The Temple of Isis - A place of worship, conspiracies and power
Arbaces - the master of deceptionArbaces had been many things before he became a priest of Isis in Pompeii. He was born a slave but he became an astrologer - the only one Emperor Nero trusted. He was a foreigner, an Egyptian. Because of this, and because of his lowly origins, the nobles of Rome laughed at and looked down on him - but he had his revenge. He only had to tell Nero that the stars foretold some disaster from some noble, and that noble would be no more.
In Pompeii Arbaces plays the part of a pious and dedicated priest to perfection. However, behind the scenes he has a hand in the elections, a plan to get Antonius and Ione's fortune for himself, and he won't even shy away from murder to get what he wants.
Arbaces: Power is really rather simple, once you understand it and know how to apply it.
Antonius: Arbaces, I intend to expose you for who and what you really are. I'll denounce you to all of Pompeii unless you leave me alone and give back to me my estates.
Arbaces was played by Franco Nero.
Calenus - the priestly henchmanDespite playing the willing apprentice to Arbaces' master, Calenus also has ambitions of his very own. As long as Arbaces' plans get Calenus what he wants he's willing to turn a blind eye and keep his mouth shut about what's really going on at the Temple. But, greedy as the two of them are, there's bound to be a conflict of interest, and then it will simply be a matter of survival of the fittest...
Calenus was played by Peter Cellier.
Antonius - the young idealistAntonius and his sister, Ione, were taken in and raised by Arbaces after the murder of their parents. Unaware of his father figure's true motives Antonius has become a priest of Isis, just as his sister is preparing to become a priestess.
However, no matter how naive Antonius is, eventually even he has to face the truth when it hits him in the face. Needless to say, the truth about Arbaces is a bitter pill to swallow but Antonius is a determined young man and he has set his mind into getting his, and his sister's, lives back, and expose Arbaces for what he truly is.
Antonius: I've seen things, things I've tried to believe aren't true. When you excited my desire to join the temple you spoke of virtue, knowledge, companionship with gods. But the temple is filled with cheats and tricksters!
Antonius: You blind the people.
Arbaces: Yes! Because they must be blinded for their own good. They don't want the truth. They want oracles, ceremonies, rites - the pageantry that will lift them out of their ordinary lives.
Antonius was played by Benedict Taylor.