Chapter XLIII - Apud Vespasianum Occurens

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
'Meeting With Vespasian'
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017

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TITVS FLAVIVS CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVGUSTVS

Bust of Vespasian Commissioned by
M. Octavianus Gracchus
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
Vespasian's assumption of the Imperum ended one of those spasms of civil war which had shaken Rome at intervals ever since the days of Marius and Sulla.
His reign was distinctly an era of reform.
Vespasian's eldest son, Titus Vespasianus, who was to become one of the most beneficent Roman rulers in history, was associated as Caesar in his father's administration.
The dignity of the Roman Senate was revived, largely by elimination of the disreputable elements; the law of treason, an odious legal cloak for tyranny, was abrogated; the courts of law were reformed; military discipline was placed upon a secure basis.
Vespasian, who was a master of financial administration, knew how to lavish his wealth in adding to the splendour of the imperial city, and it was in his reign that the Colosseum was begun.
Abroad, the final conquest of Judea was followed by the suppression of a serious rising in Gaul and the consolidation of Roman authority in Britain by Cneius Agricola, who built the chain of forts between the Firths of Clyde and Forth.
After the death of his wife, Vespasian's long-standing mistress, Antonia Caenis, became his wife in all but formal status, a relationship that continued until she died in 75.
Vespasian was known for his wit as well as his military skills.
When, during one of his attempts to boost the treasury, Vespasian raised a tax on public urinals. Titus complained that this was below imperial dignity.
Vespasian is said to have held out a handful of coins from the new tax and said "Now, do these smell any different ?"
Even on his death bed Vespasian's wit did not desert him.
He was perhaps parodying the idea of the deification of emperors, when he said "Oh dear, I think I'm becoming a god."
IN  CENA  DOMUS

'Evening Meal in the Domus' - Marcus was still feeling somewhat confused as he took his place in the triclinium.
He had the distinct feeling that there were some things between himself and Petronius that were still unsaid - but he was unable to fathom what those things were, or why they still remained tantalizingly hanging in the air.
Adonios was partaking of the meal, which was contrary to usual Roman practice, as a slave would not normally be permitted to eat with their masters, but normal rules often did not apply in the Domus Gracchii.
On this night Adonios was classed as a 'guest', the 'companion' of Petronius, and Aurarius and Aniketos acted as the 'slaves' serving the meal.
As this was happening in complete privacy it was possible - and the institution of slavery, and the complexities of rigid Roman social stratification allowed for such 'games' to take place in the private and sophisticated world of the rich and powerful.
Analogous to Marcus' 'games' was the 'game' played by Vespasian, where his previously enslaved mistress, Antonia Caenis, could play the part of Roman Empress - and nobody was supposed to notice...
The evening meal also allowed  Aurarius to initiate Aniketos into the complexities of serving a meal.
The talk was inconsequential, which annoyed Marcus, as he had an underlying feeling that there were more serious issues that needed to be discussed.
The Bay at Baiae
 The Bay of Baiae
One topic of importance that was discussed, however, was the question of when they would be returning to Baiae.
For Marcus Baiae was the only place that he felt that he could call 'home', despite the years that he had spent in Athens - and it was not surprising that he felt a strong attachment to the town and the villa.
The bay was one of the most sought after and beautiful locations in the whole of the Empire, and not only was it the location of Marcus' seaside villa, but it was also the town where his amphitheatre was situated.
So it was agreed, subject to further discussion with Terentius and Novius, that as soon as Marcus had concluded his business with Vespasian, they would make a brief visit to the villa at Tibur, and then go back to Baiae to prepare the first of the Summer Ludi.

    

  
Meanwhile - in the Basement of the Domus Gracchii

After Elatos was fitted with a 'cock-cage' by Agathon (of course Agathon, being a doctor, couldn't use ordinary, 'down to earth' language to describe the device, and gave it a fancy Greek name - Κλουβί πέους), Elatos was deposited in the slave punishment pens, deep in the basement of the Domus Gracchii, where he was simply left locked in a cell.
Elatos Restrained
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
Once the domus-guards had be told of the punishment that Eltos was going to suffer, however, they fastened him to some iron stocks, with a special attachment which could be adjusted to stretch the boy's scrotum to any set amount.
Once this form of torture was employed, Agathon's 'Κλουβί πέους' was removed, as the guards wanted the amusement of seeing how 'aroused' Elatos would become as a result of the torture he was receiving.
So while Marcus and his guests ate and drank and joked during a relaxing evening, young Elatos pleaded with his jailers, begging for mercy.
And each time it seemed as if the appallingly aroused boy would 'cum', the jailers would loosen the twine that was tied round his balls and his boyish prick, and his cock would soften - just very slightly - and for him, the feeling would pass - and then it would all start again, as his balls were stretched and the guards, once again, 'played' with his cock.
Petronius was quite happy with this treatment, as he had told the guards that he wanted Elatos simply 'begging for it', when the time came for him to be publicly abused and punished.
Petronius, however, made it clear that he did not want Elatos damaged or marked in any way, and definitely wanted the boy all in one piece when the time came for his public humiliation and punishment.
Aa you can see the Romans were into almost everything in matters of sexuality - mainly because they did not have to overcome the Judeo-Christian-Islamic taboos about sex - they were nice 'healthy' pagans. The practice described above, and used on Elatos, is today described as 'edging'. The type of 'edging' used by the domus-guards is a form of S&M activity - but 'edging' is not confined to S&M or 'coercive' sex.

