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I managed a short entry. I appreciate your patience (and the patience of Barbaria at the post - don't worry, dear, more is soon to come).

Praeses Antonious instructed that his comites (retinue – advisors and staff) and his two lictores (lictors – bodyguards denoting his rank) be prepared to accompany him well before noon to the harena. If he was forced to decide the Goth slavegirl's fate, he might as well do it with all the majesty of his position. He also ordered that a sumptuous prandium (luncheon) be provided in the Imperial Box for himself and his guests. Privately, he cursed his son and that lugubrious Quaestor for getting him into this affair.

Sextus gave a deep sigh of relief as his patrol emerged from the old-growth oak forest (whose wood the Romans had used for many generations to build crosses in Gaul) and entered the cleared and rolling agros (farmland) that supplied Narbo with sustenance. In the woods, the danger of an ambush was always present. Even 374 years later, any good Roman soldier knew about the Germans ambushing the three legions of ‎Publius Quinctilius Varus and slaughtering them, almost to the last man in Teutoburg Forest.
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Now, in the open agros, threats could be seen at a great distance, giving the Tesserarius plenty of time to assemble even his tirones (new recruits) for defense.
Judging from the sun's position, Sextus thought it was the hora quarta (10 AM). His Centurio had asked that he try to have his patrol at the harena well before meridiem (noon). He should be able to do so with no difficulty. Given the long march already completed on a hot day, Sextus allowed his men a brief break.

Mogurix and two soldiers rushed to Galerius's side as he completed the ten lashes. He looked almost worse off than the Goth and might collapse at any moment.
The Optio took the heavy flagrum, and the two other men helped the lad to his seat between Piso and Claudius. One servant began to fan the perspiring youth, while a soldier brought a chilled goblet of poscae (sour wine and water, spiced with cumin, myrrh, and salt; legionaries swore by the utility of this elixir which was effectively the Gatorade of the legions). Marcus helped hold the goblet to his mouth and gradually had him drink to rehydrate. Even with the attention, it was clear that Galerius was only semi-aware.

Centurion Gaius Calixtus took this opportunity to speak privately with the Quaestor. A brief discussion ended with Piso nodding in the affirmative. Gaius then stepped out to address the audience.
You would think a delectable Goth Slut, naked and bound to the post, could demand a more capable flagellator than decrepit, exhausted Galerius!

As an aside there has been a recent German TV series about the massacre of the legionnaires in Teutoburg Forest called Barbarians - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarians_(2020_TV_series)

... and what's more the leading female, Jeanne Goursaud, gets naked quite regularly AND there's a crucifixion scene! What more could we wish for :)
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