate, was burned and rubbed on the teeth to restore color.
    Romans invented central heating and would warm rooms from under the floor using what was called a hypocaust, literally “heat from below.” Homes of some rich people had both running water and central heating.
    Some wealthy women often wore wigs made from the blond hair of foreign slaves. Slaves could also dye a woman’s hair blond or red by blowing powder onto it. Slaves could be tortured for a styling hair poorly.
    Some men were advised to use hippopotamus skin to make hair grow. Men and women would remove hair with bat’s blood or hedgehog ashes, or keep hair from turning gray by coloring their hair with oil mixed with earthworm ashes.
    When Romans would visit the temple of Aesculapius (the god of medicine and healing), they would leave offerings shaped like the part of their body which is afflicted, such as an ear or a leg.
    Some common girl names in ancient Rome included Julia, Livia, Drusilla, Antonia, and Claudia. Common boy names included Marcus, Julius, Antonius, Titus, Caius, Didius, Marius, and Septimus.
    Wealthy Romans might enjoy exotic foods such as stuffed flamingo. Fish sauce called liquamen or garum made from fish intestines was also popular.
    After the Romans deposed the last of their kings in 509 B.C., they created the Law of Twelve Tables in 450 B.C., a rule of law that remained in force for 800 years until the end of the western empire.
    On Capitoline Hill (one of the Seven Hills of Rome) at noon on April 21 every year, a special bell called Patarina rings to celebrate the founding of Rome.
    A man could lose Roman citizenship if he deserted the army, mutilated himself so he could not serve, or dodged a census to evade taxation.
    Girls were expected to marry at the age of 13 or 14 in arranged marriages. Strewing nuts, symbolic of the casting off of childish toys and of fertility, was an important part of the wedding. The bride wore a saffron-colored wedding gown with a flame-red veil over her hair.
    In Roman custom, a bride was carried over a threshold for good luck with the words “Ubi ti Baius, ego Gaia.” (“Where you [are] John, there I [am], Mary.”) Tripping over a threshold was considered bad luck.
    Roman divorce was quick and easy. Either party merely uttered to the other the Latin phrase “Tuas res tibi habeto.” (“Keep what’s yours for yourself.”) If there were any children, they remained with the father, though the dowry was returned to the woman provided she had not committed adultery
    Romans thought that not owning slaves was a sign of extreme poverty. Many people would take three slaves with them just to go to the baths
    The Greeks thought that when non-Greeks spoke, they were mumbling words that sounded like an indeterminate “barbar,” which led to the Roman word “barbarian.”
    Crimes such as treason or desertion were punishable by beheading or crucifixion. But only criminals without Roman citizenship (such as Jesus Christ) were crucified because that death was so slow and painful.
    Built by the emperor Hadrian (118-125), the Pantheon (“Temple of the Gods”) is remarkable because its massive dome is made of concrete that has withstood the elements for almost 2,000 years—with no steel reinforcing. The Pantheon was the largest concrete curved dome in existence until the nineteenth century.
    The Romans trained some female slaves to fight as gladiators.
    After criticizing Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire, the famous philosopher/rhetorician Cicero was murdered and had his head and hands displayed on the Rostra in the Forum Romanum. It is rumoured that Fulvia, the wife of the influential Roman politician, Antony, pulled out Cicero’s tongue and stabbed it repeatedly with her hairpin.
    There seems to be no evidence that a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down” was used in Roman gladiatorial games.The editor or judge of the game (such as an emperor) would more likely gesture with a thumb turned horizontally, probably in a striking motion toward the heart, or cover or compress his thumb to signal “put away the blade.”
    To die honorably, the defeated gladiator would grasp the thigh of his victor who would then hold his opponent’s head or helmet and plunge a sword in his neck. To make sure the gladiator was not faking his death, an attendant dressed as Mercury would touch him with a hot iron rod and another attendant dressed as Charon would hit him with a mallet.
    In battle, Romans sometimes grouped together and held their shields all around them in a move called “the tortoise.”
    In A.D. 64, a huge fire destroyed half of Rome. Some claim Nero purposely set it so he could rebuild the city how he wanted it. The saying “Fiddling while Rome burns” comes from the story that Nero played his lyre while Rome burned.
    At its peak, Rome included more than one million people. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city’s population fell dramatically to less than 50,000 people.j In 2007, there were over 2.7 million people living in the greater Rome area.
    In order to escape her forced engagement to a senator, the emperor Valentinian II’s sister Honarias sent Attila the Hun her engagement ring as a plea for help in the spring of A.D. 450. He interpreted it as a marriage proposal and demanded Rome as a dowry.
    Rome’s last emperor was Romulus Augustus, whose name recalls both the founder of Rome and Rome’s first emperor. He was deposed by Odoacer, the leader of the Barbarians.
    After the fall of Rome, the Colosseum became overgrown with exotic plants—seeds had inadvertently been transported with the wild animals that were used for fighting. During the Middle Ages it became a fortress for the city’s two warrior families.
    If not for the painstaking work of medieval monks who copied and illustrated the works of Roman writers and philosophers, many keystones of western culture would have been lost forever.
    Now assumed to be an ancient Roman manhole cover or part of a first-century statue, past generations thought Rome’s “Mouth of Truth” (La Bocca della Verità) to be a sort of ancient lie detector. Allegedly, it would cut off a person’s hand if it was placed in the mouth while the person spoke a lie. Later, priests in the Middle Ages would put scorpions in it to help perpetuate the myth.i The Mouth of Truth also appeared in the film Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

    • I didn’t know about the Roman divorce either, Adam. That’s another five bonus entries for you!

  97. Hello again, I bet you didn’t know this one! Did you know that emperor Pertinax’s Guard, after murdering him, sold his throne in an auction to the highest bidder?

  98. I would really like an arc copy of the Mark of the Thief because I will explode if I don’t get it soon!!!!!! It would be a plus to my friends if I get it because we’re in a book club and they won’t have to wait as long either!!!!!! (After I read it, I’m going to give it to our school’s librarian because she’s gotten me into your False Prince series and many other awesome books)

    Facts on Ancient Rome:
    #1 The early Romans thought Christians were literally practicing cannibalism when they heard that they consumed bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.
    #2 The Romans had gods for doors (Forculus), hinges (Cardea), and thresholds (Limentinus).
    #3 Some men were advised to use hippopotamus skin to make hair grow. Men and women would remove hair with bat’s blood or hedgehog ashes, or keep hair from turning gray by coloring their hair with oil mixed with earthworm ashes
    #4 The Vestal Virgins were female priests who tended the sacred fire of Vesta, goddess of the hearth fire. If they lost their virginity, even as a result of rape, they were buried alive in an unmarked grave. In the 1,000-year history of the temple, only about 18 Vestals received this punishment (recorded).
    #5 Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. This is pretty common knowledge – Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the city of Pompeii and burying it under a layer of ash. However, what often gets overlooked is the fact that Pompeii wasn’t the only city destroyed by the eruption. Another prominent Roman city called Herculaneum was also destroyed, as well as several smaller towns like Stabiae and Oplontis.
    #6 They really liked purple. For centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, purple remained a color associated with royalty and this is mostly due to the Romans’ love for this particular color. Specifically, we are talking about a dye called Tyrian Purple that was extremely expensive and extremely rare so it was more of a status symbol than just a simple color. The Romans didn’t invent it, but the color became very popular with them and, typically, only the Roman elite had togas and ceremonial clothes dyed in this color.

  99. Hi Ms. jen,

    Thank you so much for this cool chance to win your book. I am now in my finals week in school and I thank God that there is a contest like this.

    Here again is one of my entries
    1.One of the Trivia questions I love to give my audiences is, “What is the origin of the colors pink and blue to identify different genders?” Most trivia sites will tell you that in ancient Rome parents feared that evil spirits might steal the souls of babies while they slept. Since they believed that the color blue protected someone against soul theft and they valued boys, parents swaddled boy babies in blue cloth at night. They hoped the blue color cloth would keep evil spirits at bay. Baby girls did not get swaddle insurance. That was discrimination. Ancient Romans did not value female children. Moreover, they didn’t think that the evil spirits would value them either. As a result, they didn’t fear the spirits would come after their baby girls and did not use the blue cloth protection plan.

    Pink did not become known as the “de rigueur” color for girls until the 1900’s. Victorian children, curious about where babies came from, asked their parents and they are said to have replied that babies came from cabbage patches. (All this time I thought the stork brought them.) The children guessed that boys came from blue cabbages but wondered what color cabbages girls came from “Pink” was the parents answer. Thus, “Pink is for girls” was added to the cultural lexicon.

  100. I’ve already posted on Twitter (@IsabelStClaire )
    I’m also already following you on Twitter and Facebook.
    I want this book not only for myself but possibly as a gift for my little brother.
    Facts
    1.The Roman army would often bandage wounds by using a mixture of cobwebs, honey, and vinegar.
    2. Despite the fact that left handed people were seen as “sinister” left-handed gladiators were treated like special bonuses—left-handed people used different fighting styles, so it made the combat more interesting and varied.
    3. It was believed that the blood of a gladiator could cure epilepsy. It got so out of hand that after a gladiator was killed and his body removed from the arena, vendors would sell the still-warm blood to the crowd.

    • *Aremi

  101. If I got an arc copy of Mark of the Thief, I would give it to our school’s librarian, who is very excited for your new book, and would be so excited if she got it early. Mrs. Halls is the BEST librarian you will ever find. She is a bookworm who knows her way around the library. She also gives the right book suggestions to the right people…including me!!! She got me into your AMAZING False Prince series!!!!!

    32 facts about ancient Rome:

