Magna Britannia (Great Britain or Albion to the locals) is the largest province of the Insula Britannia and one of the major population centers of the Roman Empire. With the highest population in the Britannic provinces, Magna Britannia has the greatest economic influence in the area and its Senators garner more respect in the Senate than those of nearly any other province.
The Consul of the Gaels is situated in Britannia's capital city of Londinium, making it the official center of the Romano-Celtic population. The Gaelic Foederata constitutes the provinces of Magna Britannia, Hibernia, Caledonia and Cambria. The position was created in the 1060's by Emperor Aegranus as part of his recreation of the Consular Congress in Rome following the counterrevolution that ended the Civil War. The Gaelic Consuls tend to spend their time in the city of Londinium as the proximity to Rome enables them to return to the Capitol in only a few hours time.
Historically Magna Britannia was the agglomeration of the primary Celtic population centers in the Isles, and so didn't fall into Roman hands until the defeat of the Iceni Tribe in 61 CE. Since then it has received a great deal of focus from the Emperors in attempts to quickly integrate it into the Empire, something which is reflected in its over 86% ethnically Roman population. Britannia has also served as the launching pad for the conquests of both Caledonia (Scotland) and Hibernia (Ireland), and it remains the administrative center of the entire British Isles. Following the Imperial Civil War, once the Isles were retaken from the rebellious Legions, the old province of Britannia was split into three parts. The mainly Cymbrian west was separated into its own Province of Cambria, the sparsely populated north was reorganized with Caledonia and what remained became the urban and agricultural center that is Magna Britannia.
With nearly a third of the population concentrated on the provincial capital, and most of the rest in less than a handful of major cities, Great Britain's surface area is mostly made up of vast open plains and marshes. This, along with its large slave population, has allowed it to be the largest producer of grain and other agricultural products in the isles, and easily one of the most self-sustainable Roman province.
The term Britannia is derived from the writings of the Ancient Greek explorer Pytheas and his descriptions of several islands north of Europe, one of which he called Βρεττανίαι (Brettaniai), which itself derives from the Pretani people of the islands. This became Brittania under Roman influence, and over time a "t" was dropped and a "n" added. That is how the region ultimately became known as Britannia.
Almost 88% of the provinces population reside in cities or large urban areas, whilst most of the remaining 12% consists of slaves and their masters who run the farms and villas across the countryside. As these plantations produce more than 360% of the province's agricultural needs, the urban population is not in any danger of experiencing any shortages of food. The capital of Londinium has a population of 11,740,000 people, linking to an additional 17 million through the River Tamesis that runs directly through it. This has made the city the center for nearly all trade going in and out of the province, with its expansive ports seeing almost 30% of the traffic through the whole Isles. Consequently, the merchant class of Londinium is quite large and prosperous, which is typical of a powerful maritime city.
Magna Britannia is ranked the sixth most populated province in the Imperium Romanum, with a population of 47 million people. and the fourth most populated one in Europe. Its city of Londinium is even ranked the 16th most populous city in the world, 7th in the Empire. The population density in many of Britannia's cities is very high, being almost as dense as some of the foreign cities in Asia.
Poverty is also very low in Magna Britannia, even if one looks at the standard rate of poverty for the Romans. The average income level in the province stands at around 2280 Dn a year. Its rich merchants and plantation owners are almost entirely of the Equestrian Order, a group which consists of 14% of the population there. A lot of foreign and international businesses have one of their headquarters in Londinium because the city serves as an important center for Atlantic trade. By social order, about 0.2% of people are in the Patrician class, 14% of people are in the Equestrian class, almost 70% are Plebs and 10% are of course slaves. Most of the rest are Peregrini (foreigners) and about 1% are classified as Indigeni, still following the customs and religion of the ancient Celts.
Although the Isles were slow to join the rest of the Empire in adopting Christianity, Magna Britannia is now one of the strongest centers of Christian culture, with Londinium's Archbishop of St. John's Cathedral even being a member of the College of Cardinals in Rome. Three of the pre-counterrevolution Popes had actually come from the archdiocese in Londinium. Magna Britannia also has the second highest provincial percentage of clergyman in its population, and the highest overall number of them for any province. At 1.1% of the population, the province contains nearly 515,000 members of the clergy. As well, the aforementioned St. John's Cathedral, rebuilt in the 1400's, is the third-largest Christian cathedral in the world and follows a very similarly design to St. Peter's in Rome.
