The Future Succession, Domitius's Health
Legally, the next emperor will be elected by the Senate. However, it is an unwritten assumption that the Senate will choose whichever candidate is supported by the legions. Because the legions as a whole are strongly loyal to Domitius, whomever he names as his legal heir will almost certainly inherit that loyalty, along with vast amounts of land, funds, and family clients personally controlled by the Domitians. If Domitius were to die before naming an heir, unless the major players were to quickly agree on a successor the empire could be thrown into chaos as those resources and the allegiance of the individual legions became split between whichever factions could grab hold of them. In addition to naming an heir in his will, which will only be read after his death, it is expected that Domitius will publicly signal his choice of heir through one or more of the following methods: adopting the heir as son, marrying the heir to his daughter (if necessary, the emperor can dissolve any previous marriage), and/or arranging for himself and the heir to be elected co-consuls (only possible for older heirs).
Domitius, Tully, Cassius Aurelius, Ennius, Titus Flavius, Vespasian, Gallicus, Agricola, Publius, Herod, Atilius, Severas, Aurelia (Insider Discussion of Possible Successors)
The following persons are generally considered possible heirs to the throne, ie. people Domitius might choose as heir. The pros and cons listed are all based on selection parameters that people expect (or hope) Domitius might apply to his decision.
In his own generation, possible heirs include Quintus Cassius Aurelius, Lucius Domitius Ennius, and Lucius Tullius Pulcher. All are relatives and seasoned politicians whose own influence and wealth would contribute to their rule. On the negative side there is a good chance any one of them won't live to survive Domitius, possibly leading to yet another succession crisis in the future. Cassius Aurelius and Ennius have the advantage of being direct descendants of the Julian line; Tully is only related by marriage. Though the emperor's closest male relative, Ennius's current position as flamen Dialis prevents his succession as emperor. Before he could be named heir, the pontifex maximus (or circumstance; see the restrictions on the flamen Dialis in the public information about Ennius) would have to discharge him from those obligations.
In the younger generation of the dynasty are Julius Domitius Postumus, Marcus Tullius Pulcher, Paterculus Domitius Ennius, and the two sons of Aurelia Severas. These young men range from ages 8 to 23, and thus lack experience and are unproven, though any of them could be groomed for the role. Most of these candidates are descendants of Augustus, with the single exception of Pulcher Minor, a relative by marriage. None of them stand out particularly, and most political pundits can point out good reasons for not selecting any of them: because of the cloud over Tiberius's military career, Domitius may not want to see the imperium go to Tiberius's son (Postumus) or son-in-law (Pulcher Minor); the children of Aurelia are distant relatives, raised in a foreign land and barely known to the emperor; and Paterculus Ennius is young and untried.
A surprise candidate who has recently come to public attention is Titus Flavius Vespasianus. A young but battle-hardened general, he appears to be a perfect compromise between the experience of the three older candidates and the youth of the younger candidates. Of course, he is not a member of the imperial family, but the Vespasiani, the Flavii, and their allies are lobbying strongly for a marriage between Titus Flavius and Domitria in order to remedy that lack. A final factor in his favor (usually left unspoken by anyone with tact) is the fact that his legion is currently sitting right outside the walls of Rome.
Of course, by marrying his daughter, anyone could potentially become a possible heir to the throne, but even with the blessings of Domitius, any true outsider would almost certainly face opposition from within the legions and the Senate would not necessarily feel obligated to grant him the power of imperium.
You have the war fever, which you picked up in Sicilia about ten days ago. You have fought the disease with every ounce of will in your body. Though you realize there is little chance of surviving, you are determined to wrest every minute you can from your enemy. You suffer regularly from intense headaches, difficult breathing, and mental confusion. Your skin has begun to break out in eruptions which you have tried, with some success, to hide. You've been forced to dismiss your body slaves to prevent anyone from seeing your condition. You've also given strict orders that Domitria is forbidden to enter your chambers, both to prevent her from seeing your condition and to remove the temptation of your increasing lust for her.