It was a pleasant evening, but Marcus still felt disturbed.
After Petronius and Adonios left, Marcus told Aurarius that he wanted to sleep alone, but suggested to Aurarius that he should sleep with Aniketos.
The result of Marcus' suggestion was that the triclinium was cleared and tidied remarkably quickly, and the two eager boys presented themselves to Marcus, asking if he required anything else, and then bidding him 'Bonum Noctem' - (Good Night), quickly went off to Aurarius' cubiculum - presumably for a night of 'passion'.



MANE  ALTERIVS

'Another Morning' - When Marcus opened his eyes the next morning his room seemed crowded.
There was Glaux pecking at his shoulder, and two very sleepy looking slave-boys waiting to give him his breakfast.
"So.... what were you two up to last night ?", Marcus enquired - smiling.
"Oh....nothing, Dominus......
It was a hot night - difficult to sleep.......", Aurarius explained, lamely.
Marcus smiled and ignored Aurarius' excuse.
"So I need to get dressed quite quickly, as I must speak to Terentius." Marcus said, rising from his bed.
"And I think you will need to wear a toga as this morning, Dominus, as a 'Salutatio' is scheduled.",  Aurarius reminded Marcus.
Aniketos looked puzzled.
"A 'Salutatio' is where I meet with my clients in the morning.
Very dull and boring, as you will see.", Marcus explained to Aniketos.
Salutatio - ('Calling Hour') -  at daybreak, patron's houses and villas would be opened for 'salutatio', when the patron would hold court in the atrium of his home. During this time unofficial business would be conducted, favours requested, political support lined up for votes on important issues, and each client would receive his 'sportula' (a regular monetary handout). 
Once breakfast was over,  Aurarius showed Aniketos how to help Marcus put on his bulky, complicated toga.
Apparently Aniketos' previous master had 'gone native' in Greece, and had not worn a toga - or had a regular 'Salutatio' - but then it seemed that he was also somewhat of a 'recluse'.
On entering the main atrium, on the ground floor, Marcus, accompanied by Aurarius and Aniketos, found Terentius, Philipos, Nicander, and Petronius and Adonios waiting for them.
The only useful piece of information that Marcus obtained from this 'Salutatio' was Diodoros, just as Petronius had predicted, had completely recovered from his bout of illness, much to the relief of Diodoros' family, and also Adonios.
As soon as the 'Salutatio' was over, Marcus called Terentius to his study, dismissing Aurarius and Aniketos, while Petronius went to check on Elatos, and later undertook a training session in the gymnasion with some of his new trainee gladiators.
On entering Marcus study, Terentius dismissed his slave-boy Philipos.
"Tell me, Terentius, have you been in contact with Gaius Licinius Mucianus ?"
Gaius Licinius Mucianus was a close and senior adviser to Vespasian
Terentius nodded.
"And ?", Marcus asked.
"He assures me that his master is pursuing the most responsible long term fiscal policies." Terentius replied in rather obtuse language.
"And the result of that will be ?", Marcus questioned.
"The result, Dominus, will be all to your benefit.", Terentius stated firmly.
"And how will that be ?", Marcus again questioned.
"It would be in your interests to make a substantial and generous loan to the Aerarium, and the Aerarium Sanctius, (the two main Imperial Treasuries - as distinct from the treasury of the Imperial Family), as the repayment would, (barring any extreme unforeseen circumstances), be guaranteed at a rate of interest very favourable to yourself.
In addition such a contribution on your part would require Vespasian to reward, in kind, with political office, and considerable status within the Imperial House.", Terentius explained.
"So...... I should help Vespasian ?", Marcus said - desperately looking for a simple answer.
"Yes, Dominus.", Terentius replied.
"Good - then make preparations to have the appropriate documents drawn up.", Marcus said.
"And Dominus....may I be so bold as to give you some advice.",Terentius asked, deferentially.
"Of course.", Marcus replied, trying to be casual, but wondering what might be coming next.
"Don't be nervous about this meeting with Vespasian.....
He's only an ordinary lad made good, just like you, and your namesake Octavian." Terentius advised.
"I know....
Thanks Terentius.", Marcus said.
And as Marcus turned away to leave - so that the emotion would not show on his face, and he said,
"I don't know what I would do without you."
As Marcus left the officium Philipos, who had returned as Marcus had made his parting remark, raised an eyebrow.
"Philipos - you never heard that !", Terentius said sternly.
"Of course, Domine.", Philipos replied and carried on with his work as if nothing had happened.

