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Tiberius Herius Bassus

Tiberius Herius Bassus

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Tiberius Herius Bassus.

38 | Summer 36 | Freedman | White Horse Charioteer | Heterosexual | Wanted | Diego Luna

 

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Personality.

Bassus was born to a well-off family and as such, he was educated and literate. As a man born in Judea (with questionable cultural and ethnic background), he was raised as a Jew and practised much of its teachings. As of recent, he separates his beliefs from Jewish practice, understanding Romans’ views on his people’s faith and keeps his devotion locked away. He is quick-witted, playful, headstrong, and seemingly untroubled despite his past. He’s lived long enough now to accept it and move forwards with his life, perhaps masking much of his inner pains with a touch of humour and becoming almost mechanical, simply living to survive and not caring for much else. He now wants to make the most of his life as a charioteer and live well until his death, he doesn’t care about starting a family or becoming rich. But that isn’t to say he wouldn’t take the chance for either because he would given the right circumstances.

On the outside, he enjoys having a good time, teasing, joking and drinking but inside is just emptiness and hollow. It could be a coping mechanism or a way to shield and hide the losses. The way he treats his past is that the “past is in the past”. He’s sad but he’s got a life to live. He can be prideful and even arrogant, especially because of his education, but understanding and even unpretentious. Bassus can come across as friendly and alarmingly coquettish but in reality, it takes a while for him to connect with people. He’s educated enough to become a scribe or an accountant as a freedman, more suited for it too, but settles on being a charioteer instead.

As a charioteer, his eyes and body are solely concentrated on the reigns, his horses, and chariot. He’s skilled in physical work, paying attention to detail, and has good reflexes. Because of the things he had experienced, his losses included, he shows very little fear, is realistic and sometimes pessimistic, not holding onto much hope. He has the tendency to sometimes become cocky before a race, holding a lot of faith in his skills. As a charioteer, he behaves much like a performer, trying to give his best performance by making his role in the races entertaining, conducting tricks and is not against sometimes playing “dirty” in order to win. When a slave, he was not the best, behaving with far too much dignity, ending up with a lot of lashes and punishments before he forced himself to become more subdued. As of now, he knows to tread carefully but still does not see most Romans as friends unless proven otherwise.

 

Appearance

Standing at a height of 5’10”, Bassus is a lean man but is toned enough to be able to hold the reigns of a chariot and to be an athlete in his capacity. Despite his work, he has soft features, warm eyes and a friendly face. Much like those from Judea, he has darker skin, hair and eyes than one might commonly see in someone native to Rome but there is a hint of blood from outside those of the people who raised him, possibly Hispania. His hair tends to be on the longer side, falling in messy tendrils, he has facial hair grown in regardless of Rome’s preferences for a clean-shaven look, and he tends to wear a simple toga, usually of paler colours. He has scars from his years as a slave on his arms, legs and back. A practising Jew in quiet, he has nothing on his person that might give away his religion.

 

Family

Father: Eldad ben Moses, born in 5 (deceased) but father believed to be Ehud ben Moses (deceased)

Mother: Aviva, daughter of a Tanna/Jewish Scholar, born in 18 (deceased) but his mother is believed to be an unknown non-Jewish woman from Hispania (deceased)

Siblings: Ilan ben Eldad (deceased), born in 34, and Meshulam ben Eldad (deceased), born in the year 38.

Spouse: Elisheva, born in 39 (Unknown, presumed dead)

Children: Akiva ben Chanan, son, born in 58 (Unknown, presumed dead)

Extended family: He has cousins, uncles (including Ehud ben Moses, his possible father), and aunts (all presumed dead).

Other: Former master, Tiberius Herius Mindinus (deceased), his former master’s daughter (alive), and White Horse members, etc.

 

History

Childhood and Adolescence:

Born in 36, Bassus, formerly known as Chanan, was the son of parents that were country landowners with a large estate, having an orchard. His father also worked as a scribe for government officials and other important people. He was raised  in Galilee. With Romans occupying Judea well before Chanan was even born, some of his family had branched out into Hispania to make use of the country’s resources decades earlier and had returned well before his birth, though some family had remained or visited regularly to expand for business. For this reason, there was talk amongst some of his neighbours that Chanan was the product of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother from Hispania, both deceased, but taken in by an uncle, Eldad ben Moses, and raised as that man’s son. The family was large and had several houses that were attached through a common courtyard, owing to their considerable wealth.

