Great (and detailed) post on the background to The Priestess and the Slave.
I've always found the ancient world far more interesting than the modern world – but not the wars, the revolutions, the kings and generals (or even the occasional queen). Instead, I'm fascinated by the tiny details of the daily life of ancient people – what they ate and drank, what they wore, who they worshipped, and how, and why.
One of my favourite university subject was Greek Daily Life, in which one of my assessable assignments was making a long strip of woven cloth. This was more sensible than it sounds: my learned but eccentric teacher Rhona Baere was insistent that we understand that all respectable ancient Greek women, and many of the less respectable variety, plus most female slaves, spent most of their lives in interminable spinning and weaving. (After the hours watching the cloth grow, painfully slowly, I've never forgotten.) She also taught us how Greek pots and furniture were made, and read Plato's Symposium with us, so we could see how the men behaved without respectable women around.