Enter the world of Ancient Rome, c. 108 AD – Love & Vengeance

Love & Vengeance - The Colosseum

A menacing growl followed by an earth-shattering scream bellowed above the rafters. The roar of the crowd snapped her back out of the numbness. The applause echoed through the chambers as particles of sand rained through the wood slats in the ceiling.

She was filthy, covered in sweat, blood and grime. What damage could more dirt do? Toes on the dirt floor wiggled as she stared at them. Her hair hung around her face like a curtain, matted with dried blood. Inadvertently, she lifted her hand to tuck one side behind her ear but jerked to a halt, restrained by the iron cuffs around her wrists, bound together with a chain. The same chain connected to the metal collar around her neck. How had she forgotten its weight resting so heavy on her shoulders?

Another scream and the sound of flesh ripping, laughter and clapping became louder above. Fear snaked down her spine and she shuddered.

Gustina sat on the stone ledge, chained with the other miscreants, waiting to be forced up the ramp to the carnage above. If she could just return to the numbness again, where nothing mattered any more. The place she’d escaped to before she’d heard the animals attacking the condemned out there. But she couldn’t silence the roar of the crowds, enjoying the executions as their noontime entertainment. Trembling, she pulled her sluggish legs up, wrapping her joined hands over them, to hold herself as she buried her face in her knees.

***

In the hallway outside her chamber, Marcus stood, flexing his muscles, his arm extended with the metal disk in his hand. It equaled the weight of his sword – a weapon he would not have until it was his turn in the arena. Besides, there was no room in the corridor to swing it, to loosen his arms in preparations for the next fight.

Christians and convicts. What a surly lot. But it was an easy way to feed the vast array of beasts the Empire kept to compete in the games. Did he ever feel sad for the poor souls about to perish by their claws? No. Nor did he mourn the loss of life at the end of his sword.

He was one of the rare attractions people paid to see. He was gladiator. And he soon would be victor of all he opposed on the sands. Marcus’ victories gave him the privileges and money he wanted – as long as it remained wine and women. But not his freedom. Not what he had lost to the Romans. No, the only way to gain that came by victory in the arena and in front of the Emperor. And to earn that opportunity, he’d kill whomever they placed before him.

He closed his eyes as the screams filtered downward. His soul heard them and his body tingled with the smell of blood and dirt. Breathing in the welcoming atmosphere, he exhaled and opened his lids to look straight into the captives’ chamber.

He found her. Sitting, hunched on the small ledge, draped in chain and metal bands, her head down. But when she looked up, through all the muck and grime, her pale blue eyes shined, sparkling and bright. Her unmarred face was a rarity amongst captives dragged to this place, usually after rough treatment prior. He noticed her high cheekbones, a small nose, narrow chin but ripe mouth. Her eyes locked on him and his mouth went dry. When her tongue licked her lips, his body tightened.

He had to have her. Period. Regardless if she was a convict, runaway or Christian, he wanted her.

A guard butted past him, into the room and yanked the chain, pulling all the captives up. Many moaned, some pleaded. She didn’t. She stood straight, pushing her shoulders back, waiting at the end of the line. Her eyes locked on his until the guard turned chain in hand to lead them out.

Marcus stepped back. Instantly, his hand went to his stomach guard and pulled the narrowed pick-knife out of its hidden sheath. As the captives stumbled past him, he extended his foot, causing her to trip. She fell into his grasp. His free hand placed the knife into the lock and with a twist, it opened. His hand covered it to deaden the noise as his other arm encircled her tiny waist and pulled her against him.

“Not a sound,” he whispered. He shoved her to the wall, his massive body hiding hers as he flexed his limbs. The guard stopped at the sound of the loose chain but didn’t look far when he saw the gladiator’s well-muscled body. Marcus glanced at him over his shoulder and gave the man a nod. His status as a victorious gladiator allowed some privilege. The guard shrugged and moved on. The frightened woman gasped for air and shook with fear.

Quickly he lifted her. She was light, lighter than his sword but he knew that couldn’t be. In a swift move, he turned. Next to the doorway sat a covered alcove. He dropped her in it.

“You’ll be safe here.” He looked her over. Her wide eyes, full of fear and mistrust, returned his gaze but she said nothing. He heard the gong of his master calling him – he fought next, after the final execution. “Remain here. I will be back for you.” He touched her cheek, his bulky hand swallowed half her face. Her skin was soft, like silk. Back in the days when he wore silk… He banked the anger. With a final nod to her, he left. He knew she’d be there when he returned.

To leave meant death.

