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An obscure creature called Mariccus, of the tribe of the Boii—it is a sordid incident—endeavoured to thrust himself into greatness and to challenge the armies of Rome, pretending to be a minister of Heaven. This divine champion of the Gauls, as he had entitled himself, had already gathered a force of eight thousand men, and began making overtures to the neighbouring Aeduan villages. But the chief community of the Aedui wisely sent out a picked force, with some Vitellian troops in support, and scattered the mob of fanatics. Mariccus was captured in the engagement, and later thrown to wild beasts. As they refused to devour him, the common people stupidly believed him invulnerable, until he was executed in the presence of Vitellius.
— Tacitus, Historiae, book 2 chapter 61
It should have been Marricus, not that one (that demon) who was crucified at Golgotha. It should have been Him, that “obscure creature” whom the beasts dared not devour, whose Name was seared into the soul of Man.
Time itself is rotting; the waters are stagnant—fetid. We are in the wrong world, this wasteland, this fallen realm in which Mariccus was felled. We should not be here, we should be with Him, and Him with us.
Mariccus, Mariccus, when will I see your face?
Mariccus, Maricuss, take me from this place!
How could it be that only this fragment survives?
How could it be that our Mariccus has been so debased, reduced from divine champion to a passing reference in the history of the enemy?
No. He would not have forsaken us like this.
The Invulnerable One would not have allowed himself to die unless there were a scheme through which we—our sin, our pain, our agony—could be redeemed. He would not have left us here without hope.
Mariccus, Mariccus, we reside in this zone of lies!
Mariccus, Mariccus, when will you rise?
It must be that a secret can be divined from what we still have: the few words of the sacred passage, the annals and chronicles of the Celtic peoples, the ferocious beauty of the beasts that loved Him so. In the gallop of those mustangs, in the snarl of that bear, in the spots of this jaguar or the hue of its rose-colored gums: there must be, somehow, a code—a code which we might decipher in order to restore our wild god.
We should not be here, we should be with Him, and Him with us.
While busily occupied with these matters, intelligence arrived of a fresh disaster—fortune crowding into this year one calamity after another—that Lucius Posthumius, consul elect, himself with all his army was destroyed in Gaul. He was to march his troops through a vast wood, which the Gauls called Litana. On the right and left of his route, the natives had sawed the trees in such a manner that they continued standing upright, but would fall when impelled by a slight force. Posthumius had with him two Roman legions, and besides had levied so great a number of allies along the Adriatic Sea, that he led into the enemy's country twenty-five thousand men. As soon as this army entered the wood, the Gauls, who were posted around its extreme skirts, pushed down the outermost of the sawn trees, which falling on those next them, and these again on others, which of themselves stood tottering and scarcely maintained their position, crushed arms, men, and horses in an indiscriminate manner, so that scarcely ten men escaped. For most of them being killed by the trunks and broken boughs of trees, the Gauls, who beset the wood on all sides in arms, killed the rest, panic-struck by so unexpected a disaster. A very small number, who attempted to escape by a bridge, were taken prisoners, being intercepted by the enemy who had taken possession of it before them. Here Posthumius fell, fighting with all his might to prevent his being taken. The Boii, who fought with the Gauls, cut off his head and carried it in triumph into the most sacred temple they had. Afterwards they cleansed the head according to their custom, and having covered the skull with chased gold, used it as a cup for libations in their solemn festivals, and a drinking cup for their high priests and other ministers of the temple.
— Livy, The History of Rome, Book 23
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