"The Sign of the Eagle" by Jess Steven Hughes is Roman historical fiction at its finest

The Pursuit of Justice in a Violent Age

August 25, 2014 by Gregg Zimmerman

sote_pubImperial Rome, starting with the first emperor Augustus, spanned about 500 years, and was ruled by approximately 65 emperors (depending how you count usurpers, upstarts, and self-proclaimed tyrants). So the average tenure of a Roman emperor was a little less than 8 years, and few of them died of natural causes. The Sign of the Eagle is set in the early reign of Vespasian, who took the throne during the chaotic year of four emperors (69 A.D.). This was an era of barbarian invasions, sinister political plots, and military unrest when any given general stationed in the provinces could declare himself emperor and advance with his army upon Rome on any particular day. This is the backdrop of The Sign of the Eagle, a fast-paced and extremely enjoyable historical novel. Protagonist Macha, the daughter of a Celtic king, is married to Roman tribune Titus. She is told by an envoy that her husband has been arrested for treason, and is part of a conspiracy to overthrow Vespasian. Macha does not take this news sitting down, plunging into a suspenseful mission to discover the truth and exonerate her husband. The bodies of people who know too much are falling all around her, but this does not deter the dedicated and courageous Macha from her single minded pursuit ,that will free her husband and save the emperor. I am particularly impressed by the verisimilitude that the author achieves. It is clear that he has done his research and is very familiar not only with historical facts and places, but with the beliefs, habits and everyday life of citizens of every strata of Roman society. This was a very enjoyable and informative novel, and I look forward to upcoming works of historical fiction by Jess Steven Hughes.

An historical novel of betrayal and suspense in ancient Rome that will leave you breathless

August 31, 2014 by “lokhos”

Spend some time in Ancient Rome, solving mystery upon mystery as a British Celtic woman raised a Roman tries to clear the name of Titus, the Roman tribune who is her husband. Got that? The Sign of the Eagle is a crime thriller, a police procedural, and a correct historical with all the vocabulary and scholarship necessary, rolled into one delicious package. Threats and plots reach all the way up from the garden villa of our heroine, Macha, to the court of the Roman Emperor Vespasian.

Macha’s husband Titus is a professional cavalry soldier. When Titus is accused of treason, Macha’s adventure goes into high gear, with everything she loves at stake.

Rather than ruin the story for you, I’ll not dwell on the plot beyond saying it has turns and twists enough for any modern reader. This book also has the feel of its period: every detail is correct, from swords and cavalry tack to combs and pins for our Celtic heroine’s red hair.
Don’t mistake me: this novel is neither bodice ripper nor dissertation, but a full blown novel of ancient Rome that at times reminded me of Ecco’s “Name of the Rose.” Want to let that sink in? Yes, this is a real historical novel, not a romance in ancient clothing nor a gamer’s how-to book. Good novels are rare, good historical novels even rarer.

Buy this book and read it. Buy a couple to give your more literate friends for Christmas. I bought the trade paper and its production values are excellent; the print is easy to read, the prose crisp and as sharp and clear as you’d expect from an author such as Jess Hughes, who has been a police detective and Marine Corps veteran. Hughes knows war and intrigue and human failings firsthand. What Hughes has learned in life informs this novel with his expertise in treachery, in war, and in crime, lending this story great substance without ever being wordy or awkward. Men will be as diverted as women by this novel, part action-adventure, part suspenseful thriller, and part a ticket to another place and time.

The Sign of the Eagle is satisfyingly complete in itself, yet also forms the first half of Hughes’ duology set in the 1st century AD. The next book by Jess Steven Hughes, one hopes, is coming soon.

