Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9

IMPERATOR II; The Republic Stumbles

By Philip Katz the Author of IMPERATOR Copyright 2011

Chapter 1: The Occupation of Rome


It was a cold, grey, damp day in Rome as I stood in the Forum next to the Senate steps, clad in my old soldiers cloak with the hood pulled over my head. My name is Gaius Julius Caesar, I was 15 years old and my home was embroiled in a bloody civil war. My uncle Marius the leader of the opposition had been driven from the city. The sickening smell of burning bodies hung in the funk that blanketed the city on that still morning. I stood there, staring up at poor Sulpicius decapitated head, on public display over the well of the Comitia[1]. The lifeless eyes and slack jaw were a testament to the horror that was taking place in my beloved city. Putrefaction had set in. Waking me from my miasma induced trance, I was shoved aside by a procession of lictors[2], wearing their crimson tunics and wide black belts, preceding a new citizen, dressed in a new toga, new shoes and a crisp new freedmans red cap, proudly following his escort up the Senate steps. The man had a satisfied look on his face as he looked at the head of his former master, the man he had betrayed to Sullas illegal government, suspended above the Rostra[3] at the end of a long lance. He stopped at the top of the steps, his shoulders rising as he drew a deep breath, while the doors of the Curia Hostilia[4] opened to admit him and his party. I stood with my fellow citizens as we mourned the death of the duly elected, Tribune of the Plebs(Protector of the People), Publius Sulpicius Rufus. We mourned the death of liberty. We mourned the death of the Republic. The great bronze doors of the Senate House opened again and the new citizen had quite a different look on his face as he was escorted by lictors down the steps. His formerly rosy complexion was now pale white and his smug smile was replaced by desolation, as the man walked before his masters lifeless gaze. The party made their way up the Clivus[5] Capitolinus and disappeared within the walls of the Citadel. Sulla emerged from the Curia Hostilia and stood at the top of the portico steps, followed by a majority of the senators, more intent appeasing Sulla, than standing in the cold to watch the spectacle to come. As the senators drew their togas tight to keep out the cold, the new citizen emerged from the walls of the Capitol above the Forum in the place known as the Tarpeian Rock. The new citizen stood, with spears at his back, looking down at the jagged rocks far below. He was given ample time to die with dignity by voluntarily jumping to his death. Then after his time had passed he was unceremoniously booted from the precipice.

For betraying his master, the slave became a freedman and citizen of Rome. For betraying his master the freedman received a citizens execution. Unmoved by the scene the senators turned to go back into the Curia. I turned to see Sullas hawk like stare looking back at me. I made no effort to hide myself, wearing my well-worn brown cloak. He walked down the steps with no bodyguard, the crowd separating before him, as everyone scuffled to get out of his way sparing no effort in order to avoid Sullas attention. The intensity in those pale eyes was almost enough to make me piss myself, before my courage was once again fortified and my spine stiffened by the gods. It was at that time that I had decided if I was afraid now, I would always live in fear of my fellow man. I was never again afraid for my life. I had not seen Sulla since I left his audience, unceremoniously on a borrowed horse. As he came close I expected to feel a cold blade run up under my ribcage as he held my elbow with an iron grip. You have more honor than that crazy old uncle of yours. Sulla said quietly so no one else would hear. What kind of man abandons his men the way Marius did? But you did not leave did you? Why are you here Caesar? Are you spying on me for Marius? Are you that bold, or are you that foolish? This is my home. I said. Gaius Marius left me, just like he deserted the rest of his men. I should have you marched up to the Tarpeian Rock, but think it would excite the rabble to riot. Sulla told me. He paused for a moment. I find myself admiring your loyalty, and I cannot fault your actions. At your age, had I the opportunities youve enjoyed, I would have done the same thing. Sulla said. Pausing again, he studied my face. Get out of Rome, Caesar. If I see you in the city, I promise you, it will be your eyes that the ravens will be pecking at up there. Sulla said as he looked up at Sulpicius head on a pole. Then I will confiscate your familys property and blood will run on the streets of your beloved Subura. Im just looking for an excuse to flush the detritus out of that stagnant pool. Sulla said as I felt the point of his dagger just bellow my ribs. The cold steel burned.

