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Phaedo

Phaedo

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PHAEDO

18 | 12 June 55 CE | Slave | Prostitute | Bisexual | Original | Patricio Manzotti

 

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Personality.

Pheado’s intellect is undoubtedly keener as a product of his enslavement than it would have been had he remained growing up surrounded by simple, illiterate and hard working fishermen and farmers. His Greek mentor opened his mind to learning at a young age. Pheado continued to expand his depth and breadth of knowledge on his own, in all matters that he was able to gain access to through reading. He is curious and has both good retention and analytical reasoning skills. In the best of all possible worlds, he would wish to be able to read to his heart’s content, and write as well, with men of similar aptitude and interest available to discourse with about what he has read, learned, conceived of, written about, or dreamed. Given his current situation, that’s not likely to happen, short of a miracle.

Despite that unfortunate circumstance, Phaedo is doggedly hopeful. At the moment, he may be saddened by winding up where he is. But, surely (he believes), someone will see that he has more value than just what he can do with his body. He isn’t arrogant about his unusual wealth of knowledge. He doesn’t brag about it. Living in a household rife with jealousy and envy, he has learned to keep his head low. But he is neither beaten down nor overly servile nor hang-dog. He tends to be quiet and observant, although sometimes known to make a dry comment or witty critique here and there. He does his tasks as assigned, perhaps with less than pure joy in his heart. He isn’t a trouble maker, or a complainer. But he is anxious to find some way out of the brothel where he has just landed. If the right man was to look his way, and give some indication that they would appreciate a slave with more to offer than just some convenient orifices, he would almost certainly make a concerted effort to make his other assets known.

Of course, the life of any man is entirely up to the whims of fate, even more so for a slave.

 

Appearance

Pheado has rather eye catching good looks. Candid green eyes look out from under heavy, dark brows with a frank, enquiring expression. Prominent cheekbones and a wide jaw give him a masculine appearance. A strong chin lends determination to his look. A generous mouth with full lips bespeak a sensual nature, which may or may not be accurate. His complexion is pale, given that he is not outside much, and he has never been forced to do hard manual labor under a brutal sun or in inclement weather. Very dark brown hair sits close cropped to his finely sculpted head. Natural selection has bred him to be sturdy and durable, with a lithe, wiry frame. He is above average height, compared to most Roman men. Not too long ago he went dressed in the simple tunic and sandals of a valued house slave. Now he wears whatever the owner of the brothel, where he is kept and made to work, chooses for him to wear. As he is new to the work, though not the skill set, it remains to be seen how they will choose to deck him out.

 

Family

Father: deceased

Mother: deceased

Siblings: he had 2 brothers and a sister; their whereabouts and status are unknown

Spouse: n/a

Children: n/a (although he may actually be the father of the little girl supposedly sired by his former master

Extended family:

Other: n/a

 

History

CHILDHOOD [55 – 67 CE]:

Phaedo was born in Dacia, somewhere on the banks of the Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea). His family lived in a small village of fishermen and farmers. At birth, he was given the name Duras. When he was about four, the village was caught up in an internecine conflict between local groups, which resulted in his family, and many others, being dispossessed, killed in the struggles or otherwise murdered, or taken captive and sold off as slaves. Thus began his journey to the West, where he eventually found himself transported to the island of Delos.

This island still served as a major gateway of slaves from all over the Mediterranean to journey on to all points within the known world. Here it was that a traveling Greek physician caught sight of him and purchased him. The Greek was himself a slave, en route back to Rome with his own master, a wealthy equite who had been conducting lucrative trade in Syria. The physician was captivated by the boy’s bright green eyes and handsome looks. He took it into his head to civilize and tutor the boy, so that he might become his assistant one day. There were other less noble reasons the man look a shine to the boy. But no matter, that was the way of the world. There was nothing at all unusual about it.

Master and slaves set forth for Rome and arrived without incident. The boy, now optimistically named Ophiochus (“the serpent holder” – the name of the constellation said to be Asclepius), settled in to life in a decidedly nice domus, where food was relatively plentiful and of good quality, and his tasks were not burdensome. In fact, the physician spoiled the boy, and was far more interested in teaching him than making him work. Ophiochus was instructed in Green and Latin, numerics, physics, natural history and medicine – all the things he would need to know to be a physician in his own right one day. His tutor had a love for literature and drama as well, so the boy was well read in poetry and prose and plays by the time he was approaching adolescence. Although he never trained in any of the martial arts (of course), the older man instructed him in the ways of keeping the body healthy by virtue of exercise, and good hygiene. Thus his natural genetic ancestry and keeping active saw him grow to a youth with a lithesome but strong physique.

Of course, this pleased the physician greatly, who showered even more attention on the young slave. Ophiochus also caught the eye of many who might see him out and about with the physician. On one such occasion, the Greek was waiting in attendance upon their mutual Roman master at a banquet dinner, hosted by a friend of the merchant. The merchant had developed a vexing condition of chest pains and belching to excess, when dining, and so he had taken to bringing his Greek physician with him. The Greek, in turn, brought young Ophiochus along, to observe and learn – and also to provide a pleasant diversion should things become too dull. On this particular occasion, having the adolescent boy along would turn out to be a grave mistake.

