|Status||Capital city of the Imperium Romanum|
|Official Language||Latin (100%)|
|Other Languages||Greek, Phoenician, Coptic, Brythonic, Aramaic, other|
|Population Density||1,187 inhb/km²|
|Leader||Caesar Cicero (Vibius Aemillius Optatus)|
|Territory||Circular area centered north of OTL Rome|
Rome is the nerve center of the most illustrious and powerful country in human history. Founded on April 21, 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber, it has a birth surrounded in legend. History's favored child, Rome has witnessed the rise and fall of countless empires from Egypt to China. Other cities may be greater in age but none has flourished as long as the Eternal City.
The economic and military authorities of Rome were shared with Constantinople and Carthage in the 8th century for logistic reasons but there are no one doubts that Rome is the nation's prime city. Behind its walls live over 23 million Roman citizens, not one of foreign blood. The constitution itself permits "only people of Roman citizenship to set foot in Italy except under express permission from the Senate." This law applies equally to men, women and children.
Earning its title of Caput Mundi, Rome has nurtured a global influence in politics, literature, high culture, fine arts, music, religion, education, fashion, cuisine and sports, putting it at the forefront of the world media. Elsewhere, Rome is called Urbs Caesares or the Eternal City, or simply the Capitol. Despite a worldly reputation, it houses very few international organizations - with the exception of an Alliance praetorium - due to its exclusion of non-citizens. However, the largest corporate guilds are based in Rome as a means of garnering national prestige.
Revered for its beauty as a city, Rome has many of the most noteworthy examples of ancient architecture. Its skyline includes such wonders as the Senate, Trajan's Column, Arch of Constantine and the original Grand Colosseum and St. Peter's Cathedral. An earthquake in 851 CE forced the reconstruction of many of these monuments. Rome's most intricate modern buildings were constructed in the architectural heyday of Aulus Nickolus Tesla. Wherever one goes, Rome's legacy is ever immanent when walking its streets.
The circular shape of Rome, with a radius of 80 km, is the result of a design by Tesla in the 16th century. This figure is physically delineated by the 36 meter tall Vallum Caesarium (Caesarian Wall) around its circumference. Seventeen grand city gates (porta), including the Porta Marina near Ostia an Porta Capena near the Via Appia, grant passage into the Eternal City. An individual gate is 40 meters high, built from gold, silver and marbles, and adorned with a golden aquila which is clutching a medallion within which is inscribed SPQR.
Spreading into the countryside like arteries are the 24 aqueducts (aquae) which feed water into the Capitol. Their physical appearance hasn't changed in millennia but this underlies the internal mechanisms that make them marvels of modern engineering. Powerful turbines drive water into Rome at a combined rate of 600 million liters per hour, the Aqua Marcia alone supplying 125 million liters to the imperial district. In some places, aqueducts are physical dividers between municipal districts (praefecturae) while elsewhere they travel below ground.
Attached to the Caesarian Wall, at each cardinal direction, are cenotaphs dedicated to Rome's legendary patrons: King Romulus, its founder, is in the North; Augustus, the first Caesar, is in the East; Calvin, the emperor who rebuilt Rome after the earthquake, is in the South; and Tesla, the architect of its modern renovations, is in the West. Locals continue to protest conferring this honor upon Tesla when he was not a ruler of Rome. Nevertheless, emperors have always defended recognizing him for his essential role in building the city seen today.
Tesla's greatest contribution to the design of Rome was outlining how to transform the Latium countryside from an expanse of hills into a flat plain, and how to extend the Ostian coast several kilometers into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Once these tasks had been outlined, he included designs for a wall exactly 160 km in diameter with the Forum south of its geometric center. At the time, only 8% of the land within the new wall was inhabited, leaving room for the future expansion that continues today. Only 12% of modern Rome is covered by open gardens, fields or parks even though its urban sprawl had long ago reached the city wall.
Ecologically, Rome is rife with plant life in its gardens and streets, the emperor's private gardens worthy of mention for its exotic flora. The only wild animals anywhere in the city are small insects - mosquitoes, black flies and fruit flies having been exterminated - and genetically modified eagles that kill off wild birds. Rats are long absent from Rome due to a combination of minimalizing possible habitats in buildings, screening shipments entering Ostia's ports and safely exterminating vermin; these protocols have been in place for over a thousand years. Today, biological detectors make the screening of land, sea and air shipments for vermin cheap and effective.
Seven Hills of Rome
The Palatine Hill (Collis Palatinus) is the mound of earth on which Romulus founded the Eternal City; as a result, it became the residence of the emperors in the Palatia Imperiales (Palace of the Imperials). Caesar's Palace, its other name, was built around 867 by Caesar Calvin after the great earthquake. From the west end of the palace runs the Via Augusta, leading into the Forum Palatinum and Tiber River. In the center of this plaza is the famous Milliarium Aureum (Golden Milestone), official heart of the Roman Empire, inscribed with the distances to the largest Roman cities. The present Golden Milestone was built in 1237 as the Turra Volta, after its owner, the brilliant scientist Lucius Parellus Volta. It is common saying that all roads lead to this shining monument.
North of the Palatine is the prestigious Capitoline Hill (Collis Capitolinus), known by many as the Capitolium. It is on this artificial extension of the hill that the Senatus Imperia (Imperial Senate) resides in all its glory, having those famous words SENATVS POPVLVSQUE ROMANVS written on its face. Ahead of the Senate, also on the Capitolium, is the Forum Magnum, referred to simply as the Forum or Capitolium (again). Two of the grandest monuments in Rome - the 34 meter Colossus Sullae and the Arch of Constantine - stand facing the Senate.
The Esquiline and Caelian Hills (Colles Esquilinus et Caelius) were fused into a circular platform of earth for the Colosseum Ingens. This magnificent arena is over 1.4 km wide, with a 750 m battlefield and seating for 350,000 spectators. To its north are the former Viminal and Quirinal Hills (Colles Viminalis et Quirinalis) that were excavated in 889 to make room for a marble platform supporting the Papacy's Cathedral of St. Peter.
