Note: This chapter is on the house, so you can see if you enjoy what you read. The other chapters will be open to members only. This is so you can get a taste of what to expect. As a member, you will have access to a lot more! Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Note from Author

Thanks for reading The Great Centurion: The Punic Wars. It takes me a lot of work to write these books, so your investment in time to read means a lot to me. You are about to experience a tale that spans over 600-700 years of Roman history. You will read a tale about a Roman Plebian named Victor Maximus who will grow from a young Roman boy raised in a plebian family to one of the finest generals the emperor of Rome will have at his disposal.

The battles will start out simple enough against Rome’s lesser enemies but as time passes, Rome’s bigger enemies begin to threaten the Roman Republic. In the first installment, Victor will be called to arms when he has to take on Hannibal and the Carthaginians as the second Punic Wars begin. Along the way, he will meet a few lovely women and not all of them are Roman.

Can Victor remain in good standing with the Emperor while trying to maintain his polygamous relationships with his newfound friends? More importantly, can he earn his way out of his humble plebian upbringing and become, The Great Legionnaire.

Chapter 1 – Victor’s Early Life (Part 1)

Welcome to the land of Latium, you are Victor Maximus. A young Roman boy, who is aged 15 who dreams of joining the Roman Army. You dream of delivering Rome its many glorious victories and being a great legionnaire for the republic. However, as your parents have told you, equipment is not cheap and you must buy your own equipment to join the forces of Rome.

Your family is in the Plebian class. As a result, they have to work long hours just to earn pay. Your journey to becoming a legionnaire begins! Your first objective is to earn enough money to buy the basic equipment necessary to become one of Rome’s mightest.

237 B.C.

The sun rises and begins to shine on the great city of Rome. When the roosters sing, Victor heard the singing and proceeded to rise out of bed. He looked out the linen curtain from his room and saw that the sun was shining out of his house.

“What a wonderful looking sunrise. It looks like my prayer to Jupiter was enough to grant me a glorious day.” Victor said to himself.

He rushed down the stairs and headed towards the kitchen where he saw his mother and father.

“A glorious morning son, how was your sleep?” Victor’s mother asks wearing a normal white stola, which was the traditional female article of clothing.

“It was great. I’m grateful that the sun is out and we’re alive.” Victor answered.

“What’s for breakfast, my dear lady?” Victor’s father asked.

“Porridge and bread, I have to go out to the market today.” Victor’s mother answered.

“Mater, I can go to the market if you wish me to.” Victor used the Latin word for mother.

“My child, are you sure?”

“Yes mater, I wish to go. Besides, pater has to work in the army.” Victor used the Latin word for father.

“Actually, we’re in a period of peace so I’m just on guard duty for the province of Latium.” His father replied.

Victor and his parents begin to eat their porridge before they get their day started. A few minutes pass by and Victor’s father gets up from the table. His father makes his way out of the house onto his assigned post on the border of Latium.

After his father leaves the house, Victor walks up to his room and gets into his regular clothes.

“I’m on my way to the market. Can you tell me what you need?”

“I need some meat, more wheat, more linen for clothes, and oil.”

“Ok mater, I can get all that for you. I might not come back as I want to see Victoria for a little while.”

“I’m in no rush for the items. Just make sure you get back before the sun goes down. Be safe my child.” Victor’s mother said as kissed him on the cheek.

New Quest…

Get one load of Wheat, one load of meat, one jar of oil, and two pieces of Linen.

Reward: None but you will get your mother’s love.

You have been given 120 Denarii. The Denarius was the currency used in Roman times. Denarii is the plural for Denarius. This is the main resource you need to buy goods and weapons in the Roman Republic.

After his mother handed him the coins, Victor put the coins away and left his house. When he got outside, the sun shined. Victor began to walk towards the market to get the goods his mother asked. Before he went to the market, Victor walked around his neighborhood as he looked at the many casas in the area.

For the most part, Victor lived in a respectable part of Rome. In the middle of his neighborhood, a few Domus level houses can be found where the richer equites lived. Looking at the large domuses, Victor can only dream of being a soldier and affording to live in the large home along with his crush, Victoria. Despite the neighborhood being respectable, most of the residents were Plebs, who was the regular people who worked.

Victor’s family was considered class three in the social class of Rome. That made them plebeians but they had a respectable amount of wealth and their casa was well maintained contrary to the insulae. Insulae were where lesser plebs lived and were considered the apartment buildings of the Roman Republic.

“One day, I’ll be a soldier and make pater proud. Maybe, I’ll be an even better soldier than him or be a great general like Marcus Regulus.” He said in his head.

Instead of going to the market on the right block, Victor trekked to the left side of the block. He skipped through the paved roads as he saw the horse carts loading in material for the different workshops in the town. A potter walked out of the pottery workshop and waved at Victor.

