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Aulus wasn't entirely sure how he'd heard of the young Athenian - he was the client of a friend of a friend - but he had enough recommendation to at least be considered to tutor Titus in the finer points of rhetoric and philosophy. If Titus didn't follow in his father's footsteps, Aulus would be surprised. He could go into law, he supposed, or take a full military path, but he had three or four years yet before he had to make that choice, and in the meantime, learning the art of oratory and rhetoric would stand him in good stead whatever he chose to do.

He looked up as a slave appeared at the door between the tablinum and the atrium. "Domine, the philosopher is here."

"Send him in."

"Yes, Domine." There was a very slight hesitation in the slave's voice but the man withdrew before Aulus could query it.

The reason for that hesitation became obvious as the slave reappeared with a stranger in tow. He didn't appear very Greek - in fact, he looked almost British.

"Cleisthenes? Of Athens?" Aulus said, coming to his feet behind the desk.

@Jacob

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Cleisthenes wiped what sleep he could out of his eyes as he entered.  A nasty argument had broken out on the streets, turning into a brawl between the two who had started the fight in  the first damned place.

 

"Apologies for being late, and my less then stellar appearance," Cleisthenes said as he bowed before the man. "A fight broke out early this morning, and the commotion was enough to wake me far earlier than usual. This won't happen again."

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Well, it wasn't the very best of first impressions, but the man was a civilian rather than a soldier.

"Good morning," he said, stepping from behind the desk and indicating a seating area to one side of the tablinum. "Would you care for refreshment? Wine? Something to eat?" He caught the eye of the waiting slave, the order clear.

"Rome can be... Well, when you have a population as large as that of this one city, all living on top of one another, such things do happen," he said, seating himself and indicating the seat opposite. "I have asked you here to discuss the potential of tutoring my son Titus."

 

@Jacob

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Cleisthenes smiled at the older man. He was sure he had screwed this up, but thankfully the other man seemed to be very understanding.  "Indeed, some wine and bread would be appreaciated." He smiled at the slave as well. As Aulus motioned to the seat, Cleisthenes took a seat and waited.

"Thank you for being so understanding of everything that happened. As for the tutoring, I would be glad to take up that offer. I will do the best I can."

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The slave vanished to find the ordered food and drink. "As I say, your student will be my son, Titus. He is thirteen, somewhat serious for his age. He is therefore of an age to learn rhetoric and the art of oratory - I do not know how much experience you have of the latter? I subscribe to the philosophical teachings of Stoicism more than any other school of thought,  although I should like Titus to develop somewhat of an understanding of other philosophies." He would rather Titus did not end up subscribing to any of those other philosophies, but an understanding of them could only stand him in good stead in the future.

"Also some history and mathematics - although I do not suppose that you can teach everything to the same high standard as your particular speciality, of course," he said, as the slave returned with refreshments, silently setting two goblets, a jug of wine and a plate of bread, with a small bowl of olive-oil to dip it into, and another plate with a bunch of grapes. He poured wine into each goblet and stepped back, head down and Aulus dismissed him with a brief flick of his fingers.

"Do help yourself, please," Aulus said. He did not think that the other looked as though he could have had breakfast that morning.

 

@Jacob

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Cleisthenes nodded and took a sip of wine. "My father was a Stoic philosopher, and that was what I learned much of. I would try my best to teach him some other philosophies, but obviously I have much more experience with Stoicism. I would also do my best for history and mathematics, but again, not exactly my strong suit compared to Stoicism and rhetoric, though I honestly believe I could improve at rhetoric as well." He took a bite of bread and another, longer sip of wine.

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The young philosopher was either self-deprecating, or lacked in confidence, and the latter would not help him. But he was young and this was a large city - he might have only recently arrived here and therefore could still be finding his feet.

Aulus hoped, for his sake, that he would find them quickly.

"We have recently returned home from Raetia," he said, taking his own goblet and sitting back in his seat. "While it is very different from Greece, it may give you some connection with Titus."

@Jacob

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