“In order to do what is right we must know what is right”
|Category: Left-Leaning College State|
Regional Influence: Contender
"Praesiderimus" ("We shall protect")
"The Holy City"
Capital and Largest City:
Catholicism (Official): 88,3%
Doge: Lord Jacob Berkeley
Proconsuls: Sir Coriolanus Fulton, Sir Mark Leigh
Council of Fifteen
9% internal water
Total: 1,513 tn GDS (1,869 tn USD)
Per Capita: 28.350 GDS (35.000 USD)
Gibraltarican Denarius (Δ) (GDS)
dd/mm/yyyy Anno Domine/Ante Christus (AD/AC)
Drives on the left
Internet TLD: .gib
The Byzantine Kingdom of the Gibraltarican Isles and her Dominions (Ρεγνυμ Bυζαvτιι Ivσυλη Γιβραλταρικη ετ Eιυς Δoμιvια), or Gibraltarica, is an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea. It is among the smaller nations in Conch Kingdom, especially in Europe. The capital is New Byzantium, colloquially referred to as Justinianopolis or Gnossus. Gibraltarica is divided into five provinces and one district.
Gibraltarican identity traces its roots back to the Romans. Indeed, the Grand Palace in the capital declares the emperor to be the result of over two millenia of progress. Gibraltarica was fashioned from the ruins of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, being the homeland of Christian refugees and of the refounded Order of the Knights Templar. By 1600, the Empire had re-established itself on Crete, and taken over Sicily, Sardinia, and the Balears from Spain, and purchased Corsica from Genoa. In 1767, when the Military Order of Malta converted to Orthodoxy, it effectively transferred control of the island of Malta to Gibraltarica as well.
Recently, Gibraltarica has become the home of technological development, a flourishing tourism economy, and a large fishing sector. This is as opposed to the historic focus on Mediterranean trade. The government is the owner of many organizations, such as The Knights Templar, The Military Order of Malta, The Medici Bank, and The Byzantine Orthodox Church.
The name "Gibraltarica" comes from a misconception by the Emperor Constantine XI about the mountains surrounding the Capital of New Byzantium upon their arrival there from Constantinople. He thought that they had reached Gibraltar. As such, he uttered the phrase, "Hικ δευεvιμυς, ιv Πετρa δε Γιβραλταρικα."
Though he was corrected, this name was applied to all his speeches about the dominion thereafter, and became the name of the empire itself. It had overcome the name "Byzantium" or "Imperium Romanum" by 1500, and the official name of the empire was subsequently changed to reflect this.
Foundation of the Knossean Colony
By AD 1453, the Byzantine Empire had been reduced to satellite colonies and the city of Constantinople. Desperate Emperor Constantine XI was determined to fight the Ottoman menace that threatened to destroy the Empire altogether until he had a vision from Christ in a dream. He gave the symbol of the Chi-Rho (☧), and told him to journey to a new home, declaring "Iv Hoκ Σιγvo Yιvκες," as he had for Constantine I. After consulting the senate, he decided that the army would abandon the city, and that any who should like to join him could journey south.
The entire army, about 5,000 strong, departed on ships, along with about 20,000 residents. The ships were misdirected, and about 3,000 were lost at sea. The remainder found their way to near Knossos in Crete. With the remainder of the royal treasury, Constantine bought the city and about 100 square kilometers of surrounding land from the Venetians. The city was christened the new capital, "Noυε Bζαυντιυμ," on 11 April, 1453, 5 days after the conquest of Constantinople.
The Empire's early days were grueling, and many initial colonists perished. This culminated with the death of the Emperor (who until this point had served as the beacon of hope in the colony) in 1467. His sole son, Apollodorus, took the throne at the age of twelve. With his mother, a princess of Odici, ruling as regent until his sixteenth birthday, Apollodorus had no official place in ruling the colony until 1471. With his mother's regency dissolved, he began to enact reforms. He first commissioned a reinstatement of the Knights Templar, this time as an Orthodox Order tasked with protecting the colony from invasion. This was much to the chagrin of the pope, whose office had dissolved the order a century and a half previous.
The Pope ordered Apollodorus to come to Rome and kneel to atone for insubordination. Apollodorus' response, now termed the Apollodorean Confession, lambasted the Pope and gained him the support of the rest of Crete. This further infuriated the Pope, who excommunicated the island. Apollodorus, acting in his capacity as Pontifex Maximus, excommunicated the Pope and all of Italy. This infuriated the Venetians, who attempted to send an army to conquer the island, but were massacred on the beach by the Knights Templar. This conflict signified the resurrection of the Empire from the ashes of Constantinople.
