Carthage Must Be Destroyed

In Carthage Must Be Destroyed Gaius Antonius is inspired by the leading senator and statesman, Marcus Porcius Cato. He turns his talent for drawing into a map making expedition to Carthage where he manages to ferret out a naval vessel as evidence that the Carthaginians are starting to rebuild their fleet in the aftermath of the Second Punic War. They have finished with the reparations that Rome imposed on them, and now have money to spare.

He and his mentor Cato return to the Roman Senate to get them to declare war when the map disappears. Gaius must chase the Carthaginian Princess Tanit across the Mediterranean and meet all sorts of unexpected hardships.

Will he make it in time, or will Princess Tanit and her relatives gain the upper hand against them? Find out in Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Dora Benley.

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Cato Looms Like A Giant Over The Novel:

Cato the Elder was Roman who almost singlehandledly commanded the Third Punic War. He brought it about with his perpetual speeches “Carthage must be destroyed” in the Roman Senate House and showing off crops and goods that supposedly came from that city along the coast of North Africa to warn the Romans how close by it was located.

He owned a vast latifundia in the countryside outside Rome. He experimented with various crops such as grapes, olives, and livestock and wrote a Latin prose work On Farming, influencing Latin literature. He also wrote Latin prose works that have not survived such as the first history of Rome that we know about called Origines. He also composed an encyclopedia and a book of maxims, neither of which survive except in fragments. He might have been a Pliny the Elder two centuries earlier in Roman history.

He is certainly the one historical character whose personality looms largest over the Dora Benley historical thriller Carthage Must Be Destroyed. It will soon be published by Cheops Books LLC.

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Carthage Must Be Destroyed In Color:

Daniel Teran has finished the book cover for Carthage Must Be Destroyed —- in color. Cato stands in the Roman Senate addressing the populace. Cato is soon to be a major character in the upcoming historical thriller Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Dora Benley.

Cato the Elder ends every speech in the Roman Senate with the words, “Carthage must be destroyed.” He is a survivor of the Second Punic War fifty years before when Hannibal won the Battle of Cannae and almost marched on Rome itself. Cato reminds the Romans that Carthage has finished paying its war reparations to Rome and is now refurbishing its navy. It could sail against them again just as Hannibal himself had crossed the Alps a generation before.

The son of another senator, Gaius Antonius, is picked by Cato to follow him to Carthage to assess the situation. Gaius Antonius sketches the harbor. His eyes light on a ship that is being built. It looks like the finest of its fleet.

When Cato orders the Carthaginians to send one hundred hostages picked from the youth of the noble families of Carthage to Rome to be kept at his latifundia estate, the Princess Tanit arrives. She tries to charm everyone —- for awhile. But soon she and the sketches and maps that Gaius Antonius drew suddenly disappear along with all the hostages.

This sets off a multi-nation chase to get the drawings and maps back again. Cato wants to show the drawing of the fine naval vessel and the threats it represents to the Roman Senate. They are on the verge of declaring war. Cato and Gaius Antonius want to push the Roman Senate and people over the edge. Will they make it in time, or will the Carthaginians gain an advantage? Will Princess Tanit and her cohorts escape, or will they get their just deserts?

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Trump Acts On Roman Scale Against Syria:

It would be totally impractical to consult Parliament or Congress about the Syria strikes. First of all they have to be secret. They can’t be discussed in a public session of Congress or Parliament. In order to keep up with the US, England gave the PM the power to make strikes without consulting Parliament. The US President has evolved this power since WW2 even though if he wanted to start a formal war he would have to get Congress to agree the way Bush did.

Cameron consulted Parliament in 2013, and they voted it down, making Britain “look like a jerk.” The previous occupant at the White House added to the jerk quality of the lack of response by claiming he was going to consult Congress. That is why May did not do it this time and Trump certainly did not. Democracies are not good at making war. Think of the Roman Republic. During the Punic Wars, at first the consuls who were elected for one year each and were not doing well fighting Carthage. They didn’t have enough power to carry on the wars. They had to learn to appoint a Dictator for the duration of the war or they might lose. Finally they appointed Fabius Maximus. Even he did not stay dictator for very long. Cato the Elder during the Third Punic War had the power of being a Dictator without the title because of his speaking ability.

Finally the Romans got the idea in the first century BC and Sulla became Dictator when fighting the Athenians. This resulted in Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon and riding into Rome with his troops, not laying down his power at all. And finally Augustus became Princeps or first citizen of Rome, really the First Emperor. Battles required a chain of command and real authority.

