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Aeterna Roma RPG

Marcus Horatius Justinus


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MARCUS HORATIUS JUSTINUS

63 y/o | born 12CE | Senatores | Senator | Heterosexual | Wanted | Played By: Robert Hardy

 

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Personality

In public life, Marcus is an imposing figure. His voice is loud and grave, perfect both for long senate orations and barking orders at soldiers. Marcus always likes to remain inscrutable. He makes no effort to cover the fact that he is balding slightly, or that he has tiny wrinkles around his eyes.

Privately, Marcus is a doting father. He is quick to show disappointment but also just as willing to show warmth on occasions when his children live up to his exacting standards. His voice is the kind you can hear ringing through the whole house at dinner parties, his manner gruff and forceful but his words kind and observant. Marcus' goal in life is to ensure his children are the best they can be: he is exceptionally good at observing others' natures and flaws, but is totally oblivious to his own, and this hypocrisy can be a source of conflict with his family. Marcus is a very private man, but when he chooses to open up to those closest to him he reveals that, really, he is deeply sensitive. In fact, he has been in a state of constant depression for fifteen years, aching inside behind his outgoing public façade. But Marcus can't keep it up forever. At some point, the façade will crack and all the grief will come pouring out.

Marcus put a lot of pressure on his children. Though motivated only by love, his domineering personality overshadowed all his offspring's childhoods and resulted in them growing up to be rather meek and humourless. Even now, Marcus has a great deal of control over their lives. Now they are in adulthood with children of their own, some of his children are starting to harbour resentment towards him as a result now they realise how their father's influence has affected them.

Appearance

Despite his unusually short stature, Marcus' stockiness and general poise make him quite the imposing figure. His eyes are a brilliant, incisive blue. Despite his age, he still has a reasonable amount of straw-yellow hair, and he has passed this fair complexion onto his children. His face is that of a wise Roman senator, lined with years of grief and thought.

On his right hand, he wears a garnet signet ring, given to him by Livia Calavia when they were young. He never takes it off.

 

Family

Father: N/A

Mother: N/A

Siblings: N/A

Spouse: Livia Calavia (deceased)

Children: Lucius Horatius Justinus, Livia Justina, Horatia Justina, Publius Horatius Justinus

Extended family:

Secundus Quinctilius Varus (son-in-law)

Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus (son-in-law)

Titus Calpurnius Praetextatus (grandchild)

Calpurnia Horatia (grandchild)

Lucia Gaia (daughter-in-law)

Spurius Horatius Justinus (grandchild)

Lucia Justina (grandchild)

Other:

 

History

Marcus comes from a family greatly marked by the age of upheaval they lived through. His grandfather had been with Cato the Younger, his close friend and mentor, when he disembowelled himself at Utica. Marked for slaughter on the Triumvirate's list of prescriptions, the staunchly traditionalist Marcus the Elder had only narrowly escaped by going into hiding. He went on to unwillingly serve Octavian at Actium in order to preserve his life. This is precisely the attitude his son and his grandson inherited after him - while deeply nostalgic for the old Republic, the family owes a debt to the mercy of the Caesars. Better to work to keep Caesar in check and preserve the old values than to try aimlessly to restore a Republic now irretrievably lost.

With all this high-flown talk being bounced around his home, the young Marcus didn't have much time to be a child. As his father's heir, the values of integrity and duty were impressed on Marcus from an early age. He learnt to speak fluently and eloquently in both Latin and Greek - the precocious young Marcus was a source of amusement and wonder at his father's dinner parties, where he would discuss earnestly and maturely any subject with the writers and advocates his father surrounded himself with at these occasions. However, once his father was posted to serve under Germanicus in the 10s CE, Marcus left the literary climate of Rome to follow his father there. While not naturally drawn to soldiering, much of his childhood was spent in Germania in Germanicus' camp. Marcus soon learned to shed his rather dour disposition somewhat in the company of soldiers and their sons, developing the reserved but occasionally persona he has to this day. While in Germania, he met his best friend, Decimus Tullius Germanicus, a jolly boy more interested in wielding a sword than a pen, and his betrothed, the young Livia Calavia, more literary and pensive than her intended husband, to whom the young Marcus took quite a shine.

