Monday, September 19, 2011

SAECULUM (A Novel:Preamble)

SAECULUM – A Novel and a Revisitation.

Now that I have put both my first (The Simurgh and the Nightingale) and fourth (Windsong – Breath of Being) novels up on the blogsite I have decided to go back and revisit my second, which sits on my consciousness like a half-fed urchin. The novel was first published as When Twilight Comes in 2003 (ISBN: 0-9542607-3-2) and is in effect was an examination of time, the notion of time, and man’s place in the inevitable progression of time. The novel turned out to be a little more esoteric than I had anticipated, or as one of my more kinder readers suggested a bit of ‘navel gazing where I had lost the run of myself.’ This is partly true and yet I had done a lot of research and had enjoyed the writing. I had also originally wanted to call the novel Saeculum but my editor at the time felt that this would probably be an unappealing title. I hope you enjoy some or all of it and comments are welcome.

A Note on the word SAECULUM

The Etruscan civilization in Italy existed from about 750 BCE until fully absorbed by the Romans in the 1st century BCE. It had its own unique language and it was they who developed the idea of a human era or Saeculum. The Saeculum ( possibly ril in the Etruscan language ) was understood to have been the longest life of a man and averaged about 100 lunar years, after which a new Saeculum began. The first Etruscan Saeculum began in 968 BCE and lasted 100 years, as did the next three. The 5th Saeculum beginning in 568 BCE lasted 123 years, the 6th and 7th 119 years, the 9th only 44 years ending in 44 BCE when the Etruscan nation was assimilated by Rome. The Romans had adopted the Etruscan system about 460 BCE and began the Ludi Terentini or Ludi Saeulares (under Caesar Augustus in 17 BCE) festival to celebrate a new saeculum, siècle or century every 110 years. Saeculum refers not exactly to a numeric appraisal of time but to a generational concept.

A Note on the Divisions of the Night.

The Chapter Titles in general follow the Roman Divisions of the Night from Soli Occaxus (the setting sun in the occident or west) to Sol Ortus (the door or rising of the sun in the east). The chapters are long and they have been subdivided.

A Note on the Cover Illustration

This incorporates the Nebra Sky Disk, a bronze-age astronomical disc from about 1600 to 2000 BCE from Nebra in Germany.

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