Before the Romans the Greeks had a terrible time conducting military campaigns. Athens wasn’t a modern democracy. It was more like a democratic oligarchy. But it was disorganized, and their wars and battles often suffered from lack of real leadership. It is ironic that the greatest Greek general was Alexander the Great of Macedon who was a King.

During World War 2 Britain followed this Roman tradition and suspended elections for the duration of the war. Churchill was like a Roman dictator more than the US President was who had to stand for election no matter what. Churchill was the most successful British PM of the twentieth century.

No one would suggest that the common foot soldiers get to vote on the next strike in the war. So why should the populace of the country get to vote on the next moves? That is the same sort of nonsense.

Churchill is a major character in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series. He appears in many different novels.

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Carthage Must Be Destroyed Book Cover:

Carthage Must Be Destroyed is the latest in a series of historical thriller novels by Dora Benley about the long ago ancestors of Colonel Sir Edward Ware, or General Lord Edward Ware, of the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series about World War 1 and World War 2. Colonel Ware lives outside Salisbury, England, of recent notoriety with the Russian chemical attacks. He lives at his estate called Ware Hall which has been inhabited by his family since Roman times when his ancestor Lucius Antonius fled to Britain after Julius Caesar was assassinated.

Cato the Elder ended every speech in the Roman Senate with the words, “Carthage must be destroyed.” He was a survivor of the Second Punic War fifty years before. Hannibal won the Battle of Cannae and almost marched on Rome itself. He reminded the Romans that Carthage had finished paying its reparations and was now refurbishing its navy. It could sail against them again just as Hannibal himself had crossed the Alps a generation before.

The son of another senator, Gaius Antonius, is picked by Cato to follow him to Carthage to assess the situation. Gaius Antonius sketches the harbor. His eyes light on a ship that is being built. It looks like the finest of its fleet.

When Cato orders the Carthaginians to send one hundred hostages picked from the youth of the noble families of Carthage to Rome to be kept at his latifundia estate, the Princess Tanit arrives. She tries to charm everyone —- for awhile. But soon she and the sketches and maps that Gaius Antonius drew suddenly disappear along with all the hostages.

This sets off a multi-nation chase to get the drawings and maps back again. Cato wants to show the drawing of the fine naval vessel and the threats it represents to the Roman Senate. They are on the verge of declaring war, and Cato and Gaius Antonius want to push them over the edge. Will they make it in time, or will the Carthaginians gain an advantage? Will Princess Tanit and her cohorts escape, or will they get their just deserts?

Find out. Read Carthage Must Be Destroyed coming soon from Cheops Books LLC. This is a sketch of the cover drawn by artist Daniel Teran.

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Roman Army More Destructive Than Atomic Bomb:

We read about Scipio Aemilianus, head of the Roman army, weeping at the end of the Third Punic War as he stood by the historian, Polybius, and supervised the systemic burning and destruction of Carthage. The last 50,000 citizens presented an olive branch to the Roman army and marched out of the doomed city to a life of slavery. Aemilianus quoted Homer about Troy. But Oppenheimer on July 16, 1945 when he watched the first nuclear explosion quoted Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds”. The atomic bomb is supposed to be the ultimate weapon destroying more than anything else. But really the Roman army at Carthage after the Third Punic War destroyed more —- and they didn’t even have guns or explosives at all!

Rome  and the Roman army took apart a whole civilization and obliterated all traces of it. Nothing survived for very long, not even the art or culture after the last ruler of Carthage committed suicide and his wife threw her children into the flames and then leaped into the flames herself. But after World War 1 and World War 2 the defeated parties not only survived but prospered and in very short order, too. The United States and Britain didn’t burn all the German cities to the ground and enslave whole populations. Germany and Japan came right back after the war and became economic engines again. Rome and the Roman army would never have permitted this with Carthage.

We are commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War 1. Europe cannot get over the Battle of the Somme and other similar battles losing thousands of men. But Rome and the Roman army suffered more during the Second Punic War, especially during the Battle of Cannae, and got over it very quickly. Nor did it make Rome hate war and want to avoid it at all costs.

This attitude that somehow the past was more peaceful and the present more violent needs to be re-examined. It doesn’t fit the facts. The Punic Wars seem more horrible than either World War 1 or World War 2.

