The Didius Clan
Mother to Falco
When it comes to mothers, I think most people would agree that Junilla Tacita is their idea of a mother from hell! She is the sort of mother who can spot a speck of dust at a hundred paces; no matter how much you scrub and polish your house, it is never clean enough for her! Falco’s Ma, looks like a sweet little old fragile lady, but actually, she is tougher than most gladiators! In her opinion, Falco is a low-life, who can’t look after himself, and doesn’t deserve a girlfriend like Helena (although she actually likes Helena). She thinks the sun shines out the end of Festus’ pilum (Falco’s deceased brother), and she adores Falco’s best friend, Petro. Technically, she is still married to Geminus (Didius Favonius), as she was too proud, and he never bothered, to initiate a divorce – she still hates it when Falco has dealings with Geminus. She has been looking after the palace’s chief spy, Anacrites, since he had a near-fatal head injury and is so taken with him, that it was she who encouraged Falco to take him on as a business partner. Recently the subject of scandalous accusations (from her own family!) though, she has given Anacrites his marching orders. She is on friendly terms with an elderly neighbour called Aristogoras.
Most notable deed: Hmmm… bailing Falco out of gaol and looking after the injured Anacrites.
Marcus Didius Favonius – “Geminus”
Father (sometimes, when he feels like it) to Falco
Umm… well… he has the Didius charm. Marcus Didius Favonius left his wife and family when they were young and took up residence with a red-headed scarf maker (hence Falco’s dislike of red heads), as well as assuming the name of Geminus. He is a dodgy auctioneer and fine art dealer, who’ll fleece you for everything you’ve got and still make you feel like you’ve bought a bargain. He apparently had a racket going with his son Festus (the national army hero) until it fell through when Festus was killed in Judea (consequently, Falco has to help clear up the mess in “Poseidon’s Gold”). Through his dealings (of which we shall say no more!) Geminus has accumulated a substantial fortune and lends some of it to Falco to enable him to buy his way into the Equestrian class (which backfires when Domitian turns it down). Despite being somewhat of a “wheeler-dealer”, Geminus is a nice enough fellow, even though Falco would rather steer clear of him. He has recently suffered a bereavement, which almost destroyed his business. Geminus now lives in the Janiculan house that Helena originally bought, while his own house by the river is being lived in by Falco and Helena.
Most notable deed: Errr… pass.
Falco’s Siblings, Nephews, Nieces, Uncles and Aunts
Allia – One of Falco’s sisters – “The angry one”
Married to Verontius, a road contractor. They have numerous off-spring.
Galla– One of Falco’s sisters – “The tired one”
Married to the Water Boatmen. They have Larius (ran off to be a fresco painter in Campania) and Gaius (occasional babysitter for Falco and Helena) as their sons.
Junia – One of Falco’s sisters – “The superior one”
Junia, with her husband Gaius Baebius, adopted the deaf baby found in a skip (named Marcus Baebius Junillus), and now she runs Flora’s Caupona.
Maia – One of Falco’s sisters – “The sensible one”
Maia has recently been widowed and everybody blames Falco for her husband Famia’s (the horse vet) death. However, could there be a new job and a new love on the horizon for her? Or has life taken a rather sinister turn of late thanks to the Palace Spy… They have four children: Ancus, Cloelia (wanted to be a Vestal Virgin), Rhea, Marius (wants to stay at school).
Victorina (deceased) – One of Falco’s sisters – “The wild one”
Married to Mico the plasterer with five children, including Augustinilla.
M. Didius Festus (deceased) – Falco’s brother – “The national hero”
Was he really a hero, or was it just his folly that earned him a trip to the Elysian Fields? His girlfriend was Marina, who is now a single mother with Festus’ child Marcia. There was a controversy when it was thought the child was actually Falco’s. Typical – everybody assumes it’s always Falco’s fault!!!
Grandfather, Grandmother (deceased), Great Aunt Phoebe, Junius, Fabius and “The One Nobody Ever Talks About” – Falco’s Mother’s Country Relatives.
Generations of country farmers and market gardeners. Plus a few eccentrics.