Culture of Caphiria
The imperial culture of Caphiria reflects the diversity of its population. Regarded as a melting pot of ethnicities by homogenous countries like Adamentium and Akimura, Caphiria is tolerant and respectful of the majority of cultures within its empire, encouraging some of their activities through socio-economic measures. No other country treats as large a number of groups with care and equality as does the empire. Even the bureaucracy and local elites reflect the regional distinctiveness of the population, allowing a degree of cultural independence that goes beyond mere appearances into religious and political recognition.
A principle which underlies Caphiria's cultural achievements is Libertas (Freedom). Freedom of movement within the country, freedom to share ideas and customs and freedom to seek wealth. The Senate hardly limits these liberties of the people with law, force or even propaganda.
Outside the Imperium, an armada of independent nations floats on this sea of Caphiravian culture - falling under its massive sphere of influence. Caphiravian goods are shipped to every market, Caphiravian programming is played on telescreens everywhere, and Latin is understood by over half of humanity. Politics of the Elegans Imperium are keenly observed by politicians and regular folk across the globe; its events ultimately affecting the regions across the world.
- 1 Social Stratification
- 2 Religion
- 3 Lingua Latina
- 4 Education
- 5 Cursus Honorum
- 6 Food & Drugs
- 7 Body Language
- 8 Philosophy
Caphiravian sociologists recognize three distinct concepts in the ordering of their society:
- Potestas (Power): A citizen's ability to do what they want despite resistance from others.
- Dignitas (Status): A citizen's prestige, popularity and honor or how highly society regards them.
- Ordo (Class): A citizen's legal and economic position in society based on birth and achievement.
A Caesar has the highest dignitas, potestas and is of the highest ordo in Caphiravian society. If sociologists do not recognize any absolute standard for these ordinal measures than the Imperator is the relative standard to which the qualities of other residents in the Empire are compared.
Stratification by ordo starts at birth where the child is given his or her father's standing in society - patriciani, equites, plebes, indigeni or peregrini. Intermarriage is discouraged by costing the higher class family dishonor but does happen on occasion. Appeals can be made to praetores or the Emperor on the basis of wealth to advance but these are rewarded only in extraordinary circumstances and almost never to citizens who aspire to join the aristocratic order of patricians. Conversely, a member of the upper classes can move down by having him or her self adopted into a family of lower class. This is tremendously disgraceful.
After the Imperator, the peak of the pyramidis societas is the imperial family; currently represented by the Panthera gens. When the Alexandrian dynasty willingly fell in 1885 , praetor Pakus Martinex Rullianus Juvenis was elected Caesar by the Senate and Curia Episcopates. His descendants form what is known as the Pontifican dynasty, after his imperial title, Caesar Pontifex. Altogether, the imperial family holds thirty offices of magistrate and a number of prestigious military and collegian posts. Next to Adrianus Panthera, old Gaius Rullianus Carenus, owner of the Patronus International Collegium, has the most prestige and power.
Of course, the Panthera are technically only the most important clan of the larger ordo patricianus. Their prominence is unusual in Caphiravian history as the Panthera are an offshoot of the ancient Fabiae and not one of the fifteen great families of Caphiria. Competitions for power between these ancient clans shaped the political landscape of Caphiria for the last two and a half hundred years - since its foundation as a Republic. Marriage outside Caphiravian families by members of these clans has consistently resulted in disinheritance.
Among the great Caphiravian families are the Corneliae, Juniae, Juliae, Valeriae and Serviliae. The Lucretiae, falling in influence since the first world war, were finally ousted as the fifteenth great family by the Panthera when the change of dynasty took place.
While a mere 11,390 patricians belong to the fifteen great families and 177 to the greater imperial family, more than 9.3 million citizens count themselves among the aristocracy. Advantages to membership in the nobility, aside from natural dignitas, are invulnerability to sentences of execution (except under orders of the Imperator), resistance to imprisonment, ability to freely enter government facilities (unless prohibited), special placement at venues like the theater and market, and the right to follow the cursus honorum, a path through the entire political spectrum of the Caphiravian Empire from minor offices to Senate. Nevertheless, patricians obey the same laws, pay the same proportional rate of taxes and have the same vote as lower class citizens.
