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To Lucius Junius Silanus, Syria


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Larentalia, December 76AD

 To Lucius Junius Silanus,

 Dear brother,

I hope that you are well, wherever you are in the world – word has it, that it is in Syria you can be found. It has been a while since we have met face to face. I thought I would tell you, how things are in my life in Rome at the moment.

I still live with Flavia Juliana and her husband, although I am not so impressed by Tusca’s parenting skills. He appears to care more for his own children, than for me. I barely ever speak to him and am left to my own devices. I wish we had a home of our own or wealth enough to gain one, so I would not feel like an intruder in other homes. Instead however, I do, what I do best. I seek company with others.

This company of course includes other people at my age. Lately I have been cultivating my friendship with Tiberius Claudius Sabucius. Tiberius is quite different from me, but I care for him almost like a brother. Though he is older and more influential than me, I sometimes feel like I am the more outgoing of us. But we have been friends since childhood and I have promised, that I will aid him and I am loyal to him. Among other things, I helped him organize a social event for young people in Rome, male as female. It was quite interesting and it felt right for me to actually be in charge of an event like that.

I have also gained another friend in Lucius Vipsanius Roscius, who also joined the abovementioned social event. He has chosen a different path since, as I have heard he has left his family and joined the vigiles. Quite different for a Patrician, is it not? But I will still count him among my friends. And is it not important to keep friends among the lower classes too? It may be useful someday.

I will not do anything like he has done, however. I am now almost 19 years of age and soon to enter the Viginitiviri and finally begin my Cursus Honorum. I have been waiting for this opportunity and I am happy, that it is finally possible for me. I do feel I need to do more with my life.

When it comes to the ladies, I have met several interesting young women, but I am not ready for marriage. Both because I am aware that my age matters and because I wish to regain my wealth before I settle down. Therefore it is vital to me, to do something important. I have ambitions, brother, and I need to follow them. Despite the distance between us, I am hoping that perhaps you will guide me towards, what I need to do next.

I pray that you may soon return to Rome. Until then, may the gods keep you well and safe.

Your brother, Marcus Junius Silanus


Edited by Atrice
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It is good to hear from you. I am indeed well here in Syria, and I hope the same can be said for you back home in the city.

It is not surprising to hear that Tusca remains the same as ever. He is a traditional man, and I suspect he will stay set in his ways until he passes from this world. But rest assured, we will have our own home before that time comes! For what it's worth, there could be many more worse places for you to rest your head than Juliana's villa. We are eternally indebted to her.

Company is a good thing to have, and I'm relieved that you have maintained your bond with Tiberius. Despite his name, or perhaps because of it, he will remain an important person in the politics of the city. A good friend to support and have supporting you as you already begin to take your first steps into public life.

I cannot say I know any of the Vipsanii-Rosci, though - and this may come as a surprise to you for me to put this to parchment - I agree it is important to maintain friends of all walks of life. I, myself, have come to terms with many of my more backwards thoughts while here in Syria. The auxilia I command is full of Britons. Would you believe my incredulousness when I arrived. I nearly tried to fight them all. There is one man here, Dubius. He served under Pater on the island. He has be a great help to me these past months.

Ladies! Why didn't you start the letter with that, brother? How long I've waited to dive into the secrets of the incredible fortune of the Junii-Silani... that is our looks, of course. Certainly do not rush into marriage. I can't let you beat me to that. Enjoy your youth, explore and discover yourself... and if you do something you know you shouldn't (we all do), just make sure the general public doesn't find out!

As for your career: I'm proud that you'll soon begin the first of many steps to help me reclaim the glory of our family name, and I will do all I can to help you along the path. I have become close with the governor Nonius and senior legionary legates here. In fact, the legate my auxilia is attached to has personally requested that I remain beyond my term. Though I long for Rome, proving my worth will undoubtedly be helpful.

Whether your path lies in the military, or if you prefer something more governing, there is no hurdle we cannot overcome together.

Write me soon, and be well.

your brother,



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