Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Rape of the Sabine Women

Forcible, yes, but not quite in the way you might think it was. 

The story of the Rape of the Sabine Women surfaces in a massive history of Rome written by the chronicler Livy. Livy was a contemporary of Emperor Augustus and served as advisor to Claudius, the Imperial grand-nephew.  He was fond of recounting past deeds of heroism which told of Rome’s founding, particularly those that promoted the moral qualities of pre-Imperial rulers. 

Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna - note the crouching figure beneath the Roman

Rape of the Sabine Women by Giambologna – note the crouching figure beneath the Roman

It is probably safe to say that Livy’s departure from Rome coincided with the ascension of Tiberius, no fan of republican sentiments. Before he left, however, Livy’s history was widely accepted as the true chronicle of Rome’s founding.

It was Livy who recounted that Romulus, fresh from an act of fratricide, had staked out a claim on the Tiber River. His group of mostly male followers began to cast about for wives from the neighboring Sabine tribe.  The Sabines looked upon these amorous suitors with great suspicion. They were like the monster in Jaws. All they wanted to do was to march around, eat and make little Romans.  (more…)

St. Nicholas – Patron Saint of Spinsters

Nicholas of Myra (circa 270 – 343 AD) was a Greek bishop hailing from an ancient province in what is modern-day Turkey. The acts attributed to him are so random and secretive, he has bedeviled many a hagiographer. 

St. Nicholas Smiting the Heretic

He attended the Council of Nicaea and punched a heretic, only to be recorded as absent and without his mitre.

The people were starving from famine yet he resurrected three children who had been butchered and pickled to be sold as ham.

He was the patron saint of pawnbrokers–always showing up to make good on the debts of others.

Thieves were in his special care, not because he would aid them in their endeavors, but because he kept appearing at the most inopportune times, foiling their heists and cajoling them to repent. (more…)

Locusta, The Poisoner

by Anna Kathryn Lanier


Tired of waiting for rich Uncle Tom to kick the bucket?  Ready to take over the throne, but daddy just won’t die?  Upset with your wife for cheating? Then you need to call Locusta, Profession Poisoner.

From the Roman province of Gaul (France), Locusta moved to Rome, where assassinations were a dime a dozen.  Retained by royals, she managed to never be charged with murder or spend much time in jail.  Her death sentences were often commuted or dismissed outright.