Her day was quite uneventful. Earlier in the day, she had met with and spoken with wealthy Greeks merchants. Each of them eager to gain some level of Imperial favour, and unfortunately her manner was not good for dealing with them. Corinthia almost found herself missing her mother to pass them along to her to communicate with. She had been close to going to the baths when one of the household slaves informed her that she had an unexpected guest. One she had met before, and did not know well.
She... she did not expect to hear from him.
Corinthia remembered the way he had spoken to her in the past. His playful teasing was taken as slights that her petty mindset did not approve of. Still, it was expected for her to meet with him. Since she had not expected to meet with any visitors of note, her clothing was subdued. A chiton and a palla, both in bright white and gold jewelry decorated her ears, wrists and neck. She walked to meet him politely, and noticed he was practically bursting at the seams with enthusiasm for something. A dark eyebrow lifted in irritation, and it reminded her of a hyperactive puppy. His grin reminded her of the smiles people used to give her. The mocking smiles, all before they laughed behind her back and she became increasingly wary of it.
"Corinthia," She corrected him slowly, what she hoped was a polite smile on her lips. "The pleasure is mine, and you are welcome in my home. What do I owe this unexpected pleasure?" She asked, clicked her fingers and began to lead him inside. It couldn't hurt to have a conversation with the hyperactive Longinus. Aeneas, her faithful bodyguard followed her at a distance, and around them slaves gathered to ensure their Domina and her guest had drinks.
He was silent.
While it was something that was expected she had no idea what she wanted from him. There was the incredible attraction. Corinthia's thoughts raged and she was torn between trusting him or not. She wanted to trust him. Her father had trusted people, and look where he ended up. She, in turn, was deprived of the status and rank she deserved to be given. She could not afford to trust the wrong person. Corinthia lifted her goblet and sipped it. Caught up in her thoughts, and wished to distract herself from what she was feeling.
There was so much she wanted to tell him.
Yet she still could not.
"You will tell me any secrets you discover. I want to know all of them."
Her dark eyebrow rose at the comment of taming her. Fortunately she managed to hold her tongue while he sipped his wine and continued to tell him what sort of wife he was currently looking for. Slowly Corinthia began to give the slightest of nods as he told her the list of desires he had in a wife. All of those things made a lot of sense. Each point was a traditional virtue for a wife. Corinthia was unsure how fertile she was, and had always tried to force down any desires unless she turn into her mother. Corinthia was passionate, driven and determined to gain her place in the world. That was something she would absolutely give any husband she had.
"All important traits to have in a wife," She began, her eyes glistened as she held his gaze steadily and softened it by occasionally blinking her gaze. "I hope to challenge my husband into achieving the highest possible honours to him." Corinthia approved, stepped closer to him and sipped the wine from her goblet. She was careful, in order to survive under the various changes, she needed to be. First Darius, then the Co-Caesars, the overly ambitious dictator, Clemens, and now the Flavi-Alexandrone Caesar. Hints and promises were her weapon. Always able to be passed off as something else if need be. Her gaze moved towards Quintus Caesar, the current Augustus as he stood with his family and then back at Lucius. Corinthia hoped he would get her meaning without words needing to be spoken.
"And do you think you have found a worthy candidate for the position of wife?" She teased.
Corinthia listened to him. Seeing him was her nightmare made flesh about the possibility about what could possibly ever happen was frightening. It was so, so small. She preferred to die than to be taken as a slave. It was more honourable, respectable, and would be the last decision she would willingly choose. Corinthia did not blame him for wanting to return home. Corinthia, cruel and selfish as she was, did not have to tell him that he would not be returning to the home that he remembered or loved.
She wondered whether his wife had moved onto someone else, and if she even remembered the husband she had lost. Corinthia would not want a husband who failed in his duty around her. It would be better off, in her opinion, that he fall on his sword and be done with it. She watched him stare off into the distance. It gave her a chance to admire his face with those pale eyes that continued to lure her in. He rubbed the scar and then tossed back the rest of the wine. Corinthia could not help but give a distasteful look towards the impulsiveness. Something she always had to try to control.