Next on the social ladder is the ordo equester. Attainable by accumulating over B⃫500,000 , equestrian rank is enjoyed by nearly 156.9 million citizens who make up most of the top 8% of earners in the Empire. Lacking the dignitas of the nobility, many equites are still wealthier than their higher class brothers. The equestrians are renowned for a work ethic that is the envy of other countries, bringing them wealth through their own hard work.
For this common trait, some of the largest collegia are owned by an equestrian rather than a patrician. The very richest of these corporate magnates is Alexandus Venio II, with a net worth of B⃫10.4 billion from his ownership of Quicksilver Industries, Caphiria's largest and richest company.
Below the upper classes is the ordo plebis - socially divided into the Upper-Plebeian order and the Lower-Plebeian order, also known as the proletarii. The former constitute a Caphiravian middle-class, the 64.29% of the Empire's populace, and owners of modest wealth. They perform the jobs which are laborious but rewarding like teacher, artisan, actor, doctor, banker and those with some authority like shop or bar manager. Their economic distinctiveness from the proletariat is property ownership, since the proletariat merely live in rented housing.
Professions of the proletariat are those of farmer, miner, janitor, doormen, street cleaner, servant and the like, ones which few Caphiravians consider respectful employment, despite the rigorous physical and mental fortitude required to perform many of these tasks. Many live on little more than minimum wage - 3 Aureus or B⃫37.50 - offering hardly any opportunities for socio-economic advancement.
A rapid rise in Caphiravian society is a rare event and often the subject of cultural legend. These people are referred to as novi homines (s. novus homo) with great respect. They are celebrities deserving of their fame. Cicero, the great statesman, is the poster boy of the New Men - he is after all perhaps the most famous non-Emperor in Caphiria's history with more records about him than Lar Scribonius Caphiriaasi, himself. Other famous New Men are Archaedavincus Acutula, the Empire's most prolific inventor; Aulus Lugius, the finest playwright of all time and Lucius Volta, a tremendously successful scientific entrepreneur. They are the legendary cases of plebeians who rose to become patricians. Such tales give hope to the Empire's billions of plebs.
Those who do not hold Civitatem Caphiria are generally called peregrini though the term is more specifically applied to non-citizens from a foreign land. Their reception in Caphiria has varied from time to time and today depends on dignitas. Although dignitas is a distinct Caphiravian social concept, Caphiravians have their own ways of judging a visitor's prestige and honor. Wealth is a major factor, as can be seen by the number of rich Kiravians who mingle with the Caphiravian aristocracy but style is almost equally important. Caphiravians love inviting interesting people to their dinner parties and social events. Therefore, a visitor from Urcea will catch the interest of citizens if he or she appears to display unique aspects of Urcean culture - something which is still unique and exotic in Caphiria.
Beneath even the bottom rung of the social ladder are the indigeni (natives). Their treatment serves as an example of how the Caphiravians, despite their defenses of human rights, have great potential for ethnic chauvinism. Most are kept from leaving their home provinces by exhorbitant transportation prices and are forced to pay about 20% of their income in the dreaded tributum (poll tax). Like peregrini, who are at least covered by their homeland, indigeni are not covered for education, healthcare or litigation.
The common cultural factor that glues Caphiravian society together is the religio Christiana - a shared belief in a single God and in the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. Organized Christianity comes under the domain of the only recognized orthodox faith, that of Caphiravian Catholicism, Caphiria's de-facto state religion.
Converting to Christianity on May 12, 1630 CE through the Edict of Brundisium, the Empire has grown from 14% Christian to almost totally Christian when considering only its citizens. In modern times, Caphiravians take great pride in their religious faith, openly discussing it in casual conversation. There is no stigma in professing one's belief or - in today's culture - non-belief at leisure.
However, in a country of a billion people, a mere 6.61 million do not profess a belief in a higher power. This atheist and agnostic - plus about two million strict anti-religious - group of people thinly populate the Empire but converse through the Collegium Atheismum, the only organized atheist body in the world. The majority of the irreligious are wealthy intellectuals who have personal qualms with the Church or who became disillusioned with the rigidity of religious faith. Despite their intelligent base and success at organizing, atheists have failed to challenge the two thousand years of theological hypotheses put forward by the Church. As well, silence in the face of their occasional attacks against religious institutions has dominated ecclesiastical policy for centuries.