In your abnormal mental state, you have come to see the entire empire as a battlefield, one in which only the strong will survive. You have no intention of naming an heir, and will actually work to encourage your possible successors to fight among themselves for the throne. You envisage some sort of vast political-military game in which the candidates will maneuver for position and eventually meet in a climactic battle, which only the lone victor will survive.
You have seized control of the reins of government and are now moving your cohorts, issuing orders which will prepare the field for the coming battle. You work to pit men against each other and also to level the playing field, breaking those who seem to gain an early lead while boosting those who have fallen behind. A victory easily achieved is no victory at all, and you must assure that it is a glorious fight.
Domitius, Cassius Aurelius, Titus Flavius
[Cassius Aurelius: You remember from the days you served with Domitius on the Parthian and German frontiers, that ...]
[Titus Flavius: During the period when Domitius transferred command of Britannia to you, you learned that ...]
Domitius has a unique style of military command which may explain his great success as a general. He is basically a micro-manager, a control freak who obsesses over every tiniest detail of the battle. Under a lesser commander this might be a recipe for failure, but Domitius manages to both understand the situation to the last minutium and to communicate his detailed orders effectively to his troops. He typically spends days before a battle personally going over every detail of the terrain, listening to every scouting report, examining the weather, inventorying supplies and morale, and drilling his offices in exactly what is expected of them. Early in his career, some officers rebelled at this intense level of control. They were soon dismissed, and when victory piled upon victory the legions came to trust and even expect this style of leadership.
Domitius, Cassius Aurelius, Ennius, Tully, Vespasian, Gallicus, Agricola, Titus Flavius, Herod, Julia, Atilius, Secundus, Aurelia, Severas
Throughout his career, Domitius has had a decidedly laissez-faire approach to politics. He relies heavily on his advisors, especially Castor Aurelius, and rarely concerns himself with the details of empire as long as things are running efficiently. Unlike previous emperors, he has actually allowed the Senate to regain some of its former power; as long as they do what he wants in the few matters with which he directly concerns himself (mostly military affairs), they're allowed to govern as they please.
Domitius, Cassius Aurelius, Ennius, Tully, Vespasian
Since returning from Sicilia, the emperor has developed a sudden and surprising interest in the minutiae of imperial politics. In the last few days he has met in long sessions with numerous bureaucrats and senators, often skipping completely over the upper levels of government to deal directly with individual aediles, prefects, and tribunes. The imperial slaves note that he has been up every night until the early hours of the morning, pouring over endless piles of government documents. The bureaucrats report that he has actually read every imperial order coming across his desk, often made extensive amendments before signing them, and even issued a surprising number of new orders on his own initiative, covering the entire gamut of topics: re-ordering the duty hours of the vigiles (Rome's combined police/fire squads), testing the city's water supplies, re-scheduling upcoming chariot races, and dispersing the incoming Egyptian grain shipments to scattered granaries.
Yesterday, Domitius and Atilius met for a short afternoon meeting. Atilius expected to be reassigned to a new provincial bureaucratic post, but instead the emperor gave a very odd speech, indicating that he had need of good men to oversee events in the next few days, competent men loyal to the emperor and not beholden to any of the major senatorial factions. He claimed that Atilius's arrival at this juncture was a fortuitous gift of the gods and that Atilius would soon have great responsibilities, though he could not specify them at the moment. Atilius was then invited to this evening's imperial feast and told to "prepare himself" for what was to come.
[Domitius: You have chosen Atilius to be one of your "political tribunes" in the upcoming battle. You have, of course, studied his record in detail. You know that Atilius's family are clients of Ennius, but also know that Atilius is a devout follower of Mithras and thus has no personal loyalty toward the flamen Dialis. Furthermore, though Mithraism may be common in the legions it's still somewhat scandalous in regular society, and you can hold this over his head if necessary to gain control. Despite what you said to him, you don't really trust Atilius, he's just a useful piece on your board.]
