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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

stnylan

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First toehold in the Continent.
 

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Well, these Romans took a page out of Carthage's book.

Great job reconquering Britannia and Belgica.

Also, will the New World be Roman soon?
 

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Chapter 8: The 60th Consul
“Leontius the Stern. What a laugh! In Frisia he spent more time with Frankish wine than with his men! He funds an expedition to a new land, and he names it after wine! Don’t vote for the drunkard of the tyrannical Salvii, vote F. Desius Licinius, let us form a true republic!”
“Look at those canvassers for Licinius, they fail to do more than offer shots at the character of M. Leontius Salvius! They have no policy, they have no honor, nay, Desius has barely fought a battle! Vote M. Leontius Salvius, for he will bring peace!” - rival criers for Leontius and Desius Licinius in the election of 1007 AD / 1760 AUC


Upon taking the office of Consul, Leontius Salvius would announce his intention to focus on peace and the rebuilding of Britannica. In an address to the Senate in Londinium, Leontius would state “Gallienus did much to help rebuild the broken land from the Liberation. However, he continued the policy of bringing Liberation to lands beyond that of Britannia. An admirable goal, certainly born of his friendship with the Licinii. But the people need rest. Let us focus on rebuilding, to bring true Roman civilization to the land.” He would then introduce an extensive bill, legislating everything from an increase in funding for public works such as aqueducts and new drainage systems, to the increase of the size of the legions from 1,000 to 5,000 to open up further paths to citizenship for the people of Britannia.

One of the biggest single projects within Leontius’ infrastructure bill was to begin construction on a new Circus for Londinium. In Leontius’ proposed design, it was explicitly modeled after a mixture of the old Circus Maximus and Flavian Amphitheater in Rome, as well the Hippodrome in Constantinople. Placed in the heart of the city, it would function as part theater and part sports arena, and Leontius hoped it would serve as a new center of Roman culture in Britannia.
Beyond this new Circus, Leontius would focus on turning Londinium into a new Campos Vapos, with a rebuilt city wall and new city layout. To pay for all this, not only was a new series of taxes brought in to overhaul the old inefficient Anglican tax model, but wealth seized from old nobles and the overly embellished Papist churches further was used to augment the state revenue
The new taxes and seized church property proved to be controversial, and Leontius found himself having to lead the legions out more than one to suppress some tax protest or revolt by the perugini. The largest such revolt was one led by a son of the King of the Anglo-Saxons named Godric who returned from his family’s exile after his father’s death. Many nobles who had their land taken by Sempronius’ army and given to the peasantry would soon take up arms alongside this new leader who promised to bring about a united Britannia, not under Roman yoke, but ruled by its own. Taking advantage of the anger against the taxes, an army of nearly 8,000 men rose up near Suffolk and began to march on Londinium.
Leontius would march to meet this rebellion, where the legion would find it had almost doubled to nearly 13,000 men. Despite how outnumbered they were, the rebel army was broken in quick order as much of it was unorganized under-armed peasants. The equite was tasked with charging down those who fled, but much of the core of the noble leadership escaped. Before Leontius caught up, hundreds of well equipped nobles similarly roused by the call to resist would join the rebellion. However, as news brought word of how quickly the last group was dispersed, few peasants would join to give numbers to the nobles. Before they could disperse upon realizing their mistake, Leontius’ legion arrived and surrounded the nobles. The Anglican nobles were given a simple choice; surrender and face a fair trial or die in battle.
Facing the possibility of life or certain death, the nobles reluctantly agreed to surrender. Godric and the major ring leaders were beheaded in accordance with the new law, with the remaining number either banished or imprisoned for various lengths of time.


Three years into his Consulship, Leontius would came down with a bad cough that proceeded to get worse and worse. Within days Leontius was bedridden, his body shaking with chills and gasping for what little breath he could. Near completely infirm, Leontius was barely able to attend to the business of state, leaving much of his duties in the hands of the Senate and the praetors. His chest ached from the cough and shooting pains, with strong mint-laced wine barely helping soothe his broken voice. As the days dragged on, many including Leontius himself became convinced that he would soon die such was the severity of his illness.

