Gaius Tullius Varro
04-10-2011, 04:40 PM
Experience: Years and years
Other Characters: Marcus Sempronius, et al
Contact: PM, please
Character’s Full Name: Gaius Tullius Varro
Age/DOB: 21 (4th of February, 37CE)
Class Status: Praetorian Guard (Milites), but from a Plebeian family
Sexual Orientation:For all intents and purposes... straight
Likes: Making friends; losing himself in his own mind; soldiering; the opportunities being in the Praetorians have opened up for him; drinking; hanging out in taverns; art; literature (especially Catullus, Virgil, Horace, and Maecenas, and Petronius’ Satyricon); philosophy and ethics debates; all things Roman.
Dislikes: Intimacy; being pushed too far; laziness; lack of ambition; being disliked; commitment; those who have come into money without working for it; Greeks and all things Greek; men who take on the passive or female role (homosexuality is also a Greek habit and therefore to be distained) in relationships with other men; wasting money (he would hoard it if he could).
Fears: Becoming like his father; seeing his remaining family live out the rest of their lives in poverty; commitment; dying young; marriage; intimate relationships.
Aspirations: To be promoted to officer-rank in the standard army; to serve his full sixteen years; to become financially secure and provide his remaining family with a better standard of living; to see his family leave the slums.
It’s hard to sum up Varro’s personality in just a few words or paragraphs. There are layers and layers to it, and some things are sure to be forgotten. Do I talk about the things that drive him, or just his traits and quirks, like how he rises before dawn each day, before the cockerel crows, visits the temple of Fortuna to thank her for his luck each evening (if duty allows), and gives the majority of his wages to his mother?
So, in an attempt to sum it up in as little words possible, Varro can often appear to be two very different things: thoughtful and caring, and yet so aloof. That's basically it.
There are very few people that Varro does not like, despites his prejudices (though they can’t really be called that. He is, after all, Roman through and through), and he generally likes to make friends. He’s an incredibly social person and wants to know everything and anything about a person, though the same cannot be applied to himself. He prefers to hide his feelings, his thoughts, from all those he meets. Why does he think this? Why does he do what he does? You’ll never know. It may be down to his own insecurities and feelings of inadequacy, but Varro has ever been very closed-mouthed about the most personal details of his life. Brothers? Sisters? I don’t know; does he have them? But either way, if you become Varro’s friend, then you will find someone incredibly loyal.
Varro also loves to think, and sometimes he can become lost in his own thoughts. He enjoys reading and writing (though he can’t compose poetry to save his own life), and debating life and all its philosophies. If only a scholar’s pay were better, for then he would definitely become one.
In terms of romantic relationships, Varro shuns intimacy. He can almost be described as somewhat aloof in all things concerning love. It’s not because he dislikes it, but rather because he does not view love as being very important, and also because he hates the thought of being chained down. He craves security, but a relationship is just that one step too far for him. He does not care for people to make emotional demands of him, and yet he also does not care for casual flings. He is, then, perhaps fated to be forever single.
Varro dislikes being pushed, and there are times when he can be somewhat stubborn. He’s usually even-tempered and fairly pleasant, but if you push him that little bit too far, then he can be incredibly tactless and rude. Hit on him at your peril.
Celebrity Claim: Dan Stevens
Height: 5’8” – not the tallest person in Rome (by a long shot), but not exactly the shortest.
There are two sets of clothes that Varro tends to wear - his work clothes and his casual clothes. When off-duty, Varro most often chooses to wear the most basic of Roman garments – a tunic (tunicum) made from wool, given that he feels linen tunics are a waste of money and far too expensive. Over this, if the weather is cold, he’ll wear a cloak (pallium), which is also made from wool. He has never in his life worn a toga, and probably never will.
When on-duty, Varro can often just wear a tunic, but will also quite often wear armour. He has, like most other Praetorian Guards, two sets of armour. One for everyday functions, which varies little from those of the ordinary legionaries, and one for parades and state functions, etc, etc. It is, of course, far more richly decorated. More decorative than functional, if you ever ask Varro's opinion of it, and a complete and utter waste of money.
