Santa Claus

As I write this, it is mere hours to Christmas, or Saturnalia as those of us who live in the ancient world prefer to call it.

Where did the year go?

Well in my case, it went in completing my second book and having it accepted by St Martin's Press, in having my first book released, so that I went from being an everyday writer to a Published Author, in having the foreign rights bought by Penguin, in doing my first ever book tour, in making the Google ebook bestseller list (what a shock), and in finishing a readable draft of my third book.

I've earned my nervous breakdown. But wow, what a year. I don't expect I'll ever have another like it.


Our Christmas is precisely the Roman holiday Saturnalia. Two ancient mysteries have been entitled Saturnalia: one by John Maddox Roberts and one by Lindsey Davis.

The jolly man in the red suit, however, was a Greek.  Today we spell his name St Nicholas, but the original was a chap named Saint Nicolaos.  Note that his name is spelled the same way as my hero.  No, there's no relation between them that I know of.  Nicolaos has been a common name for thousands of years.  The Santa part of Santa Claus is obviously Saint.  The Claus part comes from the –colaos part of Nicolaos.

So I wish you all a fantastic holiday, and may Santa Claus be good to you.

Io Saturnalia!

10 comments:

E.J. Wesley said...

Happy Christmas to you and yours, Gary!

Sarah W said...

My younger daughter's godfather is Greek, and he told her all about Saint Nicolaos last year. She thinks Uncle Dmitri knows Santa personally 9something he encourages).

Have a lovely Christmas!

Julie said...

Even on Christmas Eve, I learn a new fun fact! Io Saturnalia, merry Christmas, and I hope next year is just as much fun.

CPatLarge said...

Io, to you and yours as well!

Sean said...

I read a paper recently that trace the some of the mythological origins of Santa back to the Epic of Gilgamesh/ Ancient Mesopotamia

Gary Corby said...

Thank you all for the Christmas wishes! One thing I can say for sure: it wouldn't have been the 2010 it was without all my wonderful blog readers!

Gary Corby said...

Sean, I thought I was tolerably familiar with the Epic of Gilgamesh, but I confess I don't recall any character that was remotely like Santa. What's the theory? Who's Santa in the epic?

Donna Hole said...

Io Saturnalia, Gary.

BTW, the interview we did together is now posted at my blog. Thank you for allowing me to share in your author journey.

........dhole

L. T. Host said...

(Late) Io Saturnalia!

Someday we are going to have to go to Australia in December. I'm weirdly fascinated by Christmas occurring during the middle of the summer.

Gary Corby said...

Conversely, we have to explain to kids what snow is, and why the fat guy is dressed up so warmly in the middle of summer.

Local variation is that Santa's sleigh is pulled by six white kangaroos. Would make for a bumpy ride.