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slavegirls in Roman times

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Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
I think this lovely manip by kamerijk deserves a new thread - I hope others will have such delightful ideas to add!

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kamerijk's text:

© 2020 kamerijk
La rencontre entre Octave et Cléopâtre après la bataille d’Actium is the title of a painting by Louis Gauffier, dated 1788 and now at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh : commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fil…

This careful restoration shows the scene as it was originally painted, before Victorian moral bends had it painted over to make it more acceptable to Her Majesty's subjects and the respectability of the Empire.

The victorious Roman general, winner of the naval battle at Actium, and the defeated Queen of Egypt are meeting in her palace of Alexandria in the presence of two of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting and two naked female cupbearers, perhaps offered to the victor in the hope of eliciting his clemency. However the future Augustus does seem to be brooding at the moment, and is probably absorbed in calculations of international politics rather than in more mundane pleasures.

Further scholarly research has permitted to establish the identity of the two slave girls, the one on the left, proffering a seemingly empty silver plate, then known as Nu' Ala (aka NualaTawse) and the one bending low to present a plate of figs called Ul' Alya (aka eulaliamerida).

With my thanks and apologies to Louis Gauffier, and thanks also to Canvin for tacitly accepting the use of his picture fav.me/daug62u

my response:

Indeed, slavegirl ul'alya is greatly honoured. she is well acquainted with the sexual symbolism of figs, and well-trained in the art of presenting a full bowl signifying the offering to the Conqueror of all the nubile females in the land that He is now the Lord of, as many as He may desire. Now she's about to complete her difficult task, she must kneel at the Victor's feet, holding the bowl steady and raised to his hands, keeping her eyes humbly lowered ...

Thankyou so much Sir - that's surely me in an earlier existence!

on https://www.deviantart.com/kamerijk/art/Octavian-and-Cleopatra-851036577
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
There aren't many artists that portray the life of the slavegirls of the Romans as lovingly as kamerijk -
this scene by Dravuor is vivid and full of well-considered, historically accurate details

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Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
That's a good summary, and quite in place here, though it's fairly brief on female slaves (about a minute from 9.00 - 10.00), much of what it says applied to both sexes. And some of its assumptions about what we'd find hard to cope with amuse me - Cato the elder's recommended diet for slaves isn't much different from my own, and a new pair of shoes every two years sounds about right! I'll copy it over to Roman Resources too.
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Bartnel's new scene, Frolia Bay, in his fantasy world, wouldn't be out of place in the Roman one -

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I like the landscape he's used, those harsh, phallic limestone pinnacles thrusting up from bushy vegetation seem to set the scene vividly!
Bartnel tells me that sort of shrubby, rocky, Mediterranean scenery is called 'maquis', so I promptly labelled it 'Le Maquis de Sade'.
:spank:
 
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