TimelessLust_CvrSMALLAs part of the blog tour for Timeless Lust in the Ancient World it’s my pleasure to host the authors of all the stories in the anthology as they answer the question What historical detail did you find interesting but weren’t able to put in your story?

About Timeless Lust in the Ancient World

There have always been lusts that transcend limits. The rush of fire in the blood, the hunger for touch, the compulsion to bury oneself in the flesh of another. Ancient storytellers enraptured audiences with tales of love and lust, of the dangerous passions of gods and heroes and monstrous creatures, pursued sometimes to destruction.

These modern interpretations of those ancient themes span histories and cultures from Greece and Rome to Egypt and the Holy Lands, stories of love and betrayal, of vengeful gods and goddesses, and pleasurable peace. There is much more to a palace eunuch than meets the eye. One man must face his greatest sins, while another battles to save his lover’s life. A woman must balance appeasing her ethereal deity and her earthly desires, and another is imprisoned behind the bars of a gilded cage.

Eleven tales of intense lust in the ancient world crafted by ForbiddenFiction’s best authors, ready for you to peel back the cover and indulge your carnal appetites.

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What historical detail did you find interesting but weren’t able to put in your story?

  • Jess Lea:

The Keeper of the Bed Chamber: If this had been a longer piece, I would have engaged more with the popular images of Cleopatra VII, those produced by both her supporters and enemies, which portrayed her alternatively as a goddess, a witch, a monster, a mother, a canny politician, a whore, a masculine figure, and a messiah. Whole books have been written on this subject; all I was able to give here is Ariston’s own memory of her as both maligned and legendary.

  • Slave Nano:

The Nemesis Bird: Whilst doing some research for edits to the story I came across a book called ‘The Perfumed Garden’, which is basically a 15th century Arabic sex manual! There were hundreds of medieval Arabic words describing male and female genitalia. Apparently, an Arabic word for cunt was ‘faraj’,which I found highly amusing. Apologies, but you have to know about UK politics to get why that made me laugh (for US readers, imagine if ‘trump’ were an Arab word for cunt and you’ll get where I’m coming from!). I never used the word ‘faraj’ in the story though.

  • Maurin Piper:

Touched by Fire: There’s so much. I wrote this while researching for a larger Vestal Virgin based story so I was drowning in little details at the time. This story itself is was a little detail I couldn’t put somewhere else so I gave it its own stage. So I guess the exact opposite, all the details that belong in a novel length story. Their day to day life, the rituals, the festivals, the duties of the Virgins beyond just staying chaste and tending the fire. The one thing I would have loved to have written specifically for these girls is a little moment where one of them plaits the other’s hair. Vestal plaits had to be done a certain way, it was as much a part of their religious identity as their robes but at the same time it would have made a lovely intimate moment between them.

  • Konrad Hartmann:

Lot’s Sin: I find the theories of the origins of Yahweh interesting, whether he originated as a Canaanite deity, as El, or Baal, interesting, but it was beyond the scope of the story, and would require more research from myself. I’m not sure if Yahweh was a universal Israeli and/or Judean deity at the time that the story is posited to have taken place, if we can speak of it as having occurred in a specific time. It seems as though El may have become conflated and/or merged with Yahweh, but I would need to place the story within a timeline in which either Yahweh had not yet joined with El, or after the two had merged.

Arena’s Breed: Dealing with ancient Rome, there were many details to look at, and many of them could be easily confused. I think, at that time period, there was a good bit of instability regarding Diocletian. The politics of that time were interesting, as was the mythology, which I only touched on a bit. Coming from Persia, Faustina’s realm also had some intriguing possibilities. Faustina has her own unwritten backstory, having been falsely convicted of libel in her own land and forced into slavery. Perhaps she was part of some resistance movement against the Romans. While Avitus was basically born into his gladiatorial role, Faustina was forced into it later; yet, she excelled, implying a previous combat history. Her homeland would have had its own conflicts, and one of them may have led to her owners trading her off to Western owners.

  • Annabeth Leong:

Hunting Artemis: Delos has a long and fascinating religious history, involving many divine beings in addition to Artemis. During the Peloponnesian War, there was a period of time during which births and deaths were forbidden on the island. This was partially to honor its reputation as a sacred place, and partially to prevent any events that might disrupt the island’s neutrality.

The Snake and the Lyre: My story isn’t very sympathetic to Orpheus, but there’s a lot of precedent for that. In Plato’s Symposium, Orpheus is criticized for trying to rescue his wife in a cowardly way. Instead of sacrificing his life to be with her, he tries to work a deal to save her. This is given as one explanation for why he ultimately isn’t successful at bringing her back to the land of the living—but I like mine better.

Andromache’s Prize: There were tombs at a site in Anatolia that scholars of the ancient world believed belonged to Achilles and Patroclus (Alexander the Great is thought to have gone there to visit and make sacrifices). Because Briseis in my story clearly had feelings for Achilles, I would have loved to have room for a scene in which she visited his tomb and processed some of her complicated past with him. In the end, however, that didn’t fit with the narrative arc of “Andromache’s Prize.”

  • Mina Kelly:

Never Before Touched by Cupid: Sadly, Maecenas’s hot tubs didn’t make it into the story. Maybe next time!

  • Natasha Neil:

Hera’s Punishment: One of the many interesting things I learned from reading Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths was that Hera was originally a pre-Hellenistic Great Goddess. Zeus forcing her into marrying him, represented Hellenes (Greeks) forcing themselves on lands that had traditionally worshipped the goddess. I particularly like the idea that Zeus represents  patriarchal religion and each god represents different peoples who were basically colonized by the Greeks. In “Hera’s Punishment,” I was able to mention that Zeus and Hera’s wedding night lasted three hundred years. However, I couldn’t work in Graves’s suggestion that this could be interpreted as it taking three hundred years for the people who followed the ancient goddess led religions to be forced into monogamy.

  • Elly Green:

Scylla’s Pool: The neon blue sea dragon, aka sea swallow or blue angel, is scientifically referred to as the Glaucus altlanticus. More of an evil sea slug, it preys upon jellyfish though it looks remarkably like a cross between Stitch from Lilo & Stitch and a Pokemon character. I would have loved to somehow work this crazy appearance into my story, but alas my one effort had the story reading more like a sequel to Starship Troopers than the erotica I was going for.

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