Great Art - Images from 'The Story of Gracchus'

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016


by
Vittorio Carvelli


SELECTED IMAGES and EXTRACTS of TEXT
from the exciting serial novel of a Roman boy's adventures
  
(use the links, and read the full texts, and many more images)

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Portrait - Marcus Gaius Gracchus'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Gaius Agrippa Aelius'

Gaius Agrippa Aelius had been sent to Athens for a number of years, on Imperial business.
During that time his wife had given birth to his only son, Marcus Gaius Aelius.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Pirate Galley Docked at Crete'

Then, with the cargo ship in tow, the galley made off towards Crete, where the pirates had a safe harbor. Eventually, when the harbor at Crete came into sight, the pirates cut down Gaius, and threw him into the sea. As the Galley and the cargo ship docked in the small harbor, the pirates organized slaves to unload the cargo of Pentelic marble, and the bronze statues.
Those items would later be transferred to another ship, and would be sold in Alexandria.
The Armenian slaves, the boy dancers, and Marcus were then unloaded from the Galley, and placed in guarded pens, where they would later be sorted, and decisions would be made as to where they would be sold.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Markos is Sold'
adapted from a painting by Jean-Leon Gerome

Soon the bidding began, and it gradually became quite frantic, as some of the potential buyers had set their heart on acquiring the handsome youngster. Then, quite unexpectedly, a young man at the back of the agitated group of bidders made a single bid. Immediately the room fell silent. The bid was of such an amount that no other person in the room could possibly conceive of equaling, or exceeding it  - or even approaching it, for that matter.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'On the Road to Baiae'

The freedman had a muscular young slave with him - presumably a bodyguard - who rode beside the carriage during the journey. Unknown to Markos, the destination to which he would be traveling was Baiae - a considerable distance from Brundisium - and so they traveled all that afternoon, stopping once in the early evening for a light meal, and then traveling on into the night.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Punishment of the Runaway Slave'

"This is the punishment area.", Nerva announced, solemnly.
And it was quite obvious to young Marcus, because, in one corner a naked young slave was tied to a cross-beam. He was groaning pitifully, jerking up and down.
Nerva explained, "He tried to run away. Went to Neápolis, but no one there would remove his slave collar. They all knew where he had come from, because the collar was thick silver, and he was soon reported, found, and sent back here.
My lord had no other choice but to subject him to this punishment.


for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Markos in the Bath'

They returned down the staircase, and turned into another corridor, and through a door.
The bath - even the bath for the high ranking slaves -  in the Villa Auri was as palatial as the rest of the building, and Markos wondered what the bath used by the owner would be like.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Markos' Silver Slave Collar

Nerva spoke in a serious manner to Markos.
"This collar, which is very valuable, will be riveted round your neck.
If you were ever so foolish as to try and run away, you would find it very hard to get it removed. Vulcan has a very special skill in these matters, and anyone else trying to remove the rivet would probably seriously injure, or even kill you - it's not worth the risk.
If my lord ever deigns to free you, then Vulcan - or if Vulcan is no longer here, then his apprentice, will remove it safely, and it will be a gift to you.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Servius Juvenalis - Centurion of  Legio XIII - Nude

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Servius Juvenalis - Centurion of  Legio XIII

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus


  
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Markos in the Gymnasion'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Cleon - the Slave-Boy - Nude'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Cleon - the Slave-Boy'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Servius and Markos at the Pool'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'The Rape of Ganymede'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Door Keeper to Gaius Gracchus' Study'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Door Keeper to Gaius Gracchus' Study'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Slave-Boy Serving Wine at a Banquet'
adapted from a painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Doors to the Banqueting Hall at the Villa Auri'

The doors to the hall were masterpieces, cast in bronze, enormously heavy, and then lacquered, and ornamented with the most tasteful gilded decoration, which included Gracchus' monogram on each door.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'The Banqueting Hall at the Villa Auri'

