Love finds Markos

By Vittorio Carvelli

(llustrations are from the original publication)

This is from Chapter VI of the novel The Story of Gracchus, published in installments on Carvelli's site GracchusRome. Markos, a Greek youth with Roman connections, has been captured by pirates on his way to Rome and sold into slavery. He's acquired by the rich Roman patrician Gnaeus Octavius Gracchus and inserted into the latter's household at the Villa Auri. Marcus is apparently destined for more---tutors and coaches are taking care of the young slave's education, an education which is now, compliments of Carvelli, also being extended to you, Oh Reader!

 © Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

(it's a bit slow in coming, you'll see:)

A couple of days after Markos' session with the Greek physician Agathon, Terentius met Markos, not at all by accident, at the entrance hall.
"And how are you today, my boy?" Terentius inquired in an avuncular manner.
"Very well, sir, thank you." Markos replied, wondering what the real reason for this encounter would be.
"And how are you enjoying your goat's testicles?" Terentius asked, with a slight smile playing round his lips.
"The're good, sir....Surprisingly tasty." Markos replied, trying to take Terentius' questioning seriously.
"Well, Agathon was very pleased with you, and it seems that there is nothing to worry about---it's just a matter of good diet and time---as you mature."

Terentius paused for a moment, as if weighing up was he was going to say next: "I have been speaking to your tutors. You are studying very well, but they consider that the intensity of the studying may be counterproductive, and they think that you may need a little more time to relax and rest. This does not apply to your physical training, however, as you seem more than capable of coping with that. Servius is very pleased. I have decided, therefore, that your study sessions should be divided into two day sessions---Latin one day and Greek the other---separated by a day for rest and relaxation, although you will still be expected to do some light training, maybe swimming, on the rest day. Do you understand this?"
"Yes sir, Thank you very much," Markos replied, relieved that there had been no complaints about him, and pleased that at last he would have some free time.

Villa Auri

So it was back to his Latin, with Lucius. By now Lucius had got on to Cicero - probably his favorite Roman author.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Greek: Κικέρων) - (3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul, and constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists. Cicero has traditionally been considered the master of Latin prose. His writing from about 80 BC until his death in 43 BC exceeds that of any Latin author whose work in terms of quantity and variety of genre and subject matter, while demonstrating unsurpassed stylistic excellence. His work can be divided into four groups: (1) letters, (2) rhetorical treatises, (3) philosophical works, and (4) orations. His letters offer a vivid picture of the public and private life among the Roman governing class. Cicero's works on oratory are important for Roman theories on education and rhetoric, and his philosophical works are exceptionally influential---so there was a lot for Markos to learn.

And so Markos spent that night poring over scrolls of Cicero's works that Lucius had given him to read---with the promise that he would be tested during his next Latin study session.

In the late afternoon it was off to the Gymnasion, and Markos' coach Servius. At that time, it was the part of the day Markos enjoyed the most.

Whereas in the rest of the villa everything was hushed, quiet and dignified, in the Palaistra Markos could run around naked, and laugh and shout as he played ball with Servius. Also, in the Palaistra Servius had started to teach Markos the finer points of wrestling.

This Markos enjoyed, but also, strangely, he welcome the closeness of another human body---of oiled skin against oiled skin, in a forceful, but somewhat playful 'embrace'. Undoubtedly, Markos thought of Servius as a friend---probably because, apart from his tutors, Servius was one of the few people somewhat distanced from the Villa---for he was a Roman army officer, and not a slave or freedman belonging to Gracchus. In this way, Servius had an objective, independent view of the life Marcos was leading---which Markos appreciated.

But it was not his friendship with Servius that brought love to Markos. Servius was, and would remain a friend---but that would be as far as it would go.

The following day it was the turn of Aristarchos, the Greek tutor, to give Markos his lessons. Markos, however, was still expected to spend two hours in the main vestibule, helping Glykon with the numerous clients, and would-be clients who knocked on the massive bronze doors. By this time, Markos was quite well known by many of the regular visitors, usually older men, who liked to flatter themselves that they had a handsome young 'friend' at Gracchuss Villa.

Of course the clients remained 'masters', and Markos remained the 'slave', and any apparent friendship that they had was purely superficial, and pursued simply for the sake of the older man's vanity.
And so Markos returned to his lessons, and the days lessons, on this occassion were a continuation of the study of Homer. Markos' Homeric studies would continue for many months, beginning with an introduction to the Iliad.
Ἰλιάς - the Iliad is written in Classical Attic; and is sometimes referred to as the 'Song of Ilion' or 'Ilium'---Troy) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' looming death and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, so that when it reaches an end, the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.
  Once again Markos spent that night poring over scrolls of the first chapters of the Illiad, (in Greek, of course) that Lucius had given him to read---with the promise that he would be tested during his next Greek study session.