The host of the dinner was much taken with Ophiochus. So much so that he offered to buy him from the merchant, right then and there, on the spot. The Roman, who had no real care for the affection that lay between the Physician and his pupil, saw a way to inveigle himself into the better graces of his host, who was of the noble class. He agreed and the deal was struck, and that very night, Ophiochus was made to part ways with his one true friend and tutor, a man who had been like an uncle to him, if not exactly like a father. It was a sad affair, but what could they do?

TEENAGE TO EARLY ADULT [67 - 73 CE]:

The nobleman was far older than the physician, and had come to the point in life where not everything worked properly as it had in his youth. He took Ophiochus, now renamed Hyacinthus, to his bed so that the youth could prepare the way for intimate relations with the old man’s new, much younger, wife. This second wife had yet to produce an heir, as had the man’s deceased first wife, although that woman had managed to bring three daughters into the world. The second wife had expressed an unwillingness to do what was necessary to bring the requisite mechanical response in her husband, for such was very much frowned upon in Roman society. But by dint of the skills of Hyacinthus, the couple were able to…couple…and that was looked upon favorably by the youth’s new master.

Perhaps unfortunately, Hyacinthus proved too skilled and his favors were sought then by both husband and wife. At first, all was mutually agreeable. But when each of the spouses discovered that the other was sneaking off to enjoy the youth’s talents separate and apart from the marital bed, tempers had a tendency to flare. It was a tumultuous time for the entire household, and Hyacinthus was castigated by the other slaves as being the cause of their master and mistress’ often foul moods. Branded a trouble maker, the boy was shunned and found no solace among what might have been his companions. Moreover, being such a favorite of the couple won him no smiles or friendship either. He was much sought after, and spoiled, but was lonely as well.

He sought comfort in the arms of the poets, and was lucky to be allowed access to what writings his master possessed. He was even sent to the library from time to time to procure more writings, ostensibly for the old man but actually for his own pleasure. He continued to educate himself, out of the need for something to pass the lonely hours with, as well as a true appreciation for learning. For a slave, he enjoyed quite a few privileges, and he wasn’t so stupid that he did not realize this. Dealing with the constant bickering and jealousy of his master and mistress was tiresome. But overall, he knew full well that he was sitting pretty, in relation to the average slave in the Empire.

Life went on, but eventually, it must also end, for each of the denizens of the world. And so it came to Hyacinthus’ master that his days were drawing to a close. His pretty, young wife had not managed to give him a son. Only a little girl had been born as a product of those efforts, and if she held a passing resemblance to the slave her mother had so often lain with, well, no-one remarked it. In the end, the nobleman adopted a cousin’s offspring, a man already in his thirties. Upon the death of Hyacinthus’ master, this younger man took charge of the estate. Having somewhat recently made his return to Rome after a decade and more of military service, he was pleased to have his adoptive father’s domus to make his own. He wasted no time in moving his own wife and children in, grudgingly allowing his now unnecessary adoptive step-mother to stay, because of her child, who was legally his own sister now. The other daughters had long since married and were in the homes of their husbands.

Made aware of the goings on between his late adoptive father, his wife (now widow) and the comely slave, this new dominus made short work of packing Hyacinthus off to the slave market. The man was not inclined to desire the attention of young men and had no need of him. Moreover, it was whispered his late adoptive father had gone so far in his dotage as to allow (request?) the slave to do things that no self-respecting Roman male would have suffered. Be that as it may, the end result was the same. The handsome, well educated slave was sent to be sold, and sold he was, to a brothel owner.

Hyacinthus could not have been more surprised at this unexpected outcome. He was clearly of more value than just what his body could provide random customers, or so he hoped. Perhaps it was some secret instruction on the part of his late master’s heir – that he should be punished thus for transgressions that the poor young man had only committed by dint of doing what he was commanded to do. For what choice does a slave have? It wasn’t as if he enjoyed lavishing such amorous attentions on a sick, old goat. He didn’t, and never would, know the truth of how he came to be placed in such an establishment. He only knew that here, his hopes to one day put his learning (other than the base skills that any whore can master quickly) to good use were likely to be dashed, until such time as perhaps someone among his overseers, or maybe even a patron, would recognize and value his intelligence and knowledge. With such a slim hope, when asked by the agent who had transacted the purchase if he had a name by which they could call him, the young slave had answered wryly, “Phaedo.” Apparently the procurer hadn’t caught on to the jest, and Pheado he was called, and is called.

Phaedo has been at his new place of employment, which is of course also his lodging – the Domus Venus – for all of a week now. He was put right to work, and there have been no complaints of his performance. Whether his Socrates, in the guise of some Roman, or a foreigner, will come to his rescue, remains to be seen.

 

 

Gil | GMT-5 | PM or DM

Edited by Gil
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