Greed, of the Roman Kind, 100 words story

Greed, of the Roman Kind, 100 words story

Greed, of the Roman Kind, is the next 100 words story following the timeline of Falx vs Gladius, Dáoi vs Romans and of Echoes of a Battle, the Getae before it. You will find a short explanatory paragraph at the end.

Greed, of the Roman Kind

From his balcony of marble whiter than Venus’ bosom the King found solace in the Seven Hills of his beloved urbs.  Here, in the heart of his Empire all dreams, glory or greed, came alive. By Jupiter!

Yet tonight the same nightmare returned to shake this King awake.

He was an eagle with wings spanning across Mare Nostrum. His heart, fearless. His beak, fatal. He took down the Phoenix in one dive.

Then a temple, ahead, sheltering small birds. He, still ravenous, fell upon them. Again and again. Till the last brown bird killed her chicks leaving the King lonesome.

Copyright © 2021 Patricia Furstenberg. All Rights Reserved.

Greed, of the Roman Kind, 100 words story - Scene from Trajan's Column in Rome, The Burning of a Dacian Town
A scene from Trajan’s Column in Rome, scene XXV, The Burning of a Dacian Town

Greed, of the Roman Kind – a few comments

Seven hills – a geographical location found in the heart of Rome

Urbs (Latin) – city.

Jupiter was the Roman king of Gods, is even depicted on Trajan’s Column as supporting the Roman cause in their wars against the Dacians.

The eagle (Aquila in Latin) was a symbol for the Roman army, and a symbol for Rome as the ideal ruler in the global sphere.

Mare Nostrum (Latin) – the Mediterranean Sea, literally translated to ‘Our Sea.’

At the Battle of Carthage (146 BCE), the last to fall was the Temple of Eshmun, where the wife of a Carthagian commander sacrificed her sons right in front of the Romans, then killed herself. The Romans attacked out of revenge and greed, killed all Carthagians, then wiped the city off the face of the earth.

Plutarch wrote in Pompey, on the fall of the Roman Republic: “Greed and personal rivalry… had brought the empire to such a pass… here the whole manhood and might of single state was involved in self-destruction – a clear enough lesson of how blind and how mad a thing human nature is when under the sway of passion.”

For the greed (greed for power and land) of Roman Emperors prompted and accelerated the collapse of moral integrity and tradition, by propelling a corrupt political system that undermined trust. Glory and power belonged to the riches, skills and expertise were no longer appreciated and honored. On the other hand, poverty and virtue were considered a stigma, and soon even the masses became to welcome and fill themselves with greed, thus bringing the foundation of the Empire to collapse.

Thank you for reading. As always, you can find my books on Amazon.

Falx vs Gladius, Dáoi vs Romans, 100 Words Story

falx gladius Daoi Romans

Falx vs Gladius, Dáoi vs Romans was inspired by the Dacian – Roman wars that are a great part of Romania’s ancient history, especially the battle from Tapae when the Dacians, under the ruling of Decebal, defeated the Roman army.

Before reading Falx vs Gladius, Dáoi vs Romans a few historical terms need explaining.

Who were the Dáoi?

Dáoi, [ˈd̪aːoːihː], (wolves) is the name by which the Dacians (part of the original tribes inhabiting today’s Romania) called themselves. We know from Strabon (historian and geographer, 63 BC – 23 AD). Even the Dacian battle flag, named Draco, looked like a wolf head with several metal tongues and a dragon’s body. It made a terrible, hissing sound whenever the wind blew through it.

Dacian flag, wolf head with dragon body
Dacian flag, Draco, wolf head with dragon body

Have the Romans ever been defeated when at the height of their power?

Yes. During 86- 88 AD, when the Roman Empire was ruled by King Domitian, and their empire’s east border was marked by the Danube River, Dacian King Duras led his troops of Dacians in an attack of Moesia (south of Danube). King Duras ruled Dacia after Burebista and right before Decebalus.

The Dacians attack from 86 AD took the Romans by surprise. As a result Roman King Domitian arrived in Moesia to see to the province’s increased defenses and to plan a further attack against the Dacians, north of Danube…

What is a falx?

The falx was the Dacian’s weapon of choice. It had a curved blade that was sharp on the inside edge. Romans were so impressed by it that they adopted it as a siege hook.

