The Slave and His Master, a story of brotherly love Part 1

Roman Villa
Roman Villa

Off to purchase a slave.

Around the year 138 BC there lived a prosperous Roman man named Macarius. Now Macarius had much wealth. He lived in a villa outside of the Roman city limits with over 150 acres of land. He had dozens of herds of cattle and raised wild horses to tame for trade or sale. On his rich land were orchards of luscious fruit trees. This year the harvest was plentiful. God had supplied plenty of rainfall and sun to nurture and feed the trees. Macarius not only grew wheat to feed his cattle and horses but to help feed his large family of two wives, eight daughters and the 200 slaves he owned. Macarius knew that God was his source of supply.

Macarius was also a Diplomat in the Roman Council Government. He had a position that was of highly acclaimed stature which came with a hardy income. No one was considered for the position unless he himself had wealth and land.The government was something few dared to mess with. One could by themselves into the government if they had enough supply. Macarius was not impressed with the Roman institution but knew that in time he may have some input to help the people that were treated with less then desirable living situations and most were given no respect or dignity.

Although the slaves were to be given certain rights very few took heed to the law concerning their slaves. Many lived in horrific conditions. If a slave was so lucky and had a good master they would be spared beatings and treated as the law mandated. It was not much. The slaves were allowed one new tunic per year and one pair of wooden shoes every two years. If a runaway slave was found he would be branded like a cattle with an f on his forehead, meaning fugitive. He would be bought and sold and chained many times over. A diet of bread and water was to be supplied three times daily with five days off per year. With any graciousness from the slave owner they could choose to pay a menial salary to the slave. A few good slave owners paid a few shekels per year but more paid nothing. Macarius was a sharp and clever man. It came by many years of his experience as a run away slave hidden by a poor farmer that once owned the land Macauris had inherited from him when he passed.

Macarius gathered two of his strong slaves and told them to get two horses and a wagon pull ready, to pack plenty of bread and water and then lay hay in the back of the wagon. They had a long journey ahead of them to the male, Slave Auction Market and would stop for other goods on the return home. Macarius did not favor going to the slave market. In fact he deplored it. He was a man of compassion. He secretly wished he could bring home all of the slaves. He despised that the majority were brutalized, nearly starved and striped of all dignity and pride.

Macarius had held his title of stature as a means for his families protection. By taking the position of Diplomat it was highly unlikely his family would undergo any harsh treatment from any wealthy officials. The Roman government were a wealthy lot and not many messed with their agenda because in doing so one could easily lose his family and all he owned. The more one had the more coverage of protection they had against the evils of the world. The Roman government deemed they were a fair lot but that was far from the truth.

Harvest time was around the corner and Macarius needed to purchase another slave to help in the orchards and fields. He needed to purchase a slave that was stealthy, thick skinned and healthy to work the fields and help with the magnitude of crops at harvest time. Twelve hours after leaving the villa they arrived at the Coliseum. He had Vitus to stay with the wagon and he took Timeus with him to help in the task at hand. Macarius was prepared to pay top dollar for a muscular slave. He brought with him 120 shekels which was the going rate for a top notch slave. Good slaves cost top dollar 120 pieces of silver bought the best. Some were bought to be Gladiators for entertainment and many died young deaths, others came to be quite wealthy because they mastered the position. Thus they were honored because they had money and power. It was a way out. Either one died or grew 'famous' in the entertainment arena.

Macarius was sickened at the site. Over one third of the population of two million were slaves. Many died young lives and had been bought and sold many tines over. Many were fugitives and ran from their despicable masters and were now branded on the forehead with an F to warn buyer, beware, fugitive. The slave traders had to give a warranty on their product so often times the slaves were shown bare naked because the buyers wanted to look them over for strength. Many looked like death warmed over and Macarius just wanted to get out of there and quickly. He only hoped he would not run into any Roman officials he knew that day. Most of the slaves had a chain and a piece of wood around their neck with qualifications, skills and a their name. They stood on various round abouts so the buyers could see and shop for the skill they were in search of.

Macarius could not help but notice a young lad all of about 14 years old chained to a large stake pounded into the ground. Parents often sold their own children to the slave market for the money. He suspected this young lad had been sold and traded in many times. His large browns eyes looked like they belonged to a beautiful woman. The eyebrows were a perfect shape and the eyelashes naturally very long. He chuckled to think how much his wives had their slaves work on their own brows to get this look. Around his neck was written. Handles dung. Name Balbus. He stutters and rarely talks.

