My idea for an ancient civilization:
The Almarinians are a peaceful society in the ancient world. Their ruler was skiimus and their the congressmen voted by the public. It was a representative republic but with a king philosopher or king philosophers. They were considered an "adaptive civilization"
Their main trade partner is China, India, Greece, and Rome.
They have been part of many other civilizations. They are a culture of submission and openly embarrassed all those who desire to rule them on behalf of being impressed by their kingdom, cultural ways, and goods.
They would give mercenary-like troops for their allies.
They were more like the slavs.
Their early history they formed a community to survive the harsh winters. They were friendly among their neighbors until they were attached by barbarians. From then they began to build walls. after many generations they had allied with greater forces in order to protect the city and that is how they grew. They adapted many new members as they grew and with time alliances came and went with them adopting many cultures. As time grew their own culture began to rise along with the other ruling cultures. There were a few skirmishes due to greedy kings, but to each skirmish, they learned and grew more knowledgeable. It wasn't until the Chinese allied with them offering trade that their comprehension of knowledge and scholarship grew. This is what intrigued them to the Greeks. They learned from the Greeks offering trade, the Greeks allied with them and they were taught. This set the stage for their desire for wisdom and discovery.
The word is that one shouldn't slay a single Almarinian for to do so would be a sin. They are also the business life line to world trade as they are the only ones who understand the ocean's current. They are also a city founded on merchants and scholars. They were known to be a city of the philosopher kings, where the street paved in which marble, where houses were white as pearl. Much like Troy it was also an impenetrable city.
There was a heavy use of honor in their ranks, but at the same time mutuality of class.
It's a city known for the philosophy that information and strategy is power.
Neighbors were often jealous of the city.
The city was known for its humility and apologetic culture towards neighbors. They created a code of ethics which was unofficially and almost law.
They became a trade post for the ancient world, where when someone wanted to conquer them, they would ally.
Their famous words is that we will offer resources and wine, but never bloodshed.
Foreigners were never allowed to go into the inner four layers of the citadel without permission or a guide. This was for the people only.
The city was known to be extremely hygienic and to use water luxuriously as it had an abundance.
The walls would get stronger as they expanded the city. The inner three layers would also grow more strong as well. It was known to have many layers like an onion, so much that it was better to do trade than to try and take it over. Because of their towers, currier system, and their ability to know what was happening in other city-states and military powers by using spys/ informants loyal to the city, they could keep track on those who potentially wanted to rage a siege on them. They could dispatch their military to the farthest in a given notice.
It was a massive city in it's day with miles reaching from wall to wall.
The philosopher kings could be in a position to call themselves emperors; however, did not want to attract any attention.
It was very difficult to become a philosopher king because one needed to have years of experience In many fields and had to be the best in many subjects, including the use of ethics.
All were educated in the city, including slaves. Education was adopted from the ancient Greeks.
They would exile criminals. If their criminals wanted to come back to the city, hey would have to be trialed into their inner military.
Almarinians means to serve and preserve. Their culture is slav but it's an Asian version that utilizes Chinese, mongol, and slav aesthetics.
They had to defend themselves from the mongols in various occasions.
There is a class system, but it’s intermingled. There is a system to determine a level of importance/ status in society; however it’s an inconsistent convention. Also those who were wealthy also contributed to labor work when they found it necessary for helping others. It’s a very collective society.
Construction. They've mostly been a force of defense and creating inventions to keep the city safe. It's a city on a mountain with extremely wall walls that form odd circles around it. The city is of the greatest size. It expands it's cities with walls. It builds walls on top of water. It has a port. They are known for their tall towers. Their towns are mostly made of wood, but they also utilize stone structures, and also use the underground and caves. They are extremely hygienic, including their military. They are known for their explorers who bring spices and diplomats from overseas. White paved streets, much like Greek, white houses made with plaster/clay (like the ones Japan uses in traditional homes), dark wooden roofs with clay tiles. The city was much like modern Tokyo, structured but chaotic in layout. The towers made of wood and scattered not only throughout the city, but throughout the landscape. They used the Persian currier system of horse to horse stations. Their walls were made out of large stones like in troy. There are many defense mechanisms built into the walls. a curved upper area which features drop holes for tar, large ballistas, arrow shelter made of thatch and wood. A metal mirror plate around the edge of the walls to blind the enemy, their towns were stacked on each other at places, some ancient streets have turned into subterranean structures. Anyone could enter the palace area. The palace was a popular place to gather aside from the grand citadel market area. They were the inventor of communal baths. Their location was abundant for fresh water. Their construction is a mix between Greek, Chinese, and Slavic architecture.
The Almarinians expand by destroying one old wall and add the pieces to a newer wall expanding the size of their citadel. They also destroy older structures to make room for more newer ones. This is how the main palace-castle constantly expands and becomes greater.
Houses also change in style over the years.
Everything the Almarinians need can be found within the walls. They also control a large portion of the port. They do not attack any foreign ships, they invite them to try and spread the interest of their culture and also any propaganda.
