As you know, I’m fresh back from my holidays, so here’s a little sharing. First of all, many thanks to the lovely Michelle Proulx, whose Imminent Danger bookmarks and related swag were waiting for us upon our arrival! Yay!
We went to Pelion, home of the mythical Centaurs. Sadly, we didn’t come across any of those, but we did see a dolphin that chased tunas a few yards from the beach. My camera was not fast enough, though, so you have to imagine it. It was very pretty (as you can tell from my books, I just love elaborate descriptions).
In a more modern claim to fame, we stayed in Damouhari, the village where part of the Mamma Mia movie was shot. While there, the countdown deal for the Pearseus bundle was at full swing, and the book went on to reach #1 in the Greek & Roman category and #5484 in total, selling over 120 copies within a week. I was unable to get a screenshot due to computer trouble, but here is today’s rank, which is slightly lower since the sale has ended. I’d like to thank you all for your help with this, since so many of you kindly tweeted and reblogged my relevant post. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Except for the ancestral revelations of this holiday, to be found below, I also realized that Meli (our dog) makes a great pillow; that Electra (my wife) is a fig cleptomaniac and that loukoumades (donut-like sweet, minus the hole) can be filled with feta cheese mousse and served with raspberry jam to create a unique savoury starter. Oh, and that, no matter how many gadgets you have with you, if the hotels router breaks down, they’re basically no more than expensive dumbbells…
…And my Divine Ancestry
During my holidays, I had a unique opportunity to catch up with my reading. As I often joke, the only thing that grows faster than my waistline is my TBR list, and it felt good to trim it back down to a few hundred books… I read some excellent genre fiction, including Theresa Snyder’s Farloft Chronicles, Fires of Man by Dan Levinson, Chasing Athens by Marissa Tejada and Kasper Beaumont’s Reloria series. I’ll be posting reviews on Amazon, Goodreads etc in the next few days.
One of the most revealing bits of information, however, was inconspicuously buried in the footnotes contained inside a Greek, non-fiction book I came across. This is a book published in 1976 by Estia, written by Dionisios Romas, and titled Periplous (1570-1870). Among other historical facts, it has a number of notes on genealogy, and you can imagine my surprise when I found my very own ancestors among the names mentioned. You see, my mother’s maiden name is a Corfiot corruption of Komnenou. Related to imperial families like the Angelos, Doukas and Paleologos, all of whom ruled the Byzantine empire at some point, the Komnenoi as a rule seemed to enjoy, well, ruling. The ruled the Byzantine empire from ca. 1081 to ca. 1185; the Empire of Trebizond from 1204 to 1461; the Despotate of Epirus (1204-1479) and even, for a few years, Cyprus (1184-1191).
That much I knew, though. What I had failed to realise is that their claim to the throne was based on their relation to Constantine the Great, 57th Emperor of the Roman Empire and venerated as a saint by the Church. So, I’m suddenly related to the Great man himself. Now, let’s see how far back I can trace this. Constantine’s full name was Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus. The first name here, Flavius, is a reference to the Flavian dynasty, a Roman Imperial Dynasty which ruled the Roman Empire between AD 69 and AD 96.
As the Gens Flavia was not related to the Julio-Claudian dynasty, their main claim to the throne was the fact that their soldiers had defeated the other three contenders’ armies, following Nero’s suicide. So, they had to come up with a better story to support their imperial aspirations. They found it in Aeneas, claiming the progenitor of Romans was, in fact, their ancestor. Obviously, that’s a bit like saying that since we all come from Adam, I’m related to Einstein, but that’s a tale for another time.
Anyway, for those unfamiliar with Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan hero, son of the prince Anchises and goddess Venus (Aphrodite), Zeus’ daughter. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, and Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology as the legendary founder of what would become Ancient Rome, most extensively in Virgil’s Aeneid.
So, there you have it. Through my rather
tenuous impressive reasoning, I’m actually related to none other than the daddy of all gods himself, Zeus. Sadly, the only divine quality I have been able to locate so far, is my ability to effortlessly expand the afore-mentioned waistline. If only I had a little less Dionysus/Bacchus and a little more Apollo in me…
That is one heck of a blood-line Nicholas! Awesome 😀
Congratulations on your book promotion. Have considered the countdown promotion and wasn’t if it would be worthwhile. I will take the time to read up on it now 😀
The photos are sublime. Makes me want to return to Greece and spend time travelling.
Thank you for the wonderful post.
Aw, you’re too sweet, thank you! 🙂
Be sure to check out my post on countdown deals: https://nicholasrossis.me/guides/a-z-guide-increase-sales-with-countdown-deals/
and let me know if I can help with the promo! 🙂
Thank you for your lovely offer 😀
Highly informative and entertaining, Nicholas! Thanks for sharing, and congrats for the new accomplishment and high sales number post promo! This is amazing, well done! Loved the photos and look forward to that savoury loukoumades recipe you recently sampled! You’re the loukoumades guru aren’t you? LOL
I meant it when I said that I owe it all to you guys. Thank you! 🙂
Sadly, I didn’t get the recipe, as we had it at a restaurant. But I will say that they were rather scrumptious. My one complaint was that they were served cold, whereas they’d be far tastier warm.
The holiday sounds fab and I am actually rather jealous… Even though I had a lovely holiday, myself, this year it was right at the beginning of the month and it feels rather a long time ago.
