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Capital of Caphiria
Location of Medriso
|• Type||Special Administrative City of Venceia|
|• City Prefect||Demius Ramilianus|
|• Praetor||Alexander Constantinus|
|• Capital of Caphiria||55,230,135|
Venceia is the capital and most populous city of Caphiria, with over 12.8 million residents within the city limits and 55 million residents in the metropolitan area. It is the capital of the Province of Sator, which is under the direct administration of the central government.
A global city, Venceia is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center, and exerts a significant global impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports.
For centuries Venceia has been a major administrative, shipping, and trading town and it grew in importance in the 19th and 20th centuries due to international recognition of its favorable port location and economic potential. It is now a global financial center and a transport hub with one of the world's busiest container ports. Venceia is ranked as having the world's most competitive economy and remains one of the world's most significant financial centres with the highest Financial Development Index year over year. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Its service sector dominated economy is characterised by free trade and low taxation, and has consistently been listed as the freest market economy in the world.
As the capital of Caphiria, Venceia uniquely exhibits the character of a city, a province, and a country. All three aspects come together in the form of the de jure leader of Venceia, the Imperator. Unlike other cities, Venceia is not directly controlled by the province it's within; it is the one independent city in the Imperium and, as a province, does not need a Praetor to run its affairs. Though a locally elected City Prefect manages daily operations, the Imperator maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws at will.
Revered for its beauty as a city, Venceia has many of the most noteworthy examples of ancient and modern architecture. Its skyline includes such wonders as the Senate, Corlach Citadel, Karthmere Palace and The Ataceris. An earthquake in 1851 CE forced the reconstruction of many of these monuments. It has been described as the "showpiece" of the booming economy of mainland Caphiria. Venceia is known for its skyline and deep natural harbor, located on the Artineo Bay. The city has the largest number of high-rises than any other urban agglomeration in the empire. Venceia has a highly developed public transportation network covering 90% of the city, the widest in the empire. Venceia has the status of a global city and has been ranked as the 4th-most-visited city in the world and the most popular tourist attraction in the world. Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Administration
- 5 City Center
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 Infrastructure
- 9 Culture
- 10 See also
Its name originates from the Myth of Erumun, one of Caphiria's longest surviving creation myths.
Erumun is the ancient word for heaven, and it consisted of multiple cities that were laid out in a massive grid, almost like its own city-state. There existed countless deities and gods who had some part in ruling their own area of Erumun. It laid the foundation for how the Imperium would eventually be governed. While there was no capital of Erumun in the modern sense, there was a central location where the gods lived and met for discussion. The god of light, Eru (literally meaning life) was the de facto leader of the pantheon, delegating out specific roles and duties and preserving heaven. Most importantly, Eru was responsible for breathing creatures of all types to life, from trees and plants to horses and cows, including humans.
A handful of gods grew tired of following Eru, for they were gods in their own right and believed they should all rule together in unison, not giving power to a single individual. This small group grew into the dozens and before long, a civil war was looming. Eru attempted to control the situation appealing to his detractors, but this backfired brilliantly as his own supporters were covertly executing those who did not want Eru in power. When he found out what had been done, Eru tried to execute his supporters. However ,he was unable to harm anyone, including himself.
With no other choice, Eru banished himself from Erumun and imposed self-exile on himself. Cast away from the heavens, Eru wandered the earth for millennia and spent that time carefully crafting his own paradise. He called the entire world Eruath, meaning "the world of light". This word would over time change into the term we use today, earth.
The place in which Eru chose to create the first proper human settlement was named Vencei, after his daughter who was still in Erumun. Vencei would also change over time and evolve into Venceia.
Early Modern History
The circular shape of Venceia, with a radius of 80 km, is the result of a design by Octosius Colus Claurelian in the late 17th century. This figure is physically delineated by the 25 meter tall Livigenui Wall (Vallum Livigenus) around its circumference. Fourteen grand city gates (porta), including the Porta Marina near Cælium and Porta Capena near the Via Aventii, grant passage into the capital city. An individual gate is 10 meters high, built from gold, silver and marbles, and adorned with a golden eagle which is clutching a medallion within which is inscribed RGCP.
Spreading into the countryside like arteries are the 24 aqueducts (aquae) which feed water into the capital from the Ecinis Sea. Their physical appearance hasn't changed much since antiquity but this underlies the internal mechanisms that make them marvels of modern engineering. Powerful turbines drive water into Venceia at a combined rate of 600 million liters per hour, the Aqua Marcia alone supplying 125 million liters to the imperial district. In some places, aqueducts are physical dividers between Imperial Provinces while elsewhere they travel below ground.