However, as the days turned to weeks, Leontius felt himself slowly grow stronger. First the chills began to subside, then the sharp chest pains, and after a few weeks, he found himself only with a lingering cough. In his return to the Senate for the first time since his illness, Leontius would state the following, “I am still weak so I shall be brief. By the grace of our Lord, I have survived my trial. The imbalance has passed...and I shall be stronger for it. I wish to announce, I, M. Leontius Salvius...shall pay personally..for the start of a great Church..in Cantium, to thank our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father...for seeing me through such...a trial.”
The sight of the weak, but still standing Consul sent cheers through the Senate, and propraetor soon put forward a motion that the state should help fund Leontius’ project to the glory of God. Soon, ground would be broken on the construction of a new Basilica in Cantium, the new seat of the Insulan rites.

As the revolts against the new Roman rule over Britannia slowed and most of the peasants had learned that the King was dead, long live the Consul, a lingering threat remained. The instability brought by the bloody invasion of Britannia, then the years of war and revolt had left many parts of the countryside infested with petty bandits. On the recommendation from his master of the Horse Sempronius Salvius, Leontius ordered the construction of outposts along the rebuilt road network. From these outposts, mounted troops could quickly track down reports of bandits and chase them down. Working outward from a new mile marker 0 in Londinium, these outposts would create an ever expanding zone of stability that soon stretched across Britannia as a new Roman road network was constructed.



In May of 1764 AUC (1011 AD), the great explorer Lucius Seneca returned after his second great voyage to the west. His ship was full of exoctic lumber and furs he had traded with the barbarian locals he had found in increasing numbers during his voyage. More importantly, he had created extensive charts of the lands of Vinum, finding a far more extensive land than expected. Despite the scale of the land and abundance of forest and fur, Seneca reported “The lands I found were universally poor, finding nary a stone structure. A land of true barbarians whom we had no trouble in convincing granting us furs for trinkets. These furs were of excellent quality, and thus it is my opinion a colony established in one of the excellent harbors we discovered would be quickly profitable.”.
The charts and reports of Seneca were enticing to Leontius, as they offered a way for further expansion without pushing their luck further with Europe. However, he was not yet convinced that fur and lumber alone could sustain Rome in this western land, as such he ordered Seneca to prepare a 3rd expedition to go even further. This would be the greatest yet such exploration meant over several years to explore this new land, learn of the barbarians living there, and the best possible home for a Roman colony.



As the years of Leontius’ Consulship dragged on, the stress of the job began to wear on him. He found it increasingly difficult to work as long or as well as he once could. His loyal wife, Justina, became concerned for his well-being as she noted her husband growing increasingly weary of the reigns of the executive. Late one night as Leontius looked over foriegn correspondence over trade with the Eastern Empire, Justina decided to intervene. Having been raised on the finer points of speech, Justina was quickly able to talk Leontius in allowing her to help with a simple offer of giving his eyes a rest while he got a new perspective.
Very quickly, Justina was able to enrapture Leontius into an extremely productive debate on the merits of one potential senatorial ambassador or the other, or how terms of trade would benefit one nation or the other. Leontius quickly came around to realize just how much of a brilliant diplomat his wife was, and her suggestions combined with his knowledge produced an incredibly promising result that would benefit not only Brittania, but the Eastern Empire, and the Salvii family. Before they wrapped up their discussion, Leontius paused and asked Justina a simple question, “My love, you have utterly surprised me with your intellect tonight. Might I ask, what is something you have always wished seen done with our great Commonwealth?”
Justina’s response was quick, and near without pause, “I wish to serve Rome as a Roman should. In the Forum, on the Cursus Honorum, in the Legions”. The utter conviction and rapidity of her answer shocked Leontius, leaving him stunned in his seat. “Justina…” he started
“Leontius.” Justina cut him off, satirizing his tone, “2,000 years of “tradition” on the “virtue of the woman” should not matter. Have I not shown myself capable? Isn’t one of the greatest virtues of Rome that of liberty? Of the merit of her people? If I am worthy, shouldn’t I not stand before a Roman, as a Roman?”
Leontius swallowed, fighting back the urge to shut down his wife and losing her input, “I may see that. But such a thing...It stands no chance in the Senate. You ask the greatest paterfamilias of our nation to surrender the tradition that saw us through our exile. I cannot do such a thing.”
Justina looked at her husband with a fierce look in her eye, “Try.”. And with that, such a rare moment of breaking with her role as a Roman wife came to an end as she turned and left leaving Leontius stunned and uncertain how to proceed.

