Thursday, August 11, 2005

Roman Ladies and their Meetings

I couldn't help it. I am writing a small volume about the life of a young patrician man during Roman times, about 48 BC. And even though I know better, I included a comment about the WMS. That is, the Women's Minerva Society.

Knowing Methodists have a busy group called WMS--Women's Missionary Society--I decided to use their initials. I couldn't see how the average Roman matron could have been evangelistic about her pantheism, but I am sure they had meetings, and presidents and dues and all that kind of thing. It is what humans do when they have enough to eat.

All I had to do was figure what reason these Roman ladies could use to get out of the house once in a while. The one I was writing about would go to the WMS meeting place front door and leave by the back door to see her boyfriend. That is probably something the younger women did. Then she could spend a few minutes, maybe an hour, with her boyfriend. After a brief dalliance she would have to return home or she would raise suspicions of the dominant male in her household.

So it was fun to write about and a plausible way to get my character out of the house.

But there is a fly in my Roman ointment that most people won't catch: Latin had no W character in it.

I am going to do it, anyway.

Illigitimus non carborundum

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