QuoteThe Eagle does not bother to concern itself with those beneath it.
Justinus looked to the young man, and he recognized him immediately as a Greek. He had practically been raised in Greece and knew the distinguishing features between them and Romans, while some seem to think that they are of nearly identical appearance.
"Greetings, I am Cleisthenes, of Athens. A pleasure to meet you."
Athens? The very name reminded him of his past, his tutoring by Greek philosophers in the areas of arithmetic, geometry, Greek and oratory. It was a simpler time then, with his cousin and teachers, far from the intrigues of Rome and enjoying the white sand along the coasts.
"Athens. A beautiful city. I spent some time when I was a boy. My name is Justinus Junius Calvus and it is a pleasure to meet you as well. Tell me, what brings an Athenian to Rome?"
He took a moment to look upon the boys features, he was handsome though less masculine, he certainly didn't have the look of a soldier, or sailor, which only narrowed his professions down to either mercantile, political or scholarly.
"Thank you." He replied simply, he wasn't one for embellishments where it wasn't due, though he good comment on her beauty that would be an improper statement to make to the girl in private, and would be disrespectful to his host. But where was the harm in conversation before he met Aulus? It would just be a bit of probing on his part he supposed, after all... Aulus was a man he had fought beside, and Justinus wanted to know more of the mans family, how he adjusted to life.
Justinus wasn't sure what to say to the young woman, she was prepossessing yet he detected something... Venomous, inside her, though he supposed that was true for many sons and daughters of Rome who are raised in the corrupt politics of the city. "How is Aulus' health? And yours? I wasn't aware that he had children, It would please me to hear more about you and not just from Aulus; Fathers always have a habit of embellishing their children after all, especially to guests."
Justinus took the time to look around the interior of their home, the marble finish and the furniture. They weren't wealthy from his observations, but neither were they poor. None of this was unexpected... After all, Aulus would be an Equite, he had no strong family ties that guaranteed high station and fabulous fortunes, everything he had he owed to Rome and his own labours, which was admirable, Justinus would never show disrespect a man who constructs is own fortune rather than relying upon others.
Finally he focused on Oriana once more, her patrician features were appeasing. What he remembered of Aulus' face his daughter seemed to bare none of. He ceased his observations however without posing the question, he didn't want to appear quizzical and confuse the girl, though he certainly may have appeared so for a moment, worse would be if she mistook his intentions as being less than pure, and frighten or disgust her. Either way, it didn't matter. She likely took after her mother and that was the end of it, for now at least...
Justinus listened to the man proclaim his intentions for the bathes, and Justinus felt a twinge of envy; he would much prefer the baths to running more laps, but to enjoy only comfort would make one puerile, complacent and arrogant, qualities the Justinus despised and that he saw in many Senators, they desired power for powers sake and thus turned into sycophants, but that would not be his lot... He would push his body and mind for power because he knew he was to only one with the actual resolve to punish wrong doers, resist temptation and build security, the glory of Rome would last forever, and with effort, so would his dynasty.
Thinking of such things always made him think of his children, and his wife which he remembered with regret... Rather than being with her, loving her as he should have he fled away to the Legions and all but abandoned her, the short time they had together before she died were bliss and he wished for just a few years more. Plautia, his first and so far, his only wife, the bearer of his children - his legacy.
Justinus pushed such melancholic thoughts, it wouldn't do to unbalance his humours.
"My name is Justinus Junius Calvus, and yes... I believe I've heard your name on the senate floor. Even speak a couple times... Your oratory, I would say is skilled though it would seem that it would fall upon deaf ears when other senators bray rather than debate when the mood is choleric. You're a moderati are you not? Ah, I suppose it doesn't matter now... I would desire a hot bath myself at this moment, but I just began my laps and I must stick to my discipline of at least three around the the Thermae. I suppose I will see you inside if you are retiring from your own exercise?"