"You will stay here with me," She informed him sternly. Not wishing to give him the choice of what would ultimately happen. She needed him now. Her gaze softened and she reached out to him again, placed his wine and perhaps she had been influenced by the wine. Her thumb rubbed gently, affectionately and subconsciously licked her lips. "Your purpose now is to stay here and protect me from any who would try to hurt me." Corinthia insisted, moreso to herself. "And," A pause, followed by a smile, "And I will protect you from those who may try to hurt you."
The moment of sweetness soon passed.
Corinthia lifted the goblet and took another long drink of wine.
Corinthia nodded when he said he understood, and how things worked. Her position gave her more power over him, and she had every intention of using that over him. Her nose wrinkled when he continued to talk, she did not particularly care but found herself wanting to hear him speak, and found herself wondering what was wrong with her to find herself in this position. Was a God or lemure cursing her? Corinthia loved the sound of his voice, the accent and disjointed words would have irritated her endlessly if spoken by somebody else. Yet him? She enjoyed his words.
Her gaze regarded him steadily when his pale eyes met her dark ones. Again, there was that pang. Corinthia exhaled slowly, shifted in her seat and had to admit to herself that she did not want him to come to harm. It was baffling. Promising him something that she could not or may not deliver something would have been deceitful. Cruel, even. Both things she was perfectly happy to do with many other people. But him?
"I will do what I can for you," She sighed, closed dark rimmed eyelashes and opened them again. "That is all I can promise you." She said with more honesty than she had ever spoken before.
Corinthia smiled politely. Unmarried? She noticed the question and could not help but take note of it. Perhaps it was her mother's reputation that worked against her? She had no wish to leave the hint unanswered nor give him reason to believe she would part her legs for anyone. Oh no, Corinthia was far too ambitious for that. "Sample the flavours?" She asked, a hint of taunting in her tone and a dark, well-groomed eyebrow rose. "Tsk tsk, why would you wish to be somewhere that many others had come before you?" She questioned, it was not uncommon for married women to look elsewhere while their husbands were occupied elsewhere. It did not matter to Corinthia that she was shading her mother among their number.
"Now," She began, her long fingers moved to elegantly touch between her breasts to linger on her heart. The place the marriage ring would connect to in virtuous women. "I would choose to be married in virtue," Corinthia smiled, a rare occurrence and she gazed up at him. "Only if the man was worthwhile and of good virtue. I have no interest in a coward." She added, dared him. Was it him? Could it be him?
No doubt Caesar and his wife would keep an eye on any of the marriages that took place in Rome. Many of the families would connect and ally with each other. Still, she had to wonder whether he would be interested in the possibility.
Corinthia was a little surprised that he had agreed so quickly. It was difficult for her to tell whether he was making it in jest or not. She decided that he might be serious and why not? She had breeding (paternal anyway) and wealth. She raised a dark eyebrow at him, slowly she smirked and had to admit that she enjoyed his boldness. A trait she also shared.
"The villa outside Rome? I typically reside there. As for the one in Greece, July... and I will expect to receive a gift when you arrive." She answered, sipped her wine and glared at her mother as Gaia showed her excitement while being half-hidden from behind one of the decorative plants. Corinthia steadily observed his face when he asked if she was unmarried. She was on the older side of marriage. Likely to still be fertile yet many noble women were married far younger than she was.
"I am, you see, the right man has not yet come along.... breeding, strength, courage," She leaned close to him. "The proper display of virtus." Corinthia continued. Ignored the fact that there were likely other reasons. "And you? Are you unmarried?"
Corinthia listened and had to focus on her goal rather than his words. Unsure whether or not he was making pointed comments about her. Comparing her to the country or perhaps to some feature he found pleasing. She let it slip for a moment. Corinthia was so used to trying to decipher people's words she tended to assume that they were all insulting her.
