Celebrating Freedom Prompt

Standard

This is the prompt I ran across the other day. You just know I had to answer it. Without further ado, I give you “Celebrating Freedom”.

Roman Feast

He’s dead. We are finally rid of the tyrant known as Caligula and are free. His little boots no longer crush us in fear. No more do we have to fear for our lives or our wives. The Praetorian Guard took care of the tyrant and his family over the evening. They may have been a bit zealous when it came to his infant daughter, but no chance can be taken that his family will try to avenge his sadistic lifestyle. What he did to our wives and children was deplorable; but threatening to name a horse as his council – that is a dignity that no man should have to face.

 
Looking at the revelers around me, I can clearly see how afraid they were. This much wine didn’t even cross my lips when I married. Though I cared greatly for my wife, on that day I was fearful. What if the emperor wanted her or the dowry she carried? What if he felt we were trying to assassinate him? Though we weren’t at the time, those are the thoughts that ran rampantly through my head.

 
I remember the day Caligula was crowned, we were excited for the hope that he brought our country. The spring sun was hot that day. It seemed as though Sol himself were blessing the day at Jupiter’s command. Such divine signs were not to be ignored – and that was something the Romans had never done.

 
At first, his reign was healthy and energetic. That slowly turned to madness after the fever took him.

 
The day he was crowned was truly a splendorous sight that the Ancient City hadn’t seen in years. He freed wrongfully imprisoned citizens and abolished the imperial tax. He filled the stadiums with chariot races and gladiator games. The populace was happy. Until the fever.

 
That’s when we realized that maybe we should have listened to the rumors of his youth on the Island of Capri. Long had we heard the gossip of incest with his sister and joyfully watching executions. We had even heard of his love of torture. Still we thought some of his father’s good sense would stick with Caligula. Never would we have believed such heretic words.

 
No descendant of Caesar or Augustus should be so cruel. Then again, spending so much time in Tiberius’ company couldn’t have been good for him. That man was as sour and lecherous as they come.

 
When Caligula contracted brain fever as Jupiter commanded the seasons to turn we mourned. Our great hope was at Mors’ doors. We prayed to the Gods that we wouldn’t lose our greatest hope.

 
Looking back, I clearly see how bitterly the Gods answered our prayers. Caligula was not the same when he came back to us. No longer was he jovial and understanding. He had become bitter, cruel, and twisted.

 
When Caligula was well again he instituted a food tax. He resurrected treason trials and through his rank around as he thinned out the senate. Those horrendous trials replenished our treasury after his extravagant spending; so did his extortion when a senator fell asleep at an auction. Thirteen gladiators never cost a man so much.
Upon his sister, Drusilla’s death, he had her deified; he even had the nerve to commission coins in her image, beautiful though she was, Drusilla should never have been on a coin. That is an act that will not hold out the year; coins will be melted and deification revoked. The senate will use Damnatio Memorae to wipe Caligula’s cruelty from our history.

 
Worst of all he declared himself a living God. The powers of the divine are something no mortal should pretend to have. The temples and statues he erected in the Eternal City are being destroyed as this banquet takes place.

 
I have not seen such celebrations since Caligula was crowned; unlike that day though, the weather is far colder. This merriment is sure to last a generation as no man wants to take his liberty for granted any more.

 
One can only hope, that come morning the senate will have even better news for us to celebrate – after all, it isn’t every day that they will be able to choose a new emperor and a new hope. Until then we will celebrate the demise of the tyrant.

Advertisements

To Roma

Standard

Here lately I have been posting quite a bit of Arthurian one shots. I truly hope you are enjoying them. Today I have yet another one shot for you. This particular one takes place early on in Arthur’s reign. As always feel free to leave a review.

Happy Reading!

To Roma

Sunlight filtered through the arrow slits of what was quickly becoming known as the king’s workroom to the denizens of the castle. The sunlight allowed enough light to see by and a slight breeze to circulate the air of the some what stuffy room.

In the light’s path sat a sturdy wooden table covered with scrolls. The paper was imported from Aegyptus and known as papyrus. It was extremely durable and versatile. The durability of the papyrus was invaluable to the nation,

Although Khitai was able to produce a cotton blend that was cheaper, it was also more delicate. The papyrus was one of the few extravagances that Arthur allowed his administration this early in his reign.

Behind the table of scrolls sat a man with reddish brown hair and dancing blue eyes. The man was bent over the table carefully reading a scroll. There was a slight frown on his face as he stared at the scroll.

After several moments the sound of a man clearing his throat alerted the seated man to the presence of another in this his workroom. The seated man looked up and said, “Sir Gareth, come and sit for I have something of a quest for you.”

Sir Gareth entered the room and looked warily at the man before saying, “A quest, Your Majesty,” alarm colored Gareth’s voice.

“Of a sort,” his majesty confirmed with a half smile on his face. It was a smile that made Gareth nervous.

With trepidation in his stomach Gareth echoed, “Of a sort?”

“Yes. I would like for you to make a journey with the Lady Seraphim,” Arthur answered. Gareth could have sworn that he saw amusement in the king’s eyes as he said that.

Gareth almost sagged in relief. Doing anything with Lady Seraphim was both refreshing and amusing for the fact that it was common knowledge that Seraphim acted like no lady that any knight had ever met.

It was well known that you could take Lady Seraphim into a tavern and she would encourage one to act with boisterous pride amongst your peers. The Lady Seraphim also tended to act as though she were any other knight. That tended to help with thinking of her as a comrade in arms rather than a damsel in distress.

“What sort of journey had you in mind, your majesty,” Gareth asked his king.

“’Twould be naught but a journey across the seas, to the land of Roma,” replied Arthur, his hazel eyes sparkling in mischief.

“Then thou wish a mission of secrecy,” Gareth questioned. The prospect of traveling in secret with the king’s champion sparked the knight’s interest. Gareth, like all other knights of the table, had never served with a female knight and the king’s chosen champion was a woman. This was a highly unconventional thing to have.

The danger this trip held for the King’s Champion was great. This much Gareth knew. The danger was primarily because Seraphim was a woman. All in Camelot knew how the Romans tended to treat women.

Especially given the fact that the primary religion of the Roman conquerors was that of the Christ child. This was a religion that saw women as a frail lot that were to be protected and kept far from the fields of bloodshed.

And the King’s Champion, the Lady Seraphim, was anything but meek and mild. In many ways Seraphim was more of a knight than some of those that sat at the Table Round. For she truly did believe in and try to live by the ideals that the King had set forth for his Knights. It was rumored that the Lady Seraphim didn’t even know the meaning of the words ‘lip service’. That was something that Gareth found to be extremely true in the few dealings that he had attended with the Lady Knight.

As Sir Gareth lost himself in his thoughts the king interrupted, “I have every confidence that my Champion can defend herself. Unfortunately I also know the depths of treachery that the Roman Senate can fall too,” he finished sternly.

“Understood, Your Majesty. I shall do my utmost to keep faith with the high honor that you have seen fit to bestow upon me,” Gareth finished solemnly.

Arthur gave an ironic grin as he nodded his head. As Sir Gareth strides were taking him from the room the king intoned, “Oh, and Sir Gareth, remember to tone her temper with an alehouse if need be.”

Gareth paled at the thought of what could drive the formidable Champion to the alehouses to calm down. With a half bow towards the king, Gareth strode the door shaking his head at the adventure to come.