Justinus approached the villa with hesitation in his mind, Aulus Ordovian Laencanius was a man he remembered enough of him to not make this an awkward meeting, they had fought and bled together along the Rhine from when Justinus was still a boy, but aside from their soldiers bond there was little to make of it, regretfully. Still, sometimes a bond between warriors could be stronger than familial bonds, and it didn't necessarily surprise him that the man wished to reconnect, though he knew nothing to speak about besides what they've been doing since their service and old war stories, while Justinus was certainly proud to speak of his children's achievements he wasn't the kind of man to eagerly speak of his service, it wasn't glory that he sought... At the time so long ago it was mostly an escape and afterwards it was a haze of a military mindset and lifestyle, the Legatus sought praise and glory, but the soldiers just followed orders... Much of his experience actually seemed automatic, responding to orders and relaying them, building fortifications and long periods of waiting or marching. Those years went by in an eyeblink when he reflects on it, nothing special to mark between them aside from the ceremonies accompanying his promotions, the battle against Prince Thorstan and his own injury, which made his right leg limp with the stiffness of the scar. Though when he was along the Rhine, it was though his life outside of the Legion was a dream, that it never happened... Strange wasn't it?
Approaching the door to the villa he brought his fist up and knocked twice, there was no tact in his knock, only a bluntness. He expected a slave or the mans wife to answer the door, but instead was a young woman in fine clothes and jewelry, there was no way she was his wife, unless the man had wiles he didn't know about, but who would allow their daughter to marry a man much past his prime?
"Welcome Senator," she said as Justinus found himself looking at her green eyes, so rare for a Roman in a land where the sun shines brightly. "It is an honor to have you at the Laecani Villa."
Justinus responded with a polite form of bow, it wasn't ceremonious like one would give to a member of the Imperial family, it was simply a way of greeting/supplication as he was a guest to this home. "Thank you," he replied "I assume you are you're fathers daughter, for one so young and finely dressed. My name is Justinus Junius Calvus, though I am sure you are aware of that already. If I may know yours? Or does Ordovian Laencanius reserve that introduction for himself to make?"
Justinus didn't reply into his question of quaestorship and ignored the mans maneuver by interrupting with a polite question of his family, instead he maintained composure and responded to his latter question, acting as though the politic speak never happened "My family is quite well, I am sure you are aware my wife died eight years ago but our children grow strong, my oldest is Lucius Junius Calvus, he is preparing to become a man and will likely perform the rites next year on Liberalia. While my twins, Junia and Gaius Junius Calvus are in need of tutors." He finished, before beginning a stride down the steps slowly, only slow so that the other man could fall into pace with him and Justinus made it obvious that the conversation would have to continue while they walked, after all Justinus wasn't a man to loiter.
"Though I am quite curious of you, a governorship in Raetia is quite impressive, though must've been uncomfortably close to those Germanic Barbarii."
He expected a fairly standard response of disgust or hate for the Germans, Justinus certainly viewed them with a healthy disdain but also a strange form of respect, to resist Rome for so long requires great strength, or incompetent leadership for the Legions, though likely a combination of both. Still, they were a proud people who fought fiercely for independence, and though they were his - and Romes - enemies he knew that they would never be truly subjugated, even if the whole Magna Germania was conquered the Germans would resist and strike from their deep dark forests until oblivion.
Justinus often exercised, he knew that his body could no longer keep its form in his age without frequent reminding, while he often exercised at home or at a gymnos, the thermae had an advantage, first was the bathes and the other was the social company. Though he usually performed calisthenic in the atrium before proceeding to the tepidarium before the warm bath proper, he decided to run the pace of the building, thus he stripped down to his subligaculum, leaving the rest of his clothes with one of the capsarii, first making sure that nothing valuable or important was among his items even though he had checked before even coming, and then proceeded to jog at a steady pace.
His war injury erred him in his task, but he kept true to his stride despite the discomfort in his hip though likely because of it he felt more tired and sore than he normally had when he was younger... Or perhaps it was age? No, he decided it was the injury as he had seen others his own age perform admirably in athletics and not seem to be in any discomfort.
He was finishing his first round, when he saw a figure at a fountain. Though he normally ignored such situations, preferring to speak in a more relaxed environment that doesn't distract him from his task - but this time he was called out too and he knew it would be impolite to not respond in kind.