    #1 Hair dying was popular among women, with red and blonde being the most popular colors. Dye colors were achieved through different ingredients, like goat fat, beech wood ashes, henna, saffron, and bleach.
    #2 Wealthy Romans would have extravagant and decadent banquets that lasted for hours; in order to continue eating, they would induce vomiting.
    #3 In the first century B.C., the poet Gaius Valerius Catullus addressed two of his critics, another poet Furius and a senator Aurelius, in a poem considered so vulgar and obscene that it was not translated outside of Latin until the 20th century.
    #4 Caligula’s favorite horse, Incitatus, lived in a marble stable, with an ivory manger. Caligula also tried to make him a consul — the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and the most important job in the government.
    #5 Emperor Caligula often appeared in public dressed in women’s clothing.
    #6 Left-handed people were considered unlucky. The word “sinister” was originally the Latin adjective “sinister”/”sinistra”/”sinistrum” that meant “left” but took on the meanings of “evil” or “unlucky” by the Classical Latin era.
    #7 Lead was used as both a preservative and a sweetening agent.
    #8 The trepan, or drill, that ancient sculptors used to create their art was also used as a surgical instrument to bore holes into the skull. This procedure (called trepanning) was thought to cure headaches, treat brain disorders, let out evil spirits, and treat insanity.
    #9 In English, to “decimate” means to completely destroy. The word comes from the Latin decimare, which evolved from the practice of killing every tenth Roman soldier if they tried to mutiny.
    #10 It became treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.
    #11 Ancient Romans believed that seeing an owl was a bad omen, sniffing cyclamen flowers would prevent baldness, and ringing bells eased the pain of childbirth. The presence of bees, which were considered sacred messengers of the gods, were seen as a sign of good luck.
    #12 In ancient Rome, an infant was placed at the father’s feet shortly after birth. If the father took the child into his arms, it showed he accepted responsibility for its upbringing. If the baby was not accepted, it was be abandoned and left to die.
    #13 Cincinnati, Ohio, is named after a great figure of Rome, Cincinnatus (519-438 B.C.). While plowing his fields, he was made dictator and placed in charge of the war against the Vosci and Aequi. He did the job in 16 days, left his powerful position, and went back to the plow.
    #14 One of Rome’s most famous and significant archaeological feats was the Cloaca Maxima (Greatest Sewage), which was an ancient sewer system. It was thought to be presided over by the goddess Cloacina (literally “sewer” or “drain”).
    #15 The Colosseum had a large sun roof that could be stretched over the crowd to keep the spectators in the shade. The Colosseum took 12 years to build, and the exit time for all 70,000 spectators was only three minutes.
    #16 Toothpaste was regularly used by those who could afford it. Nitrum, probably either potassium or sodium carbonate, was burned and rubbed on the teeth to restore color.
    #17 Some wealthy women often wore wigs made from the blond hair of foreign slaves. Slaves could also dye a woman’s hair blond or red by blowing powder onto it. Slaves could be tortured for a styling hair poorly.
    #18 The Romans had special toga cleaners called fullers. They would hang the togas over a round wooden frame, bleach them with burning sulfur, and press them in a large vat of water to get them clean.
    #19 Some common girl names in ancient Rome included Julia, Livia, Drusilla, Antonia, and Claudia. Common boy names included Marcus, Julius, Antonius, Titus, Caius, Didius, Marius, and Septimus.
    #20 Wealthy Romans might enjoy exotic foods such as stuffed flamingo. Fish sauce called liquamen or garum made from fish intestines was also popular.
    #21 After the Romans deposed the last of their kings in 509 B.C., they created the Law of Twelve Tables in 450 B.C., a rule of law that remained in force for 800 years until the end of the western empire.
    #22 Girls were expected to marry at the age of 13 or 14 in arranged marriages. Strewing nuts, symbolic of the casting off of childish toys and of fertility, was an important part of the wedding. The bride wore a saffron-colored wedding gown with a flame-red veil over her hair.
    #23 Roman divorce was quick and easy. Either party merely uttered to the other the Latin phrase “Tuas res tibi habeto.” (“Keep what’s yours for yourself.”) If there were any children, they remained with the father, though the dowry was returned to the woman provided she had not committed adultery.
    #24 Romans thought that not owning slaves was a sign of extreme poverty. Many people would take three slaves with them just to go to the baths.
    #25 Careers for Roman women outside the home included priestesses and lamp makers. There were also professional midwives, hairdressers, and even a few female doctors.
    #26 For the Romans, a “circus” was a chariot racetrack, not the tented entertainment venue of today.
    #27 To die honorably, the defeated gladiator would grasp the thigh of his victor who would then hold his opponent’s head or helmet and plunge a sword in his neck. To make sure the gladiator was not faking his death, an attendant dressed as Mercury would touch him with a hot iron rod and another attendant dressed as Charon would hit him with a mallet.
    #28 The Monte Testaccio is a vast, nonbiodegradable garbage dump where an estimated 53 million amphorae (ceramic vases) were thrown. It is one of the largest and most organized dumps found anywhere in the ancient world.
    #29 Roman coins were used to publicize the emperor, his achievements, and his family in a world with no mass media.
    #30 The diet of ordinary Romans consisted mostly of starchy food and did not include many green vegetables, fresh meat, or fats. Hence, many children suffered from malnutrition.
    #31 Now assumed to be an ancient Roman manhole cover or part of a first-century statue, past generations thought Rome’s “Mouth of Truth” (La Bocca della Verita) to be a sort of ancient lie detector. Allegedly, it would cut off a person’s hand if it was placed in the mouth while the person spoke a lie. Later, priests in the Middle Ages would put scorpions in it to help perpetuate the myth.
    #32 The historian Vegetius reports that before being entered into the records of the legion, a soldier was given the ‘military mark’. This mark was made by tattooing or branding. It purpose was clearly to prevent desertions, as it would make deserters far easier to identify. A decree in AD 398, ordered the branding of workers in the imperial armament factories. It states that the ‘national mark’ should be branded onto the arms of these soldiers. The ‘national mark’ the text refers to, would have been the famous letters SPQR (which signified the Roman state), along with the symbolic eagle of the Roman Empire.

  102. When I first picked up The False Prince this past summer, I instantly fell in love with the story and its characters. I love ancient civilizations, and am ready to dive back into that world with new characters by a familiar hand.

  103. 1. The term, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” is from Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was, “No eye gouging.” Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be disqualified was to poke someone’s eye out.

    2. me the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne—the nine Muses of Greek mythology?
    A: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpischore, Thalia, and Urania.

    What mythological beast has the head of a man, the body of a lion, and the tail and feet of a dragon?
    A: A manticore.

    The diet of what mythical monster periodically included seven youths and seven maidens?
    A: The Minotaur’s.

    In Greek mythology, who was the goddess of the rainbow?
    A: Iris.

    In ancient Athens, what tree was considered sacred — with all its fruit belonging to the state, and death the penalty for anyone caught cutting one down?
    A: The olive tree.

    What legendary fire-breathing female monster had a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a dragon’s tail?
    A: The Chimera.

    What famous structure in Greek mythology was built by a man named Epeius?
    A: The Trojan Horse. According to the legend, Epeius was a skilled woodworker commissioned by Odysseus to build the huge gift horse.

    According to legend, who fired the arrow that hit Achilles in the heel, his only vulnerable spot?
    A: Paris.

    What mythological god was portrayed as the Colossus of Rhodes, the more than 100-foot-high sculpture that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World?
    A: Helios, the sun god. The statue was destroyed by an earthquake in 224.

    In Greek mythology, who were Arges, Brontes and Steropes?
    A: Cyclopes.

    In Greek mythology, who was the queen of the underworld and wife of Hades?
    A: Persephone.

    Who was the ancient Greek god of dreams?
    A: Morpheus. (Hypnus was the god of sleep.)

    What bird was credited with saving Rome from attack y the Gauls in 390B.C.?
    A: The goose. According to legend, the honking of geese alerted the Romans to a night raid by the Gauls.

    According to classical mythology, who was the first mortal woman?
    A: Pandora.

    Janus–the ancient Roman god of good beginnings for whom January is named– is pictured on early coins with two faces looking in opposite directions. What did the faces represent?
    A: The future and the past.

    What is the name of the imaginary city built in the air in The Birds, the comedy written by the Greek playwright Aristophanes in 414B.C.?
    A: Cloud-Cuckoo-Land– or Nephelococcygia in Greek.

    In Greek mythology, what were the names of Oedipus’s parents?
    A: Laius, King of Thebes, and his queen, Jocasta.

    According to legend, what is the color of the horn in the middle of the unicorn’s forehead?
    A: White at the base, black in the middle and red at the tip.

    According to Norse legend, what animals pulled Thor’s chariot across the sky?
    A: Two goats. Thor was the god of thunder.

    According to legend, what Hindu god died as Achilles did—from an arrow shot into his heel?
    A: Krishna. He was shot by a hunter who mistook him for a deer. His heel was his only vulnerable spot.

  104. 1. The Sistine Chapel – Cappella Sistina in Italian – takes its name from the man who commissioned it, Pope Sixtus IV: “Sixtus” in Italian is “Sisto”.
    2. Some 25,000 people a day, or five million people a year, visit the chapel.
    3. Entry to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel costs €16, an annual revenue for the Vatican of around €80 million or £70 million a year.
    4. Sisto’s chapel had the same dimensions, as described in the Old Testament, as the Temple of Solomon on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
    5. Sisto conducted the first Mass in the chapel on August 15, 1483.
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    6. For such an important building the Sistine Chapel is remarkably plain outside – a high, block-like rectangular brick building without adornment. It has no grand façade and no processional entrance door: all entry points are internal, from other parts of the Papal Palace.
    7. The Cappella Sistina served then (as now) as the pope’s private chapel.
    8. A screen, or transenna, divides the chapel about two-thirds down to separate the pope and his entourage from pilgrims and the rest of any congregation.
    9. The Sistine Chapel is most famous for Michelangelo’s frescoes, but long before Michelangelo, Sisto commissioned painters such as Botticelli to fresco the two long walls of the chapel: one side told the story of Moses, the other the story of Christ. Even without Michelangelo’s work, these earlier paintings still represent one of Europe’s greatest fresco cycles.
    10. The pope who commissioned Michelangelo’s frescoes in 1508 was Julius II, the nephew of Sixtus IV. The English word nepotism derives from the Italian nipote, meaning “nephew” from the papal practice of favouring relations. Often popes’ “nephews” were actually their sons.
    11. Julius II had his own plans for the Sistine Chapel frescoes – images of the twelve Apostles. Michelangelo dismissed the idea as a “poor thing”.
    12. Before Michelangelo began work the chapel’s ceiling featured a depiction of the night sky – a simple vault of blue with a few gold stars – by an Umbrian artist, Piero Matteo d’Amelia.
    13. Michelangelo began work on the ceiling in July 1508. The completed frescoes were unveiled in October 1512.
    14. The chapel’s paintings cover 12,000 sq ft (1,110 sq m), about one-sixth the size of a football pitch.
    15. Contrary to myth, Michelangelo did not paint on his back, but on a platform of his own devising that extended over half the area of the chapel and allowed him to stand upright. It was moved midway through the project. At no point could Michelangelo look at the work in progress from below, but he was still able to paint images on a vast scale from a distance of a few inches.

    View the frescoes with this 360 degree interactive image
    16. Most of the ignudi, the decorative male nudes on Michelangelo’s ceiling, are shown with acorns, which are a recurring motif across the frescoes. Julius II’s family name was Rovere, which means “oak” in Italian. The acorns are a less than subtle way of Michelangelo acknowledging his patron.
    17. The main nine panels at the centre of Michelangelo’s ceiling depict stories from the Book of Genesis from the Creation to the story of Noah. However, Michelangelo painted the panels in reverse chronological order, finishing with the scenes showing God creating the sun, moon, Earth and darkness and light. Michelangelo claimed that he deliberately left the images of God until last, when his fresco technique would have improved, knowing that they would be the most challenging and wanting to excel in his portrayal of the divine.
    18. Michelangelo’s portrayal of God as a muscular figure with long white hair and big white beard is the one many of us imagine, yet this was the first time God had been depicted in this dynamic way. In most earlier paintings God was depicted simply as a hand reaching down through the clouds.
    19. God is depicted six times in the ceiling frescoes. Christ does not feature as an adult (the Christ Child appears among the figures under God’s cloak in the famous image of God Creating Adam), because, apart from images of the sibyls, the ceiling is concerned only with the Old Testament. Christ appears in Michelangelo’s later fresco of The Last Judgment on the chapel’s altar wall.
    20. The Bible suggests that Eve’s forbidden fruit is an apple. In the ceiling panel depicting the Temptation, Michelangelo’s tree is a fig. The serpent in this scene, Satan, is depicted not as a male figure, but with a woman’s head.
    21. Michelanglo painted the vast fresco of The Last Judgment on the end altar wall of the Sistine Chapel long after the ceiling frescoes, between 1536 to 1541.
    22. In 1564, the Council of Trent demanded that the more ‘prominent’ nudes in The Last Judgment be made more decent. The artist Daniele da Volterra was commissioned to paint underwear, or braghe (draperies) on the offending nudes. He was lampooned ever after and given the nickname Il Braghettone – Big Pants.
    23. The election of a new pope has been held in the Sistine Chapel, with other locations, since 1492, but as the sole venue only since 1870.
    24. Electronic devices are banned inside the chapel during the election and all 115 cardinals taking part place in the latest election will be swept for bugs before entering.
    25. Cardinals swear an oath of secrecy with the promise of hellfire and damnation if they break their vow.

