This was from a history assignment two years ago. Short historical fiction essay:

Pulchrum Barbarus

– Approx. 80 BCE


A noble cursed me today. I do not know his name, but he mocked my mixed ancestry. What does it matter that a distant relative was a Gaul? I’m a Roman as much as him. I thought commander Sulla proved that. Why must our family be forever cast with this stigma? The way of the world is strange.

On the side of the road there was an advertisement to elect Publius Vetus for aedile. I could care less. I cannot vote for him, and will not affect me at all if he wins or loses. My financial problems will not go away.

Work was very hard again. I need to constantly impress my patron, or he may replace me with a slave. I wish I could learn Greek, my chances would greatly improve. If I were in Rome I could get free grain. It would be humiliating, but at least my family would be fed. But that is wishful thinking. They have too many problems there already, my luck has better chances here.

Family. If only our empires old values mattered. Luck has blessed me with a fine son, but I fear for his future. There is much turmoil now. Could it be that our very empire is at stake? Only serves us right, for forgetting the ways of our ancestors.

Forgive me. My entries have been so depressed lately, it is just the struggle is beating me down. I am getting old, and my wife as well. It will not be long before we pass on. Perhaps the gods will fare us better, if they exist. If they do, I am still not sure they care. They do not care for us much down here, why should it be any different after I die? I am just an insignificant commoner, staving off poverty.

It is with sincere bitterness that I scratch these unskilled words. I will join my wife and go to bed now.