Domitius, Tully, Titus Flavius
In your campaigns, you have seen the ravages of war fever. The disease occurs wherever war is most intense, in places where soldiers or people are forced to live in dirty, unwashed masses and where bodies are strewn about and lie unburied. Some claim that is a curse from the gods for not obeying the necessary funeral rituals. When it strikes, it is invariably fatal and often kills half or more of the people in a region. It has effectively halted more than one campaign in the empire's history, ravaging entire legions.
The disease typically manifests as fierce headaches, difficulty in breathing, and mental confusion, common symptoms of many diseases. However, after about a week, the victims begin to break out in distinctive red skin eruptions on their torso, hands, feet, and face. When this stage is reached, the victim is doomed and will almost invariably die within another week.
[Secundus: You've heard the following from one of your smugglers who recently fled Sicilia:]
The stories circulating in Rome of destruction in Sicilia actually underestimate the full catastrophe. Tired of the Sicilians willfulness, Domitius ordered the entire island put to the torch. Thousands of men, women, and children were slaughtered and the great cities were turned into charnel houses. The Sicilians fought like demons, and despite restrictions on weapon shipments to the island, had managed to arm themselves with high quality Roman arms, including catapults used in the siege of Syracuse. The desperate and heavily armed Sicilians inflicted grievous losses on the loyal legions. Bodies were left unburied by the tens of thousands in the streets and fields. Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that war fever broke out, sweeping through the populace and the legions with devastating effect. Sicilia is now a depopulated ruin in which the dead outnumber the living by a factor of ten, including most of the 15,000 legionaries whom Domitius had led into battle.
Titus Flavius, Publius
You've heard rumors that the devastation in Sicilia was immense, far beyond even what the general news reveals. You've heard second or third-hand reports of refugees saying that the island's entire population has been slain by war, fire, and plague, including the 15,000 legionnaires which the emperor brought there. It's definitely true that when Domitius returned to Rome he arrived without any troops with him and only a few aides.
Ennius, Tully, Cassius Aurelius
When the emperor returned to Rome from Sicilia four days ago, he arrived suddenly and without any military escort. He led over 15,000 men into Sicilia, but was only accompanied by a handful of aides when he returned, one of whom has since died from his wounds. Those who have inquired about the disposition of the troops in Sicilia and where they are to be stationed next have been rebuffed.
Agricola, Gallicus, Domitria
[Gallicus: Your spies within the Praetorian Guard have brought you the following info:]
Members of the Praetorian Guard have noted that the emperor does not seem to be in good health. He seems to have trouble breathing after even the simplest exertions. Detailed information is hard to come by, as he has dismissed many of his body slaves. His daughter Domitria has tried to speak with him and offer him aid, but the guards were given emphatic orders to turn her away from his chambers.
Last year, while Emperor Domitius was gathering troops in Tarraconensis in preparation for invading Sicilia, he summoned Senator Gallicus to his side in Saguntum, where they met in secret conference. Domitius perfunctorily informed Gallicus that his adopted son Germanicus was a traitor to the empire, but that he must be dealt with privately in order to save face. Knowing that Gallicus had ties to some of the German barbarians, Domitius ordered Gallicus to leak information on the movements of Germanicus's legion to Garvis, the king of Alemannia.
Domitius, of course, also made it clear that were his connection to this conspiracy to become public, his legions would find and slay Gallicus, his family, his friends, his slaves, and everyone in Gaul whom Gallicus has even spoken to during the course of his life. Massilia was mentioned. Domitius seemed assured that there was little chance of Gallicus betraying his confidence, and indeed, Gallicus faithfully carried out his emperor's orders.
Domitius, Gallicus, Agricola
Last year in July, Domitius sent orders Agricola instructing him to forward to Senator Gallicus all reports which came through the palace concerning the activities of the legions in Germania. No reason was given for this order.
Domitius, Agricola, Gallicus, Rutger, Vespasian
Though Germanicus Caesar was publicly portrayed as the "golden boy" heir of the emperor, a few insiders know that he was actually not particularly competent. His command of the legions in Germania was based solely on his political position, and he was actually only a mediocre general, responsible for a number of military blunders in the volatile northern provinces.