In the late afternoon, Markos was once again off to the Gymnasion, and Markos' coach Servius. For this session, however, Servius took him to Gracchus' indoor pool, and Markos had his first swimming lesson. He told Servius about his visit to Agathon, and the remedies that the Greek physician had ordered for him.

Very commendably, Servius confessed that it was he who had mentioned the subject to Terentius, and had recommended a visit to the physician.

"That's no problem", Markos replied, "You are my gymnastai---my coach, and it is part of your professional duties to look after my health, and send me to the physician if you think it necessary"

Servius smiled at the rather stilted language that young Markos had used, and tousled the boy's hair.
"Come on---let's get you swimming."

After the swimming lesson, and a massage, Marcos returned to his room and settled down to read the first chapter of the 'Iliad'. He read until late, because he knew that there would be no lessons on the next day.

Makos's room

The following morning Markos performed his usual duties in the entrance hall with Glykon. While he was in the entrance hall, Terentius came by. "Good morning, Markos! ...And how are you today?" Terentius inquired.

"Very well, sir, thank you," Markos replied, wondering what the real reason for this encounter could be. "Well....this is your first day off---so I do hope you enjoy your evening."  Terentius continued, with an enigmatic smile.

Later, after his midday meal, Markos had an early session with Servius, who was continuing his swimming lessons in the pool. Markos then returned to his room in the late afternoon. A period of leisure was, by this time, something strange to Markos. He wasn't allowed out of the Villa, however, and he wasn't allowed to roam the corridors or atria of the huge house. Access to the Gymnasion and the pool was only permitted if he was accompanied by Servius. He was allowed to bathe, and take meals, but other than that, he was confined to his room.

This was the less pleasant side of slavery.

Granted he had to do very little work, and had the great privilege of gaining a first rate education. He also had access to health facilities and a private gymnasion and pool that would be the envy of even the sons of wealthy aristocrats, and a luxurious room that few plebeians could even dream of owning---but essentially he was not free.

And on that night it came home to him, as he sat on his bed, wondering how to fill in the hours before he slept. So Markos gathered up his scrolls of the 'Illiad', went over to his desk, and decided that he may as well start reading, in preparation for his next lesson.

It was at that moment that there was a soft knock on the door. Markos was startled. He had never had anyone come to his door at this hour, and he could not imagine who it might be.

It was unlikely to be Terentius or Nerva, as this was his evening off.

Κλεων - Cleon - the Slave-Boy
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016

He went over to the door, unlocked and opened it. There in the corridor was a boy, a slave obviously a slave, because he was wearing only a white thong and a silver slave collar, identical to the collar that Markos wore The boy was about the same age as Markos, with deep blue eyes, a shock of pale brown hair, and wide, sensuous lips.

"Hi! I'm Cleon!" he said, brightly, in Greek.

Markos stared at the boy, uncomprehending.
The Latin form of Κλεων (Kleon), a Greek name derived, (very appropriately in this case), from κλεος (kleos) "glory".
"Terentius sent me - to amuse you on your evening off," Cleon said brightly.

Cleon was apparently Greek, so Markos continued to speak to him in Greek. "What do you mean?" Markos stuttered, still not understanding what the boy meant.
"Well ... Terentius said you were inexperienced, but .....," and he smiled, delightfully.
Markos was still looking puzzled, and had not fully opened the door to his room. Cleon lent forward:
"I'm here so you can fuck me," he whispered, in a conspiratorial tone.
"Is this a joke?" Markos whispered, unable to believe what young Cleon had just said.
"Of course not. It would be more that my life's worth to lie about the noble Terentius, and---in case you don't know---our lord has forbidden any slave or freedman to touch you, without his consent.
I, however," he continued proudly, "have been selected to befriend you, and be you 'pullus,' if you will have me."

"Well why not," Markos replied, still confused by what young Cleon had said.