Settlements tend to form along bodies of life-giving water; Rome's source of life is the Tiber River (Fluvis Tiberis). Of the 180 km that runs through Rome, 84.7% passes over a marble channel built into the earth. This channel's depth and width are a constant four and 20 m respectively. Near the Capitolium, the channel is sheathed in gold which sparkles in sunlight. Before entering Rome from the north, the Tiber's waters are cleansed of salt, fish, nutrients and bacteria through passive filtration. Where the Tiber does not flow over a rigid channel one of Rome's three docks can be found, including the famous Argosy Docks near the Forum.
Disposing of food, garbage, liquid waste or bodies in the Tiber is punishable by ten years of exile from the city. The punishment does not expel one from the Imperium nor revoke one's citizenship but it is a tremendous dishonor and inconvenience for the exile. Although small boats traverse the length of the Tiber at a rate of hundreds daily to carry goods straight from the Tyrrhenian Sea and ports of Ostia, river traffic is only permitted during the day.
The one spot along the Tiber in which residents can swim is the beach around the Insula Tiberina (Tiber Island). Surrounding almost the whole island, its beaches offer a cheap destination for the Plebs who cannot afford frequent trips to Tainuria or North Africa, making it extremely popular among local citizen. Entry is around 0.40 Dn and often must be booked months in advance, but, once inside, residents have access to the beach and luxurious thermae (bath houses) for a full six hour period.
Aside from going to the beach, people can enter the Tiber by accepting a job as a river cleaner. While automated boats perform the less intricate cleaning jobs like sucking out what little debris falls in, sometimes a human touch is necessary. The job pays surprisingly well and can be a great way to make a little extra money on the weekend (while sneaking a dip for the purpose of getting a "closer inspection").
Field of Mars
One of Rome's finest Plebeian residential areas, the Campus Martius (Field of Mars) was once a sacred field for training soldiers, preparing military campaigns, and directly voting. North of the Senate is the former location of the Theater of Pompey where a beautiful encircled garden remains. In a comitia popula (popular assembly), the populace will assemble on the Field of Mars - as they always have - for voting. Nearly the entire adult population of Rome will pass through the Field's Saepta Julia before the end of a voting period.
Surrounding the Field of Mars is Legacy Palace (Palatia Legatum). Artifacts from Rome's many triumphs, going back to the First Republic, are stored in this museum. Prominent items include an obelisk from Thebes, a cloak from Vercingetorix, the staircase leading to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate, headdress of Chief Roanokoi, and a Golden Buddha that the Mongols took from the Khmer. The more perishable artifacts are probably early-modern forgeries but their craftsmanship is so professional it detracts little to know this when viewing those items.
The field's most famous role is being the final stop in a Triumph. This is where the victorious general separates from his legions to be taken by the College of Pontiffs to the Senate for national recognition. The ancient symbolism of the Field of Mars transcends all its changing appearances and functions.
Italy's weather is naturally Mediterranean - known for its warm and wet winters followed by hot and dry summers. The countryside and cities, like Naples, around Rome experience this almost tropical climate. Rome, however, has a unique climate for itself due to climate control in and around the city.
Cloud seeding ensures that substantially less precipitation falls on the city than the countryside, keeping rain over the crops and not on the people. Yearly precipitation hovers around 180 mm per year, when it used to receive that much in two Fall months. The only period when all manner of climate control is shut down is late December to early January, when Romans usually desire a temporary change of scenery. Toward the end of January they have usually grown tired of the cold and ice, and climate control is resumed.
In other kinds of climate control, the City of Caesars receives special treatment. Dozens of mirror satellites in tundra orbits reflect extra sunlight toward Rome during the Winter, warming it and extending the day by one hour. Meanwhile, deep geothermal vents beneath the streets can heat it by a further 8 °C. Maintenance costs of these systems approach the billions of denarii so only Rome receives such privileges.
In the Summer, Rome, like other cities, can be cooled by its aqueducts and its sewers, the Cloaca Maxima. Water entering the city need only be cooled to near 0 °C then water leaving need only be heated by the waste heat of public air conditioners. When used in conjunction with street air conditioning, the city can be cooled up to 15 °C by such simple measures. Another advantage of the former is that fountains - of which there are many - are now expelling cold water with which residents may cool down whenever they please.
The preferred temperature in Rome lies between 10 and 25 °C, with actual temperatures falling outside this range when it is desirable. Even when snow is allowed to fall on the city, aqueducts carry hot water in for heating pipes underneath major roads and turning the fountains into hot springs. Nevertheless, many Romans leave on vacation during August or January to escape the seasons' mildly uncomfortable weather.
This map is merely a representation of the Imperial District. For example, areas that appear to be rows of houses indicate a region with many residences and the actual shapes of the streets, homes and small shops are not accurately portrayed. Likewise, open markets are simply indicated by purple regions. Furthermore, small distances and angles are ambiguous and should not be taken at face value.
The heart of the eternal city is Regio I, the Praefectura Imperia (Imperial District). This is the spot on which Romulus founded the city, Junius Brutus expelled the last king and Augustus became the first citizen of the Republic. The modern regional administration system starts here, the first of Rome's 2000 regios. Yet despite its prestige, the district is smallest of all regios at only 11.8 km² and with barely 21,000 citizens. Consequently, residents enjoy more political clout and privileges than any other regio in the empire.
Therein stand the seats of the Caesar, Senate and Catholic Church - the planet's three most powerful institutions. More fates are decided here than any other spot on Earth. Moreover, the Praefectura Imperia features some of the empire's grandest monuments - the Aelian Amphitheater, Arch of Constantine, Cathedral of St. Peter and Milliarium Aureum - displaying the glory of the empire.
