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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
It will later be numbered 383 AD, though known at the time as the Year of the Consulship of Merobaudes and Saturninus. It was a year of great upheaval in the Western Roman Empire. Hadrian's Wall, the northern Roman frontier in Britain, was overrun by the Picts and fell into ruin. The year started with Flavius Gratianus as the Emperor of the West. But Roman troops in Britain proclaimed Magnus Maximus Emperor. He crossed over to the continent and makes Trier his capital. In August, Gratian was assassinated leaving Gaul, the Italian provinces, and Hispania to proclaim loyalty to Magnus. Especially in the Western Empire, signs of decay were everywhere, though ignored or denied by most. However, tucked away in Southern Gaul, the old Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis in the early part of the year was a placid island of continuity.

Into this province, in the last few years, there had migrated a few tribes of barbarian people known as Goths. The ancient legends traced their origin to southern Scandinavia. They crossed the Baltic in three ships under their king Berig to the south shore of the Baltic Sea, where they settled after defeating the Vandals and other Germanic peoples in that area. They later settled in what is now Romania until driven westward by the Huns. Entering the Roman Empire in Gaul, they were despised as ignorant barbarians by the cultured Romans. They had no rights in the Empire, and many were unjustly enslaved. One of those many unfortunates is the topic of this sad tale.

The daughter of an elder, a wise man of the local Goth tribe, Barbara had been raised with exceptional education for a Goth and an untameable spirit. At twenty-four, she had eschewed marriage to pursue the ancient knowledge of her people. Respected and not a little feared for her fiery spirit and temper, Barbara nevertheless counseled her people to work with the Romans and decrease their mutual enmity.

It was the middle of Julius mensis (July) and a sweltering hot day in the countryside not far from the provincial capital of Narbo in southern Gaul. Barbara had been visiting a neighboring village, spreading her pleas for peace with Rome. Just past noon, she was walking back toward her home.
A squad of four Roman provincial soldiers and a mounted officer were returning to Baenartium, a suburb of the capital. As they ambled along, half-asleep in the steaming heat waves wafting across the summer fields and forests, the man on the horse saw Barb coming their way. As they approached, he observed that she was a very shapely young woman, wearing the traditional Sagum, a light, loose robe fastened around with a short spike made of bone. Obviously, a Goth, she was alone and vulnerable. The officer turned to his men told them to grab the girl.

As provincial soldiers, the men were more local thugs and bullies than professional soldiers. They were accustomed to intimidating timid peasants and always having their way. To their surprise, all four of them were not enough to subdue this wild girl. Barb fought like a she-wolf, scratching and kicking and screaming Gothic curses. In the end, it was only by the officer coming up behind Barbara and knocking her out with the butt of his sword that ended her resistance. They tied her wrists tightly with a rope and tied the other end to a sapling. The officer ripped out the stay and opened her robe. The men all gasped at the pale skin of the brunette and her beguiling figure. The officer ordered two men to hold her legs apart, and he approached her to be the first to savor her treasures.
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
As he grabbed hold of her full breasts, Barbara came to and screamed at the attack. Seeing him bringing his erection toward her groin, she cried out, “No, sum virgo! (I'm a virgin)”
The officer paused and laughed. He was used to whores claiming to be intacto to gain a higher price. But then he wondered at a strange Goth making the claim. He ordered the men to pulled her legs wide, and he bent down to examine the evidence. To his great surprise, her claim proved to be true. Her maidenhead was indeed, intacto.

The sexy girl beneath him was most tempting, but the officer was tempted more by money. He knew that Barb, as a virgin, would draw at least four times as high a price as she would if they raped her. He convinced the men of the advantage and they, reluctantly agreed.
He tied the end of the rope to one of the horns of his saddle and remounted. The four men took position at Barb's quarters, and the procession resumed the march to Baenartium.
Barb, still groggy from the blow to her head, staggered along as the rope forced her to keep up. Blood ran down the right side of her face to her neck from the sword blow. Her robe, without the fastener, gaped open in front to the jests of the men. The two behind picked willow branches along the way and used these on her back, butt, and legs to encourage her progress.

An hour later, Barb was covered in dust and sweat and almost delirious with thirst in the mid-afternoon heat. The officer called a brief halt, and the men filled their lagunculae (iron-copper alloy canteens) at a swift-flowing stream by the road. Barb looked pitifully to the men for a drink, but they just laughed at her. One took his laguncula and poured water over the top of her head, washing dust and blood over her face.

Canteen-04.jpgAn actual Roman soldier's lagunculae unearthed in Britain

Then the officer resumed the march. Just before the ninth hour (four in the afternoon), they entered the gate at Baenartium and turned on the high street to the house of Marcus Lycus, slave trader and pimp.