 

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29 thoughts on “Enter the world of Ancient Rome, c. 108 AD – Love & Vengeance

    • LOL at the don’t make it too long, it was only the greatest ctlzviiaiion the earth has ever seen that lasted hundreds of years.But anyway, Rome was founded by a wolf named Odysseus who travelled home after the Tunic Wars to see his wife. He got lost and crash landed on an island, he called it Rome (he meant Roam but spelled it wrong). Other people got shipwrecked there and they built a city, there were alot of natural resources there. Ancient Rome met its downfall when Jesus’ army destroyed the city to avenge his death (he was crucified by Romans). It hasn’t been the same in Europe ever since.

      • What a great web log. I spend hours on the net reading blogs, about tons of vaoirus subjects. I have to first of all give praise to whoever created your theme and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an fabulous article. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only very few posses and honestly you got it. The combining of demonstrative and upper-class content is by all odds super rare with the astronomic amount of blogs on the cyberspace.I have bookmarked, Dugg, and I joined the RSS subscription. Thanks! ….

    • Definitely better than the first trlaier which was much more “Maximus”. It looks like it will have some good action but I’m still hesistant about whether the story will be interesting or not. Dennis

    • I just got back from 6 days in Rome. It is unbelievable! Ciampino aiprrot is very small so it’s a doddle to get around. Go to the Terravision stand for a bus ticket to Termini. It’ll cost you 12 Euros for a return ticket and the journey takes about half an hour. The buses are very regular. They’ll ask for your return flight time and tell you the last bus to get back to the plane on time. I’d advise you to get the one an hour before that, as that’s what we did and it saved the heartache of a half hour wait to get checked in the Italians are very laid back! It’ll be about a ten minute walk to your hotel. If you get a taxi, make sure the meter is on. A service charge is included in a lot of restaurants so you should ask first. I personally tip nothing if the service is rubbish, which it was a couple of times, 10% if it’s ok and 15 to 20% if it’s good. You can buy metro tickets from the many magazine stalls for 1 Euro that gives you unlimited trips on the very frequent trams and buses for 75 mins. Just stick your ticket in the yellow machines on the bus or tram and it’ll stamp the expiry time on it. The only amazing meal we had was at Sel and Pepe on Viale de Trastevere. I had a pesto dish and it was amazing. It’s about 20 mins from your hotel, all in, but worth it. A guided tour of the Vatican is 25 Euros plus the 13 Euros you’d pay for the admission anyway. Well worth it to skip the huge queue, and you find out things you may never have known. Christians for candlelight? Guides will approach you to ask if you want a your. The Coliseum tour is 11 Euros plus the 10 admission charge, again, totally worth it. Enjoy your trip.

    • took me a while to browse all the comntmes, but I really enjoyed the subject that you chose. It looked to be very helpful to me and I am sure to all the other people who have looked at this blog, It’s always nice when your not only informed, but your also entertained! I’m positive you had fun writing this article. I’m going to grab your rss feed so I don’t miss anything important that you guys may come up with in the future, Thanks..