"Greetings... it is a good day for staying in shape, is it not?"
Slowing his stride he approached the fountain splashing himself with water and performing some leg stretches as he replied "Indeed, the sun shines warmly upon the skin and the warmth of a bath calls after the training."
His duties over within the senate completed for this day, Justinus exited the Curia Julia with a purposeful stride only marred by the limp in his right leg, nodding to some senators in an informal way of respect for one another as they exited the floor and out onto the steps. It was a bright day, though the sun hung lower towards the west after the length of time they had spent in the senate house, Justinus was secretly eager to return to his home and spend much of the remaining evening finishing some other work he had before going to sleep. He lingered for a moment just outside the bronze doors, watching each senator pass by him as he processed what was said in the senate this day while maintaining a degree of dignity for the benefit of his colleagues.
Suddenly his name was called out, "Junius Calvus! It is you isn't it?" He turned to face the man, he was around the same age as Justinus himself and was clearly a senator, wearing a senatorial toga that is as much a badge of office as any. "How do you do - I don't think I've seen you since... it must be four years ago."
Justinus fixed his gaze upon the man, his mind churning for his name as he approached though he made sure to not let his confusion show upon his face, he kept a serious expression before smiling slightly "Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus? I believe that I remember you. Yes... Its been four years, since my first tentative steps into the Senate through the Vigintiviri wasn't it?" Ah yes... His first steps into the realm of politics, it was honestly humbling considering that the Vigintiviri was meant for mostly young men, but he knew his limitations and ignorance of politics at the time and recognized the Vigintiviri as a good point to launch his career. "That was quite a while ago, I am doing fine. Thank you for asking, I would inquire into how you are as well, and what you've been doing these years."
The day was alive with the energy of festivity, Rome was often in the grips of such celebrations more often than not they were rooted in simple decadence, but not Lupercalia a ritual that had existed since the time of the Kingdom and perhaps earlier than even that, it was a sacred holiday but one of joy as the various women of the city present themselves to the Luperci in order to be struck and made fertile for their husbands whose whereabouts without a doubt would be a popinae where the wine flows.
It was already late in the celebrations, the animal sacrifices were completed and everyone had glutted upon the feast that was laid out for the citizens of Rome. Some of the more superstitious plebs made their own offerings to ward off evil spirits the aroma of burnt meat and incense filling the air as an inescapable musk compiling upon the already heavy odor of the city. It burnt Justinus' nostrils and he found himself wishing to retire to his villa for the remainder of the night, he had come only out of respect of the Gods and Romes temple, he needed to show respect where it was due of course, but these things brought him little enjoyment as he distrusted joviality except those of truly genuine nature, this seemed more a facade, a distracting from the true problems of Rome. Which it was, as people forget their poverty and misfortune to celebrate an ancient holiday.
It wasn't as though he disapproved of the event, rather he was unable to escape his own thoughts, Lucius would need a wife soon just another year and it would be important to begin searching for suitable matches for Gaius and Junia as well, though it would be years still before they were able to wed, it was always prudent to plot such things in advance. He need spouses that were higher in station at least, Junia was just a girl so it would be easier to elevate her as she wouldn't continue the Junia gens her children would inherit their Fathers name and position, but Lucius especially needed to rise higher, he wanted all his children to be better than himself and their children to be better than them, to rise ever higher and the surest way to do this seemed to ensure they were more successful than their parents. On top of familial concerns he add his duties to the senate, as well as managing his estate which he personally does ever since Plautia died, he doesn't trust others to manage it for him after all... Maybe he did need to relax a bit.
The sound of laughter drew his attention to what was clearly a popinae, he made his way towards it and his household guards once relaxed suddenly grew stern. Wine bars such as this were always reputed as places of immorality and illegality and it wouldn't do for them to stand idle while their master was robbed or threatened.
