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Introduction

The Eleutheroi, or Independents. You know them well. Indeed, they are your most common enemy. The many small nations and regional powers you will face in your initial expansion all belong to the Eleutheroi. But not only in your rise to power will you come across this myriad of peoples, but wherever you choose to expand, independents will stand in your way.

It is impossible to name every single tribe and people which will resist your dreams of conquest. From the great western ocean to the peaks of the Altai, you will encounter these little empires and proudly independent tribes. One thing binds this great band of enemies: their fear and revulsion of your wish to expand your borders.

But don’t expect the great collection of Eleutheroi to be pushovers. They will resist you with all their heart and spirit once you decide the time has come to incorporate them into your rising empire. You are a threat to their very existence, and they will not give up until you have completely destroyed them - or convinced them that it isn’t that bad being under your suzerainty.

It depends on your guile and willpower how much of a problem the Eleutheroi will be. Watch out! An army of marauding Scythians has assaulted your city! What will you do? Will you let them have a go at your walls, while you bypass them and take their settlements? Will you bribe them? Or will you lift the siege of your bastion? The choice is yours - just remember that while you think, they move. Indecisiveness will play you right into their hands.

But, then again, you might not be just another power struggling for a place in the sun. You might be the great leader of the greatest power on the face of the earth. Who, then, are the Eleutheroi to you? Surely they are just little rodents trying to gnaw away at your extensive borders? Perhaps - but that does not mean you should treat them as such. There are many that want to be independent - and a big pack of rodents can bring the sturdiest of trees to come crashing down.

However you choose to treat the Eleutheroi, remember one thing: for every one you strike down, there are a hundred more waiting from where that one came from. Beware!

History

The Eleutheroi, as you may have realized, are all those factions that didn’t make it into the mod. Here are a couple of them:

Pergamon - One of the most famous cities in the Ancient World. The site where the ancient settlements developed is situated in a fertile plain irrigated by the waters of the river Bergama Cayl (the ancient Selinus) and of the rivers Kestel and Bak?r. Even though historical mention of Pergamon has not been ascertained prior to the 4th century BC, the opinion generally held is that the origins of the city are by far earlier. Various archaeological finds datable to the Stone Age testify to the antiquity of the first human settlements. The history of what then became one of the most flourishing Hellenistic cities began with the dismemberment of the immense Persian Empire, after the death of Alexander the Great. Lysimachos, who received the western part of Anatolia, chose the impervious site of Pergamon as the hiding place for a considerable treasure. Philetairos, a faithful follower, succeeded in preserving the integrity of the treasure and the possession of the city when Lysimachos died, despite attempts on the part of Antiochus I. His grandson Eumenes I proclaimed the independence of the new realm of Pergamon (3rd cent. BC), which with his successors, in particular Eumenes II, shone in the fields of economy, the arts, the sciences and culture. With the death of Attalus II, in 133 BC, the Kingdom of Pergamon, lacking natural heirs, was pacifically taken over by the Roman Senate which thus reaped the harvest of old agreements and alliances. Under the Capitoline standard the city enjoyed a great new period of development which manifested itself in the construction of splendid buildings and in the restoration of various monuments of the past. Later Marc Antonius presented Cleopatra with the city's rich library, the books of which, of incalculable value, were eventually destroyed in a fire in Egypt. The decadence of Pergamon, now known as Pergamum, followed the disintegration of the Roman empire step by step.

Belgae - The Belgae are a product of the Cubi-Biturge Confederacy collapse. In the northeast of the lands that'd be called Gaul, they formed a confederation of tribes. Most notable are tribes like the Nervii, Menapii, Remi, and Bellovacii. The Belgae were expansionistic, invading and raiding the lands around them, spreading to many different areas. They had a tendency to be absorbed by the peoples whose lands they spread to. They had a unique military affected by Britons, Gauls, and Germans, as well as their own innovations. They had a tendency to adopt good ideas, attack the Gauls, lose, and give up the good idea because it lost a few times. The Belgae were fickle that way. Most Belgae fought shirtless, some painted themselves, and they used a number of disciplined, well-trained soldiers; swordsmen, pikemen, spearmen, cavalry, and even sometimes they used axemen, as well as bowmen levies, as well as armored bowmen. The majority of their warriors would look pretty much the same, only variation would be their weapons, and occassionally chain shirts. Caesar notes their ferocity; the Nervii particularly were hardcore terrifying warriors, somewhat Spartan in their manner; music was used only to drill to, drugs were forbidden because they thought it'd make them soft, entertainment of most types was simply forbidden. They, like Gaul, were conquered by Rome, and were at a bad disadvantage when it had happened. They were allied with the Aedui for a period, and had sent many soldiers to fight with them, against both Germanic, Roman, and Arverni incursion, but this in the end simply bled Belgica dry; they had little left to fight with when Rome came, and similar to the fracturing of the Aedui tribes, the Belgic tribes had begun to infight as well, due to a loss of faith, over the loss of so many men in the wars in the Aedui lands. The Belgae would begin with Belgica Bellovaccii and Belgica Nervii.

