A Visit to France 4: Orange

By Brenda W. Clough

 Alas! when you say Orange and refer to a town, I think of the exits off the New Jersey Turnpike. Who knew, that the town of Orange in southern France is home to the most complete Roman theater left in the world? It is still use for dramatic productions that call for little or no set, but we were so fortunate as to arrive on the weeken when the local cosplay groups were doing their Fete Roman. Craft booths, demonstrations, an a parade through town so that the city fathers can welcome the Divine Augustus to the rites in his honor!

 Here the Emperor is somewhat obscure by the empress and his attenants, but his horse-drawn Roman chariot is to i.e. For. And in the next shot he is accepting the accolades of the city; I was the only one who shouted “Ave Caesar” which made him grin.

The festival included educational stuff about the Roman Legions. Two separate groups of them were on hand, with regimental emblems, people with wolf-skins, and everything; Classical re-enactment is like Civil War re-enactment in Virginia. There was also dancing, acrobatics, and a gladiator fight! I will say that Caesar consulted the crowd every time and we only demanded death once.

  Because these are modern times you can even go up and get a selfie with the Divine Augustus! But I didn’t bother with this. Instead I have a Roman coin, newly minted by one of the metalworkers.

 

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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.

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