I saw the notable woman Antonia, a wife of a senator, in the streets today. Word had gotten around that her aunt had died and it was clear that she had been crying recently. I had always had a bit of a grudge against the senatorial class, with all their arrogance and pompousness, but I found a little beauty in the moment, taking solace in the fact that the struggle for life seems to be evident in all classes and death is a universal enemy of all of us.
Her husband, Aelianus was consoling her, but I had a very different set of emotions for him. Although he had also lost a family member, although not by blood, when I saw him all I could think about was my murdered father and how a man like Aelianus killed him simply when he was trying to even the radically uneven distribution of wealth through the theft of something so trivial such as jewelry. Sometimes I question Roman law and the classes.
On the topic of classes, I spoke to Marcus, a third class citizen, as he was making his way back from the baths. He didn’t have much time for me, but he did have just enough to boast his trip to Rome. It’s amazing what a difference several classes can make. I saw him then run of with his strong family, which I was jealous of, having lost many family members.
To ease my temper I headed towards a gladiator game being held in the local amphitheater, there I saw Rutilius a local gladiator. He was famous for embarking on the life of a gladiator by choice, an odd decision in my opinion, as death is almost a certainty, but he was very skilled in his battle and was victorious. He is the heartthrob of many young girls.
In the crowd, I caught a glimpse of Cordia, a young girl of the Proletarius class like myself and the apple of my eye. She had been sick for a while, just like my sister, but her mother took tremendous care of her and took her to a Folk-healer. I went to her door everyday with flowers, hoping to win her favor. I wished to speak to her, but the crowd was heavy and sweaty on that hot August day.
Interestingly, I also caught Narcissus, who I know is a slave at the games. This bothered me somewhat, not only because it seems as though he escaped from his master’s hold just to see the game, but he quite the smile on his face, enjoying the mischief. Here I was trying to survive day to day and he was enjoying his shenanigans, even as a slave. I surely do live in a city of diverse classes, with quite a variety of characters.