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(November 74) Granted, Rome was not as cold as the wastes of Britannia, but Attis had still wrapped his warmest cloak - his only cloak, were the truth known! - around himself as he took full advantage of the afternoon off his master had granted him, and headed out of the house, wandering wherever he took a fancy. He could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he'd had the opportunity to do that, and still have three fingers left over. Today, apparently, his feet wanted to explore the Forum Boarium, so he headed down the hill, past the packed insulae on the lower slopes
The knock on the slaves' side door could hardly have been better timed; Teutus was about to leave the house on an errand. He was the slave with the most liberty to come and go and not all of his 'errands' were official and ordered by the master of the house. This one was, however, and Teutus had to bite back some uncomplimentary language as the ragamuffin on the doorstep thrust an equally nondescript plain wax tabula at him. "For Charis the slave of Tertius Quinctilius Varus," the child said, looking up at Teutus hopefully. Teutus bit back another round of uncomplimentary lan
The shrine of Cybele by the Circus Maximus offered a much more intimate experience than the main temple on the Palatine. At this time of day, it was practically empty, and even slaves like Clio were welcome to go in and pay their respects to the Magna Mater, as the Romans called the mother goddess. As usual, inside the shrine stood an empty throne, flanked by figures of lions and the goddess's consort, Attis. Clio joined her hands in prayer before the throne and murmured a short hymn in her native Greek. "Metera moi panton te theon..." She was done after a few minutes, and exchanged a nod
November 74AD The house had been readied for the evening, all breakable items moved out of the way to less public areas of the house than the atrium, triclinium and garden, soft drapes hung, and musicians ensconced in a corner where their playing could be heard. Scantily-clad slaves (both male and female) were stationed in various places throughout the public parts of the house to direct guests or serve them in whatever way they wished - offering further food or drink or more personal attention. They were the prettiest Aulus could find, and their clothing, such as it was, left litt