Catrin recalled her unsettling conversation with Marcellus when he revealed his greatest fear was to die young like his namesake—the nephew of Augustus—who was considered the presumptive monarchic heir to the emperor. The charismatic noble married at the age of seventeen to the emperor’s daughter, Julia. Two years later, his life was cut short by typhoid before he could fulfill his destiny.
Marcellus disclosed that he wanted to emulate his great-grandfather. As a boy, he imagined himself leading his army into battle against Celtic hordes in Gaul, like the legendary General Mark Antony. Marcellus even asked Lucius, his father, to change his first name to Marcus in tribute to his great-grandfather, but Lucius declared, “As your paterfamilias, I not only decide your name but also your fate.”
After Marcellus told Catrin this, he gazed at the setting sun as though longing for it to rise again. The lines around his eyes deepened when he divulged that he no longer believed plundering other homelands for personal gain was honorable and that he would make sure his father knew this. It was as if he was warning her that Rome intended to attack the Cantiaci kingdom.
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