Like most Jews, he had observed Sabbath from a very young age, having feasts with his family, friends and neighbours and went to pray as a community at a synagogue, reading over scriptures and watching sermons. This was among many other Jewish holidays and practices. Apart from being instilled with the Jewish faith, Chanan lived with his family in Galilee where they overlooked an orchard and large estates, a wide spread of beautiful green land and fruits. Due to the business, they were quite wealthy and lived well, a good distance from cities but close enough that they could travel in at any point.

Throughout his childhood, he was made to read religious texts, taught on how to write and read, and how to manage finances. Outside of education, he had a fondness for nature and animals, enjoying spending his time in the warm sun, sitting underneath the trees reading, or taking care of what animals they had, particularly the horses. At a young age, he appeared to be like a “horse whisperer”, quite skilled in manoeuvring horses and showing good reflexes. Some thought it an innate ability but it was simply the fact that he’d done it so many times that, though young, his skills were honed. By thirteen, he learned how to become a scribe and learned a new craft. He learned woodworking and carpentry.  

Adulthood:

In 56CE, he turned twenty and it was then that he met his wife Elisheva who was sixteen years of age, she, like his mother, was the daughter of a Jewish scholar. She, like him, was well-educated and was the only child of her father, she had no mother, and was educated in scholarly and scribe pursuits in order to pass her knowledge to her children. Chanan’s older brother was already married with children of his own and, along with his brothers, were expected to work the orchard as a team but also take after their father as scribes or other high status jobs that were similar in nature.

Running the orchard was physical for those who worked in the orchard but also one that required the mind when overseeing the finances and business aspects of the work. Chanan was well-suited for working outdoors, picking apples, planting and minding what animals they had but shadowed his father, brothers and uncles when it came to the more mental tasks. But like his father, he worked as a scribe even if he preferred the outdoors and being around the animals. Chanan and his wife didn’t have children and had tried with little luck. His son, Akiva, was born in 58CE with what was a difficult birth and would have been around sixteen should he have lived.

By twenty, he was young still and rash, susceptible to the anger that some Jews faced towards the Romans. Behind closed doors, his father, who was becoming older, spoke like a zealot, and these thoughts spread to his sons and younger brothers. As a result of pent-up anger and sheer nationalism, Chanan and some of the men in his family got involved with the Judean nationalists. By the time the war truly broke out, much of his family were killed, whether it was by wayward Roman soldiers, crucifixion or getting killed during revolts by being crushed or stabbed. Truth of the matter is, he doesn’t know what happened to most of his family but for the older members of his family, he is fairly certain they are all dead. By late 59, he, his son and wife were placed into slavery but were later separated. The last thing he remembers is the cries of his son and wife as they were all torn apart. That was the last he saw of them.

Renamed as Bassus, he was, at first, made a gladiator but he didn’t prove to be a good one and when it was learned that he was more bright than he was strong, he became a slave somewhere outside of Rome, the countryside. He was educated, literate and had a conversational level of understanding in Latin and was given roles such as a teacher or an accountant for the family that he served. Whenever he misbehaved, he was left with caring for the animals, namely the horses, with the rest of the slaves who were not held in as high esteem or whipped. This persisted for much of 61CE to 69CE. Bassus’s need to find his family and return hom was great, leading him to fight back. He was re-sold because of his attitude, whipped, beaten and starved. And like some unlucky slaves was forced to bed some of his masters because the masters he had received were all terrible in their own way. But he became more resilient.

In 69 CE, he was bought by a man named Tiberius Herius Mindinus. The man was elderly, patient and wise. He was fond of literature, religion, he had been stationed in Judea long ago, and had a love of horses. As a surprise to Bassus, he found that he actually liked his master and the two became friends, having a mutual respect for one another. Tiberius Herius Mindinus had only a daughter, having lost his sons to warfare so it was like Bassus had replaced them in a way. Bassus was at odds with his master’s daughter for this reason. Tiberius Herius Mindinus shared his love of horses with Bassus who soon grew to love them again as well, just as he had when a child. His master later trained him in handling horses and racing, hoping for the man to become a charioteer for him and win some races.

In 72CE, his master freed him and allowed him to join the White Horse Team to become a charioteer because he liked horses and found it a good way for Bassus to spend his time and make money as a freedman. Much of what he earned, he gave to his master and the two lived as friends. The man died a year later in 73, leaving Bassus as he is now, a charioteer who is skilled but slowly becoming better. As a member of the team, he is hardworking and friendly enough to get along with mostly everyone.

@Gothic

Edited by Beauty
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