In Gibraltarica, the Renaissance began in about 1480. Apollodorus funded many of the arts, and brought about a rebirth of the usage of Latin in common speech, declaring that such a language, the language of St. Constantine himself, was too great to be wasted. While in educated circles, the Latin alphabet was also reintroduced, in more common circles, the Greek alphabet was used in its place, giving birth to the unique combination of Greek and Latin that is Gibraltarican Latin.
A Copy of Myron's "Diskobolos",
carved by Kondylis c. 1510
Byzantine art also found its renewal, with artists like John Kondylis and Perseus Iakovo bringing new life to renaissance art and making copies of older Greek art. Many artists, sculptors, and philosophers came to study at the royal court of the emperor during this period, even Muslim scholars. While in Italy, artists like Da Vinci and Michelangelo brought life to the Vatican, the now-full imperial treasury of Gibraltarica demanded a Christian work of architecture rivalling Saint Peter's. The result of fifteen years of design by mathematicians and engineers from across the Mediterranean, and another thirty years of labour was the Basilica of Saint Titus, designed to be a much grander replica of the Hagia Sofia of days past. In 1543, the Basilica was finished, the culmination of the enlightenment of Gibraltarica.
Gibraltarica was not entirely out of the political scene of Europe. During the burning of the vanities in Gioralmo de Savonarola's Florence, Apollodorus, who at this point was no stranger to making a scene, sent a whole collection of the Pope's letters to him, declaring, "If there was any man on Earth who could be vain, it would be the man who claims to be the sole voice of God." After Savonarola's subsequent burning, Apollodorus sent a letter of condolence to Florence. Gibraltarica continued to egg at the religious turmoil occurring in Catholicism at that time. It was partially due to Apollodorus' undying hatred for the Pope, and partially his intrigue about the doctrine of grace, that convinced him to ask Martin Luther to attend a summit in New Byzantium the summer of 1520. When Luther arrived ashore, he was greeted with an affectionate parade. The convention that took place there was said to be bordering on a rousing festival of intellects by its attendees.
Gregorianism, coined by Gregory of Heraklion, dominated philosophy in this day. This philosophy sought to explain the scientific being uncovered by various schools of philosophy, and reconcile them with the theology of the church. Though initially skeptical, the emperor permitted this school in his court, along with others, such as the Neo-Epicureans and Mamercans.
The face that had so dominated the age soon grew grey and ill, though not for lack of fighting for life. On 12 October, 1542, at the age of eighty-seven, Emperor Apollodorus was committed to his chambers after getting chilled coming back from a swim in the sea. He never left his chambers again, often fading in and out of delirium, often vomiting blood. By Christmas, he was unable to take food. He passed soon after the New Year from a combination of starvation, pneumonia, and high fever.
The Funeral saw 30,000 attendees from around the city, wailing for their lost prince, the man who had won the heart of Crete. The death of such a ruler brought about the opportunism of the less savory Catholic elements of Europe, especially of Spain. Having one of the greatest navies in the world, Spain was, at that time, the sole thing Gibraltarica, as an island, could truly fear. Many of its ships were "lost" in Spanish waters.
The new emperor, Constantine XII, was not one to tolerate this evildoing. He sought out to craft the greatest navy of the Mediterranean. In three years, Spain found itself unable to attack merchant ships without several holes being blown in the ship. Spain decided it must come to war, and in 1548, the first Mediterranean War commenced. Gibraltarican naval vessels managed to weary the thinly stretched Spanish enough that Spain consented to an end to the war. In the spirit of his ancestors against Carthage, Constantine would not let this be the end.
Constantine triggered a second war against Spain with his support of Elizabeth Tudor's takeover of England in 1558. Though the transfer of power was peaceful on the part of the English, the Spanish did not appreciate the meddling, and engaged full-throttle in a naval war. At this time, a blockade of Gibraltar had caused quite some strife with traders, and the Knights Templar, coming from vessels in Morocco, stormed Gibraltar, making their way deep into Andalucia before the Spanish realized that an invasion was occurring. Though the knights were stopped at the gates of Granada, the damage that the constant merchant assault on Spanish ports was causing had exhausted the Spanish.
