Naravas is the son of a Numidian merchant. His family settled in Cirta on the Mediterranean coast of Numidia many generations ago. The city, having fallen into Roman hands during Julius Caesar’s consulship shortly before Naravas’ birth, young Naravas grew accustomed to the sight of Roman legionaries who were locally known as Sittiani. Indeed, the Romans were no strange sight for Naravas’ family as his ancestors had partaken in the Jugurthine wars. These wars, named after King Jugurtha of Numidia, were often the subject of many stories that Naravas heard from his mother. His father too fascinated him with tales about these Roman colonisers from his mercantile travels.
Since when he was six years of age, young Naravas started travelling with his father, learning the trade of a merchant and often trading goods and wares such as ivory and spices all along the Northern African coast. His family had been eyeing the possibility of extending their trade across the sea and this became possible when Naravas’ father acquired an oncraria from a retired Roman merchant using Roman denarii that he had managed to save along the years. Disaster soon struck though as both father and son ended up shipwrecked on the coast of Judaea. He was cared for by local Roman physicians and when he recovered from unconsciousness, Naravas soon learned that he was the sole survivor – his father was sadly never found.
From that point onwards, a new world opened its doors as Naravas started following a legion that happened to be in area. This legion, the Tenth Fretensis was at the time on the lookout for Jewish Zealots in order to suppress them. The legionaries adopted Naravas as one of their own, took great care of him and even affectionately started calling him Filivs. Thus, the once aspiring Numidian merchant from Cirta, now started learning the art of war from the legion that took him under its wings.