Historical Background
Julius Nepos was the last Roman Emperor of the west, dying in the province of Dalmatia, which he had turned into a mini-empire, in 480AD. Now the west was under Germanic rule and all of them, except for the Franks, subscribed to the heretical Arian version of Christianity which saw Jesus Christ as being only human and devoid of divine attributes. Whilst in the east the Roman empire survived and thrived under the competent rule of Anastasius, a former tax collector. Yet this stability would change with the ascension of Justin and later his nephew Justinian to the throne. Justinian saught to distract the population of Nea Roma-Konstantinopolis with great military Triumphs and he ahd the opportunity to do so by annexing all former Roman territory in the west. The reconquest of 'Africa' made it a peacful and prosperous region once again. The reconquest of Italia however made the region a ruin open to Barbarian predations from the north, the attempts to subdue Hispania during a civil war only resulted in the Visigoths being more stern towards their Roman subjects to prevent furutre rebellions. The Franks, although Orthodox, were still against the Roman Empire as they did not wish to submit to the rule of the Emperor. While all this was going on, the east was also open to Persian attacks, despite the later 'Everlasting Peace'. Added to this large riots in the major cities of the Empire, natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and plague, hyper taxation to fuel the war effort in the west made the Age of Justinian an era of both Aristocratic glory and Public suffering.

The Bishop plays the rols of Spy, I have cranked up the attack/defense strength of certain units to make a more dynamic game. Also some city improvements cost a lot to build and to maintain, just as it was in reality.
Essentially you will quickly find out the quailities of each unit type, I must admit that the values were 'of-the-head' and have not been subjected to a long evaltuation-that may be corrected in a 3rd version. If you are playing the Romans, the Justinian, Belisarius, Narses, Liberius and Solomon units are irreplacable. the same goes for the King units of other civs.
The graphics originate from various sources, some of the units I created from scratch, some were edited from another source and others are directly taken from other sources without changes-the MRP signature is mine. The Border graphic is a copy of part of the interior decoration of Haghia Sophia, though the colour does not make the wording show very well in the scenario-something to do for version3.
The Paved Road graphic is meant to demonstrate the continued use and maintainance of the road network built during the expansionist years of the Roman Empire-they also help the Romans to get to the west easier as the turn year increment would result in Belisarius getting to Italia after the Vandal campaign very late indeed if it were not for the Paved Road utility. The village graphic replaces the Airbase, used for hills to produce and extra unit of food, just as in reality the presence of villages outlying a Metropolis boosted the resources of the Metropolis itself, they can be built by Serfs using the 'E' command. Pollution should not be a major factor in this scenario, but if you are playing the Romans you will find the City rife with disease which, if not remideed by the building of Hospitals (but don't worry about that until you have built Haghia Sophia), could result in the appearance of Plagued areas nearby. The fortress graphic is meant to represent the Roman style of fortress building. The banners (flags) I designed, as the flag form we use today was not used then. The reason why there is a mixture of bmp and gif files is that originally I had used a demo version of Paint Shop Pro, but when it expired (and it forbids you to re-download it) I went to using Microsoft Paint, saving them as 256 bmp files, they should work without any problems. The Orthodox and Armenian Monasteries graphic I created to represent the presence of this institutions during this time. The Armenian Monasteries are there to show the abundance of these buildings in the region. The Chi-Rho emblem cursor I made, it was used by the Romans to represnt the first two letter of the greek name of Christ. The People graphic is my own creation, designed to be as authentic to the 6th century era as posssible. Some of the wonders graphics I made as well as the Oud (Lute) graphic which replaces the normal Luxury graphic, and the Hammer replaces the Shield graphic, the Dagger replaces the Corruption graphic, the pile of waste replaces the black shield waste graphic and the hand with a money bag replaces the normal trade arrow graphic. The Rotting head (symbolise spread of Plague) replaces the pollution graphic and the opening book replaces the beaker graphic. The Farmland graphic I made, showing Cypress and Olive trees. The Revolt graphic is drawn as a blaze, by me. BeBro quickly kindly reminded me to credit him! Nice work BeBro! If you spot a graphic that you made that has not been credited, e-mail me.

Recommended; Romans
Playable; Huns_Germans, Franks, Persians, Ostrogoths and Visigoths
Hard; Vandals

The great Empire still survives, with a splendid exile-Capital; New Rome to work from. The wise peaceful rule of Anastasius ended with the ascension of the Justinians. They would undo all Anastasius's work. From excessive tax collections to vain-glorious campaigns in the west, the Age of Justinian would echo down the centuries to come. If playing the Romans (recommended) you should first put down any rebellions in your cities (expect them at higher levels of difficulty), make peace or strongly fortify the border with Persia, contain the Huns_Germans and then move against the Vandals. Once the Vandals have been conquered, move against the Ostrogoths taking Sicily first and move up the coast to Neapolis and Roma. finish building Haghia Sophia, if you abondon it then you will not have the option of building it again. The Events should guide you along the way.

Originating in modern Poland, the Vandals later divided into two groups, the Siling and Asding Vandals. During the removal of Roman troops along the Rhinus frontier to defend Illyria against the Ostrogoths, the Vandals easily crossed the river to invade Gaul and Hispania. They stayed in the south of the country for a while and it was named after them Vandalusia (Andalusia). When the Visigoths were ordered by the western Roman emperor to drive them out, they were led by Gaiseric to the waiting rebel Roman ships on the coast to take them to support an uprising in Africa. However they soon turned on the Roman rulers of Africa and declared an independant autocracy. Carthage was taken in 439AD. From the Great Harbour were launched a series of raids in the Mare Nostrum to sack such cities as Roma, taking back ancient treasures such as the giant Menora of the Temple of Jerusalem (originally taken by Titus in 71AD). The Vandals subscribed to the heretical Arian version of Christianity which saw Jesus Christ as being only human and devoid of divine attributes. This alienated them from their Roman subjects. Only Hilderic, half Roman and descended from Theodosius I on his mother's side, was tolerant of Orthodox Christianity in his realm. He would be overthrown by Gelimer sparking tension between the Vandal realm and the Roman empire which sought to protect the interests of Romans lving under foreign rule. If playing the Vandals, try and subdue Africa and conquer Sicily and continue raiding!