"Perhaps sometime you will visit the villa in Greece to see the country?" She offered. It did not matter that it was her mother's villa, not her own. Eventually it would be hers and that was what mattered. Britannia. She heard that place was building up and slowly becoming closer to being a proper Roman province. Despite that, she did not wish to ever visit that dreadful place. Corinthia remembered that he was there? Something to do with Decimus Junius Silanus and instantly cursed herself for not being fully aware.
"Fortunately you are back in proper civilisation now."
She nodded slowly in understanding. At least they both knew the roles they were to take with their lives. Aeneas' skill with Latin had gotten considerably better as time went on yet there were times when he would not understand something. Corinthia sighed irritably, and completely ignored the fact that it would have taken her quite a long time to learn his native language.
"Wag your tongue means to gossip or spread mistruths," She answered him. Better to answer and not let him plead ignorance later on. Corinthia paused, thought for a moment and frowned while she did so. There were some factors about Roman society. They were supposed to be honest yet bribes were an important part of life. The dual nature and being able to move through Roman society was vital for survival.
"It means, you need to be quiet about my dealings and not speak of them to anyone. Including my mother. Do you understand, Aeneas?"
Corinthia felt her blood boil at his laughter. Why was he laughing at her for answering her question?! These barbarians were truly a bizarre people. It did not occur to her that perhaps he was laughing in response to her behaviour. Her gaze moved down to the ornate goblet in her hand, then at Aeneas, and briefly pondered throwing it at him. Since it was Saturnalia and otherwise, she was in a more pleasant mood than usual. She tapped her foot impatiently as she waited for the dried peaches to be brought to her. Occasionally, she lifted the goblet and sipped more of the liquid. The tell-tale signs of flushed skin and knew she was being influenced by the wine.
The question was a surprise, and not one that she expected. Her eyes narrowed. Had she not been clear about wanting to have some dried peaches? There were many things she wanted. To be given the honour and dignities she was owed from birth. The destruction of those who stood against her. To protect that dimwitted mother because she was incapable of taking care of them. Could she trust him? Corinthia was silent for a moment, took a final sip and if she wanted his help. He had to support her. There were many things. Yet.. perhaps it was the festival or the wine inside her. Instead of fire and brimstone or a cold aristocratic response. Soon he gave her the peaces and she reached out to take them from his outstretched hand.
She answered him truthfully.
"I want to be safe," She answered, a reflection of one of her main primary desires. Being without power in Rome meant that others could seize it for themselves and would happily step over her corpse in order to do so. "To have the prominence that I am owed." She continued, found that the goblet was empty. "And you?" She said, casually pointed towards him. "What do you want?"
Late July, 75AD
Longinus stifled a yawn behind his palm, and tried to ignore the disparaging look the slave waiting with him, shot in his direction. He hadn't spoken to Claudia Corinthia much besides passing pleasantries before her retreat to Greece, and the infamous Imperial Banquet - the memory of which still brought a smile to his lips. Poor Lucius. Yet, even if they weren't friends (barely acquaintances really), it was good to be polite and he had so few connections in Greece that it would appear odd if he didn't reach out to them whilst he was here on his 'holiday'. Besides, he was hoping the news of his failed engagement hadn't reached these corners of the Empire, and he could have a conversation on something other than his miserable love life, and he had an invitation to extend to the small soiree he was due to host.
He'd dressed for the occasion - in respect of her rank and standing - in a light blue tunic with a darker blue pallium. He'd even shaved for the occasion! Although his hair was probably still too long to be considered proper and every so often he had to run his hand through it to push it out of his forehead. The finery he had arrayed himself in and the grandeur of the villa made him feel...oddly constricted, and he couldn't help fidgeting. The slave shot him another withering look and Longinus arched a brow, which quietened him down and the man reverted his eyes to the floor. He might serve his mistress, but Longinus was still a patrician and a decorated legate at that.
