Chapter XLIII - Meeting With Vespasian

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

warning: this section features nudity, explicit sexuality and extreme violence in language, images and text - do not view if you may be offended
  
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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.
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 h required anything else, and then bidding him 'Bonum Noctem' - (Good Night).
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.
"Nothing, Dominus......
It was a hot night - difficult to sleep.......", Aurarius explained, lamely.
"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 - looking for a simple answer.
"Yes, Dominus.", Terentius replied.
"Good - then make preparations to have the appropriate papers drawn up.", Marcus said.






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