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Princess Tanit And Carthage Has Been Destroyed:

Gaius Antonius gave the order to retreat toward the Balearic Islands. There was no shame in it when they were so outnumbered. But considering the speed of the pursuing ships, he had better high tail it out of here quickly and in effect do the equivalent of a vanishing act. He caught the glare of Tanit and cursed her. He would not stop until she was dead. He had promised Cato.

He sailed back the way he had come with what looked like a whole navy coming after him. He sailed into a hidden cove on one of the more obscure Balearic Islands. His ship and the other one that had come with him were totally hidden by rocks. He sent a lookout up the cliff to conceal himself behind a tree and watch what the other navy did. He reported back not long after that they had sailed past the island all together.

Gaius Antonius had escaped to the Balearic Islands. A couple days later he sailed back into the port at Carthage. He told Scipio what had happened and how Tanit had almost led him into a trap. He swore he would capture her and make her pay or his name was not Cato.

As Scipio’s siege engines grew higher and higher until they were almost the height of the walls of Carthage itself, he saw Tanit appear on the walls again and again. Soldiers would appear and throw missiles down on the Romans to distract them when they were working on the siege engines, and the Princess Tanit would appear with them. She would raise above her head the souvenir she obviously took when she appeared in Rome at Cato’s latifundia. She must have been there in the room when his father was murdered. She was holding Cato’s other pen besides the one that had been clutched in his hand. It was an open insult.

At long last the siege engines were finished, and the city of Carthage was about ready to starve. Just as Scipio was giving the order to his legionaries to attack, an olive branch was seen on the walls. The ordinary folk of Carthage were surrendering. Scipio accepted their surrender, and the gates of the city opened wide as fifty thousand citizens marched out to surrender to the Roman legions and be made into slaves. Gaius knew that Tanit would not be among those numbers. She would never surrender.

When the final push came he entered the city behind his soldiers directing their activities as they pushed through the streets of Carthage taking building after building. They slaughtered the residents who had not surrendered floor by floor and then razed the buildings themselves as they progressed down the street. What was left in the rubble was burned after it had been thoroughly pillaged and sacked for valuables.

Gaius looked around and watched out of the corner of his eye to see if he could detect where Princess Tanit was hiding. They were approaching the royal palace. He gave the order to his soldiers to sack that structure next, which they were eager to do because of all the booty.
First they broke down the double doors. They ran against them repeatedly with a ram. When they finally gave way there stood a lone figure staring daggers at Gaius from the top of the gilded stairway. It was Princess Tanit! Gaius barked the orders to his soldiers to sack the first floor and pull off the gold ornaments and valuables from the walls and doors and furniture before they ascended to the next floor and the next and finally prepared to demolish the building. Then he raced up the stairs after Tanit himself.

She was as swift as a lynx running from room to room, but finally he pulled a rug out from under her feet and toppled her to the ground. He leaped on top of her and struggled from side to side while he tried to pry that pen from her right hand. He forced open her fingers and finally took back Cato’s second pen that he always used to write speeches before delivering them in the Senate House. Gaius could only imagine how many times this pen had written the words: Carthage must be destroyed.

Tanit took advantage of the opportunity to leap up while he was taking back the pen. She fled out onto the balcony attached to the upper level room of the Carthaginian royal palace.
Gaius followed her only to suddenly come upon the wife of the lead general of the Carthaginians, Hasdrubal, pontificating and prancing frantically back and forth on the balcony crying down to the Romans below. She decried her cowardly husband who had just surrendered to the Romans and could be seen kneeling at the feet of Scipio Aemilianus right this minute. She lifted up one of her children after the other and threw them into the burning city below. Then she climbed up onto the balcony and threw herself into the flames with a giant scream.

Princess Tanit backed up away from Gaius Antonius. She shook her head and cried out, “You shall never put your dirty hands on me again, Roman. You act like a colony of red ants crawling all over our city and pulling it down to the ground. But still I will not be your slave or your prisoner. Nor will I ever again have to look at or meet or be the prisoner of that madman, your father, who inspired all this destruction. At least I killed him, and I am glad I lived long enough to do so. It was no soldier who did it for me. It was this hand that wielded the bow and arrow that killed him.” She shouted out her final defiant brag to Gaius.

With that Tanit leaped up onto the balcony wall. She glared at Gaius for one second longer. Then she, too, leaped into the flames.

Gaius Antonius looked out over the burning city of Carthage. Flames leaped high. He saw the visage of his father rising like the sun over all. He spoke to him. “Father, just as you said, Carthage must be destroyed. Well, I am finally and at last reporting to you, Carthage has been destroyed.”