    26. Once the cardinals have entered, the chapel’s doors are closed with the words “Extra omnes” – “Everyone out”.
    27. The chapel doors are then locked, which is where the word conclave – the gathering of the College of Cardinals for a papal election – comes from: cum clave or [closed] “with key”.
    28. During a conclave two Pontifical Swiss Guards protect the Sistine Chapel doors. They are drawn from a 110-strong force recruited from Switzerland’s four Catholic cantons to protect the pontiff and police Vatican City. Recruits must be unmarried during their tenure, between 19 and 25 and at least 5ft 9in (1.75m) tall. According to myth Michelangelo designed their distinctive costumes – in fact they date from 1914.
    29. In the Middle Ages, the conclave consisted of just 12 or so cardinals; in the 16th century the number had risen to 70; in 1958 it was 120.
    30. Popes have been chosen by cardinals in 95 elections since the 12th century.
    31. Until 1996, cardinals could, in theory, by chosen by acclamation – where all the cardinals spontaneously call out the same name.
    32. Until 1970 there was no age limit on voting cardinals but now they must be under 80. Older cardinals are allowed to play a ‘spiritual’ role in the early stage of an election.
    33. A non-cardinal speaker addresses the conclave before its start: in 2005, at Pope Benedict XVI’s election, it was a Capuchin monk. Note that the word cappuccino derives from the garb of Capuchin monk: brown robes with a white cowl.
    34. Food and drink at conclaves, however – served in the Sala Borgia near the Sistine Chapel – is simple: nuns, to cook, are among a handful of non-cardinals allowed to attend. The only others are two sacristans and two masters of ceremonies.
    35. In the past, cardinals would stay – in considerable discomfort – squeezed into rooms and nooks and crannies near the Sistine Chapel and other nearby parts of the Papal Palace. Now they stay in the £12-million, but spartan Domus Sanctae Marthae, on the far side of St Peter’s from the chapel, commissioned for the purpose by Pope John Paul II.
    36. Before the ballot begins, the Cardinal Dean, who presides over the College of Cardinals, draws the names of nine of the eligible cardinals present at random. Three will serve as Scrutineers, and sit separately from the other cardinals by the altar, under Michelangelo’s Last Judgment; three will collect the votes of the remaining seated cardinals; and three will act as Revisers.
    Read our expert guide to Rome
    37. Pope Gregory XV introduced the secret ballot in 1621 so that the many familial relationships of those present would not affect voting.
    38. Ballots begin on the conclave’s first evening and then there are four a day until a candidate receives a majority of two-thirds plus one vote.
    39. Cardinals enter a single name on their ballot paper under the head “Eligo in Summum Ponteficem” – “I Elect as Supreme Pontiff…” and must disguise their handwriting.
    40. Pope Benedict XVI’s election in 2005 required just four ballots and one overnight stay.
    41. If 34 ballots or more are required, cardinals then vote only between the two cardinals who received the most votes in the last ballot.
    42. A new pope does not need to be a cardinal: any baptised, unmarried Catholic male will do: if elected he is immediately made a bishop – the last non-cardinal thus elected was Urban VI in 1378.
    43. The election’s progress, or lack of, is signalled by dark smoke rising four times daily from the Sistine Chapel chimney when the cardinals’ ballot papers are burnt in a stove installed specially for the purpose. Bells are rung and white smoke rises when a decision is made. Damp straw and the string tying the ballot papers created the dark smoke in the past, but now chemicals are used to prevent any possible confusion.
    44. Once a cardinal has achieved the necessary majority, the Cardinal Dean approaches him and asks if he willing to accept the role of pope and, if he is, to declare his chosen papal name. In the unlikely event he is not a bishop, the Cardinal Dean has the power to make him one.
    45. In 1978, Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) was the first non-Italian pope to be elected by a conclave in 455 years.
    46. The successful candidate is led to the so-called Room of Tears in the Sistine Chapel, named after the emotion he is thought likely to feel. The tiny room, with a small red couch, is off the chapel to the left of the altar and below The Last Judgment.
    47. In the Room of Tears he is fitted with a white papal cassock. Tailors make three cassocks in three sizes to prepare for all eventualities. He adds a white zucchetto (hat), red stole, red cape and white rochet (short tunic).
    48. The Cardinal Protodeacon – the longest serving of the order of deacons – then goes to the famous main balcony of St Peter’s and says to the crowd below: “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam” (I announce a great joy to you. We have a Pope). He then recites the first name, surname and papal name of the new pontiff.
    49. The new pope then appears at the same balcony, makes a brief speech and gives his first blessing, Urbi et Orbi (To the City [Rome] and to the World).
    50. A frieze in the church of San Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome, built on the spot St Paul was buried following his execution in AD 67, contains images of all the popes since St Peter. According to Roman tradition, the world will end when there is no room for another portrait. At present, there are just seven spaces left after Pope Benedict XVI…

  105. 1. In 173 BC, a large fleet of ships was seen in the sky near Rome.

    2. Cobwebs were used to stop bleeding from fractured skulls and shaving cuts.

    3. The Romans wondered whether plants enjoy travel in the same way as people do. There was a law against using magic to transfer growing crops from one place to another.

    4. Faustina, the wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, had a collection of several hundred wigs.

    5. The Latin word musculus means both “little mouse” and “muscle”, since muscles rippling under the skin were thought to be like little mice.

    6. The emperor Commodus frequently fought as a gladiator, armed with iron weapons, whereas his opponents had lead ones.

    7. A person found guilty of parricide was sewn up in a sack with a dog, a rooster, a viper, and a monkey, and thrown into the sea.

    8. Kissing a she-mule on the nostrils cures hiccups and sneezing.

    9. Even though the Romans had no stirrups, Julius Caesar could ride at a gallop with his hands behind his back.

    10. The emperor Maximinus was said to have drunk seven gallons of wine per day and to have been eight feet, six inches tall.

  106. 1.) The Colosseum was not designed by a single prominent designer/architect as it would be if built today. During medieval times it was said to have been designed by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. Now we know that Virgil died well before the Colosseum was conceived.

    2.) The Colosseum was built by Emperor Vespasian, founder of the Flavian dynasty, for Titus, his successor.

    3.) Colosseum is an elliptical building measuring 189 meters long and 156 meters wide with a base area of 24,000 m² with a height of more than 48 meter.

    4.) The Colosseum has over 80 entrances and can accommodate about 50,000 spectators.

    5.) It is thought that over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the Colosseum hosted people vs. beast games.

    6.) There were 36 trap doors in Arena allowing for elaborate special effects

    7.) All Ancient Romans had free entry to the Colosseum for events, and were also fed throughout the spectacles.

    8.) Festivals as well as games could last up to 100 days in the Colosseum.Around Rome Tours – Colosseum facts

    9.) The Ancient Romans would sometimes flood the Colosseum and have miniature ship naval battles inside as a way of entertainment.

    10.) The Colosseum only took 10 years to build starting in 70 AD and was completed in 80 AD using over 60,000 Jewish slaves.

    11.) The marble façade and some parts of the Colosseum were used for the construction of St Peter’s Basilica and later monuments.

    12.) Many natural disasters devastated the structure of the Colosseum, but it was the earthquakes of 847 AD and 1231 AD that caused most of the damage you see today.

    13.) The original name of the Colosseum was Flavian Amphitheater, after the Flavian Dynasty of Emperors.

    14.) Rome´s most popular monument was built for three reasons. As a gift to the Roman Citizens from the Flavian Dynasty to increase their popularity, to stage various forms of entertainment, and to showcase Roman engineering techniques to the world.

    15.) The Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as animal hunts, mock sea battles, re-enactments of famous battles, executions and dramas.

    16.) During the inaugural games of the Colosseum in 80 CE held by Titus, some 9,000 wild animals were slaughtered.

    17.) In 107 CE, Emperor Trajan is said to have celebrated his victories in Dacia with contests involving 11,000 animals and 10,000 gladiators within 123 days.

    18.) It is estimated that the games played in the Colosseum for hundreds of years have taken the lives of about 500,000 people and over a million wild animals.

    19.) The last gladiatorial fights occurred in 435 CE and the last animal hunts stopped in 523 CE. It was primarily due to the cost of procuring animals and gladiators and maintaining the expensive facility.

    20.) More than 100,000 cubic meters of travertine stone were used for the outer wall of Colosseum which was set without mortar held together by 300 tons of iron clamps.

    21.) Colosseum was built near the giant statue of Colossus which was part of the Nero’s Park. The current name was derived from the statue of Colossus.

    22.) Based on historical evidences, it shows that 200 bullock carts were used to transport marbles to the construction site.

    23.) The total amount of marbles used for the construction of the Colosseum was estimated at 100,000 cubic meters.

    24.) Receiving millions of visitors every year, the Colosseum is the most famous tourist attraction of Rome.

    25.) Despite its brutal pagan origins, the Colosseum has been used as a worship space by Christians over the centuries. A large cross was removed in the 1870’s during a frenzy of secular archaeology funded by the new Italian state. That cross was replaced by Mussolini in 1926 in a cynical effort to placate Catholics.

    Around Rome Tours – Colosseum facts26.) Gladiators were marginalized persons in Roman society, without the rights of citizenship, and essentially (or literally) slaves.The gladiators were both admired and reviled by the Romans.

    27.) Although the Romans’ gladiatorial spectacles petered out in about 432 AD, it was not because of any Christian edict. It was primarily due to the cost of procuring animals and gladiators and maintaining the expensive facility, which by this time was badly deteriorating.

    28.) The Fighting Killed Off Whole Species The sheer quantity of slaughter in the Colosseum saw the number of lions, jaguars, and tigers plummet across the globe. According to some, Roman hunting absolutely “devastated the wildlife of North Africa and the entire Mediterranean region,” wiping some species of animal off the map entirely.

    29.) After one particularly brutal set of games in which 9,000 animals were slaughtered, the hippo disappeared from the river Nile. Creatures like the North African elephant, which was also commonly used as a war elephant during the time, were wiped of the face of the Earth completely.

    30.) The area beneath the Colosseum was called the Hypogeum (meaning underground). The hypogeum consisted of two-level subterranean network of tunnels and 32 animal pens. It had 80 vertical shafts which provided instant access to the arena for animals and scenery.

    • Thanks, Adam – a lot of these facts already worked their way into the book, but I didn’t know #1 or #22, so there’s ten bonus entries for you!

  107. HOW DID ROME EXPAND?
    Gradually, the Roman Republic conquered its neighbors, until, by 260 BC, it controlled all of Italy. Next, the Romans defeated the Carthaginians, which by 100 BC gave Rome control of the Mediterranean. At the heart of the government of this expanding Roman Republic were the politicians called SENATORS.

    WHAT WAS THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT ROME?
    Jupiter, Minerva, Vesta, and Mars were among the chief gods and goddesses of Ancient Rome. On special occasions, animals were sacrificed to them in temples. Before going into battle, for example, a public sacrifice would be made to Mars, the god of war. Throughout the empire a wide range of non-Roman religions were tolerated, so long as they did not disrespect official Roman gods and the EMPERORS.

    HOW WERE ROMAN SOLDIERS RECRUITED?
    In the early days of Rome, every citizen had to be prepared to fight, but soldiers of the Roman imperial army were paid, highly trained professionals who signed on for 20-25 years of service. The ordinary foot soldier was equipped with a short sword, two javelins, and a heavy shield of leather and wood. When he was not at war, he was building forts and roads.

    SENATORS
    The Roman Republic was ruled by the Senate, the council of noblemen that controlled all the top jobs in the government and army. After 27 BC, when the Roman Republic was replaced by the Roman Empire, the Senate continued to play an important part in politics.

    WHY WAS JULIUS CAESAR MURDERED?
    In 44 BC, five years after he had become the sole ruler of Rome, Julius Caesar was murdered in the Senate building. His assassins were a group of senators who thought he had become too powerful. They also resented the fact that Julius Caesar had rewarded hundreds of his supporters by making them senators. As a result, the Senate, which for most of its history had between 300 and 600 members, was packed with 900 senators.

    EMPERORS
    After Julius Caesar’s death, Rome was divided by civil wars. By 27 BC, his adopted son Octavian was master of the Roman world. Under the title Augustus, which means “revered” in Latin, he became the first Roman emperor. His reign brought peace and prosperity to a war-weary world.

    WHY DID ROMANS GET BREAD AND CIRCUSES?
    Rome was the largest city in the world. By AD 300, it had a million inhabitants, many of whom were hungry and unemployed. To stop them from rioting, they were given “bread and circuses.” The “bread” was the regular ration of grain issued to Roman citizens, and the “circuses” were the free entertainments and chariot races provided by politicians and emperors.

    FIRST EMPEROR
    Augustus reigned for nearly 50 years. He reorganized coins, laws, and taxation, and transformed the Roman army into a peace-keeping force, designed to protect the empire’s expanding frontiers.

