In the West, it borders the Celtic Empire. In the North, it borders Alemannia, Burgundy, Corvatia and Slavonia. In the East, it borders Lasika, Armenia, the Persian Republic and Sheba. In the South, it borders the commonwealth of the Imaziyen.
One Roman province, Yara (OTL: Cuba), is situated on an island near the continental shore of Atlantis.
The capital is Rome and the population is around 160 million.
Latin and Greek are the empire's official languages.
Latin is the official language in the following provinces: Italia, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicilia, Alpes Poeninae, Alpes Cottiae, Alpes Maritimae, Gallia Narbonnensis, Hispania Baetica, Mauretania, Numidia, Africa Carthagensis, Cyrenaica, Aegyptus, Vindelicia, Noricum, Pannonia Superior, Pannonia Inferior, Marcomannia, Quadia,Vandilia, Dalmatia, Dacia Superior, Dacia Inferior.
Greek is the official language in the following provinces: Achaia, Macedonia, Moesia Superior, Moesia Inferior, Thrakia, Kreta, Kypros, Asia, Bithynia-Pontos, Lykia-Pamphylia, Galatia, Kilikia, Arabia, Iudaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, Kappadokia, Scythia Minor, Scythia Tyrensis, Tauris, Kolchis, Yara.
The territory occupied by the Roman Empire has been the cradle of many early civilizations: Egyptians on the Nile, Phoenicians and Carthaginians as well as Greek maritime empires, the Macedonian world empire founded by Alexander and its successor kingdoms ...
Rome's origins are shrouded in mystery, but estimated at the 8th century BCE. Initially a petty kingdom, it later gave itself a republican constitution and expanded across the Italian peninsula, then across the entire Mediterranean. In the second half of the 2nd century BCE, social conflicts turned into a civil war. The unfettered power of the military and its commanders led the First Roman Republic into a deep constitutional crisis, which resulted in its undermining and in the establishment of the Principate, a system of de facto absolutist monarchy, by Augustus in the last third of the 1st century BCE.
Under the Principate, the Roman Empire reached its greatest territorial extent. A centralised administration was built, and in the long era of peace, domestic economy and foreign trade (e.g. with India) blossomed. In the 3rd century CE, the Principate underwent a deep crisis on several levels:
- Militarily, Rome faced serious threats both from the North, where massive migratory movements forced large and relatively organised Germanic groups across the borders of the empire, and from the East, where the Sassanid Empire pursued an aggressive expansionist strategy. Rome`s large army units (legions) and its heavily centralised command were ill-prepared to react to multiple invasions at the same time, so invaders were able to intrude deep into Roman territory, plundering cities, harming the economy of the border provinces and undermining the confidence in the pax Romana.
- Politically, the enormous power of military commanders led to their frequent self-declaration as Emperors (so-called "barracks emperors"), often with several self-proclaimed emperors / usurpers claiming the throne at the same time. Infights and instability weakened the Empire and prevented necessary reforms of the state.
- Economically, the scarcity of slaves threatened the foundation on which Roman wealth was built. The disruption of internal trade by military invasions and political instability did not facilitate technological innovations which would have been necessary to maintain living standards, and brought the large towns and cities to the brink of collapse.
- Culturally, the Roman state religion had long lost its dominant status. New sects like the Cult of Mithras or Christianity developed their own internal structures, which was seen as a threat by many emperors, resulting in persecutions especially of Christians, which in turn led to a radicalisation of the persecuted religious groups, which undermined public safety even in those regions which were not threatened by military invasions.
In this context, the Roman Empire broke apart; its North-Western third became the Celtic Empire. In the rest of the Roman Empire, a social revolution overthrew the Principate, abolished slavery and removed the structures on which senatorial and equestrian wealth and power had rested, and built the Second Roman Republic, based on the two functioning political units: the autonomous towns and cities ("civitates") and the armed forces, who were both rigorously democratised and federalised.
The 4th-7th centuries mark a long era of peace, stability and economic, technological and scientific development, in which the Roman Republic became the world`s undisputed economic leader. The Second Republic pursued a mostly defensive foreign policy, intervening and engaging beyond its borders only temporarily to maintain the safety of its foreign trade and investments and the access to foreign markets and resources. At its periphery, the Roman Republic created margos, which were closely associated with Rome (especially economically), but retained their own political structures. Some of them later voluntarily joned the Republic, enlarging its territory to encompass regions North of the Danube and of the Black Sea.
