October 29, 2016 ·
I’ll vote for Hillary not because I like her but because Biden chose not to run and Trump thinks that he can be fuhrer. She is so obsessed with secrecy that she thought a personal server was like a personal conversation. She should have learned from Tricky Dick that there is no such thing as absolute privacy anymore, important as that is in the web of international relations. None of that makes her any worse, or unamerican, or more criminal than other politicians. She’s just been targeted where other dedicated politicians haven’t been because it has been assumed for years that she would be the Democratic candidate. Politics and government service is a complex and nasty world with few saints here and a bunch of worse guys for friends / enemies overseas with their own national and personal priorities. She has shown rather poor judgement and bitchiness it is true but she is certainly more qualified than Trump with his childish temper, quick judgement, self importance, incompetence, ignorance, and general nastiness, etc. etc. etc. Not only do I miss Ike, I miss every president, Democrat or Republican, since FDR but Hillary at least comes closer. After all a president doesn’t have to be likable to be effective. Were it not for Watergate that would be the judgement of history on Nixon.

Without the dark of night of what use would be the light of stars?
Without a rainy night the mists at rosy fingered dawn would mean nothing.
Without poor miserable us of what use would all this beauty be?

 Apuleius Books is pleased to announce the publication of a new novel by Paul Kastenellos – Antonina, A Byzantine Slut.

In the year 531 AD the late Roman (Byzantine) general Flavius Belisarius married a prostitute named Antonina. Though little known in the west, Belisarius was perhaps the noblest person ever to lead great armies and is considered to be one of the ten – some would argue three – most successful commanders in history.

Belisarius loved and was faithful to Antonina their whole lives together. Antonina loved him yet engaged in a ten year affair with their godson. They accompanied Belisarius on his military campaigns in which he regained North Africa and Italy for the Emperor Justinian who now resided in Constantinople. She also became the chief confidant of the Empress Theodora and acted as her agent in the reconquered lands. In an age when wives might be secluded and without political power, Antonina raised and led an army in Italy and stood a year-long siege in Rome.

Regrettably, the historical picture of Antonina has been colored by the hatred for her of Belisarius’ adoring but prissy biographer. In this book we see the life of her famous husband through Antonina’s realistic eyes, and Antonina, through his. Theirs is a love story worth telling.

Antonina “descended from a family of charioteers; and her chastity has been stained with the foulest reproach. Yet she reigned with long and absolute power over the mind of her illustrious husband; and if Antonina disdained the merit of conjugal fidelity, she expressed a manly friendship to Belisarius, whom she accompanied with undaunted resolution in all the hardships and dangers of a military life.”

Edward Gibbon … The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

“All this can be properly attributed to folly, for it is she who sees that a wife is attractive to her husband and a husband to his wife, that peace reigns in the home and their relationship continues. A husband is laughed at, cuckolded, called a worm and who knows what else when he kisses away the tears of his unfaithful wife, but how much happier it is for him to be thus deceived than to wear himself out with unremitting jealousy, strike a tragic attitude, and ruin everything!”

Erasmus of Rotterdam … In Praise of Folly

Apuleius Books is pleased to announce the kindle marketplace version of Antonina: A Byzantine Slut appearing without DRM for the reader’s convenience.

Count No Man Happy is based on the life of the Byzantine emperor Constantine VI who lived in the last years of the eighth century CE. It is factually correct. As a child Constantine had been betrothed to Rotrud, the daughter of Charlemagne, and developed a consuming affection for her although they never met. Their engagement was broken off by his mother, the empress Irene. Irene also competed for power with Constantine when he came of age to rule. At that time the empire was waging wars against invading Bulgars in the north and Haroun el-Rashid of Arabian Nights fame in the east. Despite these threats Irene’s passion was for the restoration of icons during the iconoclastic dispute. Conflict between mother and son finally led to unimagined horror.

Although it is impossible to entirely recreate a past world in a novel written today, the author has tried to do so in so far as it can be done, without stereotyping or demonizing, or expecting medieval people to respond as a person would today. Their passions are the same as ours, as is their self-deception; but their frame of reference is entirely different.

The book’s title is from a quote by the ancient Greek Historian Herodotus: “Count no man happy until he is dead.” Why is not revealed until the story’s end. What Kastenellos has written is historically accurate biography set against a backdrop of war, religious extremism, and intrigue. This is offset by elements of fantasy in which Constantine is distracted and comforted by a mid twentieth century model.

Apuleius Books is pleased to announce the kindle marketplace version of Count No Man Happy… A Byzantine Fantasy appearing without