Like the rest of the Villa, the Reception hall had been designed by the prominent Roman architect, Lucius Severius.
Surprisingly, despite his philhellenism, Gracchus had chosen a Roman architect rather that a Greek for his magnificent villa by the sea.
The reason, of course, was that Gracchus wanted some large areas, uncluttered with columns.
Greek architects, unfortunately had a habit of inserting rows of columns in any large internal space, - which was not what Gracchus wanted at all.
So Gracchus had chosen an architect who was a master at creating magnificent spaces using concrete.
The Reception Hall was large enough to accommodate over one hundred people, and had no internal columns, as it was roofed with a coffered, concrete barrel vault.
The vault was finished in white stucco, with plaster ornamentation finished with gold leaf.
The doors to the hall were masterpieces, cast in bronze, enormously heavy, and then lacquered, and ornamented with the most tasteful gilded decoration, which included Gracchus' monogram on each door.
All the walls of the hall were veneered in the most expensive off-white, veined Greek marble.
And the floor was finished in marble mosaic, polished with olive oil.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Slave-boys Sparring in the Banqueting Hall at the Villa Auri'

As the doors were swung open by the tall slave-boys, Markos not only saw the magnificent hall, but also two practically naked, older slave boys, sparring with wooden swords, in the center of the mosaic floor.Apart from the usual silver slave collars, each boy was only wearing a leather thong, leather wrist guards and gloves.
"These boys are preparing for tonight's munera." Tarentius explained.
As Markos watched them, he wondered which one of them would be dead before the end of the night.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Ανδώνιος - (Adonios)'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Ἀρίστων - (Ariston)'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Banquet at the Villa Auri'

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Nude Slave-Boy Gymnast at the Villa Auri'


The first diversion was a number of young slave-boys who performed some gymnastics.
As the name suggests, ('gymnazein' - to exercise naked) the boys performed completely nude.
The boys had been carefully trained by Gracchus' coaches, and were able to put on a show that was not only very skillful and athletic, but was also intensely erotic.
The eroticism, of course was facilitated by the fact that the boys were nude.
Agathon (Gracchus 'in-house' Greek physician) also enabled the boys to perform erotically by providing them with a mixture of a red-leafed root in the orchid family' called, appropriately, 'Satyrion', combined with the juice of an exotic tuber called 'Skirret'.

for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Shrine to the God Hermes at the Villa Auri'

There was a shrine to Gracchus' patron god, Hermes, situated in the main Atrium of the Villa Auri.
Hermes - (Mercury in the Roman Religion) - Messenger of the Gods, transgressor of boundaries and taboos, God of mysteries, bringer of sleep, dreams, and visions, Psychopompos (guide of the dead), patron of herdsmen and heralds, God of Luck and Unexpected Fortune, God of translation and language, God of gymnasia and athletic youth, God of logos, or world order, God of trade and commodities.
for the full story go to: The Story of Gracchus



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Slave - Wearing the Mask of Charun'

The Etruscan Charon was fundamentally different from his Greek counterpart. Guarding the entry to the underworld he is depicted with a hammer (his religious symbol), and is shown with pointed ears, heavy brow ridges, snakes around his arms, and a blueish coloration symbolizing the decay of death, large lips, fiery eyes,  and snakes around his arm. There are examples, on the sarcophagus of Laris Pulenas, as well as a red figure stamnos from Orbetello, that illustrate Charun in a menacing fashion, depicting him threatening a male figure with his hammer. Much later, in Rome, a figure based on Charon, called Dispater, would strike the loser of a combat with a heavy hammer. Charon's task at the Munera, therefore, was to strike the loser with the hammer, so that he would be partially stunned, and therefore unlikely to resist the fatal cut. Such resistance would be considered a bad omen, and possibly invalidate the sacrifice, which would then have to be repeated. 

for the full story, and many more images, go to:


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Petronius - Teenage Gladiator'

for the full story, and many more images, go to:



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Charon'

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© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Preparations for the Munera'

for the full story, and many more images, go to:



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Young Slave-Boy at the Munera'

for the full story, and many more images, go to:
The Story of Gracchus - Chapter X




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Valentius - Defeated and Bound'

for the full story, and many more images, go to:




© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Valentius - Before Being Sacrificed'

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© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Ferox - Teenage Gladiator'

for the full story, and many more images, go to:
  © Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Funeral Pyre at the Villa Auri'

The bodies of the three boy were then given funerals, late that same night, in the grounds of the villa
In accordance with the 'mos maiorum' (the 'traditions of the ancestors'), the body of each boy was washed, and anointed.
An 'obol' (coin) was placed in the mouth of each boy, for Charon.
The bodies were then each dressed in a white tunic of expensive, imported cotton.
The bodies were then carried on a gilt wood bier, and they were followed by a group of slaves who had been known to the lads during their time at the villa.
Petronius, Asper and Markos were among the mourners, but predictably Atticus did not attend.