Christian theology has a rich history of development, evolving closely with the scientific community of its period. Connecting science and religion among Caphiravians has always been the belief that knowledge of nature constitutes knowledge of a fraction of the divine, a means of approaching the idea of God. In fact, until the electrical industrial revolution, about half of natural philosophers were clerics. Research into cosmology over the last two centuries has brought science once again next to religion in the search for knowledge. Modern inflationary models of the cosmos and the concept - but not the mathematics - of research into an extradimensional cosmic fabric actually derive from questions and theories posited by theologians, not scientists, who until recently were uninvolved in such profound matters as the origins and holistic nature of the universe.
Regarding questions of the divine, no work is more seminal in the field than Nero of Hippo's City of God. It laid the groundwork for the next thousand years of theological practice. Difficult problems like the existence of evil and the ontology of God were only satisfactorily resolved until the 11th-century works of Gaius Rhonas. Overturning the predominant free will argument and ontological argument, Rhonas made arguments that seem to reflect phenomenology, a school of thought that would come three centuries later.
The candidness of Rhonas' profession of faith in his Tabula Theologica stifled the growing intellectual persecution of non-Christians by the Senate and inspired the Societas Apostolu Paulu, Christianity's first missionary group.
Attendance to mass is about 57-69% on a weekly basis and virtually all Catholics (88%) once a year. The most widely attended religious festival of the Christian calendar is Christomass or Saturnalia, a wonderful holiday over 24-26th December where, among countless activities, traditional social mores are reversed for one day. All children born the 25th in Caphiria are baptized by the Imperator, as Pontifex Maximus, himself.
On such holidays as Christomass and Pascha, Caphiravians tend to gather at the home of their gens' patriarch for family celebrations. Some patrician clans even rent an entire odeon or amphitheater to host private shows for their relatives to enjoy. The day after a feast such as Christomass is a day for people to relax in their homes and rest from last nights celebrations. This makes December 26 a favorite day for people wishing to walk city streets at a time when virtually no one else will be outside.
A distinct Caphiravian difference of the Orthodox Catholic Church is its separation into liturgiae - distinct ritualistic and linguistic divisions in the practice of the Christian mass and regular worship. These are the: Latin liturgy, Hellenic liturgy, Coptic liturgy, Punic liturgy, Hebrew liturgy, Indian liturgy and African liturgy.
What sets one liturgy apart from another are the language, prayers of importance, order of events during service, architecture of churches, art displayed in churches, feast days and other aspects of ritual. They are, however, united by canon law, catholic dogma and recognition of the Pontifex Maximus.
The Imperium Caphiria's de jure language; used in its parliament, on its stock market and for most of its arts; is the Lingua Latina. Stemming from classical Latin, of the early Republic, modern Latin took its present form toward the end of the Republic and early Principate period. Grammatical structures remain stagnant since those days but thousands of words have been added and thousands of spellings modified. Despite modest changes, Latin is the oldest language in terms of intelligibility with prior variants. There are 2.12 billion speakers of Latin within the Empire, over 99% of the country. It is the primary tongue for every Caphiravian school, in which most subjects are taught, and pervades the speech of the majority of telescreen broadcasts and radio shows. The federal government - including the ministries, Senate and Imperator - uses it as the common language of discussion. Moreover, this has allowed the Caphiravian Empire to foster closer relationships with other Latin-speaking states.
Across the globe Latin has been learned as a second language by between 3-5 billion people, depending on how speaking proficiency is defined. It is certain, however, that anyone with a modicum of education understands and speaks this world language. Latin is the language of advantage, necessary for anyone with aspirations of an international, or even national, level of influence.
Semantics, syntax, phonetics and pragmatics of the lingua latina are administered by the Academia Lingua, founded around 1621 CE in New Roma. Creating this institution was the final step in Emperor Magnus III's reformation of Caphiria's academic foundations. Its purpose is to centralize organization of Latin grammar and vocabulary while acting as an authority in disputes about the nature of the language.
The imperial education system took its present form in the 16th century, at the culmination of Emperor Magnus' federal reforms. In its original manifestation, it was a reflection of classical pedagogy, employed for over 1300 years, and of Platonic thought. Along the latter lines, the Senate and Emperor recognized that the education of the young largely determined the state of adults. For the Imperium to possess healthy, sane and productive citizens, arete (excellence) needed to be cultivated early.
