Written on Feb, 14, 2017 by in ,

From marble to crumbling brick, from senator to slave, the crowd hissed, howled, and demanded more. It was victory they wanted, victory defined, as it had always been, by a pile of victims. More respectable than the impatient plebes above and seeking their approval nonetheless, the senators only hissed at the pause in the show. Those seated around Eucher were …

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Written on Feb, 07, 2017 by in ,

Slaves tended a score of fires lit around the arena wall, while smoke from the smoldering tower and the fires mixed with the sweet aroma of three staked and burning calves. The clever effect prepared the crowd for the feast to follow. High above, the great velum, torn and cracked in places, was drawn incompletely to its height above the …

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Written on Jan, 31, 2017 by in , | Leave a comment

The editor, a senator of the family Ceionii, sponsored the beast show once every five years, though it wasn’t nearly as extravagant as it once was. Eucher saw the editor seated some distance to his right, his physician next to him, waving a shallow bowl under his nose, trying to calm him. The aged man was prone to fits. The …

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Written on Jan, 24, 2017 by in , | Leave a comment

“And what of his wife,” the official continued, “who takes Rome’s treasures for her own? A piety, we’re told, to rid the city of idols.” Again, he was mocking, accusing Eucher’s mother of coveting the jeweled necklace that once adorned the statue of the goddess Vesta but now adorned her neck. “As a Roman,” Eucher shouted, “I appreciate what’s Roman.” …

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Written on Jan, 17, 2017 by in , | Leave a comment

*** When Eucher arrived at the Flavian amphitheater, his assistants left for their seats at the top of the arena. His bodyguard set chairs on the podium and then withdrew. Only Gallus remained, sitting beside his master in a silver chair, his hands folded in his lap. Despite the heat, he kept his azure robe wound about him. Eucher’s gaze …

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