Manius listened attentively as Metellus spoke, though his eyes remained transfixed on the bout before them for a few seconds. "If history tells us anything, they will," he continued, commenting on Lucius' rhetorical pondering. "New leaders always like to find a common enemy." Rome after Quintus Caesar's rise had been no different with his war of revenge against the Germans, and then continued conquests in Britannia.
"I have heard quite conflicting opinions on the Graeci," Manius said, calling the Seleucids by the common term the Romans had picked up for them. "Scaurus Major had a great number of connections in the east, and I maintain correspondence with them as often as I'm able. Some have told me that the Graeci are making short work of the Parthians on account of several satraps also warring against the Great King." Parthia had always struggled with civil wars... even still, it had proved itself to be a formidable empire - one that had defeated Roman generals several times.
"Even still, I agree with you. I believe the Graeci will eventually lose out," he continued. "Perhaps when they do, Caesar will find Parthia weakened enough to wage his own war against them." Though not a military man in any sense of the word - on account of his injuries - Manius nevertheless understood the mechanisms behind it, and would support conquests for the proper cause.
Manius was surprised that the topic for the day was not centered around warfare, as he had highly suspected it would be. Perhaps it was his own connection to the east - via his late father - that had kept his mind focused on such matters. When Caesar, then, took the floor to propose an alimenta for the poor and homeless, Manius Scaurus couldn't help but consider it a fine proposal. His colleagues all seemed in agreement of that point, and each had a concern for exactly how the poor might be looked after, as well as how it would be funded. Various concerns, thoughts, and ideas had been brought forth. As of yet, Caesar had yet to take back the floor and so after Titus Sulpicius Rufus had spoken his mind - expanding upon Tiberius Claudius' words - Manius Scaurus took his turn before the assembly.
With a firm movement he pushed the palm of his hand against his cane, exerting his strength through it and into the stone floor to push himself straight up. For any other man there standing was a normal activity that required no thought or concentration - for Manius it had been one of the biggest achievements of his adult life.
"Fellow senators," he began, and surveyed the faces of the Curia. Manius had been told in the past that his voice favored his father, loud and rounded. "Many years ago I was involved in a very unfortunate accident. A fire had spread across the subura my mother and I were travelling through. As the brave vigiles are instructed to do, buildings around the blaze were demolished so as to prevent its spread. One of the buildings collapsed right on top of the litter I was in. My mother was killed. I was terribly injured. For a time my father assumed I was brain dead. His friends and colleagues told him he would be better off putting me out of my misery than praying to the gods that I might be healed. My father, though, was a determined man. I'm not sure I would called him religious, but he certainly was pragmatic. He prayed to the gods just to be sure, and then spent a fortune finding doctors and healers from across the world to speak with me, to work with me.
"He was unsure if I would ever speak again. Here I am speaking. He was certain I would never walk again. I'm not sure you could call what I do walking exactly," he chuckled, "but it's close enough. I don't tell you this for sympathy or to boast. I tell you because the only reason I am here is because the status of my family was enough to fund my rehabilitation. I was as far from being a senator as any other homeless youth in the streets of that now rebuilt subura. But, here I am. It took wealth, and it took some of the same determination that my father possessed. But, I do not believe that trait to be unique to the Aemilii. No, it is a Roman trait: to never give up, to strive to attain something better.
"And now we few have the power to make a difference in the lives of many. Many who, though they share the same blood, are not blessed with the same luxuries or opportunities. To be sure, there are roles in our society that need to be filled. Not every cripple can rise to become a senator, nor should they. But, they can at least rise to be something more than a trampled on vagrant; more than a pawn in some gang lord's scheme to take advantage of other groups of unfortunates.
"I agree that the matter of how a project of this scale should be funded, and how we should choose or select those to be helped are points that will take some discussion, but I am sure Caesar has more to his idea than the idea itself."
With that, Manius Scaurus returned to his seat.
"I had heard of Jullus' return," Manius said, following his colleague's comment. "Though I wasn't sure if it was true. It seems like he follows in the typical Flavian footsteps of staying outside of Rome and involved in the legions in some way." Quintus Caesar had been the same, as had their father. "So if he is in Rome, it surely must mean something." Whether it was a sign that there would be movement toward a German incursion, or possibly that Caesar had lost faith in his brother, only time would tell... though Manius would bet on the former rather than the latter.
"I have heard nothing more than rumors," he continued. "A few expectations that Caesar will address the issue in the east with Parthia and these 'new Seleucids'. Personally, I don't think the administration's eyes are set on continued warfare. Caesar has been at war for a long time. Then again, he has won his fortune and power through warfare and the legions, so it might serve him to serve those who support him." Manius paused to observe the entertainment for a moment before probing Metellus. "What are your views on the situation in the east?"
Manius Aemilius Scaurus Pius arrived at the Curia slightly later than many others, but well before the official start of the session. As he entered into the famed building, he immediately set his eyes upon his brother, Scaurus Alexander, and then to Valerius Maximus the co-consul, before continuing onward to find a place to sit. Though he was old enough to be considered for a consulship, Manius hadn't pursued the traditional course of offices to bring him to such a standing. As a result, he sat in the rear benches, among the younger senators, and those more like himself whom had decided to focus on careers outside of climbing the political ladder. He gave quick greetings to those seated around him, and then turned his attention on the Princeps Senatus.