Lycus held himself out as a simple Mercator, a merchant, a trader in goods. Slave trading, though an everyday commercial activity, was regarded with distaste by cultured Romans. He examined this Goth girl closely. She was indeed a beauty and might draw a high price. He had the soldiers hold her open so he could confirm that she was a virgo. Marcus estimated to himself that she might draw as much as 8,000-10,000 denarii from a wealthy buyer in Rome. However, here in Narbo, there was not so much wealth, and he guessed 3,000 would be a fair price. He made an offer of 1,000 denariii to the officer, his usual starting point at one-third. After some haggling, 1,200 denarii was agreed, yielding 200 to each soldier and 400 to the officer. For each, this represented a half-year's pay - a good return for an afternoon's work. They turned Barb over to Lycus, pocketed the money, and adjourned to a local tavern to celebrate.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Even dehydrated and exhausted by the forced march on a sweltering day, Barbara tried to protest her unjust treatment. Ignoring her, Marcus called his head eunuch and had Barb chained. He instructed that she be bathed and cleaned, and secured in one of the cells for the night. He sent a boy around Narbo, announcing that a particular slave auction would occur at the fourth hour (10 AM) the next day.
Barb was given some water and regained alertness as they herded her to the slave quarters within Lycus's house. Several large guards accompanied the eunuch and maids to assure she would be no trouble. Barb appealed to them that it was so unjust, unfair! She wasn't a slave. She had been kidnapped. Of course, none of her captors paid any attention to her protests. After she had been cleaned and dressed in just a slave loincloth, Barb was locked in a dark basement cell with some water and a small bowl of porridge.
Sleep was difficult for the unfortunate girl. The discomfort of her accommodation, along with her distress at her predicament, combined to keep her mind racing. In addition to fear and pain, anger welled up in Barb. It was so unjust that one could be kidnapped from the road and sold into slavery with no rights or appeal!

In the morning, the Goth slave was brought back to Marcus for inspection. Iron manacles bound her wrists behind and were joined by a heavy chain to her ankle fetters. Marcus was impressed by the sight of Barbara so bound and wearing only a brief loincloth. This slave girl would bring a good price.
As soon as she was brought before the slaver, Barbara began her complaints. Raising her voice to a near scream, she protested in halting Latin and Gallic and, indecipherable to Marcus, Gothic, her treatment's unfairness and demanded her release. Marcus listened for a brief while with a smirk on his face. Then he nodded to the guard at her left. The man backhanded her across the mouth. The blow would have thrown her to the ground if the other guard hadn’t caught her. The two straightened the girl back up to face Marcus. Blood seeped from a cut on her upper lip.

Marcus spoke as if lecturing a recalcitrant child, "You are a slave of the Divine Roman Empire, a piece of property. Property has no rights - no claims to fairness or justice. You will save yourself much pain if you learn that lesson now."
Despite being groggy from the first blow, Barb began to object. However, before two words were out of her mouth, the guard slammed his fist into her belly. With her arms held fixed, the blow had sufficient force to lift her hips back up and her feet off the ground. The poor girl retched and heaved as her stomach cramped.
Marcus continued as if nothing had happened. "What is your name, slave? And from where do you come?
Coughing and drooling, Barb stated her name and her origin in the Goth encampment to the North.
“Goth?” observed Marcus. "Are you pagan filth or Arian* heretics?”
Slowly regaining her breath, Barb replied with evident resentment. “We are Christians. We follow the teaching of the blessed Arius. The saintly bishop Ulfilas brought the Christian faith to our people while we were still in Dacia**." Barbara’s knowledge of the history and customs of her people was extensive.
Marcus, like all western Romans, was a Catholic follower of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. As such, he despised the Arians as heretics.
“You heretic, barbarian Goths came to Gaul without invitation or permission. Today you will go on the auction block. Guards cover her with a robe and take her to the market square. The bello praeconem (auctioneer) expects her. Barb was dragged away.

*After the Council of Nicea, thirty-seven years earlier, a split had emerged in the Christian Church over the nature of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. The Western Church, under the Pope in Rome, held to the Trinitarian doctrine of Nicea. The East split between Trinitarians and a group following Arius, who argued that Jesus and the Holy Spirit were divine but under and created by God. Eventually, the Trinitarian view triumphed, and the followers of Arius went into exile. Many journeyed to the Gothic tribes to the North and converted them to Christianity in the "Arian" form. This was the faith they brought with them to Gaul. As a consequence, these North Germanic people were called Arians by the Romans.
In this same year, the Council of Constantinople met, reaffirmed the Trinitarian doctrine, and put the Nicean Creed in its final form.
This should not be confused with the term Aryan, which has a totally different origin and meaning.

** Dacia – the area of modern Romania and Moldovia.


Ulfilas explaining the Gospel to the Goths:
Bischof_Ulfilas_erklärt_den_Goten_das_Evangelium.jpg
 
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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Septimus Silva, was the foremost bello praeconem, in Narbo. He always extracted top denarii from the bidders, especially when offering young female slaves. He knew how to tease and tempt the men, raising their lust while emptying their purses. When he saw Lycus’ guards bring Barbara, barely covered in an open-front robe, toward him, he knew he would be getting a princely sum for her (and his ten percent commission).
Septimus signed the transfer document and had his own men take charge of the Gothic beauty. Noticing her cut lip and bruised belly, he asked Lycus’s head guard. “She a defiant one, this Barbarian,” replied the guard. “Nothing but complaining.”
“I’ve handled that before,” Silva laughed. He ignored Barb’s questions and complaints and had the men chain her feet wide-spread on the turntable.
Septimus had been an early adapter of new technology. On his last trip to Rome, he had seen slaves, especially pretty girl-slaves, exhibited on a rotating platform to exposed every inch of their bodies to the drooling and lustful bidders. He had immediately ordered one for his business in Narbo. Barbara presented an excellent opportunity to introduce this means of display in his city.