Covering the majority of the Capitoline Hill, the Forum Magnum (Grand Forum) is the hub of public business in Rome and place of assembly for the federal government, greater clergy and voting public due to proximity to their respective structures. Surrounding the Forum are basilicae (public buildings) which facilitate local commerce. The Basilica of the Archangel Michael, designed like the keep of a fortress, opens its doors during times of war so that citizens might pray for peace at the Ara Pacis and, if Rome is taken, find refuge inside - no weapons can penetrate its interior structures. Most defensive alliances between collegia are also agreed there.
On that basilica's east side is the Banca Romanae, central bank of Rome, which is open 24 hours a day, 360 days a year. Owners of the bank in 1911, the Junii clan, popularized automated teller machines at this bank. To its south is the Villa Prima, home of the Consul Italii who is the only citizen permitted a residence on the Forum. Thus he is the only person privileged enough to live on the Capitoline Hill. Elsewhere on the Forum are open-air markets that are temporarily granted by the state to shopkeepers by request to the Senate. Traders are more successful in their dealings here than they are anywhere else in the city. Standing above all other structures are the Colossus of Sulla and Arch of Constantine, overlooking the Senate on the Forum's western side. The Colossus depicts Caesar Sulla Magna in senatorial robes, seeming to bring the ancient emperor to life through the detail of its paint - a living titan watching over Rome. Behind him, the great triumphal arch of Caesar Constantinus Magnus displays scenes of his Nubian, Cimbrian and Sarmatian campaigns alongside representations of religious reforms and civil expansion. The 100 m wide and 50 m tall monument has two small arches flanking a massive central archway, inside of which is an image of Constantine surrounded by angels (which, amazingly, never happened). Romans will not soon forget who brought Christianity to their empire nor who founded the only city which rivals Rome.
Farther down the 1 km Forum are the Senatorial reflecting pools, dotted with fancy lights and fountains that spray over 40 m into the air. From the east end stretches the Via Julia, largest and longest urban road in the Roman Empire, not only an impressive 30 m across but almost 40 km long. At the Caesarian Wall, the Via Julia ends with the Porta Julia which connects through diverticula (side roads) to the Via Appia and Via Salaria.
While the Forum Magnum is Rome's most famous square, smaller Fora dot the cityscape. Next most noticeable, for the Milliarium Aureum, is the Forum Palatinum, west of Caesar's Palace. A hundred meters on all sides, this plaza has roads of equal width that extend in four directions. East-West is the Via Augusta, going deep into the Transtiberium District across the river; North-South is the Via Palatina, ending at the Forum Magnum. The former's eastern length is lined with ten Colossi of the greatest Caesars: Augustus, Sapiens, Marcus, Aurelius, Hadrian, Sulla, Comptus, Aegranus, Alexander I, Constantine and, in front of the Palace, Julius Caesar.
Around the Forum Palatinum are three triumphal arches, honoring the achievements of some of the city's most successful legislating emperors: West is the Arch of Augustus, tallest solitary arch in the city (58 m); North is the Arch of Valens and South is the Arch of Sextus Severus, both standing 32 m tall. Augustus' triumphal arch depicts scenes from the battles of Mutina, Phillipi and Actium along with victory scenes in Egypt and his own recognition as Venerable by the Senate of the Republic.
South of the Palatine are over half a dozen major basilicae. Most notable is the Basilica de Sanctus Julius, a cenotaph to the Dictator Gaius Julius Caesar that emphasizes his sacred status in Catholicism. It is one of the only ecclesiastical buildings dedicated to a non-Christian in the empire. Nearby is the Ministry of War, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Urbanization. Offices of a ministry are designated as Officium Res [X], filling in the [X] with the relevant title. The only other public buildings south of the Palatine are along the Via Legia, one being the quarters for servants working in the Palace and the other the Arx Palatina (Imperial Citadel).
An Arx (citadel) is a fortress constructed inside a city's walls which protects residents from external threats. In the case of the Arx Palatina, the threats tend to be internal in nature. 1,200 legionaries of the 101st legion, the emperor's personal army, are barracked within, equipped to monitor public activity in the Imperial District. This is not the largest citadel in Rome, however, and the greater Arx Vaticana will be covered later.
Another popular forum in the Imperial District is the Forum Sacrum, a sacred plaza for the Catholic Church. Within these ecclesiastical grounds are three ancient monuments: the Obeliscus Crucifica, an obelisk stolen from Karnak and adorned by a three meter golden crucifix; the Colossus Apostolus, a statue of Saint Peter as an apostle and the Colossus Pontificus, a statue of St. Peter in Pontificate-era imperial robes.
Between the Forum Sacrum and the Palatine lies the modest Forum Maecenam, dedicated to the fine arts. Audience entrances for the Odeon Magnus (Grand Theater of Rome), largest permanent theater in the world, are on the west side of the plaza. On the Via Maecena is the Basilica Artifica, an interior public space for artists, musicians and actors to freely practice their trade. An actor's school and an entrance to the Taberna Dionysii, the district's only brothel and bar, are opposite the basilica on the same road. Within the plaza itself are two statues. Looking at them from the Theater entrance they are the Colossus Magnus Magnus on the left, late Pontificate period's most illustrious emperor and the Colossus Maecenas on the right, to Augustus' friend and cultural leader, Gaius Cilnius Maecenas.
This plaza's grandest building is the Musaeum Imperium Artificis (Imperial Museum of Art). Built in 1232 as merely the world's second public museum, the MIA is 0.25 km² in area and possesses works of art dating back almost 2,000 years into Roman history. One exhibit features the hut of Romulus, the city's founder, with a few pieces dated to the 8th century BCE. MIA retains the title of largest museum of art on the planet and, by the agreement of most art critics, also the greatest one.
Sitting on the banks of the Tiber are two fora in the Imperial District. Northernmost is the Forum Scipium, marked by Scipio (II)'s Column. This 34 m tall monument is part of a fountain which shoots a stream of water an additional 20 m high, designed so precisely that on a calm day, the stream splits in two and lands in receptacles below without splashing the column.