Domitius, Agricola, Domitria, Vespasian, Gallicus
You have seen or heard the official reports on the death of Germanicus. He was killed in an ambush by Garvis, the client king of the Alemanni, a confederation of tribes in southwest Germania [modern Bavaria]. The Alemanni have always been a problem for the Romans, raiding into Raetia and later, after Domitius's conquests, rebelling at irregular intervals. King Garvis, an impetuous young man who was only crowned two years ago, has long been suspected of harboring resentment for his Roman masters. While it can't be confirmed, reports seem to indicate that Germanicus was actually kidnaped in the ambush and then slain in ritual personal combat by Garvis himself. This is no doubt only the first in a series of popular uprisings in Alemannia which may take a year or more for the legions to suppress.
Domitius, Rutger, Domitria
You've heard rumors of a heretical cult in Germania among those who consider the emperor to be divine. This cult claims that he is a god, but that that god is named Loki, a barbarian trickster spirit of malevolence and chaos. Needless to say, the official imperial cult is suppressing this heresy with the utmost diligence.
Tully, Domitius, Agricola
Though there has been no overt rebellion, the people of Baetica, including some important patricians who live in Gades, have petitioned the emperor to lower their taxes. They apparently even have the support of their own proconsul, a distinguished senator allied with the Tullius family.
Agricola, Vespasian, Severas, Aurelia, Secundus
High tax rates have led to the closure of many of the copper mines on Cyprus, decimating the island's economy. The once prosperous islanders are now no longer to pay even the lower rates they used to have two decades ago.
Publius, Aurelia, Vespasian
Rumor has it that the troops in Egypt and Kush have not been paid for three months now. Defections are on the rise and there is speculation that some of the legions may turn to looting the empire's richest province, a crucial financial and agricultural backbone of imperial power.
Herod, Domitius, Domitria, Agricola, Rutger, Julia, Cassius Aurelius, Secundus
Herod Aemilianus is known for his habit of giving large and exotic gifts to the emperor. Past gifts have included eastern silks and spices, Nubian slaves, a gilded ship, and an elephant. This is a source of some amusement in the court, which always looks forward to what new gift he'll bring each visit. Domitius has always accepted these gifts with good humor, and has jokingly said that if Herod keeps this up he'll be forced to adopt him as a son.
Domitius, Cassius Aurelius, Ennius, Vespasian
Domitius and his father truly hated one another, and no one in the family had any doubts of young Gaius Domitius's determination to become emperor. When Castor was on his deathbed, two weeks after naming Domitius his heir (a foregone conclusion in the minds of most), he summoned his son to his side and begged him son to honor his father after death, asking him to dedicate the German conquests to his name. Domitius responded only with silence, though Castor continued to beg. When Castor died two weeks seven hours later, Domitius turned to the guard, gave orders for the burial, and walked out of the room. He did not attend the funeral, having been called to deal with a revolt in Massilia.
Domitius's cousin and half-brother both saw the writing on the wall very early and made sure to absent themselves from Rome during the crucial period so as not to present a threat to Domitius's succession. Both negotiated with Domitius through intermediaries, ensuring their loyalty and agreeing to certain limitations on their actions as assurances to Domitius. Ennius accepted the title of flamen Dialis, exempting him from any possible military career or high political office. Cassius Aurelius had actually helped Domitius gain the throne, maintaining his political support back home while Domitius was in Germania and blocking Castor's attempts to have Domitius declared traitor. He was thus given the lesser limitation that he must never seek or accept the consulate.
Enraged at your father's actions, you arranged for Tiberius's death. Using your position as aedile in charge of grain shipments, you misrouted supplies meant for Tiberius's legion in Tingitana. You later spread the rumors that he died through gross incompetence.
Domitius, Publius, Vespasian
You know that a contributing factor to Tiberius's death in the year 40 was a crucial lack of supplies. When Tiberius left on his ill-fated bandit chase, his legion was operating from a frontier camp well out in the desert, with a tenuous supply line leading to the coast, dependent on almost weekly caravans of food and water from the port cities. When a crucial grain shipment from Rome failed to arrive in port on time, a follow-up caravan didn't set out. The legion's prefect of the camp was forced to vacate the outlying base and return to the coast where they could purchase food directly from the locals, abandoning Tiberius in the desert. It's quite possible that Tiberius survived the bandits he was pursuing, only to return to an empty camp surrounded by hostile forces. When the legion finally returned to the base three weeks later, it had been destroyed in a sandstorm and no trace of Tiberius or his cohort was ever found.
