The House of Julii
The House of Scipii
The House of Brutii
From their island home the Britons have much to feel confident about. Protected by the moat of the sea from invasion, they can gaze out towards the mainland, and plan their conquests...
Britons are fierce fighters and present a terrifying appearance to their foes. They dye themselves blue with woad, think nothing of danger, and often lime their hair into fantastical spikes, making them appear truly horrific. Their traditional method of warfare involving fighting from light, highly manoeuvrable chariots can also put fear into many enemies. The noise alone is enough to scare many into flight.
The Scipii are part of the aristocracy of the city, and have been for many generations. They are important people, used to the privileges of rank and the usages of power, both to further Rome's ambitions and that of their own family.
They are, however, unusual in a couple of respects for a Roman family of the old ways. They are extravagantly wealthy and they have a taste for Greek learning and culture, something that surprises and concerns conservative Romans (and Romans are nothing if not conservative). Nevertheless, despite these un-Roman ways, the Scipii have the political skills and military competence to make their family the greatest in Rome, and possibly the rulers of the known world. They may only directly control a couple of provinces in Italy and Sicily, but their ambitions are boundless... and realistic.
Carthage – the name means "new town" – is a Phoenician colony that outgrew and survived its parent land. Even before the Greeks reached the Western Mediterranean, Carthage was a superbly wealthy city, and thanks to its mastery of the seas. Carthaginian colonies now ring the sea.
Carthage is a maritime power, with only a relatively small landowning class to provide military land power. This, however, does not matter as long as Carthage continues to be wealthy. Its coffers pay for mercenaries in abundance when the city needs to go to war. And it is this wealth, mastery of trade and expansion along the Mediterranean coast towards Italy that brings Carthage into direct confrontation with the newly rising power of Rome.
Egypt was one part of Alexander the Great's empire and is now ruled by Greek Pharaohs, the descendants of Ptolemy I, one of Alexander's most able generals. The Ptolemaic dynasty adjusted rapidly to Egyptian ways and adopted the royal ways of the Pharaohs – including divine status and marriage between the Pharaoh and his sister in each generation.
Egypt is a rich land under the new Pharaohs and a centre of learning for the Greek world. Their potential in warfare against the other successor states is also impressive, and an aggressive Pharaoh could well expand Egypt's boundaries far beyond the Nile valley...
The Julii are a patrician family but one whose fortunes have declined and then risen over the centuries, so much so that the other powerful factions of Rome look down (if only ever so slightly) on these "new men" of Rome. The Julii have had to adjust to the realities of politics and power, and have cultivated their popularity with the common people. The rule of Rome may lie with the Senate for now, but the Julii know that the people also have a say in government.
This populist attitude to the common people puts the Julii at odds with the other great families. Which approach will lead to great power within Rome has still to be decided...
The Brutii were, more than any other faction, responsible for the founding of the Roman Republic – a fact they like to rub in the faces of the other Roman factions. They are extremely proud of their heritage and do not feel like they ought to share the place with anyone. Politically, they are by far the most conservative. They are right-wing and do not tend to pay respect to the Plebians (unlike the left-wing Julii) or the gods (unlike the superstitious and reverent Scipii). They believe that they are the guardians of the Republic and all true Roman ways, and that no one else can claim this title.
The Brutii are based in the south and are often occupied fighting the Greek Cities and Macedon, both situated to the east.
Move your mouse over the pictures!