Dramatis Personae

Every compelling story needs interesting characters!  And since we are building the story together as Tres Columnae Project members and subscribers, we want to make sure that there are lots and lots of interesting characters to work with.  The “core” stories (the ones mostly created by Mr. Schwamm and Dr. Martin) focus on the adventures of five Roman families, including their servants, pets, and some other animals.

  • familia Valeria:
    • Lucius Valerius Capito, a wealthy Roman eques who owns a large house and a number of rental properties or insulae in the city of Herculaneum
    • his wife Caelia
    • their oldest daughter Valeria, who is 12 when the stories begin
    • their son Lucius, who is 8 when the stories begin
    • their youngest daughter Caeliola, who is 6 when the stories begin
    • their “general purpose” servant Milphio
    • their cook Gallicus
    • their “general purpose” servant Casina
    • Valerius’ old paedagogus Odysseus, who becomes Lucius’ paedagogus
    • their dogs Ferox and Medusa
    • Ridiculus the mouse and his family, who live in a cavus parvus in the dining room
  • familia Caelia
    • Caius Caelius Caldus, a very wealthy Roman eques from a senatorial family, Valerius’ brother-in-law, who owns a farm on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius
    • his wife Vipsania, whose brother is a senator
    • their oldest son Caius, who died under mysterious circumstances as a teenager
    • their daughter Caelia Prima, 12 years old when the stories begin
    • their daughter Caelia Secunda, 11 years old when the stories begin
    • their only living son Cnaeus, 8 years old when the stories begin
    • their chief servant Utilis
    • their nurse-babysitter servant Planesium
    • their two maids Felicissima and Dulcissima
    • their educated servant Nestor, who becomes Cnaeus’ paedagogus
    • their dog Trux
    • their cow Fortunata and bull Maximus
    • their horse Sonipes and his family
    • various other farm animals
  • familia Lollia
    • Marcus Lollius Urbicus, Valerius’ friend and client, who lives with his family in a cenaculum in one of the insulae that Valerius owns
    • his wife Maccia, a direct descendant of the famous Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus
    • their daughter Lollia, about to celebrate her tenth birthday when the stories begin
    • their son Caius, 8 years old when the stories begin
    • their mustela Celeris, who keeps the cenaculum free of mouse-visitors
    • their son Tertius, who died in infancy and is buried in the family tomb outside the city
    • their son Quartus, whose birth we witness in Lectiō XIX
  • familia Flavia
    • Titus Flavius Caeso, a mysterious (and mysteriously wealthy) retired orator from Rome, who recently retired to Herculaneum and bought a house near Valerius
    • his wife Ausonia
    • two grown children, one in Roma ipsa and one in Neapolis
    • their son Quintus, 8 years old when the stories begin
    • their paedagogus Persicus, who isn’t very good at his job
  • familia Quinctia
    • Manius Quinctius, also a client of Valerius, who lives in a (somewhat larger) cenaculum in the same insula as Lollius and his family
    • his wife Lollia Septima, sister of M. Lollius Urbicus
    • their children Manius and Quinctia
    • their rather wild dog

Eventually, as the stories progress, we meet some other important characters like

  • familia Vipsania
    • Quartus Vipsanius Agrippa senior, Vipsania’s brother, a Roman senator from Mediolanum in northern Italy
    • his son Quartus Vipsanius Agrippa iunior, who just might be the right husband for Valeria
    • his young daughter Vipsanilla
    • his “poor” cousin Marcus Vipsanius, who “only” owns a few buildings (and a book publishing business) in Neapolis
  • Fabius the ludi magister, who “just happens” to be a cousin of the famous Roman rhetorician M. Fabius Quintilianus
  • Gellius the fullō, in whose shop something tragic eventually happens
  • Caelius’ friend and business associate, the Roman senator Claudius Pulcher, who lives in Roma ipsa
  • A pack of wolves who would love to eat the Caelius family’s sheep
  • Renardus, a fox who lives in Germania Inferior with his familia

And then there are the characters and stories that you can create and add when you become part of the Tres Columnae familia.