Legio Vicesima Valeria Victrix
I was born in Rome, a good family or rather a family with enough money and connections that our distinctly plebeian origin was overlooked. I grew up knocking around the family estates in Further Spain and Greece and left to my own devices would probably have ended up running a villa and writing obscure histories for the entertainment of the local aristocracy.
I had an aunt, on my mother’s side, who convinced my father that it would be a good idea for everyone if I was doing something useful far away from the bars of the Suburra that I had begun to become familiar with and certain political entanglements that might arise. My father had some investments in Britain and to cut a long story short on my eighteenth birthday I was commissioned a centurion, attached to the staff of Suetonius Paulinus and sent to the edge of the world.
It was a bit of a shock to all concerned. I still remember the awkward interview with the First Spear of the Twentieth. “We don’t actually have a century available for you Annaeus Pertinax, but the Prefect of the Camp will find you a job to do.”
Thirty-five years on and I still haven’t got a century (unless you count being stuck at the front of a wedge of Evocati during that business with Boudica). My command consists mostly of independent contractors (lixae, when we are being polite, sacculari more frequently) and what I do is ensure that the legion is properly supplied with grain and wine. I have time for a bit of business on the side. Who knows, I might end up running a villa and writing obscure histories yet.