(continued from The Fall of the Bull Kingdom (Part III.)…)

…Now, being all alone on the big trading ship, as a blind traveler, he thought only about how he could escape from this place.

Where is this ship going to?

Will somebody find him, hiding bellow the deck, and throw him across the board, as that was an usual procedure for all the ones who get into the ship as blind travelers.

They could even kill him.

Maybe this is a pirate ship?

No, that is not possible. He knew he entered a trading ship a night before.

Or maybe not?

He could no longer think about it, his head was full of all the possible bad scenarios that could happen to him, and very soon.

He just had to get out of there, and as soon as possible.

But where, and how?

While he spent his time thinking about the possible escape plans, the ship entered a harbour, on a place that looked like a small island in the middle of nowhere.

Soon after its arrival, the ship´s crew members started with unloading the goods, so our little friend had a good chance to escape, but he figured out that it would be much better option for him to wait for the sun to set in, as it was already becoming much darker outside.

Later that night, he was already sneaking out from the small harbor, looking for a good place to hide and sleep over, and think about everything, where he was and how can he find better shelter and something to eat. It has been two days since the last time he ate something edible, that he has stolen from one of the big marketplaces in Alexandria.

And stealing and eating dates and drinking olive oil from inside the barrels and amphoras that he manage to find under the ship´s deck was not enough for him to keep it going for much longer. His stomach was aching, and it needed more food. He needs to steal something again, and for that he needs to find a town and a crowded marketplace where he can be almost invisible.

Morning soon came on this island, and our lonely explorer was already moving around the harbour, trying to see if he can find something usefull for him, a piece of fish that somebody left behind in the local boats, or a small shack where he could sleep for the next few nights.

He soon realised that this harbour was just too small, and that he had to find a better place if he thinks about surviving this day. He just had to find some bigger place.

But where and how, this he didn´t know.

Soon, the days got warmer as summer approached, and our little friend finally found a big town, just a few miles from the small island´s harbour where he spent few days, restless and always hungry. He had to walk over the green hills and through the villages to come to the other side of the island, to the city of Heraklion and its magnificent harbour, where he could see dozens of trading ships docked in, and hundreds of workers, shoremen, unloading hundreds of items, from wine and olive oil amphoras from Greece, wild animals coming from Egypt, copper from Kypros, salt, silver and gold from Hispania, tapestry and horses from Persia and spices from the Far East.

Heraklion, the capital of the Roman Province of Creta et Cyrenae was a big and the most famous trading harbour in the central Mediterranean, where all the goods from far away where coming to be unloaded, stored and redistributed in the big harbour warehouses, and then sent to the biggest cities of the Roman Empire, to be sold on the numerous marketplaces. And because of that, Heraklion was a town of the most importance in the Mediterranean to the Romans and their control of these dangerous waters. Heraklion, along with the rest of the island, was heavily guarded against pirates that were just waiting outside its sea borders for the inexperienced and poorly defended merchant ships.

Sclavius, seeing all of that fortune under his feet (while he was still observing the town´s harbour from the top of the nearby hill), considered all the possibilities offered to a young man with a great knowledge of commerce and banking, like himself, to become rich and famous, as he always dreamed of. For the first time in his young life, he was glad that he had a teacher like his former master, the governor of the Province of Aegyptus, that he left behind in his hometown Alexandria.


(Cover Image & Source: Ancient Crete, Corsica and Sardinia (Ancient Maps) @ Pinterest)