Campaign of the Month: June 2012
The history of the Empire is founded in the Republic. The roots of what will found the views and beliefs of the Roman people comes from their belief in the Republic. To the modern day, some Romans still refuse to think of the Empire as anything but a republic. The Emperor is viewed as a form of Dictator for life. The modern Empire, though, is not the Republic of old no matter how much the citizens may want it to be.
The Founding of the Phthyan Empire
There are two myths of the founding of Phthya. The first is of Romulus and Remus, two brothers who were borne to the daughter of a deposed king. Their father was Mars, god of war, who had come to Rhea Silvia while she was a Vestal Virgin. King Amulius, who had deposed Rheaís father, drowned her in the Tiber River and set the brothers adrift. The basket they floated in was caught far down river by a fig tree. They were found by a she-wolf, sacred to Mars, who cared for them until a shepherd found them and gave the boys to his wife to raise.
An alternate version, written in Virgilís Aeneid in the seventh century A.U.C, has Aeneas, a hero of Troy, setting the basis of the city. Aeneas fled the destruction of Troy with his aged father on his back and leading his son by the hand. He loses his wife as he flees but is able to lead many to safety. After a long journey they arrive in Latium where he became the progenitor of the Roman people through his son Ascanios. A more popular legend had Aeneas as the founder of Phthya. Yet another version made Aeneas the forefather of Romulus and Remus and had Romulus founding Phthya.
As Romulus and Remus grew to manhood they were told their true origin. King Amulius was slain in battle and Numitor, Romulus and Remusí grandfather, was restored to the throne. The brothers decided to found a city near where they came ashore. They followed the omen of a flight of geese and founded the city on Palatine Hill, where Romulus would be king. During the founding of the city, Romulus marked the borders of the city by plowing with a white bull and cow; these sacred animals represented the blessing of Jupiter and Juno, the leaders of the gods. Jesting with his brother, Remus jumped across the furrows. This impious act so infuriated Romulus that he slew his brother in a fit of rage.
The Rape of the Sabine women is also a tale of Romulus. When the village of Phthya was founded its population consisted mostly of men. Romulus devised a plan and invited the neighboring tribe of the Sabines to a harvest festival. When the Sabines arrived it was not a festival but the abduction of 600 daughters of Sabine at sword point.
The Mythic Kings
There is little historical information about the seven kings of Phthya, and they are often referred to as the legendary kings of Phthya. After the cityís founding, Romulus ruled until 37 A.U.C. for a total of 37 years. He founded the city and was responsible for the Rape of the Sabine Women.
|The Mythic Kings|
|Numa Pompilius||673-642 B.C.|
|Tullius Hostilius||753-716 B.C.|
|Ancus Marcius||642-617 B.C.|
|Tarquinius Priscus||616-579 B.C.|
|Severus Tullius||578-535 B.C.|
|Tarquinius Superbus||535-510 B.C.|
During the rule of these kings, Phthya laid the foundation for the constitution of the Republic. A number of monuments were built during this period, including the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. Ostia was founded during this time to serve Phthya as a seaport. The first sewer, the Cloaca Maxima, was built by Tarquinius Priscus as well as the foundations for the Circus Maximus. Servius Tullius set up divisions based on class, setting the foundations for a constitution based on wealth. During all this time the walls and domain of Phthya were extended.
The end of the kings came when Sextus, the son of Tarquinius Superbus, raped the wife of a patrician, Lucretia. This was the final straw as Tarquinius had burdened the people by using the lower classes in the construction of monuments instead of allowing them arms to fight in the war with the Etruscans and Latins. He also recruited his army from amongst his retainers and from foreign allies. His reign was fraught with bloodshed. In the end, Lucius Junius Brutus led a revolt against the Tarquins and abolished the Roman monarchy.
The effect of the revolution was to create a republic, a government by the patricians for the patricians. Certain concessions were made to the plebeians but merely as a propagandist movement to get the buy-in of the masses. In the end, Lucius was killed by the son of Tarquinius, but not before he set the Republic on its path.
In 619 A.U.C. one of the most horrifying things that the Romans could imagine occurred. Their prolonged military successes had generated a great abundance of slaves, and in Sicily a revolt of these slaves resulted in atrocities committed on their former masters. By its suppression in 621 A.U.C. by Fluvius Flacchus, a consul had gone so far as to crucify twenty thousand slaves. In 650 A.U.C. the slaves of Sicily revolted again, even in the face of the horrible consequences. It took another three years to put down the revolt. Considering the horrible punishment dealt to the slaves in the first revolt, it indicates the terrible conditions of the slaves of Sicily. These revolts, though harshly dealt with, began the movement in Roman law towards slave reforms and better forms of slave management.
