Hadrian's Consolidation - reboot

Shouldnt the borders of the Germania go all the way to the Elbe? Wouldnt they want to follow the plans of the first province of Germania during the reconquest?
 
Villa Albini, near Vienna Allobrogum, Gallia, August 247

Hecatee

Donor
Villa Albini, near Vienna Allobrogum, Gallia, August 247


The elderly senator looked at the scene in front of him. The rows of Morus Alba trees seemed to go as far as the eye could see, hedges for the small fields where his slave grew vines for the wine. The first white mulberry had been planted by his ancestor the senator Clodius Albinus almost some eighty years earlier, and they had since then grown and there were now more than 10 000 trees in the domain, the pride and joy of the family, providing fruits as well as shade and protection from the wind.

What few knew was that the domain held a secret, one not known by anyone outside of the family… For the three had not been the only thing his ancestor brought back from Serica all those years ago, for he had been gifted the secret of silk making, of which he had given general knowledge to the divine Marcus Aurelius, and been able to bring back some of the necessary larvae, dormant in cocoons, which he had been able to preserve until the first floraison of his mulberry threes, when he’d made the cocoon give birth to their precious content…

Since then the family had grow the handful of caterpillars into hundreds, and now thousands of animals which devoured huge quantities of leaves. For the first ten years it had been a huge gamble, but then it had seemed enough survived to start taking some cocoon to boil them in order to retrieve the silk.

Here too the endeavour had been costly and risky, but after a few attempt they had found how to get silken threads, although it was not yet enough to make a bolt of silk… That had taken two more years, and had not been seen by Clodius Albinus who died the year before the first garment could be made.

Since then the family had kept the secret, producing the silk in its gallic property far from any prying eye, then carrying them by boat down the Rhodanus and all the way to Arelate where they were put onboard ships bound for Ostia, hidden by a layer of wool. For some sixty years now the family had been able to sell silks at an extraordinary benefit with none the wiser, everyone thinking they came from Serica !

Of course the family also had to prevent any competitor from arising, that was why they always ensured that the pro-praetor sent to Serica was always a member of the family or someone on which they could at least depend on so that the secret of Serica never came back again to the Empire…
 

Hecatee

Donor
Shouldnt the borders of the Germania go all the way to the Elbe? Wouldnt they want to follow the plans of the first province of Germania during the reconquest?
Yes, I see I missed that border, I took most of my time looking at cities and roads :( my mistake thus. I'll see with @Dain if we modify it, if not it's because its not fully pacified yet (although the main resistance is certainly crushed)
 
Villa Albini, near Vienna Allobrogum, Gallia, August 247


The elderly senator looked at the scene in front of him. The rows of Morus Alba trees seemed to go as far as the eye could see, hedges for the small fields where his slave grew vines for the wine. The first white mulberry had been planted by his ancestor the senator Clodius Albinus almost some eighty years earlier, and they had since then grown and there were now more than 10 000 trees in the domain, the pride and joy of the family, providing fruits as well as shade and protection from the wind.
So never made the purple but became filthy rich on the back of the silk secret.

Surely the Emperor(s) would want his share?
 

Hecatee

Donor
So never made the purple but became filthy rich on the back of the silk secret.

Surely the Emperor(s) would want his share?
If they knew... quantities produced are still small and there is no crosscheck between silk quantities registered at the empire's border and sold in Rome, so it is well hidden...
 
If they knew... quantities produced are still small and there is no crosscheck between silk quantities registered at the empire's border and sold in Rome, so it is well hidden...
The secret will come out.

Eventually.

In that case, I would expect certain parties to be...rather displeased.
 
So. You know the secret's going to get out. Bring back the lictor and his Chinese girlfriend, I mean wife, make up a story about the lictor's fasces fiddle I mentioned earlier, and in 10 years time start selling the silk openly, with the lictor and his half Chinese family as the heroes of the story.
White mulberries? Oh, the old man just liked them. (Cover story.) He'd found out that's what silworms eat, but we couldn't get a y actual worms out until the heroic actions of .... (Story for the Emperor's ears)

And then laugh and laugh and laugh when everyone else thinks they can ramp up to full production in 10 years from a standing start.
 