After the first year of life, a human begins to walk. Once properly developed in a toddler, this key formative skill allows a child to maintain personal health by continued physical activity. Caphiravians encourage youthful exercise by enrolling two-year olds into the first term of an eight year program. Its curriculum is a simple progression from games to athletic training, such as long-distance running and wrestling, and musical training. An educated and well-balanced Caphiravian ten-year old is able to run 12 miles, lift 10 kg and play two instruments. These sorts of abilities are commonplace for Caphiravian youth.
Despite this incredible result, children's classes are far from intensive. Caphiravian children can expect no longer than six hours in school per day, much of which is spent in supervised playtime outside or in a youth gym. Exercise is encouraged with competitive games and a variety of play structures. Fighting between kids is tolerated since serious injury is almost impossible and the parents are responsible for the actions of their children so the school is immune from litigation for anything done by other children. During meals, nature and history videos are displayed to familiarize students with such things. Little lessons are given haphazardly but firmly throughout these nine years, covering the subjects of grammar, geometry, and ethics.
Every kid is enrolled in a class with other children born within the same one or two months. A rigid curriculum is imposed on instructors so that any Caphiravian discatorium (children's school) follows a national format. Private schools for the age group of two to ten are nonexistent in the Empire. All discatoria are public although anyone is permitted private tutors.
After their 45th session, children graduate from the discatorium without pomp to a new method of instruction. Physical and musical lessons in youth have created a solid psychological and physiological basis for further education. The lax style of learning fades into compulsory classes and more academic material is introduced.
In addition to their trained excellences, the ten year olds beginning sessions in some Caphiravian grammaticus (lower school) have received familiarity in a small range of topics. Virtually all such children can speak and write in Latin, usually with a vocabulary of around 15,000 well-understood words, while some (26%) have proficiency in a second language such as Greek or Coptic. Every Caphiravian discatorial graduate has already spent years becoming familiar with two- and three-dimensional shapes and how to draw them using a ruler and compass. Furthermore, they can all count to 1000, understand how addition with natural numbers derives from counting, and use basic mathematical notation (for adding, subtracting, associating, and equating). Children are selected at their teachers' discretion over the last two years for one-on-one tests of these skills and knowledge. Those who do not pass their test are entered into specialty classes on free days before being retested toward the end of the eighth year.
In this way, everyone graduating from a Caphiravian discatorium is proficient in the linguistic and mathematical skills necessary for further education. As another requirement, students of the discatoria have the notion and implications of equality drilled into their young minds. They are made to understand that everyone has wants like they do, that these wants have equal merit to their wants, and that some wants conflict with this equal merit.
Necessary courses for a Caphiravian student to focus on each session are:
|Sess.||11 years old||12 years old||13 years old||14 years old|
Intro to Numbers
Addition (heavy focus)
Math Review (focus)
Large Number Math
Intro to Biology
Area and Volume
Right and Wrong
Dividing 2D Shapes
10's, 100's, 1000's, etc.
People as Ends
Intro to Motion (focus)
Motion - Maths
By 15, students: are well acquainted with arithmetic, understand basic geometry with some applications, have an intuition for the motion of objects in gravity (e.g. pendulums, rolling, bouncing, sliding), have rudimentary Latin writing skills for expressing ideas, can empathize with their fellow man, have a notion of duty to others, understand that other people are to be treated as ends not means, and are starting to familiarize themselves with variables. Caphiravians recognize that these are skills that will be necessary for any functioning member of society - syntax, for expressing thoughts; mathematics, for managing money; and ethics, for cooperating with other citizens.
By 15, students: are well acquainted with arithmetic, understand basic geometry with some applications, have an intuition for the motion of objects in gravity (e.g. pendulums, rolling, bouncing, sliding), have rudimentary Latin writing skills for expressing ideas, can empathize with their fellow man, have a notion of duty to others, understand that other people are to be treated as ends not means, and are starting to familiarize themselves with variables. Caphiravian recognize that these are skills that will be necessary for any functioning member of society - syntax, for expressing thoughts; mathematics, for managing money; and ethics, for cooperating with other citizens.
Athletic and musical training persist through these years, remaining an integral part of the education system until the age of 16, after which children have become citizens and may pursue health however they see fit. Opportunities to play music are ample in the final year of lower school since those students can freely mentor the younger kids.
The lessons at age 15 are somewhat more liberal than the preceding years. Mathematics shifts focus to algebra but students are not taught how to solve algebraic problems. The basic theory of solving for a numerical value of a variable is taught at first then students are given one or more problems to solve individually each lesson. The system is designed to foster independent problem solving skills and avoid rote memorization.