in 30 CE, Marcus, having now earned his toga virilis, returned to Rome and soon was elected to the vigintiviri thanks to his quick mind and his father's many contacts. After this, he served as tribunus laticlavius under his friend Decimus Tullius' father. For a while, Marcus lived happily, overjoyed to be able to spend more time with his dear friend and his new wife, Livia Calavia. Though not necessarily a natural military strategist, Marcus worked hard and earned recognition for his efforts. Throwing himself into his work was important - to live up to his father, to stave off the longing to be back in Rome and, most importantly, to distract himself from the fact he was quickly falling in love with Livia Calavia, his childhood friend and best friend's wife. When Decimus was unexpectedly killed, therefore, it felt like a blow from the gods, cruel but sweet. Out of respect and love for his late friend, Marcus tried to distance himself from the now available Livia, but within two years his willingness to resist the hand of Fate decayed. On his return to Rome in 35 CE after his term as tribune, Marcus married Livia Calavia, with whom he was very much in love.

The couple spent the next six years in Rome. Both in public life and at home, Marcus was perfectly happy: with his father's respect, a purple-bordered toga and a lovely, intelligent wife, Marcus quickly moved on from the guilt and loss he felt over Decimus' death. He established himself as a firm successor to his father in the Optimate faction. In 40 CE, Livia finally fell pregnant and produced a healthy son, Publius. He loved the boy very much and showed it by giving his all to set him up to be a great man and an heir to the family's legacy. Though he hated to admonish his son - he was bright, athletic, quick-spirited and everything he'd hoped he'd be - Marcus knew that to spare the rod was to spoil the child. After all, he owed his own success to the exacting standards his own father impressed upon him.

In 42CE, the family moved back to Germania, well known to Marcus from his boyhood, where he served as legate. His second child, Horatia, was born shortly after. In 48 CE, he received the news of the birth of his two twins, Lucius and Livia, with great joy, but this feeling was not to last long. The birth had had its toll on Livia, who fell gravely sick. The gods took mercy, however, and Livia recovered, albeit greatly weakened and unable to bear more children. Having come so close to losing the woman he loved more than anything filled Marcus with an even stronger desire to protect and cherish his family.

During the 50s CE, Marcus split his time between shaping his children into the successors he wanted and advancing his own career, including a stint serving as a dependable leader in Hispania under Jullus Alexander to quell the popular uprising that broke out in the province.  In 52 CE, he backed the consul Scipio's appeal to restore the old powers of the senate. The unrest spreading through the Empire throughout the decade worried Marcus, and he tightened his grip on his family's lives even further, desperate to protect them from the lethal power games of the Imperial family. The formation of the Quinquevirate also worried Marcus, who is acutely aware from his grandfather's stories the danger of such alliances. Unwilling to back either Darius or Camillus, Marcus was overcome with a feeling of powerlessness, his traditional views of the power of the Senate lost in the clamour.

Eventually, the riots and murders in the city presented too much of a threat for Marcus and his family. He was among the first of many traditionalist senators to flee Rome for Antioch in early December of 60CE. Deciding cautiously to return to Rome in mid 61 CE now the threat of civil war seemed to have died now, he was one of many who advocated severe punishment for Cyprianus and all who would compromise the institution of the Senate for their own personal ends. Then, in December of 61 CE, disaster stuck for Marcus. His beloved wife, Livia, was accidentally caught up in one of the many plebeian riots taking place in the city while she was out on an errand. When Marcus arrived back from the Senate, he found friends gathered round her in the atrium. Her body was mauled and bruised. Overcome by a sense of horror deeper than anything he thought he could feel, Marcus sank to his knees, lying next to her mangled corpse for twenty hours without once moving. Despite his pleading in the Senate, his sense of duty and honour, he had failed to protect the one thing that mattered to him more than his ideals. Grief-stricken, Marcus retired from public life and took refuge once again in Antioch until news of Cyprianus' downfall was confirmed, whereupon he was persuaded by his son Publius to return to Rome.

From then on, Marcus has remained in Rome as a stalwart figurehead of the Optimate faction. His ambition, though, has been entirely quelled by his loss, and he never seeks the consulship, preferring instead to devote his time to helping his children progress in both public and private life. His children recognise he's never quite been the same since Livia's death. Marcus refuses to so much as look at another woman, let alone remarry. His attitude towards his children is more doting and overbearing than ever. Now, the year is 76 CE, and old conflicts seem to be stirring within the family. What part will Marcus play?

Player: locutus-sum | GMT | locutus-sum #9606

Edited by locutus-sum
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