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Valeria Flacca

Valeria Flacca

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VALERIA FLACCA.

35 | 05 April 39 CE | Senatorial | Matron and Published Poet (including pseudonym ‘Landicus’) | Heterosexual | Canon | Chloe Pirrie

 

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Personality.

Valeria is an unexpected result of a far more serious father. She always proudly considered herself ordinary but shined through her natural theatricality. She had been a ‘giggle bug’ as a child and her constant air of humour and love for any opportunity for laughter was never lost when she grew into an adult. Though she can be responsible when called to be, she is still prone to dropping the odd cheeky comment or subtle quip even in serious company that makes her father roll his eyes or when she’s the only person laughing.


If life and circumstances had been different, she might’ve completely immersed herself, unfiltered, in the arts but currently does so in acceptable venues for a senator’s daughter and soldier’s wife, at least on the surface. Through Landicus (an ode to ‘landica’), the Batman to her Bruce Wayne, she pushes the envelope with her bawdy or off-colour poetry in attempt to shock, provoke, and entertain Roman readers and feels a great deal of satisfaction in the ignorance and mystery surrounding Landicus, especially in the irony of the writer being a woman like herself. In a way, it’s entertainment where Rome proves to be stifling. While her writing may be predominately ribald and considered ‘distasteful’ by some when compared to the established literary canon, Valeria is cultured with a clear bias for anything written. She actually enjoys even the dullest of dissections of texts, though it is difficult to find similarly passionate company. This is more evident in the writing that she does share under her own name and in the music that she composes. 


Adulthood, children, and family duty has tampered down her impishness by a bit. While it likely contributed to her need for humour, Valeria is educated and was exposed to her father’s ‘boring’ political world since her youth and despite all her puckishness, she is still capable of managing well in its stuffy circles and in staying grounded and realistic especially when it comes to Roman society. 

 

Appearance

Valeria is a ‘theatre kid’ of ancient Rome. She opts for comfort but still finds ways to make use of makeup, wigs, curling irons, vivid fabrics, and unusual designs. While she isn’t a bombshell in a stola, a woman who might turn heads or capture the attention of most men with a certain type of voluptuous or conventional beauty, Valeria seems very comfortable in her skin, especially with her increasing age where she carries herself with a manner of reassurance and ease and naturally speaks as she is in an amphitheatre. Her long face is lined with wrinkles of happiness around the corners of her eyes and the sides of her lips and her general expression usually carries a smile or a grin as if there’s always a joke hiding somewhere. Brown-haired, brown-eyed, Valeria is willowy, bony and tall. Though after three pregnancies, she has her “battle scars” and her body hasn’t been exactly the same, something which she likes to jokingly remind her children whenever they make her move from a comfortable position.

 

Family

Father: Publius Valerius Flaccus (b. 1 AD)

Mother: Romilia Marcella (b. 21 AD)

Siblings: Gaius Valerius Flaccus/Porcus (b. 27)

Spouse: Titus Sulpicius Rufus.

Children:

  • Sulpicia Flacca (b. 61)
  • Publius Sulpicius Rufus (b. 65)
  • Sulpicia Valeriana (b. 70)

Extended family:

  • Sulpicia Rufia, sister-in-law
  • Quintus Sulpicius Rufus, brother-in-law
  • Cornelia Scipiones, brother-in-law’s wife
  • Quintus Sulpicius Rufus Minor (b. 60), nephew
  • Appius Sulpicius Rufus (b. 62), nephew
  • Sulpicia Rufiana (b. 64), niece
  • Sulpicia Annthea (b. 68), niece
  • Other Sulpicii-Rufi 
     

Other:

  • Household slaves (including Nymphias, Diegis, Zia, and Tarbus)

History

Valeria was born into the family of a stern, cautious senator and his second wife. With a shit stain of a human like Gaius Valerius Flaccus for a brother, Valeria had a great deal of laughter and was a happy child by comparison, and it wasn’t hard for her parents, her father especially, to settle for the lesser of two weevils. In her earliest years, Valeria showed promise first as a musician, perhaps even before she set her fingers onto an instrument, where she seemed to have an ear and memory for sound, which later played out well when she did learn the harp by conventional instruction, then hungrily requested to move onto the lyre and flute. Her father indulged most of his only daughter’s interests under the presupposition that she would at least become an ‘entertaining wife’ in the future, but he was careful to make her “not too educated” because allegedly that inspires pretentiousness and boring attributes in a woman. 