Moral lessons similarly shift to answering ethical problems. Students are presented with ethical dilemmas where they must evaluate what they should do. Like the algebraic problems, solutions are not given by teachers.
Science in Lower School
Exposure to how the natural world functions begins before the age of eight, with mechanical toys and demonstrations. Far from intending to teach anything about science, these are only meant to spark interests. In the 55th session, the demonstrations and games become more personal, with hours spent every week on them. After students learn about measuring units, actual scientific knowledge is introduced. Students are shown in the 60th session that objects fall at the same speed in a vacuum, that friction between objects brings them to a halt, and other basics that contribute to an intuition of moving objects. These lessons lead into explanations of what causes motion then, in the 65th session, students finally learn the mathematics of motion (kinematics).
Chemistry and biology are introduced in similar fashions, though later on than physics. By the time they graduate, students get how living things can be taxonomically categorized, have an intuition for the pH scale, grasp that everything is constantly chemically interacting with other things and know the animal body is a complex machine. Details are not given in the compulsory classes.
A wide variety of scientific information is available to most students in school libraries and by inquiring to science teachers to hear more. The understanding among lawmakers was that students do not learn well by compulsion and must be allowed to inquire out of interest. Having advanced knowledge, like that of calculus or organic chemistry, available but not forced onto students is seen by Caphiravians as the best way to instruct the young. It is not until upper school, after the age of 17, that students learn the complexities of the sciences.
Entry into a universalis (university) often follows the grammatica (lower school) level of education - for students who do not want to enter an apprenticeship or are unable to join the academies. Here students can be instructed in courses that are within the classical branches of Caphiravian philosophy. The result of 4-5 years in the university system - whose courses are homogeneous across the country - is a Universal Degree. A single degree declares all the fields of knowledge in which the receiver is fluent because of university education.
High intellectualism in the Caphiravian Empire is monopolized by the Academiae. Leading the Academies of the empire are the Five Schools. First, the Academia Imperia Scientiae represents the scientific community; second, the Academia Augustana represents the legislators, lawyers and ethicists; third, the Academia Teslae represents the mathematicians and logicians; fourth, the Academia Lingua represents the linguists; and fifth, the Academia Galena represents practitioners of medicine. Since they are immersed in the work of educating people, the Academies have the power to decide national educational policy in their capacity as the Ministry of Upper Education. Praeministrum Eruditia is the highest intellectual position in the entire empire, the most respectable post to which academics can aspire outside pure politics.
The reward for an academic education is becoming certified as a Doctor (PhD) of a particular field. A doctorate is a requirement for careers in medicine, law, politics, teaching, research and commanding military office.These are the jobs that Caphiravians believe need expertise to be properly performed.
To hold political office in the Caphiravian Empire is considered a great honour. Caphiravian political philosophy dictates that the essential members of government cannot be unskilled in solving moral or economic problems. A senator, consul or even emperor must have the theoretical and practical knowledge to adjudicate, legislate and lead.
Every future Caphiravian citizen starts his or her career with a physical and musical education in youth. The richest families will have private caretakers for their children though the result is much the same. At the age of 11, most young patricians go into privately-owned schools. Their lessons must abide by the national standards of the imperial education system but their smaller class sizes allow greater attention from the teachers and their access to materials, like holographic orreries or virtual reality lessons, provides many rare opportunities for students.
Once they hit the age of 18, patricians seeking political offices must enter an academy to learn advanced ethics and economic theory. A minimum of five years must be spent there, except in the case of the most gifted people. With theoretical understanding in hand, aspiring politicians must go into the world to seek out experiences. For the next three to five years they are expected to get involved in local and national affairs; working with businesses, seeing the underprivileged populaces of Africa and Columbia, connecting with already established political players, and other such activities. There are no official standards for what must be done but a patrician's record during these years will go a long way to impressing the Imperator when he asks for permission to enter national politics.
The next step is to return to the academies for about three years studying law. Attending a number of different academies around the empire is encouraged during this time. Finally, around the age of 30, a patrician can apply for membership in government. His record and knowledge will be severely tested during this time, and he is not by any means guaranteed acceptance by the Imperator. Those twelve years of preparing to enter politics were a way for the state to filter the inept and unworthy, allowing only the best and brightest to partake in Caphiria's sovereignty. This monumental test is the first stage in one's cursus honorum.