Tully, Cassius Aurelius
The children of Tiberius Domitius have always lived under a cloud due to the rumored military incompetence of their father, and this bit of opprobrium has passed on in part to their spouses, reducing any influence they may have in the legions, who don't want to be led by the son or son-in-law of a failure. It is thus in your child's interest to clear the name of Tiberius if possible.
There was no rebellion in Massilia. You just made it up to have an excuse to kill and plunder without compunction. Fortunately, Castor left a legacy of many people with gripes, and it was easy to find evidence of these complaints and blow them out of proportion to excuse your actions.
Cassius Aurelius, Vespasian
You were quite surprised by the sudden rebellion in Massilia which occurred immediately after Castor's death. Narbonensis as a whole had been a peaceful province for years, and there had been no signs of rebellion. However, after brutally slaying much of the population, Domitius was able to provide evidence that a number of Massilian nobles had harbored hatred of Castor and were planning to overthrow the Domitian family and place someone else on the throne.
There was no rebellion in Massilia in 48. True, there were some local nobles who had gripes against Castor and had talked among themselves about the problem, but the same could be said for every patrician or provincial nobleman in the empire. You knew the Massilian nobles, and the charges levied against them were blown far out of proportion. Domitius must have known this when he personally led the massacre that killed every prominent citizen in the city. You have no idea why Massilia was made an example, or even if Domitius himself chose to do so (he may have been acting on behalf of others), but it has given you a healthy respect and fear for Domitius's ruthlessness. Still, you hate it when anyone mentions the Massilian rebellion as if it were real, and among those you trust you will try to correct the record so that at least some people know the truth.
Domitius, Domitria, Cassius Aurelius, Agricola, Publius, Ennius, Herod, Julia
Except for necessary public appearances, Domitius and Merrinia have not actually spoken to one another in nearly ten years. During the few periods when both are in Rome, they keep to their separate apartments and avoid each other as much as possible.
Domitius, Cassius Aurelius, Agricola, Publius
Merrinia has definitely had a shocking series of affairs over the years, generally with good-looking young military men, but the Praetorians are under orders to cover them up. Cassius Aurelius has also helped, working to silence rumors among the senatorial classes. The public whipping occurred only when an affair with a handsome centurion got a little too blatant and actually reached the ears of the emperor. The centurion was silently beheaded and Merrinia was whipped. Otherwise, Domitius has made it clear that he does not want to know the details of what's going on.
You know that the empress has a fetish for young gladiators. A number of men in your stable have been invited to imperial dinners hosted by Merrinia when the emperor was out of town, dinners from which they usually returned three or four days later completely exhausted and full of stories of the carnal mysteries known to the "wild empress". You have instructed your men to keep quiet about these encounters on pain of death -- but only after relaying them to you; you're constantly amazed how a 44-year old woman is able to tire out these athletic young bucks! You'd love to shared some of these stories (feel free to make up details) with someone.
You've heard from fellow gladiators in other stables that the empress has a penchant for young warriors and has invited numerous gladiators to her bed. Many speak of "friends of friends", but a few claim to have actually slept with her, and tell tales of the sexual wonders known to highborn Roman women. You've always been intrigued, and have seen the empress looking at from the imperial box during some of your games. However, the woman is over 40 (a veritable ancient among your own people, though Roman women apparently maintain their looks much longer), and your own eye was always drawn to the empress's beautiful daughter who sat by her side.
Rutger, Cassius Aurelius
A year ago, after a particularly spectacular game in which Rutger defeated four men, he received an invitation to a dinner at the palace hosted by the empress Merrinia. This was a great honor for both the gladiator and his master, and the new secretary who received the letter immediately informed Rutger that he was to be honored by the empress herself. However, when Cassius Aurelius heard of the invitation he ordered his secretary to respond that Rutger was unable to attend due to a serious groin injury he sustained recently. Rutger was instructed to ignore the matter and forget about it.
