Chapter XI Gnaeus Julius Maximius 1385 AUC / 632 AD - 1392 AUC / 639 AD
Marcus Julius Aurelius's successor was his son Gnaeus Julius Maximius. Maximius was noted for being known to have served as Tribune in the Lenape Provincia.​

In 1385 AUC, Weroance Denta-Lupus of the Powhatan brought his armies to bear against Elysium. Attacking the Limes with siege engines like ladders and rams, the tribals broke through with an army of ~150,000 warriors. Capturing Nova Toletum Emerita (OTL: Pittsburgh) and the governor of Lenape, Weroance Denta-Lupus waged guerrilla warfare against the pursuing legions. For the next two years, Denta-Lupus managed to evade direct confrontation despite the Elysium advantage of speed and supplies, as the size of his armies forced Elysium to concentrate its own army during the pursuit. By 1387, Denta-Lupus's troops were exhausted by a harsh Winter, during which the legions did not repeat the mistakes of the previous Winter - never relaxing from their pursuit. Low on all the necessities of an unorganized army - food, rest, and pleasures - the Powhatan army became less mobile and was eventually forced to fight what was now five legions trying to deal with the persistent crisis.

In a battle between 100,000 barbarians and an organized army of 30,000 legionaries escorted by 10,000 sagittarii Auxiliary (archers), there was no contest. Denta-Lupus may even have been a better commander than the Legatus Augusti pro praetore of the Elysium forces but his resources were of such inferior quality that his skills meant little. Unfortunately for the Powhatan's Weroance , he survived the battle and was brought before the emperor in Augusta Elysium. Receiving no trial as an enemy of war, Denta-Lupus was painfully executed on the outskirts of the capital and buried under the repaired section of the wall that had been broken during the Sack of Nova Toletum Emerita. A monument was built over that section of the Wall, displaying the personal symbols of Denta-Lupus. Sitting directly on this monument was an enormous golden eagle, clutching a plaque on which a visible message marking the spot where a powerful king invaded Elysium and, as a result of his decision, was buried. Along the wall nearby, meter high letters spelled out the phrase "SPQE POWHATANUS VINCIT".

Meanwhile, Maximius tried to earn the reputation of a Greek hero by building gladiatorial arenas in major cities and then fighting in these arenas as a combatant. While less dishonorable than fighting in Augusta Elysium (since patricians could not be direct witnesses of his "embarrassing spectacle"), the rumors that Maximius was participating in gladiatorial combat were enough to offend the elite and draw more criticism from those who saw him as a figurative whore to the masses. While he only took part in arena combat during the last five years of his reign, his hobby ensured that those years would be his last. Although his fights were always staged to some extent, something went wrong in June of 1392 and the emperor was killed on the arena floor.

This turnaround was an outrage for the crowd and the governor of Nova Caledonia. The entire gladiatorial school of Portus Viridis received the death penalty as accomplices in the death of an emperor.​
Chapter XII Publius Julius Lepidus 1392 AUC / 639 AD - 1406 AUC / 653 AD
After the murder of his father, Publius Julius Lepidus came to the curulian throne with little fuss. His reign would be the calm before the war storm - a period of absolute peace, with no conflicts whatsoever. Lenape remained pacified and the nearly half a million Natives nomads that had settled along the walled borders continued peaceful trade.

For a peacetime leader, Lepidus made one of the greatest contributions of any emperor to Elysium military strength. In the year 1389 , Lepidus founded an academy for centurions and other legion officers, near Civis Lenape (OTL:West Point Academy). Lepidus called his institution the Academia Bellica. Once construction was finished in 1398, the War Academy consisted of six primary buildings. Second largest of these structures was the Biblioteca Bellica, a library filled with every text on strategy, wars, and tactics that the empire could procur - including some prominent pieces of literature. Next largest was a grand series of halls and rooms called the Aulam Deorum (Hall of the Gods), where spoils of past wars and military artifacts would be displayed. Some items were symbolic of defeated enemies, military heirlooms such as the sword of Denta-Lupus. Anything that remained from ancient battles and that did not need to be kept elsewhere was brought to these halls. Between doorways in the Hall were statues that honored the greatest generals of Rome and Elysium, those who deserved to be immortalized in stone.

Among these facilities, the largest building in the Academy was the Ludus Bellicus (military school). With over 50 classrooms, the school of the War Academy could annually host over 3,000 students.
From a first year of ~1000 students, never any more than fifty would be accepted as officers in the Legion after three years of training. Their procedures were very selective, requiring tactical acumen and physical fitness all at once. Some ambitious patricians would apply a dozen times over their lives, hoping each time to surpass their peers and become a centurion.

The courtyard of the school had one of the largest gymnasia in the world, at nearly a (Roman) mile long. Military exercises were performed several times per week once classes began, enforcing rigid fitness in students (in a way, it may be more accurate to call them recruits). Such was the intensity and broadness of this school that many wealthy Equites would sent their sons to attend the school simply for the physical and mental training, as the education process closely matched the traditional Greek system of education, with a focus on developing the body as well as the mind.

Although a legionary could rise through the ranks without attending the War Academy, this institution made battlefield promotion to centurion an honor for exceptional cases. Within a century, nearly every commander in the Legion would have come from the War Academy and most emperors would send their biological as well as adopted children there after the age of 18.

Near the entrance facing the rest of Civis Lenape, workers erected a victory arch to Commodus in 1395. This monument honored the emperor who place the origins of Elysium. The Arch of Commodus was an important tool of propaganda, reminding prospective officers of Rome's and Elysium military superiority. Everyone recognized that the empire had come a long way from that time and few doubted that the actions of the forefathers could be repeated when the time for conquest would come. Publius Julius Lepidus would die on the night of April 27, 1406 in his sleep due to spring fevers.

