Vorenus is also in his party clothes: a fancier, multilayered toga and a garland on his head. He pulls off the headpiece and frets that nobody's going to show up to his party, but Niobe kindly reassures him, even when he says she was right in suggesting that he wait. Niobe's also looking fancy, dressed in a lovely purple gown and wearing flowers in a big hairdo that protrudes about a foot behind her head. Smiling, she advises Vorenus, "Try to smile occasionally. And don't bark at them." Before Vorenus can scowl at her and bark that he always smiles, the first guests arrive. As the hosts rise to greet them, Niobe quietly explains who their guest of honor is to Vorenus -- and, more importantly, to us: "Erastes Fulmen...building trades, fire insurance, olives." Talk about diversifying. Erastes booms out Vorenus's name and embraces him warmly, and then introduces his wife, Phyllis, who makes Calpurnia look like a stone fox. Vorenus directs them to seats, while Fulmen stops for a gesture of respect to the idol of Janus which has pride of place in the center of the courtyard. Next to arrive is Niobe's sister. We know this only because Niobe addresses her as "Sister." Because there's no family resemblance, I'll tell you that for free. And guess who Niobe's brother-in-law is? Yes, you got it in one: he's the stalkery father of Niobe's child. Niobe nervously secures assurances from her sister that everything's all right, and her sister tells her not to worry. Vorenus comes to say hello to the sister-in-law, Lyde, whom he hasn't seen for eight years and barely recognizes. She introduces her husband, Evander. Vorenus warmly shakes his cuckolder's hand, welcoming him and thanking him for the pig for the feast. But not for the greedy little piglet, of course, because he doesn't know about that yet.
A crazy-fancy red wig with black braids and all manner of jewelry embedded in it walks around Julii Cooper's place, surveying the numerous and equally well-decked-out partygoers. The wig turns and we see that it's being worn by Julii Cooper herself, who went with the one with the three inches of blonde "roots." She notices that Servilia has just arrived, and makes her way over to greet her. Servilia, having gone with a complicated updo that points aggressively out to the sides, thanks Julii Cooper for inviting her as they air-kiss. Julii Cooper lies that she insisted Servilia come: "Whatever misfortune befalls you, we're still friends, nay?" Servilia sees right through it, and heads on into the party without another word. Julii Cooper comments to her old-lady servant, "She has a good cosmetics slave, I grant you, but a lover for Caesar? Absurd." I wish I understood the relationship between Servilia and Julii Cooper aside from being threatened by each other. I mean, obviously they have the same last name, "of the Julii," but beyond that I have no idea.