THE OLD TRIUMPHATOR
"Pass me a toga, young Mark. Look for the purple
and gold one. It reminds me of the old days. The time
when I rode in a fine chariot through the streets of
Rome with the spoils of war. I offered sacrifice and
tokens of victory at Jupiter's temple on the Capitoline
Hill. On that day they called me a Vir Triumphalis - a
man of triumph.
"I heard them talking about you, great-uncle. They
call you the old Triumphator." Mark spoke quietly.
"Gray hair is well earned. Life is incomplete without
a triumph." He emphasized his words in arms of old
age that might still have the vigor to proclaim a whole
Senate in a single gesture.
"So, this was your King for a Day. Was it really
"No, the caveat is as old as the ritual itself. There is a
need for balance."
"Balance?" Mark raised a deferent glance.
"Yes. A slave had to follow me around and keep on
calling out, Respice te, hominem te memento. Look
behind you, remember you are only a man. But even
today, they acknowledge my presence. They walk
mostly backwards when they leave. It's not really
bowing. More of a little nod."
"Yes great-uncle. I don't think the attendants would
ever dare to turn their backs on you."
"I hear someone is coming. Is he bringing something
important for the Triumphator?"
"It's a man dressed in white. Looks like your laxative.
I'd better go now great-uncle but I'll back again next
week. Will you still be the same old Triumphator?"
As he left, Mark was careful to say very quietly to the
man in the white coat, "but next time he goes online
on Google he might be Napoleon or even Attila the
The Old Triumphator
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