Rome Must Fall

Chapter 12: About Sl*very

Chapter 12: About Sl*very

When the food was almost ready, Hamilcar did not immediately bring it out. Instead, he had Maximus call in some of the most respected gladiators, such as Artorix, Oenomaus, and Torquevado to have them carry the food out and distribute it.

If we bring the food out ourselves, our hungry brothers will surely rush in, and cause chaos. But if Oenomaus and the others do it, our brothers wont dare to snatch. In the legion, its usually a centurion leading the slaves to distribute food to the soldiers. Weve just escaped, and we havent established any rules yet. It will get better in the future, Hamilcar patiently explained to Maximus.

Maximus couldnt help but ask, Ive heard Spartacus say before that you were once in the Roman army?

Hamilcar fell silent for a moment and said in a low voice, Thats right. We were recruited because we coveted Roman wealth, but it ended up causing the destruction of our entire tribe.

Hearing Hamilcars cold voice, Maximus felt a chill down his spine. He didnt dare to ask further and instead inquired, According to the standards of the Roman army, how many people would it take to prepare a meal for a group like ours?

Hamilcar thought for a moment and said, Each contubernium of ten men in a Roman legion includes two slave soldiers who usually handle miscellaneous tasks and are primarily responsible for food preparation. We have about 250 people, so according to their requirements, we would need 50 people to prepare a meal. But the Roman legion has a high standard, so for us, 20 people cooking would be enough.

He looked at Maximus with satisfaction and said, Im glad you asked such a question. It shows that you are seriously considering our food situation, unlike those guys this morning. I asked them to help, but they were all very reluctant. Besides killing, they dont know anything else. Youre quite remarkable!

Maximus modestly replied, I just think that no matter how brave we are, if we cant eat enough, we wont have the strength to defeat the enemy.

Youre right. An armys food supply is very important! The Romans are indeed detestable, but their dedication to this aspect is unmatched by other forces.

Hamilcar sighed. It was rare for someone to listen to him talk about these things, which piqued his interest. He immediately pulled Maximus to sit near the kitchen door. He had the slaves scoop two bowls of lamb soup and tore a large piece of hot bread. As they ate, he continued, I just gave a rough estimate earlier. In reality, the number of people needed to cook for a legion depends on the actual situation. If theres no danger around, and the kitchen and food are readily available, just like we are now, ten people can satisfy the needs of over 200 people because we have enough time to prepare slowly. But if we are on the march or in enemy territory, the situation would be very different

Maximus listened attentively to Hamilcars explanation and gained a better understanding of logistical supply. Hamilcar shared insights such as why transporting grain was preferred over ready-made flour for the army, as it was easier to preserve. This was also the reason why the slave soldiers of the Roman army often had to carry hand mills.

Though Hamilcar was usually reserved and spoke sparingly, Maximus inquiries struck a chord with him. Once he started talking, he couldnt stop until a gladiator came to call him, Spartacus wants to discuss something with you. Reluctantly, he stood up and said to Maximus, Maximus, Ill leave things here to you. Is that alright?

No problem, Maximus responded readily. After Hamilcar left, Maximus turned to the people in the kitchen. They had been working continuously for over three hours, sweating profusely. Artorix and the others had stopped coming to the kitchen to demand food, indicating that the gladiators were almost full.

Take a break, have some food to regain your strength, Maximus said. As soon as he finished speaking, the people in the kitchen dropped their cooking utensils and started eating bread.

After they had eaten, their hunger had subsided, and they were no longer wolfing down their food, Maximus approached one of the slaves. Based on his previous observations, this person had been working the hardest. Why were you unwilling to join us?

The slave looked up, somewhat bewildered.

Youre a slave, ordered around by your master to work hard like an ox or a sheep every day. If you join us, not only will no one dare to order you around, but youll have lamb soup and bread to eat every day. Its so much better to live freely. Why wouldnt you want that? Maximus asked, full of puzzlement.

The slave lowered his head and mumbled after a while, I dont want to be crucified by the Romans.

Maximus didnt get angry. He turned to another slave, who was the most glib at work and had been warned by Hamilcar a few times. And what about you?

Well The slaves eyes darted around, and he replied, My master treats me well. I dont feel like a slave. Why should I leave?

Maximus was half skeptical of his words.

At that moment, the old man looked at Maximus earnestly and said, I was once a slave too. I was raised in the house of Dionysius since I was a child, and my master treated me like family. After the civil war decades ago, the Romans recognized the entire population of Italy as Roman citizens. Roman laws also applied to all Italian towns, including Naples. So, my master paid for my freedom out of his own pocket, and after a few more years when I met the requirements, he applied to the municipal office to make me a Roman citizen

At this point, the old man straightened his chest and said, After that, my master also appointed me as the overseer of this farm, with a decent monthly salary. Since then I got married, had children, and even grandchildren. And those two over there

The old man pointed to the two freedmen, They were also slaves before, but with the masters permission, they gained their freedom three years ago. And for the rest of you, dont worry, work hard, and you will be like me in the future.

Upon hearing the old mans words, the deepest memory of the original Maximus was also stirred up. He realized that Roman law indeed had provisions that allowed slaves to gain their freedom and become Roman citizens. However, without the masters permission, it was impossible for a slave to accumulate enough money to buy their own freedom. Nevertheless, the Romans seemed more tolerant and generous in this regard, and an important reason behind this was the ancient tradition of patronage.

Patrons provided political and life protection to their clients, while clients offered political support and military assistance to their patrons. It was not a relationship of complete dependence but rather mutual support and progress. The Romans adhered to this established tradition, and no one dared to disrupt it, ensuring relative stability in society. When a slave became a citizen, a deeper patronage relationship naturally formed with their former master. Since the Roman civil war several decades ago, all Italians became Roman citizens, and this special tradition of Rome spread throughout Italy, including Naples.

The reason why Maximus former master was willing to spend money and effort to cultivate him, a lowly household slave, stemmed from the same idea. Unfortunately, his former masters entire family was killed, leading to Maximus current predicament. If all the slaves in Italy were treated like the slaves on this farm, with minimal abuse, social mobility, and hopeful prospects for the future, would they be willing to stay rather than rise up in rebellion?

Thinking about this, Maximus felt uneasy. Would Spartacus still be able to lead a major slave uprising?

Countless thoughts churned in Maximus mind, and his expression changed constantly. The old man, seeing this, mistakenly believed that it was because Maximus was angered by his dissuasion of the slaves from joining their cause. He quickly added, Actually, the reason our master takes care of us like this is because theres a shortage of labor here. He even often asks the young master to come here and help with the work, so every person is important. But those large farming estates are different. They have vast cultivated lands and many slaves, many of whom are newcomers. The owners of those large farms employ multiple overseers and even guards. They use whips and clubs every day to coerce the slaves into working obediently. A few years ago, it even led to riots


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