  
   
NOVA SERVI

'The New Slaves' - Marcus strode out of Terentius' suite and descended the stairs to the ground floor - and from there he went to the Gymnasion, where Petronius was putting some of the new slaves through their paces.
"Salvete, Petronius !",  (Greetings), Marcus said.
Petronius looked round surprised and smiling.
"Salvete, Dominus!", (Greetings), Petronius replied, apparently having left behind the distrustful, almost aggressive mood, that had dogged him for the last few days.
Adonios, standing nearby, quietly sidled up.
"Salve Dominus." (Hello master,), he said quietly.
Adonios, along with Aurarius and some of the other slaves close to Marcus, had become fearful (once again) of their master, after they had discovered what had happened to Elatos, when Petronius had taken some of them down to the dismal slave punishment pens, and shown them Elatos, naked, tortured, and pathetically begging for help - and had told told them of the boy's fate for the following day.
So Adonios, in his inevitable boyish way, was trying to ingratiate himself with his master.
"So...slave Adonios.", Marcus said gently, aware of the boy's nervousness.
"Are you going to have him killed ?", Adonios, obviously meaning Elatos, asked quietly and fearfully.
"No.", Marcus replied.
"We're just going to frighten him - very badly, and make him look foolish and humiliated - and then Terentius is going to sell him.", Marcus explained, but omitted to tell Adonios that Elatos would be castrated before he was sold.
"I see...", Adonios answered - still nervous, and unable to think of anything else to say.
Marcus took Adonios to one side - out of earshot.
"You see, Adonios, Elatos was setting Aurarius a bad example, and later insulted me.
Now if you become a freedman, you wouldn't want your own slaves insulting you , or corrupting your other slaves, and you would need to punish them - to set an example to everyone in your 'familia'." Marcus explained, and Adonios nodded.
"So you see - I have no choice - but he will live - but I will not have him here in my Domus - do you understand ?", Marcus said emphatically.
"Yes Dominus - You are strong, and I am only a weak slave - that is why I get upset - but don't be angry with me.",  Adonios said, becoming emotional.
"I'm not angry with you, and I understand - and your concern for others makes me like you even more - so you go off and help with the new slaves.", Marcus said, ruffling young Adonios' hair.
Marcus then went over to Petronius.
"Adonios is upset about Elatos.", he explained.
"I know - the quicker that you get rid of that boy the better." Petronius opined.
"Yes - it was my fault - after all, what can you expect from a kitchen boy.", Marcus admitted.
High Class Boy Brothel on the Esquiline
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
"Well get his balls cut off, and get Terentius to sell him.
There's a high class boy-brothel on the Esquiline, quite near the Domus that would give a good price for him." Petronius said.
"And how would you know about a high class boy-brothel ?", Marcus asked, grinning.
"Oh, someone just told me.", Petronius replied, trying to look innocent.
Rising above the valley in which was later built the Colosseum, the Esquiline is a fashionable residential district. The political advisor and art patron Maecenas (70 BC-8 BC) sited his famous gardens, the first gardens in the Hellenistic garden style in Rome, on the Esquiline Hill, atop the Servian Wall and its adjoining necropolis, near the gardens of Lamia. In the time of our story the gardens formed part of the gardens of the Domus Gracchii.
"So.....how are the new slaves ?", Marcus asked, quickly changing the subject.
"Very good - much better than the last lot, Dominus", Petronius said enthusiastically.
"Some of them have had previous combat experience, and those that haven't seem very eager to learn.", Petronius continued.
"That's good." Marcus replied as he watched the boys going through their exercises.
"And there's one - one who might be very good, Dominus.
I think that we could make a champion of him.", Petronius explained.
"Well, we could do with that.
"There hasn't been a champion fighter since you were in the arena.", Marcus said, patting Petronius on the shoulder.
"Well - I don't think I was a 'champion', Dominus - but I was pretty good." Petronius said, shyly.
"Well you are still alive, and from what the late Dominus told me you never lost a fight.", Marcus said, trying to justify his us of the word 'champion'.
"But enough.", Petronius said.
"Now this new boy, Dominus - he's got a good physique - not too muscled, but good, and he's handsome, good on his feet, fast, and excellent with a gladius.
He'll make a very good fighter - and possibly a champion.", Petronius enthused.
"And it's just what our amphitheatre needs to bring in a good audience this summer.", Marcus added.
"So what about letting me see him ?......., Marcus asked.
"You can see him if I let him give Elatos the 'run-round' - a good slapping with a blunt gladius, and then we'll see how well he can fuck the lad......
What about it, Dominus ?". Petronius asked.
"Why not ?", Marcus replied.
"And what's his name ?", Marcus asked.
"Actually.... I don't know.....but I must give him a name, along with all the others.", Petronius replied. looking thoughtful.
"What about 'Vindex' ?", Marcus suggested, (Vindex, in Latin, can be translated as 'champion').
"Well, Dominus - it's a bit obvious, but Vindex it is - easy to remember, and easy to say - even for us Greeks", Petronius said, grinning.
"So...you'd better go off and explain to him what he has to do with young Elatos, and make sure he understands that he mustn't impale the lad through the chest at the end - I want him alive so I can get a good price for him at your 'boy brothel'.", Marcus said, as he left Petronius to go to his study.
"It's not my boy brothel, Dominus !", Petronius called out petulantly after Marcus.
Marcus spent the rest of the morning dealing with letters.
Since arriving in Rome, and since the 'well connected' had heard that Marcus was the new Dominus of the House of Gracchus, (and young, and so inexperienced in the ways of Roman society and politics),  and also that he had the confidence of the Emperor's eldest son, many had approached him, sending letters feigning friendship, and making him offers, or asking him for favours.
As Dominus, Marcus was obliged to have sight of all these missives, but inevitably, after perusing them, he passed them on to Terentius for a final decision regarding any reply.
Terentius was not the only  'well guarded gate' to be passed before Marcus could be approached, however, as Terentius would often rely on the knowledge and experience of Novius.
The Roman Curia
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
And so few were able to boast an association with the 'Dominus ex in collem Esquiliarum' (Lord of the Esquiline), and the new, young and fabulously wealthy Patrician remained a tantalizing mystery to the 'movers and shakers', who congregated and chattered in the Curia - (Senate House), and in the Forum Romanum.

