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Marada the She-Wolf

Posted: 08 Jan 2019, 09:16
by nathanadler
Marada's mother was born of Julius Caesar, her father, a prince in his own land, a slave in Rome. He was disembowelled on the rack, her mother fleeing the Eternal City, taking Marada with her to be raised free.

Julius Caesar had two daughters, the first named Julia (c. 76 B.C. – 54 B.C.), who was the fourth wife of Pompey and who died in childbirth while Caesar was in Britain.

But it was a mysterious second daughter, who supposedly died in infancy, that Claremont appeared to be basing his historical premise on.

So was his intention to suggest this daughter hadn’t died but survived, and lived on into adulthood to become Marada’s mother?

This would set the stage from the point when Caesar invaded the isle of Britain (in 55 and 54 B.C.), so was the idea that Caesar captured a Celtic Prince during the invasion, this prince in turn meeting Caesar's daughter upon his return to Rome, falling in love and then marrying her?

Of course, Caesar was then assassinated by Brutus, so any children of his direct lineage would be considered a serious threat to the surviving powers who were now violently vying for the throne.

If Brutus and Cassius had been victorious at the Battle of Philippi (in Macedonia, 42 B.C.), then the entire lineage of Caesar would have been wiped out.

Would Marada, being of the direct bloodline of Julius Caesar, have a legitimate claim to the throne? Octavian had been adopted by Caesar, but was not a biological son of the dictator. These facts fit in very uncomfortably with Octavian’s (Augustus) bid for rulership of Rome and the ambitions of his scheming wife. Marada and her father would therefore now be liabilities in the eyes of the ruling powers. So her father perhaps gets arrested and publicly executed and Marada’s mother flees Rome to raise her far away!?

At the opening of the first episode, The Shattered Sword, Marada (now 24 years old) is being returned back to Rome by a Roman Tribunal who is trying to procure favour from the Emperor. So the big question is was the plan for Marada to eventually circle her way back to Rome and a possible confrontation with Emperor Augustus Caesar?

Re: Marada the She-Wolf

Posted: 13 Jan 2019, 21:44
by grief
EVERY time I read this, I thought that Marada the She-Wolf meant she was a werewolf and now I want werewolves in ancient Rome. So first, thank you for that. *thumbs up*

Secondly, Claremont having a barbarian woman challenge the traditionally patriarchal power structure of Rome sounds right up his alley. While I'm very much "entry level" in my knowledge of Rome, I find it hard to believe that any kind of power - financial, political, or military - would back a female warrior into a position such as Empress. I'm not saying that it couldn't happen in fiction - but I don't see it happening in actual Rome. While women often played huge roles in the background of Roman life and politics, often influencing policy, laws, and wars, they weren't appreciated for their martial skills. IIRC, women couldn't even fight as part of the Roman army. So, if Marada's goal was to rise to power, I'd be super interested in HOW she pulled that off and then how she maintained it.

Thirdly, Augustus WAS Caesar's heir, legally. That would've been a well-known and established fact when Marada came back to town. She would need some kind of irrefutable proof that she was Caesar's granddaughter to have a claim to the throne. And even THEN, I don't think Roman women had much legal standing of ownership. Even if Caesar was alive, and she grew up with him, safe in Rome, I don't think she would be in line for it. She would have been married off into a powerful family, further securing the Caesarean line in a seat of power. Perhaps her son could challenge for the seat, eventually, but I find it hard to believe that Marada could get that seat and then keep it for any length of time.

And now I'm off to write something about werewolves in Rome.

Re: Marada the She-Wolf

Posted: 14 Jan 2019, 10:06
by nathanadler
grief wrote:
13 Jan 2019, 21:44
EVERY time I read this, I thought that Marada the She-Wolf meant she was a werewolf and now I want werewolves in ancient Rome. So first, thank you for that. *thumbs up*
To help you write something, does it help if I propose you picture legions of werewolves dressed in Roman soldier tunics?
grief wrote:
13 Jan 2019, 21:44
Secondly, Claremont having a barbarian woman challenge the traditionally patriarchal power structure of Rome sounds right up his alley.
In the words of Armstrong & Miller "Isn't it though?"