Rumors of the sexual prowess of the empress Merrinia have reached even to Gaul, including one that she apparently slept with many of the German tribal leaders while she accompanied her husband into the field of Germania, using mysterious eastern sexual skills to place them under her control and thus ensuring Domitius's victory. Some say that none of Merrinia's children were actually fathered by Domitius, who through inhuman restraint manages to eschew his wife's bed in order to not fall under her power. Publius and other praetorians in your pay report that she has a string of handsome military men and gladiators coming through her bedroom, often in large groups, and that these men, athletic 18-year-olds in fantastic physical shape, often leave exhausted and drained while the empress calls for more!
Mettius Flavius, a distant relative of yours and a member of the Praetorian guard, was present at a family dinner held in your honor a few days ago. As the evening progressed, he became increasingly drunk and loquacious. At one point, while the men were discussing the advantages of young brides, he mentioned the advantages of older women, claiming that he knew one woman in her forties who could handle three or four strapping 18-year-old bucks in a single night, leaving them begging for more but too drained to perform any further. When pressed for the identity of this super-woman he clammed up and refused to say any more. However, he did say that apparently the skill is hereditary, for the woman's daughter had seduced and captured a handsome former gladiator. It didn't take you much thinking to attach names to these stories, but knowing the nature of barracks gossip, you're unsure whether to believe them.
Herod, Agricola, Cassius Aurelius
Four years ago, when Herod Aemilianus was visiting the palace, the empress Merrinia fixated on him as the latest object of her desire. Herod put up little resistance, and soon found himself in the empress's bed. The affair lasted for two weeks (a long time for Merrinia) and Herod began to worry. He tried to break things off, but the empress became obsessed with him and refused to let him leave, though Domitius was due back in the city any day. Becoming desperate, he appealed to Cassius Aurelius and Agricola for help. (In a rather candid conversation, he revealed that the empress seemed to know more about sexual techniques than the mostly highly trained concubines in the decadent east.) Cassius Aurelius instructed Agricola to find the most handsome centurion in the guard, and to post that man each night as the guard in the hallway outside the empress's bed chamber. Two days later, Herod was, with great relief, dismissed from the empress's affections, immediately fleeing the city for Judaea. When Domitius returned a week later, he heard of the centurion, leading to the public scandal which everyone knows of.
Unfortunately, Herod's troubles with Merrinia didn't end there. A minor palace bureaucrat named Vitruvius had heard of the incident and sent blackmail letters to Herod a few months later. Because Cassius Aurelius was just taking office as praetor urbanus, Herod went directly to Agricola, who arranged for some legionaries to visit a bar frequented by Vitruvius, who was accidentally killed in a tragic bar fight.
Though your mother tries to hide her activities from you, you are aware that she is constantly attended by handsome young military men and gladiators, and it didn't take you long to figure out why they were kept around. At first you were disgusted by this behavior, but as you grew older (and discovered the boredom of your own marriage to Germanicus), you began to sympathize and even fantasize a bit. Thus, a month ago, when Germanicus had been away from Rome for over a year and you were getting a bit antsy, you finally decided to test how far you could go.
Unfortunately, as the daughter of the emperor, your chances of meeting men were quite circumscribed. You were afraid to pick one of the praetorian guards, who were under your father's command, and too picky to desire a slave. However, you had always admired the handsome gladiator Rutger, whose exploits you had followed in the games. Hearing that he had been freed, you invited the young gladiator to a private dinner. He seemed to know exactly what you wanted, and before the end of the evening the two of you were in the midst of a passionate affair.
Only a couple days after receiving your freedom you received an invitation to a private dinner with the emperor's daughter, Domitria. From the tales told by your friends, you knew immediately what this meant. Though you'd had all the slave girlsyou could want during your fighting years (including your favorite, Ingra, who had been your personal concubine for a couple months near the end of your service), you were eager to sample the legendary skills of a high-born Roman. You were not disappointed, and before the end of the evening the two of you had begun a passionate affair.