Silva took the titulus that Marcus Lycus had prepared and had his man hang it around Barb's neck. This was most important. It listed her age, origin, health, character, intelligence, education, and other information pertinent to purchasers. Although the Romans coined the expression, Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware), law and custom forbid misrepresentation of a slave for sale. Slave dealing was overseen by the quaestor, a local fiscal official. The one in Narbo, Lucius Piso, was a hard-ass for honesty in slave sales. Because the Romans wanted to know exactly what they were buying, slaves were presented naked. The dealer was required to take a slave back within six months if the slave had defects that were not manifest at the sale or on the titulus.

Barbara was furious at the continuing injustice and even more angry at being ignored. But the auctioneer simply acted as if he didn't hear a word.

Septimus noted that Barbara’s titulus was short with nothing stated concerning character, intelligence and education. However, her properties included Virgo! Unusual in one her age, the auctioneer knew it would cause a significant increase in the bidding if true. Combined with her beautiful face and stunning figure, he knew he would be appealing to the lusty desires of his wealthy male customers. He also knew that he must insist on the winner inspecting and confirming that attribute before taking away his prize.
Silva had decided to present his new commission in a semi-private chamber of the mercatus (merchandise hall) on nundinae (lit. Ninth day, market day, the beginning of a kind of weekend for the Roman elite). This way, he would draw the largest number of well-heeled buyers in person and be able to screen out the lurkers who came only to leer and touch and not bid.
Next, Silva had the guards remove her robe and loincloth. With her legs chained wide and her arms chained behind her, Barbara's magnificent body was fully exposed. Silva did his inspection and was completely satisfied by the condition of this young woman and her 'special' asset. Throughout all the preparation, Barbara, in halting Latin, complained incessantly about the injustice of her fate and the rudeness of his inspection. Septimus was usually undisturbed by unruly slaves – he only needed to put up with them for a short time. But even he ran out of patience and gave a hard slap to her cheek.
“You talk too much, Goth slut. Keep that up, and your new owner might deal very harshly with you – very harshly indeed. You will encounter far more rough probing when the buyers arrive."
With that, he instructed the guards to add more chains to retrain her motion further and went, himself, to freshen up before the show.
Promptly at the fourth hour (10 AM), Silva had the guards open the outer curtain and allow the bidders to enter.


1714px-Jean-Léon_Gérôme_004a.jpg
 

Baracus

Rectidolor
Strangely enough,when you said,"Goth Girl"..I had visions of a surly teenager,dressed all in Black leather and lace,and sporting black-themed make up,and calling herself "Raven",listening to Death Metal...my bad,sorry.lol Mea Culpa.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Strangely enough,when you said,"Goth Girl"..I had visions of a surly teenager,dressed all in Black leather and lace,and sporting black-themed make up,and calling herself "Raven",listening to Death Metal...my bad,sorry.lol Mea Culpa.
That is very understandable. I had the concern that the expression would be seen that way or as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (something we know Barbara would never have). However, there is simply no other way to refer to a 4th-century Visigoth maiden!
 

Baracus

Rectidolor
That is very understandable. I had the concern that the expression would be seen that way or as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (something we know Barbara would never have). However, there is simply no other way to refer to a 4th-century Visigoth maiden!
@Praefectus Praetorio quite right,too.... ;)
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Septimus stood by the high archway entrance and personally greeted each bidder with a respectful bow. He was most pleased to see the turnout – over twenty of the wealthiest men on Narbo – all men who had purchased female slaves from him before. These were the elite of the city and would certainly bid up the price on the Goth slut. Silva directed each man to the servants who held trays with goblets of a fine, dark Faustian Falernian wine (regarded as the “first growth,” wine of its day) and then to inspect the girl.
The Slave Block.jpg

Silva particularly greeted Marcus Claudius, a patriarch of the oldest and most dignified family in Gallia Narbonensis. A man of great wealth and even more impressive breedingand comportment, he was respected and admired by most in the city. Just past mid-life, Marcus had retained a youthful military bearing and a strong constitution. His face was quite handsome with gray at his temples, a classic Roman nose, and a confident smile. His flashing blue eyes seemed to convey friendliness and concern for all he met. Though of far superior social status, he did not hesitate to greet Silva with familiar and warm words.

Septimus turned back to the door to see Galerius Antonius, the son of the Governor, enter. He regarded the young man with mixed feelings. A notoriously spoiled and rude man, he constantly indulged in petty cruelties to those servants around him and often rude behavior toward his social equals. Not a patrician in Narbo had any respect for him. His face, fat, acne-scarred, with a tiny mouth and big ears, presented an unpleasant, almost comic, appearance. Even at twenty, Galerius was already fat with a large belly. His rotund frame was supported precariously by genu varum (bandy-legs). However, he always carried a purse as fat as his middle (courtesy of his indulgent and rich father) and would pay extravagant amounts for a young slave (of either sex) that excited his fancy. The bello praeconem greeted the disgusting man with due obsequiousness.

