“Tell me” said George. “I want to know about the origins of Rome.”
His teacher said, “Many people trace the beginning of Rome back to the fall of Troy, or Rhea Silvia and her sons Romulus and Remus, but I think it starts out much earlier with the embarrassment of the god Mars and the goddess Venus. The complete story Rome starts out with the gods and I think if they were not embarrassed in the way that took place, then they would still be making love with each other and possibly would never have gotten involved with mankind. The Romans adopted most of their gods from the Greek deities, but they changed their names. Jupiter was the king and father of the gods and he married his sister Juno. They had two sons, Mars who was the older brother and they also had Vulcan and a daughter named Juventia, who was the Cupbearer of the gods and goddess of Youth. It is not easy for children when their Father is also their Uncle and their Mother is also their Aunt. When Juno first saw Vulcan, she was embarrassed by his ugly appearance, so she threw him off of Mount Olympus, which caused him to become lame. Vulcan is the god of fire and the god of the forge and he became the skilled blacksmith of the gods. Vulcan enjoyed making things, as he was a proficient artisan and a craftsman. Vulcan worked with a one-eyed Cyclopes to create weapons, armor and other amazing items for the gods.
Venus sprung from the froth of the sea, after the mutilated sexual organ from the body of Caelus or Uranus had been thrown there by his son Saturn. This made Venus a sister of Saturn and an Aunt of Jupiter. All the gods admired the beauty of Venus, which made all the goddesses become jealous of her personal charms. Jupiter even attempted to gain her affections, but Venus refused him, so Jupiter gave Venus to Vulcan, in gratitude for the service his son had rendered in forging new thunderbolts for him. It is ironic that Vulcan the ugliest of the gods married Venus, the most beautiful of all the goddesses. Vulcan cared more for his work than he did for pleasing his wife. Venus was never faithful to her husband or any of her lovers, as she enjoyed the act of falling in love, but she was never able to maintain a lasting relationship. Venus felt neglected by Vulcan, so she looked for passion and physical love elsewhere and she found it with her great nephew Mars, as Mars adored Venus. Mars was the god of war, he wore a helmet and he carried a shield and a spear. Mars was symbolized by his color red, the color of blood, and his two sacred animals were wolves and woodpeckers. Mars saw how beautiful his great Aunt and sister-in-law was and he fell madly in love with Venus.
It is not easy being the Sun, as the Sun sees all things first. Apollo is the god of the sun, and he was the first one who spied on Mars and Venus, when they were making love. Apollo told Vulcan all the details about the infidelity, when they were doing it, how many times they did it, what positions they did it in and how Mars made Venus scream with passion. Vulcan was very angry when he heard this dreadful news, so he went straight to his workshop to forge some chains to bind the lovers in place. Vulcan hung these nearly invisible strong finely crafted cobweb shaped chains in his bedroom and he fastened them to the bedposts and to all of the rafters. After he spread this golden net of chains above the bed, he went on a trip, because he knew his brother Mars was watching, and the burning love he had for Venus would draw him into the trap.
Venus had just returned from visiting her nephew Jupiter, when the handsome and athletically built Mars arrived at the house of his crippled brother Vulcan. She took his hand and led him into the bedroom. Venus said, ‘Let us go make love as Vulcan is not at home, he has gone off to Lemnos where he likes to spend most of his time.’ Vulcan convinced Somnus, the god of sleep to sprinkle water from Lethe, the river of Forgetfulness on the lovers once they were in the bed. Vulcan turned back before he reached Lemnos, when Apollo told him that the lovers had taken the bait. Vulcan found Mars and Venus locked in each other’s arms, so he took Mars helmet, shield and spear away and then he lowered the net on them. Vulcan was in a furious passion, as he stood there in the vestibule making a dreadful noise, shouting loud enough for all the gods to hear him. Vulcan stood upon Mars’s armor, as the astonished lovers finally woke up. They knew that they were caught in an embrace, as they held in each other in their arms.
Mars and Venus were not able to get up or move their hands or feet, they were caught like rats in a trap. Vulcan called upon his father Jupiter, to come and see the ridiculous and disgraceful sight of Venus who was dishonoring him by sleeping with her brother-in-law. When Jupiter saw the pair together trapped in the bed, Vulcan demanded that he should get the weapons back that he forged for Jupiter, because his baggage of a wife who was gifted to him was not honest and she had embarrassed him. Vulcan called all the gods to come and see the lovers, as they were naked and trapped lying in the bed. Mars and Venus were in bondage, and they felt disgrace, as all the gods looked upon them. The gods all gathered to witness and mock the adulterous couple and there was much laughter up in heaven for a long time, as this story was told over and over, again and again. Tomorrow I will tell you about the Trojan War hero Aeneas who became the father of Ascanius the man that founded the Etruscan province of Alba Longa and became its first king and then we will get into Romulus and Remus.”
Written for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create – Time To Write Creative Writing prompt Sentence Starter 47 “Tell me”.