Food & Drugs
It is a Caphiravian custom to combine the ravenous enjoyment of food with socializing. The mother of Caphiravian meals and social events is the cena (dinner), a meal which has barely changed in the last 2,000 years though the dishes themselves have become more and more exotic to the average Caphiravian taste buds. Even the plebeians enjoy dinner parties in modern times. These are nothing like an aristocratic cena.
A classic cena starts around 5pm; with great punctuality; and goes straight into the night. The meal is so long that smart guests will have only eaten breakfast that day and maybe worked up an appetite with light exercise. This monumental feast opens with a gustatio (appetizer), a non-filling course featuring delectable treats to get people's taste buds ready for the prima mensa (main course) which can last several servings depending on the ambition of the host. In the last few hours, out comes the secunda mensae (dessert). Treats offered at this point might include fruits like figs and pomegranates or sweetened pastries like cakes, rolls and fruit tarts. This part of dinner is usually very filling but many will not notice in their inebriety. When the party is ending, and the party has been a success, a guest will praise the host with one last comissatio (round of drinks) before guests return to their homes, often carried away by their servants.
Caphiravians like to hold cenae in a triclinium (dining room) on couches (lecti) circling the tables. These are long recliners which let people lie down comfortably while conversing with other guests or the host. On average, a patrician in Caphiria will attend twenty dinner parties a year though some gourmets are known to attend upwards of a hundred. Given the sheer volume of food, some hosts will permit vomiting from their guests but this has come into disrepute for men and is considered unthinkable for a self-respecting Caphiravian woman.
Dinner parties are an opportunity for the host to flaunt his wealth by providing expensive entertainment. Although most shows during the meal are background pieces like exotic dancers or music, some hosts will steer dinner conversation by having brutal fights between boxers or small animals while others pay performers to make great displays of skill like sword swallowing or gymnastics for the guests. Emperor Nero Fiat Sebastian famously has an amphitheater that can be rented for a night so that a host can provide grand spectacles like a play or gladiatorial combat.
At dawn, the middle and lower classes eat an ientaculum, sitting normally at a table with their family. This gets some energy into them before quickly leaving for work. Since wealthier citizens tend not to have such obligations, they enjoy a different meal around 10-11 am. This prandium's closest equivalent in other cultures is the less common brunch as it tends to get served with food from both the ientaculum and vesperna - Caphiria's equivalent of lunch. The latter meal is most often forgotten by Caphiravians because it is completely informal, merely a means of regaining enough energy to make it through a long day.
Only the cena and prandium are served in public restaurants since no one would pay for the basic bread and vegetables that are staples of other meals which can easily be prepared for less in their own homes.
Both kinds of breakfast feature some kind of wheat bread dipped in olive oil or served with cheese and crackers. Prandium is interesting because it usually features meat of some kind, like pork or beef and animal products such as eggs. The most popular meat for this time of the day is lucanica, a short, smoked pork sausage.
As previously mentioned, appetizers are foods which maximize taste without filling the stomach. The variety of food that could be served is vast, however,making a comprehensive list almost impossible. Some favorites are: fava beans, lentils, peas, shrub leaves for seasoning, boletus, truffles, snails, clams, oysters, thrushes, dormice, sea urchins and mulsum, a mixture of wine and honey. Honey tends to be generously added to servings.
A main course consists of rich, heavy meats like duck, chicken, turkey, beef or roasted pig stuffed with sausages and seasoning. Hares, laurices (rabbit foetuses), peacocks, swans and especially mullus (goatfish) are considered fine delicacies, even today. To add taste, the Caphiravians put in a multitude of spices. Pepper and hundreds of Eastern spices are imported daily in vast quantities from India and Indonesia to serve this demand.
One of the most common seasonings, however, is and has always been garum, a sauce made by exposing salted fish intestines to elevated levels of heat over the course of a month or two. The result is a very strong smelling fish sauce that is the most popular food condiment next to salt. In the Caphiravian culinary arts, a dish is considered most successful if even the most experienced gourmet cannot recognize its ingredients because the food is so heavily disguised by mixing it and adding spices.
Caphiravian wine is famous for the volume produced on a national scale and the quality on an individual basis. The Empire's most famous wineries, of course, are in the Venet District in cities such as Coriovallum and the Castra Vetera hillside. These regions alone produce over 40 billion L annually, alongside the 80 billion L supplied by the rest of the Empire. Caphiria's level of production barely satisfies its 112 billion L - 52 L per capita - demand for wine, leaving little room for export even when imports are considered.