Septimus's attention to his arriving guests was interrupted by a commotion from the center of the room. It was evident that Barbara resented the pawing and probing of her most intimate parts by the eager men. While her chains keep her in place, spread and open, she could and did unleash a torrent of complaints and curses in Latin, Gallic, and Goth. While most of the men laughed at her outburst, Silve found it unseemly and distracting. He called over his chief assistant.

“Apply the brank to the bitch. Use the salis et sinapis oleum et caeruleum vitriolum (salt, mustard oil, and blue vitrol (copper sulfate) – all gag and nausea-inducing substances used in ancient times) to make her learn a lesson."

The assistant grabbed a phallic-shaped piece of iron mounted on a leather strap. After dipping it in the noxious mixture, he went behind the protesting slavegirl. When next she cursed, he shoved the iron piece deeply into her mouth and tied the leather tightly around her head.

Barb was immediately reduced to muffled sounds. Within moments, the iron pressing against the back of her mouth and the salty, sour, bitter tastes combined to cause the first gag. Soon the girl had all she could do to prevent vomiting.

The male bidders knew well what had been done and laughed uproariously at the girl's distressed expression and desperate swallows to hold back her gorge. Adding to her general sensuous appearance, the clenching of her belly in chemically induced spasms seemed that of a woman in the midst of an orgasm.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Strangely enough,when you said,"Goth Girl"..I had visions of a surly teenager,dressed all in Black leather and lace,and sporting black-themed make up,and calling herself "Raven",listening to Death Metal...my bad,sorry.lol Mea Culpa.
@Baracus has raised an interesting point. Why does a modern cultural-fashion phenomenon carry the same name as a Germanic Tribe from the 4th Century? Believe it or not, there is a connection. However, it is a long and meandering connection.

On 24 August 410 AD, just 27 years after our story, the City of Rome was sacked by the Visigoths led by their king, Alaric. At that time, Rome was no longer the Western Roman Empire's capital, having been replaced in that position first by Mediolanum in 286 and then by Trier and finally Ravenna in 402. Nevertheless, Rome's city retained a central position as "the eternal city" and the spiritual center of the Empire. The sack was a major shock to contemporaries, friends, and foes of the Empire alike. Many Romans saw it as punishment for abandoning traditional Roman religion for Christianity. In response to these accusations, and to console Christians, Saint Augustine wrote his most significant work, De civitate Dei contra paganos (The City of God against the pagans), as an argument for the truth of Christianity over competing religions and philosophies.

The end of the "civilized" Republic and Empire (some would argue that the Roman punishments seen in this story sully the word civilized when applied to Roman) at the hands of the "barbarian" Goths was remembered as a significant turning point in European history. And the Goths attained a lasting reputation (probably undeserved) as enemies of high culture (second only to their fellow East Germans, The Vandals). From this point onward, most rulers in the West were the new Germanic tribes and not the old Italian aristocracy. The Goths were succeeded by the Franks and the whole period of cultural and economic decline became known later as “The Dark Ages.”

Skip ahead to the completion in Paris of Basilique royale de Saint-Denis. The building is of singular importance historically and architecturally as its choir, completed in 1144, was one of the first structures to employ all of a new architectural style elements. Eschewing the Greco-Roman classical styles of solid walls and round arches and columns, the defining design element of Gothic architecture is the pointed or ogival arch. The pointed arch's use, in turn, led to the development of the pointed rib vault and flying buttresses, combined with elaborate tracery and stained glass windows. At the time, the new style was known as opus Francigenum (French work).

Four hundred years later came the Renaissance, by those ambitious to revive the Grecio-Roman orders of architecture and art. These men were contemptuous of the opus Francigenum and derisively named it “Gothic” as belonging to the Barbarian Dark ages. The pervasive influence of the Renaissance on later intellectual thought fixed this name in place. However, the twin heritages of restrained Classical antiquity and Medieval emotional exuberance continued to vie for supremacy through the ages. Successive waves of art, music, and architecture reflected this tension in the Baroque, Rococo, Classical and Romantic periods.

In the Romantic period, a new kind of literature arose that rejected the carefully scripted and controlled forms of the Classical/Enlightenment period with a darker, more emotional cast. It was generally believed to have derived from the English author Horace Walpole's 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, the new genre covered horror, death, and romance. Walpole, himself, later subtitled his book, "A Gothic Story," harkening back to Gothic architecture and a fascination with the untamed barbarian past. This movement looked to the primitive spirits of nature and the dark forces in the depths of the forest for inspiration. Jane Austin, in her first novel, Northanger Abbey, satirizes her youthful infatuation with Gothic.

The label Gothic stuck with literature and later movies up until the 1970s. Then British, post-punk groups like Joy Division, Bauhaus, and The Cure combined punk dissonance with gloomy lyrics inspired by the Victorian era and classic Gothic horror. By the early 80s, such bands were described by the press as Gothic Rock. The name now applies not only to the music but also to the fashion and lifestyles associated with it.