  108. Some people who fought against animals in the Colosseum were well-trained men and thought of it as a career. A great deal of them, however, were unarmed criminals or prisoners of war who were thrown to the animals with virtually nothing to defend themselves. As you can imagine, such a fate was terrifying for even the most hardened of men. Many prisoners killed themselves with whatever they had on hand rather than risk being killed by whichever strange beasts lined up for the morning show.For example, one German prisoner killed himself by forcing a sponge down his own throat. And not just any sponge—this was a lavatory sponge that inmates used to wipe their anuses. Other stories involve prisoners making murder suicide pacts with each other, like the 29 Saxon prisoners who all fatally strangled one other to avoid death in the arena. How the last one alive managed to kill himself isn’t recorded, but considering “choking on a sponge of human excrement” was an option, we’re guessing it wasn’t pretty.
    The sheer quantity of slaughter in the Colosseum saw the number of lions, jaguars, and tigers plummet across the globe. According to some, Roman hunting absolutely “devastated the wildlife of North Africa and the entire Mediterranean region,” wiping some species of animal off the map entirely. For example, after one particularly brutal set of games in which 9,000 animals were slaughtered, the hippo disappeared from the river Nile. Creatures like the North African elephant, which was also commonly used as a war elephant during the time, were wiped of the face of the Earth completely.
    Because the majority of bestiari were prisoners of war or other such undesirables, they were almost always ill-equipped for the task of slaughtering a rampaging wild animal. In the highly unlikely event a bestiari actually managed to kill the animal he was forced to fight, another would almost certainly be let loose before he’d even finished celebrating. The ancient Greek philosopher Strabo once described the plight of a particularly unlucky bestiari who was first sentenced to be killed by a boar. When the boar accidentally fatally gored its handler, leaving the guards no choice but to kill it, a wild bear was brought in to the arena instead to kill the prisoner. In an unbelievable stroke of luck, the bear then refused to leave its cage, once again leaving the prisoner alive and the guards with the frustrating task of killing the bear. Not ones to be deterred, the Romans finally brought into the arena a caged leopard, which happily tore out the bestiari’s throat. Some people just don’t have any luck, do they?
    Emperor Commodus (played by Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator) took great pleasure in slaughtering animals and people in the arena. He enjoyed it so much that in one day alone, he reportedly killed more than 100 bears. Though we don’t know exactly how Commodus managed such a feat, scholars agree he probably just stabbed them while they stood tethered and helpless. Though such actions paint Commodus as a poor fighter, he was reportedly a crack shot with the bow, which he liked to prove by decapitating ostriches in full sprint with crescent-shaped arrows. Commodus would then brandish or even throw the decapitated heads at members of the crowd or his own senate, either as a warning or a sign of his madness.
    Damnatio ad bestias (“condemnation by wild beasts”) was the act of condemning criminals to death by animal attack in the arena. Unlike the betiarii, who stood at least a small chance at defending themselves, those condemned via damnatio ad bestias were either defenseless, tied to the spot, or just naked and armed with a wooden weapon.The very first case of damnatio ad bestias in Roman history occurred when Aemilius Paullus sentenced a group of army deserters to death in 167 BC. To make it interesting, he ordered them crushed to death by a horde of elephants. The spectacle proved so popular that death by animals became a part of everyday life for the Romans—literally. Every morning, a Roman citizen could go to the arena to watch such executions take place before an afternoon of actual gladiatorial combat.
    The killing of animals was usually left to trained professionals or unarmed prisoners. But on rare occasions, the general public got the chance to kill rare and exotic animals for their own enjoyment. Emperor Probus turned one of the most famous chariot racetracks in Rome, the Circus Maximus, into an actual forest around 280 AD. Into this forest, he released hundreds, if not thousands, of ibexes, sheep, ostriches, and other beasts. After the forest had been suitably filled with hapless herbivores, the public was then permitted to enter and hunt animals for fun. As a bonus, they could keep anything they killed. The following day, Probus had 400 lions and 300 bears stabbed to death, because the public apparently still wasn’t satisfied with all the free ostrich meat they’d received the day before.
    According to legend, the hero Orpheus was a musician of such skill that he could charm all living things with nothing more than a lyre. The Romans loved this legend and tried to recreate it many, many times. They’d dress a condemned criminal up like Orpheus, give him a lyre, and then throw him into an arena full of angry bears, normally ones that had been starved or beaten. Sometimes, though, the Romans would put a further twist on the myth and crucify the man playing Orpheus before exposing him to the bear. Mostly, however, the Romans were a little more sporting and the criminal was free to defend himself with the lyre he’d been given. This went about as well as you’d expect. Then again, it could have been worse . . .
    Besides the bestiari, arena competitors included better-trained, voluntary fighters called “venatores.” Carpophorus is likely the most famous of them all. He once killed 20 wild beasts in a single day, straight-up strangling some of them to death. However, Carpophorus had another talent that we want to discuss today. Along with being an expert killer of animals, he was also a rather skilled trainer of them. Carpophorus trained multiple animals, including giraffes, to rape women. To accomplish this, Carpophorus would wait for female animals to be in heat so he could collect samples from them to arouse the male of the species. Carpophorus would then rub these samples against slaves or homeless women he’d tempted to the arena. According to one account, “Carpophorus used up several women before he got the animals properly trained.” The reasoning behind such madness was, like with the sad case of prisoners forced to dress as Orpheus, to reenact Greek or Roman myths. In particular, these involved Zeus, who liked to take the form of various animals before having his way with women. One story involves a woman accused of poisoning five being raped by a jackass, before Carpophorus ended the ordeal by releasing wild animals into the arena to ease her suffering.
    If you hadn’t already guessed by now, the Romans didn’t exactly take good care of the animals they intended to fight or kill. Most animals, to save on the cost of housing and feeding them, would be killed outright after each games, since, well, replacements were easy to come by. However, exceptions existed. According to the famed Roman philosopher Cicero, one lion in the arena killed an astounding 200 men before it was finally slain. Other notable animals include the group of 18 elephants who stormed the crowd in an escape attempt. The elephants were originally to be killed by a group of men armed with darts, but they smashed through the fence separating them from the crowd. To stop this from ever happening again, the Romans placed a large trench between the arena and the crowd for future events.
    Perhaps the most cruel aspect of all is that the animals brought to the arena never really needed to be killed. We don’t mean that killing animals for sport is wrong—the Romans had little patience for that argument. We mean that the animals proved perfectly capable of entertaining the crowds while staying alive. For example, trained elephants who danced, bowed, and did other tricks delighted the crowds. In fact, elephants were noted as being one of the only creatures the crowds didn’t like to see being killed. Writers of the era note that spectators would boo upon seeing elephants killed, thinking them smart and gentle creatures. Other stories tell of the crowd being in awe of just seeing crocodiles sit in a ditch full of water. That’s it—no one stabbed them, and they didn’t fight anything. People were happy just to look at them, as though in a zoo. Another time, a crowd of thousands once sat and laughed their heads off at the sight of a bunch of leopards running in a straight line. The crowd was literally just as happy to see the animals run in a circle or sit and do nothing, but the Romana decided to kill them anyway to spice things up.

    • Ah, Adam, the venatio you describe here plays a pretty big role in the first book! However, I didn’t know that the crowd didn’t like the elephants to be killed, so that’ll give you five bonus entries!

  109. For over two centuries the area known as Colosseum was the scene of the unbelievable cruelty and violence. A Flight between gladiators, battle between men and wild animals, people and animals were slaughtered here. Gladiators were professionaly trained fighters forced to fight to dealth.
    Gladiators would also fight bankrupt citizens who sold themselves to pay their debts and slaves sold to a Gladiator school by their masters and criminals. These fights lasted until dealth from one and other .
    Some of the delicacies at a Roman feast included raw sea urchin’s, pig’s udder, peacock brains and flamingo tongues.
    The Romans were very superstitious. They believed that the gods had to be kept happy with sacrifices and ceremonies or else they might bring bad luck to the people that ignored them.
    Roman children played games similar to hopscotch, tug-of-war and blind man’s bluff. Rock, scissors, paper was played by the Egyptians and Romans. The Romans called it: Bucca, Bucca, Quot, Sunt, Hic
    Some Romans used to keep honking geese rather than watchdogs to alert them of intruders.
    Slaves were made to fight at rich peoples funerals. The blood was meant to make the gods happy.
    Romans believed nothing happened through chance, instead everything happened according to a set of rules.
    Female Slaves could be purchased from 1000 to 4000 denarius
    Male Slaves could be purchased from 300 to 800 denarius
    The Slaves had to be naked at thew market to allow their whole body to be inspected
    If you killed your father in Rome, you would be sewn up in a sack with a dog, a rooster, a snake and a monkey and then thown into the river or sea
    When a Roman died their family mourned by wearing dull wool clothing.The would not bathe, comb their hair, cut their figernails, or change their clothes for a set period of time.
    The periods of mourning were:
    One month – for the children under six
    Eight months – for a close relatives
    Ten months – for a husband
    One year – for parents and children over six

  110. I am a self-confessed bookaholic. I can’t live without books!!!!!
    I have read heaps of awesome books but the Ascendance Trilogy is by far the best series I have ever read. On top of that, I am in love with Jaron!! I know that any book by the author of TFP will be absolutely amazing, so I’m entering just to be selfish and have the book all to myself 😛
    Also our town library takes like, half a year to get books after they are released 🙁
    PS. Does it count if I tell friends about MOTT at school?

  111. Ten fun facts you probably didn’t know
    (from Roman Mystery XII, The Charioteer of Delphi)

    diagram of the Circus Maximus in the 1st century AD (from The Charioteer of Delphi)

    1. The Circus Maximus in Rome seated nearly a quarter of a million people! (250,000)

    2. Chariots were very light so they could go as fast as possible, and were probably made of wicker and leather; it would have been like driving a basket on wheels!

    3. Most chariots were pulled by ungelded stallions; two for a biga (2-horse chariot) and four for a quadriga (4-horse chariot)

    4. Chariots completed seven circuits, marked by dolphins (sacred to Neptune, god of the sea and also of horses) and eggs (sacred to Castor and Pollux).

    5. Charioteers wore leather helmets and jerkins in the colours of their factions (green, blue, red or white)

    6. A charioteers would tie the reins around his waist and put a sharp knife in his belt; if he was thrown from his chariot he could cut himself free!

    7. Some charioteers began training while they were still children, and many stars of the hippodrome would have been in their teens!

    8. A charioteer (or horse) who had won over a thousand races was called a miliarius.

    9. The races were always run counter-clockwise. (Not that the Romans had clocks…)

    10. Chariot racing was the most popular spectator sport in ancient Rome – even more popular than gladiatorial combats!

  112. 1. Roman soldiers were fighting men, first and foremost. Constant and rigorous training kept them at peak conditions, and ready for action at any time.
    In the mid-Republic each Roman legion had an equivalent complement of allied infantry equipped and modeled after the legion and a three times larger complement of cavalry. The army of the Late Republic and Early to Mid-Empire consisted of legionaries and auxiliaries. The auxiliaries were named so after the earlier allied complement, but with structure and equipment differing from the legionaries. They were non-Roman citizens, recruited mostly from the Roman provinces with less pay than the legionaries, but at the end of their service they would be granted Roman citizenship. In the Late Roman army the distinction was between comitatenses, reserve troops and limitanei, border troops.

    2. Inspired: The Roman army pen knife, a precursor to today’s popular Swiss Army accessory
    The world’s first Swiss Army knife’ has been revealed – made 1,800 years before its modern counterpart.

    An intricately designed Roman implement, which dates back to 200AD, it is made from silver but has an iron blade.

    It features a spoon, fork as well as a retractable spike, spatula and small tooth-pick.

    It is thought the spatula would have offered a means of poking cooking sauce out of narrow-necked bottles.

    The 3in x 6in (8cm x 15cm) knife was excavated from the Mediterranean area more than 20 years ago and was obtained by the museum in 1991.

    The unique item is among dozens of artefacts exhibited in a newly refurbished Greek and Roman antiquities gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum, in Cambridge.

    Experts believe it may have been carried by a wealthy traveller, who will have had the item custom made.

    A spokesman said: ‘This was probably made between AD 200 and AD 300, when the Roman empire was a great imperial power.

    3.
    The present ruins represent the third incarnation of the Temple of Saturn, replacing the second incarnation destroyed in the fire of 283. According to the sources, the statue of the god in the interior, veiled and provided with a scythe, was wooden and filled with oil. The legs were covered with linen bents, which were released only on December 17, the day of the Saturnalia. While dedicated to the god Saturn, the temple’s chief use was as the seat of the treasury of the Roman Empire (aerarium), storing the Empire’s reserves of gold and silver. Also the state archives, the insignia and the official scale for the weighing of metals were housed in the temple. The temple’s podium, in concrete covered with travertine, was used for bill-posting. (displaying the inscripiton Senatus Populusque Romanus incendio consumptum restituit, meaning “The Senate and People of Rome restored what fire had consumed”) represent one of the iconic images of Rome’s ancient architectural heritage.

