Dearest Marcellina Avitus,
I’m afraid I must be again the bearer of bad news my dear sister. After bringing yours and Lucanus’ petitions to my own husband, and then to our local Aedile last week, I had no such luck in having them answered. I thought perhaps, with my noble blood and the respected Patrician name of my husband I could perhaps get an audience with our beloved Emperor. So, there I was last week, walking through the streets of Rome, my ladies-in-waiting all aflutter around me, dodging Plebian neighborhoods like a plague from the gods, following whispers from strolling senators in their bright white togas. My only mission was to find our emperor Trajan and command to have your ...view middle of the document...
The arch itself is like nothing my eyes have ever seen before. Our brave emperor sits in a golden chariot, six horses forever pulling him forward, as he holds onto the chains of the people my husband calls the Dacians who tried to hurt the empire, while the goddess Victory lays the golden crown of triumph on Emperor Trajan’s head. The majesty of such a thing is hard to even put into words, not to mention the six pillars of shining red fire that line the entrance and lead up to the sculpture of the emperor.
If a man were not amazed by that alone then walking inside would make anyone nearly faint. I always thought that the places my husband calls Caesar’s and Augustus’ Fora were beautiful, but upon stepping under that grand archway and entering into the Forum of Trajan itself, I swear by the gods my breath was nearly stolen from my body.
I have never seen such a large open space before, especially considering I’ve never left the greatest of Rome’s perimeters and Pompeii was destroyed before I was ever allowed the pleasure of a visit. The forum seems to go on for miles and miles in either direction for as far as the eye can see. The only thing that stops the vastness of the beautifully tiled floor is the brightly colored columns that reach straight for Mount Olympus.
I swear I could barely glimpse the Corinthian capitols (don’t forget the slave Dionus learned me in a great many studies in preparation of my Patrician marriage) as they went straight into the clouds. The marble itself was of the finest grain and color, and polished to an absolute shine. I could even see my own reflection staring back at me as I gazed upon one of them, almost as if it were like one of the polished bronze mirrors I have in my home! If I had not heard from my husband of all the construction that had taken place, I would swear this forum was something created straight from the hands of the gods. The statue of our Emperor on horseback trampling another of the evil Dacians, that towers over the entire Forum seems it can have only placed there by Jupiter Optimus Maximus…Or perhaps even took the strength of all three of the Capitoline Triad to place it upon its pedestal.
Regardless of what I think, my husband told me later that it took thousands of slaves and a whole fleet of ships just to get everything here. How wonderful does that sound? I wish I had gone with Caelius when he invited me to see the construction of the forum.
I'm glad I am seeing it now, because if I had not waited I would not have been able to see the Greek and Latin libraries. After going through the Basilica with some of my hand maidens and ignoring the probing glare of some of the older aediles who were inside doing business, and catching only a glimpse of the solid golden statue of the...