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DON DEDRICK

Welcome to the official site of Don Dedrick. Don is the author of  The Epiphany of Marcus Apronius , a novel of Ancient Rome and Early Christianity.

Don and his wife, Jeanne, live in Springfield, Missouri, Queen City of the Ozarks, located in the southwestern corner of Missouri. He has a passion for history and has been an ardent student of Classical Greece and Rome for more than thirty years with a special focus on the First Century. He has finally used the extensive knowledge gleaned from his studies along with diligent research to write a novel combining the two most exciting elements of the First Century – Ancient Rome and Early Christianity.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS

Don began his studies of Ancient Rome shortly after receiving his discharge from the U.S.Army in 1956. Two months after that much anticipated occasion, he returned to academia as a student at the University of Kansas majoring in Architecture. Prior to Uncle Sam’s call to service, he had been enrolled at the University of Wichita(KS) for two years majoring in Architectural Engineering.

Sometime during Don’s army years, he had decided that he wanted to be an architect instead of an engineer so when he enrolled at KU, he switched his major to straight Architecture. During his first semester in Architecture History, the periods of ancient Greece and ancient Rome struck a chord with him very early in the course. He felt that the beauty of the art and architecture of the Classical World overwhelmed that of any other historic period.

Ancient Greece was originally his main interest but somewhere along the way, he switched to Ancient Rome. Don was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, a city in the center of the United States and located about 5,405miles from the city of Rome. Despite those many miles between cities, a young man in Kansas was intrigued enough with ancient Rome for his interest and thoughts to transcend the great distance.

Don  is not alone in his fascination with ancient Rome. Just enter “ancient Rome” in Google on your computer and see what pops up. It is a remarkable fact that even after two-thousand years have passed since it’s heyday; there are many thousands of people all over the world who have an interest in all facets of the great Empire.

One requirement of the Architecture History class was to prepare a notebook filled with notes, drawings, photos, articles, etc. of appropriate subjects pertaining to the architecture of the various periods the class was studying. Don worked very hard on that notebook and although he had to include other ancient cultures such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, etc., he only covered them summarily with the hope that his professor wouldn’t notice the disparity between the Classical Periods and the others.

He spent hours doing ink drawings of Doric and Ionic columns to include in the notebook. He didn’t attempt to tackle Corinthian. The volutes of an Ionic capital were difficult enough to draw, but the multiple curves of the acanthus leaves, scrolls and fleurons of the elaborate Corinthian capitals were beyond anything he wanted to attempt. In today’s tech-savvy world it would be easier. He could just photocopy them from his Architectural Graphic Standards book and be done in a few minutes, or better yet, just find beautiful examples of Greek and Roman columns on Google Search and push the print button. Unfortunately, now is now and then was then and in 1956, photocopiers had not even been invented.

You’re probably wondering by now why the subject of this post is “Archaeological News”. About forty years ago, Don had expanded his interest in ancient Rome to include the field of archaeology. It became a hobby of his after he read a book titled, “Hands On The Past”; an anthology compiled by C.W. Ceram, published in 1966. This book contains a great collection of discoveries written by the archaeologists themselves and includes some unique illustrations he hadn’t seen previously in his studies.

Unfortunately, Don was never able to participate in a real “dig” but as an inveterate “armchair archaeologist”, he tried his best through many years to absorb everything he could about the subject. In addition to the numerous books he read, he subscribed to Archaeology Magazine and Biblical Archaeology Review Magazine for many years and before their demise, he subscribed to Archaeology Odyssey and Bible Review magazines for their duration.

The broad-ranging field of archaeology of course, is rife with wonderful discoveries of Roman art, architecture, artifacts, and the magnificent preserved ruins of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the other cities and estates of Campania that were buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Archaeology is much more than buildings, statues, pictures, jewelry or pottery. It fills in ancient written histories with verifications or additional facts, and also tells us of the lives, habits and environment of the ancient peoples. Its contributions to our knowledge are continual and archaeological discoveries are made every day in some part of the world.

There is an excellent online source if you wish to stay current with the many new archaeological discoveries.  It is Archaeology Magazine’s “Archaeological Headlines” www.archaeology.org/news  presently edited by Jessica E. Saraceni of the Archaeological Instiute of America. The site is updated every week day and covers all cultures. Don finds the short news items about ancient Rome most interesting of course, but he reads every one of them even if they have no connection to Rome. If you, the readers, have any interest in archaeology, it would behoove you to check it out. Don heartlly recommends it.

THE NOVEL

The Roman historian, Tacitus, in his book, The Annals of Imperial Rome, wrote a single paragraph of an amazing incident in which a man named Plautius Silvanus threw his wife, the eldest daughter of Lucius Apronius, out of a window to her death. This was not exactly a common occurrence even in ancient Rome; a place rife with brutal events. The hatred between the Apronius and Plautius families spawned by this bizarre incident is the catalyst for my novel.

It covers thirteen years in the life of Marcus Apronius beginning in A.D. 33 when he is ten years old and ending in A.D. 46 when he is twenty-three. A sequel will cover the years A.D. 47 through A.D. 79.

By his birth into an aristocratic Equestrian family, he was destined to have an illustrious career of service to Rome, but Fate stepped into his life and put an abrupt halt to the preordained future that was his birthright. After rhetoric school, he entered the Legion just in time to take part in the Invasion of Britain. During battle, he proved himself a hero, but was unjustly vilified by his nemesis Decimus Plautius, convicted of cowardice, exiled to hard labor, rescued by pirates, and proselytized by the great Christian apostle, Paul of Tarsus, before returning home to exact a final vengeance.

We hope you enjoy this First Century tale of a young Roman’s struggle between conflicting forces of vengeance and Christianity.

This website includes a Blog and an Appendices where Don will expound on various aspects of the novel. Please feel free to participate by adding your own response.