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Squirrel on a Ledge
07-03-2012, 06:48 PM
Weird, I know. My characters are from the modern day, but they are in ancient Ephesus (circa 356 BC). They're going to go to the Temple of Artemis before it burns, but what else might they do there? I can't find much on this particular era. It seems like everything I find is from well before or well after this time period. Thanks for your help!

Rufus Coppertop
07-03-2012, 08:10 PM
Weird, I know. My characters are from the modern day, but they are in ancient Ephesus (circa 356 BC). They're going to go to the Temple of Artemis before it burns, but what else might they do there? I can't find much on this particular era. It seems like everything I find is from well before or well after this time period. Thanks for your help!

Get themselves initiated into a mystery cult?

Buffysquirrel
07-03-2012, 09:15 PM
I suspect most routine tourist activities are available. Getting drunk, getting robbed, being solicited by a prostitute, having someone try to sell them over-priced souvenirs. Having a bad reaction to watching an animal sacrifice at the temple. One of them getting out their mobile phone without thinking and generating curiosity/suspicion. Buying local food/drink and getting sick as a result. Making a serious faux pas--like assuming someone's a slave when they're not, or vice-versa. Using a very wrong word. Picking up money someone's dropped and being called a thief. Hiring an animal they can't ride properly, or assuming that their way of riding will see them through and finding out the animal has been trained completely differently. Thinking they're buying an object a person is displaying then finding they've bought the person.

Priene
07-03-2012, 10:13 PM
Get tangled up with Athenian spies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_War_(357–355_BC)), possibly?

Raventongue
07-04-2012, 02:21 AM
I just have to say this is an epic question. Sorry, wish I had something useful to add.

Buffysquirrel
07-04-2012, 03:57 AM
Get mistaken for someone else? Lots of possible consequences from that....

jaksen
07-04-2012, 04:54 AM
Show affection in a place where you shouldn't. (Just holding hands?) Or wandering into a brothel. Being overdressed or underdressed. Not nodding or greeting an official or upper class person as one should.

How about knowing something is going to happen before it does and mentioning it and then being accused of being witches, clairvoyants or even gods in disguise.

Ordering the house special in a restaurant/eatery and discovering it's dog genitals (or worse.) Do some research on what they ate at this time, might be eye-opening. (Fried whole sparrows anyone?)

Alessandra Kelley
07-04-2012, 05:17 AM
Ordering the house special in a restaurant/eatery and discovering it's dog genitals (or worse.) Do some research on what they ate at this time, might be eye-opening. (Fried whole sparrows anyone?)

Given what's hanging all over Artemis of Ephesus' front, it could be wayyyyyy worse.

(And as for research of what they ate, I gather information is very spotty).

Ooh, ooh! They could accidentally trample the last silphium (http://www.ancient-coins.com/resourcedetail.asp?rsc=8), thus making it extinct! Oh wait, it only grew in Libya. Dang.

... See, it was this immensely valuable trading herb that only grew in the wild, couldn't be cultivated. It was used as a seasoning, but was most effective as a pregnancy ender. It was a wild bestseller for that, worth its weight in gold. But it was overharvested and went extinct in Roman times. We don't even know what it was; theories hypothesize some member of either the fennel or queen anne's lace family.

But, er, maybe not appropriate. Sorry. Babbling a bit, I guess.

Squirrel on a Ledge
07-04-2012, 05:40 PM
Oh my. I love all of these ideas! Thank you all so much! Spies, slaves, prostitutes, mystery cults...It's all so delightful.

Rufus Coppertop
07-05-2012, 01:53 AM
They could also shoot their mouths off about something that's going to happen and end up being mistaken for sibyls or prophets.

Maxinquaye
07-05-2012, 02:08 AM
Haha, lots of things. Like get flogged for disrespecting elders. Get sold into slavery for not genuflecting for the town's deity. Not have any standing socially for not being married. And so on. :)

Cyia
07-05-2012, 02:27 AM
Have one of them wear those awful shoes with the lights in the heels and skate-wheels in the soles. The first time a local sees them in action, the kid wearing them gets pegged as a celestial messenger and carted off to the nearest temple. Hilarity ensues.

Priene
07-05-2012, 01:14 PM
And, of course, don't say rude things about the Persians.

Squirrel on a Ledge
07-05-2012, 05:28 PM
Have one of them wear those awful shoes with the lights in the heels and skate-wheels in the soles. The first time a local sees them in action, the kid wearing them gets pegged as a celestial messenger and carted off to the nearest temple. Hilarity ensues.

I'm totally doing this. My MC was already having shoe-related issues, so this fits in perfectly! Thank you!

Layla Nahar
07-07-2012, 02:11 AM
Oh - chariot racing hoodlum rivalry. Chariot racing took place in all the roman cities, even into the christian era. There were four divisions, but the Blue/Green rivalry was the big one. There were riots between supporters of Blue team racers vs Green team racers.
ETA (ah - mine *might* be a fail. The real shenanigans were in the early christian era. Still, racing was around then, and I *believe* the factions are that old...)

Dave Hardy
07-09-2012, 05:56 PM
Standard melodramatic fare for ancient novels was that bandits/pirates would kidnap someone's beloved and the protagonist would have to spend the rest of the book trying to rescue them from the Persian overlord/Bandit chief/Wigged-out Egyptian sexpot who was besotted with the kidnap victim. Incidentally, there's even one such titled "An Ephesian Tale".

For a shorter story arc, there's the bit from Daphnis & Chloe (IIRC) where some pirates see a beautiful young cowherd on shore and seize him. The cowherd looks back imploringly to his beloved cows. The cows feel pity and are moved with sorrow at being separated from the beautiful cowherd. The cows stampede the pirate ship. Hilarity ensues.

StephanieFox
07-13-2012, 05:47 AM
Ephesus was an international city so they might meet someone from elsewhere and get drunk together.