Transylvania during the Roman Dacia until 4th century AD - Roman monument commemorating the Battle of Adamclisi shows Dacian warriors wielding a two-handed falx, weapon later used by Romans as siege hook
Roman monument commemorating the Battle of Adamclisi shows Dacian warriors wielding a two-handed falx, weapon later used by Romans as siege hook

What is a gladius?

A gladius is a sword used by Roman foot soldiers.

Today I have two versions for my 100 words story as my family is torn between them 🙂

Which one do you prefer?

Falx vs Gladius, Dáoi vs Romans (version 1)

The Romans rolled towards Danube like a giant mill stone, carving roads through grasslands, converting free-thinking tribes into proud Roman citizens.

The legionaries’ sure-footing hesitated only once. Not after they traversed Danube to enter the land with thick forests… Nor after they rattled their two-edged gladius against the local’s deadly falx… And nor after the natives surprised them with advanced weaponry and war tactics.

But later, when their opponents showed themselves from underneath their wolf-skin coverings. Immortal beasts, not humans. Unafraid to trade their life for eternity. Unimpeded to kill or be killed. True wolves.  

They were the Dáoi, Dacians.

Copyright © 2021 Patricia Furstenberg. All Rights Reserved.

Falx vs Gladius, Dáoi vs Romans (version 2)

The Romans rolled towards Danube like a giant mill stone carving roads, converting free-thinking tribes to proud citizens.

The legionaries’ sure-footing never hesitated, nor did their hand when thrusting the gladius to hilt. Their eyes never flinched from slaying enemies. Acta, non verba.

Until they traversed Danube entering an eerie forested land. Here, their double-edged gladius rattled against the local’s single-edged falx. Their reinforced shields half-split as did their helmets. Their progressive self shrank. Bewitched, they argued, by the immortal wolf-spirit inhabiting these lands. Beasts, not humans. Trading their lives for eternity and land (terra) not for victory.

The Dáoi.

Copyright © 2021 Patricia Furstenberg. All Rights Reserved.

~~~

Transylvania during the Roman Dacia and until 4th century AD might also interest you.

Discover more 100 words stories on my blog here.

Thank you for reading. Want more? Discover my books through Amazon.

Echoes of a Battle, the Getae, 100 Words Story

Echoes of a Battle, Getae, Romania

Echoes of a Battle, the Getae, is the next 100 words story following the historical timeline of Romania’s past. Although most of these stories focus on Transylvania, ‘Echoes of a Battle’ looks at the Getae, a Thracian tribe that occupied the left and right bancs of Danube River between 6th – 1st centuries BC.

Next to the Dacians who lived in the mountainous area of Transylvania, towards the valley of Mures river, the Getae are some of the first ancestors of the Romanians.

Their bravery and fairness was legendary.

Echoes of a Battle, the Getae

It was the chickens’ cry that covered the lost echoes of metal ringing against metal, not the widows’ and mothers’ heartache. In the aftermath of battle, the lambs’ bleating sang for the souls rushed to Zalmoxis’ kingdom, not the wake preceding the burial.

‘Prepare the feast!’ Getae King Dromihete ordered. ‘Balance after battle, Zalmoxis’ word.’

The gold plates their Thracian prisoners ate from shone under the bonfires and the gleaming stars above, more tonight. Around, the Getae’s wooden spoons kept a peaceful rhythm against wooden dishes.

Freed by daybreak, the prisoners broadcasted about a tribe worthier, wiser than any others.

© Patricia Furstenberg, 2001, All Rights Reserved.

The seed of this story

Ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote about the Getae that they were “the noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes”.

We also know that around 300BC Getae king Dromichaetes won a great battle against Thracian king Lysimachus (successor of Alexander the Great and ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedon). The Getae held Lysimachus captive, yet in the aftermath of his victory Dromichaetes ordered a great feast. During this feast the Getae ate with the same wooden spoons and plates they always used, while the Thracian prisoners and Lysimachus received gold spoons and plates and were afterwards released.

Thus, Dromichaetes wished to prove that a rich kingdom like the one ruled by Lysimachus is in no need of a poor land like the one his people occupied.

Dromichaetes also release Lysimachus knowing that freeing an enemy king would bring them greater political advantage than his punishment.

Transylvania from the Iron Age to Roman Dacia (1 100 BC – 150 AD)

Discover more 100 words stories on my blog here.

Thank you for reading. Want more? Discover my books through Amazon.

Dacian Horses of Bronze Age

Dacian Horses of Bronze Age

Dacian Horses of Bronze Age is part of the 100 words story series and is a tale inspired by the taming of the first free horses that roamed Transylvania’s lands, in Romania.

Discover more about the Dacian horses at the end of this narrative, as well as some horse-related folklore from Romania.

Dacian Horses of Bronze Age

Stories of white shadows chasing soundlessly over the land at first light were as old as hills.

Tales, never witnesses.

The morning they cut the lad’s way, the boy herding the villager’s sheep didn’t scare. He stood and stared, apple balanced mid-air. Fragrant steam and the scent of baked bread enveloped him. Then, whoosh, gone! And so was his fruit.

“‘tis true…”

“Revealed to a pure heart…”

“Bah! Believe it when I see it,” folk rumbled.

“I’ll bring one. For one night,” the child defended.

Sniggers all around.

Thus, first horse was caught. It turned to ghost by dawn.

Unspoiled.

Copyright © 2021 Patricia Furstenberg. All Rights Reserved.

Dacian Horses of Bronze Age
Dacian Horses of Bronze Age

What sparked this story

The domestication of horses during Bronze Age Transylvania is of great importance as it could have taken place even before the first known evidence of equine domestication in Europe, the Sintashta-Petrovka graves (approx. 2 800- 1 600 BC).

It is true that the horse husbandry of Transylvania is not as old as the Yamnaya culture from Asia dating back to the Late Copper Age, and that it might have arrived here via immigration and transhumance. Yet this first domestication of horses in Transylvania by the Bronze Age pastorals speaks of a settled and developed population.

Equine superstitions from Romanian folklore

In Romanian folklore it is said that if one sees a white horse on Epiphany Day, the 6th of January, one will have good luck all year.

If a white horse walks in front of a maiden, it is a sure sign that she will be married that year.

If you dream of horses that trot or canter, the next day will be a windy. But if s horse snorts, rain is coming.

If a horse paws in a spot, know that it tells you of something unholy located underneath.