THIS IS IMPORTANT TO THE STORY - 'Pullus' was an affectionate word traditionally used for a boy (puer) who was loved by someone (male) "in an physical, sexual sense." see 'Homosexuality in Ancient Rome. More accurately Cleon, probably without realizing it, was taking the part of a 'Concubinus'. It was Roman custom that boys (who were Roman citizens) on reaching puberty would be provided with a slave-boy (preferable younger), as a 'bed-mate' for the boy, in order to discourage masturbation. Masturbation was frowned upon as being 'unmanly', as a Roman citizen (male) should find his sexual satisfaction by penetrating a person of lesser status (wife, slave-boy or slave girl, or defeated enemy). Slave- boys were preferred, for the simple reason that slave-boys did not get pregnant - thus avoiding any complications regarding inheritance. It was probably this custom that was responsible for so many Roman men (citizens - even including Emperors) preferring boys to women as sexual partners in later life. What was odd about the arrangement that Gracchus made for Markos was that Markos was (apparently) not a Roman citizen, but rather a slave - and not entitled to a 'Concubinus'. And so the mystery deepens.
"You'd better come in," Markos said, opening the door fully. "Nerva did tell me that I couldn't have anyone else in the room, but if Terentius sent you - then I suppose it's all right."
"Well...what a room! What did you have to do to get this?" Cleon exclaimed.
"Nothing! Nerva brought me here the day I arrived at the villa, and told me that Terentius had allocated this room to me," Markos explained, feeling rather guilty.
"And a double-bed, I see! Just what we need," Cleon continued, as he looked around admiringly at the decorations and the furniture.

"And what's all this?" Cleon interrupted himself, picking up one of the scrolls from Markos' desk.
"It's my school work," Markos replied.
"They send you to school?" Cleon exclaimed, with a look of total disbelief on his face.
"No---Gracchus has two tutors, one Greek and one Roman to teach me, and a Roman centurion as my athletics coach. He's ok, but the others are a bit weird.
"I really don't believe this. No wonder Terentius thinks you need a good fuck to get all that study out of your system," he went on, enthusiastically. "And I'm lucky, 'cause you're Greek, and real cute, and maybe you'll give a good fuck, who knows."

Cleon slipped off his thong, then said: "So why don't we do it?"
Like Servius had said---all slave boys were shaved, or so young that they didn't have to---as was the case with young Cleon, who was, however, very well-hung.
"Well---as you may have been told, I've never done it before---with a girl of a boy, so lets take it easy, and make allowances for me." Markos said apologetically, as pulled off his tunic.
There was a bulge in his white thong that didn't go unnoticed.
"Now I think that you are really ready for this---by the look of you," Cleon giggled, pointing at Markos' bulging crotch, and with that he slipped off Markos's tiny thong; Markos' stiffening cock jerked up eagerly.
"Come on---lets get on the bed!" Cleon said, and took his hesitant partner's hand.

Markos lay back on the bed, and Cleon lay on top of him. Almost immediately the two boys passionately embraced, their arms and legs intertwining. Markos had tears in his eyes and was taking deep breaths---he was almost sobbing.
He had had no emotional outlet for so long, that the feel of young Cleon's warm flesh against his, and the boy's lips and tongue exploring his mouth was almost overwhelming. At the same time, Cleon---skilled in matters of love-making---reached down down to fondle Markos' well-filled ball-bag, and then worked upwards, along the shaft of his now, incredibly stiff, cock.
"If you want you can enter me." Cleon whispered.
"You do it," Markos suggested.
It may be easier the first time if you just go down on my stiff cock."

And that's exactly what Cleon did, facing Markos and slowly sinking down on the trembling boy's huge 'tool'. As it slowly disappeared  inside Cleon, the Greek boy moaned in obvious delight.
"Fuck! That feels so good!" Markos groaned, as he felt Cleon's strong arse muscle rhythmically tightening on his swelling cock. Then Cleon started riding Markos' cock, jerking himself off at the same time.
All of this got a bit too much for Markos after a few minutes. "Oh shit! I think I'm gonna cum!" he blurted out.
"Don't worry," Cleon replied, keeping as still as possible to avoid stimulating Markos to orgasm.
"I'll turn and face the other way, and lie against you, so that you can do the thrusting, and control things better."
It was obvious that young Cleon was quite an expert, and also a bit of an athlete, as he changed his position, while ensuring that Markos' cock stayed inside him. The new position gave Markos much more control, and he was able to play with Cleon's cock and balls, while at the same time thrusting into him in a steady and controlled rhythm. Slowly, however, the pace of Markos' thrusting became faster and more insistent as he became more excited. At the same time he worked frantically on the thick, long shaft of Cleon's huge cock. Eventually, as Markos approached the point of no return, Cleon's strong anal muscles began to rhythmically grip Markos' cock, and Cleons' cock began to jerk and swell even more as he reached his orgasm.
"Fuckin' shit!" he groaned as his creamy boy-seed spurted and splattered over his smooth, flat belly.
"Shit! I'm cummin!", Markos cried out, at the same time, as his hot spunk gushed inside Cleon.