He was a man, however, with boundless energy and waiting and waiting and waiting to be admitted was beginning to grate on him. When a flurry of activity at the other end of the atrium signalled something was happening, he felt himself relax, and a broad, buoyant grin spread on his face. The lady approached and he inclined his head in respect. "Claudia," His grin filled out, "A pleasure as always - thank you for seeing me, I was going slightly out of my mind in boredom with so few friends in Greece!"
It had been some time since she had seen Aeneas. Since then, she wondered how he had been going with his training and how he had been. Gaia had visited him every so often. Checking on him, trying to help him adjust, and Corinthia wondered if her mother would ever see any type of reason. A slave would adjust or they would be removed.
Yet... every night she could see those eyes haunting her and would awaken in a panic. Sweating, her chest pounding, her mind filled with confusing thoughts and images, and wondered what it all meant. Was this a cruel trick of some foreign God? Perhaps a hex to cause her to lose her wits?
She commanded that he be sent for, bathed, and presented to her. Corinthia was interested to see how he had progressed, and secretly, there had been another reason why she wished to see him. Her mother would occasionally prattle on about how being considerate to your slave would be a benefit. Corinthia would pointedly ignore her. She left the household slaves and guards to bring him in while she remained in her bedroom. How would it go? Would he be more man or beast by now?
By midday the slave would be presented to her in the atrium. Corinthia however, did not hide publicly for Aeneas to arrive at the atrium, and instead waited in her room. Occasionally her hand would be placed on her heart in order to try to stop it from beating eagerly in anticipation. She wondered how he would look now with better food, time to settle, and if he now was able to speak Latin rather than the mongrel tongue he already spoke. She sipped her wine and waited for news from one of the household slaves that he was ready to be presented to her.
Gaia's villa outside Rome.
Corinthia despised this holiday. All the gift giving, feasting, sexual prowess, and uppity slaves. It irritated her. She always tried her best to feign illness to hide in her rooms until it was over. Her mother also particularly loved this occasion. Welcoming guests to the home and wanting any chance possible to spoil the slaves. It made no sense! In her room she could hear the merry making as she reclined. Arms loosely folded around her chest, mentally she tried to block out the noise and hoped there would be some natural disaster that would put an end to it. Her hands cupped her ears to block out the noise, grit her teeth in irritation and growled in frustration. Her hand lifted the goblet from beside her with a mild sedative that did not work before it was thrown against the wall. The contents slipped over the wall and dribbled down.
There was no pause nor stop to the celebrations. A chance that they were not heard to begin with. She exhaled, swung her long legs off the side of the lounge and opened the doors. For the moment there were no servants nor slaves to assist. No doubt they were all too busy being "entertained" by the brainless little twit.
Surely people still understood procedure?
Corinthia shivered, exhaled sharply in frustration and walked quickly towards the hallway. Unfortunately some of the torches had gone out and had not yet been relit by the slaves. She growled in frustration and a hint of fear. Was this the same people who tried to have her killed before?
She saw an outline of someone. She squinted and called out.
Corinthia was not sure what she thought of him. Warily her gaze moved up and down, her posture was at ease and she could see her mother peeking behind the plant to observe them. She sighed and gestured with an open palm out to the gathered crowd of people.
"It seems she may be hiding from you," She replied tartly. The reality of her situation was that she would need to marry. The sooner the better. Gods.. the better ranked, the better. Without it she would not be able to rise in the world.
Now if only her mother's name would not hinder her.
"Claudia Corinthia, and... may I ask your name?" She asked politely. It could not hurt to train when it came to mingling with people. There were others here who would be far less interesting. Around them there was the commotion of the arrival of the Imperial family. Corinthia glanced upwards in their direction with a frown. Her mother thought highly of them yet she did not. They had power and position. Both things that should have been hers by right.
Claudia Corinthia was a name Lucius knew, and he knew it made her the daughter of Claudia Gaia, the widow of Manius Glabrio, nephew to Claudius Caesar and at one time marked for imperial prominence. Which meant that, in her own way, Claudia Corinthia was a part of the greater imperial family. Before he could respond with his own self-introduction, the arrival of Caesar and his immediate family demanded the attention of all the guests. Caesar was direct in his approach - waving to those gathered and giving them thanks for attending before the minglers once again mingled.