While our Barbara dislikes tattoos and piercing, this history shows that she can honestly be called the original “Goth Girl.”

Ok. How many here (besides Eul) knew that?
 

Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member
While our Barbara dislikes tattoos and piercing, this history shows that she can honestly be called the original “Goth Girl.”
Well, I do like to think I am one of a kind :rolleyes:
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Silva saw that all the waiting bidders had now entered and was about to close the outer curtain when he saw a short, well-dressed elderly man sedately approaching. He immediately recognized the Quaestor, Lucius Piso. Septimus had several run-ins with Piso in the past. The officious man liked to throw his weight around and enjoyed insisting on the fiscal laws' literal interpretations, especially concerning slave auctions. By inviting him to his auctions and plying him with a generous helping of fine wine, Silva had achieved a decent modus vivendi with the Questor. The heavy-set, imperious men walked up and greeted Silva, condescendingly, "I understand you have a special piece of merchandise on sale this morning, bello praeconem.? I thought I would come by and ensure that the proceedings are in strict compliance with the ius gentium* and other laws.”
“Rest assured, Questor, the laws shall be completely followed.”
"I have heard a rumor, probably scurrilous, that this might be a case of rapto**, which is, of course, a serious crime.”
"I can assure you, Sir, that is not the case. The girl is a Goth heretic, brought in by the soldiers after she attacked them as they were peacefully defending our land against barbarians."
“Quite so, Silva. That eliminates my concern on that issue. May I enter?”
"I am honored by your official presence, Quaestor!" Septimus bowed deeply and gestured for a wine goblet for Piso. While the Questor may have claimed to be there to enforce the law, Silve knew his real interests were drinking wine and inspecting a naked girl. He knew that Lucius would be no trouble today. He drew the curtain behind him and walked to the display platform.

As Silva mounted the platform beside the chained and branked slave, he noted that the bidders were gathered expectantly around. They had all indulged unrestrainedly in poking, prodding, stroking, and exploring the soft, fair skin and flesh of Barb's exposed body. Unable to resist in any way, she had only been able to rattle her chains and attempt to protest. However, her shouts were reduced to muffled and gurgled sounds by the iron phallus invading her mouth. Copious drool, induced by the foul-tasting chemicals, leaked down her chin and dropped onto her lovely, full breasts.

The day had already become unseasonably warm and the servants around the edges of the room were plying their large feather fans to cool the large assembly. Silva gestured to a slave to begin cranking the lever which caused the gears to slowly rotate the platform to which Barb was chained. There were murmurs of surprise and appreciation from the crowd as the naked, chained girl began to revolve, showing off every aspect of her bare, shapely body. The struggles against the chains and brank on this hot day had drawn sweat that now glistened over her fair skin. It appeared as if she had been coated lightly in oil to show off each curve and indentation of her young and sexy body. Twenty men watched her bound and rotating for their observation and enjoyment. Twenty men were aroused with lust.

"Cives (citizens)," the auctioneer said, addressing the crowd, “I think it is time we got on with the business. I trust that all of you have enjoyed examining the merchandise and confirming her primum dignissim (prime asset).” A round of lustful laughter met his comment.
“Without running afoul of the Questor's prohibitions, I think I can state that this Goth's body will stimulate Homeric performance on the part of any male, even Tertius Aemilius." This remark was greeted by even louder laughter and good-natured jostling of the aforenamed elder. Tertius was a well-loved late-septuagenarian in the city. He had retained a strong interest in nubile girl-flesh, though most believed that he was no longer capable of directly taking his pleasure anymore. They had nicknamed him, Servus olim amoris (old slave of love) for the ease with which a young girl could capture his heart.
Laughing himself, Tertius retorted, “Do not worry, Septimus. This delectable morsel of a girl has already aroused me to the rigor (stiffness) of a young man. Get on with the bidding!”

When the raucous laughter and applause that greeted that assertive reply died out, Silva asked a question, "Have all confirmed this slave's virgo condition?”
Impatient replies of 'yes' resounded throughout the chamber.
Silva turned to Piso, "Quaestor, Do I have your permission to remove the titulus as now irrelevant and sell this slave nihil cautum (as-is)?”
“Lucius replied in his best legal tone, “I find the bidders are fully informed and consenting. Therefore I declare this auction nihil cautum.”
“Give her a pilleus (cap),” Septimus ordered his servant. The man placed the floppy red felt cap on Barb's head. Such a cap was given to freed slaves as a symbol of their liberty. In the case of a slave for sale, it represented the seller of being freed of any future guarantee.
Somehow, despite her dreadful conditions, Barb resented this demeaning item (the only garment on her entire body) perhaps more than anything else.

* ius gentium - “international” law, governing captured enemies.
**rapto – kidnap, carry off, or rape. It was a serious crime to kidnap and enslave a free person.


Mosaic of a pilleusorpheus.jpg
 
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Fossy

Tribune
@Baracus has raised an interesting point. Why does a modern cultural-fashion phenomenon carry the same name as a Germanic Tribe from the 4th Century? Believe it or not, there is a connection. However, it is a long and meandering connection.