Varro isn’t the most Roman looking of Romans, though never, ever suggest to him that he might have some Celtic blood in him somewhere along the line, oh no. He would probably gut you for that.
But anyway, Varro isn’t the biggest or most impressive looking guy in the world. He’s tall, but still manages to be a fair bit shorter than many other Romans (a fact he’s not too happy about), and he’s not exactly bulky or muscley looking. He has muscles, but they’re more of the wiry type. He is, to be honest, fairly lean and fragile looking, but he’s only twenty-one and will hopefully grow to be a bit more scary looking as time passes. He hopes to earn a few scars.
Pale to the point where he regularly suffers from sunburn, Varro has blond hair that has a tendency to become wavy when allowed to grow long enough, and that also has an incredibly annoying habit of falling into his eyes, which are blue and actually rather striking.
Despite some inner insecurities, Varro carries himself in a confident manner, his eyes sharp and never missing much, always watching. He can, however, be prone to having a somewhat dreamy expression when he is caught up in his thoughts. This never happens when he’s on duty, but it’s the usual expression you’ll find him wearing when he’s out and about visiting the city’s markets and taverns... and libraries. Can't forget the libraries.
History & Family
Parents: Gaius Tullius Varro (father, deceased), Caelia Tullia (mother, 36)
Siblings: Marcus Tullius Varro (brother, 10), Lucius Tullius Varro (brother, 8), and 3 brothers and 2 sisters who did not survive past infancy
Other family members: N/A
It would be nice to say that Varro was born on a stormy night, or on the day that was the coldest in all of Rome’s history, but to be honest there was nothing significant about the day of Varro’s birth, or the birth itself. It was like any other: forgettable.
Born in February, 37 AD, Varro was the first child of Gaius Tullius Varro and his young wife. She was only fourteen years of age, the daughter of a failing baker. Varro’s father himself had served in the Legions for some twenty years, reaching the rank of optio, before being discharged early due to injury. The man never explained how he had come to receive the wound on his leg, or even how he’d come to be married to Caelia, but what is known is that what savings the elder Varro had were quickly squandered away.
Varro was, then, born into a life of extreme poverty. Each day was a battle for survival, wondering when the next meal would come, whether they’d even have a roof over their head, and so on and so forth. They lived in a tiny room on the third floor of a crumbling, rat and flea-infested insulae, and the threat of being evicted was ever present. It was only due to sheer luck that Varro survived. Many of the children that followed weren’t so lucky.
For years, they struggled on, his father getting odd jobs here and there to help them, though quite often he came home with nothing, having gambled the money away. When Varro was old enough, he too did whatever jobs he could find to try and help support his family. At times, he even resorted to stealing. Life was hard, and what needed to be done needed to be done.
When Varro was fourteen, his father died, and he was left supporting his mother and two young brothers. His father had done him some good in his life by teaching him how to read (though the man never explained how he himself had learned), and this opened more jobs for Varro, though not enough, and to the point where he was considering selling himself into slavery to give his family enough money to survive for just that bit longer.
Aged sixteen, Varro made the decision to join the Legions, knowing that it would give him a steady wage to send back to his family, and it was just twenty-five years he was giving away, rather than his whole life. A better choice. He was sent to Germania to serve with the one of the legions there, and for two years he fought, until he came to the attention of one of the officers, who recommended him to the Praetorian Guard. He was intelligent, young, and fought well – the perfect candidate. Varro, of course, jumped at the chance, not just because it meant that he would only have to serve twelve years, but also because the pay was so much better. He could hope to buy his mother and brothers a better house. Gods, a house, and not just some tiny, damp room.
Varro headed straight back to Rome, where he has been ever since. He hopes one day to be promoted to a higher rank, even it means to go back to the legions, and he hopes to be able to move his family from the slums. He hopes and he prays, and that’s all he can do. Hope and pray.