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Tanit Sails Away In The Middle Of The Night:

Gaius was so indignant about Tanit murdering his father in cold blood — the very man who had once paid host to her when she was visiting Rome and his latifundia — that he immediately scribbled a note and sent for Scipio Aemilianus though it was the middle of the night.

About an hour later Scipio arrived fully dressed in his military outfit. Gaius filled him in on what had just happened and how Tanit had outwitted them in the end and was now sailing away scott free at night.

“I think we should start sending the Roman navy to Carthage tomorrow,” Gaius insisted. “We cannot let her get away with murdering my father and not paying for the crime.”

Scipio nodded. “We will send the patrol boats to give them a scare. Of course the rest of the Roman army will be sailing within the week. We should all make it by Wednesday next.”

Gaius did not go back to bed that night. He worked straight way through packing his essentials for the campaign against Carthage. He wanted to leave with the advance boat to see if he could somehow catch Tanit before she arrived back in Carthage. He confided in Scipio that he wanted to go and why. And of course Scipio, the commander, honored his wish.

But as it turned out Gaius ended up sailing across the entire Mediterranean without once catching sight of the bitch of his creating. He had once flirted with her and encouraged her, making an absolute fool of himself. Fortunately nobody knew about it but himself and even that was too many people.

Days later they sailed into the port of Carthage, built as an amazing great circle in front of the city walls. It was now almost all emptied out. As they sailed up the last ships were disappearing out to sea. It would not do them much good. Soon they would not be able to bring in provisions no matter what.

Gaius gazed out to sea. He hoped one of those boats was not Tanit. He did not want her to escape.
Scipio was an experienced expert at siege warfare. They at once began constructing great siege engines. It was a slow way to get vengeance but a more certain one that trying to make attacks and enter the city prematurely. But still he worried about Tanit.

“Scipio, I would like to take a ship or two and follow that last Carthaginian ship out of the harbor,” Gaius explained. “I think it may be the princess of Carthage who stayed at Cato’s house as a hostage and a guest and then turned on him and murdered him in cold blood.”
 Of course Scipio gave his permission as the leading general. Gaius set sail in the direction the ship had escaped.

But the ship proved very elusive and hard to follow just like Tanit. It would appear on the horizon far ahead of them only from time to time and then mysteriously disappear again. It only appeared often enough so that they could still follow it. And it was progressing quite a distance, too. It was obviously not headed for a neighboring port such as the Samnites.

He headed out onto the open sea wondering if Tanit would lead him to a secret stash of weapons or soldiers that he should know about. It took a couple days where he would catch sight of the ship and once again it would elude him. And another restless night would pass.

All too soon he found himself back in Spanish waters approaching the port of New Carthage. But low and behold, no sooner did the port come in view than he saw a Phoenician navy massed there to greet him. All the ships looked like the one he had drawn for Cato not that long ago. He had brought only two Roman ships with him. He had followed Tanit into a trap. Worse, he could catch sight of the Princess herself on the upper deck next to the captain. Her hand was clapped over her mouth. She was laughing at him. Her eyes were full of evil mirth — and fire.

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Scipio Aemilianus Chosen To Lead Expedition:

The next weeks were spent in such a hustle and bustle that Gaius hardly remembered either his old name or his new. He and Lavinia were married almost right away with the full Senate in attendance. But instead of bringing her home to his real father’s and mother’s house, they stayed in the house where she had grown up as Cato’s ward, Cato’s house. Scipio Aemilianus was picked to lead the expedition to Carthage. He was the adopted heir of Scipio Africanus, the hero of the Second Punic War. Gaius was given the rank of a tribune under Scipio.

Soldiers were taking on supplies. The Roman navy was repairing its vessels and buffing them up to make the journey across the Mediterranean Sea. Gaius Antonius and his fellow officers were taking the new and raw recruits out of town into the surrounding countryside to practice basic military maneuvers and exercises every day.

That morning before he left Cato’s house in town (they had not gone out to the latifundia lately because of all the military activity and meetings of the Senate) Cato summoned him into his office. He said, “The Roman army should plan to set sail for Carthage in about a week’s time. We don’t want to allow them too much time to take on supplies and build up their navy.”

“I am sure that sounds like the wisest course of action,” Gaius said to his new father.