Not many years prior his father, Marcus Scaurus, had commanded respect and silence within the halls of the Curia. Manius, though, was not his father. He had only truly been active in the Curia since his return to Rome six years prior. When present he mostly listened, only giving his opinion when it was called for or absolutely necessary. As he saw it, Scaurus Alexander was the public scion of the family. He could maintain the political ascendancy of the Aemilii-Scauri while Manius worked to maintain the family's wealth and legacy for the future... whatever it may be.
Manius put on a soft smile after Metellus gave a straight and simple reason for watching the games. "My morning was mostly consumed with preparing for my upcoming cases," he said in kind. "Coming here is something of a mental warm up, I suppose. Watching a fight in order to prepare for one." He kept the same smile on his face and then carefully took a seat next to Metellus. Though Manius had adapted to walking, and made his way around well enough, standing and sitting were still two tasks that he had to approach carefully and with concentration. It was something with the way his back and knees had to bend. He postured himself over the seat, and using the strength in his arms slowly lowered himself down.
And then he decided to dive into politics. "Have you heard any rumors of what might be on the ticket for this month's session?" The senate was set to convene in just a matter of days, and it was always best for those in the middle to have an idea of what they might have to discuss.
Manius had risen early and spent most of the morning reviewing notes in the Basilica Julia for a new case he had taken that involved a dispute over ancestral lands outside of Rome proper. After he had fiinshed prepared for the hearing - that was just the next day - he headed out to the Amphitheater of Statilius, constructed over 100 years earlier, in the Campus Martius. He was not an avid fan of the games, in truth, but his son Lucius had fawned over them as a youth and the two of them made a habit of going every week. Though Lucius was far away on the German frontier, Manius kept up the tradition. He wondered if his son would enjoy the fighting now that he had lived it for the past three years.
Just then Manius was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of his name lingering in the air. He turned in the direction his ears told him it had come from and saw Lucius Caecilius Metellus. Metellus was not unlike Manius; a man with an ancient and prestigious name that was far less important than it used to be. Nevertheless, they had weathered the storms and continued to adapt and adjust. "Salve, Caecilius Metellus," Manius returned in kind, standing to move closer to the man. What was a day at the games without a little political discussion?
"I trust the day has treated you well thus far?"
The Princeps Senatus was already in place, the eldest member of the body of men who would open and close every Senate meeting. His position did not hold imperium yet it held considerable respect and authority within the Senate. Titus, did not have a single scandal to his name and carried great amounts of dignitas. The two new Consuls; Marcus Aemilius Scaurus Alexander and Marcus Valerius Maximus (NPC) were both going to be introduced to the community. Both of them were connected to Caesar through blood or marriage. One could only guess if Caesar or his heirs would be making an appearance today.
The Rectangular building had the elder or men who had been in positions of note closest to the bottom, while the younger men or those who had not yet served in the upper tiers had to stand at the back to wait their turn. The Senators of the divine body began to gather, take their seats while the wise, old Princeps Senatus... a man who had seen many different and chaotic events in Rome waited. The role had been returned, a gift from Caesar to the Senate and to the people of Rome.
He waited for the men to take their seats for the meeting.
What would be discussed this fine day?
OOC: Okay everyone, this is a test run for the Senate threads and organising how we are going to use them in the future. Please read the thread about the two political factions. This is the perfect time to make a Senator character to join in on the fun. The first round of posts will be the arrivals of the different Senators, then we will get into discussion and finally the thread will be wrapped. The Newsreader will report the findings of the Senate, so be sure to look out for that.
All Senators are expected to attend.
This venue still remained popular. All despite the grander structure that had been built by the Flavians and continued to serve as a training facility. Occasionally, the smaller performances would take place here, still.
Lucius did not travel with his son this time. Instead he chose to come alone, mingle with the crowd and see what was available to do. Thus far, politics was fairly quiet and the Flavians were not like many of their predecessors. It gave him a sense of uneasiness. Did this mean any scion of the bloodline would end up being just as sane as he? Would the united family remain so after the death of Quintus Alexander? Throughout history many brothers, cousins, and distant kin would throw in their own lot if it meant there was a chance of rising. There had to be a way to temper ambitions and ensure that there would be a good candidate who would serve. Lucius sat and watched the games, half-heartedly and did not enjoy them as much as he used to. A familiar face was seen. Manius Aemilius Scaurus Pius, crippled and he had heard mixed things about it over time. He had seen him walk with a cane in the past and had mixed feelings. How would he react if he was forced to live in such a state?
Lucius raised his hand in a greeting to his fellow Senator and then gestured for Pius to join him. "Salve Scaurus Pius, it has been some time since I have seen you." He greeted him. They were not close nor did they spend a great deal of time together. Both of them were connected to the Flavian dynasty through marriage or adoption. The connections likely aided them both.
Lucius waited to see what the other would say or do.