Yes, I see I missed that border, I took most of my time looking at cities and roads :( my mistake thus. I'll see with @Dain if we modify it, if not it's because its not fully pacified yet (although the main resistance is certainly crushed)
Well, the bullet points for Germania and Alba say the Weser river is the dividing border. :) But I kinda agree that Germania looks pretty squeezed like that.

So, should I move the dioecese border to the Elbe+Saale instead?
 
How come Byzantium isn't a Roman naval base on par with Alexandria, Ravenna, or Naples? One would think the Romans would want a (separate) naval fleet to keep a close eye on the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, as well as on their various client-states including the Bosporan Kingdom.
 

Hecatee

Donor
Well, the bullet points for Germania and Alba say the Weser river is the dividing border. :) But I kinda agree that Germania looks pretty squeezed like that.

So, should I move the dioecese border to the Elbe+Saale instead?
In fact you may just delete the line and the name Anglii for it is part of Alba, if you please

How come Byzantium isn't a Roman naval base on par with Alexandria, Ravenna, or Naples? One would think the Romans would want a (separate) naval fleet to keep a close eye on the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, as well as on their various client-states including the Bosporan Kingdom.
Well the place does not seem to have held any strong military elements before Constantine turned a sleepy town into the capital city we all know, so no important fleet there, in fact a large part of the coastal patrolling is done by the Danubian river fleet because there are no ships in the area that are not romans, with exception of a few Bosphorean ships (and then only light anti-pirate ships, not full blow quinqueremes)
 
Well the place does not seem to have held any strong military elements before Constantine turned a sleepy town into the capital city we all know, so no important fleet there, in fact a large part of the coastal patrolling is done by the Danubian river fleet because there are no ships in the area that are not romans, with exception of a few Bosphorean ships (and then only light anti-pirate ships, not full blow quinqueremes)
It may not have held much importance by the Romans prior to Emperor Constantine, but Byzantium (or Byzantion) was considered one of the foremost Achaemenid ports in the area by the Persians, and during the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta it traded hands numerous times due to it being strategic to Athens' grain supply.

So it held some significance. And surely a Roman emperor with foresight would have recognized that Byzantium was all that stood in the way of barbarian incursions by sea into the empire, as had happened in OTL during the 3rd century. And since any sea-raiders would have had to pass through a natural bottleneck, I regard it as almost foolhardy not to fortify the city with a wall and establish a naval base there. At the very least, have a contingency plan in place when your first line of defense you mentioned proves inadequate.
 
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Hecatee

Donor
It may not have held much importance by the Romans prior to Emperor Constantine, but Byzantium (or Byzantion) was considered one of the foremost Achaemenid ports in the area by the Persians, and during the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta it traded hands numerous times due to it being strategic to Athens' grain supply.

So it held some significance. And surely a Roman emperor with foresight would have recognized that Byzantium was all that stood in the way of barbarian incursions by sea into the empire, as had happened in OTL during the 3rd century. And since any sea-raiders would have had to pass through a natural bottleneck, I regard it as almost foolhardy not to fortify the city with a wall and establish a naval base there. At the very least, have a contingency plan in place when your first line of defense you mentioned proves inadequate.
Indeed the Persians used it, and it was besieged a number of time in classical and hellenistic greek period, but it has been a sleepy town since.
Also given that no seaborne barbarian raids have ever happened yet the security imperative is also not yet present. Finally while the Bosphorus is a trade route of some importance, the grain ships do not need to stop there to do much more than take water onboard and a lot of the Bosphoran grain rather goes either toward the Danube guarrisons or to northern Anatolia for the forces on the eastern front.
 
Seems an unlikely scheme, especially without sanction from above. Not that people would be this greedy and unpatriotic, that is sadly all too believable, but there are so many points of failure, rivals snooping, talkative slaves/servants, someone randomly barging in and realizing what it is, people curious of the extreme secrecy, accident during transportation, authorities looking in on their stuff randomly... and so on and so on.

But I am willing to see where this story leads for now.
 