 A curia is an assembly, or court, in which public, official, or religious issues are discussed and decided. In ancient Rome, the populace was divided into 30 curiae, which met in order to confirm the election of magistrates, witness the installation of priests, the making of wills, and adoptions. The word curia also came to denote the places of assembly, especially the Senate in the Forum Romanum.
The Forum Romanum is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by several important government buildings at the centre of the city of Rome. Citizens of the city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the 'Forum Magnum', or simply the 'Forum'.
Of course many people had seen Marcus strolling round the forum, the slave market, and the nearby streets and shops - accompanied by his retinue of remarkably handsome slave-boys, but few had approached him because he was often accompanied by a group of Praetorian Guards, and even when he was not, it was assumed that Titus' agents were keeping a close watch.
Also, numerous patricians had seen Marcus in the pulvinar at the amphitheatre at Baiae, when they had been visiting the resort - staying at their luxurious villas during the summer months.
There, surrounded by guards and slaves, he would be overseeing gladiatorial contests - and also the torture and executions of his 'opponents', and on occasions he would be accompanied by Titus Vespasianus.
To the aristocracy of Rome Marcus was to be courted, if possible, but also feared - just as Titus was.

  
PENA  ELATOS
      
'The Punishment of Elatos' - Having finished with his correspondence, Marcus sent a message down to Petronius to bring some guards, plus the new slave-gladiator Vindex together up on to the roof gardens, and at the same time have Elatos brought up from the slave pens.
Marcus then sent a slave-boy round to Adonios, Aurarius, Aniketos, Aelius ad some other slaves to attend the punishment on the roof gardens.
Once all those concerned were assembled, the domus-guards brought Elatos into the centre of the sanded area on the roof garden.
The various iron frames, used for torturing and punishing the recalcitrant slaves previously were still in place, along with the two iron stakes.
The bloodied sand, however, had been replaced with clean, immaculately raked sand.
Two of the domus slaves had been kitted out with Corinthian helmets that Petronius had brought with him from Baiae, and Vindex had been given a full gladiatorial kit - and all of this had been arranged simply to make the entire procedure all the more intimidating for the 'victim', and for those who would be required to witness the punishment.
Elatos Prior to his Punishment
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
Elatos, who had been detained and mildly tortured in the slave pens completely naked, was provided with a tiny white thong for his journey up to the roof garden - but only to have it 'ceremoniously' removed, as part of his humiliation, once his 'punishment' was begun.
As has been said previously, 'the complexities of rigid Roman social stratification allowed for 'games' to take place in the private and sophisticated world of the rich and powerful', and such a 'game' was now being played by Marcus and Petronius on the roof garden - a 'game' played with their uncomprehending slaves.
The witnesses believed that they were about to see the torture and the execution of a condemned slave-boy.
The slave-boy, Elatos, despite what he had been told during his visit to Agathon, also believed that he was about to be executed - imagining that the talk of castration and 'selling on' was just a ruse.
Only Adonios had an inkling of what might really be happening - as Marcus seemed to have confided in him, but even he was not sure.....
Marcus was seated, and the slaves gathered to witness the punishment stood to the side of him, with ever faithful Aurarius closest, on Marcus' left.
Tabulae Ceratae - Diptycha
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
Petronius, as was his correct place, stood on Marcus' right.
Elatos, looking suitably scared, with his intimidating escort, was brought before Marcus.
Petronius stepped forward, and opened his 'cera', (short for 'tabulae ceratae' - wax covered writing tablet - and in this case a diptycha - two panels).
He and Marcus had put together a little speech to be given for the benefit of the witnesses.
"The noble Marcus Octavianus Gaius Agrippa Aelius, Dominus of the House of Gracchus, has ordered the slave Elatos to be punished before his peers for grossly insulting his Master, and attempting to corrupt other slaves of his master......
Petronius then snapped shut the 'cera', and there was a brief pause.
Step forward, Vindex !", Petronius commanded.
Vindex, unknown to the other witnesses, except for Adonios, who had seen him training in the gymnasion, stepped forward - ominously wearing full gladiatorial equipment.
"You may begin the punishment !", Petronius ordered.
The tall, blond haired, senior arena-slave, (who had be brought, with some other slaves, from Baiae), untied Elatos' bonds.
Another slave then came over to the group, carrying a small shield, a gladius, and a wooden practice sword.
The senior arena-slave gave the shield and wooden gladius to Elatos, who obviously didn't have any idea what to do with them.
The senior arena-slave then took the gladius over to Marcus, who tested the edge.
Marcus nodded approvingly having tested the sword, (which was blunt, and incapable of cutting anything) - but, of course he did not reveal that crucial piece of information.
The sword was then handed to Vindex (who had, previously been told the sword was blunt - as he was expected only to slap Elatos, and not cut him.)
The senior arena-slave then turned to Elatos, and pulled off the terrified, and highly embarrassed boy's thong.
Elatos was then facing his extremely aggressive looking opponent, stark naked, and armed with only a small shield and a wooden sword.
No one gathered round the sanded combat area dared to speak - or even move.
"Begin !", Petronius commanded.
Elatos first instinct was to run away - but how ?
He was encircled by three arena-slaves, all armed, - plus his opponent, Vindex - and even if he could get past them, he was confined to the colonnade of the roof garden.
So it seemed that he had no choice but to face his opponent, and take the consequences.
Stupidly the thought came to him that if he could put up a good fight he might be spared.
The one thing that he knew was that he had to avoid was the two spiked stakes, one of which had 'finished off' young Sophos the previous day.
Before Elatos could think of anything else, Vindex landed a stinging back-hand slap on the naked boy's left thigh.