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Constitution and politics
Rome is the world`s oldest and most stable democracy and republic - a fact in which Romans of all backgrounds take great pride. Its constitution has served as a model for many other nations not only in Europe.
Its bicameral legislature (Senate and Conventum) resides in Rome. The Conventum Romanum, nominally the "lower chamber", elects the federal magistrates, passes the federal budget, and formulates federal laws. It currently has 1250 members. Elections are held every three years. For every 100,000 citizens with voting rights (i.e. citizens over the age of 17, who are not imprisoned or institutionalised), one representative is directly elected, who represents his constituency. Only citizens over the age of 28 are eligible.
The upper chamber, which was restored after the Communist Interlude of the 14th century and given the old name of "Senate", consists of former Consuls and Praetors and of members of the Conventum who had been elected for at least three full legislative periods, if they have not been convicted of a crime. The number of Senators is not fixed and varies from 200 to 300. The Senate participates in the drafting of new laws; new magistrates are audited by the Senate, and, most importantly, the Senate has the right to repeal laws passed by the Conventum if they are found to be anti-constitutional, and it also has the right to depose magistrates with a two-thirds majority if they are found guilty of acting against the constitution.
The executive branch is split into
- 2 Consuls (responsible for foreign relations and the military and with the right of own-motion legislative initiative in all domains)
- 12 Praetors (functioning as Supreme Court)
- 2 Censors (responsible for the empire`s treasury, its tax and customs administration, and the registration of citizens)
- 2 Aedils (responsible for central policing, intelligence, public order and environmental protection issues)
- and a number of Quaestor pairs, each pair responsible for a branch of the public services (the welfare system; the imperial roads, railroads, airways, waterways and space infrastructure; the imperial academies and schools; etc.).
All executive officials are elected by the Conventum. Twin offices have been staffed with a male and a female officeholder, one of whom a Latin-speaking and the other a Greek-speaking, for more than two centuries.Twin officers can only pass decrees or submit legal initiatives in their domain if both agree. The Praetorium passes its judgments with at least nine votes.
The empire`s provinces enjoy a certain degree of independence. The constitutional structure is replicated on the provincial level. The provinces, in turn, grant their civitates and rural dioceses some degree of independence, where, again, the structure is replicated to a certain degree. Historically, the autonomy of the local units had been far greater, especially under the Second Republic, where the provincial system was abolished. The curbing of local autonomy and the reintroduction of provinces took place during the 15th and 16th centuries, when the old structures were found to be incompatible with professional, efficient statehood.
For almost six centuries, imperial politics have been dominated by a two-party system - the "Liberales" and the "Populares". Each party`s ideological nuances and stances on political issues (e.g. pacifism vs. military interventionism) have changed over the long course of their histories. What has remained stable is that the Liberales´ electoral basis is the upper class and the Populares are rooted in the working classes.
While Aedil and Quaestor pairs on the provincial and imperial level are often bipartisan, both Consuls and Censors usually belong to the same party which holds a majority in the Senate resp. Comitia.
Roman electoral campaigns are gigantic and spectacular and watched all over the world. The enormous resources they require have been criticised as a structural privilege for wealthy candidates.
All citizens, male or female, must complete eight months of military service. Religious groups have repeatedly tried to be exempt from military service and were successful at times in history. In the present, though, everyone must serve - which is not highly controversial presently due to the relatively long period of peace Europe and the Middle East have experienced since the early 20th century.
The Roman Republic has always emphasised the absolute rule of its laws in every corner of its empire. Yet, anarchist communities have existed for more than a millennium now and continue to defy imperial law and order.
After Rome´s closest partner, the Ostrogoths, have shifted their focus towards Atlantis, Rome bases its international power on cooperation with the following countries, which are seen as equals, but also as rivals: the Celtic Empire, Sheba, Aksum and the Persian Republic. Rome considers Slavonia, Corvatia and Venedia its legitimate sphere of influence.
While birth / reproduction rates are relatively low across the empire (1.2), population levels are relatively stable due to considerable immigration (mostly from Northern Eurasia and Africa, but also from acute spots of war, natural disasters etc.). Life expectancy is stable around 81 years.
Ethnicity is an irrelevant category for many Romans, who see themselves as citizens of the empire without further distinctions. Distinct ethnic groups are only found in the Atlantic provinces of the empire, where some indigenous Ciboney and Taino refuse to assimilate. Also, newly arrived immigrants (peregrini) often require a generation or two to blend into Roman society. Overall, though, the Roman Empire still functions as a melting pot.