Finally, Leontius came to the conclusion he would try to at least get the first step on the way to what his wife wished for on the way. The following day, he went before the Senate and began a long speech on the virtue of Rome, and her citizens. He pulled out every stop he could think to butter up the Senate to the matter he was going to present, drawing on many of the same, although softer, lines his wife had tugged on. Finally, he ended with proposing a bill he hoped would be limited enough to appease his wife, without angering the Senate. He said, “As Romans, we all faced the trials of the exile, or that of the Liberation. Every one of us, on the field or in the hearth, suffered something from the decades before. Every Roman should themselves as virtuous, and overflowing with honor and a spirit of sacrifice equal to none. I propose a recognition of such. As the women tended the fields, ran our estates, and kept the hearth alive whilst the men brought the Liberation to Britannia, I propose that those women of sufficient virtue and spirit of sacrifice be allow to be appointed to such magistries that do not require a Curial or military honorific.”
A stunned silence filled the Senate chamber. Not a single one of the white toga clad Senators had expected such a bill to even be considered by a man, much less one of a Consular rank. The silence seemed to last for eternity, before the chamber erupted into laughter. Mockery fell down from the benches, accusations that Leontius sought to destroy good Roman order, and more such petty insults. The chamber refused to come to order after repeated attempts, and not a single Senator spoke out in favor. Growing ever more frustrated, Leontius ordered Senatorial business suspended for the day, his bill dying immediately on proposal.

Some time later, as the influence of Roman culture seeped deeper into the peasantry of Britannia, and colonies grew ever larger, Leontius saw an opportunity in Camulodunum. As Romans from Insula came to the region, many brought their extensive expertise in watermill manufacturing. This led to a growing number of workshops especially massive grain mills popping up along the rivers and new road network. Leontius decided to offer an incentive for those workers at the workshops to attend lectures and a Roman style education in their off time to improve their literacy and teach them the Latin language. Then the mill owners were told to only allow Latin within the workplace to enforce the lessons further. Soon enough, as Latin became near required to even hint at the social mobility promised by the new roman regime, Latin became a near universal second, or even first, language. Especially in regions like Camulodunum where this program was most intense.




As the election season for 1017 drew nearer, Leontius decided that a further term in government would simply not be for him. So he took the unusual step for one of the Salvii family of declining to run for a second 10 year term. Instead he endorsed his cousin, Lucius Sergius Salvius. As part of his campaign for Sergius, Leontius noted a hospital run by the Church had become overflowing with poor peasants who had thought moving to the city would bring them new wealth. It was quickly running out of room to house these immigrants, so Leontius would pay out of pocket to expand the housing of the hospital and to feed the starving masses. At a great feast for the hospital, he simply declared to them, especially those rare Roman citizens amongst them, “This is a gift of the Salvii family to the good People of Rome!”.


With this being one of the final acts of the campaign, the good will it won amongst the people led to an utter landslide for Sergius. A young, cunning man who had won much fame leading anti-Norse raider campaigns, the citizenry loved him and all the Salvii family had done under Leontius. Thus, before the People of Londinium, Sergius Salvius would become the 61st ruler of Insula and the 3rd elected Consul of the Western Empire in Britannia in 1770 AUC (1017 AD).





The World Situation after the Election of Sergius Salvius, 1017 AD / 1770 AUC
 

Tiberionus

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Well, these Romans took a page out of Carthage's book.

Great job reconquering Britannia and Belgica.

Also, will the New World be Roman soon?
Its important to remember these are Romans radicalized by 450 years of isolation and beating their chest of how "roman" they were. So take how the Romans were already prone to murderizing anyone who fought to the bitter end against them, and remove how it often took 2 or 3 wars for the OG Romans to do that.

Thank

And maybe. Shame I can't do much more than have it as a narrative sideshow.
 

HistoryDude

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Well, Justina is far too progressive.

It looks like the Romans have temporarily stopped conquering. When will they resume?
 
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stnylan

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Some potentially revolutionary ideas floating around there.