Go to your father in Pisae. Swear you will! He said squeezing my arm even tighter. I will swear by the gods to leave the city but I wish to take my marriage vows before I leave. I said. That gave him pause as a blank look came over him. His mind was working and his face betrayed none of it. Then do it now. Swear an oath to leave the city and you will have your wedding. He said quickly and quietly. I acquiesced to his demand and swore an oath. His countenance brightened in an instant as he loosened his grip on my arm and sheathed his dagger. Speaking loudly, Yes a wedding, splendid! The people will enjoy that! I will pay for a great feast here in the Forum. Yes! The Flamen Dialis[6], Murena wearing his priestly hat and toga praetexta, was nearby and Sulla summoned him. Ave, Consul. Ave, Gaius Julius. Murena, the chief priest of Jupiter said. He was clearly the runt of a rather robust family. He was frail and had a grey pallor. His priestly robes hung off of him as if they were still on the rack. He actually looked like he had died the day before, whereas at that moment Sulla was greatly animated and projected himself with great theatrical acumen. Ah Murena, you are to preside over a most joyous occasion. Gaius Julius and Cornelia Cinna are to be married as soon as possible. We would like you to pick an auspicious day, as soon as possible. Murena was surprised at the sudden announcement. Certainly that is good news in these trying times and I am happy to oblige. It was my understanding that they should marry in June, in the Confarreatio[7] ceremony. It has been arranged for years. Caesars mother was most insistent about the date. Murena said. Do as I say. Sulla said in that tone that brokered no compromise. The autocrat revealed. Hail Sulla, the King of Rome, I thought to myself. It looked as if the Flamen Dialis thought the same thing and, like me, thought it best not to protest. Very well Consul, you will hear from me. Good day. Murena said walking away, not waiting for a response.

The oath you just took is your last chance Caesar maybe. He warned with a sinister grin. Very well young Caesar, Sulla said loudly. Give my good wishes to Aurelia. He said patting my shoulder. Sulla turned back to the Curia and ascended the steps where he was met by Chrysogonus, his secretary and Gaius Rabirius, a boot- licking lackey of the knights class with aspirations far beyond his station. The talk about Rome had it that Rabirius was among those who murdered the Tribune Saturninus and it seemed he had been up to his old tricks. Sulla reached the two men and after a few words Chrysogonus and Rabirius looked at me. Rabirius had a savage grin on his face as he looked from me, to Sulpicius head, and back at me. I made every effort to communicate with a look, that he was a mere insect, and someday I would squash him. The smile left his face, and he diverted his eyes. I never took my eyes off of Rabirius, as the bronze doors closed, leaving him outside. My fellow Forum frequenters, who shared my low opinion of Rabirius, started to stare at him in greater and greater numbers in a most menacing way. Fearing retribution from the people for killing the Tribune, he scurried off, like an insula rat exposed to the light of day, with his brutalized slaves in tow. I was standing in the same spot as when days before events had taken this unforeseen turn and I ruminated over the events last few days. After some time I left the Forum for the Subura. On the streets, Sullas minions, being paid with blood money confiscated from condemned patriots, were carping Sullas party line throughout the city, blaming Gaius Marius and the new Italian citizens for all of the ills now effecting Rome, even though Marius had been a private citizen for over ten years and took no part in the government during that time. Marius was blamed for the high price of grain, the Italian war, unemployment, the debt crisis, Romes crumbling infrastructure and the loss of the Eastern Provinces. Sulla had the markets opened for the first time since he had begun his march on Rome, and he subsidized the price of grain with more of his blood money in an effort to purchase the favor of the people. Sulla knew the importance of placating the populous by providing the people their bread and circuses. Political strife rarely made much of a difference in the lives of the common folk and Sulla worked to keep it that way. In the Senate, Sulla was busy restricting the rights of the people, by taking powers from the Tribunes of the Plebs, including the Tribunes veto. In addition he targeted the Plebeian Assembly whose membership was restricted to Plebeians and was based on location. He did this by giving the Centuriate Assembly, whose membership is based on wealth, and the Senate the powers of legislation that once belonged exclusively to the Plebeian Assembly. Sulla did this so that no one could do what Marius had done which was

to remove a consul from a command by the use of a plebiscite[8], which was not illegal. Marius plebiscite, put before the Assembly of the People, offered a comprehensive agenda, authored by a proven statesman, that would have benefitted all, as opposed to the narrow interests of a privileged few in the Senate led by Sulla. The people were wise and decided in favor of Marius and in response Sulla used his army to take the city in order to cow the people and make the Senate supreme in the State. How did it come to this? I thought to myself. Surely the Republic has failed. Sulla then announced the date for the elections and put forward candidates he desired for the contested posts. There was no shortage of legitimate candidates canvassing for elected office and among them was my father in-law to be, Lucius Cornelius Cinna, who sought the Consulship. Perhaps, I thought, there was still hope for liberty and the rights of citizens. Perhaps the Republic was not dead but ill, merely temporarily incapacitated as it fights off the fever of civil war. I was deep in the Subura when I was sure I was being followed. I stepped up the pace when I heard the sound of a dagger being pulled from its scabbard. I made a turn down the next alley and ran as fast as I could, looking back to see if I was indeed being pursued. A shadowy figure in a hooded cloak rounded the corner and gave chase, dagger flashing in the dim alley. I was a mere few steps from his reach as we raced through the back alleys of the Subura, over rubbish piles, past homeless squatters and stray dogs. This was my home territory and I knew every twist and corner, every vacant lot and dilapidated insula. Even so I was starting to tire and my assailant was gaining on me with every step. We were deep in the dark maze of back streets and alleys of the Subura. I made a fast left turn around a blind corner, took two steps and jumped as far as I could over a deep sink hole in the pavement. With my best jump I reached the opposite side of the abyss and kept running. I looked back and watched as my pursuer fell straight into the hole. I stopped and went back. I did not hear the man and thought that the fall might have killed him. As I got to the edge of the sink hole I could hear him yelling for help. No one can hear you. I said to the form sprawled out at the bottom. It was obvious he had broken both his legs as he was lying in a most unnatural position. He was in great pain. Who sent you? I said to the groaning man. Who sent you? I asked but once again, I got no answer. If I leave you here, the rats will eat you. I said.

