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Kingdom of Venetia (Superpowers)

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Regnum Venetianum
Kingdom of Venetia
Venetia
Population 2.8 million people (800 CE)
9.5 million people (1080 CE)
Area 401,400 km² (800 CE)
465,000 km² (1080 CE)
Capital
    Largest city
Venetia
   Pomerania
National Language

Venetian (Slavonic)
Latin

Languages

Slavonic dialects

Demonym Venetian
Government

King (Emperator)
Hereditary absolute monarchy

Gniewen I (615-637) [first]
Legislature Regis Suvetis
GDP 65 million Dn (800 CE)
320 million Dn (1080 CE)
Slavery 1-3%
History

Founding : 615 CE
Annexation : ~1130 CE

Currencies Gold Denare
Denarius (Dn)
Religion

Roman Christianity

Territories

Northeastern Poland; Baltic
States; Belarus; Northwestern
Ukraine.

The Kingdom of Venetia (Latin: Regnum Venetianum) was a monarchy in the regnal period of Eastern European history. Since its founding, it had been one of the most powerful nations in Europe, with an economy bolstered by close contact with the Roman Empire.

Venetia started from an action of the Senate to create a kingdom in the northern regions of Europe as a buffer against the nearby Confederation of Germanic kingdoms. All of the tribes and villages near the frontier of Roman Germany were united under a single chieftain. In the process of raising a kingdom, the Senate made Venetia completely dependent on commerce with Rome and gave constant support through the deployment of advisors, architects, land surveyors, and other specialists. By the end of the 8th century, some cities of Venetia relied enough on Roman grain that no king could risk opposing the empire.

Early Venetian society was de-centralized and politically feudal, although the king was granted tremendous power by his lords. The King of Venetia was closely associated with Romans, some of his subjects even believing their king to be a Roman. Since the actions of Romans and their legions went into legend among the common folk of Venetia, the association with the king helped cement his rule and discourage acts of rebellion. At the same time, land was sufficiently de-centralized in the early period that only a small fraction of the kingdom was crownland. The rest of the kingdom consisted of the lands of high lords of Venetia.

Venetia became increasingly centralized with the passage of time. The Sclavo-Latin language of Venetian spread to the countryside and took hold in cities of progressively smaller size. Lords bequeathed their lands to the king, building an administrative system modelled on Rome to take the place of the earlier feudal administration. However, the administration brought into existence over time retained aspects of feudalism, leaving discrepancies in the law along divisions of social class.

[Rest of this Article is written from the perspective of someone living in the year 1080 CE]

Government

The Kingdom of Venetia is a feudal monarchy of hereditary titles, where one man stands above other men in his ownership of the land. Ownership of land passes from a father to a son or a childless man to his brothers upon the death of the previous owner. Every plot of land is tied to a title or lordship, modelled after Latin terms. Small lords have the title of Kentir (Count) and most of them owe fealty to another lord rather than directly to the king. Lords whose oath is to the king are called Komitos Emperatory (Companions of the King). When the kingdom was founded, Rome honored Chief Gniewen as a victorious general, for his conquest and union of nearby lands on behalf of Rome, and gave him its title of imperator. For this reason, every king after Gniewen has been referred to as Emperator (King of Venetia), emphasizing his status as an effective general of the Roman Empire.

Councils

Two groups of lords assist an Emperator in his administration. The royal council is his Senat, consisting of brothers, uncles, or even sons of Companions of the King. Some Companions have more than one relative in the Senat whereas others do not have family there, since membership in the Senat is entirely at the whim of the king. A senatir was considered a peer to a count, earning him the privilege of being addressed with certain honorifics (e.g. a senatir named Bolis must be addressed as Pan Bolis). There are no distinctions between members of the Senat; every senatir is a general advisor to the king, giving him counsel when requested.

For proper administration, men of merit may be selected by the king for the Regis Suvetis (King's Assembly). A member of the Suvetis has the distinction of Magestir and must be addressed on the same footing as a Companion of the King. Although many Magestirs are from the families of the nobility, some kings have brought Roman citizens in as Magestirs, although there are rarely more than two or three Romans in the Suvetis at one time. Unlike the Senat, whose membership has varied over time from none to more than thirty lords, the Suvetis has a more stable membership, since each Magestir has a particular duty. In general, every Magestir is tasked with exercising the will of the king, both within the crown lands and among the lands of his feudal lords.

Another essential advisor in the court of the Emperetor is the dignitatum venetium (ambassador to the Venetians). As the only direct contact between Venetia and the Roman Senate, the ambassador is the source of a wealth of geopolitical information for the Emperator and his Magestirs. For most Emperators, the Roman ambassador is his most trusted advisor and the most influential member of his court. The presence of the dignitatum represents the presence of the Roman Empire in Venetia and his treatment is seen to reflect the regard of the Venetian Court for Rome. To some degree, the dignitatum can force the Emperator of Venetia to take certain actions, when he can convince him that the empire would respond with an invasion should he refuse. However, some Emperators knew their position with Rome and were aware that the Roman Senate would not invade over trivial affairs, giving them greater autonomy from the authority of the Roman ambassador.

Military

Like all European kingdoms outside Rome, Venetia must levy armies when war comes and cannot maintain a true standing army. However, as a means of holding power, almost any Kentir or Komitir retains a large groups of men who are trained for battle in his constant service, usually by providing them food, board, horses, and training in his home. Unlike in Germanic kingdoms, these men of martial skill are landless and bear noble titles that are not tied to land, with some exceptions. Some are always members of the family of the lord they serve, as even sons number among these equistos (landless riders), but others are wards from other noble families or peasants who have been taken into service in exchange for the benefits of being an equistor. Germanic kings see the equistos of Venetia the same way they see their own knights (reiddar in Gothic or equidan in Lombard).

Other men-at-arms (mility) are levied from the peasantry during wartime or bought as mercenaries from nearby lands. Veterans from the Roman Legion living in Magna Germania (Greater Germany) have long been popular mercenaries in Eastern Europe, to the point that the Roman Senate had to become stricter in the 8th century about legionaries taking equipment into retirement. The popularity of former legionaries as mercenaries is seen in the few mercenary companies that operate in the region, most of which are led by a former legionary and have several Roman veterns in their upper ranks.

Venetian armies are distinguished from other Germanic armies by their larger number of professional soldiers - the equistos - since Kentos are more capable than Germanic lords of supporting large retinues of knights (largely due to the separation of knighthood from land and the overall greater wealth of Venetian lords compared to Germanic lords). Only the Sarmatians, who field a standing army similar to the Roman Legion, and some small city-states, have greater proportions of professional soldiers than the Venetians.

Strength

There are 107 lords in the entire realm of Venetia - a far cry from the supposed 550 original lords who swore their allegiances to Emperator Gniewen the Great in the 7th century. By the best estimates, no Kentir has fewer than ten equistos and the greatest houses that constitute the Komitos Emperatory might have as many as 1,000 riders without counting their vassals. Furthermore, the Emperator himself has a retinue of nearly 5,000 equistos that serve as a kind of personal and city guard in the capital.  Altogether, these numbers provide a realistic range of 14,000-22,000 knights in all of the Kingdom of Venetia.

As for other mility, the only limit on numbers is the capacity of a commander to feed and transport the proper number of men. With access to field mills from Roman engineers and a modest system of roads, the Emperator can field as many as 120,000 mility, most of whom would fight with polearms or crossbows. With knights, the combined strength of the entire land forces of Venetia can be as high as 140,000 soldiers during a war.

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