    • to have had so many affairs. Tiberius was a prrevet. Calighula had committed incest with his three sisters. Agrippina the Younger(mother of Nero and sister of Calighula) had affairs with her sister’s (Julia Livila)- husband Marcus Vinicius, had sex with her brother Calighula, married her uncle-Claudius and committed incest with her son Nero. Orgies and plays with actual sex were common. RULINGS:In Rome the Romans had a system of officials. Questors to take care of treasury(8). Aediles to take care of games and markets(4) and two to assist a Consul(Aedile Curiles) and two to assist the Tribunes(Aedile Tribunus), Praetors(16) to judge in civil matters: Praetor Urbinus(for judging citizens) and Praetor Perigrinus(for judging others) and Consuls(2)-supreme judges. Also they had the Tribunes(2) for representing the common people and the Lictors for carring the bundles of wood with axes on top(the Fasces) to symbolise the power of Rome and carry out executions. In the provinces they had two types of Governors. The imperial: Legatus Augusti Pro Praetor(grades I, II, III- for provinces with no legions, one legion and more than one legion: on 400,000 Denarii, 500,000 Denarii and 900,000 Denarii per annum at the time of Augustus-respectively. The senatorial- Proconsul Provincae grades I and II for small and large provinces on 600,000 Denarii and 1,000,000 Denarii per annum at the time of Augustus respectively. Also for very small provinces (as Judea) they had the Procutator CC on 200,000 Denarii per year. Pontius Pilate was a Procurator CC. They Romans had a fair system of government having Tribunes locally to represent the local people and improving the lives of their subjects immensly. However when faced with rebellion they could be extremely ruthless. ENDINGS:Rome’s decline started with the plague brought back by the legions of Marcus Aurelius(reigned 161-179 A.D.) It continued with corruptness and waste by Commodus(Marcu’s son and sucsessor) and Elegabalus, civil wars between Septimus Serverus and Precisius Niger and Clodius Albinus> between Aurelian and Terentius>between Constantine and Maximinius Data and Lucretius and between the sons of Constantine. The bastardisation of the legions by Diocletian and Contantine, the introduction of Christianity by Constintine, the freezing over of the Rhine in 407 A.D. and the betrayal of their last field army under Odaccer in 476 A.D. In 476 A.D. the Western Roman Empire(it had been officialy divided by Theodosius I in 395 A.D.) fell.This was the end of ancient history. FAMOUS PEOPLE:ROMULUS: (753 B.C.)Major founder and first king of Rome.TARQUINIUS SUPERBUS: (6th century B.C.)Last king of Rome-overthrown by the republic in 509 B.C.MARCUS LICINIUS BRUTUS: (6th century B.C.)Founder of the Roman Republic.MUCIUS SCAVEOLA:(6th and 5th centuries B.C.)Impress Eutruscan king-Lars Porsena when he tried to assinate him.LUCIUS SICIUS DANATUS: (5th century B.C.):Most decorated soldier in Roman history 5th century B.C.SCIPIO AFRICANUS:(3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.)Conquerer of Hannible. in 202 B.C.(battle of Zama)MARIUS:(2nd and 1st centuries B.C.)Reformed army/conqured Jugurtha and consul 8 timesJULIUS CAESAR( 100-44 B.C.)Most famous Roman/conquerer of Gaul and responsible ultimately for the fall of the republic.AUGUSTUS CAESAR(62 B.C.- 14 A.D.) reigned 27B.C.-14 A.D.)First emperor of Rome/reorganised the empire.TRAJAN ( reigned from 98-117 A.D.)Under him empire at greatest extent.MARCUS AURELIUS (b. 122 A.D. reigned 161-179 A.D.)Famous philosopher emperor.AURELIAN(restorer of the world) (3rd. century A.D.)Restored fortunes of Rome- conquerer of Zenobia of PalmyraDIOCLETIAN( reigned 284-305 A.D.)Changed empire militarily and administratively.CONSTANTINE:(reigned 305-337 A.D.)Introduced christianity to the Roman Empire.THEODOSIUS I ( 4th century A.D.)Permantly divided empire-abolished Olympic games-393ADATTIUS: (5th century A.D.)Commonly known as the last of the Romans-defeated, with Gothic allies, Attila the Hun at Chalons in 451 A.D.FLAVIUS ROMAULUS AUGUSTULUS: (5th century A.D.)Last emperor of the Western Roman Empire-overthrown byOdaccer in 476 A.D.These are just some of the famous people of Rome. But I suppose the last say belongs to he Byzantine Empire which evolved from the Eastern Roman Empire. The Byzantines, although contemptuously called Greeks by the crusaders, had always thought of themselves as Romans. They issued documents as Romans. They called themselves and regarded themselves as Romans. And when the end came on Thursday the 29th of May 1453, their last emperor-Constantine XI (Dragonus)-seeing that all was lost, threw off his crown, imperial insigniture and robes, took sword in hand and jumped into the fray. He was never seen again. When the Byzantines(the sucsessor empire to Rome) fell-they fell like Romans-with the emperor at their head. A fitting end to a mighty saga in history.Hope this helps. M

      • Your lucky.. I live in Rome and I work in a hotel near the spanish steps.From the cimnaipo airport the best thing do is to catch the bus that takes doirectly to termini station .In Rome there are day tickets / 3 day tickets or a weekly ticket.As for the restaurants I suggest the area of Campo dei fiori.. there are typical restaurants at great pricesHave fun in Roma

    • Rome is lots of fun to study we are the inheritors of their otoluok on life, which was practicality. The Romans were realistic, innovative, and ambitious. They were also tolerant of most religions in their empire as it grew.They were so successful, finally, though, that they deteriorated. Slaves (booty from the conquered countries) did just about every job, and far outnumbered the free Romans. Mercenary troops (not the Romans) eventually filled most of the soldiering positions.Key to investigating Rome is the beginnings, in the Italian province of Latium slowly the people of this province won battles and consolidated their methods, traditions, customs, religion, and out-did their neighboring provinces soon they ruled all of Italy, then started on the march to conquer all the countries around them.

      • romes empire was built on the back of the dfaeet of carthage, before that point and for the previous 1000 years the Mediterranean was basically run by Phoenician traders from Lebanon to britain and even further. rome never surpassed the Phoenicians in Technology the dfaeeted them and stole all the best Phoenicia/Carthaginian ideas.this is how its remembered now cos rome were the victors.

    • Talk about the world descending into sound bites.Is this a short enuogh history of one of the greatest civilisations ever for you ?1. Founded by Romulus Remus 753BC2. Started as a monarchy, turned into a republic3. Based strictly on a class structure4. Went into terminal decline 5th century AD5. Famous people : Augustus, Julius Caesar, Nero, Mark Anthony

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