No one sent me. I wanted to rob you. He said grimacing from the pain. Youre lying. You followed me from the Forum. I said. I will leave you here. It was Gaius Rabirius slave. He paid me half of the bounty to kill you. I was to bring your head to Rabirius as proof to get the rest of my money. Well thats not going to happen. I said confidently. Dont be so sure. Im only the first. There will be more. He said losing consciousness. I ran to get help. If I could keep this man alive maybe someone would believe me. Sulla wanted me dead. I returned with help from the Temple of Aesculapius only to find the man dead. His throat had been cut. The assassin had been silenced. I was nave and I knew I had to learn quickly. Obviously Sulla, as always put on a good show, promising to pay for my wedding feast. He knew that bill would never come because he never intended to let that happen. He wanted me to die in a seemingly random act of street violence. I knew it was time for me to get out of Rome. I had been planning for this eventuality since Sulla took the city. I would leave the city, in a strictly technical sense.

[1] Comitium: or Well of the Comitium, was a meeting place on the Forum Romanum next to the Senate House. The people were addressed from the Rostra during debates, political rallies and meetings of the Tribal and Plebeian Assemblies. [2] Lictors were ceremonial body guards and constables that attended magistrates in public and private. Different numbers of Lictors attended the different magistrates. They also carried the Fasces on their left shoulder. They preceded the magistrate when walking in public and stood at his side when the magistrate addressed the people. They were dressed in crimson tunics with wide black belts and their headquarters was on the Arx of the Capitol near the Carcer. [3] Rostra: Name of the Speakers platform located in the Forum Romanum in front of the Senate House from which the people of Rome were addressed by magistrates, senators and candidates for office. The

name is derived from the Latin word Rostra meaning beak or prow of a warship. Originally called a tribunal, the name was changed in the third century BC following a major naval victory against Carthage when the prows of captured warships were put on permanent display on the speakers platform. [4] Curia Hostilia: Senate House located at the Forum Romanum named for its builder King Tullus Hostilius in the mid 7th Century BC. [5] Clivus: Street on a slope. [6] Flamen Dialis: Priest of Jupiter Optimus Maximus [7] Confarreatio: Romes most sacred type of marriage ceremony which could only take place between patricians.) [8] Plebiscite: A law passed by resolution of the Concilium Plebis or Peoples Assembly.

Get the Historical Adventure Novel IMPERATOR By Philip Katz Imperator (Victorious General) is the story of Julius Caesar's youth before he appears in the historical record. The reader witnesses the collapse of the four centuries old Roman Republic that ruled the World but could not govern its self, through the eyes of young Caesar. Its a young adult, action/adventure/ political intrigue story where the reader is intimately introduced to the personalities that shaped the modern world we live in. The great events are recreated and great personalities are reborn as flesh and blood people struggling with the day to day decisions that would resonate through the millennia. Imperator details the political struggles, the lust for power and the ideological fight to preserve Rome by a small group of pragmatic reformers that would result in Civil War on an epic scale time and time again.
Imperator gives the reader a fresh perspective on the life story of the man that would rise from the streets of Rome to the pinnacle of power and world domination. Witness the youth and adventures of a man whose very name would come to symbolize unrivaled power and become the coveted title every Roman Emperor to follow would assume, a man whose policy of Clemency toward his enemies would seal his fate on the Ides of March. Meet the Caesar you never knew! IMPERATOR. To Read Amazon Reviews or Purchase IMPERATOR in KINDLE, PAPERBACK and HARDCOVER CLICK HERE or go to: http://www.amazon.com/Imperator-Philip-Katz/dp/0983280002/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0
For more links, signing events, Select Book Stores that carry IMPERATOR and other Writings by Philip Katz CLICK HERE or go to:

http//:www.ImperatorBook.com Imperator, by Philip Katz, Copyright 2011. ISBN-10: 0-9832800-0-2 ISBN-13: 978-0-9832800-0-2 Publisher: Copperhill Media