Gnaeus the Brave

Gnaeus the Brave is a story told to all Imperial children expressing an interest in joining the Exercitum Imperatoria, it is your classic rags to riches story and is designed to subtly reinforce the fact that to become a Legionary is the greatest thing one can attain to in Imperial society.   He is remarked for never backing down from a fight and always being as brave as possible, all characteristics required for a Legionary.

Summary

Gnaeus was born to a poor farming family, he was the youngest of three brothers. His family didn't have the money to send him to school and he was destined for a life of toiling in the fields however he was decidedly the runt of the family. He is described as thin and gangly and never ate his vegetables and quarreled with his mother and father.   When he reached ten years old he was abandoned by his parents for being too much of a burden, he was found by a travelling band of gladiators and circus performers where he began to slowly train up and build his strength. The Gladiators turned out to be Legionaries and taught him the benefits of proper excercise and diet. Under this tutelage and after several years he began to compete in the gladiator arena himself earning a minor reputation for himself as a small fast warrior.   After performing in the games at a Legion camp it was noted that he never backed down from any fights he was given always putting maximum effort in at all times. After the games the story says that Gnaeus was washing the blood of the fallen off when he was confronted by a group of rowdy drunken Legionaries demanding that Gnaeus die due to his unexpected victory causing them to lose money on bets.   Gnaeus is said to have fought the Legionaries managing to kill one of them and hold his own, the story says that even while he was beaten and badly injured he kept fighting with every ounce of his remaining strength. At the moment when Gnaeus was close to death a passing Centurion broke the fight up and rescued him. After a period of recovery the Centurion personally vouched for the prowess he had witnessed and Gnaeus was rewarded with induction into the Legions.

Historical Basis

Historically the story was concocted by Legionary recruiters and by the Empire itself to encourage recruitment into the Legion. The Legion has never suffered from a lack of recruits but this helped spread the feeling that anyone could join the Legion if they put their mind to it.   In the 'modern era' of the Empire no-one is quite certain how the story started and it is treated like a naturally evolved fairy-tale that all parents tell their children to encourage them to exercise and eat properly.   Generally the variations of this story are around which Legion he joined, and it is a minor joke that every legion claims to have been Gnaeus' legion.


Comments

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7 Jul, 2018 03:57

I enjoyed giving this a read, it reminds me of when I studied Roman history in high school. I have to ask though, how do you pronounce Gnaeus? I'm reading it as nay-us, but I have a suspicion that's wrong.

7 Jul, 2018 09:11

Nigh us.

7 Jul, 2018 05:40

That's a really good myth! Its evolved for a good reason in context, and I love the detail about every legion claiming he came from their legion instead.

7 Jul, 2018 11:32

Thank you Mint!

7 Jul, 2018 06:09

Very good myth, Gorge.   I do have one critique. Several times you use a comma to break up a sentence, where I believe a period would be better suited along slight tweaks of the second clauses.  

At the moment when Gnaeus was close to death a passing Centurion broke the fight up and rescued him, after a period of recovery the Centurion personally vouched for the prowess he had witnessed and Gnaeus was rewarded with induction into the Legions.
one offending sentence.

7 Jul, 2018 11:32

Yep, that sentence was written at about 0230 :-) It has been nuked.

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