Chapter XXXII - Marcus Vindicta

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

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© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
this Chapter is at present under construction

After the funerals and the Munera there was a distinct sense of relief at the villa.
Marble Cinerary Urn
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Preparations were then made by Novius and Terentius for the Cēna Novendiālis (Feast of the Nine Days) - to be held at the villa.
In one of the Peristyle gardens in the villa, (in the absence of the Mausoleum to be built at a later date) a temporary altar was erected, on which was placed a marble cinerary urn, (designed and carved in Neapolis) containing the ashes of the late Dominus.
At the Cēna (feast), prayers and a libation would be made to the Manes at the temporary altar, and that would conclude all the ceremonies of mourning.
Later, when Marcus visited Rome, a more elaborate and 'precious' Cinerary Urn would be ordered, created in Parian marble with gilded bronze decorations.
Meanwhile, Petronius, somewhat relieved that all the funerary events were coming to an end, and feeling very satisfied with the highly successful 'Munera pro Gracchus' that he had organised (almost single handedly), was busy preparing the 'Ludi ad Celebra Recuperatione Marcus' - which was to be the vehicle for Marcus' revenge on those who had conspired against him, and brought about the death of his adoptive father, Gnaeus.
Temple of the Divine Julius - Rome
Marcus knew his history well and, having been given the name 'Octavianus', he, like Gnaeus before him, actively modeled himself on the first 'Princeps' - the Divine Augustus' - whose patron was the God Apollo.
Octavian was the adopted son of a great, wealthy and powerful man, Gaius Jullius Caesar (who had been declared a God, 'Divus Iulius', in 42 BC, by the Roman Senate), and who had been murdered as the result of a conspiracy.
Octavian had subsequently taken his revenge, running down and viciously killing the conspirators (the so-called 'Liberators').
Despite his youth, like Marcus, (he was only nineteen years old at the time), he had taken the revenge expected of a true Roman son.
Eventually, in 42 BC, Octavian had defeated Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus (who both wisely committed suicide, rather that being executed by Octavian), at the Second Battle of Philippi.
So, in a similar, but lesser manner, the new 'Octavianus' - Marcus, was intent on revenge.

Cleon - Castrated and Implaed
Glykon - Awaiting Execution
Already the leader of the conspiracy against the House of Gracchus had been poisoned, and Cleon had been butchered.

That left the four, who were still imprisoned in the Ludus.
Undoubtedly, like Cassius and Brutus, their minds would have turned to suicide, but they were carefully guarded, and would have to meet their end in the full public glare of the arena.

Petram - Awaiting Execution
Servius - Awaiting Execution
Menelaus - Awaiting Execution
Petronius' task was to devise various suitable ways of executing the four remaining conspirators.
In addition he would have to organize one of two tableaux, and a series of wrestling bouts, and of course the essential gladiatorial contests.
To begin with, Petronius could get little assistance from Marcus, as his 'Dominus' was still recovering from the stress caused by the death of Gnaeus, and the funeral, - combined with the suicide of Ariston, and then the Munera and the subsequent funeral for Ariston.
And to make matters even more difficult, Marcus had to 'play the perfect' host to Titus, the son of the Emperor Vespasian, along with numerous other guests.
There was also one other matter worrying Marcus, which was Demetrius.
Since the funeral for Ariston, Demetrius had spent most of his time with Petronius.
In the morning he would accompany Petronius to the Ludus (although he was never allowed to see the imprisoned conspirators, who were awaiting execution), where Petronius was making preparations for the 'Ludi ad Celebra Recuperatione Marcus' and, in the afternoon, Petronius would take the boy to the public Gymnasion in Baiae (as he wanted Demetrius to mix with people from outside the villa), and to the beach - as Demetrius was by then able to swim - after a fashion.
In the evening Demetrius would have lessons with his Greek and Latin tutors and would later eat with Petronius, and then sleep in his own cublicum (Petronius was not 'predatory', unlike Menelaus and Servius)
The problem with Demetrius, however, was the fact that he was very withdrawn, and all the tumultuous events that had recently occurred seemed to have little effect on him.
Novius put this down to the fact that Demetrius had been almost totally isolated when he was younger, at the Domus, and had obviously been badly abused by Menelaus.