But while this was going on, in an alchemical laboratory on Septimia Severus, A young equite, named Sextus Furia Secundus, demonstrated an insatiable curiosity and penchant for consistency. By the age of 12, Secundus was already an avid collector of different stones and flowers, classifying them with his own imagined words by their similarities. Many of the plants that he collected contained medicinal or toxic herbs whose effects on animals Secundus investigated. For example, I have found that the nectar of one beautiful yellow flower could kill livestock in two or three days. For this reason, when entering adulthood, he put the modest wealth afforded to him by his position of him to further his understanding of the inner workings of nature. By the age of 30, Secundus tried another mixture of sulphur, charcoal bits, and urine extract. His particular proportions on this attempt (~20%, ~20%, ~60%) formed a compound that would release a spark and pops of energy when heated. Striking a flint over the mixture caused all of the material to pop - a detonation of the powder. His mixture of him was the first chemical explosive, the infamous black powder (Pulvis Fulminata). Seeing none of the violent applications for his powder from him, Secundus instead used it to bedazzle the wealth for money, receiving a royal sum after "magically" filling the Imperial throne room with smoke using his powder.​
Chapter XIII Gaius Julius Caesar 1406 AUC / 653 AD - 1427 AUC / 674 AD

Eldest surviving son of Caesar Lepidus, Gaius Julius Caesar came to power at a weak point in Elysium history. The Treasury was strained by its regular expenditures on the military and on hospitals, among a number of other commitments that the Senate was forced to uphold to maintain its public image. As a result, the Treasury was nearly empty and only a few public works projects could be enacted at any given time. Lepidus had focused his efforts on a military academy and various monuments for propaganda in the face of growing fears of Native invaders but Caesar would devote available funds during his reign to the land expansion.

Throughout the first five years, the young emperor, only twenty years old, made frequent trips to the border, introducing himself to soldiers and consulting with his Legates. During one of these excursions, Caesar spent several months gathering local volunteers for the war. There he oversaw the raising of two legions. The emperor's presence, coupled with his powerful and inspired rhetoric, based on the Sack of Nova Toletum Emerita, the need for ancient values in these difficult times, etc., attracted many volunteers but, as required earlier in the war, the recruitment filled much of the ranks.

Financing the future war, a task made even more difficult by the expansion of the army, had pushed Caesar early in his reign to sell palace slaves and drastically reduce his personal chamberlain retinue. In his precarious position, he chose not to burden the people with new taxes or the senators with new duties. The constant shortage of money demanded great personal austerity on the part of the emperor; otherwise the task of keeping the army supplied and organizing games to keep the people happy would have been nearly impossible along with the irregular expenses.

The marching through South

It was in 1411 AUC that he, he decided to cross the Potomac River. With a force of five Legions, a total of 30,000 combatants advanced with a single objective: Expand the Empire. For eleven years he fought using a combination of cunning, effective campaigning, and greater military prowess than his opponents. Caesar pursued a "divide and conquer" policy to wipe out his enemies, siding with individual tribes during their disputes with local opponents. He systematically gathered information about the tribes to identify their characteristics, weaknesses and divisions, which in turn would allow him to get rid of them. Caesar's core was made up of his core consisting of heavy infantry legions, supported by the equivalent of two more to reinforce them if necessary along with a use of cavalry and light infantry. Caesar used his forces most effectively, stimulating the pride of individual units to put forth more effort as a competition for more fame.

Caesar's tribal opponents were considerably less skilled than the Elyseans in military terms. They could command huge armies but suffered from a lack of flexibility and discipline. The tribal warriors were fierce opponents and this earned them the admiration of the Elyseans, but they lacked discipline on the battlefield. Their tactics were restricted to charging their enemies en masse or harassing them from a distance, and their lack of cohesion made them incapable of being effective during engagements. They also had no logistical support and could not stay in the field as long as the Elyseans. On the other hand, the defeat was also due to the enormous weakening suffered by several of their generations due to the constant war against the invaders, whom they could only counteract at the cost of the loss of large numbers of warriors. The victory was compared to the victory of Rome against Gauls during the Republic making the Emperor's cognomen Caesar. The new provinces received names according to their territories and many veteran Legionnaires were rewarded for their work and years with lands in which they fought.

With the riches achieved after the so-called Belli Appalachian, Caesar commissioned the Grand Harbor of Civis Lenape (OTL Place: Staten Island) as a substantial increase in capacity and available maneuvering space. He believed that if firm naval outposts were present at strategic points along the internal coastline, the navy could more easily combat piracy and stabilize the sea. At this time, Civis Lenape had seen better days. Although its military academy prospered, the new portus (harbor) had more than six times the capacity of the old and could simultaneously handle hundreds of commercial vessels and traders.

Adjacent to this commercial port, a military port was constructed that would allow the docking of warships during peacetime. The hope was that naval battles would take place far from Civis Lenape, eleven other naval defenses were established throughout the rest of the sea, but these war docks were still designed to resupply ships between battles. In practice, the docks primary purpose was as a storage site for warships, with enough space to hold and service well over 100 galleys at any given time.

A shipyard of ten drydocks was built a half a kilometer west of the ports. Some of the most adept shipwrights in the empire were brought by the emperor to work in this shipyard, concentrating production skills in one location. Caesar's efforts set a precedent for future emperors and the Senate, who would continue to bring expert shipwrights to this region. The drydocks were arranged back to back in two columns of five. Resting on artificial stone supports, the shipyard stuck out from the edge of Civis Lenape like a precarious cliff - in the form of a 277 m by 185 m peninsula emerging from the land.

The Grand Harbor itself stretched out from within the coastline. As its focus was a 1.48 km diameter circular wharf with a 285 meter thick rim within which ships could dock to release their cargo. At the center of this ring was the imperitus umbilicus, a control center for all of the port's activities. Every captain docking his ship in the Grand Harbor had to procure the equivalent of a parking permit before he could enter the city for his business. Stretching 3 km from this ring were the major docks, intended for larger vessels. The walls that enclosed this artificial lake of sorts rose 50 meters above sea level and were 23 meters thick near the base. Whereas 140 ships could dock inside the ring, the major docking area could handle an additional 60 ships of literally any size that would be seen in the day. Even the docks of Alexandria paled in comparison to the Magnus Portus Lenapense.