Although Christianity's presence there is strong, Magna Britannia remains one of the few sanctuaries of the Old religions. Magna Britannia possesses the third-highest percentage of Pagans in the Empire, exceeded only by Cambria and Caledonia. This is due to the relatively isolated nature of the old Celtic populations after the Druids banned inter-marriages with Christians and the Pope retaliated with a similar ban. Still, economic sanctions, public protesting and mobbing have removed them almost completely from normal Roman society and have reduced their population considerably over the centuries. Only about 500,000 followers of the Druids remain in the province, most of which live in a tri-provincial area shared with Caledonia and Cambria. They have formed a settlement at their intersection with a total population of a little over 1 million people. This is the last remnant of Celtic civilization.
To finish with religion, Great Britain also has the tenth largest percentage of atheists in the Empire. Most of this is concentrated in Londinium, the birth place of renowned atheist philosopher Gaius Frederus Adverdea. The atheist movement he founded was one of the strongest in the history of atheist philosophy. Nevertheless, this has only amounted to 0.8% of the population professing atheism today. In a non-platonist (socialist) nation however, this is considered to be a very high value.
Londinium's importance in world commerce gives its population a very wide variety of spoken languages. Traders who work in the Atlantic come from all across Rome's global Empire to find business in Londinium. Therefore Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Nahuatl, Coptic, Norse and even Arabic are used as languages of trade in the city. As might be expected, the ability to speak any number of these "foreign" languages is a highly valued skill for the merchants there.
The large slave population also adds significantly to Magna Britannia's number of spoken languages. The servile population brings with it speakers of Muscovite, African and Columbian dialects, as well as languages such as Mongolian and Khmer. However, the government encourages slave owners to help phase out these aspects of their slaves' cultures. The children of slaves are even given a rudimentary Latin education, with teachers paid for this purpose by the federal government. Past experience has shown that a family becomes fully integrated into Roman society, as a slave, by the third generation.
Next to all the foreign languages, the old one of Brythonnic is the primary language of Gaelic administration, and acts as a representation of the modern "Gaelic" Culture. It is mostly used among the bureaucracy and in fields of law, since nearly all documents within the Foederata of the Gaels are written in Brythonnic rather than Latin. The language is also an option in all Britannic schools and Universities, as the Isles are the only place in the world where someone can receive an education in Brythonnic. All of this is in spite of the fact that virtually no one actually descends from a Celtic or Gaelic family. Nevertheless, through the diffusion of the Celts into the Latin population, about 75% of all Britannic Gens (Families/Clans) trace their ancestry to the Ancient Celts, Gaels or Picts. Genetically speaking, however, they are all almost completely Roman. In an official Census these people are classified as Romano-Celts, a moniker which most residents of the Isles are very proud of.
They are still Roman, and like all Romans, residents of Britannia must have received an education in Latin and in Roman culture. Greek is also a widely spoken language for the upper-classes, though it takes more of a side-role here next to the more culturally significant Brythonnic. The percentages of languages are as follows :
- Latin : 96.5%
- Brythonnic : 46.3%
- Greek : 27.2%
- Aramaic : 6.4%
- Nahuatl : 3.6%
- Coptic : 1.7%
- Phoenician : 1.3%
- Hebrew : 0.5%
- African Dialects : 7.2%
- Muscovite Dialects : 1.9%
- Columbian Dialects : 0.9%
Great Britain possesses the largest economy in the entire West Coast of Europe and Africa. It has the 4th largest GDP of any European province, and the 13th largest one overall. From an international perspective, its GDP is nearly 25% that of the United Chiefdoms of Columbia. Its power in industry and agriculture is largely based on three sectors : agricultural products; steel/metallic goods and pharmaceuticals. Due to the province's ability to produce 360% of its own agricultural needs, it is the largest exporter of agricultural goods in the world, exceeding even entire countries in terms of weight exported. Nearly all of this surplus goes to the Gallic and Hispanic provinces, though recently it has been helpful in the reconstruction of Danish Scandinavia.
Looking at the industrial sector, Great Britain is the 8th largest manufacturer of automobiles in the Empire. Factories in and around Londinium make up more than 40% of this capability, whilst the rest are set up along the River Tamesis. However, in recent years the manufacturing sector has been shrinking as the prevalence of carbon nanotube products is slowly replacing certain applications of steel and other metals in many products. Only automobile production remains relatively stable as the high tensile strength of nanotubes make them impractical for the production of safe vehicles. One possibility for the future, that the Praetor has considered is to follow the example of Cambria (Wales). The Cambrians have started to massively import the carbon allotrope in order to become a major location for the manufacturing of its resulting products, particularly body armor in their case. Instead, the Praetor has recently authorized the use of the provinces' extensive metallic resources to create unique alloys that are especially useful in modern industry. The province is now the largest producer of tungsten-carbon nanotube alloys in the world and a major supplier of tin in the soldering industry.
