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!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 quite right,too....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 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.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.
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/@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?
And so Galerius wins out, and Barb compounds the prospective brutality of the entire situation by reverting to type! Oh dear, oh dear ...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?