Along the outer edge of the major docks were watchtowers bristling with heavy ballistae, missile weapons able to fire 45 kg projectiles, and polyboloi, semi-automatic crossbows able to fire every six seconds. The former were immediately visible to any ships approaching the harbor, intimidating possible pirates and comforting honest merchants. With both safeguards, even the largest navy in the world would have trouble breaching the Grand Harbor to attack Civis Lenape.

As an extension to the Academia Bellica of Civis Lenape, Caesar added facilities in 1425 for a Ludus Nauticus (Nautical School) to serve as the primary naval staff college for the empire. Officers of the navy would be trained here just as officers of the Legion were being trained in the Ludus Bellicus of the War Academy.

Unfortunately, Gaius Julius Caesar would be assassinated on August 2, 1427 by a slave of Appalachian origin, who thus avenged the destruction of his tribe. Caesar's death caused alarming rumors to begin circulating in the Central Western frontier. An Imperial Army officer stationed on the Limes recounted the terrifying appearance on the banks of the Fluvius Ohio of men whom he described as follows:

"Giant barbarians who watch with eyes full of cruelty. They enter the battle in masses, while their mixture of voices makes a wild noise. And since they are lightly equipped with leather armor and even looted Lorica Hamatas, they deliberately suddenly split into bands They scatter and attack, rushing in disorder here and there, inflicting terrible slaughter, and because of their extraordinary speed of movement, they are never seen attacking a wall or sacking an enemy camp until the fight is over. call them the most terrible of all warriors, because they fight at a distance with missiles that have sharp bones, instead of their usual points, attached to the antlers with wonderful skill; then they run and fight hand to hand with swords, axes or hammers, without care about their own lives"
These barbarians would be known as Iroquois.​
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I love how you're building up the Iroquois as a major threat to the Elyseans.

It also makes sense to have Elysium build a major port in the OTL NYC area.

Other than looking forward to the new map that's all I have to say.
Chapter XIV Valerius Julius Magnum 1427 AUC / 674 AD - 1460 AUC / 707 AD
Elysium faced its greatest threat for centuries in the form of the Iroquois, a powerful confederation of tribes that had been augmented by the fleeing Elysium tribes. Valerius Julius Magnum was the successor to Caesar for being in power when the Iroquois finally invaded.

In 1430, Elysium's greatest fears were realized. The Iroquois invaded. Led by their High Sachem Kishpoko, these nomads crashed like a tsunami against the frontiers of the empire, invading with the collective forces of all tribes who was attacked by the Elysium. Iroquois Empire had grown over the last four decades to encompass hundred of thousends, from various cultures. With armies numbering in the millions of men, the Iroquois were the greatest absolute threat that Elysiumhad ever faced in her history. The ultimate goal of the Iroquois was to capture Elysium Augusta as their new capital. They had little intelligence on the Elysium Empire but they had heard that it was governed from the largest and most luxurious Village to ever exist. If this village could be captured and territory taken for settling the Iroquois people, then the Iroquois would possess a marvelous territory from which to build a new empire. It was inconceivable that the Elysium would field an army greater than Kishpoko's horde and, therefore, he reasoned it was impossible for the empire to defeat him in battle.

Kishpoko first attacked a point along the Limes Lenape. Nothing of his forces was held back. Legionaries along the wall could do little against the onslaught of warriors bearing down upon their position. There was only one chance factor that gave the Elysium army an edge, albeit nowhere near the advantage required to achieve victory. Over the last century, philosophers in Septimia had been experimenting with petroleum-based fuels derived from a formula used by the Athenians in the time of Thucydides. This original Fire of Athens consisted of a variety of compounds and so these were tried in different proportions for several decades before a liquid mixture was found that burned hard and would not be extinguished by projection through air. The resulting liquid, known as hygron pyr (liquid fire), could be projected at a distance from certain high-pressure displacements pumps (siphones) similar to those used for pumping water from fire engines. By lighting the fuel as it releases from a siphon, Elysium had invented an effective flamethrower.

By good fortune, the Legion had been testing a mobile version of the hygron pyr on Lenape forests that year and there were a number of prototypes on the area when the Iroquois invaded. Half an hour into the battle, one of these was able to be taken to the breach in the wall to bathe the invaders in liquid flames. Although the event would be traumatic for the barbarians - who could not conceive of how such a weapon was possible - it only killed a few hundred Iroquois before being overwhelmed. Were it not for how long it took to move the entire horde through the gap opened in the wall, the hygron pyr would not have even seen action that day and the Iroquois would never have witnessed its awe-inspiring power.

Scouts who had fetched the weapon were also sent along the limes to warn the legions about the invasion. They brought news of a sea of barbarians breaking through the border like flood waters from a bursting dam. General Lucius Cornelius Venerus led his three legions in Lenape to intercept the Iroquois near Nova Toletum Emerita, using the highways to cross the intervening space from Nova Toletum Emerita to the limes breached. Meanwhile, the Iroquois were traveling at a pace of about 5 km per day and were still miles away from the provincial capital, if they would even go in that exact direction. Cornelius sent scouts to get a better idea of the enemy forces. His scouts returned with news that the advancing barbarian army stretched almost as far as the eye could see - they estimated the Iroquois had about one million soldiers. The general wisely cancelled his plans for a surprise attack and worked to consolidate his forces with the troops requested from Augusta Elysium.

News had reached Caesar from Nova Toletum Emerita only three days after Cornelius had left with his legions. Caesar Valerius immediately sent an order to the limes Appalachia to bring all of their legions to Lenape, leaving only a few auxiliaries to watch the border. One adviser recommended that some legions be left at the other borders in the event this invasion was a ruse but his cautionary advice was rejected once numbers for the invading army were relayed to Augusta Elysium (if a million men were being devoted to a mere trick, then God help the empire). Messengers reached both destinations by the end of five days, meaning the Iroquois had been in Elysium territory for 18 days and were now within miles of Civis Lenape (although the horde was too unwieldy to use the highways, Kishpoko knew enough to follow them to major population centers).