They had held a big dinner for all the senators and their families only a few days ago right before the wedding. At the dinner Cato had declared that Gaius Antonius would be his new son and would carry his name and inherit his fortune and his lands. He would also take his place in the Senate when the time came, though everyone knew that no one could really do that. Certain papers and documents had been signed and witnessed. They had been handed over to the Vestal Virgins to keep in the House of the Vestal Virgins.

He promised Cato that he would do his best to stick on schedule. He was never more surprised than when in the middle of his military exercises his new wife, Lavinia, appeared on horseback. He excused himself and rushed over to her.

She hurried up to him with an expression of consternation on her face. “Gaius, Cato has been murdered!” she shouted.

He could hardly credit what she was saying. “What on earth are you talking about?” he asked his wife. “I just got done talking to him about leaving for Carthage within a week’s time!”

She gripped his military vest. “I went into his office to talk to him after luncheon. He was lying slumped on his writing desk. At first I thought he was asleep. But then I saw the arrow in his shoulder.”

Gaius could not take it all in. But he knew he had to act right away. He returned to his unit briefly to make his excuses that family matters had to be attended to. He was not going to repeat what his wife had said until he saw what was going on with his own two eyes. He saddled his own horse and followed her back into town to Cato’s house.

He hurried into his new father’s study. Things were just as she had told him. Only a frightened slave had hurriedly been appointed to watch things and make sure nothing was disturbed until they got back. He hurried up to Lavinia and practically hung on her for reassurance while Gaius dashed right up to Cato.

He took Cato by the shoulders and shook him, calling upon his name, “Cato, Cato, speak to me!” In life that was the most important thing he always did —- speak. His eyes were staring as lifeless as Lavinia had told him. But unlike Lavinia his eyes caught sight of a notepad next to Cato’s hand which was still holding his pen, very fitting to the last. On a piece of papyrus he had managed to scrawl, “The Carthaginians have killed me —- shot me through the window. Carthago delenda est.”

Indeed when Gaius turned the window in question was still open. He went to look and horrifyingly enough he could still detect the presence of human feet in the dust. They had left their incriminating shoe prints behind. Not that he would ever doubt what his father said, but this was all too accurate to be borne.

Gaius could not ask Cato what to do now. Cato was no more. He was now Cato. People would look to him to act as his father would have.

Keeping his wits about him he summoned Scipio Aemilianus to his house right away. Scipio rushed away from the military field and came right away. When he saw what tragedy had occurred he immediately decided, “We must sail even sooner than one week against Carthage.”

Gaius nodded. “I would whole heartedly agree. That is what Cato would have said.”

The next day they arranged for Cato’s funeral in the Forum in front of all Rome because this was a decisive event in the history of the Roman Republic. Many would always remember this day and tell their children and children’s children about it.

Gaius made a speech as the funeral pyre was lighted and Cato joined his noble ancestors. “On this day Rome resolves to do whatever it takes to defeat our mortal enemy, Carthage.”

Everybody cheered.

“We should not have allowed them to pay reparations for the past fifty years. Then this horrible tragedy would not have occurred,” he said.

Again the mob cheered.

“Now we must complete what we started in the time of our grandfathers. And in the words of my father, the great man that all Rome depended upon to see the right course for it to follow, the very last words that the dying man wrote on this piece of papyrus for us all to see after he had been struck by an arrow —- Carthago delenda est. Carthage must be destroyed.”

Gaius waved Cato’s last paper in the air over his head. The mob errupted into vengeful cheers that seemed to raise the roofs of the surrounding buildings. They did not stop shouting until Cato’s funeral was over and he was buried in a family mausoleum along the Appian Way.

The entire city state was mobilized as never before. They were all resolved to avenge Cato’s death by destroying Carthage. They had determined to leave Rome in five days’ time.

But the very next night his wife, Lavinia, awoke him. They had retired for one night to the latifundia to enlist the slaves who would go with them to war and not be left behind along with the small tenant farmers surrounding Cato’s estate. She complained that she was having a strange dream that made her restless and would not let her sleep. She kept on thinking that something or somebody was outside the window.

That was only natural considering what had just happened to her Uncle Cato. She urged her husband to look. Then she pointed leaning out the window herself. “Look down there at the sea! Look at that ship!”

Gaius followed Lavinia’s pointed finger. She indeed had a keen eye. He recognized the ship immediately under a bright moon. It was the very ship that he had drawn on the map for Cato, the one with the big sails. And he did not think he was imagining it when he thought he recognized the woman’s figure on the prow of the ship as it passed underneath the headland at the edge of the latifundia. Why, that was Tanit! She had returned to Rome to murder Cato.

