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Why is Basil II separate from Rome, but Kublai rules over China?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by João III, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. João III

    João III Chieftain

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    I suppose the broader question may be, why do we have the Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire represented separately, but the Qin and Yuan dynasties are represented together as "China"? Some may suggest the Roman Empire under Trajan and the Eastern Roman Empire under Basil II are completely different cultures, but could the same not be said of the Qin and Yuan dynasties, which reigned 1,400 years apart? Additionally, Basil II and Trajan are (comparatively) only 900 years apart and represent the same polity in the same line of succession.

    The only thing Kublai and Qin Shi Huang seem to have alike is that they ruled over the same area. By that logic, should Suleiman rule over the Eastern Roman Empire as well? Or are Kublai and Qin combined into China because of the transfer of the Mandate of Heaven? Should Peter be available as leader of the Eastern Roman Empire then, as Moscow claimed itself to be the Third Rome? Or Philip II, since the last Byzantine emperor granted his imperial rights to the Spanish throne?

    Ultimately, the separation of the Roman Empire based on time period, but not China, seems arbitrary and inconsistent to me.

    Addendum: would you rather see China split or Rome and Byzantium combined?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  2. Kwami

    Kwami Deity

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    I can think of three reasons.

    1. Most people, including most actual historians, consider the Byzantine Empire to be a thing. It outlived the rest of the Roman Empire by more than 1,000 years.

    2. China doesn't like to admit that China wasn't always China.

    3. It's more fun and fun is more important than consistency with regards which empires are really parts of other empires, or whatever.
     
  3. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Emperor

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    Because euro-centrism.

    I was advocating for Rome and Byzantium to be blobbed after we got Maurya blobbed into India and especially after we got Carthage blobbed into Phoenicia. And I still think it would have worked very well, if we had removed the bath unique (Hungary has it now and it's better for it), and replaced it with the hippodrome.

    I really liked the concept of VI using alternate leaders to show continuity between related civilizations, but unfortunately that was not what the masses wanted. Hugely missed opportunity to make VI stand out from the series and other franchises, imo.
     
  4. pokiehl

    pokiehl Emperor

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    Because leaders controlling two countries in the game is a silly concept and I hope they abandon it for Civ 7.
     
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  5. João III

    João III Chieftain

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    1. This is a very Western European perspective that denies the continuity of the Roman Empire in the east to claim the Holy Roman Empire as the "true" Roman Empire.

    2. The Eastern Roman Empire has a better claim as the Roman Empire than China as always being China. Would that make the representation of China in this game Chinese propaganda?

    3. So you would agree that it's arbitrary?
     
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  6. Denkt

    Denkt Returned

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    Kublai is also a leader for two different civilizations. Also Alexander should be the first target since he had a whole civilization created for him, in past games he have been used as a leader for the Greeks, but I suspect the theme of the Greek civilization did not fit him that well. The time gap between Trajan and Basil is much wider than the gap between Alexander and Ancient Sparta and Athens.
     
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  7. Kwami

    Kwami Deity

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    No, it's not. Denying that the Byzantine Empire outlived the rest of the Roman Empire and became its own thing is just nonsensical. It has nothing to do with a "Western European perspective".

    Yeah, probably. 2K wants to sell games in China. Besides that, though, you have to remember that this game is designed by Americans in America who grew up with an American education (mostly). Here, "China" is "China". The populous generally doesn't know about the various dynasties because, frankly, why would they? Unless you're into China or Chinese culture or something, that kind of thing doesn't really pop up. We all learned about the Byzantines, though.

    So what? Why does it matter?

    Civilization has always been and will continue to be a pop history flavored 4X game. Anyone expecting consistency and realism is probably looking in the wrong place. Try EU4 or something.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  8. Unmitigated Gaul

    Unmitigated Gaul Chieftain

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    Totally arbitrary. But who cares?

    the problem with Kublai is that Mongolia has a good Civ ability so he’s a fun mongol leader, but China has a relatively weak one, so he’s a relatively weak Chinese leader.

    if they moved the extra builder charge (but not the builder produced wonders) from Qins kit into China’s kit, Kublai China would be more fun.
     
  9. Denkt

    Denkt Returned

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    Even their civ ability is called dynastic cycles, pointing at its age and continuation.

    Also it is not the first time Byzantines are in the game separate from Rome, it have been that way since atleast Civ III. Alexander's macedonia is however a major new thing, in civ 3 to 5 he is the leader of the greeks, only 6 have separated him from the greeks with his own civilization.
     
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  10. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

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    Because Basil II never ruled Roman Empire (whether as a polity or as a region), but Kublai actually ruled China (whether as a polity or as a region)?

    Byzantine is not Roman Empire, period. This is a really uninformative question.
     
  11. Hellenism Salesman

    Hellenism Salesman Warlord

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    The devs are weird when it comes to what they blob and what they separate.

    We have a Holy Roman Emperor (which was a Civ distinct from Germany in some of the past games) leading Germany with a U-Boat as a unique unit.

    And there's also the entire idea of their being a "leader" of ancient Greece, which was mostly just alliances of separate city-states...