Southernmost of these is the Forum Plebeium, location of the Basilica Res Publicae. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, the emperor resides in this minor palace for several hours hearing the pleas of his people directly. Its atrium is a waiting room able to comfortably hold over a 100 people or uncomfortably fit a thousand. Appointments are made by signing a wax tablet posted on the doors when no one is being received. Anyone thinking of crossing out other names will think twice after seeing the guards posted there. Its not often someone cancels once they sign up.
Elsewhere around the Plebeian Plaza are marble monuments with sections of the Constitution written on them and, inside the Basilica, are statues honoring the famous Plebeians of history, including Tiberius Gracchus, Marcus Agrippa and Gaius Archaedavincus.
Another minor plaza in the Imperial District is the Forum de Sancta Maria where the former Pantheon, now the Basilica de Sancta Maria de Roma (Basilica of Sacred Mary of Rome), is situated. This Basilica is a popular site of pilgrimage for the nobility that wish to pay respect to the ancient Romans, their ancestors, as it is the only church with a shrine honoring the old Roman Gods.
The Imperial District's last plaza is the Forum Alexandrium around the Mausoleo Alexandrios, final resting place of Caesars Alexander VI through XIII. It was built early in the reign of the Alexandrian emperors against the ancient law that forbids burial within the Pomerium - a law that has been waived for many prominent citizens, including St. Peter, whose body was relocated to a tomb above his original resting place as well as a host of other emperors and Popes over the millennia.
Diversoria (resorts) are destinations for tourists from across the empire. Romans adore holidays and it isn't surprising that there are 17 national holidays, while some jobs offer six weeks worth of paid vacation. This gives Romans plenty of time to visit other provinces; and for Romans around the world, their holidays are a chance to see their magnificent capital. For visitors, Rome has seven diversoria that cater to the very rich and very poor alike. A further 859 Stabula (public inns) offer basic accommodations without the flare of a resort, while visitors uninterested in either stabula or diversoria may stay with a hospes, a friend offering the hospitality of their home.
Grandest resort in Rome is the Diversorium Imperium Magnum (Imperial Grand Resort) across the river from the Palatine Hill, constructed around the fabulous Forum Claudium of the wealthy Claudian clan in 1567. Gaius Claudius Horatius (IV), seeking support from the Senate for his censorship, commissioned this stunning resort for rich citizens who couldn't be bothered maintaining a house while absent in the outer provinces.
Base price for a day at the DIM is 90 Dn, with hourly rates for a tenth of that - it's natural for Roman hotels to offer rooms by the hour. Those looking for a more sumptuous room need to fork out 600 Dn for the day, treating them to one of 42 senatorial suites with unlimited access to the pool, bar and buffet. The great and good (i.e. disgustingly rich) might spend 2,800 Dn - more than average Romans make in a year - for a day in one of the ten Cubicula Aura or Golden Suites. These rooms are regarded almost universally as the finest in the world, earning the DIM the charming nickname of Caesar's Palace, giving the rich an amusing joke when asked where they'll be staying in Rome, "Caesar's Palace of course! Where else?"
The other resort worth mentioning is the Villa Alearia (Gambler's House) that provides room to clientele of Rome's only casino. The original Villa was built by the Esquiline Collegiate after receiving permission from the Senate to built a gambling house for the people of Rome, at a time when the empire was turning Christian and practices like gambling and prostitution were being regulated close to home. It was rebuilt several times, most recently in the early 1800's. Due to economic pressure from the Aventine Collegiate, which bought the Collegium Esquilinum in 1745, the Villa Alearia remains the only public casino in Rome.
The less fortunate, or economically incompetent, also have a home in Rome. When Magnus II started to reform the empire to accommodate all classes of society, free public houses, cauponae, that offer basic accommodations were built in many of the major cities. An especially large number were built in Rome, though many have since been re-purposed due to insufficiency of demand.
MonumentsWithin Rome are over 500 monuments, ranging from cenotaphs, mausoleums, columns, colossi or even arches. Here is a list of the primary monuments of the Imperial District, mostly in the form MONUMENT (LOCATION):
- Grand Colossus of Sulla (Forum)
- Equestrian Marcus Aurelius (Forum)
- Colossi of the Imperials (Palatinum)
- Grand Arch of Constantine (Forum)
- Arch of Augustus (Palatinum)
- Arch of Sextus Severus (Palatinum)
- Arch of Valens (Palatinum)
- Arch of Aegranus (into Regio VII)
- Arch of Agricola (into Regio VI)
- Arch of the Republic (into Regio II)
- Scipio II's Column (Scipium)
- Volta's Tower (Palatinum)
- Obelisk of the Crucifix (Sacrum)
- Monument to the Apostles (Sacrum)
- Monument of the Papacy (Sacrum)
- Colossus of Adam (Sacrum)
- Colossus of Maecenas (Maecenam)
- Colossus of Magnus II (Maecenam)
- Saepta Julia (Field of Mars)
- Legacy Palace (Field of Mars)
Altogether, the Sixteen Districts constitute the province of Roma and the sacred land known as the Pomerium. Derived from ancient times, the Pomerium designates the legally and ecclesiastically defined limits of Rome. Land outside this zone is territory either owned or not yet owned by Rome. Officially, this land is the empire's only non-colonial territory, as the rest of the country is under its authority.
A military leader who commands imperium - Generalissimus, Legatus, Strategoi, Dux, whatever - immediately forfeits it to the Caesar upon crossing a gate on the Caesarian Wall. Only victorious generals, returning to Rome for a Triumph, maintain leadership of their legions but cannot issue orders of violence, e.g. arresting a criminal, quelling a riot or assassinating an official. For the most part, soldiers within the Pomerium are commanded by the Caesar alone. This law has been in effect since the civil war of the 11th century but was unwritten policy for most of Roman history. The Pomerium has unique sanctity for a mere plot of land, garnering more respect from Romans than Jerusalem or Aegyptus. Non-citizens aren't allowed anywhere near it without permission from the Senate or emperor. The urban sanctity of Rome was only violated twice: when popular generals crossed the Rubicon River into Italy with their armies to wrest control of the Eternal City for their own designs.