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Cato Wants To Adopt Gaius Antonius As His Son And Heir:

After the Senate declared war on Carthage, Cato summoned Gaius Antonius back to his house on Palatine Hill. As his niece and social hostess, Lavinia met Gaius at the door and threw her arms around him in welcome. She hugged him to her and kissed both his cheeks. She whispered into his ear, “We are to be married very soon.”

Is that what Cato was going to tell him? Gaius was very surprised. But he would reserve his judgement to see what the elder senator brought up. He proceeded directly through the atrium into the garden where Cato was awaiting him at a table set up with refreshments. He could see Lavinia still behind him hanging around a Doric pillar watching everything he did with intense interest.

“I suspect we must choose a general and be off,” Cato waved his arms about. “But before you set off as all the young men must do all with new military ranks, I want to adopt you, Gaius Antonius, as my son and heir.”

Gaius Antonius’s mouth fell open in surprise. He had certainly not expected anything like this to happen! To be adopted by the leading man of his time, the most famous of all living Romans, the author of the first prose work in Latin to boot! It was a Roman custom and was not all that rare to adopt as a son and heir a young man who had just grown up and was the right age even when his own father was still living. But Gaius had certainly never thought it would be happening to him of all people.

Cato held up his hand. “We can deal with all the surprise reactions later, but for me this is serious. I am now old enough to be practically the only man serving in the Senate who actually fought in the Second Punic War. I am no general and I am too old to fight again. After all, I am now in my late seventies and almost eighty! I have no wife and no son of my own, and considering the part I have played in the early stages of this war already . . . “

Gaius Antonius broke out in exclamation, “Of course you have practically guided and directed it more than even a general could. If it had not been for you, the Carthaginians would be building ships behind our noses and who knows what would happen!” he said. “By the time anybody else besides you detected what the problem was it might be too late. The Carthaginians might be at Ostia with their fleet. They might find another Hannibal to bring more elephants across the Alps Mountains into Italy and start attacking all our allies and all our fellow city states. And this time we might actually get defeated because of our own stupidity.”

Cato again held up his hand. “Many besides me have whispered to themselves about this festering problem with the Carthaginians. But only I have had the oratorical skills and the position in the state to bring about where we are now.”

“That is what I have said, no more no less!” Gaius broke out.

“I think it is fitting you go into battle representing me because of the way you have assisted me so far in preparing for this war and because of the way you just risked your life going to New Carthage and rescuing that map that you drew yourself,” Cato spoke. “So you can represent not only your own real father but me as well. That is why I want to adopt you.”

Lavinia sneaked into the room uninvited and waited only a few steps away for Gaius Antonius’s response. She had her hands tightly clutched together in suspense.
Cato and Lavinia traded looks. After all, Lavinia was his niece.

Gaius became aware that they were both waiting for his response. “Of course I accept!” he managed to stammer out. “I would be crazy to refuse such an offer.” He knew that his own real father who was only a minor senator would be very pleased if Gaius took on Cato’s name.

Cato nodded as if he had expected as much. “Of course we will have to hold the ceremony amidst all the bustle of war preparation.” He looked towards his niece. “And I think we will hold a wedding as well.”

Lavinia flew at Gaius Antonius and threw herself into his arms as he stood up to embrace her.

“We will invite all the senators and their relatives and use the banquet as another means of war preparation,” Gaius could see the great man’s brain turning and making plans with every happening and every turn of fate.

Gaius went home that evening and announced the amazing piece of good luck to his real mother and father. They were so overjoyed to hear that Cato wanted to adopt their son that they could hardly contain themselves. Now his father would be recognized as one of Cato’s chief friends and allies and would take precedence at all banquets and be seated next to the great man. Best of all, he could move his seat in the Senate House next to Cato’s. Everyone would envy his piece of good luck to have bred and raised a son like Gaius Antonius to make the Antonii clan famous. It would now be mentioned prominently in all the historical records of Rome and by historians long after his time.

Gaius took Lavinia with him for the first time to meet her new in laws. They were wowed by her education and graces and hosted her as a guest overnight, the woman who was soon to become their daughter-in-law.

That night as Gaius retired to be he thought of his habit of sketching everything and drawing and what had come of it. He thought of the map he had made of Carthage and of the Carthaginian ship. It was obviously the most important thing he had ever done in his life. And if he had two lifetimes, it was the most important thing in both. He would have to think of what to do next to honor his new name, Cato.

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