Hecatee

Donor
Alright, I have uploaded a new draft to the map post with an occupied Jutland peninsula.
Thanks a lot !

Seems an unlikely scheme, especially without sanction from above. Not that people would be this greedy and unpatriotic, that is sadly all too believable, but there are so many points of failure, rivals snooping, talkative slaves/servants, someone randomly barging in and realizing what it is, people curious of the extreme secrecy, accident during transportation, authorities looking in on their stuff randomly... and so on and so on.

But I am willing to see where this story leads for now.
Well you know we're talking of a large, self contained, private estate very far from most authorities, out of the way of the main travel ways (although not so far as not to be able to use said transport network), in a pre-modern environnement : while Vienna on the Rhone was indeed an important transit place, a farm in the hills two days' travel from the city will never get visits by officials and the neighboors have no way to know what is happening there except that some new kind of tree is growing there, but there is even an explaination for that as you can get colors from mulbury's leaves and barks. The slaves working the fields or the silk production won't talk to anyone either...

As for the effort necessary to bribe the officials sent to China, given that one is only sent every two years, that mean only 40 propraetors who had to be woed by bribe, extorsion or simple matrimonial politics it's not that many... and all that is asked is that the practical secret of silk does not come back to Rome, in order to protect the trade agreements in place with the Chinese, something the propraetors can well understand if they got a cut in the trade deal. It's even in their interest, it's become a tradition now for propraetors to come back to Rome with a shipload or two of silks for sale, because they know that being able to buy it at the source of the product allows them to undercut the concurence, so they think it is simply a way to keep things as they were, they don't imagine the familly already succeeded !

Meanwhile the transportation network his a simple part : everything goes through family depots, family ships, and the tax inspectors are not going to look further than the fine wool on the outside of the bale, on which tax is duly sold. They can't think of such a scheme, it's simply not possible...

The silk is very thin so it does not really make the bales of woolen fabric any thicker than it should and the pieces of wool are bigger than those of silks, which mean you can actually unfold part of the wool before you can see any silk, so no problem there either. So you need someone in the known at the packaging stage, some peoples in the known in the final depot, and that's it. It is a very simple operation...

The only thing that could blow it is a family conflict or a talkative heir, but that's not happenned yet
 
Thanks for the reply, I am still doubtful however since again many things can go wrong, for example if they suffer an accident while sending the goods via river or sea. It would wash aground where passerbys, looters and the authorities may get their hands on it, they unroll the wool and OwO what is this.

Ofc maybe there has not yet been such a bad accident yet, so as I said I can roll with this story and see where it goes. There were times history was implausible too, so it can be good especially if the story payoff is worth it.
 
The Vistula-Tyras river frontier should be the most this still pre-industrial Rome could get ahead.

After that you will need centuries before early industrialization and germanic cold resiliance would allow you to advance into OTL Russia.
 
Hmm. If Germanics stay true to their traditions they could form a large part of the army. Even in otl german auxiliaries were fairly common, I can imagine even moreso under Roman occupation given life under the Empire means the only method for gaining status as a perengirii was to join the Auxiliaries as opposed to plundering/raiding and such before Roman conquest.

Pehaps the sons of those German Auxilia join the legions, maybe even gaining equestrian status and from there who knows...
 
Hmm. If Germanics stay true to their traditions they could form a large part of the army. Even in otl german auxiliaries were fairly common, I can imagine even moreso under Roman occupation given life under the Empire means the only method for gaining status as a perengirii was to join the Auxiliaries as opposed to plundering/raiding and such before Roman conquest.

Pehaps the sons of those German Auxilia join the legions, maybe even gaining equestrian status and from there who knows...
I agree that will be the most likely result, I recall a quote from a Frankish chiefdom (prob in my head but pretty sure it comes from an original source from the 5th century AD) 'destroy Rome? Don't be stupid we all want to become Roman' written down by a Roman writer of the Period however made up this quote is I think in the main the basic sentiment of late antiquity 'barbarians' elites at least. remember early pre-republican Rome/Latinium then look at the early Frankish and other tribal confederations before they crossed the Rhine then tell me what difference there is (I know thee are amny but at heart they were the same)
 
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