Chris Posted September 14, 2019 Share Posted September 14, 2019 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. 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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