Probably angered by the sudden slap, Elatos made a brief foray against his opponent, but was quickly turned back.
Elatos, of course, new nothing of combat, and so actually turned his back to Vindex as he made his retreat, (something rarely, if ever recommended).
The result was that as Vindex was given a good 'rear' target, Elatos got both his naked buttocks firmly slapped with Vindex's gladius.
In normal circumstances that would have elicited a lot of laughter and ribald comment from the onlookers, but in this situation there was utter silence as the slaps echoed across the colonnaded area, as the witnesses to Elatos punishment were fearful of Marcus' possible reaction.
Again, stung by Vindex's attack, and confused at the way his opponent was using his sword, Elatos turned to fight.
By this time Elatos, (quite rightly), felt that Vindex was 'playing' with him, and felt humiliated, (as was intended).
In some ways Elatos would have preferred Vindex to attack him seriously, regardless of the conseuences, and at least give him the opportunity to fight back properly, despite the fact that he was only armed with a wooden gladius.
Instead Vindex was simply cavorting around, slapping Elatos at will, and treating Elatos as if he were a child, rather than as a genuine opponent.
Elatos them made a further attempt to confront Vindex.
Elatos, however, came in too close, with his shield held high, and his legs apart.
Vindex instantly took advantage of the boy's awkward, vulnerable stance, and brought the flat of his blade sharply up between Elatos' legs, smacking him firmly in the groin, and crushing the lad's exposed, dangling testicles.
"Σκατά ! Οι όρχεις μου ! (Shit !..... My bollocks !"), Elatos screamed, as he dropped his small shield and his wooden practice sword on the sand.,
Both Elatos' hands instantly went to his balls, and as he grabbed at his mangled genitals, he crumpled and sank, - groaning - to the sand, while Vindex simply stood and watched.
Elatos ended up on his knees, with his head on the sand, and his backside held high.
None of the spectators said a word, and all that could be heard was Elatos moaning "Σκατά !... Σκατά !... Σκατά !...", as he struggled to cope with the pain in his groin.
Being presented with another perfect target, Vindex, not surprisingly slapped the pathetically moaning boy once again across his pert buttocks with the flat of his gladius, and then across his shoulders.
Elatos then keeled over onto his side, and Vindex spread the naked boys' legs, and kicked Elatos in his already mangled balls.
"Γαμώτο !" ("Fuck !"), Elatos grunted, but made no further effort to protect himself, having obviously completely given up.
Petronius then signalled to the two arena-slaves who had been watching as Vindex 'demolished' his so called 'opponent'.
They went forward and grabbed Elatos by his shoulders, pulled him to his feet and kicked his legs wide apart.
The last thing that Elatos wanted to do was to stand up after the punishment his groin had just received, but the groaning boy had no choice.
By then, Vindex had laid his gladius on the sand, and was standing in front of Elatos, who was bent over, moaning, as he was held by the arena-slaves.
Vindex then pointedly pulled down the front of his leather loincloth, and pulled out his massively stiff cock.
He then spat on his hand, and transferred the copious spittle to his bulging cock-head - right in front of Elatos' face.
"Οχι !.. Μην με γαμήσεις !" ("No ! Don't fuck me !"), Elatos pathetically moaned, as he gazed in horrified fascination at the thick dribble of 'pre-cum' hanging obscenely from Vindex's twitching, fully erect cock.
Vindex then went behind Elatos, and did exactly what Elatos had pleaded with him not to do.
"Γαμώτο !..." ("Fuck !..."), Elatos squealed, as Vindex rammed his huge prick into Elatos' straining 'boy-hole'.
Elatos, who had been 'primed' most of the previous night and that morning, by being repeatedly brought to the 'edge' of 'cumming' by the domus-guards, in the slave pen, was desperate for relief, and instantly responded physically to being violently fucked by Vindex.
And so young Elatos immediately became erect, and his slim, but surprisingly long, boyish cock jerked, and oozed 'pre-cum'  in a long, jerking string as he was viciously fucked.
Vindex didn't take long to finish his job.
"Γαμώτο !... Ερχομαι !..." ("Fuck !... I'm cumming !..."), he groaned loudly, as his thick, hot spunk gushed into Elatos' tight hole.
Elatos himself, feeling Vindrex's cock inside him swell enormously at the point of ejaculation, splattered the sand with his own 'boy-juice'.
"Ω ! Σκατά !.." (Oh ! Shit !.."), Elatos groaned hopelessly, realizing that he had completely humiliated himself by so publicly responding to being sexually penetrated by his opponent.
His work done....Vindrex then roughly pulled out; bent down, and picked up Elatos' wooden gladius.
He then rammed the wooden 'blade' into the hole where his huge stiff prick had just been thrusting.
"Σκατά !..πρωκτό μου !..." ("Shit !...My arse-hole !..."), Elatos shrieked, as he was savagely impaled.
Vindex then grabbed Elatos by his dark, straight hair, and slowly dragged him round the sanded combat area.
Again there was no laughing - and no sniggering from the onlookers, as Elatos; bent over, with a wooden sword poking from his twitching anus, and an appallingly stiff, jerking cock, waddled round the arena.
Vindex eventually guided his helpless naked and impaled victim to the same spiked stake where Sophos had been 'finished-off'.
"όχι  παρακαλώ ! Μην με σκοτώσεις !" ("No please ! Don't kill me !"), Elatos shrieked, as he sprayed piss over the sand, while Vindex held him over the vicious spike.
"αρκετά !".....("Enough !"), Marcus commanded, rising to his feet.
Vindex instantly released Elatos, allowing him to fall, sobbing, to one side of the stake.
Marcus then resumed his seat, and Petronius stepped forward.
He handed a pouch of coins to Vindex, and once again opened his tabulae ceratae and read.
"Boys - you have witnessed the punishment of the slave Elatos.
Because of the generosity of his master, the noble Marcus Octavianus Gaius Agrippa Aelius, Dominus of the House of Gracchus, the slave Elatos has been spared execution. Rather he will be sold at the 
Graecostadium to a brothel as a eunuch. Take this as a warning - you are now dismissed.
Note: male slaves were normally referred to by their master as 'boy' or 'boys' regardless of age.
As the slaves dispersed, Elatos was dragged up off the sand by two arena-slaves, and hustled down to the slave pens, later to be taken to Agathon for castration, and then disposed of at the slave market near the Forum Romanum.