Lucius returned his attention to the young Claudia Corinthia. "I am Lucius Junius Silanus, son of Marcus, nephew to the late Decimus, and head of the Junii-Silani."
The afternoon had finally arrived. Claudia had been assisting Drusilla with the decorations and the preparations for the Imperial banquet. It was the first time she could remember being in Naples, it had not been an overly exciting journey to get to the villa, and she awkwardly dozed most of the way. The city was beautiful. Slaves had assisted her when it came to bathing herself in the ornate baths and relaxed in the water. Once or twice she nearly nodded off being being awoken by one of the slaves. Her body was dried, perfumed, and her hair began to be decorated and styled. Claudia was not oblivious to the fact that as a young, unmarried woman that she would be on show for the supporters of the family. Marriage, it was something all women had to go through. She was well beyond the accepted age of the Vestals nor did she wish to be as restricted as they were.
Her chiton was a pale blue, decorated with semi-precious stones and clung around her waist with a decorated belt. Her sandals were made of lambskin, soft and delicate. Also decorated with semi-precious stones. Casually she chose the jewelry she would wear as it was placed on her body. She stared into her reflection and had to wonder what this night would bring. Claudia stood, drew her gold trimmed palla around her and wondered whether or not she would lose it by the end of the night.
There was a little time before the guests would arrive, and Claudia did not wish to be the first one at the banquet. She wanted to be fashionably late yet not excessively so. In truth, her mind raced with a variety of thoughts about what the night would eventually bring.
Slowly she walked towards the decorated gardens and saw a person. "Salve?" She greeted them questioningly, not yet able to see their face.
19 | 1st February 55CE | Imperial | Occupation | Bisexual | Original | Anna Valle
Corinthia lives in a near constant state of agitation at her position in the world. She is angry at her father for failing, and her mother for her amorous pursuits and not being ambitious for herself. She has all her mother's beauty (although harsher) and her father's mind.
Her positive traits are that she sets goals and follows through with them. While Corinthia may have sociopathic tendencies; she is blessed with a keen intellect and knows when she is able to strike. Even though this slowly builds up her anger for later on. Corinthia was able to read and write quickly. In Greek and Latin. Due to her time in Greece, she has been able to perfect a Greek accent to use among her peers if she so wishes. Corinthia is able to read people's body language incredibly well, and is able to mimic caring or compassionate behaviour if she knows it will get her what she wants.
Her negative ones are numerous. In private, Corinthia has been known to rage and scream. Many a vase has been thrown and a servant hurt by her wiles. Emotionally (and physically) hurt her mother. She is haughty, selfish, and with a bloated sense of entitlement and worth. She is sadistic, not for the purpose of bringing people under heel politically. She enjoys the suffering of others -- although it has stemmed from a desire to keep herself safe. If she is the attacker, surely that means she cannot be attacked. (Note; this is ridiculous. But this is how she thinks.) Due to her mother's promiscuity, she has developed a warped sense of sexuality and sex. Still a virgin. She enjoys watching, however has no desire for the act itself. Flirtation and the lure of sexuality? Corinthia utterly adores. Despite this, there is a feeling of isolation for Corinthia and at times, she aches to have the bonds other people seem capable of having for themselves.
People around her are possessions, especially her mother and also has a respect for her mother's freedwoman, Nahia. Any child she had would be a pawn, possession, and would be used to further her own ends.
Corinthia's face is longer and leaner than her mother's. Her skin is a deep olive in tone, her brunette hair that curls naturally is thick and luxurious. Corinthia has a long aquiline nose, a trait she inherited from her father and unlike her mother, she rarely, if ever, smiles. She wears cosmetics to highlight her facial features, eyeliner to increase the size and beauty of her eyes.