The other prominent alcoholic beverages are beer and vodka. It gained popularity in Samarobriva Ambianorum during the 10th and 11th centuries when it started to be produced from grain.
Beer, on the other hand, is a popular drink worldwide. With a global consumption of 420 billion L it is the third most consumed beverage by volume behind water and milk whose quantities are off the charts. Caphiravians alone drink about 160 billion of those liters and it shouldn't come as a surprise that Caphiravians are among the most excessive imbibers of alcohol in the world.
Recreational drugs are extremely popular in Caphiria due to the lack of social conservatism of the average citizen. One drug that came into use for a time was opium, brought in by trade with the Caliphates in the 1100's, in its natural capacity as an anesthetic. The potential to provide swift bliss and comfort has been taken advantage of since the late 13th century. By the 1500's, the majority of opium was used for recreational purposes as a more potent form of the compound (morphine) could be purchased.
Another psychotropic, cannabis, was introduced to Caphiria through travelers in the 8th century/ No medical functions were noted by traveling doctors so the Senate never supported a cannabis trade. Nevertheless, various guilds/crime families noted the possibility of marketing it for recreational use, buying the plant in large quantities during the 900's. When colonization of the New World opened, plantations were moved there to take advantage of the government subsidy on colonial slaves. Today, cannabis, like any other drug, is not illegal in the Caphiravian Empire - some restaurants will even offer it before meals. As medicinal uses started to be noticed, it began to be sold in pharmacies. It is, however, discouraged among the patrician order who generally view recreational drug use, outside fine wine, with disdain.
As with all societies, body language is of immense importance when conveying ideas during social interactions in the Caphiravian Empire. Understanding these signals is vital to gaining a proper understanding of Caphiravian culture and the intricacies that it entails. Although this is not a complete analysis, it hopefully serves to further immerse oneself in the Caphiravian lifestyle.
To start off, the most famous action in Caphiravian public speaking is known as the adlocutio, often performed by Imperators, generals and guildmasters when addressing inferiors. One does the adlocutio by pointing the arm upwards and towards the person being addressed then pointing one finger subtly ahead of the speaker. More than anything it conveys power and usually garners respect for a speaker from the audience.
Another insulting gesture to the Caphiravian is the flipping of the digitus impudicus at a person. One of the simpler signals, giving someone the finger simply entails showing them one's middle finger with the palm facing away from them. The connotation here being "up yours". Also, doing the same thing, only with the little and index fingers out is a sign known as the cornutus and implies to the receiver that they have an unfaithful wife. Lastly, forming a circle with the thumb and index with the other fingers radiating outwards is an indication that you think someone performs lewd sexual acts, and like the others does a dishonor to the receiver. Such gestures are hugely insulting in upper-class Caphiravian society.
An arm crossing over the body is a universal gesture to all human beings that indicates either uneasiness or displeasure at what one is hearing. The Caphiravians have a unique variant of this for themselves, one which is more subtle than the standard crossed arms and actually helps the user to portray dominance even while in this defensive position. One of the arms is crossed over as normal but the arm which it touches is raised vertically with the thumb touching the other fingers in a "beak" shape. This beak gesture is also used frequently by Caphiravians in a conversation to emphasize a point while speaking, with the implication being that it is a threat for if you don't accept their argument (though it is usually not as serious as this).
A standard greeting in the Imperium is a handshake wherein each participant grabs the other around the wrist rather than the palm. This came from the practice of checking for concealed weapons when greeting a political or business opponent. Though its formal variant is usually done by having each person stand still directly opposite each other, a friendlier and more commonly used version has the participants use their left hand to gently touch the other's elbow. Relatives or long-time friends will often follow this sort of thing up with a hug, an action which is in general only done when two people are personally close to each other. Unfamiliar members of the opposite-sex will usually greet each other with a kiss on each cheek whilst kisses on the lips are reserved for either the sealing of a deal or the bedroom. Unlike most cultures, a peck on the lips between two men is viewed purely in this business context, distinguishing itself from its intimate counterpart by being quick and uninvolved. The wedding ceremony is the one place where these two meanings merge as one.