    I think the way they choose what to blob is based on what the landmass/culture/entity is currently. Was the Holy Roman Empire encompassing what we now call Germany? Yes, so "Frederick Barbarossa leads Germany in Sid Meier's Civilization VI." And, was Athens (the city-state) part of what we now consider Greece? Considering the capital of modern Greece is Athens, the answer is yes :p, and thus Pericles leads Greece. Likewise, since the Eastern Roman Empire is currently considered a separate entity from the previous Latin-speaking one, the Byzantine Empire is allowed to exist alongside the Roman Empire.

    I'm not going to pretend I'm well-versed in the history of Kublai's reign and the Yuan Dynasty, but assuming this logic is how the devs made their decisions in the past, I'm thinking that it applied to Kublai and it was used there. But, if it really doesn't even make sense using that logic, then it may very well be another reason. I'm not a Firaxis dev in disguise (as far as you know :mischief:), so I can't give the answers :crazyeye:

    And while I'm not pardoning the use of this logic (this is an explanation, not a justification), it makes sense when you consider that Civ as a franchise is designed to appeal to an audience that isn't purely historians, and thus uses the modern, recognizable, and (in the case of Canada) stereotypes of that country or empire. Hence "artsy" France, Trajan wearing red (which would make sense if this was supposed to be his military attire... I think? Not an expert on Rome:sad:) rather than the status symbol of purple (which they did do in Rome's jersey :goodjob:), and a Spanish leader who leans in hard on the Spanish Inquisition jokes.

    Mass-appeal sometimes outweighs historical accuracy. It is a product, after all... :undecide:

    You are correct, but I just found it funny that the man also literally calls his kingdom Rome in his greeting line.

    "You stand before Basil, Autocrat and Emperor of the Romans, scourge of my foes. Behold Rome!"

    I understand the choice, and you're still right, but the Byzantines' perspective on their identity does make this entertaining to me :lol:
     
  12. InsidiousMage

    InsidiousMage Prince

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    That's news the Byzantines who official called their empire the "Basileia Rhōmaiōn" aka Monarchy of the Romans.
     
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  13. João III

    João III Chieftain

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    But the Eastern Roman Empire didn't "outlive" the Roman Empire, it was the Roman Empire. "Byzantine Empire" is an anachronistic and, essentially, made-up term.

    I would agree that's what is ultimately the case here. Aside from that, however, because the American populous generally doesn't know about Chinese dynasties, they shouldn't be represented in game? You could make that case about several civs in this game.

    And I disagree with these civs' representation on the basis that it's arbitrary when it shouldn't be
     
  14. Duke William of Normandy

    Duke William of Normandy King of England & Unofficial Welcoming Committee

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    :dunno:
     
  15. Hellenism Salesman

    Hellenism Salesman Warlord

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    Between all this arguing and fanatical guesswork, I have to appreciate your honesty.
     
  16. Duke William of Normandy

    Duke William of Normandy King of England & Unofficial Welcoming Committee

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    I strive to put up a good image here and become a model for the people here.
     
  17. João III

    João III Chieftain

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    Huh? Basil II was emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, which was a continuous polity dating back to Augustus. Not to mention, the region it spanned was literally the Eastern Roman Empire. How can you say he didn't rule over the same region?
    And Kublai's China, as a polity, was wholly different from Qin's china. The only thing they had in common was the region.
     
  18. SMcM

    SMcM Emperor

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    I think everyone is aware the Eastern Roman Empire was never called the Byzantine Empire in its time. People do love to point out the same widely known facts over and over as if they are making original points.

    Anyway, it was a separate entity, A) because it had already become a de-facto separate state from the Western Roman empire whilst that still existed, and B) because over time it's Greek language and later Orthodox faith came to be significant in defining its character.

    We aren't really concerned with what they called themselves, after all, Mehmed II proclaimed himself Kayser-i Rûm on the conquest of Constantinople. Distinguishing them from the Western Roman Empire is done because it is most useful and makes sense.
     
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  19. notNamed

    notNamed Warlord

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    Basil actually ruled the Roman Empire which is called the Byzantine Empire because it makes it easier to talk about it.
    Just as Kublai ruled China which is, again, normally called Yuan Dynasty because again, it makes it easier to talk about them in separation.
     
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  20. 8housesofelixir

    8housesofelixir Emperor

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    No it is not. The eastern half of the Roman Empire literally separated itself from the Western Roman empire after Theodosius I.

    Following the same logic then Holy Roman Empire is also Roman Empire, since there emperors would call themselves "Emperor of the Romans" (Rex Romanorum) as well.

    The Byzantines did view themselves as Romans, not to say that the Byzantines largely followed the political system of Romans. However, when asking any Byzantinists this question, they will certainly tell you "Byzantines are not Romans" because their empire was also different from the Roman Empire in many other ways. Viewing Byzantines and Romans as the same just because of their identities is not much different from viewing Britons and Celtic Britons as the same people.

    TBH I agree with this statement. Problem being this is not how OP phrase his/her question.

    I don't mind having multiple China(s) in a Civ game - or, China would fit Huamnkind's "per era" model better - but "Byzantines-Romans" is an entirely different beast to deal with.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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