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Gaius Vipsanius Roscius


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Gaius Vipsanius Roscius

35 | 22 February 41 | Senatore | Senator | Bi | Original | Tristan Gemmill

 

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Personality.

Gaius started out in life in the usual way the son of a patrician begins life. He had everything he could wish for, all the prospects of a young man of his rank in Rome could aspire to, loving parents and a home staffed with slaves who were there to attend to every whim. He was a pleasant, fun-loving boy, and would have become a pleasant fun-loving young man were it not for the civil war and the struggle for power which saw his father killed during the purges of the Senate when Gaius was just twenty-one years old, leaving Gaius as the young paterfamilias responsible for a 15-year-old sister and nine-year-old brother. The unexpected responsibility, coupled with the death of a father he looked up to and admired, has made Gaius a serious young man who weighs things carefully before committing to a course of action that may be irreversible and could affect those around him in a negative way.

He is serious but not stern, fair but not judgemental, wanting the best for his little family without spending a fortune to get it. He is very protective of his younger brother, although he does want Lucius to show a bit of ambition and make a name for himself.

He was close to his siblings, especially to his younger brother, and still likes them both very much, but that closeness is now tinged with a feeling that Lucius is somewhat of stranger to him thanks to Gaius' years away during his military service and Lucius has done a lot of growing up in the intervening years; Gaius has missed out on the majority of his brother's teenage years. Their closeness as brothers is also tinged by the feeling that Gaius has to be a father-figure to his brother who otherwise would only have had the example of their slaves and his tutor to follow. His sister is even more of an enigma to Gaius as he has had very little contact with women of his own class during his time with the Legions.

 

Appearance

Of average height, Gaius has the olive skin and dark hair and eyes that are so common to the native Italians. He prefers to blend in with the crowd rather than to stand out from it and wears clothing that is hard-wearing and well-made, although of finer quality than the clothing of the working classes or the slaves. He does not dress to excess and the only piece of jewellery he wears is his father's signet ring, now his by right as the paterfamilias of his family. He is fairly muscled from his time with the Legions and the training that he has been through, which has also made him fit enough to be able to march twenty-five miles a day. His time in the Legions also means that his skin is naturally sun-darkened (even Britannia gets some sun in the summer months, after all), and he keeps his curly hair  short enough that it does not get into his eyes.

He prefers to dress neatly rather than showily, which extends to wearing his toga only when he cannot get out of doing so - i.e. on formal occasions and for meetings of the Senate. Otherwise, he will wear a knee-length tunic, belt and pallium, with suitable footwear.

 

Family

Father: Marcus Vipsanius Roscius

Mother: Claudia Lemonia

Siblings: Vipsania Roscia (b. 46); Lucius Vipsanius Roscius (b. 53)

Spouse: Not married

Children: None

Extended family:

Other:

 

History

(41AD) Gaius Vipsanius Roscius was born into an old patrician family on a chilly day in the late winter of 41, during the reign of a new emperor, Drusus Claudius Sabucius Caesar Augustus. His father was a senator and the young Gaius spent his early years as the beloved son of a loving family, wanting for nothing. He was five years old when his younger sister was born, though his parents and the slaves reassured him that it did not change his position, that it just made him more important because now he had a sister to look after.

(53AD) Sisters were all very well, but he finally gained a playmate when his brother was born in 53AD, when Gaius was twelve years old. Gaius was a schoolboy now, his care having passed from his mother and the female slaves to a pedagogus and the school-masters and tutors, and he now had much more contact with his father than he had previously had – a formidable figure in his senatorial toga and wielding more power as a magistrate than the young Gaius could dream of, especially when his father took the time to talk over cases, simplifying them for his son's understanding, and encouraging Gaius in his games of senators. There was nothing Gaius wanted more than to grow up to be like his father, and earn that look of pride on his father's face.

(54-56AD) He is blissfully unaware of any tensions in the Senate or among his father's friends, or the political struggles that are ongoing, though there are hushed conversations between his father and his friends when they don't know Gaius is nearby.

Things continued in much the same vein into Gaius' teenaged years. His education was now under a rhetorician, where he learned the skills that would be necessary to making a successful career as a soldier, lawyer or politician. He enjoyed all the outdoor pursuits open to him, learning to ride and swim when in the country at the family's villa near Naples. He is vaguely aware that there is a new Emperor, Darius, but the knowledge has no bearing on him nor does it really mean very much, though there are some quiet murmurs that the previous emperor, Drusus Claudius, may have been poisoned, although he was allowed to accompany his father to Rome to witness the funeral procession now that he was formally an adult, having taken the toga virilis a bare few months before, soon after his fifteenth birthday in 56AD.

(60-61AD) Gaius was nineteen when the first real stirrings of what was to come began with the proscriptions of Manius Rutillius Cyprianus, who had been made dictator mere days before. He had taken more and more interest in politics in consideration of the fact that he was soon to begin his own political career, so it was with a great deal of caution that he requested the position of tribune with Decimus Junius Silanus in the wilds of Britannia. He had not been there more than a few months when Junius Silanus was killed and Gaius’ fellow tribune, Lucius Cassius Longinus, became de facto commander in the province, at only two years older than Gaius himself.

(62-64AD) Gaius was barely twenty-one years old when he received news that his father had been killed alongside other senators by the Praetorian Prefect, Clemens. The news rocks his world as he loses his father and becomes paterfamilias and guardian of his brother and sister in a single stroke, while he is on the far side of the Empire and can do nothing. He became more serious, in contrast to his commander, and threw himself into his work in an effort to distract himself, but could not truly rest until Longinus returned to Rome in 64, accompanied by Gaius, who returned home to find that his brother was on the verge of taking his toga virilis, and his sister married - a marriage arranged by their mother, to which Gaius had given his blessing without ever being able to meet the man concerned, and having to nominate one of his father’s freedmen to stand in his place.

Gaius is torn between his duty to his family and finishing his term as Tribune, and ends up taking the long view - he should finish his term in order to have the best possible chance in his political career later on, and returns to Britannia with Longinus in 66, where he stays for a further two years, returning to Rome in 68. His military duty discharged, Gaius returns to the family estate to try to salvage what he can of his relationship with his siblings and work out what to do next.

He runs for Quaestor in 69, the youngest he is able to do so as a patrician.

Gaius is content to remain in Italy, climbing the political ladder as far as possible. He has little taste for military glory, but will take what military posts he needs in order to further his political career, while also encouraging his brother in his own aspirations, and trying to find a wife for himself.

 

 

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