Their weapon were a curved sword like the Persians but a fused/ mixed like a boardsword (like tidus from ffx or elves swords from lord of the rings). Their bows were like the mongols, their infantry men used dual edged trident-head lances and single head lances that resembled the tops of their regular swords. All members of the city were to know how to use a bow. There were also ancient cross bows used but for more senior officers.
It's a city with many smaller cities around it with an onion layer of walls.
There was a separate apart of the lower end of the wall they could get slaves and farmers to pull and it would fold backwards, causing troops to fall into the pit or moat in front of the wall using a rope pulling system.
The inner part of the wall also had many trenches.
The entrances to the more inner layers of the citadel had walls that were connected that could be used for archers to pick off armies.
Everyone in their society went to school and achieved a high level of education.
They could also choose a role or be given a role in society. Their role determined their status in society. The greater the status however, the more the ethics. This is also an inconsistency as people’s homes were to mixed with different classes.
They spoke mainly slavic mixed with Chinese. Their unique writing also reflected this.
The city was about an intellectual, intelligence gathering, and economic-trade conquest without military involvement. Their wars were fought with deals, negotiation, strategy, and intelligence. It used it's ethics and culture as it's tools. Their conquest was becoming the trade capitol and conquering other civilization through conquest of debt in which they would later use to purchase and obtain more and more land. They would offer fair taxes and never change the rates. They wanted other cities to humble themselves to the level of humility in their culture and teach them how to be prosperous. Their leaders had a theory to prove that wars can be won without the use of men and could be done so one hundred times more effectively, they also believe this was the natural order of things if there were no wars, greed, or human-earthly desires this is what would prove civilizations to be the greatest.
They were never to grow greedy and always to humble oneself as ethics was a personal law to prove they were good. It was to prove to their culture, society, and leaders that they were good.
Nobody wanted to do battle because the outter wall were impenetrable and once you were in the city, you could ultimately be already surrounded with the use of calvery and the walls.
They used slaves and farmers to build the walls. The completion of the walls allowed the freedom of the slaves so they had a huge incentive to complete the walls along with getting meals, shelter, and medicine.
The construction of the city starts with six walls and slowly expands outwards. As time goes on more walls are added adding a total of ten rings. after the culture spreads creating five other cities outside of the ring, They built another wall around those cities and continued to expand. The use of walls were the tool for their expansion, trade, deal, and negotiation won over the neighboring cities. People in the first few walls are always welcomed. This is where they conduct trade. They can enter the inner citadels but eventually they reach a point where they can't enter this inner area has gone through reconstruction many times to update it's inner battlement plans. Their goal was to keep foreign armies away from the inner palace which they called the capitol. Which was said to have pillars painted in gold.
They wanted to be known as a city that was a world within a world or “a kingdom within a kingdom”.
A culture, whose culture is to assimilate over the most supreme over them. The people who are trained in military at an early age and primarily loyalty to the city. Their leaders would only be loyal to leaders who are of the greatest empire who if they abide by their basic rules, would serve that who is greater offering trade, technology, and taxes. Using diplomacy, they would purposely go to the greatest and most wealth nations and serve them. In return they were allowed to continue and expand their culture expand their internal city military, battlement, and armaments.
They perfected propaganda by entertainment. They were also the first to study ancient forms of human psychology and manipulation. They were also pioneers of medicine.
Their culture is to be in assimilation with the ruling culture over them. The famous words of one of their past philosopher kings is to never forget one's ancestral heritage.
A controversial part of their culture was sexual as they offered a harmonious sexual culture which wasn't sexual in nature but allowed for obscene practices which is different from the rest of the world. This also leads to the mixture of races.
There is propaganda for slaves throughout the land and for slave traders to do business with them.
There is a desire by the kings to purchase the desirable slaves and to turn them into citizens.
They were free to worship any God they wanted. Part of the trade in the past was creating relics for different Gods. They also gave the Romans the idea that there could be many Gods in service to a civilization.
Their trade is technology and goods such as wine, grapes, olivs, fish, pottery, iron, masonrty, metals, potatoes, rice, onions, and sun flowers and their greatest trade is entertainment, philosophy, and storytelling. Their a culture not of military conquest but of greatest defense. Their conquest is economic by collecting the debts of their neighbors. A culture of philosophy and ethics who made agreements to their neighbors and would only settle for peace. If their neighbors could not pay, they would form mutual agreements. They are scientists and alchemists.
They are known for their exotic weapons.
The people within the walls didn't pay taxes, but there were towns outside the walls that payed taxes to the city as a way to promote trade and ways to sell to the city.
The Almaraians also traded a lot with the Etruscans.
They had aquaducts, pluming. democratic republic with tree philosopher kings.
There was rule for each family a certain amount of food from farmlands. The idea was to have an abundance of food four times the size of its population. Another law is for every size of population, a public area, library, academy, plumbing...etc.