Dr. John F. Loase makes a case for the liberal arts based on the uncertainty of what we know

NEW YORKSunbury Press has released John F. Loase’s latest book The Power of Uncertainty: A Case for the Liberal Arts.

tpou_fcAbout the Book:
The new book by Dr. John Loase, The Power of Uncertainty – A Case for the Liberal Arts, demonstrates the positive effects of recognizing and appreciating the illumination we could experience in recognizing and admitting uncertainty in all human endeavors. This valuable new book illuminates uncertainty in many areas, including a variety of mathematical and scientific ideas and extends to the recognition of the human advantage implicit in questioning our certitude regarding, for example, our religious beliefs (or total non-beliefs), the dangerousness of our many prejudices and convictions concerning free will or the capacity for redemption or progress of those “other” human beings or nations that we often conclude are so really “different” from ourselves. The richness of his examples and arguments inevitably leads to a discussion of the meaning, power and all-encompassing humanity of philosophy, literature, film, as well as all the arts, because respecting and understanding the expressions of all mankind truly unfastens the binding chains of our often unchallenged assurances and prejudices.  (Louis Rotando)

Contents:
Part 1 – Pure Mathematics
Chapter 0 – The Uncertainty Quotient Test
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – My Uncertainty History
Chapter 3 – 1 + 1 = 2
Chapter 4 – Is Mathematics Discovered or Invented?
Chapter 5 – Uncertainty Defeats Hitler
Chapter 6 – The Current State of the Irrationals
Chapter 7 – Uncertainty Revisited
Part 2 – Impure Mathematics – Statistics and Science
Chapter 8 – Impure Mathematics
Chapter 9 – Probability
Chapter 10 – Averages
Chapter 11 – Variance
Chapter 12 – Central Limit Theorem
Chapter 13 – Confidence Intervals
Chapter 14 – The #1 Topic in Elementary Statistics – Correlation
Chapter 15 – Prediction – Linear Regression
Chapter 16 – Bayesian Statistics
Chapter 17 – Science
Chapter 18 – Free Will vs. Determinism
Chapter 19 – Why Liberal Arts?
Chapter 20 – Literature and Film
Chapter 21 – Psychology
Chapter 22 – Language

Excerpt:
Take the Uncertainty Quotient Test on the next page. Do not, may I repeat, do not turn to the Introduction or any of the tempting intellectual morsels that follow.

Redundancy is the key to getting a message across. Now turn the page and take the Uncertainty Quotient Test.

Uncertainty Quotient Test

Please give a ranking from 1 to 5 for each of the following statements.

1 – Certainly True
1 – Certainly False
2 – Likely True
2 – Likely False
3 – Moderately Uncertain
4 – Deeply Uncertain
5 – Completely Uncertain

_____ 1. 1 + 1 = 2
_____ 2. We discover mathematics in the same way we progress in science.
_____ 3. Our language simply expresses our thoughts.
_____ 4. Science rests on a secure foundation in mathematics.
_____ 5. We freely choose our direction in life.
_____ 6. Our 18-25 year olds are narcissists.
_____ 7. Calculus is free of controversy.
_____ 8. Death and taxes are certain.
_____ 9. My job has valid qualifications.
_____ 10. Assessment improves teaching.
_____ 11. Prescription drugs have been proven effective.
_____ 12. The higher your level of education, the higher your level of certainty.
_____ 13. I have a clear set of values.
_____ 14. Mathematics is certain truth.
_____ 15. The Uncertainty Quotient Test is sound.

Please rate yourself from 1 to 5 on each of the fifteen items. Your lowest possible score is 15. Your highest possible score is 75.

Keep this score in a safe place. Write it on your hand with permanent marker if you are prone to losing things. This is your uncertainty quotient.

About the Author:
John Loase serves as Professor and Chair of Mathematics at Concordia College-NY. He earned the only doctorate Columbia University Teachers College has ever awarded in mathematics (mentor Dr. Bruce Vogeli) and Psychology (mentor the late Dr. Richard Wolf). John is equally at home in Mathematics or the Arts. His eighth book, The Sigfluence Generation: Our Young People’s Potential to Transform America, won a Silver Medal in the Benjamin Franklin National Contest and is free at sigfluence.com. John directed the National Science Foundation sponsored initiative Mathematical Modeling from 1992-1996. His text Statistical Modeling with SPSS was an outgrowth of this NSF grant and has been accepted for 2015 publication by COMAP- the world leader in Mathematical Modeling. The Power of Uncertainty was written for us to add a healthy dose of uncertainty to myriad dimensions of our lives.

The Power of Uncertainty: A Case for the Liberal Arts
Authored by Dr. John F Loase
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
152 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064856
ISBN-10: 1620064855
BISAC: Mathematics / History & Philosophy

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Power-of-Uncertainty…