    4.According to the legend, Chrysanthus was the only son of a Roman senator from Alexandria who grew up in Rome and converted to Christianity.

    His father, unhappy at the move, arranged for him to marry a high priestess called Daria in the hope he would cast off his new religion.

    But the plan backfired when Daria too embraced Christianity and the couple worked together to convert thousands more to the faith.

    Authorities in Rome arrested them for .proselytising and they were buried alive in a sand mine in the city in around 283AD.

    5. The discovery of a hoard of 100 ancient coins could prove the Romans conquered more of the South West than thought, it has been claimed.

  113. Mrs. Nielsen –

    I’ve already posted up there and I’ve received 5 bonus points for a fact, but I’d also like to try some more before the Day of Utter Impatience gets here – I feel so jittery!
    -350 Ancient Roman statues and marble friezes were found in England
    -The Senate argued often, repeatedly blocking important land reforms and refusing to give the equestrian class a larger say in government
    -The early Republican legion consisted of five sections, each of which was equipped differently and had different places in formation: the three lines of manipular heavy infantry (hastati, principes and triarii), a force of light infantry (velites), and the cavalry (equites). With the new organization came a new orientation toward the offensive and a much more aggressive posture toward adjoining city-states
    -Life in Ancient Rome revolved around the city of Rome, located on seven hills. The city had a vast number of monumental structures like the Colosseum, the Forum of Trajan and the Pantheon. It had theatres, gymnasiums, marketplaces, functional sewers, bath complexes complete with libraries and shops, and fountains with fresh drinking water supplied by hundreds of miles of aqueducts. Throughout the territory under the control of ancient Rome, residential architecture ranged from modest houses to country villas
    -The native language was Latin, and its alphabet was based on the Etruscan alphabet, which was base on the Greek alphabet. Soon, Greek was spoken more commonly. Now in Italy, people speak Italian, based on Latin
    -Several examples of Roman painting have been found at Pompeii, and from these art historians divide the history of Roman painting into four periods. The first style of Roman painting was practiced from the early 2nd century BC to the early- or mid-1st century BC. It was mainly composed of imitations of marble and masonry, though sometimes including depictions of mythological characters.
    The second style of Roman painting began during the early 1st century BC, and attempted to depict realistically three-dimensional architectural features and landscapes. The third style occurred during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), and rejected the realism of the second style in favor of simple ornamentation. A small architectural scene, landscape, or abstract design was placed in the center with a monochrome background. The fourth style, which began in the 1st century AD, depicted scenes from mythology, while retaining architectural details and abstract patterns
    -Caligula’s real name was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (after his ancestors Julius Caesar and Augustus), but everyone called him Caligula because when he was a little boy he lived in military camps where his father was the general, and he wore little soldier boots, so the soldiers called him “Little Boots”, which is Caligula in Latin. Caligula’s father died when Caligula was only seven. It’s possible that the emperor Tiberius poisoned Caligula’s father to get him out of the way. After his father died, Caligula’s mother Agrippina got into a long fight with Tiberius about whether he had really poisoned him. Because of this fight, Tiberius seems to have wanted to get Caligula more under his control. In 27 AD, when Caligula was fifteen years old, he and his three sisters went to live with their great-grandmother Livia, who was Tiberius’ mother. The kids stayed there for two years, until Caligula was seventeen. Then Tiberius ended his argument with Agrippina by arresting her and keeping her prisoner on an island, where the guards beat her and abused her. Tiberius also killed Caligula’s two older brothers. Caligula’s brother Nero either was murdered or killed himself. Caligula’s other brother, Drusus, was locked in a dungeon and starved to death – at the end, he tried to eat the stuffing of his mattress because he was so hungry. After all this, Caligula and his sisters went to live with their mother’s mother Antonia. During this whole time, the teenagers were pretty much prisoners, and had only each other for friends. Suetonius and other Roman historians say that Caligula and his sister Drusilla were more like boyfriend and girlfriend, but we don’t know that for sure. In 31 AD, Caligula went and lived with Tiberius. Tiberius died in 37 AD, when Caligula was 25 years old. In his will, Tiberius left control of the Roman Empire jointly to Caligula and to Tiberius’ grandson, Tiberius Gemellus, but Caligula seized all the power for himself anyway. In the beginning everybody loved Caligula. Priests sacrificed hundreds of cows and sheep and pigs in his honor.

    But by 39 AD it was clear that Caligula suffered from amental illness, which may have been a rare illness called Wilson’s Disease, and this made him act weirder and weirder. He seems to have begun to think of himself as a god. Caligula’s mental illness took over his life more and more as he got older. Suetonius says Caligula made his horse a priest, ordered the sun to rise in the middle of the night, and forced senators to run alongside his chariot. By the time he was 29 years old, Caligula was so disabled that the people near him thought it was just impossible for him to rule anymore. But there wasn’t any way to stop being Emperor except to die, because the Senate had voted Caligula’s powers to him for life. So in 41 AD some of Caligula’s guards stabbed him to death, and made his uncle Claudius emperor instead.

    Merry Christmas! Merry Mark of the Theif!
    You avid fan, avid wanna win-er,
    Loreley

    • I’ll give you an extra five bonus entries for Roman art styles!

  114. Hello Jennifer Nielsen!

    My students and I would LOVE an ARC copy of this book! Why? Well, here in CT, this is actually a NUTMEG Book Award nominee – so our kids are tearing through this story and loving it. Also, my students and I run our own YA fiction blog. I currently have a group of four students who have selected The False Prince for their video blog project. While they were doing some research on you and the novel, they saw this post and begged me to enter them into this contest! They would also love to possibly interview you as part of a follow-up blog project in February. Thanks for the contest and the consideration!

  115. The people of Ancient Rome had a toilet god.
    In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a “vomitorium” was the entrance way through which crowds entered and exited a stadium. The Latin word vomitorium derives from the verb vomitum which means “to spew forth”.
    Ancient Rome had a 4 story tall shopping mall with 150 shops and offices.
    In Ancient Rome, if people wished to commit suicide, they applied to the Senate and, if their petitions were approved, were given free hemlock.
    Women in ancient Rome wore the sweat of Gladiators to improve their beauty and complexion.
    In ancient Rome, when a man testified in court he would swear on his testicles.
    -The ancient city of Rome is the same as the present one in Italy.

    -Slaves in ancient Rome made up to 40% of the population.

    -The forum in ancient Rome was a place where people would converse about politics and religion, it was also a focal gathering, meeting point.

    -Asparagus was a favorite of the roman people, they kept it frozen in the Alps to keep it fresh.

    -Ancient Rome’s Colosseum was the biggest arena of all time, it could seat more than 200,000 people.

    -Gladiators in ancient Rome would fight till death and if the Emperor wasn’t impressed with the winner he would point his thumb down, which would prompt the release of hungry lions on him.

    -The Greeks got their best general Pyrrhus to fight the romans, he was a master tactician, he defeated the Roman twice but his army ran out and Rome conquered all the lands.

    -In Ancient Rome, Boys went to school and girls stayed at home and learned by their mother.

    -The city of Rome started of as small town around 700bc.

    -Spartacus was slave escapee who led an army of 90,000 men against Rome but was defeated and killed.

    -Romans would make their defeated foes civilians but most didn’t like the Romans, because of their superior attitude.

    • Adam, you got me on the applying for suicide (weird) and swearing of oaths (weirder). 10 bonus entries for you!

  116. I am pretty late wasn’t I? Well tough luck for me anyways you might know this one but it’s worth to try right? Did you know that all roman took a bath in one large bath tub kind of like a swimming pool but more weirder. And also that Romans were the first to find out that the Arcs helped structures stand. Pretty basic info I know but I gave it a shot right?

  117. these pieces of information might help:

    1.Because there were apparently few women in early Rome, Romulus (c. 771-717 B.C.) kidnapped neighboring Sabine women. Most of the girls were prizes of whoever got them first, while a few of the more beautiful ones were brought to leading senators by special gangs.

    2.Cappuccino is named after the Roman order of monks, the Capuchin, who wore a hood or cappucio

    3.The first-ever shopping mall was built by the Emperor Trajan in Rome. It consisted of several levels and more than 150 outlets that sold everything ranging from food and spices to clothes

    4.Ancient Romans believed that seeing an owl was a bad omen, sniffing cyclamen flowers would prevent baldness, and ringing bells eased the pain of childbirth. The presence of bees, which were considered sacred messengers of the gods, were seen as a sign of good luck

    That’s all I know I gave it all i got i guess. Hope for the best

  118. Jennifer,

    Whoever wins one of the ARCs will be super lucky! My class and I were lucky enough to be the first to see the ARCs when you Skyped us (they still talk about that, btw), and it only seems fitting that because we saw it first, we get to read it first, right? My class are loyal followers of yours: 9 students have already read your entire Ascendance trilogy, with 7 more currently in either Runaway King or Shadow Throne. Also, 14 of my students have put Mark of the Thief on their to-read list on Goodreads. I think that’s amazing, but what’s ever moreso is that they’ll read just about anything you recommend them. Loot flew off the shelves at our book fair, Michael Vey and Janitors became series reborn, I had to buy 4 more copies of One for the Murphys to meet demand, and I recently did a contest where the winners could get a free book on Scholastic and 11(!) chose Paradox, simply because you said you liked it. All I have to do to get them to read J. Scott Savage or Peggy Eddleman is say they sat next to you at a presentation once. You’ve achieved hero status in their eyes, and if you gave us an advanced reading copy of Mark of the Thief, you’d become legend. And I don’t think you can pass that up! 😉
    If we don’t receive one, we won’t be mad, we’ll just even-more-impatiently wait for that magical last Tuesday in February, even though that’ll be like Christmas two months late.

  119. I am trying to win an arc copy of Mark of the Thief, for my daughter, Danica. She has read and re-read the Ascendance trilogy until I have threatened to take them away. It got to the point that she was so obsessive and she truly believed she would marry a Jaron. I was quite impressed(and annoyed) that she could tie Jaron into nearly everything we did! I would definitely love to surprise her with this arc. Regardless, we will probably meet you again at King’s English to get an autograph copy of this book as we did with Shadow Throne(If you go there again). I have followed you and will now post on my timeline. Thanks, Amber

  120. I already posted above but I forgot to tell you I’m already following you on Facebook! 🙂

  121. I want this book because I read the false prince and loved it and hopefully this be just as good too. Some facts about ancient rome are

    1 after the death of an emperor an eagle was released to bear his soul in heaven

    2 romans did not have a taste for painting their pottery 3 romans glazed their pottery with lead to make them appear shiny

  122. The Romans ate a varied diet consisting of vegetables, meat and fish. The poorest Romans ate quite simple meals, but the rich were used to eating a wide range of dishes using produce from all over the Roman Empire.

    Romans typically ate three meals a day – breakfast (ientaculum), lunch (prandium) and dinner (cena). Cena was the main meal.

    The Romans did not sit down at a tables to eat their meals. They spread out on couches around a low, square table. They basically ate lying down! They also ate most of their meals with their fingers (although they did use spoons for some of the dishes, such as soup, and have knives to cut their food into bite-size pieces).

    Fruit and Vegetables

    A range of different fruits and vegetables were eaten by the Romans. They would have had: carrots, radishes, beans, dates, turnips, pears, plums, pomegranates, almonds, olives, figs, celery, apples, cabbages, pumpkins, grapes, mushrooms and many more. Some of these fruits and vegetables had never been seen in Britain before the Romans invaded.

    Meat

    The Romans kept animals for their meat. The rich ate beef, pork, wild boar, venison, hare, guinea fowl, pheasant, chicken, geese, peacock, duck, and even dormice (served with honey). The poorer Romans didn’t eat as much meat as the rich, but it still featured in their diet.

    Fish

    Lots of seafood was consumed by the Romans. They particularly enjoyed shellfish and fish sauce known as liquamen.