The Spaniards signed the Treaty of Barcelona in 1563, ending the war, and giving Gibraltarica rule over Sardinia, Sicily, and the Balears. The Mediterranean had been consolidated into Gibraltarican power, much to the disapproval of Catholic elements. Rich from the raids of Spanish vessels, and looking to extend their influence to Italy, Gibraltarica purchased Corsica from Genoa for one million denarii in 1565.
Saint Titus Uni., First Constructed 1569
During this time, many schools were founded under a royal charter. Most notably, the University of Saint Augustine and the University of Saint Titus encouraged studies in medical fields which the Catholic Church would have abhorred for their surgeries of human cadavers. Among other works, Agrippa of Mallorca posted his Natural Philosophy of the Arteries and of Their Form during this period, a journal far ahead of its time, in which he hypothesized that their shape could mean that they carried food to various parts of the body.
This study was kept largely a secret, even to the populace of the Empire, and these students were sworn to secrecy. It was here that much knowledge of biology and chemistry came to be. In one of these laboratories early in 1604 that a student of Alchemistry was able to separate sulphur from spirit of vitriol, and in his writings on the subject, pondered if, "All substances of alchemy are made of yet others, different in elemental nature."
This age was referred to as "Pax Gibraltaricana", and was characterized by little political movement, many peaceful emperors, and much prosperity. From 1570 to 1740, there was not a single political assassination in the entire country. This, of course, was not to last.
The Great Fragmentation
The merchant classes of various cities throughout the empire had grown restless by 1740, and had begun to throw their weight about in the senate. No longer able to be satiated by Spanish gold, and with the recent acquisition of the Medici Bank being an utter economic failure, they felt it necessary to delve into conflict over who controlled the dwindling wealth to be had.
Various mafia-like sects fought vigorously for control over territory. Seventeen emperors ruled in the period from 1740 to 1759, oft-called the "Great Fragmentation." Assassination was the norm, and only three ruled longer than 12 months. Among these were the Mamertines, the Minoans, and the Tyrants. The Mamertines, a sect out of the north of Sicily, had begun to cause havoc for the Italian allies of the other sects. In 1758, they broke out into full-out war with the Tyrants, who ruled the south. The Emperor, who was on the Minoan payroll, was asked to decide who to support. Treating the Knights Templar as hitmen, the Emperor ordered them to kill the Mamertines.
The eldest Templar, Trajan, refused. The Emperor shot the man himself. The Emperor's head was carried on a pole into town the next morning, with a declaration that God had mandated the Knights to overtake the corruption and malice of the greedy merchants. Hearkening back to Gregorian philosophy, the Templars considered themselves physicians removing a tumor from the world as they swiftly brought both Sicilian groups to their knees.
The Minoans presented some trouble, especially among the populace, but after the knights blockaded the port, slaying any man who came within fifty feet, the sect, crippled, came to the knights for mercy. The knights murdered them where they stood on May 17, 1759, in an act of religious zeal and fury. This brought the fragmentation to an end.
The Knights imposed one of their own on the throne, Aristobulus. Rechristening himself Justinian X "The Just", he mandated a return to strictly authoritarian rule under the templars and the church. One of the more receptive elements to this was the Military Order of Malta, another group of knights which ruled an island. The Knights of Malta switched alliegances and pledged loyalty to the Emperor on 12 May, 1767.
Decline and Reconstruction
The shift of power did little but postpone the economic decline of the region. There was little in the manner of industrial resources to be had in the Mediterranean, and there was simply no competition with larger powerhouses elsewhere. For many years, the Gibraltaricans simply subsisted on agriculture and existing infrastructure. By 1900, there were almost no factories.
Justinian XVI ascended to the throne in 1903, and began a series of reforms. While Gibraltarica could not focus on industry, they could almost certainly focus on new technology. He funded engineering, mathematics, and various sorts of research science in Gibraltarica in an attempt to foster a new service-based industry.
This began to work, even while most of the world was still largely industrial. Gibraltarica soon became a hub for multiple types of education, both liberal arts and technological. Its economic situation largely improved on the basis of the new firms present that relied more on theory than on practice, and it once again became a center of knowledge in the world.
In the modern times, Gibraltarica is more of a warm tourist destination and a home for the snobs of Europe than a military powerhouse, but it still retains many of its historical qualities, even with the multitude of modern developments that have occurred in the past century.