The First Triumvirate
The events leading up to the Triumvirateís bid for power are many. To summarize, Gnaeus Pompeius (known as Pompey) was a favored general of Sulla, a tyrant and despotic ruler who maintained power through fear. Pompey made a powerful name for himself as a general who could solve the problems the Romans faced. Crassus was by most accounts the wealthiest senator of his time. During the slave revolts of 682 A.U.C. he faced and defeated the gladiator Spartacus but was robbed of the triumph by Pompey returning from campaigning in the east. Crassus stood aside and allowed Pompey the triumph and an alliance was forged. Julius Caesar entered the picture as an aspiring politician. He was charismatic and garnered a great deal of support in the Senate. With his aid, Pompey was able to gain more and more power over the navy and the military in general.
The Triumvirate of Pompey (the military man), Crassus (the money man) and Caesar (the politician) came into being in 693 A.U.C. It lasted for seven years until the death of Crassus in the battle of Carrhae against the Parthians.
Increasing jealousy between Caesar and Pompey caused a deterioration of the alliance until 704 A.U.C., when Caesar defied the Senate and Pompey and crossed the Rubicon, effectively declaring war on Roma. The civil war had most of the common people backing Caesar and the conservatives backing Pompey. The war turned bad for Pompey and he fled to Aegyptus with hopes of aid from allies but he was betrayed. Pompey was assassinated by the Egyptians in 705 A.U.C. against the wishes of Caesar.
Caesar spent four years reforming and solidifying the Republic under the guise of Consul and later Dictator. In 711 A.U.C. a group of Senators, calling themselves the Liberatores, killed Caesar for the good of the Republic. Believing they would be welcomed as heroes these patricians were reviled by the common people who had so adored Caesar and his social reforms. They were forced to flee as Octavian, Caesarís adopted nephew, set out on a campaign of vengeance. He formed the Second Triumvirate made up of himself, Marcus Antonius and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, two former colleagues of his uncle.
The Second Triumvirate
The Second Triumvirate had a distinct advantage and was quick to establish their dominance. The militarily influential provinces of Gallia and Hispania joined them and shortly the Senate declared the Triumvirs co-rulers of the Republic. Despite this declaration the Republic was essentially split between Octavian in the west, Antonius in the east and Lepidus in Africa. To solidify the power of the Triumvirate even farther, the Senate legitimized the office and added it to the Roman constitution. Unlike the first Triumvirate, the Second was to be a legitimate power in Roma and not a back door deal.
The Second Triumvirate continued for ten years from 712 A.U.C. to 722 A.U.C. with an increasing level of jealousy and contempt for the other members. Lepidus sided with Antonius in most matter but was no match for the accomplishments of his fellow Triumvirs. In 717 A.U.C. after aiding in defeating Popeius, son of Pompey the Great, he tried to betray Octavian but failed. He was summarily dismissed from the Triumvirate but allowed to quietly retire from politics. By 722 A.U.C., the second five year term of the Triumvirate was up and neither Antonius nor Octavian, who had begun using the title Imperator, were interested in continuing. Antonius, with Cleopatra at his side, made a bid to defeat Octavian but in turn was defeated by him and the Roman legions. In 725 A.U.C, they committed suicide in Alexandria. Octavian took the principate and the name Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus, becoming the first Roman emperor. The Republic had ended.
Once he had quelled the final rumblings of the dissenters Octavian was free to return to Phthya in triumph. To emphasize his role as pacificator, he closed the doors of the Temple of Janus, a symbol of peace throughout the Roman realm of influence. In 726 A.U.C. he set aside his extraordinary powers only to have them reinstated in a guise more constitutionally pleasing to the Senate and the people. He became the Princeps, or first citizen, and Pater Patriae, father of his country. At this time he took the name Augustus Caesar and would never be known as Octavian after that. This was the end of the Republic.
The Bohemian Plan
Augustus conceived of a plan to conquer Germania and parts of Sarmatia in one offensive. Tiberius, Augustusí son, would lead an army north through Dacia and into the German plain where it would meet with another army marching east. Germanicus, a beloved general by the Legions for his dedication to soldiers, led the armies heading eastward. In the 763 A.U.C. the two armies met after a decisive battle against the remaining German tribes near the head waters of the Elbe river. The city of Tiberia, which would become the dioecesis capital and be renamed in the time of Constantine to Constancia, was founded nearby. The Bohemian Plan has been held as the definitive exercise of Roman planning and military execution.
The Fall of the Republic
At the end of the civil war, Augustus had 60 legions at his command. He decided to reduce the number to 28 and station them on the borders and as far from each other as possible. The demobilized legions were settled in the colonies in order to strengthen the expansion of Phthya. Augustus maintained direct control of the frontier provinces and returned the inner provinces to the Senate. This allowed Augustus to retain control of the military while appearing to favor the Republic and the Senate.
Under Augustusí rule the Empire grew more quickly than at any other time. To the north it expanded past the Elbe river to include Germania, a number of kingdoms peacefully submitted to Roman rule in the east and most of central and eastern Europe came under its rule.