The Iroquois advanced, devastating the countryside of the Lenape Province, pillaging their farms to feed their huge army, sadly, 105,000 inhabitants were massacred in the worst possible way while the Iroquois feasted on their food reserves. While the infrastructure of the towns ended up intact both for future use and out of amazement at the free availability of fresh water in the streets of the towns. Requiring only enough water to drink, the million-strong army easily survived on an aqueduct supply. Well fed and well rested, the Iroquois forces led by Kishpoko came to see Civis Lenape, the sight he found truly splendid. His great host was greeted by the Elysean army fully motivated and even with tales of terror and annihilation of citizens of Elysium in their minds. The Emperor decided at that moment that he would have a decisive victory, or die. He therefore drew the battle lines and started the battle.

In his overconfidence, Kishpoko ordered a direct charge against what he hoped would be another small army to slow him down. Once his men faced the auxiliaries: descendants of tribes annexed by Elysium, they were met with a volley of arrows and searing flames. Fire casters were placed at the west and east ends of the battle to soften up the horde for the flanking ambush. The east approached first, the stronger of the two battle groups, while the bowmen from the west unleashed their first volleys. When this pressure had disoriented the western flank, the other legionnaires with their recruits joined the fray.

The Iroquois cavalry of a few hundred tame wild horses moved up and down the lines, pummeling the legions with missiles, dashes, and even occasional charges. If it wasn't for the Emperor's willingness to make sure every soldier remained in Formation, he would most likely have ended up with a massive charge opening them up for destruction. As the lines drew closer and it became clear that the cavalry would not cause a break or route, the infantry and archers prepared for the fight to come.

Iroquois archers showed why they were so feared and respected when they rained death down on the advancing Elyseans, killing thousands every minute. Unfortunately for them, Elysium also had its own core of skilled auxiliary archers to strike back with equal force. Ranged contingents from both armies would spend the rest of that fateful battle targeting each other or trying to pick off the infantry on both sides. Eventually though the Elysean imperial legions encountered warriors bred for slaughter. It was a bloodbath as the Iroquois proved to be seemingly infinite in number and competent fighters all. The legions proved to be the top heavy infantry their reputations suggested they were, as Elysian training and weapons proved their worth.

The razor-sharp Roman Gladii moved with practical precision to slice through armor, skin, muscle, and finally bone to kill the man on the other side. Helmet against helmet as an Iroquois warrior knocked his opponent out of formation and knocked the Elysiean legionnaire to the ground and brutally beat him to death. A stray arrow hits a legionnaire in the scrotum, causing him to fall with a high-pitched groan in the process, briefly opening a gap in the lines. A breach that the Iroquois mercilessly exploited and were immediately punished when the weight of the entire legion moved as one to kill all those hundreds who thought they were smart. An Elysean arrow hits the commanding officer of the left flank in the eye, killing him and sending the entire line that was already being hit hard into a massive rampage.

Trapped in a meat grinder, the horde began to splinter from the rear, men fleeing in vain. As most of the Iroquois retreated, the Elysiean horsemen charged into battle and picked off the stragglers. What was left of the Iroquois passed between the archers on the hills and were cut to pieces. Like herding dogs, the knights forced the remnants of the horde into small groups to capture them as the giant legionnaire regained ground on them.

In all, losses to the Iroquois army are estimated to be in the range of 500,000-650,000 casualties, with nearly all of the survivors captured in the end. The battle was a clear victory for Elysium. By comparison, the judicious tactics of the Legate Cornelius ensured a loss of fewer than 40,000 Elyseans, almost entirely recruits and auxiliaries. More importantly, the High Sachem Kishpoko had been eliminated by a bolt that pierced his chest pinning him to the ground.

Elysium celebrated his victory with great parties, the emperor declared March 12 a national holiday. A humiliating and potentially fatal defeat had been averted and everyone in the Eternal City of Elysium breathed a collective sigh of relief. In a sense, the Iroquois had conveniently concentrated all of the empire's usual enemies into a single army, providing a clear target for Elysium, but the near strangulation of civilization was a great risk to suffer for this convenience.

Without disbanding the huge army now stationed outside the Civis Lenape, Magnum convened the Senate in early November to discuss the issue of conquering Iroquois territories. He argued that there was no significant military force left in the region and there were fertile grasslands and fertile forests to exploit. Among the problems facing Elysium, the most important was the continued conquest of the Iroquois lands. Magnum would not dishonor the efforts of the men who had fought the Iroquois.

With this goal, the Elysean armies advanced for five years, killing no fewer than 1,500,000 Iroquois. All officers were under strict orders to stop once they reached the maximum possible. A geographer accompanying each group would determine how successful their trip was. Each group fortified their position on the river, sending out patrols along its length both for communication and to alert the legions to any tribe trying to return, but many were repulsed, adding to the fervor with which this vague confederation was moving away from Elysium. The news came from the emperor at the end of November. His message praised the generals and their men for their great service to the Elysium Empire, matching the civilian contributions of the generals even Julius Caesar himself. Magnum designated his location at the time of his letter as the Mississippi limes, a new permanent border spanning the continent from north to south. However, he lamented that Elysium could never expect a single river (as wide as it was) to repel its enemies from raiding its lands. Only a strong wall, protected by legionnaires, would suffice.

Some emperors before Magnum had shirked their responsibilities to the state - Aurelius, Maximius, and even venerable Caesar had left the mundane task of administration to magistrati and other public officials. This would not continue under Magnum, who was known to personally check the reports on grain, corn and another foods shipments, public trials, and the like, but he was not too personal in his administrative work to avoid restructuring the bureaucracy to better manage the growing empire.

