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Letter dated one day before the earthquake that might postpone plans, delivered by a blonde male slave named Himeros.

 To Titus Sulpicius Rufus from Tertius Quinctilius Varus

 Greetings,

 I hope this letter finds you and your family well and that we may meet soon again. Perhaps either with our families or in another context. I enjoyed the visit from you and your friend Lucius Cassius Longinus regarding my niece. I still have not forgotten our interesting conversations.

 I am however writing with a request on behalf of one of my slaves. I am certain you remember Charis, who served you the tisane while you were here. You and your friend discussed one of your slaves, that is also from Britannia and we have discovered, that your slave Nymphias is in fact Charis’ sister. Charis has shown very good behavior lately and finally seems to have adapted to her new life here. Therefore, I have decided to reward her with seeing her sister once more. The two appear not to have seen each other since Britannia. I would like to invite Nymphias to come here, perhaps together with you, if you can find the time. We could become further acquainted and our slaves could spend some time together in my domus.

 I hope you will give my idea some thought and look forwards to reading your reply regarding this very interesting matter and progress.

 Sincerely, Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus

@Liv

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Letter dated 4th July 75, four days after the earthquake, delivered by an illiterate Dacian slave

Titus Sulpicius Rufus to Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus, greetings.

I am much obliged for your letter, allow me to present my regrets for not having sent one of my own sooner.

I hope the recent earthquake has not been of consequence to your household and property. Fortunately we have only suffered some material damage, but nothing of importance.

I do in fact remember your slave and the unparalleled tisane she prepared for me, and came much to the same conclusion myself not long after having visited you. The family resemblance is quite pronounced even if their colouring is slightly different. Nymphias is my eldest daughter's body slave and quite an obedient and docile one, so your proposition presents no issue. I should therefore very much like to accept your kind invitation when it is most convenient to you; I figure the earthquake has interfered with the routines of many households.

As to what may happen afterwards, I leave it in the hands of the gods and the behaviour of our respective slaves.

Should your daughter be in need of a playmate to distract her from recent events, please let me know if you would like me to bring my son along - I seem to recall they are close in age.

Sincerely,

T. Sulpicius Rufus

@Atrice

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letter dated 6th of July, delivered by the same messenger as before

From Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus to Titus Sulpicius Rufus

Greetings once more,

Do not apologize for not sending your letter sooner – the recent earthquake has shattered many things, including many well-meaning plans, I am sure. I am pleased to hear that your household has only suffered material damage and that none of your family suffered harm.

We are currently quite busy repairing some material damage on my domus in the city and I will also need to make a trip to the countryside villa to find out how bad it is out there. Perhaps we could arrange the meeting between our slaves by the end of the month. You are very welcome to bring your son along to meet my daughter – she turns 11 years old soon and enjoys the company of others around her own age. Let us enjoy some wine while the children interact and Nymphias and Charis catch up at the same time. I am also curious to learn about your further plans when it comes to a career here in Rome, if you have made any yet.

I will make sure to arrange something for us all for the day.

Sincerely, Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus

By the way, you may want to tell Nymphias that her sister is possibly quite changed from what she may remember.

@Liv

Edited by Atrice
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Letter dated 8th of July, delivered by the same Dacian slave

Titus Sulpicius Rufus to Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus, greetings.

It it just as you say, many plans - and lives, sadly - have been lost to this disaster. It pleases me nonetheless to hear that your household is well, and I hope the material damage your domus has suffered is of little consequence.

We will be travelling down to my brother and sister-in-law's villa in Naples in about a week and will likely stay there until the end of August or thereabouts in an attempt to evade the worst of the summer heat, so I am afraid it will not be possible for me to visit you at the end of this month as per your suggestion. However, if you find it convenient, I would be happy to pay you a visit along with Nymphias and my son Publius in the days between now and our departure, or postpone it to when we have returned to Rome if that is more agreeable to you.

Regardless of date, I am sure the children will happily entertain themselves, and I should very much like to share my thoughts with you on possible next steps and hear your opinion on the subject. I shall also inform Nymphias about her sister, although since I did not know Charis until our past meeting I will not be able to elaborate on how changed should she ask. I imagine the opposite is also true, but should your slave be anxious please assure her that her sister has not suffered undue hardship whilst in my household. They will have much to catch up on, I dare presume. 

Sincerely,

T. Sulpicius Rufus

@Atrice

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Letter sent later on the same date, 8th of July

From Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus to Titus Sulpicius Rufus

Greetings again,

I understand your travelling plans and why we must have this meeting soon. And it ought to be soon, for reasons you will learn once you arrive here. By late August I do not think Charis will be very ready to receive guests she has not seen in a long while. 

If you can come on the 13th, the domus should not look too bad, as we are already busy with reconstructing everything. Let me know which time on the day suits you best, and I will make sure we are all ready for you, your son and Nymphias too. We will all look forwards to your visit.

Sincerely, Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus

@Liv

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