A satellite image of the Mediterranean
The climate is Mediterranean, and agriculture is typically limited to inland areas. The longest river is the Salsum River on Sicily, which runs for 144 km and empties into the Mediterranean. While other major rivers exist on Sicily, few other such rivers exist in the other domains. Rivers are typically flocked to by farmers, scraping what little agriculture is possible off the land.
Mt. Etnus over the city of Catanius
Mountain ranges include the Nebrodi mountains in Sicily, which have the tallest mountain in Gibraltarica (Mt. Etnus), and the Alba Mountains of Crete. Mountains dominate the landscape of most of the islands, making up for as much as 80% of the land on any given island.
Gibraltarican wildlife is very diverse, especially on Crete, where many unique species and genera dwell apart from their counterparts on the mainland as a result of its long-term isolation. Many species of bat are native to Crete, as well as the Cretan Ibex. The golden eagle, the official animal of Gibraltarica, dwells natively on Crete. Among other notable species of animal present on the island are: the peregrine falcon, the European kestrel, the tawny owl, the gecko, and the aegean wall lizard.
In addition to these animals, many species of wildflower are native to Crete, including over 200 species of orchid. It is the home of rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage.
On Sicily, many larger animals are present, including the fox, deer, and boar. While the natural habitat of these creatures has suffered, they remain relatively well-established on the island.
The other islands of the group show no notable differences from mainland Europe in terms of the content of wildlife, except for Malta, which is almost completely void of biodiversity due to human development and the small size of the island.
Gibraltarica does not have an official organized census. However, based on estimates gathered from local census data, the WA estimates its population to be about 18.330.000. The growth rate has remained relatively steady throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, never quite reaching 1%. The current growth rate is ,6%, with 14 births per 1.000, and 9 deaths per 1.000. The immigration rate is about 20.000 per year, most of these being from mainland Europe, with only 6% identifying as non-European.
97,5% of Gibraltaricans identify as white, with 17,2% identifying as white arab. Due to bans on sodomy and transgender operations in Gibraltarica, there is little proper data on the percentage of Gibraltaricans identify on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, though this is estimated to be below the 1% mark.
90% of Gibraltaricans live in cities of more than 50.000 as of 2016, with only a small minority living in a rural area (2,4%). This is largely due to the lack of sustainable infrastructure and job opportunities in rural areas, although farmers are still present, especially along the river valleys of Sicily. Four cities in Gibraltarica are identified as having over two million residents, and an additional seventeen over 100.000.
The Gibraltarican government operates as a parliamentary autocracy, with the head of state, Imperator Justinian XXI, being given the seat of Pontifex Maximus, Dictator, and Chief Tribunal by divine right and inheritance. At the grace of the Imperator and the Gibraltarican people lies the Senate, comprised of sixty-two senators and two chivalrous representatives (for Malta), for a total of sixty-four voting members. Each member is elected from a region of a province or district, and is called to represent it in the senate.
Gibraltarica is officially comprised of five provinces: Crete, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, and the Balears. Additionally, Malta, which is officially under the administration of the Knights Hospitaller, is unofficially a part of the nation, since the Knights are under administration of the Orthodox Church.
# of Voting Members
Representatives from Malta
make their way to the Senate
Gibraltarica has six parties present in the Senate, albeit at several times in the past century, as many as two dozen separate parties have existed. Politics in Gibraltarica are typically more conservative than in other countries, although a notable socialist element does exist, especially among the farmers in Sicily. It should be noted that the Maltese Chivalrous Representatives are officially barred by the Knights Hospitaller from assigning themselves to or officially caucusing with any party. The leading party of the senate, or the leading coalition, elects a consul, with the trailing coalition also electing a consul. Both the current and trailing parties, the Nationalist Front and the Imperialist Party, respectively, have elected members of the Flavian family, the same family as the Imperator, to be their proconsuls, as has become tradition. The proconsulate is a largely traditional role which merely serves to organize the senate in an official manner.
The Senate conducts the ratification of treaties, the passage of legislation, and the regulation of the budget. Meanwhile, the Imperator acts as chief executive and judiciary, appointing additional magistrates below him to handle the military, matters of religion, internal affairs, and foreign affairs.
Gibraltarica is ruled by tradition and imperial decree rather than a formal constitution, which often has proven an issue in discussion about constitutional issues, especially about treaties.
Elections occur every Year, on January 1. Elections involve every voting region electing its senator independently of other regions. The Imperator then affirms the results of the election and every senatorial appointment.