Immediately upon entering he knew he was out of place, nearly everyone in the establishment were plebs, some didn't even appear to be full citizens, yet rather than slink back out into the street he pressed on, he maintain his pride without trying to demonstrate arrogance, he was just here for some wine after-all, he wasn't superior and he didn't own the building, it was important to be casual in such places were people could easily spot a target though he briefly wondered if anyone would attempt something upon a senator, after all it would be a serious offense to accost his person, and he doubted anyone would chance such a thing for he clearly was a senator, wearing a toga slashed with red and accompanied by two guards. He took a seat off to the side of the room and once there he realized his initial assessment was wrong, these weren't immoral or criminal men, they were ordinary and some appeared to be living a wealthier lifestyle than their peers, he realized that this could be a good opportunity to learn the mood of Rome, so he made himself appear relaxed, presentable and welcoming to anyone who might be interested in talking with him while keeping his ears sharp to the conversations around him, he smiled at some jokes and focused in on grievances but always the most valuable words spoken were those in whispered complaints of the Senate, or of the Caesar which occasionally brokered a heated response by a loyalist defending the government.
Placing a single Denarius upon his table he ordered a jar of wine, and he settled into his seat.
JUSTINUS JUNIUS CALVUS
Forty-One | Sixth of Mensis Maius(May), 33 C.E | Senatore | Pater Familias, retired soldier and now senator | Bisexual(Lean Homosexual) | Original | Joe Hamm
Justinus is a man aware of that his prime is passing and now only the legacy of his family is important to him. He presents himself as a model citizen, a pater familias according the old republic way of life but one quite adapted to Imperial Rome.
As a former soldier, Justinus is well positioned to both giving orders and taking them, which allows a modicum of stability in his social position amoung the senate and Roman patrician families. Though he may appear unambitious this would be a fatal mistake as he believes that his sole duty as pater familias as given to him by the fates is to enter his family name into a dynasty that'll last for hundreds of generations and possess the wealth and power of kings, thus he is determined and focused, willing to give his own life to see the future of his family secured in the annals of time. He is known for being humourless, tireless and quiet, he is not a great orator and will speak rarely, prefering to use actions to speak for him, though when he does give speeches or speak privately with individuals he tends to be rather straight forward, preferring to deal with the matter at hand rather than using honeyed words to dance around the subject, though he can blunt he has used poetic terms when referring to people or places, for instance he has referred the legions as "The Wolves of Rome" both for their ferocity and coordination that a wolf pack displays but also for their ravenous appetite for conquest. As a soldier he excels under pressure but as one who as seen plenty of conflict he prefers peace and solitude, rarely attending social events where his status doesn't demand it or some business be needed to conclude.
Standing around an height of 5'8" he is somewhat taller than the average height of a Roman male with olive skin made slightly darker from years of soldiering under the sun his black hair is slightly longer than the normal style worn by Roman men, he frequently combs his hair and bangs front-to-back eventually making it so that it is all swept back off his forehead and behind his ears, previously he used to grow a long mustache similar to that of Gaelic tribes though he shaved that off before returning to Rome after his miitary service though he does neglect shaving at times, allowing a stubble to grow. Being a soldier most his young life, Justinus has impressive musculature from his frequent exercise that hasn't yet felt the decay of age, he is not bodybuilder however, rather his body is toned and hard from the physical demands of soldiering with only a little increase to mass. Though he tries to maintain a strong posture, especially during events or in the presence of his peers, when relaxed he noticeably slouches preferring to lean forward when sitting or reclining backwards and when standing hunches forward a bit.
His stride is purposeful and concise, he is not one to stand idly or flit around, always coming from somewhere or going to somewhere with little need or desire to loiter, the persistant strength of his pace is only marred by some limping in his right leg as a result of a spear wound in his hip that makes his stride stiffer.
His facial features consist of rounded cheeks, a strong aquiline nose, wide jaw and a block chin, his eyes are a light brown colour and his ears are flat against his skull.
Marcus Junius Calvus, Father. (Deceased at 70)
Aurelia Matarius, Mother. (Deceased at 63)
-Tiberius Junius Calvus, Older Brother. (Deceased at 23)
-Livilla Calva, Older Sister.(44 Years old) Married to Appius Scaptius Felis.