    Bread and Porridge

    Bread was a staple part of the Roman diet. Three grades of bread were made, and only rich ate refined white bread.

    Pottage, a thick porridge-like stew, was made from millet or wheat. To this the Romans would add cooked meats, sauces and spices.
    The Romans liked cheese (which was mainly made from goat’s milk) and eggs (from a variety of different birds).

    Romans didn’t know about sugar, so honey was used as a sweetener. Rich Romans also used salt, pepper and a range of spices to add flavour to their meals.

    What did the Romans drink?

    Wine was the main drink of the Roman Empire. It was always watered down and never drunk ‘straight’. In addition to drinking wine, the Romans also drank wine mixed with other ingredients. Calda was drunk in the winter and was made from wine, water and spices. Mulsum was a honey and wine mixture.

    The Romans didn’t drink beer and rarely drank milk.

  123. 1) The Coliseum in Rome has over 80 entrances and can accommodate about 50,000 spectators.

    inside colosseum rome 10 Interesting Facts about the Colosseum in Rome

    2) It is thought that over 500,000 people lost their lives and over a million wild animals were killed throughout the duration of the Colosseum hosted people vs. beast games.

    3) The last gladiatorial fights took place in 435 AD.

    4) All Ancient Romans had free entry to the Colosseum for events, and was also fed throughout the show.

    5) Festivals as well as games could last up to 100 days in the Coliseum.

    6) The Ancient Romans would sometimes flood the Colosseum and have miniature ship naval battles inside as a way of entertainment.

    7) The Colosseum in Italy only took 9 years to build using over 60,000 Jewish slaves.

    8) Many natural disasters devastated the structure of the Colosseum, but it was the earthquakes of 847 AD and 1231 AD that caused most of the damage you see today.

    9) The original name of the Coliseum was Flavian Amphitheater, after the Flavian Dynasty of Emperors.

    10) Rome´s most popular monument was built for three reasons. As a gift to the Roman Citizens from the Flavian Dynasty to increase their popularity, to stage various forms of entertainment, and to showcase Roman engineering techniques to the world.

  124. Facts about Gladiators

    Fact 1 The first recorded gladiatorial fight was staged in 264AD when three pairs of slaves who were selected to fight at the funeral of a prominent Roman

    Fact 2 The word ‘Gladiator’ was derived from Gladius which was the Latin word for sword

    Fact 3 Gladiator games were seen as a method to appease the Roman gods and avert Rome from disaster

    Fact 4 Gladiatorial combats were first fought in wooden arenas. The first stone built amphitheatre in Ancient Rome was called the Amphitheater of Statilius Taurus was built in 29 BC. The Roman Colosseum was built in 80AD

    Fact 5 Nearly 30 types of gladiators have been identified

    Fact 6 The role of the Gladiator became big business in the Roman Empire. Political careers could be launched on the back of spectacular games. Large sums of money could be won by gambling on the outcome of gladiator fights

    Fact 7 The games organised by Julius Caesar, on the death of his daughter Julia, featured 320 matched pairs

    Fact 8 Roman courts were given the authority to sentence criminals to death fighting as gladiators

    Fact 9 Slaves, criminals and prisoners of war were forced into the roles of the first gladiators

    Fact 10 By the period of the Roman Empire free men started to enrol as gladiators. Some were ex- soldiers, some wanted the adulation and the glory and some needed money to pay their debts. A Free gladiator was called Auctorati

    Fact 11 Gladiators were allowed to keep any prizes or gifts they were given during gladiatorial games

    Fact 12 Entrance to the gladiator games was free but spectators, between 50,000 – 80,000 were issued with tickets

    Fact 13 Trainee gladiators were called Tirones or Tiro

    Fact 14 Female Gladiators, some noble and wealthy, appeared in the arena
    Fact 15 42 different Roman Emperors witnessed the carnage at the Roman Colosseum

    Fact 16 Catervarii was the name given to gladiators when they did not fight in pairs, but when several fought together

    Fact 17 Bestiarii (Beast Fighters) were the gladiators who fought wild animals

    Fact 18 The Praegenarii were the ‘opening act gladiator’. This type of gladiator only used wooden swords, accompanied to festive music.

    Fact 19 Elite types of Gladiators were the Rudiarius who were gladiators who had obtained their freedom but chose to continue fighting in gladiatorial combats

    Fact 20 Gladiatorial schools “Ludi Gladiatorium”. The gladiator schools also served as barracks, or in some cases prisons, for gladiators between their fights.

    Fact 21 New Gladiators were formed into troupes called ‘Familia gladiatorium’ which were under the overall control of a manager (lanista)

    Fact 22 At the end of the day the gladiators who had been killed were dragged through the Porta Libitinensis (Gate of Death) to the Spoliarium where the body was stripped and the weapons and armor given to the dead gladiator’s lanista.

    Fact 23 Prospective gladiators (novicius) had to swear an oath (sacramentum gladiatorium) and enter a legal agreement (auctoramentum) agreeing to submit to beating, burning, and death by the sword if they did not perform as required .

    Fact 24 Gladiators often had tattoos (stigma, from where the English word stigmatised derives) applied as an identifying mark on the face, legs and hands.

    Fact 25 Trained gladiators joined formal associations, called collegia, to ensure that they were provided with proper burials and that compensation was given to their families.

    Fact 26 The early enemies of Rome included the Samnites, the Thracians and the Gauls (Gallus) and gladiators were named according to their ethnic roots

    Fact 27 Gladiators were always clothed and armed to resemble barbarians with unusual and exotic weapons and their fights depicted famous victories over barbarians and the power of the Roman Empire

    Fact 28 One of the most famous gladiators was the Emperor Commodus (177-192 AD) who boasted that he was the victor of a thousand matches. The Roman Emperors Caligula, Titus, Hadrian , Cracalla, Geta and Didius Julianus were all said to have performed in the arena.
    Fact 29 The Emperor Honorius, decreed the end of gladiatorial contests in 399 AD

    Fact 30 The last known gladiator fight in the city of Rome occurred on January 1, 404 AD.

  125. 1. They weren’t always slaves.
    Not all gladiators were brought to the arena in chains. While most early combatants were conquered peoples and slaves who had committed crimes, grave inscriptions show that by the 1st century A.D. the demographics had started to change. Lured by the thrill of battle and the roar of the crowds, scores of free men began voluntarily signing contracts with gladiator schools in the hope of winning glory and prize money. These freelance warriors were often desperate men or ex-soldiers skilled in fighting, but some were upper-class patricians, knights and even senators eager to demonstrate their warrior pedigree.

    2. Gladiatorial bouts were originally part of funeral ceremonies.
    Many ancient chroniclers described the Roman games as an import from the Etruscans, but most historians now argue that gladiator fights got their start as a blood rite staged at the funerals of wealthy nobles. When distinguished aristocrats died, their families would hold graveside bouts between slaves or condemned prisoners as a kind of macabre eulogy for the virtues the person had demonstrated in life. According to the Roman writers Tertullian and Festus, since the Romans believed that human blood helped purify the deceased person’s soul, these contests may have also acted as a crude substitute for human sacrifice. The funeral games later increased in scope during the reign of Julius Caesar, who staged bouts between hundreds of gladiators in honor of his deceased father and daughter. The spectacles proved hugely popular, and by the end of the 1st century B.C., government officials began hosting state-funded games as a way of currying favor with the masses.

    3. They didn’t always fight to the death.
    Hollywood movies and television shows often depict gladiatorial bouts as a bloody free-for-all, but most fights operated under fairly strict rules and regulations. Contests were typically single combat between two men of similar size and experience. Referees oversaw the action, and probably stopped the fight as soon as one of the participants was seriously wounded. A match could even end in a stalemate if the crowd became bored by a long and drawn out battle, and in rare cases, both warriors were allowed to leave the arena with honor if they had put on an exciting show for the crowd.

    Since gladiators were expensive to house, feed and train, their promoters were loath to see them needlessly killed. Trainers may have taught their fighters to wound, not kill, and the combatants may have taken it upon themselves to avoid seriously hurting their brothers-in-arms. Nevertheless, the life of a gladiator was usually brutal and short. Most only lived to their mid-20s, and historians have estimated that somewhere between one in five or one in 10 bouts left one of its participants dead.

    4. The famous “thumbs down” gesture probably didn’t mean death.
    If a gladiator was seriously wounded or threw down his weapon in defeat, his fate was left in the hands of the spectators. In contests held at the Colosseum, the emperor had the final say in whether the felled warrior lived or died, but rulers and fight organizers often let the people make the decision. Paintings and films often show the throngs giving a “thumbs down” gesture when they wanted a disgraced gladiator to be finished off, but this may not be accurate. Some historians think the sign for death may have actually been the thumbs up, while a closed fist with two fingers extended, a thumbs down, or even a waved handkerchief might have signaled mercy. Whatever gesture was used, it was typically accompanied by ear-piercing cries of either “let him go!” or “slay him!” If the crowd willed it, the victorious gladiator would deliver a grisly coup de grace by stabbing his opponent between the shoulder blades or through the neck and into the heart.

    5. They were organized into different classes and types.
    By the time the Colosseum opened in 80 A.D., gladiator games had evolved from freewheeling battles to the death into a well-organized blood sport. Fighters were placed in classes based on their record, skill level and experience, and most specialized in a particular fighting style and set of weaponry. Most popular were the “thraeces” and “murmillones,” who fought with sword and shield, but there were also the “equites,” who entered the arena on horseback; the “essedarii,” who battled from chariots; and the “dimachaerus,” who may have wielded two swords at once. Of all the popular gladiator types, perhaps the most unusual was the “retiarius,” who was armed with only a net and a trident. These warriors tried to ensnare their opponents with their net before moving in for the kill, but if they failed, they were left almost entirely defenseless.

    6. They only rarely fought against animals.
    The Colosseum and other Roman arenas are often associated with gruesome animal hunts, but it was uncommon for the gladiators to be involved. Tangling with wild beasts was reserved for the “venatores” and “bestiarii,” special classes of warrior who squared off against everything from deer and ostriches to lions, crocodiles, bears and even elephants. Animal hunts were typically the opening event at the games, and it wasn’t unusual for scores of unfortunate creatures to be slaughtered in a single exhibition. Nine thousand animals were slain during a 100-day ceremony to mark the opening of the Colosseum, and another 11,000 were later killed as part of a 123-day festival held by the Emperor Trajan in the 2nd century A.D. While most animals were merely slaughtered for sport, others were trained to do tricks or even pitted against one another in fights. Wild animals also served as a popular form of execution. Convicted criminals and Christians were often thrown to ravenous dogs, lions and bears as part of the day’s entertainment.

    7. Women also fought as gladiators.
    Female slaves were regularly condemned to the arena alongside their male counterparts, but a few citizens took up the sword of the own free will. Historians are not sure when women first suited up to fight as gladiators, but by the 1st century A.D. they had become a common fixture at the games. These lady warriors may not have been taken seriously in the patriarchal Roman culture—the Emperor Domitian enjoyed pitting women against dwarves—but a few appear to have proven themselves in single combat. A marble relief dating to around the 2nd century A.D. depicts a bout between two women dubbed “Amazon” and “Achillia,” whom the inscription says fought to an honorable draw. Women also joined in the animal hunts, but their stint in the arena may have come to an end around 200 A.D., when the Emperor Septimius Severus banned their participation in the games.

    8. Some gladiators organized themselves into trade unions.
    Though they were regularly forced to come to blows in life-or-death combat, gladiators viewed themselves as a kind of brotherhood, and some even organized into unions, or “collegia,” with their own elected leaders and protector deities. When a warrior fell in battle, these groups would ensure that their comrade received a proper funeral and grave inscription honoring his achievements in the arena. If the deceased had a wife and children, they would also see that the family received monetary compensation for their loss.

    9. Several Roman emperors participated in staged gladiatorial bouts.
    Hosting gladiator games was an easy way for Roman emperors to win the love of the people, but a few took it a step further and actually participated in combat. Several rulers performed in the arena including Caligula, Titus and Hadrian—though most likely under highly controlled conditions or with dull blades. A deadeye with a spear, the deranged Emperor Commodus often tried to wow the crowds by killing bears and panthers from the safety of a raised platform. He also competed in a few gladiator fights, though usually against inexperienced fighters or even terrified and poorly armed members of the audience. When he inevitably won the contests, Commodus made sure to reward himself with the massive sum of one million Roman sesterces.