In this regard, Magnum's greatest reform is surely his expansion and streamlining of the aedileship. A few months into his reign, he abolished the six aediles plebes, aediles curules, and aediles cereales - these magistrates had become mere servants to the Caesars, who abused the aedile authority over public spending by using them as errand boys in their personal spending. In their place, Magnum created new magistracies bearing the name and role of the aediles.

Foremost among these offices were the four aediles curules that he stationed in Augusta Elysium. Each imperial aedile would be made responsible for a specific duty pertaining to the management of the Eternal City of Elysium. One of them would supervise the food dole, another would supervise the renovation and maintenance of public buildings (basilicae) within the city limits, a third would plan the days and times for public games, and the last one would supervise the public services, namely the vigiles (police forces), spartoliani (fire department), galenariae (hospitals), and quisquili (street cleaners). The second aedile received the secondary duty of approving all expenditure bills passed by the Senate, only refusing bills when they violated restrictions imposed by the empire's master of the treasury - the Magister Fiscalis. An emperor could now spend without aedile approval.

For spending outside Augusta Elysium, Magnum instituted twenty aediles provinciales. The responsibilities of a provincial aedile would vary with his placement. Postings were permanently allocated to the cities of Septimia, Civis Lenape, Mons Regius, Caronto, Nova Olisippo, Portus Magnum Fluvius, and Civis Virunum but the other 13 aediles provinciales would go wherever the Senate demanded. Their sole purpose in the provinces was to distribute the wealth of the empire through judicious spending. When assigned temporarily to a province, an aedilis could spend as much as he was allocated for his tenure (a mere year) but he was encouraged to spend from his own pocket, a generosity that would earn him a name in Augusta Elysium and a strong reputation in his assigned province. Few aediles would ever be permitted to spend more than two million denarii during the reign of Magnum.

At this point in Elysium history, much of the government consisted of unofficial bureaucrats appointed at the whim of emperors. Each Caesar would tend to place his own people in positions of power, ignoring existing magistracies for the same purposes or filling a hole that had been left unfilled by a previous administration. Competent emperors had made great use of this mode of government, but then they were also the ones to institute other new magistracies. Magnum's efforts would be a similar step forward for the bureaucracy of Elysium, allowing him to fire hundreds of men on a public payroll. Magistracies were an effective tool of government, one that Elysium had pioneered during the Ancient Roman Republic. Unlike other citizens who participated in the bureaucracy, such as the censitores (census-takers) and fiscatores (tax collectors), a magistrate received no wage and had the authority (imperium or potestas) to come to his own decisions. In many ways, the magistracies were the primary reason for maintaining a strong noble class, as plebeians could not afford to work for nothing but honor and power. Reforming the aedileship in particular would place greater authority over public spending into the hands of the Senate, removing the possibility that his successors would waste as much money paying bureaucrats as his predecessors. At least, a long rule would firmly ingrain his reforms into the informal constitution of the empire and be an obstacle to counter-reforms.

Unfortunately or by decision of the Gods, an accident would cause the Emperor to die after catching a cold in winter. Magnum adopted an heir to the throne, restarting the tradition of an emperor selecting his successor for his apparent competence. His choice was Aulus Magnum Avitus, the son of a wealthy Appalachian who managed routes into Augusta Elysium. The young man showed prowess in managing his late biological father's business, the results of which Magnum noticed. Previously, an emperor would have adopted someone that had impressed them enough at some social event, but Magnum saw fit to seek out his heir.​
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Chapter XV: Aulus Magnum Avitus 1460 AUC / 707 AD - 1512 AUC / 759
Annexing the Iroqueois territory enlarged the empire, with 2,457,066 km² of new territory. Perhaps less than five hundred thousand people remained from the original populace, left behind by the great migration and left alive by the legions that had swept across the land. These tribes would pose a persistent threat to Elysium settlers, raiding their caravans and estates but not daring to attack any coloniae (planned cities built by the state) with their walls and soldiers. With so-called "wild men" everywhere, the wilderness came to be regarded as a distinct boundary of sorts, referred to with the old term limites germanici (German frontiers). Despite the dangers, Elysean people were eager to settle these wild lands, pouring out in the thousands every year.

Before colonists could come, the Senate decreed that all land was ager publicus (public land) - a possession of the state - Land owned by the public accounts could be given to citizens and veterans or worked by employees of the Senate. Another law passed was a promise that every retiring legionary would get a choice: a large plot of rural land or a house in one of the new coloniae. For the next century, this decree would ensure a stable influx of battle-hardened settlers into Iroquois land, creating a strong local citizenry for maintaining control over the region. However, circumstances could change so the law was set to expire after one century, avoiding a possibly unpopular future decision of having to repeal the law.

Retired soldiers could not only handle freely roaming tribes and uncivilized terrain but they were a reliable population for a new territory that would ensure the loyalty of the entire populace. Some would likely spend their later years as auxiliary guardsmen for the coloniae while others would find employment guarding caravans for merchants. By 1455, over three hundred thousand veterans lived in the three provinces of Magnum Lacus, Dacotas and Irocois, mingling with an equal number of citizens that had either come on their own initiative or taken jobs working in public mines, smithies, or lumber mills. To motivate colonists, the Senate had offered citizens an escort to anywhere in the new land where they might manage or operate a public facility for the exploitation of natural resources.

The new provinces was an unspoiled region filled with game for hunting, covered in forests for chopping, and dotted with nodules for mining. At first, only surface veins of ore would be exploited by settlers. As geographic surveys accelerated, Elyseans would establish pit mines on the surface then eventually shaft mines and drift mines for accessing underground nodules found by agrimensores. High on the list of priorities for the Senate was the construction of public highways. Unfortunately, it had no clue what locations would eventually need access to a highway, as cities had yet to grow. For this reason, the Senate satisfied itself for now with laying simple roads built by the legions. Unlike the viae publicae in the civilized world, these roads went around rather than through natural obstacles and were rough paths rather than finely crafted stone walkways. Despite this shortcoming, The new provinces was already poised to be a new industrial heartland of the Empire.

