The enduring legend of Marcus Cassius Scaeva

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by Eifion Williams, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Eifion Williams

    Eifion Williams New Member

    Marcus Cassius Scaeva is one of the most celebrated warriors of all time. His martial skills and sheer bloody-minded determination to achieve victory at any and all costs are legendary and have lasted an amazing test of time. He was a highly decorated Centurion in Caesar’s 8th Legion, who risked his life by training with professional gladiators in his down-time and went on to make his own history and legend.

    During the Battle of Dyrrhachium between Julius Caesar and Pompey, the senior Centurions of his Cohort had all been killed or injured, so Marcus Cassius Scaeva took command of it himself. Fighting in the front ranks as usual, he took an arrow in the eye and the injury was so severe it could have left him permanently blinded and could have even proved fatal. Despite this horrific injury which would have felled most men, Marcus delivered his battle-cry, removed the arrow and fought-on with an increased ferocity. A little later, he was struck by two more arrows and it’s believed that one pierced his throat and the other his knee. It was noted later that two hundred arrows bristled from his shield but Centurion Marcus even under those unbelievable conditions and injuries, continued to hold the line and kept fighting from the front. Inspiring his men in this way, they managed to drive Pompey’s attacking troops back into the city. When Caesar eventually arrived at the battle field, he was so impressed with Scaeva he promoted him to Primus Pilus; Commanding Centurion of his infamous Legio X Fretensis.

    Centurion Marcus Cassius Scaeva was also mentioned in despatches and decorated for his bravery at the River Thames crossing, in Caesar’s second invasion of Britain in 54 BC. Here follows my fictional interpretation of Scaeva’s action that day, which happened more than two thousand years ago!

    * * * * *

    Excerpt from my trilogy; Iron Blood & Sacrifice (Return of the Yellow Dog)

    ‘Unobserved by Caesar or his officers, a group of auxiliary soldiers had been pushed further downriver by the current and had clambered onto a small islet, braving the swiftly rushing waters in the narrow channel that was left. They had unwittingly left themselves open to attack from the Prittans however, who splashed into the water and looked to surround the small island. These handful of soaking wet Roman soldiers were fortunate to be in the company of a Centurion of note from the 10th Legion; one Marcus Cassius Scaeva and as the big man drew his gladius with a war-like roar, he was dismayed to see the men around him flee. Deserting him they all dived into the river to escape the Prittans, who were now clambering up onto the grassy top of this little islet to face him.

    Marcus had often shared with the members of his close family; the other Centurions in this assembled army, the events of the day he had found the Legion, or perhaps it was when the Legion had found him. He had been inspired by the dazzling, God-like recruitment Centurion who those years ago had stood so proudly before the SPQR drumhead, set-up in the market square of his Umbrian village. It had drawn such a crowd of the young men of the district, it became difficult for Marcus to draw near to it. He was as patient as an oyster though, for as a boy he had cared for his sick mother for many years before she had passed to the next world and it was there, that he had learned to take control of the inner man and exercise a great and very tender patience at times and it had formed a permanent part of his complicated personality.

    Once the crowd had died away somewhat that hot summer’s day so long ago and in a different life, he had gathered up enough courage to push his way through the gang of local boys and approach this fantastic armoured and glimmering warrior. Marcus was as ready as he had ever been for anything, in all his short and painful life and he had taken his fate in both hands that day and stepped-up to the dazzling warrior. The tall and terrifying Centurion had suddenly become a mortal man, when he smiled at him and asked him a few pertinent details about his age and what skills he had, as if Marcus was just another normal person and the Centurion hadn’t even noticed the rags he was dressed in, let alone mention them. Almost immediately the young man had been baited, hook line and sinker and the Centurion had drawn him aside, perhaps seeing past the poverty, the harsh features and the wounded eyes, to perceive perhaps something deep within him, a quality that Marcus didn’t know himself existed at that inspirational moment. At the end of the brief recruitment summary of army life, the Centurion had advised him gravely; ‘If you don’t stand for something lad, you’ll fall for anything.’ And Marcus had taken the pledge to join as a Probatio in the following heartbeat.

    Many years of blood, sweat and toil had ensued, punctuated by long periods of boredom peppered with hard work, short periods of dire peril and even shorter periods of rest and recuperation. Marcus had more than once in his career thus far, proved the recruitment officer’s acuity that day, as he had not only risen to the same rank in remarkable time, he had come to surpass that inspirational Centurion’s achievements before he was half his age. His martial excellence and his attention to detail had got him noticed and promoted quickly but what had elevated him faster still, was his unbelievable ferocity in battle. It had been the battle of Dyrrhachium where he had proved his worth and had discovered the pitiless and unmatched warrior, who had lain inside him so long undiscovered.

