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At The Oasis


At The Oasis

Judah Ben-Hur, Messala, Esther and Iras, at the oasis, a scene from the historical fiction, by Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur (1880).

Messala and Iras have a clandestine meeting later, alone, at the oasis. 


This was made for Men In History Contest, hosted by ManipulateThis.

Theme: This is a Historical theme contest. The scene must match the model’s costume. 

Skill Level: 2, Novitiate

Required Stock: Denoted by An Asterisk *.

Due Date:
June 4, 2017


Memo: This is my second entry. The first was Excavations.


This was also inspired by the  Short challenge May- required stock challenge, hosted by We-HEART-Photomanip


Skill Level: 2, Novitiate

Required Stock: Denoted by Two Asterisks **

Due Date: May 31st, 2017

Guidelines: Entries Must Be Solely For This Challenge

[Oops, missed that line; and, was late, because the ISP kept crashing, anyway.]


Thanks to all the Stock Artists, especially for their marvellous costumes and shoes; and, hosts, and moderators.



People at The Oasis: 

Judah Ben-Hur: Judah Ben-Hur:

jason aaron baca spartan0532, by jasonaaronbaca

Photographer: Portia Shao,
: Jason Aaron Baca,

And, Cloak 23, by AilinStock Model: Ari Ailin Photographer: Rachel Ailin

Messala: Messala: jason aaron baca classic0565 roman, by jasonaaronbaca *

Photographer: Portia Shao,
Jason Aaron Baca,

Iras (Daughter of Balthasar the Egyptian, one of the Biblical Magi):

Original: Grecian Goddess 14, by hyuugahinata-stock

Update (6.3.17.): (For colour, sight lines, and continuity):

Amazon Queen 3, by syccas-stock Model: Lydia,   syccas-stock

Esther: Esther: Toga 14, by deathbycanon-stock

Others at the oasis:

Classical Grecian 12, by chirinstock
Original: Roman1, by LeLePhotography Model : DanielleFioreModel 

Update (6.2.17): (For colour and sight lines):

Roman3, by LeLePhotography Model : DanielleFioreModel 


** Camel, by SlichoArt **


The Camel might be a gift from one of the other Biblical Magi, either Melchior, a Persian scholar, or Caspar , an Indian scholar;

Since, the Bactrian, or two-humped camel, inhabits Central Asia, not the dromedary, or one-humped camel, which inhabits the Middle East and the Horn of Africa.


The Oasis:

Chalice Well Waterfall 1, by FoxStox

Sitges - Oasis House-1, by RowyeStock

** Mountainsunset, by SlichoArt **

Slanting Tree PNG, by EveLivesey

Ruines Sicile PNG 3, by Jean52

Other Resources:

Stock-wolfworx-Sunrise-Imk59130, by wolfworx

Sky, by CathleenTarawhiti

FOG/CLOUDS PNG, by Moonglowlilly

Cloud/Fog, by Moonglowlilly

Mixed Exclusive Textures, by CD-STOCK 

(For Honourable Mention, for The Canadian Corps of Engineers, for CREATIVE MINDS CHALLENGE IV, hosted by CD-STOCK)

Texture 203, by Malleni-Stock





Characters’ Appearance:  

Lew Wallace says repeatedly, during the narrative, that , Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, Ben-Hur’s childhood friend and rival, are like twins, except that Ben-Hur is a Jew.

But, it’s not clear what this meant to Lew Wallace, in the 1880’s; let alone Hellenistic Jews, like Judah Ben-Hur.

There have been oceans of ink spilled on whether Michelangelo’s David should have a beard, or be circumcised, or how.

Or, should Esther’s hair be covered? She’s young and unmarried; but, such traditions have changed dramatically through history.

Iras is the beautiful daughter of Balthasar the Egyptian, one of the Biblical Magi; and part of the Love Triangle between  Judah Ben-Hur and Messala; while, Esther is the daughter of Simonides, a loyal Jewish servant of Ben-Hur’s family.


In the documentary, The Celluloid Closet (1995), Gore Vidal, who wrote part of the screenplay for the 1959 film, Ben-Hur, argued that Messala’s vindictive behaviour can only be explained as a homosexual lover spurned by Judah Ben-Hur.

The Bacchanalia with Messala and the Dionysian young men, in the novel, could support this argument.

However, such relationships, in ancient Roman sexuality, differs markedly from the contemporary West understanding of the term. 

William Wyler, who directed the epic historical drama, said that he did not remember any conversations with Gore Vida about this. [31] [15] 


Listening to:

Ben-Hur - King & Country Music Video - "Ceasefire" (2016)

Ben-Hur | Andra Day - "The Only Way Out" Official Music Video 

Ben Hur - Parade of the Charioteers (1959)


Ben-Hur Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Morgan Freeman, Jack Huston Movie

Mariah Carey, Can’t Let Go


Nota Bene:

Overexposed: Journey of a Male Model, Paperback (January 5, 2007)

By Jason Aaron Baca (Author), amazon


“It is an insane world; but, the one sanity in it is the loyalty of old friends.”

Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur, 1880


This is one of the most popular books ever written by an American author, at the time of publication, surpassing Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852).

Actually, I’ve never seen any of the movies, aside from the unauthorized 1907 Silent Movie and a few clips from Ben-Hur (1959 film).

I’ve only read the book. It takes a bit to get going; but, picks up, once it gets to the galleys.

In the book, Sheik Ilderim’s horses are bays, named after the stars.


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