A major downside to the new territory was the difficulty of tilling and planting in the hardy soil. Furthermore, any farm that a citizen established had to be prepared on heavily overgrown land, usually meaning a forest. Extensive plowing was required to prepare the soil to accept domestic grains. Fortunately, farmers had experience with similarly difficult soil and their heavy tools could be brought to bear in colonizing the new territory.

Caesar Aulus Magnum Avitus had devoted nearly the majority of the state's resources to protecting and assimilating all new territories. From a legislative direction, he had claimed all the land in the region for Elysium as ager publicus (public land). Some small claims by a few citizens on the borders were heard and some even granted but nearly every square kilometer of the new provinces was owned by the state. By 1480, nearly a third of the new provinces was exploited sustainably for wood while the rest of the new region consisted either of colonial cities or of private villas for citizens making their living through their own forest, mine, or farm.

The Territory in this era was described as an "uncertain yet lucrative land" for a Elysean citizen. Stories circulated of both great fortunes and great calamities that had befallen colonists. This reputation gave birth to a new style of literature and theater in the form of frontier tales - stories about the hardships and successes of both fictional and historical colonists. One famous play told the story of a lowly actor who set out to work the mines of Magnum Lacus, only to stumble upon a mother lode of silver; a greedy centurion caught wind of his fortune in a small colony then pursued the man with the force of his centuria. Such stories became immensely popular in Augusta Elysium and in the other coloniae of the empire, leaving an indelible mark on Elysium history and culture.

Colonists became regarded as hardy and resourceful people with a penchant for skilled labor. This widespread belief helped create the good reputation of Dacotas, Irocois even Magnus Lacus craftsmen and enticed citizens who fancied themselves that type of person into immigrating. A most recognizable feature of frontier life was the threat of natives bandits and raiding parties. Although most native tribes were expelled in the great clean, over a hundred thousand remained and survived the purge as legions swept through the lands in advance of civilian colonization. With poor Latin and no hope of joining colonies, these tribal communications continued to exist in the public lands for centuries. Many of these people bore general animosity toward Elyseans and would frequently come to blows with citizens working in their plantations, mines, or villas, and merchants traveling on the roads. Sometimes, a villa would disappear off the map, leaving only broken buildings and a signs of struggle and corpses defiled.

Elysium was not idle against this blatant aggression. There were four legions stationed in castra (forts) throughout the territory and tasked with protecting colonists at any cost. At first, defending a territory as large as the provinces was difficult but around 1493 Avitus had reformed the Legion to facilitate the separation of legions into more mobile centuriae that could act as patrol groups to cover as much ground possible. These units occasionally separated further into their contubernia to go from villa to villa in an attempt to keep as informed as possible. A single contubernium was a match for a Tribal raiding party while a century could handle most tribal villages. However, the Native tribes were not entirely unorganized and most were armed with simple weapons, ensuring that even a couple could pose a serious threat to a merchant caravan or family of citizens. Richer colonists met this threat by paying the state for a permanent garrison of legionaries on their lands.

However, the legions could not be everywhere and citizens were forced to come to their own defense on many occasions. A civilian market for military equipment opened to meet this demand, after authorization from the Senate. Three classes of high complexity weapons were used to great effect by colonists. A manuballista was a handheld crossbow, often mounted on a tripod due to its weight, which had an effective range at almost 500 meters. No other weapon could be as accurate at that distance, giving colonists an advantage against bandits. As a relatively inexpensive and portable weapon, the manuballista became known as the quintessential colonial weapon of Elysium- an iconic weapon for a legendary period in Elysium history.

Designs of manuballistae evolved more rapidly after the 5th century, producing a wide variety of designs. Some new designs were sturdier, some lighter, and some longer ranged but massive. One of its main advantages were the sighting elements that were commonly placed in the metal head of the crossbow. Larger weapons of a similar design had a different name due to their size but retained the great range of the manuballista, some even exceeding a range of 600 meters.

Merchants favored varieties of the carroballista, since a heavier but cart-mounted artillery piece could deliver more penetrating blows and at a higher rate of fire than handheld crossbows. By 1500 AUC, most trade caravan had several carroballistae for fending off bandits on the emerging highways. Richer merchants could afford a fusion of the carroballista with a polybolos, the Legion's semi-automatic artillery piece. Feeding ammunition into a vertical funnel, two operators could easily drive the chain belt of one of these weapons fast enough to maintain a rate of 11 bolts each minute. Every shot struck with the force of a heavy crossbow and could be relied upon to incapacitate any lightly-armored attacker. Designs for the polybolos were closely guarded by the Senate so only a couple of dozen workshops were licensed for and capable of its production.

With all the activity, this was an exciting period in Elysium history. Thousands of citizens were starting new lives in a new province, often arriving with free land or a generous subsidy from the state. Despite losing the occasional caravan to Natives tribes, Elysium profited immensely from public mines, plantations, sawmills, stampmills, and other industrial facilities. Profits only grew as the level of infrastructure available in the region was expanded by action of the Senate and the Caesar.

Since mills needed either a river or an aqueduct to supply energy for heavy industry, the state built over a thousand kilometers of aqueducts (aquae) throughout the provincies, connecting cities, mines, and other sites for public industries. Private citizens could only afford access to water for mining by opening a contract for their mine wherein some profits went to the national treasury. More ambitious colonists supplied themselves with water by building simple wood and ceramic aqueducts. More than any other region, the region was highly suited for production on a proto-industrial scale using mechanical hydropower. There was a higher volume of river flow per square kilometer than any place of a similar expanse and the population density was low, allowing this vast supply of water to be devoted toward watermills instead of nourishing cities.