Your men have reported that the ex-gladiator Rutger has been visiting Domitria's chambers regularly for the past month. You're not surprised -- like mother, like daughter. You just wonder why it took so long for her to show her true colors. You've decided that the emperor's orders regarding his wife should extend to his daughter, and have instructed the men in that wing to keep quiet about it. In fact, you haven't even reported it on to Agricola. However, when word of Germanicus's death came in a week ago, and this affair seemed to be going on for far longer than Merrinia's typical fling, you decided to confront Rutger.
Two days after word arrived in Rome of the death of Germanicus, Rutger went to visit Domitria in her chambers, entering the palace through a back door where the guards knew to expect him. Inside he was confronted by Publius, who informed him that things were more serious now. With the emperor's daughter now a widow, she would be expected to re-marry soon and would come under increasing scrutiny by her father and others. Publius agreed to help continue covering up the affair, but only if Rutger followed his orders when it became necessary. Since then the two have not spoken.
Miscellaneous Family Members
You have heard good things about the Sabine Legion. Apparently Titus Flavius knows how to keep a clean camp and his men are well looked after. Your son Paterculus is of an age where he needs some military experience, and you'd like to see him serve a good general. You thus want to investigate Titus Flavius's background on this issue and, if he appears worthy, ask him to take on young Paterculus as a camp aide.
Julia, Domitius, Cassius Aurelius, Ennius, Aurelia
Emperor Castor's older sister Julia Domitia was always somewhat of an embarrassment to the family because of her lack of children. Though she became pregnant numerous times, she always miscarried, and this was seen by everyone, including Julia, as a personal fault on her part. Even her husband Lucretius was known to beat her at times for failing to provide him with an heir, for he didn't dare set aside a wife from the imperial family. Aunt Julia, as she was commonly known was a frequent visitor to the shrines of Hera and Diana, and payed for hundreds of animals to be sacrificed on her behalf. When Lucretius died, she was happy to get away from Rome; luckily she was over fifty, and there was no need to foist a barren woman off on some unlucky husband.
When Julia Domitia died, her vast estates (and those of her husband) were all transferred to the emperor.
You know that Julia Domitia's miscarriages happened for a reason. As her handmaiden, you know that throughout her life she secretly had access to abortifacient herbs, and she used them whenever she became pregnant. On her deathbed she revealed to you that she never wanted to bring children into the world, for they would certainly have end up being pawns or victims of her evil brother and his sons. She was only unhappy that she knew that now her wealth would go to the emperor, though she would rather give it to her slaves instead, the people she truly considered her children. She actually tried to leave you a small amount in her will, but expected it to be claimed by the emperor. At your mistress's instructions, you did squirrel away as much cash and small valuables as you could, goods that added up to quite a large amount and became the nest egg for your future. As your mistress's accountant and the manager of the estate, it was easy for you to hide these losses so that no one would every know.
You were never truly close to Julia Domitia. She was a true Roman matron and maintained a stoic distance to the end. But these deathbed revelations gave you a new respect for her independence and willpower. Though you've told Titus Flavius about the money, you've never told anyone about the other parts. However, every time you hear someone slander your former mistress you grit your teeth, and some day you'd like to be able to set the record straight.
Domitius, Julia, Titus Flavius, Agricola, Ennius, Cassius Aurelius, Aurelia
When Julia Domitia died, her will left the bulk of her estate to the emperor, but she also tried to leave small but substantial sums to her manumitted slaves. However, at the time these funds were needed for the planned campaign in Britannia, and Emperor Domitius legally declared himself the sole heir, transferring it all to himself.
Because Julia Djadeh, the woman who managed the transfer of the estate, was one of the jilted beneficiaries, the emperor offered her a generous gift upon the successful completion of her work. It was only a tenth of what she would have had from the estate, but the emperor made it clear that it was either a fraction or nothing. Julia accepted, faithfully carried out her duties, and was given the promised severance bonus when she left the imperial bureaucracy for the household of Titus Flavius.