Despite this, when her interests expanded into literature and theatre, Valeria became a wider reader and frequent theatregoer, immersing herself in both and thinking critically of both in a manner that was almost self-study. In her adolescence, Valeria had even purchased and snuck poetry lacking in Publius’s seal of approval on occasion into her chambers to pander to her growing curiosity in areas outside her exposure. Embarrassingly, her mother had managed to find this out (something which Valeria has realised in retrospect was due to the fact she wasn’t good at what she was trying to do) and her punishment was to receive ‘the talk’ or rather, several, depending on the poem. Valeria had her cheeky moments throughout her youth but apart from typical secrecy of a young woman growing up and good-natured dramatics that were made to make even her stony father crack a chuckle, she was largely well-behaved on the surface and pretended to be ‘normal’ in front of Publius’s associates. 


She published her first true Landicus poem in her late adolescence under a different pseudonym Cūlus Maximus to test the waters as a writer. It had been her first dip into unfiltered self-expression and while the poem about wonderfully tight soldier asses might have disappeared with time, she felt very smug about the experience. Not much later, in her early twenties, she picked up the outlet once again, this time as Landicus, who became a character she could play at being in the same way that an actor took on a role. Landicus, the perverted old Roman man, here before Geoffrey Rush’s horny Marquis de Sade ever was. His writing was raunchy, lewd, and indecent, able to say things Valeria wish she could if only to see the looks on people’s faces, the character and his poems stuck. She derived far more joy in hearing her father tut at this wretched Landicus fellow, what a representation of how decadent Rome’s become.


Growing up, Valeria had a hot-and-cold relationship with her brother, who was older by twelve years. On one hand, he shared the same love for mischief as she did but on the other hand, the downside was that he shared her same love for mischief, perhaps to a much larger degree. In a way, they both understand each other very well in this regard. Where Valeria often toed the line with jokes, Gaius was perhaps a bit more of a man about it and always went for the extreme. However, when he presumably died in war, Valeria had composed a heartfelt ode to him by song before publishing a poem under Landicus about the death of the man’s favourite pig. Strangely, Landicus’s audiences interpreted it to describe to a possible lover, sometimes referred to as “Porcus”.


In 60 CE, Valeria had been married to Titus Sulpicius Rufus. When her father had announced his intentions to see her married, she used the opportunity to play her father and mother a song after dinner about how her greatest aspiration and contribution to the Valerii-Flacci was to grow into a shrivelled spinster, although she obliged and went with the marriage without much complaint. People assumed Landicus might have kicked the bucket as he was put on hiatus where, once married, Valeria concentrated on three things: her new husband, her own writing and of course, the arrival of her first child Sulpicia Flacca. 


Once life settled and her relationship with Titus became more comfortable, Valeria returned to Landicus who brought outrageous tales about his new marriage to an imaginary woman a quarter of his age and began releasing poetry, some of which were inspired by her new marital life, including one where he claimed to take the virginity of a horse (a reference to herself). She became a ‘military wife’, adapting to the idea of having a husband who was often here and then there, away in Gaul or Britannia then back in Rome. She either remained in Rome or such as when Titus was in the East, stayed with Quintus Sulpicious Rufus and Cornelia Scipionis in the country. With the latter, at the time, she had amassed collections of poetry by Landicus, parodying Roman life and her proudest poems yet of Landicus elating his sister-in-law’s marvellous breasts, all of which she published after the civil war. 


When Titus was in Dacia, she decided to join him, waiting after the birth of their third child Valeriana, upon which she wrote a poem entitled ‘At least I won’t die a virgin’ and circulated under Landicus when back in Rome. She enjoyed and almost preferred life away from Rome and returned with Titus, in time to be at her father’s side in his current health condition.
 

 

Joaquin | GMT+0 | PM or Joaquin#3689

 

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