Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Remember When . . . They Met on the Rooftop?

Posting late this morning because, er, I totally spaced that it was Wednesday, LOL. We're in the middle of a move, and my schedule is all weird. So as I dried my hair and realized I'd completely neglected my blog, I scoured my mind for a topic. Any topic.

So this is what you're getting today. ;-)

Back in New Testament times, houses in Israel usually featured some traditional chambers like you might expect. Windows were few, and those there were, were often covered in lattice. Many homes abutted courtyards, or had one all to themselves. But another key feature of the home was the roof.
Herod's Temple - not exactly your typical Israelite house,
but it at least shows the flat top, LOL.
When I first wrote A Stray Drop of Blood, I had no clue about how important rooftops were in the day-to-day life of an average family. But when I rewrote it back in 2009, I figured it out. Which, you know, made sense with Jesus's warning about the end days and, "Those who are on the rooftops..."

These roofs were flat, with a small ledge for protection. They had no stairs to them from inside the house--the only staircase would be built against an exterior wall, so you'd have to go outside to get up there. Hence why Jesus's warning about those on the rooftops is that they won't take the time to go back inside.

Now, sometimes folks would start with the usual rooftop, but would then build up walls and put on a secondary roof. This, as you may already know, is what they would term an "upper room." Sound familiar? ;-) These upper rooms would therefore be completely separate apartments, so if someone needed to take in a boarder to make ends meet, it would provide the perfect setup. Tradition holds that the upper room Jesus and the disciples met in for the Last Supper was in the house of John Mark, who wrote the gospel of Mark.

As I'm working on A Soft Breath of Wind, I just included one of these rooms in Jerusalem. =) Not the same one Jesus was in, LOL, but I do also have John Mark in my story, given that his Gospel was written for the church of Rome during the same period my book takes place in. I haven't yet found anything telling me where he wrote the book, so I'm at the moment taking the liberty of putting him in Rome during its creation, which works well with my plot. He's reading the stories of Jesus's life to my characters as he writes them. =)

Meanwhile, my heroes are in Jerusalem, in that upper room, about to unwittingly bring calamity upon them all... (dun dun duuuuuuuuuuu.)


  1. Thanks for the ever-interesting history lessons, Roseanna! You always surprise me with the tidbits you share. I now have a better picture of the upper room Jesus was in.

    Hope your move goes well and y'all get settled into your new place quickly.


  2. OOOH - fun stuff! And, as you already know I'm sure, you're SUCH a tease ;)