“Hi, Marcus.”

“A glorious day to you my dear boy.”

The potter was picking up crates of clay that he was going to use in order to make the beautiful pottery his mother spent her Denarii on. Continuing on his way to Victoria’s house, he stopped by the weapons workshop. Victor made it a regular activity to pass by the workshop even though he couldn’t afford any of the weapons. He was just in love with the gladius swords and scutum shields. The pilums also caught his attention.

“I hope Mateo and Marcellus are in the mood to play Romans Vs Carthaginians,” Victor said out loud in excitement.

“Little puer (boy), don’t ever scream out that dirty word!” The weaponsmith scolded at Victor.

“Sorry, but which one?”

“The Carthaginians, just mentioning those people will get you in big trouble. They are our hated enemies. The evil Hamilcar Barca, general of Carthage is trying to destroy us. He tried to destroy Silica and the Emperor will not take so kindly to those who talk about those people except for pure hate. Another piece of advice, don’t ever think about having relationships with any woman from Poeni lands. If so and the emperor finds out, say goodbye to your head. Or if he’s in a good mood, he will make you a slave.”

“No worries, I don’t like Carthaginians or anyone who isn’t Roman. I’m just training to be a soldier. I just come here to check out your weapons. When I’m old enough and have enough Denarii, I will fight for Rome.”

“Good puer. I look forward to seeing you in a few years. Just train hard, getting into the army isn’t going to be easy.”

“Oh I know, Felix. I’m going to try to earn money on my own. My parents could afford but I want to show them I can be my own man!”

“I like you, come on in for a moment and you can check out my stock. I can’t guarantee that any of this stock will be around when you turn 18. We get new recruits ever few months. Some make it in, some don’t, and a few end up dying in training.”

After Felix stopped talking, he let Victor into the weapon workshop. Victor saw a few weapons he would like to have once he was old enough. In Rome, prospect soldiers have to buy their own weapons and had to be at least a pleb to join the army. No slaves or foreigners were allowed. Being a legionnaire was the most respectable job, only second to being part of the Roman Senate or a praetor in charge of the military.

Weapon’s Workshop

Items for Sale

Short Sword – 150 Dn. This is a basic sword for a recruit entering the army. Can be upgraded as you gain experience and Denarii.

Small Scutum – 300 Dn. It’s your basic shield that can block attacks and block projectiles.

Helmet – 75 Dn. A basic helmet made out of bronze. Paramount for any solider of the Roman Army.

Chain Mail Armor 400 Dn – Powerful chain armor, perfect for any solider. Not only it’s strong but it’s also the user can move around rather easily. However, it’s not cheap. Only the rich will be able to afford this.

Leather Armor 200 Dn – Basic armor for the legionnaire. It is not as good as chain mail armor and the user will receive less protection. However, for the normal pleb, this might be their only choice as it’s much cheaper in price.

Basic Gladius Sword 350 Dn – It’s made out of iron and it’s a significant upgrade from the short sword. The steep price tag though makes it tough for anyone other than an equite or patrician.

Looking at all the weapons on the shelf, Victor added up that he would need 750 Denarii saved up in order to buy the most basic of weapons.

“It looks like I’ll need to save up my money. I should have 750 Denarii by the age of 18. I can also do favors for people or get a small job. I also hear rumors of treasure chests as well which might have Denarii as well.”

New quest!

Earn 750 Denarii by 234 B.C. to buy the equipment to join the Roman Army.

Reward: You can train to be a recruit for the Roman Army.

New side quest!

Go to the Latium Fields and fight off 2 wolves.

Reward: +1 Offense. +1 Defense +10 XP

Defense: 1

Offense: 1

XP: 10

“Thanks, Felix, for letting me see your weapons. I look forward to the day where I serve as a defender of Rome!”

“You’re welcome. Now run along, my boy, I have lots of work to do.” Felix said with a smile.

Victor made his way out of the weapon shop and continued along the block until he got to an intersection. On the intersection, some plebs were paving the broken roads where carts passed by. Before he could move forward, Victor was greeted by a prefect.

“A glorious day to you my boy, blessed be Mars for protecting us for another day!”

Victor did not reply and just smiled at the prefect. He kept moving forward straight to the next block where the insulaes were located. Several of the poorer plebs resided on this particular block. Prefects walked by this block as crime proved to be a problem, due to the low wealth of the citizens.

Victor just continued to skip and ignored the citizens as they walked by. One poor male can be seen begging for money or food. Victor felt bad for the man but he wasn’t sure if the money his mother gave him would be enough to buy the goods. So, he told the man that he had nothing. The man cried but did not pursue Victor for money.

After getting through the apartments, Victor reached another block filled with humble Casas with a few domuses sprinkled in. At the end of the block, he saw Victoria’s casa. He knocked on the door and Victoria’s mother answered.