Rome has the second largest metropolitan economy in the world. The 1997 Census shows that it had a total GDP of US$14.515 trillion (290 billion Dn). As of 1999, 37 collegia ranked among the top 500 corporations are based in Rome. Sticking out among the rest is the Danuvius Labora Collegium, wealthiest guild on the planet, with a revenue last year of US$500 billion (ten billion Dn). Most guilds based here are dedicated to retail as nearly all banking, real estate and investment collegia base themselves in Constantinople.
A major national commercial center, Rome houses the headquarters of several of the empire's largest publishing, transportation, broadcasting and natural resource firms. The focal point of finance in Rome is its central business district, Regio IX, the Praefectura Aura (Golden District). Rome's forum pars (stock exchange), however, is situated on the Forum Magnum near the Senate. It is one of ten locations for the Forum Pars Romanum (FPR) that has the highest market capitalization of any finance medium and is the standard for measuring the empire's GDP, with a total share (partes) value of US$256.8 trillion (5.136 trillion Dn).
The Roman Empire is credited with creating the modern system of parsimonium (capitalism) followed by every country on the planet. Back in ancient Rome, commerce was run by organized bodies known as collegia, an equivalent to the word guild or corporation. As collegia expanded themselves to encompass multiple cities worth of business, their influence on national affairs started to be noticed by the Senate. By 848, legislation was coming into existence that regulated the relationships of collegia, effectively creating a national standard for commerce. Included among these regulations was the requirement that a guild openly declare the value of its capital stock as owned by its investors in parts. This facilitated investment in large collegia by creating the flow of information necessary for an open market of business shares (partes).
According to the Corporate Exchanges Act of 1068, trades of shares in a collegium must be done over a public medium of exchange, established as the Forum Pars Romanum in 1197. Exchanges can still be private, in the sense that the guild does not publicly offer shares of its stock, but trades must be monitorable by the Senate.
Some guilds predate modern capitalism. One of the most unusual of these is the Mercatura Collegium (Commerce Guild), one part corporation and one part gang. Founded when traders were scared of how an invasion by Attila the Hun would affect Roman commerce, the Commerce Guild was from the start designed to safeguard the interests of wealthy businessmen. This corporation operates behind the scenes of everyday business, setting next month's price of bread or oil by controlling supply, settling disputes between guilds trading in the same market or focusing efforts to lobby to the Senate. Unsurprisingly, the Commerce Guild's Centurio (Chief Executive Officer) is one of the most powerful men in Rome. The purpose of the MC is ostensibly as a union of sorts for the leaders of other corporations. Thus, even Caesar Alexander I supported it by offering them an office building, the Basilica Crassa, as a new headquarters.
Other prominent corporations deal directly with the Senate, performing some duties traditionally the responsibility of the government. In the densely populated Regio VII, the Aventine District, the massive Aventine Collegiate keeps the peace with its own law force, and distributes the Annona (grain ration) and Amphora (olive oil ration) that only residents of Rome are privileged to receive.
Capital of a wealthy empire, Rome has always been spoiled with construction projects and infrastructure growth. Aqueducts, roads, power lines, transit, telecommunications - these things are as advanced around here as anywhere else in the world. No cities are logistically as well supported as Rome.
Electricity flows in from eleven major Italian power plants. Of the power supplied to Rome, 650 GW comes from nuclear fusion, a consistent 18 GW comes from hydroelectric and the rest comes as demand warrants from orbital solar plants beaming it to ground stations as microwaves. Hydroelectricity and nuclear fusion are relatively inflexible methods of generating power so the Helios network of orbital power stations directs whatever energy is required to fill Rome's remaining demand.
Telecommunications are carried into the city by varying means. The Cratis (internet) works over fiber optic cables connected to servers across the entire Roman Empire, going over the Atlantic and beneath the Pacific. Phones are linked by fiber optic and satellite connections, tying together wireless handhelds and landlines. Subsidiary communications like holographic-calling and telescreen programming are mostly transmitted by satellite.
TransportationThe Subterra Roma (Rome Underground) is a 974 km rapid transit network that serves 450 stations, 98% of which is under the ground. Navigating this complex array of railways can be easily done with the Subterra Carta, an unscaled, simplified map of the system's 21 lines. Six different lines meet at the busy Tesla Station in the Golden District. This massive structure extends 260 meters below ground and one km across at its longest. 11.3 million passengers are served daily, up to a total of 3.9 billion riders in 1999. The farthest station is Julian Station, where the continental rail lines meet and the long running Caeliportum Civitum Romanum (Roman National Airport) was built 90 km away from Rome (in accordance with legal standards).
Above ground the only public transportation comes from stationes rotacula (bicycle stations) offering a vehicle for a one Dn deposit that is returned after parking the bike. Otherwise, public transportation is free in Rome, a gift from the Senate ever since light rails were operated above ground in 1538.
Traversing the city by road is very popular in the Roman Empire, a proven method to arrive where you intended without hassle and with improvement to your health. Viae in the Eternal City are built to the highest standards of workmanship, some surviving from the 16th century in good condition. After 9 pm and before 7 am, vehicles are allowed through the city gates to deliver goods to shops or ferry residents out. The lack of vehicular street traffic during the day is a classic quality of Roman cities, setting them apart from smaller towns.
Most populous settlement on the planet, Rome houses 23,863,000 citizens or almost 1.11% of the Imperium. These people are a rather homogeneous group for a Roman city - 86% Roman, 5% Greek, 3% Phoenician and 2% Egyptian - but tourists from across the empire give its streets a color like any in Syria or Bengalia. However, non-citizens are a rarity in the imperial city as they are forbidden except by decree of the Senate. When a Maya ambassador or a Japanese business mogul visits he can expect dozens of invitations to dinner parties, as every patrician get excited when rumors spread of someone exotic walking the streets.