    10. Gladiators often became celebrities and sex symbols.
    Though often dismissed as uncivilized brutes by Roman historians, the gladiators won massive fame among the lower classes. Their portraits graced the walls of many public places; children played with gladiator action figures made of clay; and the most successful fighters even endorsed products just like the top athletes of today. They were also renowned for their ability to make Roman women swoon. Graffiti from Pompeii describes one fighter who “catches the girls at night in his net” and another who is “the delight of all the girls.” Many women wore hairpins and other jewelry dipped in gladiator blood, and some even mixed gladiator sweat—then considered an aphrodisiac—into facial creams and other cosmetics.

  126. I already follow you on Twitter and I just now liked your FB page. As a MG writer trying to keep up with the market, I’ve read a LOT of MG fiction. Sage is one of my absolute favorite characters. THANK YOU for sharing him with the world. I would so love to win an ARC of MARK OF THE THIEF!

  127. Number one: Tall poppy syndrome-the specific reference to poppies occurs in Livy’s account of the tyrannicaL Roman King Tarquin the proud.

    Number two: The crowd would give one of two verdicts that would decide the fate of defeated gladiators, pollice verso (turned thumb meaning they were safe), infesto pollice (with hostile thumb meaning they would be killed)

    Number three: Saturnalia was a Roman festival to honor the deity Saturn during this festival masters provided table service for their slaves, alcohol was permitted, and gag gifts were given.

    So I may have more soon but here’s some hopefully there’s at least one you don’t know 🙂

    • Hmm, I didn’t know about Tall Poppy Syndrome. Five bonus entries for you

  128. Hello, Mrs. Nielsen!! Several years ago, I found your books by mistake. My mom told me that she would pay $4 toward a book if I wrote a report about it. This sounded like a fair trade, so I looked throughout our local bookstore for just the perfect story. I actually found “The Runaway King” first, before “The False Prince”, and the plot interested me a lot. So, I continued on my quest, and finally discovered “The False Prince”. I LOVED it!!!! Soon, I began the second book, and then almost died waiting for the third. I told tons of people about your series because I loved it so much. Then, this year, I saw that you were coming out with “Mark Of The Thief”, and I almost exploded with happiness! I believe that you should give the Arc to me because I might die if I have to wait until February for it to come out!!! Well, maybe not “die”, but I would be honored to receive it before it is let out. I want it because you haven’t ever let me down with your writing, and I long to go on another adventure with your characters.Also, I am a HUGE nerd when it comes to Roman Mythology… Oh! Here are several strange facts I found! They’re really interesting. Romans thought the early Christians were practicing cannibalism when they heard about them eating bread and wine as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ. Also, hair dying was popular among women, with red and blonde being the most popular colors. Dye colors were achieved through different ingredients, like goat fat, beech wood ashes, henna, saffron, and bleach.

  129. i already follow you on Facebook!

  130. Dear Mrs. J Nielsen,
    I think I should win the book! I am just getting into reading and have loved reading the books you have written so far. Who is the main character most like or is he patterned after someone in your life? What made you want to write this book? Thanks for considering me!

  131. 1. The Persians attacked a Roman garrison using lethal gas.

    Clues left at the scene revealed the Persian were lying in wait as the Romans dug the tunnel – they then pumped in toxic gas – produced by sulphur crystals and bitumen – to kill all the Romans in minutes.

    2. Exciting discovery: The road archaeologists have found has an elderwood foundation covered with a layer of silt topped with cobbles made from riverbed stones

    The discovery is the first of its kind and proves that ancient Britons built and used complex roads a century earlier than the invaders.

    It even raises the possibility that the Romans were inspired by Iron Age man, as their road was built on top of the original foundations, which date from 2,100 years ago.

    Tim Malim, the archaeologist leading the project, said his team had been brought in to investigate what was believed to be a Roman road.

    But on closer inspection, they realised that the construction was actually built upon the original foundations of another road, which was found to date from the Iron Age.

    The discovery is now likely to prompt archaeologists in other parts of Britain to re-examine some more typically Roman-looking roads to see whether they too were constructed by Britons.

    3.Roman prostitutes were forced to kill their own children and bury them in mass graves at English ‘brothel’
    The babies of Roman prostitutes were regularly murdered by their mothers, archaeologists have found.

    A farmer’s field in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, yielded the grisly secret after a mass grave containing the remains of 97 babies – who all died around the same age – was uncovered.

    Following a close study of the plot, experts have decided it was the site of an ancient brothel and terrible infanticides took place there. Scientists believe the site was used to dump the bodies of prostitutes’ babies because of a lack of contraception.

    4. Dr Simon Mays, a skeletal biologist at English Heritage, has examined the Hambleden Roman infant bones

    Literacy was a sign of affluence, and rich men and women were in frequent correspondence with each other.

    Correspondence found at Hadrian’s Wall shows how they bickered over dinner parties, gossiped about friends and discussed fashion in notes to each other.

    What went on inside the Hambleden villa is, of course, a matter of conjecture. But there is little doubt that the find of so many babies’ skeletons proves that Roman Britain shared another part of the empire’s culture – infanticide.

    5. Rare find: The school, which contains sleeping cells, a bathing area, a training hall with heated floors and a cemetery, is the only one of its type to have been discovered outside Italy

    Ground penetrating radar was used to identify the school at a Roman park called Carnuntum which is the site of an old settlement containing one of the finest amphitheatres ever discovered 40 miles east of Vienna.

    6. Intact: The archaeologists say they have discovered a main training area including the remains of a wooden post which was used as a mock enemy for the trainee gladiators to attack

    7. Archaeologists believe the hoard, found by two metal detectors, is worth about £10million

    The Roman and Celtic silver and gold coins were entombed under a hedge in a large mound of clay, weighing three quarters of a ton and measuring 140 x 80 x 20cm.

    Experts predict they are of Armorican origin – modern day Brittany and Normandy – from a tribe called the Coriosolitae who were based in the modern-day area of St Malo and Dinan.

    They have dated the coins from 50BC, the Late Iron Age, and believe they would have been buried underground to be kept safe from Julius Caesar’s campaigns.

  132. Hi Ms. Jen,

    Thank you again for this wonderful chance to win your book. God bless you.

  133. 1) Poor people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea had to eat food that would grow in very dry areas, with light and not very fertile soil. Mostly they ate what archaeologists call the “Mediterranean triad” or three things: wheat and barley (made into beer or porridge or flatbread or soup), olive oil (soaked into the bread, or on vegetables), and grapes (made into wine, vinegar or raisins so they would keep). People also grew beans and a lot of different kinds of vegetables and fruit.
    2) The government gave some poor people free grain that they could use to make porridge or bread. This was called dole.
    3)Both men and women used beauty products in ancient Rome. People used these products to make themselves seem healthier and more beautiful, but also to show that they were rich, or that they were from a certain province, or that they did a certain kind of work.
    4)In big cities, most Romans lived in apartment buildings they called insulaes.
    5)Around 75 BC, there was a huge change in the way people made glass. The Phoenicians figured out how to make glass cheaply and easily. They learned to blow glass.
    6)Sometimes the Romans would flood the whole Colosseum or Circus Maximus for a boat battle. Big boats topped with warriors fought it out in the water and were complete down to the live props, like alligators.
    7)Romans used to eat dormice and other weird foods like flamingo.
    8)They used to eat dinner lying down on couches.
    If you were invited to a dinner party in Ancient Rome, you would be shown to a room lined with couches, not tables and chairs. They used to prop themselves on their left arm and use their right to bring their food to their mouth.
    9)Ancient Rome used to be covered in graffiti,though usually their graffiti was scratched into stone and not painted on with colour.
    10)Roman charioteers belonged to racing clubs or teams. The most well known were the Whites, Blues, Greens, and Reds.
    11)The Esquiline, Palatine, and Quirinal united into a compact community enclosed by a wall around 500 B.C. This wall measured more than five miles long. Four regions of the city were then formed: Suburana, Esquilina, Collina, and Palatina.
    12)In 68 AD two of Emperor Nero’s influential governors Vindex and Galba revolted against his taxation policies and joined hands against him.
    While Nero’s loyal forces defeated and killed Vindex, Galba grew strong and popular and even Nero’s army generals and officers stopped taking orders from him. Nero lost all support in Rome and Senate also declared him a public enemy. Nero ran away from Rome with few close aides and in face of approaching enemy forces, made his personal secretary,Epaphroditos kill him before he could be arrested. He was the first Roman emperor to commit suicide.
    13) In East Anglia. The Iceni tribe lived there and Prasutagus, the king, was a friend of the Romans. When he died, he left half his kingdom to the Roman emperor, and half to his wife, Queen Boudicca. The Romans wanted it all. They also wanted extra taxes and they wanted Boudicca to give up her throne.
    14)Although Nero murdered his mother and his wife, his last words were ‘What an artist I die!’
    15)Gladiators would also fight bankrupt citizens who sold themselves to pay their debts and slaves sold to a Gladiator school by their masters and criminals. These fights lasted until dealth from one and other .
    16)Some of the delicacies at a Roman feast included raw sea urchin’s, pig’s udder, peacock brains and flamingo tongues.
    17)The Romans were very superstitious. They believed that the gods had to be kept happy with sacrifices and ceremonies or else they might bring bad luck to the people that ignored them.
    18)Roman children played games similar to hopscotch, tug-of-war and blind man’s bluff. Rock, scissors, paper was played by the Egyptians and Romans. The Romans called it: Bucca, Bucca, Quot, Sunt, Hic
    19)Some Romans used to keep honking geese rather than watchdogs to alert them of intruders.
    20)Slaves were made to fight at rich peoples funerals. The blood was meant to make the gods happy.
    21)Romans believed nothing happened through chance, instead everything happened according to a set of rules.
    22)Female Slaves could be purchased from 1000 to 4000 denarius
    23)Male Slaves could be purchased from 300 to 800 denarius
    24)The Slaves had to be naked at the slave market to allow their whole body to be inspected
    25)If you killed your father in Rome, you would be sewn up in a sack with a dog, a rooster, a snake and a monkey and then thrown into the river or sea
    26)When a Roman died their family mourned by wearing dull wool clothing.The would not bathe, comb their hair, cut their fingernails, or change their clothes for a set period of time. The periods of mourning were:
    One month – for the children under six
    Eight months – for a close relatives
    Ten months – for a husband
    One year – for parents and children over six
    27) There were many people in Ancient Rome whom were hungry and unemployed. To stop them from rioting, they were given “bread and circuses.” The “bread” was the regular ration of grain issued to Roman citizens, and the “circuses” were the free entertainments and chariot races provided by politicians and emperors.
    28)The abbreviation SPQR can be found on many Roman statues, buildings, and military standards. It stands for “senatus populusque romanus.” meaning “The senate and people of Rome.”
    29)The Romans had gods for doors (Forculus), hinges (Cardea), and thresholds (Limentinus).
    30)In response to a 73 B.C. revolt against Rome by Spartacus the gladiator, 6,000 slaves were crucified.
    31)Some men were advised to use hippopotamus skin to make hair grow. Men and women would remove hair with bat’s blood or hedgehog ashes, or keep hair from turning gray by coloring their hair with oil mixed with earthworm ashes
    32)The Romans sometimes trained some female slaves to fight as gladiators.
    33)In battle, Romans sometimes grouped together and held their shields all around them in a formation called “the tortoise.
    34)The Romans divided their days into 12 hours, measured by a sundial.
    35)Slaves in Ancient Rome made up to 40% of the population.
    36)Asparagus was a highly prized delicacy in Ancient Rome and was kept frozen in the Alps for Feasts and Festivals.
    37)The word Pantheon is a Greek adjective meaning “honor all Gods”. In fact the pantheon was first built as a temple to all gods.
    38)Roman art grows out of Etruscan art, and at first it is a lot like Etruscan art. Because of this, it has a close relationship to Greek art as well. Roman art as a type of its own really gets going around 500 BC with the beginning of the Roman Republic. Roman people were particularly interested in portraiture: in making statues that really looked like one particular person, especially a famous person. Greek people were more interested in ideals: what is the most beautiful man? what is the most athletic man? But the Romans were more interested in reality.
    39)Early Roman art was not created by citizens because they were too busy being soldiers or tradesmen. Most of the Roman art during these early years was created by foreigners
    40)Around 25 percent of babies in the first century AD did not survive their first year and up to half of all children would die before the age of 10. As a result, the Roman state gave legal rewards to women who had successfully given birth. After three live babies (or four children for former slaves), women were recognized as legally independent. For most women, only at this stage could they choose to shrug off male control and take responsibility for their own lives.
    41)Learning in Roman schools was based on fear. Boys were beaten for the slightest offence as a belief existed that a boy would learn correctly and accurately if he feared being caned if he got something wrong. For boys who continued to get things wrong, some schools had a policy of having pupils held down by two slaves while his tutor beat him with a leather whip.
    42)Children worked a seven-day week – there was no break for the weekend! However, this was not as dire as it appears. There were many school holidays – religious holidays (and there were many of them) meant that children did not have to go to school. Market days also resulted in school closures and children also had a summer holiday!
    43)Despite having been a powerful empire, it is quite unfortunate that as compared to the ancient Greeks, there is not much evidence of the history of Roman music. One possible explanation could be the suppression of music and musical instruments due to its presence in everything pagan by Christianity, once the Roman empire embraced it as its official religion. It is said that the Romans were not as creative as the Greeks when it came to music, nor did it form an integral part of their life, culture, and education. The evidence that we have been able to discover suggests a few instruments that the Romans fancied.
    44)The road system of the Ancient Rome had 50,000 miles of paved roads which is considered one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of all time.
    45) A charioteer (or horse) who had won over a thousand races was called a miliarius.
    46)The races were always run counter-clockwise.
    47)Wives as well as men had affairs, though with more downside risk for the woman.
    48)Legally, a woman, even after marriage, continued to belong to her father’s family, not just to her husband’s. Upon divorce, she automatically lost her children to her husband; he would keep them, as they now belonged exclusively to his family.
    49)The purpose of marriage was to produce children. Women were perpetually pregnant. Even so, a couple could still end up with no surviving male child. As a remedy, the husband could adopt a male heir, even if the adoptee was an adult, even after death–just name the adoptee in the will.
    50)The emperor Commodus frequently fought as a gladiator, armed with iron weapons, whereas his opponents had lead ones.
    51)Cobwebs were used to stop bleeding from fractured skulls and shaving cuts.
    52)Roman Emperor Augustus witnessed a man attempt to feed a slave to lamprey eels as a punishment for breaking a cup. Augustus freed the slave and had the rest of the man’s cups broken.