Attached to the Livigenui Wall, at each cardinal direction, are cenotaphs dedicated to Caphiria's legendary patrons: Lanintius the Golden Eagle, its founder, is in the North; Maximus Pomptinus Trebonianus, the first Caesar, is in the East; Caesar Magnus Magnus, the emperor who rebuilt Venceia after the earthquake in 1551, is in the South; and Claurelian, the architect of its modern renovations, is in the West. Locals continue to protest conferring this honor upon Claurelian when he was not a ruler of Caphiria. Nevertheless, emperors have always defended recognizing him for his essential role in building the city seen today.
Claurelian's greatest contribution to the design of Venceia was outlining how to transform the Caphirian countryside from an expanse of hills into a flat plain, and how to extend the Cælium coast several kilometers into Ecinis Sea. Once these tasks had been outlined, he included designs for a wall exactly 70 km in diameter with the Forum south of its geometric center. At the time, only 8 percent of the land within the new wall was inhabited, leaving room for the future expansion that continues today. Only 12% of modern Venceia is covered by open gardens, fields or parks even though its urban sprawl had long ago reached the city wall.
Ecologically, Venceia is rife with plant life in its gardens and streets, the emperor's private gardens worthy of mention for its exotic flora and fauna. The only wild animals anywhere in the city are small insects - mosquitoes, black flies and fruit flies having been exterminated - and genetically modified eagles that kill off wild birds. Rats are long absent from Venceia (and virtually all of Caphiria) due to a combination of minimizing possible habitats in buildings, screening shipments entering Cælium's ports and safely exterminating vermin; these protocols have been in place for over a thousand years. Today, biological detectors make the screening of land, sea and air shipments for vermin cheap and effective.
The interior of the Artineo Venceia's source of life is the 42,250 mi² Artineo Bay (Fluvis Artinis) which flows and melts into the much larger Ecinis Sea. Of the 180 km that runs through Venceia, 84.7% passes over a marble channel built into the earth. This channel's depth and width are a constant 4 and 20 meters respectively. Near Port Occus, the channel is sheathed in gold which sparkles in sunlight. Before entering Venceia from the north, the Artineo's waters are cleansed of salt, fish, nutrients and bacteria through passive filtration. Where the Artineo does not flow over a rigid channel one of Venceia's three docks can be found, including the famous Naviscus Piers near the Forum.
Disposing of food, garbage, liquid waste or bodies in the Artineo is punishable by up to five years of exile from the city. The punishment does not expel one from the Imperium nor revoke one's citizenship but it is a tremendous dishonor and inconvenience for the exile. Although small boats traverse the length of the Artineo to carry goods straight from the Sea of Odoneru, river traffic is only permitted during the day.
The one spot along the Artineo in which residents can swim is the beach around is Summer Island (Insula Aestasi). Surrounding almost the whole island, its beaches offer a cheap destination for the Plebians who cannot afford frequent trips to one of Caphiria's twelve territories, making it extremely popular among local citizens. Entry is often booked months in advance, but, once inside, residents have access to the beach and luxurious bath houses (thermae).
Aside from going to the beach, people can enter the Artineo by accepting a job as a marine cleaner. While automated boats perform the less intricate cleaning jobs like sucking out what little debris falls in, sometimes a human touch is necessary. The job pays surprisingly well and can be a great way to make a little extra money on the weekend (while sneaking a dip for the purpose of getting a "closer inspection").
A portion of the Vault of Helleralis One of Venceia's finest Plebeian residential areas, the Crutaeneya was once a sacred field for training soldiers, preparing military campaigns, and directly voting. North of the Senate is the former location of the Temple Of Odros where a beautiful encircled garden remains. In a popular assembly (comitia popula), the populace will assemble on The Crutaeneya- as they always have - for voting. Nearly the entire adult population of Venceia will pass through the Crutaeneya's Vault of Helleralis before the end of a voting period.
The Crutaeneya's most famous role is being the final stop in a Triumph. This is where the victorious general separates from his legions to be taken by the College of Pontiffs to the Senate for national recognition. The ancient symbolism of the Crutaeneya transcends all its changing appearances and functions.
Caphirian weather is naturally Mediterranean - known for its warm and wet winters followed by hot and dry summers. The countryside and cities, like Vicum, around Venceia experience this almost tropical climate. Venceia, however, has a unique climate for itself due to its climate control systems in and around the city.
Cloud seeding ensures that substantially less precipitation falls on the city than the countryside, keeping rain over the crops and not on the people. Yearly precipitation hovers around 180 mm per year, when it used to receive that much in two Fall months. The only period when all manner of climate control is shut down is late December to early January, when Caphirians usually desire a temporary change of scenery. Toward the end of January they have usually grown tired of the cold and ice, and climate control is resumed.
