The Assassination of Caligula

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There is conspiracy afoot in Rome, Caligula is to be killed by the Praetorian Guard as is the rest of his family. Yet others of the Praetorian Guard wish to make Claudius, Caligula's uncle, First Citizen. Planning to cheat the Praetorian Guard who would kill Caligula, Claudius searches for his cousin Romulus and convinces him to take part in this new conspiracy to cheat the Praetorian Guard from killing Caligula. He agrees but will things go as planned?

Bryan McCarthy
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Chapter One

The Assassination of Caligula


Bryan McCarthy

Caligula had ruled all that was Rome for three twelvemonths and ten months. Those who had thought Tiberius a tyrant, soon found themselves reassessing their beliefs about him and would say in secret: “For all his flaws at least Tiberius wasn’t Caligula!”

Romulus, illegitimate son of Julia Major, Caligula’s maternal grandmother, and a very intrepid Hibernian trader, had been separated from his family for twelve twelvemonths. His wife Messalina, their son Conn and the child whose birth he had not been present for. He did not know what had happened, his step-grandmother Julia Augusta died and not long after Tiberius, her son and the then First Citizen of Rome, ordered him sold into slavery, stripped of his position in society and his estates given to Sejanus. He had been bought by the lanista Lucius and so became a gladiator. Sejanus was dead, that twelvemonth he would have been dead for a decade. Who owned his estates now? Did Messalina and their children even have a home anymore? No, they must have. His cousin Claudius would have taken care of them he was sure of it, even defend them from Caligula.

And then when day, Claudius arrived at the gladiator school of the lanista Lucius, a man of ambiguous heritage, barbarian that much was known. From a member of the Praetorian Guard loyal to him, Claudius had learned that half of the Praetorian Guard, in league with the Senate, were plotting the eradication of Julio-Claudian line, not just Caligula, all in the name of bringing back the rule of the consuls, an era of chaos and civil wars. The ring leaders were Cassius Chaera, leader of the Praetorian Guard, and senators Marcus Vinicius and Lucius Annius Vinicianus.

Ill with a fever in Lucius’ living room, Romulus inquired: “So what is the plan?”

And that was how Romulus was now with his fellow gladiators at the unfinished Amphitheatre of Caligula. Caligula had taken to performing as a gladiator both privately and publicly and so the plan was to cheat the conspirators out of killing Caligula.

It seemed flawed to Romulus and that was because it was. The objective of the conspirators was to kill every Julio-Claudian, not just Caligula. Still, with Caligula having voiced some lustful intentions for Romulus’ wife Messalina, Romulus wanted to break Caligula.

Looking at himself, Romulus could not understand how after twelve twelvemonths of barley he was still as lean and hungry looking Gaius Cassius Longinus. Did he have some scars? Yes, most certainly. Marcus the Murmillo did not go easy on him when they fought even if they were friends. He never tried to kill Romulus since Romans did not want death but they did want blood. Red of hair, ruddy skinned, mismatched eyes with the left being blue and the right green, the only thing different about him was that he was twelve twelvemonths older and had some scars on him.

Romulus was a Thracian, a gladiator armed in the Thracian style. He had a small circular shield that was six and thirty inches across and a very short sword with a curved blade. His armor was a pair of greaves, a protective belt above his red loincloth and a helmet with a side plume, visor and high crest.

He was three and forty for Romulus had been born, having been born early in the twelvemonth of his mother’s exile. Julia Major had not been officially exiled until a month after Romulus’ birth. The new twelvemonth was not far behind and Romulus’ birthday was not long past. Caligula was eight and twenty, fifteen twelvemonths younger than Romulus. Would he be able to defeat the younger man that was his nephew? Romulus was uncertain. He merely sat there, his eyes on the wall, not acknowledging those around him.

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