EconomyThe Roman Empire is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. All economic sectors are globally competitive and contribute to global economic innovation.
|Roman Empire - Economic data|
|GDP||45,000 DN p.c.p.a.|
|tertiary education rate||72.1%|
|trade balance||excess import 1.3% of GDP|
|agriculture||6.1% of GDP (8.5% of workforce)|
|industry||32.9% of GDP (27.3% of workforce)|
|services||61% of GDP (64.2% of workforce)|
Roman agriculture is organised around large, traditional production complexes (societates resp. villae rusticae), where local production opportunities are flexibly combined with new crops, breeds and processing techniques. In the societates resp. villae rusticae, several steps in the value chain are usually combined - i.e. vineyards, wine cellars and spirit stills, or pig stables, slaughterhouses and ham smokehouses. This, together with often large stocking capacities, provides the villae rusticae with sufficient market power vis-a-vis distribution associations. As a result, villae rusticae are not the empire`s poorhouses, as is the case with agriculture in many other parts of the world, but make good profits. Rome´s countryside is easily capable of providing the empire´s urban population with good quality products of all sorts and exports much of its world-famous wines, cheeses, olive oils and pork and lamb products, as well as rum, cigars and chocolate from Yara. Agricultural imports only occur because the empire´s spoiled urban citizens demand products which cannot be grown efficiently under the given climate conditions, like cocoa, coffee, tropical fruits, salmon and seafood.
Roman industry and services are global leaders in many domains, especially in telecommunication, weapon manufacturing, space transfer and extraterrestrial mining and metallurgy (mostly on Mars). Rome can only meet its international carbon dioxide emission cap obligations by importing considerable amounts of solar energy from Sheba.
While one of the world`s largest market economies, Roman economy is run to a considerable extent by the state. Its excellent infrastructure and ample public services include the world`s best and most used public transportation system (with fast and frequent railroad connections between cities and close underground rail networks within cities), publicly run electricity, central heating and thermal water providers, public mensae and public education, communication and librarian facilities. Urban housing, too, is mostly in the hands of the public Cura Annonae. Childcare, hospitals and most research facilities are publicly run, too.
The Roman labour market is tightly regulated. Access to almost all segments of the job market requires formal qualifications which only state-approved collegia provide. Implementation of access regulation as well as qualification-based salary attribution is overseen by the chambers of the collegia, where nowadays both employees and employers are represented.
Rome is famous for its dual (public and mutual) credit system. Private enterprises are mostly indebted to public financial institutions, whose moderate interest rates serve both to stabilise the economy and protect it from excessive growth pressure and to provide the treasury with a solid source of income beyond taxation and customs. Almost half of the population also belongs to mutual credit associations, which were initially a distinctive (and attractive) feature of Christian and Jewish groups. These do not provide large volumes of loans (and most of them have focused more on mutual insurance), but they provide them free of interest. Those who cannot get loans from either public or mutual sources sometimes rely on shady moneylenders, who charge usuriously high interest rates and often resort to unpleasant means to recover their principal and interest. This sort of private credit system only comprises a very small volume, though, and is not seen favourably by the government.
Rome´s socioeconomic system apparently produces a relatively stable and comparatively high unemployment rate of approximately one tenth of the population. Public welfare provides the unemployed, just like children, young families, students, or the elderly, with all basic amenities, yet both unemployed people and the rest of society repeatedly engage in reform projects aimed at mobilising the latent workforce and reducing unemployment rates - not very successfully, though.
The distribution of wealth and income is relatively even for a developed society (low Gini coefficient).
Roman culture has been alternatively characterised as "mass culture", "secular culture", "laissez-faire culture" and "culture of the spectacle".
The Roman way of life, especially in the cities, is shaped by activities pursued among large crowds of people who do not necessarily know each other, but obey the implicit code defining the activity in question and, within this framework, openly interact with each other, not showing any trace of what people from other cultures often define as a "private sphere". While the foci of these communal activities can be traced back more than two millennia, the emancipation of Roman women and the violent fights accompanying it have radicalised the atomised and yet communalised culture of Rome.