Balbus was stark naked. His wounds from a fresh beating looked to be open and sore. His scrawny body could not manage the fields. His ribcage showed like he was close to starving. He had dreadlocks down his back. It was obvious the owner had returned him and after several beatings. There were old scars down his back. Macarius felt compassion as he had never before. He had seen such as Balbus but this lad touched his heart. Macarius knew he was to purchase the young lad. He also knew he would be scorned and laughed at behind his back. Macarius could purchase fifty slaves and the best ones at that. Balbus had chains around his feet. Macarius told the slave handler to loosen him and bring hm forward. Macarius knew he was going to purchase Balbus but knew it was in his favor to play the part. He looked him over. He asked the slave handler about the boys skill. 'There is not much skill in this stubborn lad. He is often beat because he has not enough strength to offer much work. He clean's up the dung from the animals for fuel sir.' The slave handler told Macarius he would sell the stammerer for 80 shekels. He does not speak and when he does he stutters ike an idiot. Since the boy is weakly and does not require much to eat you can get him to work the dung for his keep. His owner no longer has use of him.' 'Fine', answered Macarius and gave the slave handler his 80 shekels.

Before the slave handler went to fetch the chains Macarius said, 'that will not be necessary. He will not run not with my two strong slaves traveling with me' 'Fine have it your way Sir Macarius. I will not guarantee him for anything but dung worker. He is not suitable. I do presume you will keep that in mind in case the thought comes over you to return him in the allotted time frame of three months. You remember what I have told you. He is the skinniest I have seen in a long while so you will not need to feed him much and should get your moneys worth. I suspect he will be dead in a few months time anyway. That is the only guarantee I will give for this stuttering lad.' 'Enough slave handler. Now take your shekels and off with you, be gone. Does the lad have his tunic or wood shoes? Oh never the mind. I will tend to that myself.' The slave handler went off and knew he made a good deal that day. He knew no one in their right mind would purchase such a boy for such a price. Besides his tunic was covered in dung and smelled and slave handler did not want to fetch it. The lads pair of wooden shoes were taken away for his mouth, since he would not speak and only stutter.

Vitus and Timeus were not surprised at their master. They too were once slaved and beaten. They desired to serve their master and very well at that. Both young men were grateful to be alive and work the fields and have clothes on their back with plenty in food and water.

Macarius told Balbus. 'Today you have a new name. You will be called Johan which means, 'God is Gracious.' The name from the past is done, over with. I do not want you nor myself to hear it again, do you understand Johan?' 'Yeeeeesyss mmmasstter.' stuttered Johan. His heart had never felt this way before. Macarus saw a glimmer of hope in those big brown eyes. He told Timeus to fetch the new tunic in the wagon for Johan and give him as much bread and water as he wanted, when they were out of sight. Johan looked up and his eyes shined. He thought, 'this is not possible. Is this a dream or am I really wearing a tunic with no dung on it?' He got into the back with Vitus and thought he would be chained. When he was not he was beside himself, in his heart. This was something he never thought possible. He did not remember his parents. He was sold into slavery at a young age. He recalls them telling the slave handlers that he was six years old and worked hard for his keep and would grow into a stealthy worker. That was the last kind word he ever heard about himself.

Johan stuffed his face with so much bread and water he thought he might be sick. He noticed his tummy poked out a bit, the bread blew it up. He was told to rest until they reached the market place. He lay his head down and said, 'I know you not God, I heard your name once by a slave and now again because my new name means something about God. If you hear me I think you saved me.' His skin hurt to the touch but that was the least of his concerns at the time. The warm sun felt like a heating pad on his hurt skin. Johan went into a deep slumber.

© Copyright Skye Tudae

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Comments 22 comments

skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Romeos Quill You are so precious dear brother. I am so grateful that through our mutual and beloved sister, faith reaper our paths have crossed. Lifting you in prayer today and asking our Great God to smile great favor on you today and always. I am Blessed to know you Romeo Quill! With love your sister, Skye.

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Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

An interesting period setting for an engrossing read, dear sister, and look forward to reading more, as the characters develop further as your story advances. Thank you, and I hope your evening is a pleasant one.

Kindest regards, with love,


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skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Deborrah Brooks Thank You so much for such encouragement. I loved the story myself. All gratitude and glory for the the power of the Holy Spirit Debbie. It is so nice to see you for a visit. I am touched. I will be at your side of the neighborhood soon. Please return for a visit when you can.. Hugs n Love

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Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Oh wow this is am awesome story...i love it..i am going to share it on the prayer request page on facebook..i am deborah brooks langford..God bless you for writing this..debbie

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skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

stars439 you are so precous. I am always Blessed to see you at a hub of mine. May you and yours Be Blessed in abundance today and always. Hugs to you, Becki, the Mrs and the cats. (-;

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stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Wonderful story. God Bless You.

Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 5 years ago from Michigan

Skye, when unchained grace and I wrote Sinner and the Showboat - We most definitely knew the Holy Spirit was guiding us. I would pray and ask God what needed to come next in the story. Most times I would just sit at the computer and out it would come .. surprising me too. The writing of that series (in my opinion) has been the most profound writing I have ever done. I am going to peek at the next chapter now. I love you too Sista' Keep writing for His Glory!