But seriously, Marada's surname was "Starhair" so was this from her mother's lineage or her father's?

If her father was a Celtic Prince, was he perhaps intended to be Nuada?

Also Simyon Karashnur (high priest of the N’Garai stand-in for Kulan Gath) refers to Marada and her "accursed dam", suggesting he had once kidnapped her mother, perhaps still holding her captive. But his cursing her mother would suggest Marada’s mother was Faltine and originator of the surname Starhair (I'll get to these points further below). Which would further suggest Caesar's wife was a Faltine? Which wife, Cornelia, Pompeia, Calpurnia or another?

Then we have Nova Roma. That is, in New Mutants, Selene's husband, Domitius, remarks that Rahne's red hair suggests she's a descendant of Julius Caesar, and her wolf metamorphism indicates she's connected to the she-wolf that suckled Rome's founder, Romulus. But that she-wolf was Accalia, not Marada, so I wonder why Chris went with that name? I mean, I know he said it was a suggestion by Jim Shooter's mother, but still...

However, Marada's unique Starhair surname and She-Wolf derivation were uniquely "Chris", IMO.

Of interest too is Marada having white hair and tampetumus eyes like Ororo (and Clea).

Maybe Claremont originally intended Marada to actually be the founder of Nova Roma, or perhaps there's magic stuff there that can aid or defeat the N'Garai!?

Then of course there's Ashake of Meroë, sharing the name of Storm's ancestor. And you can’t help but notice that Meroë is pretty similar to Munro, the family name of Ororo’s father. Could it be destiny, or a mere coincidence?

Also note that Marada seeks refuge in Ashandriar, home of a race of mystical, immortal beings including Rhiannon and her grand-daughter, Arianrhod. Rhiannon and Arianrhod are obviously both goddesses in Celtic mythology, and their home here, Ashandriar, is described by Arianrhod as "a faery place – part of the world, yet apart from it – but we're human enough – too human grandmother thinks". A mystical immortal race, with its Celtic archetypes, that comes from "a faery place – part of the world, yet apart from it" immediately brings to mind to Merlyn and Roma of Otherworld! Of further note is when Claremont introduced the woman with Merlyn in Captain Britain #1 he only identified her as "lady of the skies" which indicates he actually intended her as Arianrhod, and not Roma as Gary Friedrich later called her. And in myth, Arianrhod lived in Otherworld's Caer Sidi, a revolving citadel in the northern sky lit by the northern star. If that doesn't suggest the "Starlight Citadel" I don't know what does!

With Merlyn of Otherworld portrayed as silver-haired and blue-eyed, one could make a good case for him being another Faltine, and Roma equivalent to Rhiannon's grand-daughter, Arianrhod!

And, seriously, in WHAT UNIVERSE could "Rhiannon" and "Merlyn" have come from different worlds? And the cheek of Claremont including "Arianrhod" ;)

But that's not all Claremont's suggesting when including Arianrhod. That is, her name means "GIFT OF SILVER". Was Chris hinting here that she is the child of a Faltine offspring and that the Otherworld hierarchy, including Merlin, undoubtedly have Faltine heritage? In mythology Merlin was believed to be the "good son of the devil", so was Claremont intending him as a long lost son of Dormammu, Steve Ditko's Marvel version of "the devil".

If Claremont intended "the lady of the skies" as both Arianrhod and Merlyn's daughter, given the name means "gift of silver" this might suggest she was a child of the half-Faltine Merlyn.

Also, if Arianrhod and Roma are one and the same, and Arianrhod is Rhiannon's granddaughter and Roma is Merlyn's daughter, then is Rhiannon Merlyn's mother? What's the relationship between Rhiannon and Merlyn and who is the other parent in that equation? Dormammu?