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Marcus of Rome

By Jonathan, age 10, Year 6, All Saints Junior School, Matlock, UK

" Now you do understand that I will only be away for a day or two I just have to go to Gaul, "

" Yes, I do understand father but I will miss you, "

" I know but there is a show on tomorrow at the Colosseum and a Chariot race at the Hippodrome. "

I am Marcus Agrippa Aurellious son of Vespasian Emperor of all Rome. I live in the grandest villa in the empire and the villa itself is set in the most magnificent city of all time. ROME! I am part of the Senate of Rome and I wear a toga just like everyone else in the city. Emperor Vespasian has left on a trip to Gaul to see that the Ninth legion do what they are supposed to do; attack Britannia, and has left me in charge of Rome.

I decided to go to the Colosseum. I got there just in time to see the Gladiatorial games start. I saw the clashing of the swords, and the spectacular shapes the Gladiators made as they moved around the arena. When one was pinned the successor looked up at me as if to say 'What do I do next?'; I looked at the crowd the crowd looked back at me like bloodthirsty lions. I decided to give the thumbs DOWN signal. The pinned man held his breath as he was picked up and stabbed in the back. He fell backwards onto the arena floor. Dead. After a few more bloody deaths I decided to go back to my villa. For a few hours I relaxed, went to the baths and had a nine-course meal, which included: Grapes, wine, hog, sparrow, pheasant and stuffed dor mice. All was well until a messanger came puffing and panting. He held a message, which said:

"Greetings Marcus

Vespasian salutes you

I have some terrible news for you. There is an army marching straight towards Rome. The army's leader is called Tuggydugnus and he is from Dacia (Romania. ) You have command of the seventh and the eighth legion; I would use both if I were you. I hope you receive this letter quickly enough, otherwise feed this messenger to the lions.


Emperor Vespasian"

After I had finished reading my father's letter I had a great feeling of terror but also intense excitement. This would be my first encounter with the real power and command of the Roman Legions. I pulled myself together and calling my slave to bring me my cloak I strode out into the blistering heat of the courtyard. I swiftly mounted my chariot and thundered past the streets and courtyards, baths and temples of the eternal city of Rome.

When I finally arrived at the fields of Mars I summoned my Legions before me and called, "Centuries, Cohorts, Legions, I have some terrible news for you. The army of Tuggydugnus is marching towards the glorious city of Rome. My father Emperor Vespasian of Rome has asked me to command you, his finest legions, into victory. We need to move quickly as Tuggydugnus's army is already outside the great walls of Brundisium. I plan to put a stop to this barbaric rampage at Capua city of the Gods.

Who is with me? " There was a tumultuous roar.

"Well then we march tonight! " There was another roar of voices as the drums boomed and the trumpets blew.

After about five minutes I turned and looked behind me and saw a huge mass of red and gold shields and the glinting silver swords and helmets of Rome.

When we finally reached the metropolitan city of Capua, the trumpets blew yet again as the legions marched into their rectangular formations. Then we saw the enemy.

The enemy army was on the summit of a hill but as they moved closer I noticed that instead of having the blue and yellow war markings on them, they had painted Rome's red, gold and silver armour all over themselves. I stayed calm. Then all of a sudden the enemy army stopped. I saw Tuggydugnus sitting on the blackest most powerful horse I had ever seen in my life. The horse was covered in silver scale armour. The horse leapt back on its hind legs as Tuggydugnus pointed his glimmering sword straight at our jostling Legions. There was a clamor of voices as Tuggydugnus's army ran at us swirling their swords around their big, hairy heads.

Our mighty legions were prepared for this. They pulled out their pointed javelins and hurled them with all their strength. The javelins soared through the sky like swallows chasing a fly. The javelins struck the enemy soldiers on the head and even in the stomach. This broke up their barbaric charge. Then our Legions drew their swords and held their red shields out in front of them.

The bloodthirsty barbarians carried on running towards the Legions, which calmly stood waiting for the prey to enter their grasp. As the enemy moved closer the legions began to worry about getting confused because of the barbarians war paintings. They were right because they did get confused and it was because of the barbarian's war paintings. After a three hours of courageous fighting I relised that we were losing so I decided to retreat. The trumpets blew to signal the legions to retreat and I quickly leapt onto my chariot and my legions and I headed for the top of a hill.

On top of the hill I looked behind me and saw thousands of dead and injured bodies scattered everywhere, but when I looked more closely I saw that most of the bodies were barbarians. I was shocked but I knew we had won.

"WE HAVE WON! ! ! ! " I screamed.

The Legions looked up at me, jumped up and cheered so triumphantly that the whole of Italy probably heard them. We all marched home, shaken but happy. Then I realized how many we had lost. I asked my military mathematician. He said we had lost at least 5, 000 men. My heart sank.

"That's nearly a whole legion, " I said to myself.

I cheered up when my father got back from Gaul. We were still marching home when he said to me "Well done my son. I can see that you will be a grand emperor after me. You will keep Rome at its former glory. You may even conquer the world"

"I suppose" so I replied and my Legions and I marched under the immense triumphal arch with a heavy heart.


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