Scythians - Iranian, former nomads, but mostly settled and substantially hellenized at EB's start. Kingdom heir to the very large and powerful Scythian kingdom of former times, but much reduced by now. They repeatedly try to expand and bring nearby Greek cities of the Black Sea coast under their control, often clashing with the neighboring Bosporan kingdom and the Sarmatians too. Around the 310's BC the Scythians were still reasonably active. They figure in enterprises of certain scale, though by no means comparable to what they had done in the distant past or even in the days of Atheas (middle 4th ct BC). Also, they tend to appear as part of alliances. They got involved in an uprising against Lysimachos and in a Bosporan dinastic war. In both cases, the sides the Scythians supported eventually lost and that may have hurt them because we don't hear much of them for a while. Some evidence, mostly archaelogical, suggests increased Sarmatian pressure, but this is not well recorded in the sources. Around the middle 2nd ct there is a sort of minor resurgence under the kings Skilouros and his son Palakos although they actually control less land. They are involved in diverse local conflicts with Greek cities and the Bosporan kingdom. This is a heavily Hellenicized kingdom with a largely settled population and some authors question the extent to which it represents continuity with the earlier Scythian kingdom. After Palakos they don't really do much else. In my opinion, the overall picture is one of decline, but putting up a fight. Reversing this trend could be the challenge for a potential Scythian player. A Scythian faction could have the provinces of Taurica and Scythia.

Massylia - The main kingdom of the Numidians of north west Africa. The Massylian kingdom emerged in the late fourth century BC and moved their capital to Cirta somewhere in the early third century. Massylia was both an ally and an enemy of Carthage during its existence but in the end chose the side of the Romans under the leadership of Massinissa. The Massylian nation was one of the turning factors in the second Punic war and was the main cause for the instigation of the third Punic war, giving Rome an excuse to attack Carthage. The dynasty continued despite several periods of difficulty. After the death of Micipsa his nephew Jugurtha contested the succession and Rome felt forced to intervene. This war resulted in the emergence of two of Rome’s greatest generals, Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Later Juba I took the side of Pompey in the civil war but failed to defeat Caesar. His son Juba II had difficulty with a revolt under Tacfarinas and was forced to move his capital to Caesarea due to civil unrest. Although the future looked promising under Ptolemy of Mauretania, son of Juba II and Cleopatra Selene, his cousin Caligula, Emperor of Rome, ordered Ptolemy assassinated and annexed the kingdom. Ptolemy’s servant Edemonus led a revolt but it was crushed. Though descendants of the Massylian family line lived on in the nation of Emessa, the Massylian nation was ruined and would never return.

Massaesylia - The arch nemesis of the Massylian kingdom of Numidia, Massaesylia once stood as more powerful by far. Though Massaesylia emerged at roughly the same time in history as Massylia did it was largely unheard of until the second Punic war when its king, Syphax, decided to leave the side of the Romans for the promise of marriage to the beautiful Sophonisba of Carthage. It turned out to be his downfall, for though he fought bravely he was defeated by the Romans and Massylians and died in prison in Rome. The kingdom continued, though much reduced by Roman edict, under Syphax’s son Vermina. It is unclear as to when Massaesylia finally fell but from some references in Polybius’ account of the third Punic war, and the fact that Massylia controlled all of Massaesylia’s lands by the end of it, it is most likely that Massaesylia fell in the third Punic war. If the references Polybius makes refer to them then they fell as Carthage’s allies, trying to protect her from Rome’s unjust actions.