“Hi, is Victoria home?”

“Sure, give me a minute to get her.”

A minute passed and Victoria appeared in her white robe.

“Victor! Thanks for coming. I thought I would have to stay home and be bored reading Plato. What should we do?”

Before Victor could answer, Victoria’s mother said, “You too, have fun. Just don’t get into any trouble, ok? I don’t need any prefects knocking on the door.”

“Ok mater… Victor, let’s go to the market. I think Mateo and Marcellus are going to be there later.”

“Sure, I have to go there anyway. I promised my mater that I was going to pick up what she needed.”

“Ok, I’ll race you there!” Victoria said.

Victoria was Victor’s friend since he was 5. They grew up together in Latium and Victor has had a crush on her since the age of 10. However, his parents were strict on having relationships at too young of an age. Victoria usually got straight A’s on her studies while Victor was an average student. Physical education was his favorite part of the school day.

When they were not in school, the two of them enjoyed playing in Latium fields, which was relatively safe with the exception of wolves who would roam around. Whenever they went off to explore around, they never separated from each other. Victor sees that as a sign of a possible relationship as the years passed.

At the moment, the only thing he cared about was seizing the day and enjoying what it had in store for him. Before they could run off too far, an old woman called them. They walked over to her.

“Hail Victor and Victoria, two of my favorite kids. Can you do me a favor?”

“What can we do for you, Cassia?” Victor asked.

“If you could, can you get me these things on my list from the market? I will give you 300 Denarii and whatever is left, you get to keep. You think you can do that in 10 minutes. I’m sorry to put a time limit but I have to go to the clinic. Sadly, I’m not feeling too well and my old body isn’t as strong as it used to be.” Cassia explained.

New Side Quest!

Help Cassia with her market run. You must get two quarts of oil, two loads of wheat, one load of meat, and two loads of vegetables.

Reward for completion: You keep whatever Denarii is left.

Will you accept?

You have selected yes.

You have been given 300 Denarii.

Denarii: 420

“Yes, elder Cassia. We can do it, come on Victoria!”

“Be sure to split the money with your friend,” Cassia said with a smile while Victor nodded his head.

Victor and Victoria held hands as they walked towards the market. They walked through the insulae without incident and then passed the weaponsmith. Upon reaching the block with the Domus housing, the two of them continued straight until they reached the market.

When they reached the market, the two of them saw that the market was not crowded at all. Victor walked up to the market lady and looked at what was for sale.

Latium Market

Oil – 40 Dn

Wheat – 10 Dn

Meat – 15 Dn

Pottery – 35 Dn

Linen – 10 Dn

Vegetables – 15 Dn

You have brought two quarts of Oil, two loads of wheat, one load of meat, and two loads of vegetables. Total spent: 140 Dn

Denarii: 280

Now deliver the goods to Cassia in time before she leaves for her appointment.

After purchasing the basic goods needed, the two of them raced to Cassia’s house before she leaves. They were met with no resistance and easily made it back.

“Cassia, here is what you wanted.”

“Aww… thank you. May Venus bless you two. As promised you two get to share whatever Denarii is left. Don’t spend it all in one place.” Cassia said with a big smile.

Side Quest Completed!

Reward: You get to keep the Denarii that was left.

Cassia was a woman whose husband died a year ago due to natural causes. She used to be the market lady before she decided to retire. Her husband was actually in the senate as a quaestor. As a result, she was able to live a comfortable life before her health caught up to her. Victor knew that Cassia could die any day as Romans averaged out at around 50-55 when they perished.

“So, I gotta share this money with you. What is half of 140?”

“No Victor, I don’t want your money.”

“No, I insist that I share this money with you.”

“I know you want to join the army. As much as I don’t want to lose you in battle, I know it’s your dream. I also know that you have to buy your own weapons. So, I think you should keep the money. It’ll help you raise the money you need.”

“Thank you, my friend,” Victor said as he hugged Victoria.

She kissed him on the cheek. Victor couldn’t help but be amazed by her gratitude. It’s also like she knew that he wanted to prove that he could earn the money himself.

As much as he believed that Victoria could be his future wife, Victor didn’t want to push the issue. Instead, he focused on how he could earn the money to buy his equipment. He thought that he might be able to join sooner if he got the money, although his parents would be against it.

“Ready to go back to the market to find Mateo and Marcellus?” Victoria asked.

“Yes, let us go. I hope they decide to play. I can use some training to be a soldier.” He answered happily.

The two of them made their way back to the market. It appears to be another day at Latium. As Victor made his way back to the market, he overheard some news.

A Distant Battle

The brave soldiers of Rome managed to fight back an invading force of Illyrian soldiers that were attacking from Patavium. The soldiers attempted to invade Ariminum but were intercepted by the legions of Rome. However, they shall be back in years to come.