~~~

Thank you for reading. Want more? Discover my books through Amazon.

Conduct in a Neolithic Kingdom in Transylvania, 100 words story

Following a timeline of prehistorical discoveries, Conduct in a Neolithic Kingdom is a 100 words story inspired by Transylvania's history

Following a timeline of prehistorical discoveries, Conduct in a Neolithic Kingdom is the next 100 words story inspired by the (pre)historical past of Transylvania, this beloved and thought-after province of Romania, my home country.

Conduct in a Neolithic Kingdom

The wool she threaded in a pattern was as white as the swans floating overhead. The new quilt, verincă, will please their Queen. That was enough for her. They’ve known years of peace under Her rule.

A butterfly kissed her cheek and she caught it in her arms, merry. ‘May I deliver the quilt to the Queen, Mama? I’m as tall as the sapling today!’

Her lips agreed, her heart differed.

Then, she knew. By the ice settling in her chest.

She knew it. Before her butterfly failed to return.

Boys go to war; tall girls are sacrificed for peace.

© Patricia Furstenberg, 2001, All Rights Reserved.

Datig from around 5000 BC - Turdas culture fortress (Transylvania) drawing. Maybe the first kingdom in the history of the world?
Dating from around 5000 BC – the Turdas culture fortress (Transylvania) maybe the first kingdom in the history of the world. (Drawing, Image source Malus Dacus).

The seed of this story.

During 2013 works on a national road unearthed a Neolithic fortress dating from the Turdaș culture, part of Vinča – Turdaș (5700–4500 BC).

The fortress discovered was built near Mureș river (being easy and fast to travel on) and covered no less that 100 hectares. The fortress from Turdaș was built nearly 1 600 years before the first pyramids of Egypt, raised around 2780 B.C. by King Djoser’s architect Imhotep.

You can read more on my blog about the gigantic Neolithic fortress of Turdaș, Hunedoara, Transylvania.

Subscribe to my e-Newsletter for fun and informative content on dogs, books, history, folklore and a castle or two:

Books by Patricia Furstenberg on Amazon