Population growth has slowed to a modest 0.5% per year in recent decades - after increasing from 13.8 million to the present 23.8 million in only a century. Today, this multitude is spread over an expansive 20,106 km² for a density of 1187 residents per km². Full of parks and gardens while lacking skyscrapers, Rome cannot have anywhere near the population density of a place like Japan. Some districts, Regio VII especially, are more densely populated like normal Western cities, exceeding 4,000 people per km².
As of 1997, by the highly accurate count of the Census, Rome had 22,591,753 residents, split evenly between genders and with a 0.2% unemployment rate. Also reported in the Census were 896,541 patricians, 5.7 children per woman, 224,980 Jews, a median household income of 2540 Dn (US$127,000) and 100% for both fluency in Latin and Roman citizenship among residents of the Eternal City.
The wealthiest district is Regio V, the Praefectura Valentissima, where luxurious mansions for the city's patricians are segregated from the relative poverty of other residents. This regio has the highest concentration of wealth of any administrative region in any country. Average household income is in the millions of denarii and some of the richest individuals in the Imperium own their primary palatia there. By contrast, the Aventine District is a dense mass of doma with few gardens, monuments or public buildings where the average household barely makes more than 2,200 Dn in a year. And yet that's still over $100,000 US.
Rome is renowned for the level of education it provides its citizens, as are any other civilized Roman cities. Roughly 2,800 public schools and 850 private or religious schools - all known as grammatici - operate out of there. This is the extent of the city's lower education. In higher education, over 1,730,000 post-minor students attend at least one of either the two Universales (universities) or four Academiae (academies) in the University District.
In the imperial education system, a university is defined as a collection of facilities made of multiple academies offering a concurrent curriculum. The largest, in Rome and the world, is the Grammaticus Universales, the historical model of an imperial university. Its students body consists of 728,000 students attending at least one of its eight distinct academies. These facilities are devoted to Engineering, Theoretical Science & Mathematics, Anthropology & History, Law & Politics, Business, Teaching, Medicine and Philosophy.
The other university is the Academia Imperia Scientiae (Imperial Academy of Science), an influential institute for education and research in a scientific context. It is made up of four major academies: the Physics Academy, the Materials Academy, the Medical Academy and the Academy of Advanced Research. Around 590,000 people attend the AIS, making it the fourth largest university in the world and third largest in the empire. Many of the major scientific and technological advances of the last 8 centuries - including the discovery of 24 elements, production of nearly a thousand materials and founding of relativistic and quantum physics - originate in the halls of this most illustrious center of higher learning.
Solitary academiae offer a more extensive education dedicated to a particular subject-matter. This is the only path to receiving an Academy Degree and being named a Doctor (PhD) of a field. Rome's academies are: the Academia Lingua, for study of Latin and Latin literature; the Academia Artium Prodigialis, for study of the plastic and performing arts; the Academia Teslae, for advanced study of mathematics, and the Academia Augustana, for becoming a lawyer or legislative philosopher. Altogether, these academies boast a student body of 420,000. Nevertheless, their campuses, classes and staff are completely separate.
The streets of Rome are monitored by three policing organizations: the Praetorian Guard, an ancient order of imperial bodyguards; the 101st legion, Caesar's personal army, and watchmen hired by local collegia.
The Guard dedicates 10,000 highly trained soldiers to maintaining order in the nicer parts of the city. As is the custom, lictors (national bodyguards) for magistrates are replaced with Praetorian guards during their stay in Rome as the fasces, which lictors must carry, is not permitted in Rome's streets. One of the primary functions of the Guard and 101st legion is to prepare areas of Rome for the emperor when he leaves his Palatia. Discretion is desirable to a degree but his security is top priority.
The 101st's complement in Rome consists of 6000 legionaries and their officers without a general, whose role is taken by the emperor. Overall, residents favor the 101st legionaries as their police because they lack the arrogance of Praetorian guards and are more disciplined than watchmen.
Crimes rarely happen in Rome, limited to minor gang violence or rowdy adolescents. Only about 34 homicides, 860 robberies and no counts of arson were reported last year. While the lack of poverty keeps crime rates at a natural minimum, illegal activity is deterred by prohibition of firearms in the city walls and maintenance of all buildings to a high standard of structural conditions.
Management of a city of Rome's population size and area is a similar challenge to its logistical maintenance. As the seat of an empire's federal government, Rome is uniquely suited to handle these challenges. Every specific subject that requires administration - water, food, electricity, cleanliness, public order, etc - has the primary headquarters of a Ministerium to manage it. The direct control each ministry has over its domain in the capital ensures an elevated level of efficiency beyond what is possible in far off provinces.
The Capitol also uniquely exhibits the character of a city, a province and a country. All three aspects come together in the person of the de jure leader of Rome, the Caesar. Unlike other provinces, Rome is not controlled by Rome; it is the one independent city in the empire and, as a province, does not need a Praetor to run its affairs.
A Praefectus Urbs (City Magistrate) runs the more tedious affairs of Rome like distributing the free grain and olive oil rations, coordinating the local policing forces (without controlling them) or checking the conditions of viae, aquae and liniae. Nevertheless, his office is quite prestigious.
Like the rest of the Imperium, Rome is divided into regios whose populations are represented by senators. Those of the Capitol are geographically determined though most are inhabited by the consistent 900,000 citizens of every imperial regio. Those that are not are compensated in some political way by additional votes for their senator or special treatment in terms of bread and circuses. Thus Rome avoids some of the pitfalls which plague countries that give special administrative status to their federal capitals.