Her build is long and lean. Closer to a dancer's body with long, slender legs and high arched feet, with long fingers. Her body is slender, lacking the curves that many other women enjoy, and is admittedly envious of them for it. Her breasts are on the smaller side and are pert. Corinthia is tall for a Roman woman, and stands at 5'8ft tall, and tends to look taller due to the length of her body.
Her clothing is expensive, fashionable and takes pride in making herself look exotic.
Gaius Claudus Caesar (deceased).
Claudia Livia (deceased)
Tiberius Claudius Sabucius
Grandparents - Herakles of Corinth & Artemisia, wife of Herakles of Corinth,(deceased)
Antipater, 36, currently in slavery, location unknown.
Androcles, 34, currently in slavery, location unknown.
Nahia, her mother's freedwoman.
Corinthia was born in a nest of intrigue. Her mother had recently been freed, married, and acknowledged as the unlikely wife of Claudius, his kinsman by blood and presumed heir. After the death of Claudius' son, and adoption of Flavia Lucilla's sons. Born after her father had been put on trial for poisoning Claudius Caesar and later acquitted.
Her mother doted on her endlessly. Spoiled the young child with anything she wanted.
In 56-59CE, her father died and a funerary mask had been made. At this point she did not recognise him nor did she begin to realise the significance of this. Over the years, she met with the members of her extended family (the Claudians) and found them to be friendly towards her but snobby towards her mother. At this time, she did not understand nor comprehend why. Already there were signs of her early personality. A lack of empathy towards others. Selfishness. Although her doting mother would make excuses for her rather than teaching her. Fortunately (or unfortunately), Nahia, then her mother's devoted body slave ensured Corinthia behaved and was accountable for her actions. What this caused was for Corinthia to become more discreet.
Her mother becomes engaged to Spurius Herminus Aquillius in 59CE. He was pretty, young, and useless in Corinthia's eyes. While Spurius favoured men, it was still someone who took her mother away from her, and that would not do. It would never do. She took it on her to be nice to him. Cuddle up to him, talk to him, smile sweetly at him, and it was not long before those around her began to suspect her. He died of poisoned wine. Corinthia knew she was suspected.
60 - 61CE -- Rather than fight or stake her own claims, her mother flees to Greece after the death of the Imperials. She was not sure what was happening, but saw the fear and panic in her mother's voice. Unable to understand the danger they were in until later. Fortunately it kept them out of harms way or being forced or coerced into marriage with those who wished to use the family name and connection for their own ends.
Over the next few years she continued to grow into a little girl. Always kept under a watchful eye in case she got too rough with her playmates or animals. Gaia doted on her daughter, spoiling her and being able to give her anything she desired.
In 66CE, at eleven years old she was re-introduced to the court life. She found herself not gaining the same level of attention nor affection from her family. This time she heard more about what happened, and who her mother was. Gaia had a reputation as a dimwit, good natured, and a slut with open legs. Her father? Was the original heir of Claudius and was hoodwinked out of it. She was denied the position that she properly desired. A certain male member of the family that was connected to the Claudians tried to bring her mother under heel. Her dimwitted mother submitted to Caesar's authority, and Corinthia's threats to avoid him.
67 -- Nothing of particular note happened this year for her.
68 -- 72CE-- In 68Ce, at thirteen, her body grows and matures into a beautiful young woman. Her mother is delighted by the prospect of her daughter marrying and having a little grandbaby. Around this time another couple of suitors begin to appear around her mother. Slowly and surely they disappear, either coming up with polite excuses or even disappearing altogether.
She continues to grow, yet as she blossom so does her resentment towards those who have what she believes belongs to her. No-one else. Over the years she terrorises her mother and the household staff, desiring to inflict as much pain as possible on everyone. However now there is an increased pressure for her to marry well, have children, and find her role within society. Even requests for her mother's hand continue to come in, after all, wealth remained an important part of life.
No-one will take what belongs to her.
In the current time, Corinthia is currently in the search of a husband who can give her power and position within society.