While the first aqueduct was started in 1460, Avitus was primarily concerned with building a network of roads to bring the region into closer contact with Augusta Elysium. His goal required the connection of new cities to the viae publicae princepesque (imperial public highways) that spanned other provinces. Starting work in 1480, architects and engineers used maps of river networks and of existing colonial cities to plan the placement of major highways. For the highways, methods used by the great patron of the interprovincial highway system were copied (as in, they literally plagiarized old records for this project and took credit for the designs in the eyes of the emperor). Despite hundreds of millions of denarii going into construction, the highways did not fully connect all municipia until over a decade after the death of the emperor.

At the same time, three routes for the national postal service (cursus vehicularis) were instituted in region. The mutationes (change stations) and mansiones (rest stations) were far more sparcely supplied than those elsewhere but a message could still be sent from the capitals, to Augusta Elysium in a mere seven days once the roads were done.

The vast wealth of a Empire made these ambitious projects possible but not trivial. The creativity of surveyors, senators, and engineers was heavily strained, even as these experts were drawing heavily from the extensive knowledge that was available to a civilization as ancient and well-recorded as the Roman Empire. In many ways, the challenges of colonizing the territory are viewed as a driving force for the innovations that would arise throughout the 7th century.

Around 1465, a blacksmith in the Civis Virunum began to heat his furnaces beyond the melting point of iron. After a few little accidents, he learned to pour the resulting liquid iron into stone molds for casting. His method for raising the temperature of his bloomery was very tedious, requiring several men to work bellows for a long period of time and seeking to get around this issue, he worked with other craftsmen in Virunum to build a tall furnace which had multiple open ports for cold blasting air into the furnace. Ore was charged through the top with a limestone flux while air entered from the bottom, passing through the material being smelted. Iron would gradually descend through the furnace, coming out in molten form by opening a valve.

As a step forward in ironmaking, this method was really the final stage of about a century of evolution and this blacksmith was far from the first Elysean to heat his iron beyond its melting point - only the first to pour the resulting liquid into moulds. Norica was an iron ore product with exceptional qualities, used by the military for its swords and Lorica Segmentata. However, not all bloomeries in the province of Nova Noricum produced such high quality iron, some were producing low quality iron that would be reforged at a different location into useable iron. This blacksmith who first created a blast furnace had only gone the extra step of melting this low quality iron before reforging and then pouring the liquid iron into casts.

This liquid iron became an extremely low quality iron. Due to its quality and the manner in which it was excreted from a furnace, its Elysean inventor named it ferrum stercum (pig iron). Liquid pig iron could be cast into shapes while removing its impurities. The resulting cast iron was useful for iron kitchenware and farm implements, making its inventor, Titus Albucius Stena, a rich smith. Although Stena soon found that his pig iron was similar to a type of low quality iron forged in some parts of the empire, his addition of casting and blasting methods was unique and were the techniques that earned him fame.

By 1478, Stena accumulated enough wealth to build blast furnaces in other cities, namely Civis Lenape and Nova Toletum Emerita. He ran these other facilities through a guild that he founded, wherein he could appoint people to operate his furnaces in other towns. This expansion was the beginning of a powerful industrial guild in the Elysium Empire. While commissioning forges in Noricum for his reorganization of the Legion, Avitus caught wind of the unique products of the Stena Guild and offered generous incentives for him to expand his smithies. This was the beginning of the most powerful commercial entity that would ever exist - the Elysium Labor Guild.

Avitus too reformed the standard equipment and structure of the Elysean Legions. First, he increased the length of the gladius by 14 cm, improving its effectiveness in individual combat without loss to the ease of stabbing. Similarly, the spatha became the primary weapon for auxiliary soldiers at a length 0.92 meters while the equestrian spatha was redesigned at 1.05 m. Equestrian swords were also rounded more at the tips to prevent sticking inside flesh when running down infantry.

At the time, the standard armor of a legionary was the lorica segmentata. The segmented armor plates on this cuirass were forged from norica in a process which left the core soft to absorb the shock of direct blows - a process known as case hardening. While the plates were unchanged, Avitus replaced bronze components in the armor (e.g. buckles, hinges, tie-rings) with cast iron to reduce costs. These parts could be standardized from casting molds for production en masse for regular orders by the Legion. Although Avitus permanently phased plumbatae (darts) out of the Legion, the pilum (javelin) was still given to every legionary, as their brief volleys in the moments before engaging an enemy were highly effective against barbarian armies.

New regulations assigned one chirurgius legionis (field surgeon) to each centurion, formally enforcing a standard that had been haphazardly employed since the founding of the Septimian Surgical Academy. While field surgeons could tend to the wounds of the troops, assistants were regularly needed to organize the equipment of legionaries, who would be busy building fortifications and digging trenches when their legion made camp. Every contubernium was assigned two servants for loading and unloading equipment from its pack mule. On a march, some timber, food, and cloth would be carried by mule, while the mules of a cohort would pull its mobile brick kiln in turn. When moving in a defensive capacity within the empire, a legion could leave its heaviest equipment back at its station, permitting a faster response time to danger. However, this came at the risk of being incapable of creating fortifications, perhaps in the circumvallation or contravallation of an already entrenched enemy army.

Aside from its civilian support, a cohort once had its own scout cavalry, varying in number according to circumstances, and an accompanying manipulus (division) of heavy cavalry, drawn from the equites of society. Over the last century, the Legion had begun to favor a form of horseman which was even more heavily armored than a legionary, draped from the head of the rider to the legs of the horse in heavy scale armor. These Kataphractoi were made a standard component of the Legion, remaining the main division for citizens above the status of Pleb. There were to be 40 cataphracts for every cohort, i.e. 400 per legion.

Just as the cataphracts were integrated into legions, command over archers and artillery was directly given to the centurions and signiferii of their assigned cohortes. This reorganization involved precise standardization of the number of certain unit types that were allocated to each legion (usually as a specific number assigned to every cohort).