Regios of the glorious city of Rome are the following:
|I||Imperial District||Praetorian Guard, 101st Legion|
|II||Helian District||Praetorian Guard|
|III||Transtiberium District||Praetorian Guard|
|IV||Vatican District||101st Legion|
|V||Valentissima District||Praetorian Guard, 101st Legion|
|VII||Aventine District||Collegium Aventinum|
|VIII||Valerian District||Danuvius Labora Collegium, 101st Legion|
|IX||Golden District||Praetorian Guard|
|XII||Honorial District||101st Legion|
|XIII||Julian District||101st Legion|
|XIV||Ostian District||Praetorian Guard, ???|
|XV||Industrial District||Danuvius Labora Collegium|
Global in reach, Rome's culture influences billions of lives. The two cities that provide the values, beliefs and trends of Roman culture are Parisium and Rome itself. The Academia Artium Bonum (Academy of Fine Arts), one of three imperial academies devoted to the fine arts, was founded in 1208 and remains the world's largest school of arts. Talented artists, playwrights and actors from Motias Lugius, leader of the Renascie artistic revival movement in theater and music, to Quintus Piso, who painted the Ascension of Augustus, trained there.
A prominent icon of Roman fine arts is the Musaeum Imperium Artificis in Regio I. As well as exhibiting some of the Legion's most famous plundered artifacts, it possesses the largest collection of imperial art. An entire wing is dedicated to the works of Archaedavincus while other sections are arranged by artistic style and time period. The museum displays an estimated 36,000 works but its most famous exhibit is the Aula Historiae (Hall of History), a two hundred meter hallway featuring a history of Rome from the Raising of Romulus and Remus to the Moon Landing. Its latest tableau is the Massacre at Wentria, which depicts the city's destruction by a nuclear bomb. Every year, MIA gets over 14 million visitors, no doubt looking for the finest exhibit of fine art.
The operational center of the Lingua Latina, a language spoken by almost four billion people, is the Academia Lingua in Rome. Founded in 1221, the Language Academy was charged by the Senate and Magnus the Great to organize grammatical rules and add words to the language. Over 340,000 distinct terms have been added by the AL and another 17,000 old words modified for simplicity. Nevertheless, its greatest invention was the Latin Codex. Based on the concept of Korean script, the Codex was completed in 1764 as a means of conveying the maximum amount of information in as small a space as possible. This code consists of 60 typolus (symbols), representing syllables, combined into words no bigger than Japanese kanji. Due to its simplicity and efficiency, the code has become common on government documents but is never used in public messages or signs as it is only understood by lawyers, doctors, magistrates and soldiers; hardly enough people for public circulation.
Magnus' Odeon Magnus is the largest theater in the world, with a capacity of 20,530 people. Theatrical pieces are held there daily by local and travelling groups alike but the Odeon is most famous for its dozens of weekly, monthly and yearly traditions. Sundays are for screening the latest blockbuster film in the evening and a classic movie in the morning. Wednesdays are days of constant orchestral performances from 10 AM till nightfall. Every January 16 the Surgum Augusti, legendary play of Motias Lugius, is shown and on the emperor's birthday, his choice of play or movie is featured all day. Discluding banquets and other private events, the Odeon Magnus receives close to 21 million visitors a year as measured by ticket sales. Fifteen other theaters can be found around Rome, most of which can hold between 2,000 to 8,000 people. These have their own theatrical events a couple of times a week and often serve as enormous venues for movies, public announcements, concerts and private events. For the less discerning citizens, there are 310 movie theaters around the city with anywhere from one to fifteen screens. The Transtiberium's massive Pinacotheatrum is the largest with 22 screens and enough seating for 17,000 patrons in its many rooms.
Rome has earned itself a reputation as a nexus of culinary innovation that stems from its ethnic diversity and number of rich patrons of ambitious chefs. No other city can boast about as varied a palette of foods as Rome. While its tabernae tend only to serve Italian dishes, there are countless restaurants serving Egyptian, Chinese, Celtic, Greek or other exotic foods. Likewise, the markets in Rome sell foods from across the empire and beyond so that the tastes of even the most peculiar Romans can be satisfied. Public restaurants are only known to serve two meals - according to time of day - prandium, a sort of brunch, and cena, the infamous Roman dinner. Nearly all imperial cities follow this pattern. Delis in Rome, as in Parisium and Alexandria, are uniquely known for their policies of hosting lavish dinner parties for the nobility. Here alone, some restaurants display a plaque stating that CAESAR HIC EDIT (Caesar ate here), regardless of its truth.
A national crossroads for nearly two millennia, Rome is the most popular tourist destination on Earth, exceeding those cities that do not restrict visitors by citizenship. Last year saw the arrival of 102 million tourists in Rome, 30% of which came from Italy and Greece. While the city's cultural and historical destinations attract tens of millions of people on their own, the numerous museums, theaters, churches, hotels, restaurants and arenas are equally as attractive for people living anywhere the empire. On any given day, Rome's population swells by up to two million from the tourists visiting its sights.
Despite its attractiveness to tourists, most of Rome is catered towards its residents and very few establishments have appeared to take advantage of the tourist industry since doing so is looked down upon by patricians and equestrians, and is frowned on by the municipal and federal governments. This attitude to non-residents actually enhances the appeal of Rome, ensuring an authentic local experience for every visitor.
The apogee of sports in Rome is the Great Colosseum (Colosseum Ingens) or Aelian Amphitheater in the Imperial District. Every day around ten separate events take place in this gigantic stadium. Announcements to the public, religious festivals and sports matches can all be watched there. While some events are regular, every day has its peculiar schedule. The only daily event, occurring without fail, is the morning announcement by either the Caesar or Italian Consul that declares the day's activities.
The forum around the Colosseum is one of Rome's busiest plazas, just behind the Forum Magnum. Entry to the base of the Colosseum from its forum is through any of its 720 ground-level archways. Contestants enter the arena directly from underground passages (a hypogeum) and when a home team is playing, it enters through the Caesar's private entrance from his Palatia.