Garama - The kingdom of Garamantia is often considered the first great Libyan kingdom of Africa. Garama was an oasis town, as were the rest of the towns that made up the kingdom. Situated on a vital salt trade route that stretched from Ammonion in the east to modern Terhazza and the African coast in the west Garama grew rich and its power began to strengthen. They made raids both towards the coastline as attested by Roman historians and into the Sahara against the nomadic people known to the ancient Greeks as the Troglodytae. By the turn of the third century BC the Garamantians had become a kingdom and were beginning to extend their influence over all of Phasania. Though their growth was slow and their culture seemed primitive and barabaric they developed in a relatively isolated area with a unique culture and architecture. Garama came into conflict with Rome due to raiding the fringes of Rome’s African territories so a raid was launched against them. Though the Romans claimed to have sacked Garama itself the garamantines seemed to have been virtually unmolested by this confrontation and continued to prosper long afterwards, trading with the Roman empire. Garamantia would not fall until centuries later when the armies of Islam conquered many old and unique African nations.

Mauretania - Also written Mauritania and also called the Maures these were the people of the western North African coast. With their capital situated in Siga the Maures first appear on the ‘world’ scene during the events of the second Punic war. Upon Massinissa’s return to Africa he had to either pass through Massaesylian territory, his arch rivals, or through Mauretanian territory. Choosing the latter he was provided with a bodyguard by king Bagas of Mauretania that stayed with Massinissa until he reached the borders of his own kingdom. The Mauretanians remain basically unmentioned again until the Jugurthine war in 111 BC. Jugurtha appeals to king Bocchus of Mauretania, who is married to Jugurtha’s daughter, for aid against the Romans. Bocchus at first agreed but later was convinced by Marius and Sulla to instead betray Jugurtha to the Romans. This vastly increases Bocchus’ holdings and makes Mauretania a staunch ally of the Romans. Bocchus’ son Volux rules after him, followed by Bocchus II. The last ruler of Mauretania, Bogud, bequeathed his kingdom to Rome upon his death. Mauretania afterwards became a Roman province before being gifted to the Massylian kingdom of Numidia, and then reassimilated as a province on the fall of Numidia.

Nabataea - The origins of the kingdom of Nabataea are highly debated. Most believe the Nabataeans evolved out of a tribe that moved northwards out of the Arabian peninsula and replaced the indigenous Edomites. Some scholars, however, believe that The Nabataeans instead were the result of an amalgamation of the Edomites and a very powerful local Arab tribe called the Qedar. Either way the Nabataeans, or Nabatu as they call themselves in their Aramaic language, were fully in existence by the late fourth, early third century BC. They gave a thrashing to Athanaeus and Demetrias Monoptholemus in 312 BC and had conflicts with Rome, Seleukeia, and Judea throughout the third to first centuries BC and the first century AD. Their main strength lay in their capital’s inaccessibility, their control over trade routes, the desert terrain, and their vast wealth and water works. Nevertheless the military of the Nabatu was significant, being involved as Roman allies, defeating Macedonians, engaging Judean soldiers, and later serving as Roman auxiliaries. The Nabataean military had involved a more Arabian or eastern style army up until the first century BC when they took on Hellenic military terms, tactics and equipment in part. Nabataea resisted Roman conquest until sometime around 106 AD when the Nabataean nation is annexed by the Roman Empire upon the death of their last king, Rabbel II. The events surroundingRome’s supposed conquest of Nabataea are vague and the only evidence we have that the transition took place at that time are coins minted in Rome of the Emperor victorious over Nabataea. What this means is unclear as to whether there was resistance or a peaceful transition but the territory fell into Roman hands and the capital was moved from the legendary city of Petra to Bostra further north.[1]

Units

Units of the Eleutheroi are arranged by their region of origin:

Alps

Gaul

Anatolia

Gemania
Arabia Getia

Baltic

Greece
Belgae Hellenic

Black Sea

Iberia

British Isles

Illyria

Caucasus Mts

India

Celtic

Iran & Central Asia

East Europe

Italy & Sicily

Egypt & Ethiopia

Near East

European Steppe

North Africa

Galatia Thrace

Notes

  1. Europa Barbarorum Eleutheroi History

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