    53. The Romans wondered whether plants enjoy travel in the same way as people do. There was a law against using magic to transfer growing crops from one place to another.

    54. Faustina, the wife of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, had a collection of several hundred wigs.

    55. The Latin word musculus means both “little mouse” and “muscle”, since muscles rippling under the skin were thought to be like little mice.
    56)In ancient Rome, after a person pooped, a communal sponge was used to wipe. The sponge was then rinsed in a bucket of salt water before being used by the next person.
    57)The people of Ancient Rome had a toilet god.
    58)In ancient Rome, the architectural feature called a “vomitorium” was the entrance way through which crowds entered and exited a stadium. The Latin word vomitorium derives from the verb vomitum which means “to spew forth”.
    59)Ancient Rome had a 4 story tall shopping mall with 150 shops and offices.
    60)In Ancient Rome, if people wished to commit suicide, they applied to the Senate and, if their petitions were approved, were given free hemlock.
    61)Women in ancient Rome wore the sweat of Gladiators to improve their beauty and complexion.

    Thanks 🙂

  134. I talked about your book here 🙂

    http://fangirlsuniquecritique.tumblr.com/post/105112135273/book-that-i-am-excited-is-coming-out-soon.

    I would like an arc so I could read it and share it around with the people at my work. My co-workers are avid readers and they loved the ascendance trilogy almost as much as I did 🙂

    • I also follow you on Facebook and Twitter already 🙂

  135. Last year I read and LOOOOVED The False Prince. I passed the book onto my husband and his father, both of whom don’t read very much. They also loved your stor and have eaxh read the whole series over and over since the third book came out (though I will say you almost lost my father in law when with the “death” of a certain character. Luckily you made up for it) You’re one of our family’s favorite authors now so thank you! I’d love to give your new book to the family too! You’ll be reaching three readers in one if you pick me! 🙂

  136. I would like to win this book for my sister. She doesn’t know I am entering. She has probably read The Ascendance Trilogy more than thirty times, as she loves the series and they are her favorite books and you her favorite author. She not only recommends but forces The False Prince on all of her friends. Winning would mean so much to her. Here are some facts!

    1) Some linguistic possibilities for the origin of the word “Rome” include the Etruscan word rhome meaning “strength” or “river.” It may also be related to the root rum meaning “teat,” referring to the wolf that suckled the twins Romulus and Remus. Another theory is that Roma was the daughter of Aeneas, a mythical founder of Rome.

    2) The Capuchin Crypt in Rome consists of five chapels and a corridor 60 meters long—and it is decorated with the bones of 4,000 deceased monks. The coffee drink Cappuccino takes its name from this order of monks who were known by their custom of wearing a hood or cappucio with their habits.

    3) The abbreviation SPQR can be found on many Roman statues, buildings, and military standards. It stands for “senatus populusque romanus.” meaning “The senate and people of Rome.”

    4) Rome’s population of more than a million was not matched by any other European city until London finally over took it in the nineteenth century.

    5) Roman physicians had a wide range of surgical tools, including catheters and speculums. Many modern medical terms still have Latin roots. The knee cap, for example, is the patella, which is Latin for “shallow dish.”

    6) In English, to “decimate” means to completely destroy. The word comes from the Latin decimare, which evolved from the practice of killing every tenth Roman soldier if they tried to mutiny.

    7) The first-ever shopping mall was built by the Emperor Trajan in Rome. It consisted of several levels and more than 150 outlets that sold everything ranging from food and spices to clothes.

    8) The snake was a common image in Roman art and jewelry and was believed to have powers over a family’s well-being.

    9) Togas were unique to Rome and were worn by free-born Roman men as a mark of distinction.

    10) Purple, the most expensive dye from Murex seashells, was reserved for the emperors’ clothes or senators. It became treason for anyone other than the emperor to dress completely in purple.

    11) After the death of an emperor, an eagle was released to carry the emperor’s soul to the afterlife

    12) A fasces, which was a bundle of tied rods with a red ribbon that often included a bronze axe, symbolized the power and unity of Rome. Italian “fascism” derives its name from fasces.

    13) On the day the Colosseum officially opened, 5,000 animals were killed. During its history, it has been estimated that over 500,000 people and over a million animals were killed there.

    14) On his journey through the Alps to invade Rome in 218 B.C., the Carthaginian general Hannibal lost 14,000 men and 25 elephants. Yet, it took Roman soldiers 17 years to defeat him. Hannibal so frightened the Romans that Roman parents would tell their children that unless they behaved, Hannibal would come after them.

    15) The Romans were the first civilization to use concrete and the arch with any notable skill.

    16) Rome’s first university, La Sapienza (est. A.D. 1303), is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world.

    17) The St. Pietro (St. Peter’s Basillica) currently displays the chains that supposedly held St. Peter while imprisoned (with St. Paul) in the Carcere Mamertino (Mamertine Prison).

    18) By the early fourth century, the Romans had built a road network of 53,000 miles throughout the empire. Each Roman mile was about 1,000 paces (about 4,800 feet) and was marked by a milestone.

    19) Romans were highly superstitious and feared anything to do with the left, which is why their words for “left” and “left-handed” were sinister and sinstra, giving us the modern meaning of “sinister.”

    20) In ancient Rome, an infant was placed at the father’s feet shortly after birth. If the father took the child into his arms, it showed he accepted responsibility for its upbringing. If the baby was not accepted, it was be abandoned and left to die.

  137. The right to pass a death sentence was taken away from the Jewish people by the Romans.

  138. Hi Mrs. Nielson! I posted up above already but I found a couple more facts I thought you might find interesting!
    1. Roman women usually took her first name from a feminine version of her family’s. This could lead to several girls in the family with the same name.
    2. Romans believed the blood of gladiators would cure epilepsy.
    3. After the sport of gladiators was outlawed, Romans used the blood of criminals instead.
    4. Medics in the Roman army would often bandage wounds by using a mixture of cobwebs, honey, and vinegar.
    5. There was a law against using magic to transport growing crops.
    6. Even though the Romans had no stirrups, Julius Caesar could ride at a gallop with his hands behind his back

  139. I know I am to late to enter into this competition, seeing as you already have picked people as your winners, but I was fascinated by the description of your story here and your Ascendence Trilogy (which I picked up yesterday and now I am halfway through the last one). Anyways, point being, I am really enjoying the books and adventures of Jaron. That character development though. I like it. Jaron has a big heart and admirable character, the better part of who people want to be. The song immortals by Fall Out Boy reminds me of him (They say we are what we are, but we don’t have to be, I’m bad behavior but I do it in the best way). So, I read your bio at the back of the book and liked the part about your muddy dog and the kids you based Jaron off of then found your website. An interesting fact I discovered was that (if i remember correctly) you began to write at eleven, the same age at which I decided I wanted to become an author. You found a book (The Outsiders, was it?) which the author had written at 17 and you wanted to beat. For me, it was Christopher Panoli who started (didn’t publish) writing Eragon at 15. I wanted to have finished writing a book at that point but could never stay interested in a story long enough.

    One idea I have is where an computer AI controls the government but the citizens don’t know. Everyone has memory drives attached to the back of their brains; poor people with less memory, rich with more. The AI could see everything in anyones memory chips and if she didn’t like what she saw, she would spark the chip, frying the person’s brain and killing them. I don’t know where I plan to go with that. I find it interesting still though.

    Another I am currently working on (man I feel the carpel tunnel coming on) is super complicated with made up memories that the MC is forced to go through to break her will so that she can be reconstructed by these other tester people to create the ideal person. Then there are three rings of cities but the one in the center got mad at the others and blew up the middle ring with mini nuclear bombs and basically I have no idea where this one is going either. Probably going to turn into some sort of mush pot of cliches with lots of attempted sad deaths and a – shivers – really bad love triangle.

    Whatever I may have just said (who knows, its 8:33 and this is a strange world), I found it interesting that we are kinda similar. Hopefully when I am your age (16 at this moment), I will write a book that fascinates others as much as your Ascendance Trilogy has fascinated me. I’ve always been fascinated in Rome (history sucked unless it was Rome or an AP class) so I will be on the lookout for your book the next time I can get to a bookstore (inwardly groans because the closest is an hour away).

    Thank you for becoming an author and good luck with all those characters in your head (mine help me when I need courage). Oh, and the writing tips you gave were very helpful except they were all labeled 1. and I’m not sure if its meant to be that way???

    • Kailyn, you certainly seem to have the mind of a writer and plenty of intelligence to get there if that’s what you choose. I loved what you said about wanting to write a book that fascinates you. That’s really the trick of great writing – write what you personally love. I wish you all the best of luck. When you get published one day, let me know and I will be second in line to buy it (the first of course, will be your mom)!

  140. I want this book because after reading the ascendance trilogy, I have fallen in love with your writing. No author has made me love books as much as you did and I noticed that my writing skills have improved significantly after reading your books. Even though I have already read Mark of the Thief in the library, I feel that I need this book because it is worth reading over and over again because I have never been so happy to read.Thank you for being an amazing author and I hope to be able to get a copy someday.

    • Thank you, Ellen. I hope you’ll be able to get a copy too, and that you’ll enjoy it!

  141. What made you use Rome? Out of all the places? Is there a specific reason why you used this place?

    • Oh sorry I meant to put my name, or not my real name. But you know what I mean! _SilverSteam_.

    • The idea began with facts from actual Roman history – about the bulla and Caesar’s claim to have come from the Gods. With those two ideas in hand, the story itself had to be Roman.

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