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Explore a selection of publications by alumni and academics, and books with a link to the University or Cambridge

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Varian Studies Volume One: Varius
Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado (Trinity 1964)

Varius is the nomen of the Roman emperor misnamed Elagabalus or Heliogabalus. These are names of the Syrian sun god Elagabal, whose high priest Varius was while emperor. There is no evidence that he was ever so called when alive. Thus named, his posthumous legendary or mythical avatar thrives, in academic prose and popular imagination, as a Semitic monster of cruelty, depravity, fanaticism, mockery and extravagance. Recently, this monster has metamorphosed into an anarchist saint and martyr of gay liberation.

Varian Studies Volume Two: Elagabal
Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado (Trinity 1964)

Elagabal is the name of the Syrian sun god whose high priest Varius was, at the same time as Roman emperor, AD 218-222. Because of this connexion, Varius was misnamed Heliogabalus or Elagabalus long after his death. Second in the series VARIAN STUDIES, this book discusses Elagabal’s architectural and sculptural legacy in Rome. These are represented by the Palatine site of THE VARIAN TEMPLE OF ELAGABAL IN ROME, and by relief sculpture on column capitals found in the Roman Forum, showing Elagabal with other deities, in a scene of sacrifice here reconstructed as ELAGABAL’S IDYLL.

Varian Studies Volume Three: A Varian Symposium
Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado (Trinity 1964)

Heliogabalus and Elagabalus are names given since late antiquity to the mythical or legendary avatar of Varius Avitus Bassianus. Varius was Roman emperor AD 218-222, ruling as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was simultaneously High Priest of the Syrian sun god Elagabal. Heliogabalus and Elagabalus, names derived from Elagabal, are often used as misnomers for Varius himself, but more properly designate his avatar, who is far better known than Varius.

Flying With Emma
John Ironside (Peterhouse 1952)

Helicopter pilot Emma Shripney’s steady world is to be shaken up as much as the ground below her as she flies over earthquake stricken Hastings and Napier on New Zealand’s North Island east coast. Rescuing the eighteen stranded people from Te Mata Peak leads to a sharing of tragedy and frustration, to a doomed romantic entanglement, to an involvement in commercial intrigue conflicting with ancient Maori lore, and to the experiencing of happy loyalty and a deepened love for her adopted country.

Things We Nearly Knew
Jim Powell (Trinity Hall 1968)

Jim Powell was chosen as one of the best new novelists by BBC2’s ‘The Culture Show’ in 2011. His third novel explores our ignorance and misconceptions of the people and situations we think we know best. It is a story set in an unnamed place, at an unspecified time, told by an unnamed narrator, that asks: how much do we really know about those closest to us…and how much do we want to know?

So High a Blood: The Life of Margaret, Countess of Lennox
Morgan Ring (Caius 2008)

Sometime heir to the English throne, courtier in danger of losing her head, spy-mistress and would-be architect of a united Catholic Britain: Lady Margaret Douglas is the Tudor who survived and triumphed — but at a terrible cost.

366 Days: Compelling Stories From World History
Scott Allsop (Emmanuel 1999)

Stretching from Ancient Rome to the World Wide Web and from the Danelaw to the Cold War, 366 Days is an engaging and entertaining chronicle of the highs and lows of world history. Whether it heralded a world-changing new discovery, the assassination of a leading politician, or a cow flying in a plane, this collection of true stories and trivia from world history proves that there is always something to be remembered 'on this day'. Each historical account has been painstakingly researched to clearly explain its causes, course and consequences.

Deep Sahara
Leslie Croxford (Selwyn 1963)

Recovering from a nervous breakdown provoked by the death of his wife, a man takes advice from a family friend and retreats to a monastery in the deep Sahara to sketch desert insects for a book.

Upon arrival, however, he comes upon an appalling crime. Numb and exhausted, he declines a police chief’s urgent suggestion that he leave. Despite his shock, the desert seems to promise solace, a vast nullity against which he can take stock of himself and do his work.

King Billy and the Royal Road
Reginald Ajuonuma (Darwin College 1999)

King Billy and the Royal Road follows the eponymous Billy as he wakes up hungry one day and, unable to rouse his mother, decides to go out and look for food.

His trip outside becomes a journey in which he learns about the world around him, which he hasn’t been truly exposed to before, and the importance of values such as love and consideration for others.

H is for Hadeda
Alexandra Strnad (Homerton 2004)

“H Is for Hadeda is a luminous sequence of poems from a writer of great intelligence who combines elegance of expression with an excitingly visceral engagement with language. The polished surface, created by Strnad’s extraordinary dexterity and supple control of syntax and diction, belies deeper currents caused by the rift between older, Central European sensibilities and a newer, less urbane and sometimes less forgiving perspective.

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