None of the freedmen or Gracchus attended as this was a funeral for slaves.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Funeral Urns for the Sacrificed Bustuarii'

While the funeral pyres were burning a libation of the finest wine, and expensive, imported incense was sprinkled over the flames.
Finally, when the funeral piles burned down, more fine wine was used to douse the embers, so that the ashes could be gathered and placed in funerary urns.
On Gracchus orders, the extremely expensive funeral urns were then retained in the villa, and were later placed in a shrine to the Divine Augustus, that Gracchus had later built in one of the smaller atria of the villa.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
'Sporus'

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Aeneas


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© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Apollo and the Nine Muses'
(adapted from a mural by John Sargent)


for the full story, and many more images, go to:

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016


'Priest of Apollo'


for the full story, and many more images, go to:

© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016


'Caesar's Comet'



for the full story, and many more images, go to:



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016


'Petronius as Apollo'


for the full story, and many more images, go to:



© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016


'Statue of Apollo in the Dawn'


for the full story, and many more images, go to:


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'Execution in the Arena'

for the full story, and many more images, go to: 
CHAPTER XXIII - LUDI HONOREM VESPASIANI


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Aurarius in the Carriage - on the way to Baiae'

for the full story, and many more images, go to:


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Aurarius and Terentius at the Slave Auction'

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© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Aurarius - In Gracchus' Study'

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© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Demetrius Waits for Servius in Rome'

As they reached the Forum Romanum they met Demetrius.
"Good morning, Demetrius !", Servius cried out cheerily.
"Get up on the packhorse !"
"What ! You must be crazy !", Petronius shouted to Servius.
"You can't bring him with us !"
"It's no problem." Servius replied, deceitfully
"When you left us, last night, I asked Menelaus if we could take him with us - back to the villa at Baiae - and he said it was no problem.", Servius lied, brazenly.
Petronius looked at Servius, disbelieving.
"Well - let's make it clear, his coming with us has nothing to do with me.", Petronius said.
They travelled on to Capua in almost complete silence.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'The Coming Storm'


The day wore on, and as evening came, ominous dark clouds swept  in from the west, and the wind rose.
Seeing the possibility of a storm, Marcus dismissed everyone from the amphitheater, and for the day the construction and refurbishment stopped - but it wasn't a problem as they were well on schedule, thanks to Marcus' dedicated work.
Marcus and Petronius rode back to the villa as the first drops of rain fell.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Glaux - the Owl'


As Terentius came into the study,  a small owl flew in from the open door.
It fluttered once round the room, and then settled, rather unsteadily at first, on the back of the beautifully inlaid chair where Gracchus usually sat.
"That, Dominus, is an omen.", Novius whispered.
"I know.", Marcus replied.
Petronius look strangely at the bird, which was fluffing it's feathers, and then at Marcus.
"You mentioned an owl, when spoken to in the garden." Petronius said.
"Yes.", Marcus said.
"The owl of Athena - Athene noctua" - ('Athena's owl has taken flight') -
"Don't disturb it.", Novius said.
"Let it stay here ..... It will bring you wisdom.", Novius quietly added.
And they all watched the cute little bird - wondering.
"We should call him Glaux (γλαύξ), and invite him to stay." Novius said.
"But isn't he an evil omen of death ?", Petronius asked, eying the bird nervously.
"According to the Greeks and the Etruscans he can be - when he perches on the roof of a dwelling. But this little fellow has already done his warning of death - and now I feel he is a gift from Minerva - to bring this House, and it's new Dominus wisdom.", Novius explained.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'The Enchantment of Demetrius'


Some moments later Terentius returned with a very frightened looking Demetrius, wearing a beautiful, newly cleaned, white Greek tunic.
"Come and sit down, young man." Novius said, guiding Demetrius to a couch.
"You have nothing to fear...... I just want to have a little talk with you.", Novius continued, reassuringly.
Demetrius sat down, and looked nervously round the room.
Novius then picked up the pendant, which was attached to a long gold chain, from the table.
"I have something here - very special - that I would like you to look at."
"It's very old - from the time when Rome was founded.
Very....very...... very old.", and as Novus said this, he began to swing the pendant in front of Demetrius' eyes.
"Very.... very .....very old.", and each time he said 'very' he swung the pendant.
But before the pendant had been swing more than a few times, Demetrius mouth dropped open, and his eyes stared, apparently unseeing, at Novius.
"That's good, young man - very good.
Now just relax."
for the full story, and many more images, go to:


