You were recruited by something as simple as a survey that was on a blog site. You answered 12 questions, and six weeks later you were contacted by a man representing a group of scientists who have found a way to send a person back in time to ancient Rome around 51 B.C..
For the last year you have been the center of attention. This whirlwind has been class after class on ancient history, social habits of the time, and classical thought. There was even a class on how to fight with sword and shield, given by a Olympic Gold Medal winner in the sport of fencing.
She tells you that if you don’t practice, you will “die.”
The day came for you to depart. To your surprise the time machine is at the bottom of the gymnasium, almost three levels underneath the pool. It took three doors to get past security, and you find yourself in a room filled with various electronic devices, computers screens rolling with continuous computations, and cameras all pointing to a single spot upon the floor. You glance at one sole professor who stands at a black board scribbling white dusty mathematical symbols, and think to yourself that he is an anachronism.
But you realize that so are you…
You approach the dark recess in the floor. They have told you it is a miniature black hole punctured in the fabric of reality. Wind shoots up through it , intermixed what smells like the dust of ages gone past. You can smell the sea of Actium, the deserts surrounding Alexandria during the time of Cleopatra, and you can hear faint sounds of panicked voices as they flee the armies of Augustus.
You look back at your audience that gives you a thumbs up like you are an astronaut taking the final walk to the space capsule.
You take a deep breath…and jump into the unknown. Yes, the unknown. History has been a guess so far, the writings trusted to the accounts of others. You will be the first to see it first hand.
The fall takes the breath out of you. You molecules are deconstructed and constructed in an instant upon a flat ground on a starry night. You can see very little, so you go to sleep.
The next morning you wake up and four men look down at you. They hold chains. Behind them are 20 men, their necks bound in slave collars. You stand up and they immediately pull you into line, binding your wrists. Why not? You are alone. You have no protection, and there is no one to speak for you. In just 8 hours you have become a slave.
For some reason you remember a Latin quote that a professor was fond of saying as he tried to teach you some useful phrases.
“Cogita ante Salis.”
[Think before you leap.]
The next podcast is titled: Time Travel is Easy, History is Hard.
Episode Two of the Ancient Rome Refocused Series will explore the difficulties of living in 51 B.C.
Look to see it on itunes and Hipcast in the coming weeks.
THE TIME TRAVELER SURVEY↔
(Directions: Please answer the following questions. These will test your ability and temperment for living in the time period of 51 B.C. Some are multiple choice and some questions will ask you to type in your answers. Immediate feedback is not provided, but the time travel committee will share the data collected in a future post. Good luck…the past awaits.)
THE SURVEY IS CLOSED. The Museum of the Antiquities Project is reviewing the results. A post will be made declaring the results and some suggestions on what the answers mean. Keep an eye on this blog for the results.
Rob Cain, Curator