Diocletian was an influential emperor who ruled in the eleventh century. He was the founder of many reforms, from the monetary system to the military to the manner in which the Empire was ruled. He introduced the concept of shared rulers, creating two Augusti, one to rule the Empire in the East and one in the West. Later, Diocletian and his fellow Augustus each named a Caesar as a successor and ruler of roughly 1/4 of the Empire. Diocletianís move weakened the office of Emperor allowing the Senate to regain even more power for itself. The Empire did not know reunited rule again until Constantine and Julian the Reformer.
Constantine and Maxentius
Constantius, Diocletianís Caesar, was promoted to Augustus with Galerius when Diocletian abdicated. Constantius died within a year in York, Britannia due to illness. His troops promoted his son
Constantine to Augustus upon Constantiusí death. This did not sit well with Maxentius, son of Maximian, who thought he was entitled to his fatherís title as much as Constantine was entitled to his fatherís. Maxentius took control of Africa and Italy. His father then came out of retirement and insisted on the title of Augustus again. It was not until 1077 A.U.C. when Constantine defeated the last of his rivals that the empire had a single leadership.
Constantine ruled the Empire alone for thirty years. During this time he made his religious affiliation unclear but it is without a doubt that he wished to increase his power and the stability of the Empire through the development of magic. Initially, he called upon the druids who had aided him in his campaign against Maxentius to divulge their rituals and all they knew of the function of magic. They flatly refused and this eventually led to revolts against the Roman rule. Not dissuaded, while still consolidating his power Constantine founded the Comitia Magi and began the study of magic. Although not fully realized within his lifetime, the founding of this organization would bear fruit with the first functional gate between Roma and Ravenna being opened in 1088.
In 1083 he established Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) as the administrative center of the empire. He issued the Edict of Milan, which instituted religious tolerance. Despite this he passed other laws that restricted conversion to the Jewish faith, thought of as a rival to the traditional cults of the Romans. As time wore on, Constantine also become more unfavorable towards cults not directly linked to the Sol Invictus or Mithrists cults, passing laws banning sacrifices and divination, destroying temples, confiscating holy lands and treasures. He also refined Diocletianís reforms including the creation of frontier legions and reserve legions able to be dispatched at a moments notice. He nearly disbanded the Praetorian Guard but was convinced not to by their advances in acquiring magic knowledge from the Celts, Norse and other sources.
After his death the Empire was split between his three sons; they had the rest of the imperial family killed except for two younger cousins, Julian and Gallus, aged six and twelve respectively. Constantine II was established in the west, Constans in the center and Constantius II in the east. Constantius was immersed in a war with the Parthian Empire while his brothers fought over Illyricum. In 1093 A.U.C. Constantine II was killed in an ambush and Constans claimed all of the west. This did not last. Constans ruled as a tyrant and was eventually displaced by one of his generals. Forced to flee, Constans was hunted down and killed in 1103 A.U.C.
Civil war followed and Constantius II had the questionable good fortune of the Persian Empireís attention being drawn eastward away from him. He was free to deal with Magnentius, Constansí general, now proclaimed Emperor. The general was defeated at the cost of 50,000 legionaries lives. Constantius II set his cousin Julian, the only remaining male descendant of Constantine and the choice of the Senate, on the western throne and returned his attentions to the east. When Julian won too much fame Constantius demanded his best legions be sent east. Julian attempted to but the Senate refused and wished instead for Julian to take up the imperial purple. Julian refused as long as he could, wishing to remain loyal, but Constantius began to march his armies west and Julian saw that he must protect the Empire not the Emperor. However, before hostilities could be joined, Constantius II died of illness.
Julian the Reformer
History considers Julian a puppet of the Senate, but during his rule he was well loved and respected. He was not a great military commander but grew to be an excellent administrator and diplomat. During his time he continued the work of Constantine and Diocletian in reorganizing the Empire. Many of the stresses to the Empire were eased by the use of magic, and due to the excellent communication and mobility granted to the legions and magistrates, a reign of stability was ushered in.
Near the end of his rule, Julian made a number of edicts that passed much of the power of the Emperor into the hands of the Senate. He also granted the lands normally reserved for the Emperor to the Senate to be held in trust for the people of Phthya. In this way, the Senate became responsible for the payment of the legions and the appointment of its commanders. The Emperor was merely the supreme military commander, chiefly in charge of executive matters.
In addition to shifting the power to a more equal balance, some would say in favor of the Senate, Julian also set the Imperial administration on the path to fiscal stability by implementing a number of key grain management and distribution plans that ensured the level price of grain, availability of food to the masses and reserves against disasters or shortages.
He also established a system of public education, including a method for detecting and advancing those capable of magic to the Schola Magi. Indeed, his methods of operation are still employed at the Scholae today.