May 13, 400 A.D.It had been almost two months since he had felt the wonderful solid ground beneath his feet. The journey on the magnificent Roman galleys and dromons had been long and hard; almost 900 people had died of sickness or drowning along the way. A powerful Roman legate had gathered thousands of the brightest minds he could find across the empire to cross the great ocean with him, having promised lands, riches, and a return to the peak of the Roman Empire far away from the disaster that the western empire had become.
Near modern-day Virginia Beach
Near modern-day Virginia Beach
At 5,200 legionaries and at full strength, the man (who was known as Xavian Ornellius) had brought not only his entire legion with him, but countless scholars, writers, monks, priests, carpenters, engineers, inventors, scientists, botanists, biologists, historians, geographers, politicians, archaeologists, doctors, poets, musicians, blacksmiths, sailors, fishermen, and farmers. This massive group had amounted to around 12,000 people and they had pooled their funds to "rent" a huge fleet of dromons, galleys, and any other ship they could find, crowding these scholars and craftsmen inside with promises of abundant new opportunities.
As the Western Roman Empire continued to spiral downhill, many were persuaded by Xavian Ornellius, the commander of the legion, to take this bold journey with him, as he had believed that the Earth was round as it had a circumference calculated by Eratosthenes. Yes, the journey was hard. Yes, there was a massive risk that everyone on board the fleet had taken when they came with their families in search of a place to start fresh and right the wrongs of the past. However, as he looked upon his growing settlement of many, many small houses with dirt roads connecting them, he could not help thinking that he had made the right decision.
He gazed out across his city-state, which still officially claimed to be a domain of the Western Roman Empire. This could not be further from the truth; Ornellius had sent a few galleys and a dromon back across the ocean several times, but none of them made it back. As far as he knew, God had done terrible things to Europe and had spared his fleet as the last Romans left on the planet. This idea was promulgated by most of the settlers.
He gazed out across his town, watching as stone bricks recently carved out of a new nearby stone quarry were layed down to build the town well. He saw the bricks, logs, and clay being laid out across the town to build new schools, academies, houses, hospitals, barracks, fences, walls, a town hall, and a silo. Pigs, sheep, cattle, chickens, dogs, horses, and countless other animals from the Old World were now being unloaded from their ships and led into new pastures and pens on the outskirts of the town, while fruits, nuts, and vegetables were now being planted in small backyard gardens at every house.
A man known as "the beekeeper" had even brought a hive of European honeybees along for the voyage. He chuckled, thinking of how the other people on his ship had dreaded coming to the deck because his hive was there. The beekeeper had said that the bees were gentle and would be of use in pollunating their crops, but Xavian Ornellius did not think much of it.
He took the entire scene in, nodding in approval at his blossoming settlement. Indeed, he thought, this will be the beginning of a great empire.
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Note: So the basic premise is that a large group of talented people and soldiers, the best Roman society has to offer, travel across the Atlantic Ocean in 400 A.D. and establish a small colony that looks similar to Jamestown or Plymouth. This is not a full timeline (yet) and in this thread I just want to explore the history of this new society over the next few centuries. They will not have any European contact whatsoever until 1492 (this can also be delayed to 1513), but I may try to explore some interesting ideas later on concerning Viking activity in Canada and possibly Maine that will inevitably happen in the 10th and 11th centuries. The small town I'm having them start with is just temporary and I will probably have a better-planned, more advanced Roman-looking city be built near modern-day Norfolk later on. The Americo-Roman legion has changed their uniform back to the lorica segmentata, by the way. Anyone who wants to post small little excerpts about the history, folklore, music, clothing, food, tactics, technology, cities, or government of this new colony are free to do so since this is just a brainstorm. I would love to hear thoughts from others about this. Thanks!