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Here's more on the case Procopia heard in chapter four:

Demia Monomachus married Bion Kalligas. He was young and pretty, though not particularly pleased to be married into a less prestigious House. He met Petra Halkias at a garden party and with the collusion of his eunuch, the pair found it easy enough to start up an affair. They saw each other for six seasons before one of Bion’s siblings found him out and informed his husband.

When Demia Monomachus learned of Halkias’s pregnancy, she quickly deduced who the father was. It’s bad if a wife is unfaithful, but such occurrences are common and punishment is not usually not taken outside of the House. However, to have a child outside of the House is a grave insult to both the husband’s House, which paid for the wife and his/her family’s blood, and to the wife’s, which needs to be able to keep control its bloodline. Monomachus’s first concern was making sure that the joining of Halkias and Kalligas would not bear fruit.

Monomachus pain Kleistan mercenaries to jump Halkias outside one of the lesser forums. Halkias was expecting retribution and had bodyguards with her, but she underestimated Monomachus’s wrath. Monomachus sent more thugs than Halkias was anticipating and her bodyguards were killed.

Any of the princepses over the age of twenty (there are about thirty) can make legal rulings outside of the court, though most of them decline to do so. Procopia has a reputation for being willing to rule on matters large and small and doing so with some regularity.

She expected that Procopia would judge the injury done to her (beating) greater than the injury done to Monomachus. She never would have done it if she’d known Bion would suffer.

Bion didn’t die from his beating but was permanently scarred. There will be bad blood between the Houses of Monomachus and Halkias for generations.
 
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