On 24 August 410 AD, just 27 years after our story, the City of Rome was sacked by the Visigoths led by their king, Alaric. At that time, Rome was no longer the Western Roman Empire's capital, having been replaced in that position first by Mediolanum in 286 and then by Trier and finally Ravenna in 402. Nevertheless, Rome's city retained a central position as "the eternal city" and the spiritual center of the Empire. The sack was a major shock to contemporaries, friends, and foes of the Empire alike. Many Romans saw it as punishment for abandoning traditional Roman religion for Christianity. In response to these accusations, and to console Christians, Saint Augustine wrote his most significant work, De civitate Dei contra paganos (The City of God against the pagans), as an argument for the truth of Christianity over competing religions and philosophies.

The end of the "civilized" Republic and Empire (some would argue that the Roman punishments seen in this story sully the word civilized when applied to Roman) at the hands of the "barbarian" Goths was remembered as a significant turning point in European history. And the Goths attained a lasting reputation (probably undeserved) as enemies of high culture (second only to their fellow East Germans, The Vandals). From this point onward, most rulers in the West were the new Germanic tribes and not the old Italian aristocracy. The Goths were succeeded by the Franks and the whole period of cultural and economic decline became known later as “The Dark Ages.”

Skip ahead to the completion in Paris of Basilique royale de Saint-Denis. The building is of singular importance historically and architecturally as its choir, completed in 1144, was one of the first structures to employ all of a new architectural style elements. Eschewing the Greco-Roman classical styles of solid walls and round arches and columns, the defining design element of Gothic architecture is the pointed or ogival arch. The pointed arch's use, in turn, led to the development of the pointed rib vault and flying buttresses, combined with elaborate tracery and stained glass windows. At the time, the new style was known as opus Francigenum (French work).

Four hundred years later came the Renaissance, by those ambitious to revive the Grecio-Roman orders of architecture and art. These men were contemptuous of the opus Francigenum and derisively named it “Gothic” as belonging to the Barbarian Dark ages. The pervasive influence of the Renaissance on later intellectual thought fixed this name in place. However, the twin heritages of restrained Classical antiquity and Medieval emotional exuberance continued to vie for supremacy through the ages. Successive waves of art, music, and architecture reflected this tension in the Baroque, Rococo, Classical and Romantic periods.

In the Romantic period, a new kind of literature arose that rejected the carefully scripted and controlled forms of the Classical/Enlightenment period with a darker, more emotional cast. It was generally believed to have derived from the English author Horace Walpole's 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, the new genre covered horror, death, and romance. Walpole, himself, later subtitled his book, "A Gothic Story," harkening back to Gothic architecture and a fascination with the untamed barbarian past. This movement looked to the primitive spirits of nature and the dark forces in the depths of the forest for inspiration. Jane Austin, in her first novel, Northanger Abbey, satirizes her youthful infatuation with Gothic.

The label Gothic stuck with literature and later movies up until the 1970s. Then British, post-punk groups like Joy Division, Bauhaus, and The Cure combined punk dissonance with gloomy lyrics inspired by the Victorian era and classic Gothic horror. By the early 80s, such bands were described by the press as Gothic Rock. The name now applies not only to the music but also to the fashion and lifestyles associated with it.

While our Barbara dislikes tattoos and piercing, this history shows that she can honestly be called the original “Goth Girl.”

Ok. How many here (besides Eul) knew that?
As celebrated annually in the Yorkshire town of Whitby (the same town that is forever linked with the legend of Count Dracula) - https://www.whitbygothweekend.co.uk/
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Silva leaned close to Barbara’s ear and whispered. “I’ll remove that brank. But if you don’t remain quiet, it will go back in with a thicker coating of the paste. Understand?”
Barb, barely able to keep from vomiting, nodded yes. With the iron phallus removed, she gasped for breath as her mouth drooled from the disgusting tastes.

Cives! Open your hearts and your sacculi (purses or a euphemism for ballsack)” Enthusiastic laughter. “As you can see, she possesses flawless beauty and an amazing body. She has the face of an idol, the arms of a willow tree, and the pelvis of a camel. You see a bloom of indescribable beauty – her face holds a thousand promises, and her body stands behind each promise.” Cheers from the crowd.

“In accord with the seller’s wishes, we shall start the bidding at 1,250 denarii.” There was a gasp from the group at the exalted opening price; but it only took a moment for Tertius Aemilius to raise his hand and say, “Twelve Hundred and Fifty denarii to restore my youth? A pittance.”

Immediately others jumped in. In less than a minute, the bidding had reached 1,500 denarii. Silva was relieved to see it pass the 1,300 reserve that Marcus Lycus had set. Everything beyond that number was pure profit to him and Septimus.
The bidding continued almost unabated to soon pass 2,000. Silva was pleased to think of the 200 denarii that would come as his 10%.
Both Silva and Lycus had estimated that the Goth girl would draw at least 2,500. However, that number was blown away as the competition became more fierce and the bedders were caught up in the excitement of the auction. The bidding paused for a moment just short of 4,000 and Silva said, “Please, Domini (masters). Remember 4% of your bid goes to fund our Divine Empire via the slave sales tax.” Sarcastic catcalls greeted this appeal, but, Marcus Claudius spoke up in a joking tone, “I am glad to sacrifice for our Emperor – 4,100 denarii!” Immediately the biding resumed.
When the bid surpassed 5,000 denarii, a princely sum at an auction in Narbo, the remaining participants had dwindled to three: Tertius, Marcus, and Galerius.
These three, enraptured by Barb's beauty, began a three-way battle, supported by their hefty purses. However, at 6,000 denarii, Tertius had to withdraw, his resources exhausted. The others in the room congratulated the old man on his effort and his youthful vigor in bidding.