-Justinus Junius Calvus, was married to Plautia Manlia.
-Plautia Manlia, Wife. (Deceased at 36)
-Claudia, Plebian Mistress. (15 Years old)
-Quintus Ventris, Homosexual Lover. (29 Years old)
-Lucius Junius Calvus, Son. (13 Years old)
-Junia Calva, Daughter. Twin. (9 Years old)
-Gaius Junius Calvus, Son. Twin. (9 Years old)
-Vibius Junius Calvus, Son. (Died during childbirth)
Appius Scaptius Felis, Brother-in-Law. (41 Years old)
-Titus Scaptius Felis, Nephew. (21 Years old)
-Manius Scaptius Felis, Nephew. (17 Years old)
-Scaptia Livilla, Niece. (15 Years old)
Caeso Junius Calvus, Uncle. (Deceased at 43)
-Manius Junius Calvus, Cousin. (Deceased at 22)
Gnaeus Junius Calvus, Uncle. (Deceased at 33)
33CE = Justinus Junius Calvus is born to Marcus Junius Calvus and Aurelia Matarius
39CE = Justinus Junius Calvus is sent to Athens along with his cousin Manius Junius Calvus to study
46CE = Justinus Junius Calvus returns to Rome in order to marry, his chosen wife is Plautia Manlia.
47CE = Justinus Junius Calvus marries Plautia Manlia, however due to his love affairs with other men he is arranged to enlist into the Roman Legions.
47CE-49CE = Justinus Junius Calvus serves along the Germanica Frontier under Cneaus Flavius Alexander Germanicus
49CE = Justinus Junius Calvus participates in the conflict against Prince Thorstan as a Optio
51CE = Justinus' older brother, Tiberius dies from Tuberculosis.
51CE = Justinus Junius Calvus is made a Centurion.
55CE = Justinus Junius Calvus is promoted to a Pilus Prior
54CE = Justinus uncle and cousin are executed for treason.
57CE = Justinus' Uncle Gnaeus dies from a sexual disease.
57CE = Justinus Junius Calvus is made the Primus Pilus.
47CE-60CE = Justinus Junius Calvus serves along the Rhine and participates in many skirmish's with Germanic tribes.
60CE = Justinus Junius Calvus suffers a near-fatal injury from a spear through his hip, he suffers for days from infection before surviving, it takes months to fully recover.
60CE = Due to his injury, Justinus is retired from service within the Legion, he remains in Roman Belgica for the winter before returning to Rome.
61CE = Justinus Junius Calvus returns to Rome, and reconciles with his wife.
61CE = Justinus' first son is born. He is named Lucius.
62CE = Justinus travels to Anatolia to oversee is Fathers quarry. His wife follows him.
64CE = Justinus returns to Rome taking his newly pregnant wife with him.
65CE = Twins are born, they are named Junia and Gaius.
64CE = Justinus travels to southern Italia to oversee his Fathers barley fields.
66CE = Justinus' wife dies in childbirth, the child does not survive.
67CE = Justinus travels to Britannia, leaving his children in the care of tutors.
69CE = Justinus returns to Rome upon learning that his Father is dying.
70CE = Justinus becomes pater familias after the death of his Father, he immediately seeks appointment within the Vigintiviri.
71CE = After serving a years term in the Vigintiviri, Justinus oversees and arranges his Fathers investments.
72CE = Justinus returns to the Senate.