From ground level, four staircases lead into the different classes of seating. The Sedis Vilis are entered by the south staircase and are free for everyone. The stairs finish at a hallway on the top floor of the Colosseum where the marble benches are situated, farthest from the arena. The east stairs go to the Sedis Paris, marble chairs available for the price of 0.50 Dn. In total there's enough seating for 200,000 spectators on the benches and a further 100,000 in the more comfortable Sedis Paris.
The west staircase goes almost midway up the Colosseum where the 40,000 Sedis Lepidis, for 30 Dn, await some big-spender. These chairs have cushions for the back, seat and arm rests - washed monthly - and are assigned by ticket. After the Sedis Lepidis are the 9,000 Sedis Pulchris. For a hefty 150 Dn, a spectator can enjoy the show from a reclining chair with snacks and refreshments provided all day by paid workers. With any of the priced seats, patrons can stay inside for as long as desired but must pay again if they return to ground level.
The most expensive seating are the 500 arena-side Cubicula. Every room features lecti for four people and a table where meals are served over the day - the perfect location for a small dinner gathering. These must be reserved ahead of time with an immediate payment of 2000 Dn. Lastly, the emperor owns a personal stand on the west side with couches, chairs and a beautiful throne right at its center.
Gladiatorial combat remains the most popular sport in the Colosseum though it has been toned down from the bloody death matches of ancient Rome. Modern gladiators come in three varieties: martial artists, actors staging spectacles between anachronistic warriors - a monthly occurance - and classical gladiators, fitted with advanced armor which locks up after a "killing" blow.
Actual fights to the death between slaves became impossible following the emancipation of the slaves in 1449. However, it was not difficult to find citizens willing to risk their lives for glory in the arena and gladiatorial combat was reinstated in 1467. Mixed with the seekers of fame and fortune were criminals sentenced to death, the arena being a common choice for those who were going to be executed. Seven victories meant a public pardon.
The Gladiatores Romanes Collegium, Italy's foremost gladiatorial guild, invented suits of armor and weapons in 1962 that would allow for non-lethal - but equally dramatic - combat so that they would stop losing popular combatants. Blows to limbs, say on the elbow, would cause the sections of armor that would be incapacitated to lock up - impact velocity and blade direction taken into account. In 1971, changes were made so that the weapons were still lethal but were prevented by electromagnets from fatally striking the torso or head while allowing the severing of limbs which could be reattached after the fight. This modification saved the sport when people were becoming less enthused with its modern bloodlessness.
Four other major sporting events are held in the Colosseum. Thursdays and Fridays are for weekly track and field tournaments, open to anyone wishing to compete. In Winter, the annual Nike Tournament begins, for the popular ball sport, Ullapilla, based on the Maya ullamaliztli. Matches happen across the empire, with the finals and a few matches along the way held here in Rome. Horse and chariot races are featured almost daily, a common sport on which to place bets. Of course, all transactions must be made in the Villa Alearia. The last major sport comes to Rome in the Summer for the Bellatoria Cup, a sport invented by legionaries in their conquest of Germania and adapted into a civilian sport in the 800's. This is the national Roman sport, played by over a billion people at home, at school and in provincial tournaments, of which the Bellatoria Cup is the grandest.
Besides sports and gladiatorial games, numerous other activities take place in the Aelian Amphitheater. Mock naval battles may be among the most spectacular but the Roman public enjoys plays and concerts there as well. Other days, the Colosseum is used for state funerals, technology exhibitions or showing a movie to the emperor.
A final use for the Aelian Amphitheater is an arena for track events of the Ludi Capitolani when Rome is the host city. Ludi last several months, thus the spectacle that arises from hosting it is amazing. Last time Rome was the host was 1932 when the emperor moved the Games from Athens in an attempt to distract the public of the Capitol from the exhaustion of the Second World War.
Deep in the Imperium, it is unusual for legionaries to be needed but nothing is risked when Rome is on the line. An entire legion - the 101st - devotes itself to the protection of Rome and the Caesar at all costs. One of the foremost fighting forces on Earth, they train in dozens of combat styles and are outfitted with legionary equipment peculiar in both appearance and function. Legionaries of the 101st are unfaillingly loyal to their emperor.
Their primary barrack in the city is the Arx Vaticana across the Tiber from the Palace on Vatican Hill. The Vatican Citadel is a massive complex within polygonal fortifications several layers deep - a perfect demonstration of the star fortress design that continued dominating Roman military engineering into the first world war. This citadel in particular has 11 bastions laid out in a beautiful symmetrical design.
Within its impenetrable walls - no exaggeration as the outer fortifications are no less than 6.8 m thick granite - are barracked 3,000 legionaries of the 101st. A plasma bubble can be projected around the entire citadel by electromagnetic emitters. In extreme circumstances, three high-energy lasers deploy from the roofs to vaporize incoming nuclear missiles before impact. The Arx's defenses are so impressive that its praefecti have proudly boasted that "if Rome fell, the Arx Vaticana would not". But should the city need to fight back, bunkered inside are thousands of hypersonic missiles that operate independently of national missile control systems.
Unbeknownst to its residents, Rome has military defenses that far exceed the protection of a mere concrete wall. Every fifty meters along the Caesarian Wall are a ballistae radionervae capable of targeting projectiles inbound for the city up to a speed of nearly 17,000 m/s. A single artillery piece can switch betwen targets with enough speed to stop dozens of incoming shells per second.
Rome's most recent fortification of sorts was installed after the near obliteration of the city by pre-emptive nuclear artillery strike in the last world war. In order to protect the Eternal City from every conceivable threat - even a direct strike from nuclear weapons - the largest plasma bubble tower ever built was installed underneath the Tiber at Rome's exact geometric center. When active the tower would rise from the river and, extended by projectors dotting the city, generate an opaque shield around Rome. An estimated 70-80% of the energy of a nuclear strike would be absorbed or reflected by this enormous shield. Truly, the empire will spare nothing to protect its capital.