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Death of Ariston'

The day began very early, and very badly with a loud knocking on the door of Petronius' apartment.
Petronius, wearing only a brief thong, answered the door.
It was a young, and obviously upset slave-boy.
"It's Ariston !", the boy blurted out.
"Come quick !".
Petronius slipped on a tunic, and followed the running boy down the corridor.
The boy took him to a cubiculum next to the private apartments of the late Dominus.
"It's Ariston - he's in here !", the slave-boy said breathlessly.
Petronius opened the door to find young Ariston - naked, and hanging from a rope tied to a beam on the ceiling.
He was obviously dead.
"Get a guard - NOW !", Petronius ordered.
"Yes, Tribune !" the boy answered, and ran off down the corridor.
Almost immediately guards arrived, and cut down the dead boy.
Ἀρίστων - Ariston, a Greek slave-boy, who we first met at the convivium held before the Munera ad Augustum, was the personal slave of the late Dominus.
When the late Dominus was murdered, Ariston was virtually forgotten, and mourned alone in his cubiculum - and it seems that in the end, overcome by his grief, and seeing no future for himself, he took his own life on the morning of his dead master's funeral.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:
'The Story of Gracchus'


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'The Funeral of Gnaeus Gracchus'

As the special guests reached the Pulvinar, they heard the blare of tubas (Roman trumpets), and cornu (horns), and the thunder and roll of timpani - which sounded out across the whole town.
As they took their places they saw, for the very first time, the huge, gold plated, bronze doors of the new Propylaeum open slowly.
The Propylaeum was the late Dominus' last great work, raised in honour of his 'son', Marcus, and bearing the inscription 'MARCVS OCTAVIAVS GRACCHVS APOLLINIS DEDICATA EST DEVS'.
The sound of the drums, beating out a slow, sombre rhythm, grew louder as the massive doors opened, and then the procession (pompa) began, with the coffin being carried into the arena.
The cover had now been fixed to the previously open coffin.
The cover bore a wooden statue, covered in gold leaf, of the God Apollo, with his bow, (modelled once again on Petronius), and wooden sculptures of imperial eagles, covered in gold leaf, on each corner of the gilded coffin.
Slowly the coffin was brought in, and set down beside the huge pyre, built of massive logs.
Then the amphitheater became silent, the drums and tubas stilled.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:
'The Story of Gracchus'


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

'Cremation of Gnaeus Octavius Gracchus'

Petronius was handed a flaming brand by an arena slave.
Petronius then held out the brand, and both Marcus and Demetrius took hold of the brand, and as they thrust it into the pyre, the drums sounded along with the horns.
Moments later other slaves came forward with flaming torches, and ensured that the pyre was well alight, and more slaves threw powdered incense on the blaze from large, copper craters, sending clouds of sweet smelling smoke into the air.
All over Baiae the huge cloud of smoke could be seen hovering over the amphitheater, and the sweet scent of the incense could even be smelt on the seafront.
After some time the huge pyre began to fall in on itself, sending showers of glowing sparks, and more sweet smelling smoke skyward.

for the full story, and many more images, go to:
'The Story of Gracchus'

____________________________________________________


more images to be added, as the story continues


© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

story and full color illustrations by
by
VITTORIO CARVELLI

'The Story of Gracchus tells the tale of a young Roman boy, brought up in Athens.
When his father is recalled to Rome, at the end of the Reign of the Emperor Nero, Marcus, and his father and mother travel from Piraeus (the port of Athens) to Brundisium (in South East Italy) by boat.
They newer reach their destination, however, as the boat they are traveling on is attacked by pirates.
Marcus' mother and father are cruelly killed, and Marcus is taken, by the pirates, to Cydonia, in Crete, where he is sold as a slave to a slave-dealer called Arion.
Arion sells on Marcus to a 'mystery buyer' at a fabulously high price, and after a high speed journey through the night, Marcus and Terentius, - the 'mystery buyer', arrive at a magnificent Villa in Baiae, near Neápolis.
It is there that Marcus' real adventure begins ...............

Chapters 1-30 have already been published - and are available

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