This whole spectacle starts with an innocent trip to the baths with my uncle, Traianus, and a party invitation engineered by the Fates. I am certain these events cost me no small length of Lachesis’ string.

I decided to enjoy my time back in Rome with my dear uncle, Traianus. We were not so far apart in age as most belonging to the same relationship, so we enjoyed each others’ company. He took me to the baths one day so I might make use of the gymnasium – I prefer to keep my body strong even while off-duty – and to visit some friend of his. On our way inside, I noticed, by chance, a group of friends mid-argument entering behind us.

In the middle of the gym, my uncle introduced me to an old man by the name of Trimalchio. We exchanged a few pleasantries, and he shocked me with the knowledge that he had heard my name. My uncle gave Trimalchio a joking shove, prompting disapproving grunts from his attendants, and asked since when Trimalchio took notice of military affiars.The old man replied that he ‘spared his attention from time to time to observe the progress of the country, in non-economical matters,’ and had heard my name in conversation discussing the recent campaign in Gaul. Trimalchio insisted that I attend his dinner with my uncle, and I happily complied.

Surely ignorance is the bane of all men, disguised as a path to good times.

Trimalchio began some game with a horde of young boys, and my uncle and I found a space to perform our stretches. The old man seemed pleasant enough, and well informed too. At the time, I looked forward to the evening, and carried on with my morning exercise.


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