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Tiberius Claudius Sabucius

The gift horse

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July AD77, Circus Maximus

The chariots rounded the curve for the last time, two neck and neck whilst others trailed behind. This was always when the race was at it's most exciting. The charioteer with the chestnut horses had the advantage of the inside of the curve, but the bay team were pressing him hard, and for a moment it looked as though they might actually force the chestnuts into the inner wall. But the team fought back, and the two charioteers thundered towards the finish to the applaud of the crowd, the chestnut team beating the bays by a mere nose.

From where he sat under a shading awning, Tiberius raised a hand and gestured to the winning charioteer, symbolic indication of Caesar's favour, since he was here in his uncle's stead. Handing off the reins to his slaves, the charioteer approached the imperial seating area, even as the adjudicator came forward with a laurel wreath to place on the young man's head. Not a golden one of course, but one woven of leafy bay twigs, since these were only the heats. The grand competition, still some weeks away, would see the presentation of the gold wreath by Caesar himself, or his designate. For the moment Tiberius could simply sit back and watch.

This was more Titus' scene than his, his boisterous cousin loved these kinds of competitions, but Tiberius recognised his duties as important to the Empire. To be present, to be seen, to support those entertainments which so captured the plebians' imaginations, and thus be seen as being in touch with the populace. He personally found the conversations around him more interesting than the racing, and listened whilst watching the race.


Edited by Sarah
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Lexus barely remembered how he got here. Or well, he did, but it was all so grand and glorious and he’d never been here before and he was so busy turning his head constantly, looking around, admiring the beautiful building and how huge it was, that he forgot to actually focus on it! But now he was up here, along with a lot of other citizens of Rome, watching chariots racing!

It was exciting and at the same time, he’d never been to a race before. He didn’t know the rules, but he could see there were several teams. It looked so dangerous! Next time he’d see a gladiator game, because if this was dangerous, what was a gladiator game then? And his father had been a gladiator. That was the knowledge about his father he’d never forget. He never met the man, he’d never once been present in Lexus’ life, but he had the story… yet the story was not about a charioteer and that’s what he was looking at now.

Then the race was done and Lexus looked up the nearby seats, where the imperials sat and a young man sat there, he couldn’t be much older than Lexus. Think they might be the same age and yet their lives were so different. Lexus stood by his seat at the simple steps, watching the whole action with the laurel wreath and he almost appeared paralyzed by it. Suddenly though, the young imperial man over there was looking his way and Lexus realized he’d been staring for too long. He smiled at the other young man, even dared to wave at him, but then thought that might be too much, so he quickly cast his eyes down again. Lexus didn’t always know what was right to do in every situation. He might just have made a fool of himself.


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