Both boys flopped back on the bed, breathing heavily, grinning and still dribbling spunk. They were still quite hard - their cocks twitching, as the last effects of their orgasms subsided.
"That was good!" Cleon panted. "You can fuck me any time!"
Markos laughed.

Markos and Cleon

So the boys lay on the bed, and set to talking long into the evening. Cleon explained that he had been born a slave, in Corinth, but then his master had lost a great deal of money (Cleon did not know how), and had to sell many of his slaves. Cleon himself was one of them. Terentius (although Cleon did not know him at the time) was at the auction, and on the look-out for attractive slave-boys for Gracchus. Although Cleon had no particular skills (he had simply helped in the kitchen of the small villa his master owned), his looks meant that Terentius thought he would be a good investment for Gracchus. He now had been at the villa for four years.

He went on to talk about Markos: "When you arrived, many of Gracchus' favorite slaves---and I like to think that I am one of those---were very puzzled. As I said, you got this really nice room---usually reserved for Gracchus' freedmen. And then you hardly seemed to do any work. Then one of the boys said that in the afternoon you spent time with a Greek freedman, and an older, Roman freedman, and after, you had athletics sessions in the gymnasion, with a young man, whom, it was rumored was a real citizen---some suggested an army officer. One thing we did know from the door slaves was that you had seen Gracchus only once---so it seems he was not having sex with you, or getting you to perform for him."
"What do you mean---perform for him?"
"Yes. I forgot. You don't know much about Gracchus. Don't tell anyone I told you---but its an open secret anyway---Gracchus likes boys."
"I know. My coach told me," Markos interjected.
"But, it seems, he doesn't like to fuck them---at least not often. Instead he likes to watch."

Sex in the Arena
© Copyright Vittorio Carvelli 2016
Voyeurism is the sexual interest in watching people engaged in intimate behaviors, particularly sexual activity. The voyeur does not normally interact directly with the subject of his interest, as the essence of voyeurism is observing. Voyeurism has high prevalence rates in most populations, and in ancient Rome it was considered quite acceptable for high status citizens to stage 'performance's involving their slaves, (male and female, or male on male) sometimes just for their own enjoyment, or in many cases as an 'entertainment' for their guests, and such events were often performed at banquets. An aspect of these voyeuristic practices was to be found also in the Roman theater (at the time of this story), where slaves would enact plays (often on a mythological basis) involving real sexual activity. Similar 'performances' also took place a interludes between gladiatorial contests in the arena.
"He like to see us fuck, jerk-off and suck cock. Sometimes, when he has many guests, he gets us to wrestle in the triclinium---the winner, of course gets to fuck the loser---and his guests bet on the outcome."

A Small Triclinium
A triclinium (plural: triclinia) is a formal dining room in a Roman building. The word is adopted from the Greek τρικλίνιον, triklinion, from τρι-, tri-, "three", and κλίνη, klinē, a sort of "couch". Each couch was wide enough to accommodate three diners who reclined on their left side on cushions while slave-boys served multiple courses, and others entertained guests with music, song, dance, wrestling, and sometimes 'performances' as described above. Dining was the defining ritual in Roman domestic life, lasting from late afternoon through late at night. Typically, 9-20 guests were invited, arranged in a prescribed seating order to emphasize divisions in status and relative closeness to the dominus (lord---in this case Gracchus). As privileged space, dining rooms received extremely elaborate decoration. Smaller triclinia, of which there were a number in the Villa Auri, would be used for smaller dinner parties, with a more exclusive set of guests.

"And you do this?" Markos asked, quite amazed.
"Well yes---but not just the sex. We serve Gracchus' guests with food, and dance and perform acrobatics---and sometimes wrestle. That's why there is a gymnasion and a Palaistra in the villa. Me and the other boys have a Greek dancing master, athletics coach and wrestling coach, and we spend quite a lot of time training---but not when you're there. And sometimes, as we always train naked, Gracchus comes and watches---like I said, he likes to watch!" Cleon paused. "But of course, it's only the ones that Gracchus likes the look of that do this. There are lots of other slaves---some of them quite old---but we have nothing to do with them."

Cleon, still lying next to Markos, looked at his newly found friend. "But what is he planning for you, I wonder?"

(Stay tuned)

Vittorio Carvelli runs various internet sites that cover the intersection of antique history and gay experience, such as GreatClassicNude, VittorioCarvelli, and Gracchusrome. He lives in London.