This should have yielded the floor to a one-on-one confrontation between Marchus and Galerius. But, suddenly, another voice spoke up with an overbid, "6,200 denarii," and all turned in amazement to see Lucius Piso with his hand in the air.
“Our esteemed Quaestor enters the fray," pronounced Septimus, obviously pleased with a fresh bidder. He had never known Piso to bid on a female slave. But this Goth beauty was no ordinary slut.
Marcus and Galerius returned the attack and pushed the bidding to 6,500. However, at that level, Marcus threw up his hands and retired with dignity from the fight.

And now it was these two, Galerius and Lucius, head-to-head. Everyone knew it must end soon. Never had a slave gone for as much before in Gallia Narbonensis, no matter her allure!
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Despite Septimus’ best effort to maintain the momentum, the bidding began to slow. Galerius hesitated at last but then raised his hand again, “6,750.”
“I have 6,750 denarii. Do I hear 6,800?”
All eyes turned to Lucius. The stolid magistrate returned Galerius's stare for a long moment. Then he turned to the auctioneer. "Too rich for my blood," he said. Then he turned back to his rival. "Galerius Antonious, the bitch is all yours. Enjoy."
The audience erupted in applause. Despite the general loathing of the piggish young man, most slapped his back and congratulated him on his success.

Silva directed his men to unchain the girl and bring her to her new master and hold up a bronze scale. Thus began the ritual of the sale of a slave.
Silva announced, “There being at least five free Roman Cives over the age of toga praetexta (over puberty) present to witness, this res mancipi per aes et libram* ( property matter by bronze and scales) may proceed."

Galerius drew from his purse ten gold solidi**. He grabbed Barbara’s arm and said, “Hunc ego feminam ex iure quiritium meum esse aio eaque mihi empta esto hoc aere aeneaque libra (I affirm that this slave is mine according to quiritary right, and she is purchased by me with this piece of bronze and scales). He rapped the coins against the scales to signify a measured, commercial transaction and handed them to the bello praeconem. Silva returned three silver miliarensia in change. He then pushed Barb into Galerius’s arms as a final affirmation of transfer.

With Barb's naked body thrust into his arms, Galerius wasted no time in sampling the sweetness of his new property. Using both hands on her head, he brought her lips to his and kissed her with a deep-thrusting tongue. Barb froze for a moment in shock at the man's disgusting breath and the unexpected invasion of her oral cavity. Quickly, she used her now free hands to rudely push the man away.

Though Barbara’s classical Latin was halting, she had learned her share of gutter expressions from Romans insulting her people. “Es stercus! (You shit!)”
The men standing around laughed at the girl's use of profanity and the insult to the much-hated Galerius. He laughed also, but more forced.
"You have spirit for a slave. That's not a worry, soon I'll have you broken to my will." With that, he reached out and pinched her nipple in a vice-like grip. Barb groaned in agony and instinctively lashed out at her tormentor.
Barb sneered at the man, “Futue teipsum, Irrumator porci! (fuck yourself, Bastard of a pig!*), as she drove her knee into his groin. Galerius gave a high scream of pain, doubled over, and sank heavily to his knees on the hard stone floor.
The Goth girl didn't pause for a moment but was on him, cursing and raining blows on his head and shoulders. All her resentment at her unjust treatment now focused on this disgusting man who had bought her like she was a beast of burden. Barbara, who had tried for so long, against the majority of her tribe, to maintain peace with the Romans, now saw how impossible that was. The fierce pride and independence of her Germanic ancestors boiled up to be directed at the current cause of her distress. If she could do nothing else, she could hurt and humiliate this pig.
Antonious wept in pain and cried out like a little girl, "Help me, Amici! Help me! Caedes (Murder)! This vacca stulta (stupid cow) will kill me!”
None there considered themselves Galerius' friends, but basic decency required their help. Two bidders along with two of Silva's larger aides pulled the girl, still cursing, screaming, and fighting like a banshee, off the Governor's son. Another servant quickly grabbed a shackles and chain and fastened her wrists behind her back. Even held and chained, Barb spat out curses and insults at the fat boy groveling on the floor.

* Roman law recognized two classes of property: res mancipi and res nec mancipi. Res mancipi covered the more significant property of lands and houses on Italic soil, beasts of burden, slaves, and rustic and praedial servitudes. The Roman legal scholar Gaius in his Institutes 2.14a – 2.22 explains that res mancipi may only be conveyed formally, that is either by the mancipatio ceremony (described above) or in iure cessio (the judgment of a lawsuit). This special rule is reflected even today in English and American law in what is known as “The Statute of Frauds” which requires the transfer of real property must be made in writing and not by verbal contract.

