“[The creditor] examines your family affairs; he meddles with your transactions. If you go forth from your chamber, he drags you along with him and carries you off; if you hide yourself inside he stands before your house and knocks at the door.
If [the debtor] sleeps, he sees the moneylender standing at his head, an evil dream … If a friend knocks a the door he hides under the couch. Does the dog bark? He breaks out in a sweat. The interest due increases like a hare, a wild animal which the ancients believed could not stop reproducing even while it was nourishing the offspring already produced.” Basil of Caesarea
Continue reading Falco, Family and Business
When Falco was but a tyke, his family consisted of his father Marcus Didius Favonius (aka Geminus), his mother Junilla Tacita, and seven children: Festus, Vittorina, Maia, Falco, Junia, Allia and Galla. At the time of this novel his older brother Festus, late of the Legio XV Appolinaris, has been dead three years. We may hear more of how Festus came to his end in the Judean War. His older sister Vittorina died during December of AD71 whilst Falco was in Free Germany, serving the Emperor. Vittorina died of ‘womens troubles’; the remainder of his sisters are alive.
Continue reading Falco and Family
Poseidon’s Gold is somewhat focussed around relationships within the Falco family. It also reveals Falco’s determination to make an honest woman of Helena Justina and bring no dishonour to her family, by marrying out of station-in-life. Due illegal trading by Festus and probing by centurions of his Legion, Falco is charged by his mother to protect the good name of his family; he also takes up the task of protecting his Father’s good name as an auctioneer against the overweening possessiveness of the art collectors, who seek to ruin him, and that, feloniously.
Continue reading Values and Virtue
The family is the only unit in society based on need. To a degree, this was the same in Roman times, although the extensive fiduciary support we have come to take as the norm in this day and age (i.e. supporting parent benefits, child endowments, etc.) did not exist in Falco’s times.
Continue reading Human Values and family
The Falco Novels cover a wide range of human behaviour. All behaviour is values-driven. After all, people, usually seek their own good, their own ends. Look after Number 1 would be a common value held by many people. Giving to the poor and charity would be another value held by others.
Continue reading Human Values and the Falco novels
March-April, AD72, our man Falco is back in Rome, complete from his mission for the Emperor Vespasian in Germania. It is evening in Rome, cold and wet, and the sixth-floor flat on the Aventine has been broken into and occupied by squatters. Pigeons have taken advantage of the hole in the roofing, and of course, the rain is dripping through … Falco, Helena Justina and the six year old ward, Augustinilla, cannot bed down for the night. Off to Ma’s where Falco finds the centurion Censorinus (of his late brother’s Legion) in residence, awaiting his arrival. Censorinus is given the order of the boot into the pouring rain; Falco suggests he may obtain lodging at Flora’s, the local caupona, an inn where wine and ready dressed provisions are sold. There might be rooms available upstairs, suggests Falco.
Continue reading Poseidon’s Gold