APAVD  VESPASIANVM  OCCVRRENS

'Meeting with Vespasian' - And so the time was fast approaching when Marcus would meet with the Roman Emperor Titus Flāvius Caesar Vespasiānus Augustus.
Although it was to be, apparently, a 'social call', Novius had advised that, in order to suitably impress the new Emperor, Marcus should arrive with a full 'suite'.
The venue for the meeting, however, by Vespasian's choice, was quite  low key -  Vespasian's Villa, situated between the Pincian and Quirinal hills, in the Horti Sallustiani (Gardens of Sallust) - beautiful, quiet and modest, reportedly, like the man himself.
Horti Sallustiani - (Gardens of Sallust) were Roman gardens developed by the Roman historian Sallust in the 1st century BC. The landscaped pleasure gardens occupied a large area in the north-western sector of Rome, in what would become Region VI, between the Pincian and Quirinal hills, near the 'Via Salaria' and 'Porta Salaria'. The property originally belonged to Julius Caesar as the 'Horti Caesaris', but after his death it was acquired by the historian, Sallust. The gardens, which were enriched with many additional structures in the four centuries during which they evolved, contained many pavilions, a Thermaea (baths), a temple to Venus, a Nymphaiona, a 'Porticus' of a thousand paces, (the Roman adaptation of the Greek στοά, varying more or less in detail, but consisting in general of a covered colonnade formed by a wall and one or more parallel rows of columns), ornamental pools, and also monumental sculptures.
In the cool of the late afternoon Marcus set out, along with Petronius, Terentius (with Philipos carrying essential documents), Aurarius and Adonios with Glaux, (both boys suitably chastened by the events that they had witnessed earlier in the day), Novius, some domus-guards, and slaves carrying the bulky gift destined for Vespasian.
(Demetrius, along with Aelius and Aniketos, had been left at the Domus, taking lessons from Lucius - Marcus thought it best to introduce Demetrius at a later date - in order to avoid any difficult questions).
Marcus and Petronius were on horseback, Novius was in a carriage, in deference to his status and age, and the others were walking, with the domus-guards clearing a path for them in the still busy streets.
The Horti Sallustiani, which none of the party from the Domus had ever visited, was well guarded by Praetorians, discretely dressed in togas, (so as not to attract undue attention), but carrying gladdii.
Obviously pre-warned of Marcus' arrival; when Petronius dismounted and confirmed Marcus' identity, the group were allowed admittance to the grounds of Vespasian's private residence.
The gardens were beautifully laid out, with raised beds, pools and fine sculptures.
The Praetorians asked to see the contents of the wagon, and Marcus' slaves unloaded the large packing case containing the present for the Emperor.
Suitably satisfied and impressed, the praetorians allowed the empty packing case to be reloaded onto the wagon, while slaves were left with the gift, shrouded in purple cloth.
A praetorian Tribune then made a note of all the members of the group, but was rather stymied with regard to Glaux, - but was finally convinced by Petronius that Titus Vespasianus 'knew' Glaux, and would expect him to be included in the list of visitors.
The group were then escorted to the largest of a number of pavilions that were scattered in the gardens, where they saw Titus, wearing a broad smile, and accompanied by a Praetorian Tribune, waiting for them on the steps leading to the entrance.