Urban Romans have washbasins in their homes, but they bathe in large communal thermal baths together with thousands of people almost every day. Urban Romans have fridges and stoves in their homes, but they eat in large communal mensae or smaller cantinae every day. They attend individual and team sports activities in gymnasia together with hundreds of others. They acquire their education in schools and academies, which often comprise tens of thousands of students. Those who are religious practice their cult in churches, temples and synagogues with large crowds of fellow believers, while those who aren`t often enjoy themselves in clubs where orgies are celebrated, involving the consumption of traditionally European (wine, spirits, beer) and imported (cannabis, coca, opium, chemical...) drugs, expensive food and casual sexual encounters. Urban Romans live in large building complexes and follow the mass media in communal theatres rather than in their own homes. (Most popular among the mediated spectacles are ball sports, especially football, which those who cannot watch it in the stadium where the game is played often watch in other stadiums, where the action is reproduced live with the help of three-dimensional projection techniques. But also electoral campaigns, song contests, virtual drama, martial arts tournaments and even graduation ceremonies are regularly turned into mass spectacles.
Non-religious urban Romans often do not see their lives as shaped by an idea of "family", and marriage has become a distinctive trait of religious minorities and peregrini. Sexuality is practiced more often outside of stable relationships than within. Individuals often develop strong personal relationships, but these are better described in our terms as "friendships" or, when bridging generational gaps, "mentorships". Despite republican policies subsidising natural pregnancy and birth, only 44 % of Roman children are born this way, while 56 % spend their first months in nurturing machines. The biological parents (whether giving birth naturally or merely providing their genes) are obliged by law and provided with ample economic help to provide care for their infant during its first two years of life. After university or apprenticeship and before pursuing their professional career in earnest, most Romans live for several years as "young families" in separate parts of towns, where flats are large enough to house families and help and instruction in infant-care as well as all necessary amenities are provided. Children over the age of 2 often grow up in "horti". Relations between reproductive partners and between parents and children often, but not always, remain relatively close (by Roman standards) and loosen gradually - but they are far looser than traditional families ties in other parts of the world.
The communality of urban Roman culture does not imply an absence of social inequality. Especially in large cities, but even in middle-sized ones, citizens from different professional, educational or cultural backgrounds tend to visit different communal baths, favour slightly different sorts of public spectacles etc.
Since more than 80% of all Romans live in cities with a population of more than 100,000 inhabitants, the above can be said to characterise Roman culture generally. In the societates and villae rusticae in the countryside and on Yara, life is communal, too, but much less anonymous, less libertine and more centered around the traditional idea of families. Rural communities of 50-100 people often eat, play and pray together, too, but ties between parents and children and between reproductive partners are closer and more stable. Since here, members from different social strata live together, intricate codes of differentiation apply.
The Roman Empire is the birthplace of more than a hundred Christian sects, who are just as tolerated (and ignored) by the state and the majority of the population as the Jews, Zoroastrists and all the cults brought into the empire by the peregrini.
Traditional Roman cult has become largely void of its religious nature. Thus, Roman and Celtic Europe is not only a very secular, but also a very non-religious continent.
Magnificent churches of different Christian sects as well as enormous Jewish temple complexes can be found in Aelia Capitolina / Hierosolyma, the holy city of both religions.
Many, if not all, religious groups view the dominant paradigm of Roman culture as sinful and wrong. They often stress asceticism instead of hedonism, personal ties and responsibilities instead of public institutions etc. The proliferation of their heritage across the generations is limited to familial and communal instruction mostly, since confessional schools exist, but are controlled by the state and have very limited curricular freedoms.
The state (on the imperial, provincial and local level) controls the entire education system tightly. No school or university may be founded without consent from and control by the state.
Every child across the empire, whether born by citizens or not, attends the "hortus" from the age of two at least for some hours (many live there from relatively young ages on, then move to school childrens' houses) and the "schola" from the age of 6 until their graduation around the age of 17. Scholae have imperial, provincial and local elements in their curricula and are non-specialised in the first nine years, which are followed by three years in which one of several scientific-professional domains are chosen as a focused profile. Schooling reaches 99.3% empire-wide (even many anarchists comply) and literacy levels reach 98%. After international comparative studies, Roman schools have been criticised for their comparative lack of didactic efficiency compared especially to Asian ones. Quality variance among Roman schools is very low. Reform attempts have proved incapable of surmounting inertial systemic forces so far.
Approx. 72 % of each Roman age group then voluntarily attends either a professional academia or a liberal universitas. Although these are to a certain extent controlled by the state, too, they show greatly individualised profiles, and some can look back on more than 2300 years of history. Some Roman academies and universities are considered the most prestigious in the world. Others are little more than systematic job training facilities.