Great Britain's large access to natural materials for the pharmaceutical industry has made it one of the largest producers of medical drugs in the Empire. Only the South Columbian provinces, aided by their proximity to the Inca and the rainforests, exceed Britannia in pharmaceutical production. This is becoming a problem for Britannia, who as the main supplier of drugs to mainland Europe, is having its demand outsourced to Columbia as the cost of shipping continues to fall.
Unfortunately for the province, all of this has resulted in it being one of the few in the Empire with a negative economic growth. Out of the many measures put forward by the province to reduce this collapse, the automation of agriculture is proving to be one of the most effective. Though the maintenance of a living human worker is quite high, automatons are very easy to maintain and care for. Through its measures, the government expects to have less than a 6% slave population by 2047, half of which would be domestic slaves. This deadline may well be reached earlier than planned if the Slave Labour Act of 2001 is passed, as it plans to set new (higher) minimums for the level of living that slaves must be provided with. The Consul of the Gaels is currently negotiating in Rome with the Consul of the Bantu and the Consul of the Slaves to reintegrate African slaves back into the southern provinces of Roman Africa.
Magna Britannia produces the eighth most power of any Roman province, and has one of the highest amounts of its power being put to use in people's homes. 74% of Great Britain's power comes from Particle Fusion Reactors, most of which are located along the coast to make use of sea water as hydrogen fuel. The most powerful reactor is however a land one located south of Londinium that produces 39,540 MW of power. The Londinium Primary Reactor, like any city's reactor, provides the energy for the climate control and production facilities in the metropolis, and also attends to the domestic needs of the citizens.
Another 17% of the province's power originates from space-based solar energy collectors that link to receivers on the ground. These facilities are serviced by dozens of collector satellites in Tundra Orbits over Europe and Africa. Through their orbital patterns, there are always at least 20 satellites avalaible to provide power to the province.
The last 9% of the province's power output comes from wave and wind turbines placed along the coasts and highlands respectively. These are being slowly phased out by the provincial government in its long-term goal of economic sustainability for Britannia. By 2004, seven new particle fusion reactors will be up and running and should provide enough power to allow these other turbines to be dismantled even with an increase in demand over those 4 years.
The capital of Magna Britannia is the city of Londinium and the provincial palace, which is both the residence and office of the Praetor (Governor), is located around the city's Forum. Londinium also serves as the capital of the Gaelic Foederata and so holds the Consular Offices in the Forum as well. The current Praetor, Marcus Suetonius Gorginius is a prominent member of the Suetonia Gens who claim descendancy from the famous historian and writer of that same name. Due to its large servile population, Magna Britannia has an unusually small number of Senatorial representatives for its population size. However this is not in violation of the Constitution as the province's 48 Senators ensure that there is approximately one representative for every 900,000 citizens.
Though most individual cities have their own subterranean transportation systems, and Londinium has its own light rail system above ground, the province itself is linked by several main rail lines that stretch throughout the province alongside major highways. Currently the province has four main high-speed maglev lines (velocities over 2,500 km/h) that link its cities with those in Cambria and Caledonia. From any one point on the main island it is possible to reach virtually any other point in mere hours or less. One of the main lines goes from Londinium to Eboracum all the way to the city of Correlia in Caledonia, another goes from Londinium to the capital of Cambria, and the third one runs the entire length of the Tamesis, reaching the far south-west corner of Cambria. The last major high-speed rail line stretches beneath the Oceanus Britannicus and links the cities of Parisium and Londinium. This is one of the primary means of leaving the province and over one million people make use of it in either direction each day. It is much faster than the other railways which go through Britannia and can make the long trip in under an hour.
Typical of the Roman transportation system, there are only three airports in Great Britain. These are the International Londinium Airport, the Eboracum Airport and the Trisantonum Airport. As the names imply, only the Londinium airport receives international flights, and so as might be expected it is the largest of the three. In fact, the Caeliportum Londinium is the fourth most used airport in the Roman Empire, and one of the top 15 airports in the world. Its modern facilities link it directly to the maglev lines of the province, allowing easy transport from the airport to anywhere else in Great Britain without ever having to go in an automobile.
The Londinium Underground is one of the most extensive metropolitan rail lines in the world, serving almost six million people daily. Although it follows the standard grid pattern of Roman cities, its Union Station has the largest above ground facilities in the Empire and acts as the hub for the four major rail lines in Great Britain. The integration of all of Londinium's transportation networks allows for about three million people to enter and exit the city daily either by plane, boat or rail.