Also, please could you use your godlike powers to do something about the weather here, it’s lovely but it’s not quite warm enough, so could you just drop or warm up the cheeky breeze that’s blowing and send the clouds the other way.
Given the nature of my particular power, the only way I can think of helping out is by eating until my ever-growing belly pushes the clouds away.
However, I’d need to bring it down to normal size again so it doesn’t block the sun, which could take a while. Which means that you’d still have no sunshine. Even worse, given my waistline’s past behaviour, I’d be pushing away the clouds in, oh, 10 minutes, and then need a couple of centuries to return to normal size… 🙁
You’d have to be careful on the beach too. If you got that big, Greenpeace would turn up, start hosing you down and try to push you back into the sea! 😉
I know. I worry about that every time I got to the beach! 😀
If you have any sway with Grandaddy Zeus, I’d be grateful if you could get him to loan me one or two thunderbolts Nicholas. I want the ones that can trace the intended victim themselves since I won’t be very good with the javelin at my age.
Glad you had a great holiday.
Lol – I’ll be sure to ask for the new Thunderbolt 3000 model! 😀
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
I am a fan of tv’s Who do you think you are and a few years ago traced back my family lineage to around 1500 – people of the land and later the mines. No aristocrats, luckily no criminals that I could find either – my great, great, great grandmother was not as chaste as she might have been much to my mother’s chagrin. However, if you want illustrious then here is the post for you….
Reblogged this on MARSocial Author Business Enhancement Interviews.
Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.
Thanks for sharing. The pictures are gorgeous. I am so glad to see you hard at work 😉 ! Enjoyed your post tremendously.
That’s so sweet of you, thank you!!! 🙂
Yes, well, an author’s work is never done… 😀
Very entertaining, great photos too and you got me with the Mama Mia connection – do we have to call you OMG from now on being such mere mortals that we are. My sister’s name is Diana but that is as close as we get I am afraid!!
Lol – only if you’re intimidated by my afore-mentioned magical waistline! 😀
trust me I have that market cornered! Bless the inventor of elastic….enjoy the rest of the week.
Could it be we’re related? Have I found another divine descendent, perhaps? 😀
thank you Nicholas for the kind thought but I believe the only thing in our house of any exotic origin was Grecian 2000!
Terrific post! And I’m sure I can see a Centaur lurking in the bushes! Nice to know somebody who’s related to Zeus! How about working some magic on my own Amazon rankings? Btw, my termite world has a race of Shshi who represent Centaurs, and an Aeneas character appears in The War of the Stolen Mother.
Really? That’s awesome! 🙂
I’ll ask Zeus to work his magic on your Amazon rankings. Judging by the results my prayers for my own rankings have, don’t blame me if all you get is a fuller waistline, though… 😀
The slideshow makes my mouth water. A divine vacation by the looks of the photos. Technology is awesome until something breaks down. Fascinating genealogy research. 🙂
It was rather nice, yes… 🙂 We’re currently looking into renting a place there, since we found out you can have an 50 square metre apartment in an 19th century renovated estate for around $300 per month.
Excuse me a moment. I have to pick my mouth up off the floor. $300.00? What a bargain! 😀 Heaven on the cheap. You can live like a millionaire.
I know, right?? I’ll let you know! 🙂
I have to visit Pelion…from our new home in Crete! (That was why, if you remember the conversation, I was particularly interested in the island’s history.) Isn’t it wonderful discovering snippets you didn’t know about your family? My latest post features one of my ancestors. Not quite a divine god but interesting nevertheless!
Wow, welcome to our neck of the woods! Hopefully this means it’s easier to meet up in person. Do give us a shout when you’re in Athens! 🙂
Sometimes I feel about as useful as an inexpensive dumbbell, myself, router working or not.
Regarding your claims to ancestral fame: don’t be so quick to claim some of those bloodthirsty monsters as grandparents, eh? Zeus, for example: not known for his courtesy to women, divine or human. LOL
BTW: I’m using Windows 8, Chrome, desktop, and all I see for your photos are captions. ????
Titus Flavius was even worse. He’s responsible for the sacking of Jerusalem, during which over a million Jews perished. Also, another Flavius (Lucius Flavius Silva) conquered Masada. All in all, a nasty bunch…
I’m not sure what might be the problem with the photos. I used the default WordPress Gallery plugin. Ach, computers… >:(
Your peeps killed my peeps! You have a lot to make up for, then. Start now! LOL
I keep hoping that some 650 generations later some sort of statute of limitations will have kicked in. But in my Shoot the Devil story (https://nicholasrossis.me/2014/08/05/shoot-the-devil/) I did put a reference to my illustrious ancestors (use powerofsix as password)
Thanks for the great photos and congrats on your book’s success.
Thank you! About the photos, I’m glad you enjoyed them. About the book, I owe it all to you lovely people, who helped out! 🙂
Nice bit of reasoning on the ancestry 🙂
Thank you, I’m quite fond of it myself. 😀
As I often say, you can prove anything with logic, as long as you start your line of thought in the right place.
… and there’s the rub, you just have to know where to begin 😉
Loved the slide show. I long to travel more abroad. My doggie has the wintertime role of foot warmer. 🙂
We once stayed in a freezing room, in Corfu. There was no heat on, as it was a summer home and had no means of warming the place. We spent the night with Meli on top of us! The next morning I bought a portable heater…