A legion after the military reforms had exactly 1,600 sagittarii (archers), 80 ballistarii (artillery observers), and 200 libratores (gunners). Ballistarii were specialists, trained either at the Academia Bellica in Civis Lenape or taken from legionaries and libratores who apprenticed as "extra credit" with existing artillery observers by assisting in the management of artillery pieces and learning the techniques of artillery spotting and repair. Many legionaries who took upon this role would become a librator, soldiers who did the manual work involved in operating artillery. For now, a full education was a far less prevalent means of learning how to build and operate siege equipment than apprenticeship. In terms of standard siege weapons, each legion under the reform would field 40 polyboloi, 10 mobile carroballistae, and 120 manuballistae. Each weapon needed only one librator to operate once prepared but a number of other gunners were needed to prepare the equipment and assist as needed. At the same time, ballistarii were needed to spot for batteries of artillery and to maintain the equipment during operation. Both members of the artillery corps also had the task of building then operating field-assembled siege engines, a class of artillery pieces that included onagers, rams, siege towers, and heavy ballistae.

In emphasizing the Legion, Avitus reduced the importance of the Auxilia (non-citizen army). Maintenance of auxiliaries along the provincial fortifications was delegated to the government of an imperial province. Each division of border auxiliaries would be under the command of a comes or (count) of the region to which they were assigned. For the most part, the reform was meant to ensure that auxiliaries would no longer see battle far from their station. In this way, Avitus dissolved the tradition of mounted archery in the Elysium army, in favor of more cheap archers who fought on foot.

Elysium needed a more structured and efficient military as an empire that was now firmly rooted in its territory. The professional arm of its military was the Legion, drawing from Elysium's massive number of fit male citizens. Artillerymen came from a similar stock while archers were now also solely citizens. The Auxilia was now functionally a wing of the military consisting of two sections: the Comitana which had town guards employed by the city senate of an urbs at no less than one auxiliary for every 1,000 residents, and the Limitana which consisted solely of border guards or fort contingents employed by a province. As another vital measure, Avitus instituted new standard wages for different positions in the Legion and the Auxilia.

Meanwhile, the classis (navy) was in a sorry state. Caesar had separated the navy from the Legion and renewed its contingent of vessels but there had been few replacements or repairs since his renewal. Most ships were ones built during his reign, although what few new ships were built came straight from the drydocks of Grand Harbour of Lenape and were of a high quality. Avitus had little concern for the strength of the navy because nobody match the Elysium Classis in this new land... yet. Altogether, Avitus left behind a leaner but stronger military for the empire. Long-term contracts were signed with smithies and woodshops to supplement what could not be produced in industries on public land. With the growing number of public mills and smithies, maintenance costs for the military plummeted by their replacement of private contracts.​
This was the beginning of the most powerful commercial entity that would ever exist - the Elysium Labor Guild.
You probably meant 'to have ever' existed.

But Elysium is the name of the land right? Romans did not associate territorial names with that of the state. Whether you're in Italiae, Hispaniae or Britanniae it's still Rome. So rather than Elysian, they'll identify as Roman. Though it would make sense if it were a case of someone else calling them that, as done with the East/Byzantines.
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You probably meant 'to have ever' existed.

But Elysium is the name of the land right? Romans did not associate territorial names with that of the state. Whether you're in Italiae, Hispaniae or Britanniae it's still Rome. So rather than Elysian, they'll identify as Roman. Though it would make sense if it were a case of someone else calling them that, as done with the East/Byzantines.
It's good for you to ask that. The Elysean Citizen's mindset is that they ceased to be Roman when they cut off communications with the Empire in the midst of the Barbarian Invasions. (Remember that they cut communications from 417 and Rome came to be sacked by barbarians in 410). Although the guild would have that name since it would be the first and oldest. Currently they consider themselves as the successors of the Roman Empire as Byzantium or even Moscow could be considered.
It's good for you to ask that. The Elysean Citizen's mindset is that they ceased to be Roman when they cut off communications with the Empire in the midst of the Barbarian Invasions. (Remember that they cut communications from 417 and Rome came to be sacked by barbarians in 410). Although the guild would have that name since it would be the first and oldest. Currently they consider themselves as the successors of the Roman Empire as Byzantium or even Moscow could be considered.
That's the thing, Byzantium wasn't a successor of Rome. It was Rome.
The fact that the Elyseans were set adrift in a new world allows me to suspend my disbelief and believe that they'd start referring to themselves as a different country. The concept of a Roman-colonized North America is a bit "out-there" anyway, so comparatively minor issues aren't a problem to me.
The fact that the Elyseans were set adrift in a new world allows me to suspend my disbelief and believe that they'd start referring to themselves as a different country. The concept of a Roman-colonized North America is a bit "out-there" anyway, so comparatively minor issues aren't a problem to me.
... And who say is only North América?

If I may ask, are there still concerns about maintaining food sources for the Empire? Is it possible that large scale fishing efforts may have developed due to...

How much have New World crops been incorporated or does this require expeditions to Central and/or South America? Has a fur trade started due to the more northerly location of the Empire? Also, what has taken the place of silk as a commodity?

Also, have some of the native tribes started to appreciate Elysian personal weapons and armor to a point where they are trying to produce their own and salvaging as much as possible from battlefields?
I want to see that especially when they find out that it is a great pagan empire and advanced enough not to fall for the lies and tricks of the Christian missionaries.
I want to see that especially when they find out that it is a great pagan empire and advanced enough not to fall for the lies and tricks of the Christian missionaries.
Especially as the size of it's territory is greater then any other power in Europe.

Imagine their reaction to their 'ancient' cities. I also hope that they kept their classical armour in some areas. They simply look cooler
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Especially as the size of it's territory is greater then any other power in Europe.

Imagine their reaction to their 'anciemt' cities. I also hope that they kept their classical armour in some areas. They simply look cooler
the holy roman emperor and the pope and the byzantine emperor will have a massive headache

the emperors because their legitimacy as successors to rome just went out the window

and the pope because he has a powerful pagan empire already advanced that can undermine his power over the ignorant masses of europe.