    He was the most decorated Roman soldier currently in service and he would demonstrate why to these uncivilised barbarians this day, those who dared to recklessly surround him. Scaeva had earned his position in the hot bloody crucible of frontline Roman battle time and time again and without a moment’s hesitation, he charged the emerging Prittans and set about them with an uncontrollable fury, slaughtering them as they climbed up to fight him. A dozen or more grisly spearmen rose up from the water all around him but Scaeva was past caring as he was beside himself with his rage at the auxiliaries’ cowardice, as it demeaned him, his position and this whole army, even Rome herself and the Centurion became incandescent in his outrage. Shouting his oath to Mars, he was determined to seek out those deserters and bring them to his withering justice, but first he had to deal with these barbarian amateurs.

    This magnificent screaming denizen cleared this little islet of enemy attackers, slaughtering them all without mercy and with each kill, he roared out the name of his God of war. Once the blood-spattered but still infuriated Centurion Marcus Scaeva had secured the ground, he dived into the river himself and went in implacable search of those auxiliaries who had abandoned him, as he was now in a fine killing mood.’
    Cassivellaunus plaque.jpg
  2. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Normal thread.
    Riklet, Dom Traynor, Plumdaff and 7 others like this.
  3. S☼I

    S☼I those funny little plans that never work out right

    Did they have spam in those days?
  4. Eifion Williams

    Eifion Williams New Member

    Would you consider Buccellatum as Spam?
  5. copliker

    copliker ...

    Little bit fash but "Withering Justice" is a good name for a fillum.
    Dom Traynor and yield like this.
  6. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    This is a bit vague. What were his SpO2 and ABG readings?
    Dom Traynor likes this.
  7. JuanTwoThree

    JuanTwoThree I care not for the wealth of Gyges

    The punctuation is shall, we say eccentric.
  8. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    Well, what the OP lacks in brevity it makes up for by being utter nonsense.
    Dom Traynor likes this.
  9. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    I would watch a medium to high budget adaptation of this.
    JimW and High Voltage like this.
  10. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Starring Joseph Fiennes and Jason Statham.
  11. Wilf

    Wilf Dances like a Christian

    Withnail in't eye?
    High Voltage likes this.
  12. Shippou-Sensei

    Shippou-Sensei 4:1:2.5

    Dom Traynor likes this.
  13. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Since "handful" is singular it should be "this", I think.
  14. JuanTwoThree

    JuanTwoThree I care not for the wealth of Gyges

    On mature reflection, which is to say 'in the morning', it really is the most appallingly badly written stuff.
  15. High Voltage

    High Voltage In the top 97% of Urban's most interesting posters

    Don't use letterspacing if you're using ligatures.
  16. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby Share knowledge, don't weaponize it

    No, but if you hum a few bars, I'll give it a try...
    S☼I, tim and High Voltage like this.
  17. copliker

    copliker ...

    This is essentially my cv.
    Riklet, Dom Traynor, Plumdaff and 4 others like this.
  18. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge Without music, life would be a mistake.

    It's my morning so far.
    Dom Traynor and Pickman's model like this.
  19. copliker

    copliker ...

    #HandsOffCarthage btw
  20. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    withering justice is the english name of a climbing flower well-known in southern siberia and mongolia.
  21. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    my eyes :( my poor eyes :(
  22. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    like blackadder i would like to change only one thing - the words.

    the story's fine, but things like small islet - all islets are by definition small. there's too much anachronistic information - most decorated soldier? there weren't, if memory serves, that many decorations. simplify the language. too many extraneous words.

    you could lose a third of that text easy and the remainder would be the better for it
    Eggby and spanglechick like this.
  23. copliker

    copliker ...

    Wuthering Heights 2 - Withering Justice.
  24. twentythreedom

    twentythreedom Patterdale Terrorist

    Delenda est Carthago

    Something I remember from Latin O Level. Probably wrong though.
  25. ElizabethofYork

    ElizabethofYork Witchsmeller Pursuivant

    In the immortal words of Alice, what's the use of a story without pictures or conversations?
  26. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    and that's just one paragraph

    you say the auxiliaries were lucky to be in scaeva's company but they fuck off and abandon him. eh?

    and how do you surround an island which is surrounded by swiftly rushing water? you've not thought this through
    ElizabethofYork likes this.
  27. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    His bio was alright though. I wanted more of the grandfather’s stories.

    I’m not into Roman centurion stuff myself, battles and blood and withering justice, but I can see how it would make a decent mid to high budget movie DotCommunist .

    The writing though! It was all meant to be action, I think, but it was like reading a description of a stone frieIze in a dusty old museum.
    Dom Traynor likes this.
  28. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    I'm a sucker for swords and sandals. Pecs! togas! Speeches!
  29. fishfinger

    fishfinger تپلی

  30. SheilaNaGig

    SheilaNaGig Struggling and striving

    I know a lot of folk find the Romans fascinating (including our OP, it would seem) but I find them extraordinarily dull.

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