Lucullus Laments: Tales of Rome

Chapter 1 - introduction

It is now 3 years since the news of our great discovery struck the archaeological world and though slightly overshadowed by the recent opening of the Lupercal to the light of science, I believe that will prove to be a ghastly reminder of the excesses of Augustus, while our find will stand as a central work in the annals of the Roman Republic. Lucius Licinius Lucullus was a contemporary of a constellation of great men, some passing like comets, while others radiating still as supernovae in our historical minds eye. Gaius Marius, Sulla, Julius Caesar, Pompey Magnus, Cicero, Cato, Publius Clodius Pulcher, Marcus Crassus...the list is a long one, yet within it Lucullus stands out as maybe the greatest of these Romans: He never abandoned the Republic, remaining above the squabbling of his inferiors as any true Roman and first man would, and while there are some who argue that in the end, he could have saved it, many others can plainly see that it had already passed, and simply awaited the funeral games the Civil Wars of the Conspirators and the Triumverate would bring.
As you probably remember, what we discovered in Tusculum was nothing less than a treasure trove of scrolls, some in what we believe to be Lucullus' own hand on a variety of topics, both military and civil as would be expected, but also of a more intimate nature. These more intimate pieces are unique to us who study the late Republic, and shed light on marital life in the household of one of the leading Patrician families of the time, showing us both domestic bliss and strife from a first hand perspective. Lucullus is often viewed as cold and distant, but from these accounts we find ourselves getting to know him as a man, with all the passions that mark all of us human, some remarkable weaknesses and what we can only describe as a most amazing fetish.
Among with the scrolls were also found, in an almost perfect state of preservation, letters (actually wax tablets as you well know) from both of Lucullus' wives, Clodia and Servilia Caepionis. They are nearly the only existing evidence of the communication of Roman women with their loved ones, nearly the only evidence of first hand female thought from the late Republic. We find in these letters real women who, like Lucullus, remind us with their words that they were people, fighting, but often succumbing to the same passions and vices that exist today. Roman women as you remember, had a remarkable degree of freedom but were ultimately still bound to obey the rule of their Paterfamilas; first their father, and then their husband, though as you will see from the translation, they maintained their independence despite the social limits of the time.
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RFBurton 11 years
Working without a word processor, so pardon my spelling...Historical errors though are planned if they exist, and for the purpose of the flow of the story. And their aren't many.
RFBurton 11 years
This will be ongoing, and completed only when it's done. Enjoy.