Caphiravians have engaged in philosophical inquiry ever since the Republic assimilated Empyreian philosophy in the 3rd century BCE. Adopted institutions included the Peripatetic, Eleatic, Stoic, Cynic, Academic and Skeptic schools. The early imperial period saw marked growth of Stoicism, peaking with the publication of an emperor's Meditations. After a period of high Stoic support in the 6th century, Aristotelian science and philosophy took the dominant position in Caphiravian academia. Its sudden blossom is attributed to the extensive use of Aristotelian texts by Archaedavincus in his formulations of engineering principles. While much of Aristotle's physics was ultimately rejected, the Philosopher's ethical, political and metaphysical writings flourished.
Modern Caphiravian philosophy is a strict academic field, the overarching discipline within which the various sciences are practiced. Children are taught Ethica, Vitalogia, Physica or Epistemelogia at the grammaticus (high school) level as part of their philosophical education. Professional philosophers include natural scientists, metaphysicians, ethicists, logicians and mathematicians. Metaphysics is a difficult field due to the density of the subject-matter. Many in the field of ethics are looked to as leaders in the political arena, and, in fact, some of the greatest magistrates in history were prominent in ethics. The nationally recognized structure of philosophy is:
Those who study philosophy per se are work in the field of Logika. Their subject matter is relevant to every domain of Caphiravian philosophy. Academics who restrict themselves to studying the material of the sciences insofar as a science is either theoretical or practical work in Metaphysica. Depending on their specificity, they may work in either Metaphysica Naturalis or Metaphysica Moralis. Typically, scientists of a specific department within one of these domains of philosophy will have some understanding of fundamental metaphysical theses.
The science of Logic is the heart of Caphiravian philosophy. The ancient Aristotelian Logika Syllogistica (Propositional Logic) went out of use after the publication of De Logika in 1218, a book which established the dominance of Logika Attributia (Predicate Logic). Since the invention of symbolic logic by Archaedavincus, the application of logical systems has had the appearance of a sort of verbal mathematics. The symbols and form of Archadavincus' system came from his development of set theory in the 740's.
Caphiravian philosophers view logic as a description of the necessary form of thinking, not simply axiomatic rules for inference and judgment. For this reason, logic is the foundation of Caphiravian philosophy.
Caphiravian metaphysics splits philosophical inquiry into two domains: nature and morals. This division has its roots in Empyreian philosophy. The present framework for all metaphysics was created by Octavius Priscus Regulus and is followed by the majority of philosophers. However, it requires what its few opponents call a 'monstrous leap' in reason and therefore has failed to supercede regional philosophical traditions on an international scale.
Regulus' starting point is that the laws of nature forbid prescriptive truth; the world cannot be other than what it is, therefore, there are no oughts. Even the actions of intelligent beings are causally determined by natural laws. This was called the theoretical truth of the human will. However, Regulus reasoned, people are self-determining as regards their actions in a practical sense - we can only act under the Idea of freedom.
For humans to be free and not free at the same time is a contradiction, unless each is in a different way. The 'monstrous leap' Regulus made to resolve this contradiction was to postulate a separation of the empirical and the non-empirical. Empirical things are comprised of all objects of the senses. The manner in which things are perceived is how things are as appearances (Phenoemena). Objects independent of a perceiver are things as they are in themselves (Eimana) and as perceiver we consider them as they are thought to be in themselves (Noumena). Regulus' Trinity of Existence underlies much of Caphiravian philosophy.
Physics and Ontology respectively study dynamic and static being. Thus ontology examines the nature of space, time, and causation. Meanwhile, physics is distinctly subdivided into:
The physical sciences exhibit a progression from basic Kinematics to Geohistory at the far end. The richest area is certainly mechanics which comprises kinematics, electrodynamics, optics, cymatics and even relativity.
Caphiravian morality is grounded in the principle that all human beings are rational organisms and, by consequence, equal. The fact of universal human equality warrants the prescriptions of Caphiravian ethics - the way they derive an ought statement from a statement of fact. Its most fundamental prescription is the categorical imperative that "Every human should be treated as an end not a means." On this bedrock, all other Caphiravian morals are built.
Duty, to one's fellow man, and intention are essential aspects of moral action. The consequences of actions are not important to Caphiravians but the intention behind actions - as well as the consequences reasonably expected by the agent performing the action - are primary. The consequences of actions, say the Hekvuians, are subject to mere luck in practice and, if taken as a standard of morality, would condemn the morally innocent such as children and the mentally challenged whose intentions are not bad but are unwillfully ignorant of their actions' consequences.