** The solidus was a gold coin of the late Roman Empire. Ten would contain approximately 45 grams of pure gold – about $2,500 today. The denarius had been depreciated out of existence by the date of our story. The last valuation, one hundred years earlier, was about 1/1000 of a solidus. I have retained the unit and that exchange rate here due to its historical familiarity and rough equivalence to one day's wages for a laborer.

Author's note: observe that slaves were listed by Gaius after beasts of burden! How angry would Barb be if she knew that?
 
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Fossy

Tribune
Despite Septimus’ best effort to maintain the momentum, the bidding began to slow. Galerius hesitated at last but then raised his hand again, “6,750.”
“I have 6,750 denarii. Do I hear 6,800?”
All eyes turned to Lucius. The stolid magistrate returned Galerius's stare for a long moment. Then he turned to the auctioneer. "Too rich for my blood," he said. Then he turned back to his rival. "Galerius Antonious, the bitch is all yours. Enjoy."
The audience erupted in applause. Despite the general loathing of the piggish young man, most slapped his back and congratulated him on his success.

Silva directed his men to unchain the girl and bring her to her new master and hold up a bronze scale. Thus began the ritual of the sale of a slave.
Silva announced, “There being at least five free Roman Cives over the age of toga praetexta (over puberty) present to witness, this res mancipi per aes et libram* ( property matter by bronze and scales) may proceed."

Galerius drew from his purse ten gold solidi**. He grabbed Barbara’s arm and said, “Hunc ego feminam ex iure quiritium meum esse aio eaque mihi empta esto hoc aere aeneaque libra (I affirm that this slave is mine according to quiritary right, and she is purchased by me with this piece of bronze and scales). He rapped the coins against the scales to signify a measured, commercial transaction and handed them to the bello praeconem. Silva returned three silver miliarensia in change. He then pushed Barb into Galerius’s arms as a final affirmation of transfer.

With Barb's naked body thrust into his arms, Galerius wasted no time in sampling the sweetness of his new property. Using both hands on her head, he brought her lips to his and kissed her with a deep-thrusting tongue. Barb froze for a moment in shock at the man's disgusting breath and the unexpected invasion of her oral cavity. Quickly, she used her now free hands to rudely push the man away.

Though Barbara’s classical Latin was halting, she had learned her share of gutter expressions from Romans insulting her people. “Es stercus! (You shit!)”
The men standing around laughed at the girl's use of profanity and the insult to the much-hated Galerius. He laughed also, but more forced.
"You have spirit for a slave. That's not a worry, soon I'll have you broken to my will." With that, he reached out and pinched her nipple in a vice-like grip. Barb groaned in agony and instinctively lashed out at her tormentor.
Barb sneered at the man, “Futue te ipsi, Irrumator porci! (fuck yourself, Bastard of a pig!*), as she drove her knee into his groin. Galerius gave a high scream of pain, doubled over, and sank heavily to his knees on the hard stone floor.
The Goth girl didn't pause for a moment but was on him, cursing and raining blows on his head and shoulders. All her resentment at her unjust treatment now focused on this disgusting man who had bought her like she was a beast of burden. Barbara, who had tried for so long, against the majority of her tribe, to maintain peace with the Romans, now saw how impossible that was. The fierce pride and independence of her Germanic ancestors boiled up to be directed at the current cause of her distress. If she could do nothing else, she could hurt and humiliate this pig.
Antonious wept in pain and cried out like a little girl, "Help me, Amici! Help me! Caedes (Murder)! This vacca stulta (stupid cow) will kill me!”
None there considered themselves Galerius' friends, but basic decency required their help. Two bidders along with two of Silva's larger aides pulled the girl, still cursing, screaming, and fighting like a banshee, off the Governor's son. Another servant quickly grabbed a shackles and chain and fastened her wrists behind her back. Even held and chained, Barb spat out curses and insults at the fat boy groveling on the floor.

* Roman law recognized two classes of property: res mancipi and res nec mancipi. Res mancipi covered the more significant property of lands and houses on Italic soil, beasts of burden, slaves, and rustic and praedial servitudes. The Roman legal scholar Gaius in his Institutes 2.14a – 2.22 explains that res mancipi may only be conveyed formally, that is either by the mancipatio ceremony (described above) or in iure cessio (the judgment of a lawsuit). This special rule is reflected even today in English and American law in what is known as “The Statute of Frauds” which requires the transfer of real property must be made in writing and not by verbal contract.

** The solidus was a gold coin of the late Roman Empire. Ten would contain approximately 45 grams of pure gold – about $2,500 today. The denarius had been depreciated out of existence by the date of our story. The last valuation, one hundred years earlier, was about 1/1000 of a solidus. I have retained the unit and that exchange rate here due to its historical familiarity and rough equivalence to one day's wages for a laborer.

Author's note: observe that slaves were listed by Gaius after beasts of burden! How angry would Barb be if she knew that?
And so Galerius wins out, and Barb compounds the prospective brutality of the entire situation by reverting to type! Oh dear, oh dear ...

The infusion of Latin and the historical notes add to what is already an authentic narrative. Excellent as always PrPr.
 
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