ADVDNTVS

'Arival' - "Salve, Marcus Octavianus Gracchus !", Titus said formally, grasping the hand of his visitor.
"Salve !...Domine !", Marcus replied, suitably deferentially.
"It's so good to see you again.
And I think I know who you have brought with you.", Titus said, eager to show off his excellent memory.
"Salve Petronius !", Titus said, taking Petronius' hand....."and Terentius, - and Novius..our augur."
And each nodded deferentially to the eldest son of the Emperor.
"And, of course, Aurarius - Marcus' 'golden boy', and my dear young friend Adonios, with the ever faithful Glaux.", (as usual, Glaux tried to look shy and embarrassed - and completely failed - after all, he was Athena's owl.)
(the only person not to get a mention was Philipos, but as he was carrying scrolls, and a leather pouch containing 'cera' and 'stylii' - so Titus presumed that he was simply a 'scriba' [scribe or secretary] attached to Terentius - which he was.)
"Please.....come in.
My father is so eager to meet you."
The pavilion was just like a moderately rich man's villa - although set in the centre of Rome, and surrounded by the most beautiful gardens.
It was no 'Palace of the Caesars', but a modest dwelling for a modest man and his family, (with, of course, the exception of Domitian, - Vespasian's youngest son - but then many families have 'black sheep').
Titus Flavius Domitianus reigned as Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus ( 81 to 96) and ruled as a complete autocrat, partly because of his lack of political skills, and certainly because of his own nature. Domitian was personally suspicious and unlovable, and the relations between him and those around him began ill, and ended worse.
Domus Aurea
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2017
Vespasian was not only naturally a man of simple tastes, but he had also learned significant lessons from his predecessors, and in particular Nero, who had lived in what was then the largest palace ever built - the 'Domus Aurea' - designed by the architect who had also designed  for Gnaeus Gracchus the Domus Gracchii on the Esquiline Hill.
The lavish Domus Aurea, swallowing up huge swathes ot the city of Rome, had been a significant factor in Nero's' unpopularity, and his eventual downfall and death - and Vespasian had no intention of repeating such a mistake.
And so they passed through the entrance hall of Vespasian's pavilion, and came to the atrium (which was far smaller than the grand atrium in the Villa Gracchii).
There, seated beyond the small  'impluvium' (an indoor pool situated under an opening - the compluvium - in the roof), Vespasian sat on an elaborately carved and inlaid curule chair
In Rome Republic curule chair (sella curulis, supposedly from currus, 'chariot') was the seat upon which those holding 'imperium' were entitled to sit. According to Livy, the curule chair, like the Roman toga, originated in Etruria. In Rome, the curule chair was traditionally made of or veneered with ivory, with curved legs forming a wide X; it had no back, and low arms. Although often of luxurious construction, this chair was meant to be uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time, the  symbolism being that the official was expected to carry out his public function in an efficient and timely manner.
As Marcus approached the seated figure of the Emperor, Vespasian rose to his feet, stepped frward, smiling, and took Marcus hand.
In Rome this would be considered an honor, as those of high rank would normally remain seated, and those of lower rand would be expected to stand.  
"Marcus Octavianus Gracchus..... welcome to my home !", Vespasian said warmly.
"At last I meet you, - having heard so much about you from Titus.....
And so handsome, and so young !", Vespasian added admiringly.
Vespasian then looked toward Adonios and Glaux.
"And you've brought the bird that Titus is always talking about.", Vespasian continued.
"Yes, Dominus.... This is Glaux !", Adonios piped up, (not realizing that he should only speak to the Emperor if he was first spoken to), while Marcus just prayed to Apollo that Adonios would not launch into a long explanation of who and what Glaux was.
Fortunately Apollo was listening to Marcus' prayer (as always), and Adonios said nothing further to cause any embarrassment.
"A bird that Titus tells me is a gift from Athena.", Vespasian added.
