The “Delicia Scrolls” are the wild and salacious memoirs of Aurelia Livia Helenus or “Delicia” (her more widely used slave name) who was imprisoned and enslaved on the order of the Emperor Tiberius after her family was accused of conspiracy and treason.
After her father’s death she was held captive by the Emperor in the cells of his Palace in Rome to be tortured at his pleasure. Then as a further act of punishment and, it was said, in order to humiliate her even more, the Emperor banished her from Rome and imprisoned her as a sex slave on Capri, his private Island, which at that time was infamous for its debauchery, wild orgies and sex games.
Somehow she survived to tell her tale.
In the second scroll (the first is here) Delicia continues her description of her sale at the slave auction in Rome.
Jean-Léon Gérôme – Slave Auction (detail)
A guard gave me a shove from behind. I was being called out onto the stage. The dark skinned girl had fetched the highest price of the day. I knew she would. She was stunningly beautiful. Purchased for the amusement of some super rich playboy no doubt. My turn now. I took a deep breath.
Naked, and believe me I have never felt so naked in my life, I was led out to the front of the stage. It wasn’t very high. The crowd was scarily close. Within touching distance. I suddenly felt hot and flushed and my heart was pounding. I was sweating. My skin felt clammy and damp and there seemed to be hardly any air. I couldn’t have looked sensual or beautiful in any way. But perhaps they liked us looking like this. I kept my eyes down but I could feel their gaze upon me as if it were something physical. A force holding me down. Pinning me into place. For the first time the real weight of my condition hit me. Slave. I was slave. Subject to their will. Slave. An object to be bought and sold. No rights to any thoughts or feelings of my own. Slave. I must be silent. Still. Utterly passive. Obedient.
The place was packed. Mostly men. A few women. Probably on the look out for sex slaves for husbands with whom they were tired of having sexual relations. It was quite common. In fact it was rumored that the Emperor’s wife herself (or one of her emissaries) came every day to this very auction to procure slaves for her husband.
The crowd was so close I could even smell the man in front of me. He was around 40, grey haired and balding with a thin cynical looking face. He leered up at me contemptuously with narrow icy blue eyes. He stared quite shamelessly at my naked sex. He couldn’t take his eyes off it. Like a dog fixed upon a bone. He was pressing his hand against the bulge between his legs under his toga. For a moment I thought he was going to climb up and touch me. You could see he was dying to. I could just imagine what he was thinking. His fantasies. The things he would do to me once he got me home. Would he bid for me? I preyed not, hoping he was just a spectator here for the show.
All of a sudden a wave of fear hit me. I felt desperately lonely and I could feel the tears welling up inside me. I thought of my father. Oh poor Papi, look what’s become of me. I loved my father. He was a good, loving man that didn’t deserve what had happened to him. I remembered seeing him once in the senate when I was a young girl and being so proud of him. He was a great orator. But it was no secret he wanted the restoration of the Republic. That made him enemies of course. But most people thought of him as a harmless old fashioned eccentric with democratic sympathies. He’d once been roundly mocked when he’d said that he saw no reason why women should not have the vote.
I bit my lip and thought of what he always said to me. I could hear his voice speaking to me and it comforted me. Be strong. Be strong and valiant my child. Always believe in yourself. Prove that you are better than they.
In that moment I felt more anger than sorrow and I resolved to avenge him. I swore by all the gods. Some day. Somehow. I would clear his name and prove his innocence.
Just then an ugly bad tempered man with a big square face and strange orange hair pushed down in front and climbed up onto the stage and deliberately grabbed my thigh and then lunged out at my breasts. This seemed to give the other man in front of me the idea that he now had permission jump up and poke about at my sex. There was chaos for a moment. The crowd were all shouting and roaring and I was terrified they were all going to invade the stage and run me down. Unable to defend myself I squealed and tried to jump away in fear.
Guards pulled the two men off me and threw them roughly back into the crowd. The auctioneer shouted at everyone to calm down and move back. They shouldn’t all pack around me like a pack of hungry dogs around a bitch on heat.
I felt as though I was entirely defenseless before a raging beast just about to attack. I was cornered prey. A prize. An animal about to be hunted down and captured. A virgin sacrifice to all the cruel and mean spirited gods. I felt completely naked now. In all senses. All of them could see all of me. They could take and possess any part of me. I had no say in the matter at all. I had completely ceased to exist except as an object of lust. Everyone could examine me in the minutest detail and use me as they wished. Every aspect of my body was displayed for their perusal. My breasts, my ass, my sex; all bared so that they could be considered, valued and sold for a price.
Yet I will confess to you that I actually felt a queer thrill run through me at the thought of it. The devil in me liked all the attention. I felt no shame at all. Why should I? I was beautiful. What of it?
What a slut I can be at times. No wonder the gods have decided to punish me so.
The crowd had quietened again. All the guards around the sides of the auction hall were standing to attention, swords at the ready in case there was any more trouble.
It was eerie now. Like they had all suddenly been forced to sober up in the middle of a riotous orgy.
I sensed their morbid curiosity. To many I would have been a rarity. A high born aristocrat who had fallen so low she had been enslaved as punishment. And maybe that just made them lustier than ever. It made me more desirable to them. It gave life to their baser urges.
Then the calm was broken when someone called out for me to be whipped as proof of submission. Then another shouted out that’s all a rich bitch slave like me would be good for anyway and what’s more I deserved it. There were loud shouts of approval at this and then someone said they had a right to see me whipped before I was sold anyway. There was a massive roar from the plebeian elements in the crowd to this and they immediately all started clapping and chanting “Whip the rich bitch! Whip the rich bitch!”
Jupiter and Mars. I didn’t think it would be as bad as this. My knees started trembling and I felt dizzy and breathless and I thought I might faint at any moment.
I took a deep breath and held it. I stared down onto the stage. My eyes boring into the dirty stained wooden floorboards, not daring to look anywhere else. I tried to detach myself from the moment. From the nightmare. From my own body. Think of something else. Anything. If I was to be whipped I didn’t want to give them the pleasure of seeing my fear. It is a question of dignity after all.
To be continued.