Hugs to you!


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skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

vla awesome to see you brother. In Christ Check out part 2 Hugs to you and yours bro!

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Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB


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skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

mekenzie one never knows where the Spirit of God may lead and why at the time. I am so grateful for your comment. I am excited to see where this leads I have an idea but that changes. With showboat was that how you felt? Check out part 2 when you get a minute precious Child of God. Love you sista always and 4 ever in Him.

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Mekenzie 5 years ago from Michigan

You got me hooked Sista' How awesome to be led by the Spirit of God in a whole new direction. You are so special Skye .. I am so blessed by your heart which is revealed in your writing. Compassion, grace, love and a host of other attributes are clearly and expertly delivered through this story. I love it!!!

Hugs and Love to my Sista' Skye,


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Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

An engaging read Skye. Looking forward to part 2.

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skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

voice ciw led by the Holy Spirit of God bro to research roman history in these days. I myself would never of thought. You know what i say. So in obiedience I did research as led wrote for the Glory of Christ our awesome Savior. I am on part two today. I have a full on day on so I hope to get it out, if not very soon. I am so excited because I have asked God to help me really hear the leading of the Spirit and have heard. It takes practice for me to be still and hear the small still voice. I am a mover and want to hurry along much of the time. Well we are all being pruned up and shaped up as beautful trees planted by the fresh living water of Jesus hey. There is no dullsville in being a Child of God. I just love ya brother. You keep shining the Light within I know you will phil 4;13 Hugs Galore Your sis loves ya in Jesus.

Raymond Tremain Always a Blessing my brother. How is aussie down under. Bless you for a kind comment. You know All Glory to God. Stay tuned for part two. Hugs Brother. In Christ.

soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

Thanks a lot Skye! I am waiting eagerly for part 2. I had almost guessed your feeling rightly. That makes it indeed very touching, one just feels you are there in that Bazar with all the compassionate feelings like those of Macarius. Wish you all the good luck in your spiritual journey Skye!

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Raymond Tremain 5 years ago from Metro Manila Philippines

Well!!! Skye a great story you have here, well done,God loves all

VOICE CIW 5 years ago

God bless you skye2day, I never heard of this story, but it is beautiful. The way you wrote it just touched my heart. I should not be surprised though, right? It was you that wrote it, only good things come from your writings. I thank God for you. You stay blessed, I love you in the Lord.

skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Friend of truth I am on it. It is a story I am so excited to write. All Glory to God. Whoa and Praise Him always and forever. Hugs friend love you in Christ

soumyasrajan This is a story based on true facts in this time in Roman History. Led by the Holy Spirit of God I have researched for some time. Then as led proceeded to write the story. The drift of the story is my writing but I give all Glory to Jesus. He abides in me I in Him. There is a purpose and I pray I keep still to hear it has been a very exciting Sprititual journey for me thus far. So do come back for part two ok. I am grateful for such a warm comment. Thank You Many Blessings friend. Hugs to you and yours

Eddie-perkins Blessings Brother So nice to see you as always. You are so kind and encouragement is touching to my heart. As led by the HOly SPirit like never before I have done much homework about this time 138BC and slavery. Nothing I would never pick on my own. I know you understand bro. I am so excited because the Holy Spirit of God has led me to a huge ending. I am on it bro, in between other happenings. I cant wait to finish should be in a couple of days. I will be curious to see is you have the same idea that was laid on my heart Hug to you and your beautiful wife. In Christ Love you.

skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

lifegate I am honored by your precious words of encouragment. I truly am. This is a story with much research behind it as led by the Spirit of God. It is a story that I am so very excited about. I am working on part 2 and can't wait to finish. There is a secret reason which I will share after part two. Thank you so much for coming over. Hugs mighty warrior for Christ. hello to the mrs lifegate. Love u both in Jesus.

lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA


Voted up and beautiful, and I do mean beautiful. We see compassion and tenderness mixed with new hope--the very kind of hope that Christ gives, and of course, that's you wanted us to see--at least in part, right? Thanks for sharing.

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FriendofTruth 5 years ago from Michigan

Skye, I am looking forward to reading part 2. This story is definitely a blessing thus far...

Be blessed dear Sister!

soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

Touching story skye2day! very touching. What is it, a novel, a real story, part of some religious ancient story or your imagination of those days? What ever it is you have created the sad scene and heart to heart feeling awesome manner.

Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

This is absolutely beautiful Skye! Thank you so much for sharing. It makes me want to write something but I see this is part 1 so I will need to wait to see where you are going with it. Vote up and Beautiful. Blessings ~ eddie

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