Ever since Ardashir rebelled against the Parthian (Turkoman) rulers of Iran in 224AD the Persian Empire sought to reconquer the lost territories of the Persian Empire of Darius III. to an extent the succeeded, but the attempt to reconquer the west brought only ruin to their Empire. Zoroastriansim was made the state religion, all non conformers were punished, but rarely could the Persian state make people conform. During the 570's the Yemmen would be made a protectorate by invitation of the local rulers who sought support against Abbysinian expansionism-the Abbysinians were Christians (330AD) but the attempt to make Armenia a Mazdian (Zoroastrian) province failed by the guerilla warfare of the Mamikonians (a family said to have originally come from China-When the region of Shu in China was conquered by the Wei dynasty refugees from Shu escaped to Persia brining new styles of art forms with them such as the dynamic flowing representations of the Sassanian monarchs clearly deriving from Chinese art forms). The Persians made some central Asian regions tributary such as the Tokharians of Xingian and on many occaions invaded the Indus valley in India. The Persian Monarchy in turn was to seek refuge in China after 651AD. They were granted land in the far western Chinese provinces and acted as gaurdians in turn certain Persian styles came to China and the young Japanese state such as the Persian face masks and the Lute (Oud).
At a higher level it is unlikley you will retake the lost western Marzapanates (provinces) so develope a strong economy and make a few gains in the Caucasus and Mesopotamia.

The Ostrogoths were led to Italia by their brilliant leader Theodoric by invitation of the Emperor Zeno to overthrow the tyrannical Odoacer. In the end Odoacer was invited to a banquet set up by Theodoric and killed. The rule of the Ostrogoths in Italia was peaceful and they defended the Danube frontier from Barbarian encrouchment. On their coins the Ostrogothic rulers were depicted in an excessivley Roman fashion with diadems and togas and holding the Imperial Viceroy batton. The Ostrogoths subscribed to the heretical Arian version of Christianity which saw Jesus Christ as being only human and devoid of divine attributes. This alienated them from their Roman subjects. If playingthis civ, continue to develop the infrastructure of Italia and try to keep peace with the Roman empire. Conquering Corsica and Sardinia will provide a forward base in the Mare Nostrum.

Clovis became the overall ruler of the Franks in 481AD from which he proceeded to conquer the kingdom of the Roman Count Syagrius, the Visigoths of Tolossa, the annexation of Burgundia through marraige to the Orthodox Burgundian princess and conquest of Alemannia and Thuringia. This created a large Frankish realm ruled by relatives of the monarch. The Franks subscribed to the Orthodox view of Christ being both human in nature and divine. If playing the Franks continue the development of the Frankish state, conquer Massilia and Narbon, annex the Bretons (the Barbarians occupying the penninsula to the north-west) and fight fearlessly against the Hun_Germans. Try to keep cordial relations with the Roman empire.

A western branch of the Goths, they had for a while occupied Wallachia but when the Huns came they sought refuge within the Roman empire, which was granted, but they rebelled when the corrupt official pu in charge of overseeing them strated to extort money from them in return for rotten food-sometimes rats-to eat. Later moved to the region of Slovenia, their brilliant king Alaric decided to invade Italia-sacking Rome for 3 days-and to move to the toe of Italia hoping to cross to Sicily. However he died and his body together with the great treausure he took is now lost. Subsequently the Visigoths were made into Foederatti (Federated Troops) to fight the Vandals and Suevi in Hispania before being granted lands in Aquitania with a capital at Tolossa (Toulouse). when it became clear that the western empire would never recover, the Visigoths decided to go out and out for an Empire and took over much of Hispania and southern Gaul. In 507AD they would lose the Gaulish (except for Narbon) territories to the Franks at the battle of Vouille. Until the Arab invasion of 711AD they were to keep within Hispania-making only the Suevic kingdom and the province of Tingitana (Ceuta) their new territories. The Visigoths subscribed to the heretical Arian version of Christianity which saw Jesus Christ as being only human and devoid of divine attributes. This alienated them from their Roman subjects and was the reason for the Roman invasion and later Arab invasion of Hispania, invited by dissedents in the realm, to overthrow the Visigothic monarchy so they could conduct their daily lives without persecution.

Meant to represent the other Germanic tribes as well as the Avars and Huns of eastern Europe. If you play them it will be an easy time, sacking border cities and exacting tribute!

They play the role of the Britons/Anglo-Saxons, Basques and Berbers. As you will know, they can not be played

Other authentic names for techs are still to be thought up, the tech paradigm is low-the aim of the game is to survive and conquer.

The Title.Gif
My own creation showing the mosaic of the youthful Justinian, in St. Apolinaire Ravenna. The top-left shows the events at the Hippodrome (a major issue during his reign), thetop=right shows the double headed eagle (symbolizing the reunited western-eastern Empire), the bottom-right shows the plague taking away a victim (the Bubonic plague was a sever handicap to Justinian's military plans), just below that is a fortress in Tunisia (one of many built during his reign after the reconquest of 'Africa') and on the bottom-left sohws the Haghia Sophia (a great structural acievement of this era).

Government types:
All are Monarchies.
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