It is the year 826 since the foundation of Rome, and it is an auspicious year. Exactly one-hundred years ago, Caesar Augustus, son of the Divine Julius Caesar, was granted powers that cemented him as Princeps – first among his peers. The breadth of all his powers were summed up in his title Augustus, and his reorganized version of the ancient Republic – known as the Principate – was born. Yet, much more prevalent in the minds of the people is the celebration of their current Princeps, and the decennium pacis – Decade of Peace – he has brought to them.
Ten years have passed since the devastating civil war that saw the empire torn apart. Rome is flourishing under Quintus Flavius Caesar Alexander, whose firm leadership has brought a period of growth and stability almost on par with that of Augustus himself. The brother of the former Augusta, maternal uncle to the nearly lost Julio-Claudians, son-in-law to senate leaders, and a decorated general in his own right, Caesar Alexander has proven himself to possess all the necessary qualities to unite a society previously torn apart by internal strife.
To the north, Caesar Alexander's war in Britannia has officially ended with a victory declared for Rome… but strife remains as the northern tribes grow more and more restless, and Roman adventurers and merchants grow greedy for the riches in the island off Britannia’s western shore. Across the channel in Gaul, Caesar’s brother Jullus Flavius Alexander maintains a tight grip over the Rhine Frontier, and prepares the legions there for a long and brutal fight against the ever-encroaching Germanic tribes. Rome is simply waiting and watching for a cassus belli to send her troops across the Rhine and complete the annexation of Germania Magna that the emperor Tiberius started so many decades ago.
Though the empire’s eastern border is secure and at relative peace, the threat of war is ever-present. Where Rome has enjoyed peace for the past decade, her great rival Parthia has been torn apart by internal war. Distracted by the threat of the Aorsi – a threat that Caesar was instrumental in creating – Parthia called upon armies of mercenaries to do her fighting and secure her borders. One among them, an army of Hellenes from Bactria, led by their courageous general, defeated the Aorsi and secured the empire… only then to begin a war of their own. Calling himself Seleukos, in the manner of the Seleucid kings that followed Alexander the Great, this Hellenic general has taken great swathes of land from Xerxes Arsaces. Rome remains neutral in the fight, but maintains her frontier defenses.
In Rome itself, the senate is the most unified it has been in many decades. The faction politics that reached their height under the rule of Honorius have since replaced by near unanimous support for Caesar's guidance of the state. Caesar Alexander has modeled his rule greatly after Divine Augustus, and maintains a careful balance between his role and that of the Senate. It has proved to be a great factor for stabilization, as Caesar and his men maintain the empire at large, while the Senate maintain Rome, her historical territories, and her traditions.
With no major wars to campaign in, and a lack of political strife to stroke their egos, the powerful men of the state have started to find their fame and worth through service to the empire. Senators compete to become Caesar’s favorite (or if not Caesar's favorite, then the favorite of his brothers, sons, or family) through their good works; to become consul ordinaries, to have a temple donated in their name, a good command given to their sons, or even marriage into the lower rungs of the Flavian family – these are all goals which ambitious men now aspire to. While working against one another, they work for the good of the state.
While Caesar Alexander maintains a firm and steady rule after ten years at the helm of the empire, there are those who wonder whether or not the peace will last for another decade, or even longer?
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Edited by Gothic