"And - it seems - you, Marcus Octavianus Gracchus, are favoured of the gods - or so I am told."
And Vespasian stroked his chin thoughtfully.
"And there I was thinking that I was the one who was favoured of the Gods.....".
"I  am sure that you are.", Marcus interrupted quickly and diplomatically.
"Well no matter....
We are both alive and healthy - so we are both favoured - to some extent.", Vespasian said, turning to a dignified and attractive woman, who was seated on a nearby couch.
She was wearing expensive jewellery, and wearing a beautiful, gold embroidered, blue silk stola.
Marcus particularly noticed that the woman wore a heavy 'snake bracelet' that he deduced had been bought for her by Vespasian when he was in Egypt.
"May I introduce Antonia Caenis."
Caenis had been a slave of Antonia Minor, (daughter of Marcus Antonius - yes, the Mark Anthony), sister-in-law to the Emperor Tiberius, mother to the Emperor Claudius and grandmother to the Emperor Caligula). Caenis had been a secretary (a female version of Terentius' Philipos), and was reputed to have a photographic memory - or whatever the expression would have been at that time. Even once she was freed on Antonia’s death, Caenis and Vespasian could never marry because of a law forbidding the union of senators and freed-women. For a number of years they separated, but then, after the death of Vespasian's wife - (the mother of Titus and Domitian), they came together again. According to Suetonius 'Vespasian took up again with Caenis, his former mistress, and one of Antonia's Freed-woman, and secretaries, who remained his wife in all but name even when he became Emperor.' (Domitian, however, reused to recognise Caenis as a member of the family). Cassius Dio wrote that 'Vespasian made money through Caenis herself as his intermediary. For she received vast sums from many sources, sometimes selling governorships, sometimes procuratorships, generalships and priesthoods, and in some instance even imperial decisions. For although Vespasian killed no one on account of his money, he did spare the lives of many who gave it; and while it was Caenis who received the money, people suspected that Vespasian willingly allowed her to do as she did.'  Antonia Caenis died in AD 74.
Marcus, not realizing that Vespasian had a 'wife', was a little taken aback, but immediately bowed, and offered his hand.
"So you are the young Marcus of whom Titus speaks so well". Caenis said in eloquent Latin.
"I think Titus Vespasianus exaggerates... Dominae meae." ("my Lady"), Marcus replied, - and for the first time ever, Aurarius noticed that his master was blushing.
"And I think that you and I may have much in common.....",  Caenis added, mysteriously.
"I don't understand". Marcus replied, stuttering.
"Later....", Vespasian interrupted.
"I have one other person to introduce to our honoured guest......
Marcus Octavianus Gracchus, may I present to you Gaius Licinius Mucianus.
Gaius is my most trusted adviser, and, may I say, a good friend."
Although Marcus knew that Terentius had been in contact with Mucianus, Marcus himself had never met the man.
Mucianus was late middle aged, like Vespasian, and every inch a patrician.
They greeted one another, and then Marcus introduced Terentius and Novius.
As all the main introductions had been made, Vespasian then suggested that they all make their way to the triclinium where the cena awaited them.
Marcus was given the place of honour beside Vespasian, and on the other side of Marcus was Caenis.
Next to Vespasian, in the second most honoured place was Novius, then Mucianus, and then, appropriately Terentius (presumably so that Mucianus and Terentius could talk 'business').
Titus was placed with Petronius, (to discuss amphitheatres and suchlike), and behind them, at Titus' insistence stood Adonios, with Glaux on his shoulder - although Glaux was soon tiptoeing among Titus' plates, searching out discarded dormice.
Aurarius remained standing behind Marcus, as his 'cup-bearer'.
Although Vespasian was not offering any entertainments, as Marcus had done when he entertained Titus, the cena proceeded with  a soft musical accompaniment, provided by a skilled female slave playing a κιθάρα (kithara), (a rather elaborate form of lyre - which Titus Vespasianus played particularly well - although not publicly)



to be continued.........