Happy Saturday everyone!
The day has vanished in a flurry of domestic chores but I did promise to post a few snippets this weekend from The Taexali Game.
This beautiful Sardonyx intaglio in three layers is from the 16th century and depicts Caracalla and Geta, sons of the Roman Emperor Severus- who after Septimius Severus' death became joint emperors in their own right(s). However, a number of years prior to the death of Septimius Severus, the sons had been made joint rulers with their father - though how effective that was I'm not at all sure.
These lads above appear to have been real tearaways in their teens and got up to all sorts of nasty behaviour. Their dislike of their father, Septimius Severus, is probably only surpassed by their dislike of each other. Caracalla, the elder by around one year, accompanied the Emperor Severus on the campaign to northern Scotland somewhere around AD 209-210, Geta having been left to 'rule' southern Britannia whilst Severus and Caracalla created their havoc in the north.
Emperor Severus died in Eboracum (York) February AD 211 after which the delinquent duo above officially became joint emperors. They then departed from Britannia and returned to Rome in AD 211. Once back in Rome the fun started in earnest.
Plans were afoot - one son plotted the death of the other. I wonder if you know which that might be?
In The Taexali Game, Aran is the character who has an incredible capacity for storing facts. Here he is relating to the twins- Brian and Fianna- what he knows about the sons of Severus...
He went on to tell them a lot more about the sons of Severus.
“Wow.” Brian whispered a while later. “That’s pretty gross. Caracalla duffed them in? Snuffed out thousands of Geta’s friends?”
“Not only them. Caracalla was the nicer of his nicknames. He wasn’t called the ‘beast’ because he was nice to his opposition.”
“You mean his own enemies?”
Fianna crept even closer to him, her smirk displaying the opposite of her words. “I hate to ask, but what did he do to them?”
“It seems he was quite proud to be called a ‘beast’. Sometimes he seemed to make pacts for peace, at the end of battle engagements, but then he had thousands of the opposing army slain.”
“How do you know all this gruesome stuff?”
“A guy named Cassius Dio wrote things about him and his murderous megalomania. But the absolute worst thing was what he did to his brother Geta.”
The whispering went on for a good while.
“Double yuck!” Fianna was grossed out by the time he was finished. “Nasty, nasty guy. But…how do you think that will help just now?”
Aran shrugged his shoulders, his earlier euphoria gone. “I don’t know.”
I hope that snippet will whet your appetite for more of The Taexali Game.