74CE = Present
Born under a crescent moon on his families villa, Justinus was the second son of an established merchant, Marcus Junius Calvus. Being the second son of a prestigious family of the famous gens Junia high expectations were placed upon him, more than this he was born on a auspicious time and considered to be an omen, as his Father was being investigated for treasonous connections with the Parthians, the investigation and accusations being made by an old rival, and Justinus was born within the same night as that which his Fathers name was cleared thus he named his son 'Justinus' meaning "Just, Fair:", at a very early age he was sent with his older cousin, Manius, to Greece in order to study the language and philosophies of the Greeks, as such he was raised in a largely Hellenic setting and rarely saw other members of his family, though he had many tutors and friends in Athens he had few strong connections with any individuals, finally returning to Rome after seven years, the now thirteen year old Justinus was expected to wed within a year and thus a process began of politcial marrriage between himself and suitable brides to strengthen the family. After months of manuevering, he was chosen to wed Plautia Manlia when he turned fourteen and was expected to woe her before hand, though he tried, he soon earned the ire of his Father for chosing the company of other boys instead, and while this wasn't necessarily a huge issue it was considered highly improper given that he was to be married soon, worse, that his actions were considered highly offensive to his future wife and her Father, as his actions demonstrated a lack of interest in Plautia.
Yet despite such hurdles, they married and at once it was an extremely bitter affair with neither husband nor wife taking interest in their spouse, too escape what was a torturous experience for him, and a source of embarrassment for his family, Justinus and his Father arranged for him to enter into service with Romes Legions. Thus, at just fifteen years of age he enlisted and was placed upon the Frontier along the Rhine, under the prestigous Cneaus Flavius Alexander Germanicus, within a year he participated in numerous skirmish's, as well as the battle against Prince Thorstan in 49CE. Aside from an exciting beginning, he soon found that miltiary life often consisted of marching, building fortifications with only the occasional skirmish against overambitious warlords to break up the otherwise drull lifestyle of a soldier, he remained in this position fading from obscurity for many years, until he received word that his older brother had died from tuberculosis. Suddenly, he was the only son of Marcus Junius Calvus, and a great priority was placed upon Marcus' last heir, with political manipulation, bribes and favor, Marcus insured his last son moved up the ranks quickly, far more than what was considered normal, though this even took a few years it eventually led Justinus into the position of Primus Pilas, and the future looked bright for the still relatively young Justinus as a career military man who may one day become a Legatus.
But the fates, cruel and twisted as they are decided a different fate for him, due to his uncle Gnaeus being infertile and uncle Caeso mainly having girls, when the tragedy befell the family yet again, in great force, it saw Caeso and his son Manius being executed for treason, and Justinus mourned for his cousin, as he had forged a stronger bond with him than with his own brother as they spent many years together in Greece, studying side by side, while Gaius would've taken over as the pater familias he contracted a disease from a prostitute and retired to Sicilia before dying shortly afterwards, this made Justinus' Father the Pater Familias with Justinus himself being the last heir, with most of the extended family having gone into almost total obscurity and the main bloodline being in complete disarray from the deaths of many of its male members, only Justinus and Marcus remained to continue the legacy.
Then, even this legacy was almost jeopardized when Justinus suffered an almost fatal injury by taking a spear into his hip during a skirmish against the Avernii, he suffered for months until it was properly healed and afterwards couldn't maintain a level of fitness that was expected in a legionary for battle. So, due to injuries sustained he retired early and returned to his families villa, he reconnected with his wife long estranged and she bore him children first a son and then twins, though she would perish attempting to give birth to a fourth child.
Within Rome, Justinus had little aspirations in politics, instead graciously accepting the appointments his Father arranged for him, mainly concerning his own mercantile affairs, quarries in Anatolia, tin mines in Britannia and barley fields in southern Italia, he traveled frequently and often in the company of his own wife before her unfortunate death, he had finally made himself into the example his Father wanted him to be, dutiful, determined, stern and honorable, though he still enjoyed the company of other men this was his private business and no longer interfered greatly with his marriage. After three years of this, he returned to Rome on a permanent basis to watch over his ailing Father, who had be bed-ridden for months now.
After his Fathers death, Justinus immediately took over as the Pater Familias and connected with many of his Fathers associates in order to secure government positions within Rome, he began within the Vigintiviri, normally a place for young men to start yet aside from military life he had no political experience, yet soon found a taste for it and his standings rose quite steadily within the Senate and he gained reputation for being focused, and working through tragedy and pressure, such as the death of his wife. Currently, Justinus seeks appointment, perhaps... Further glory for his family?
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