1. DC23
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    DC23 Member

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    Dragons in ancient rome

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by DC23, Sep 1, 2015.

    Hey guys,

    Just an idea I've been mulling over recently is sort of an alternative history/historical fantasy type story of Dragons being a key part of Ancient Rome.

    Ideally Dragons in the military sense used by the Romans and their enemies as part of their own army. Perhaps Rome's quest to expand it's borders and become an Empire it's struggle to become the single ruling nation of Dragons.

    I'm just wondering if a story such as this would appeal to a wide audience and publishers. It's not intended to be a historically accurate account of Rome, with added dragons but more an alternative history of Rome that was struck from all record after the fall of the empire.

    I think it could be something quite interesting as it encompasses both fantasy and historical fiction (my two favourite genre's). I'm not thinking of all-mighty dragons able to destroy kingdoms on their own. But more a different type of aerial unit, like the cavalry of the air. Weak to siege weapons and specialised defended unless accompanied by supporting units.

    Haven't thought too much about a sort that would take place within this sort of setting. But off the top of my head I would see it as something like, Dragons have been harnessed by man to increase their own power in the world. Rome see's an opportunity to control this power for itself and seeks to destroy it's enemies before it can rival it's own military might. Perhaps their is rumours of a weapon or power that can further the strength of dragons etc etc.

    Any thoughts or opinions would be great.

    Thanks all,
    Dan
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    It sounds like it's something you want to write. What's holding you back? If you're worried that it won't make money, or it won't be popular, you should just accept right now, that it will never make money, or be popular. If you still want to write it, congratulations, you are a writer.

    Go nuts.
     
  3. DC23
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    Yeah it would be something I would like to write. But then at the same time, it would also be nice if it could potentially have a future or a readers interest in it, if it ever got to that point.

    Just wondered what people's thoughts would be on seeing an historical Roman fantasy with dragons in.
     
  4. Akarevaar
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    Akarevaar Member

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    Probably not 100% my cup of tea, but that's just me. It's very hard to tell before hand whether or not a novel will be successful, just form the premise. It depends on the characters, the plot, and how you write it. There have been novels with absurd sounding premises which have excelled, and there are novels based on tried and true story structures (romances, epic quests, etc.) which completely flop. The idea is certainly unique, I'd just be mindful of not going out of your way to be 'too unique' if it's to the detriment of the story.

    Also, I remembered a story about 'the Giant Serpent of Carthage' that might interest you. http://dragon.falbepublishing.com/carthagianserpent.html
     
  5. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    This opens you up to tons of great lines like,
    "All roads lead to roam where the dragons make their home."

    There would literally millions of things you could do; the arena, flying chariot races, there was tons of conquest. Dragons could be the Gods, (perhaps dragons were the old pagan gods and there is a new religion of man taking hold?)
     
  6. DC23
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    DC23 Member

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    Oh I understand it wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, I mean it's impossible to appeal to all audiences.

    I was thinking of writing it from two points of view, so from the Roman side as well as their enemies. Just to show the differences between them, how dragons were treated and used in their current way of life.
     
  7. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The Temeraire series by Naomi Novak is about dragons in the Napoleonic Wars. I've not read it, but I gather it was well received.
     
  8. DC23
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    Yeah I have heared about that series, will have to check it out.

    I think I have two options really, write it as an alternative history, keeping historical information as accurate as possible except when the dragons come into it. Or I use Rome as an inspiration for a fantasy novel and then write it as a fantasy nation inspired by Rome, add in dragons and magic and base the story on an expanding empire.
     
  9. Matt E
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    Matt E Stormblessed Supporter

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    I've always really liked the idea of writing radical alternative history, which takes a technically accurate base and introduces a wild element like Dragons into the equation. I think people would be very interested in a book like this, if done right. The Dragons & Ancient Rome aspect is just the setting. What will determine whether readers like the story is the story you tell in that setting. The characters, plot, etc.
     
  10. DC23
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    DC23 Member

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    I'm just wondering if using Rome and it's status in it's early Empire State as an inspiration for a fantasy empire. It gives me a little more freedom with what I write and I can keep it latinised with inspiration from Rome etc
     
  11. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Do you have any great myths to play with? Could you borrow one from the Greeks? That might provide ideas to get you started and also show what people would have been interested in over time.

    I find that sometimes you don't really know where your going or if something is feasible until after you've written a chapter or two. That's what I do. I'll write a couple of chapters, then read them and ask myself, "Would I like to read this?" If the answer is no, toss it. If the answer is yes, then keep writing.
     
  12. Shattered Shields
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    Shattered Shields Gratsa!

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    I would read this if you wrote it, to be honest. It sounds like a very interesting concept.

    I say do it.
     
  13. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bagradas
    The Romans lost 12,500 of the 15,500 men they went into battle with...hard to believe that they'd take the corpse of a 120 foot snake back with them, they'd be only too glad to take their own skins back to safety!

    http://rbedrosian.com/NFactors/Stothers_2004_GreatSerpent.pdf


    Orosius’s original source may have recorded the number of ribs,
    or rib pairs, as 120, a figure that later became misinterpreted as the number of “feet” of
    the animal’s length owing to confusion arising from the source’s mention of “the feet of
    the ribs.” This explanation seems plausible given that the number of ribs in a snake may
    exceed 300 pairs.
     

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