As capital of the Imperium, Venceia has climate control systems designed specifically for it. Dozens of mirror satellites in tundra orbits reflect extra sunlight toward Venceia during the winter, warming it and extending the day by one hour. Meanwhile, deep geothermal vents beneath the streets can heat it by a further 8 °C. In the summer months, Venceia, like other cities, can be cooled by its aqueducts and its sewers, the Cloaca Maxima. Water entering the city need only be cooled to near 0 °C then water leaving need only be heated by the waste heat of public air conditioners. When used in conjunction with street air conditioning, the city can be cooled up to 15 °C by such simple measures. Another advantage of the former is that fountains - of which there are many - are now expelling cold water with which residents may cool down whenever they please. Maintenance costs of these systems approach billions of Aureus annually, which is a primary reason these features are exclusive to the capital.
The preferred temperature in Venceia lies between 10 and 25 °C, with actual temperatures falling outside this range when it is desirable. Even when snow is allowed to fall on the city, aqueducts carry hot water in for heating pipes underneath major roads and turning the fountains into hot springs. Nevertheless, many Caphirians leave on vacation during August or January to escape the seasons' mildly uncomfortable weather.
Management of a city of Venceia's population size and area is a massive undertaking, as is its logistical maintenance. As the seat of an empire's federal government, Venceia is uniquely suited to handle these challenges. Every specific subject that requires administration - water, food, electricity, cleanliness, public order, etc - has the primary headquarters of a provincial ministry to manage it. The direct control each ministry has in the capital ensures an elevated level of efficiency beyond what is possible in far-off provinces.
While the Imperator is the de jure leader and chief administrator of the capital city, its City Prefect (Praefecti Urborum) is the elected official that manages the day-to-day administration. The City Prefect is elected every other year by popular assembly of the inhabitants and is responsible for things such as distributing the free grain and olive oil rations, coordinating the local policing forces, maintaining the roads, aqueducts, and other infrastructure. The position of City Prefect is one of the most prestigious as it is the only titled government position, other than Tribune, that can be held by someone outside the patrician order. However, unlike the Tribune, city prefects are not magistrates.
Like the rest of the Imperium, Venceia is divided into city districts (regios) whose populations are represented by senators. Those of the Capital are geographically determined though most are inhabited by the consistent 900,000 citizens of every regio. Those that are not are compensated in some political way by additional votes for their senator or special treatment in terms of bread and circuses. Thus Venceia avoids some of the pitfalls which plague countries that give special administrative status to their federal capitals.
City Districts of the capital are the following:
|I||Imperial District||Praetorian Guard, 101st Legion|
|II||Helian District||Praetorian Guard|
|III||Transtiberium District||Praetorian Guard|
|IV||Vatican District||101st Legion|
|V||Valentissima District||Praetorian Guard, 101st Legion|
|VII||Aventine District||Collegium Aventinum|
|VIII||Valerian District||Danuvius Labora Collegium, 101st Legion|
|IX||Golden District||Praetorian Guard|
|XII||Honorial District||101st Legion|
|XIII||Julian District||101st Legion|
|XIV||Ostian District||Praetorian Guard, ???|
|XV||Industrial District||Danuvius Labora Collegium|
The heart of Venceia is its city center, the Imperial District (Regias I). This is the spot on which Caphiria was brought into existence. The modern regional administration system starts here, the first of Venceia's thousand regias. Yet despite its prestige, the district is smallest of all regios at only 11.8 km² and with barely 41,000 citizens. Consequently, residents enjoy more political clout and privileges than any other regias in the empire.
Therein stand the seats of the Imperator, Senate and Church - the Imperate's three most powerful institutions. More fates are decided here than any other spot in Caphiria. Moreover, the Imperial District features some of the empire's grandest monuments - the Basilica of the Archangel Michael, the Alexandrian Mausoleum, Odeon Teslae and Taberna Dionysi - displaying the glory of the empire.
Covering the majority of Davoh Hill, the Grand Forum (Forum Magnum) is the hub of public business in Venceia and place of assembly for the federal government, greater clergy and voting public due to proximity to their respective structures. Surrounding the Forum are public buildings (basilicae) which facilitate local commerce. The Basilica of the Archangel Michael, designed like the keep of a fortress, opens its doors during times of war so that citizens might pray for peace at the Ara Pacis and, if the Imperial City should be taken, find refuge inside. Most defensive alliances between collegia are also agreed there.
On that basilica's east side is the Imperial Bank of Caphiria (Uccedonentaria), which is open 24 hours a day, 360 days a year. Owners of the bank in 1953, the Verani clan, popularized ATMs at this bank. To its south is the Villa Prima, home of the Consul Kiravirona who is the only citizen permitted a residence on the Forum. Thus, he is the only person privileged enough to live on Davoh Hill. Elsewhere on the Forum are open-air markets that are temporarily granted by the state to shopkeepers by request to the Senate. Traders are more successful in their dealings here than they are anywhere else in the city. Standing above all other structures are the Colossus of Sulla and Arch of Constantine, overlooking the Senate on the Forum's western side. The Colossus depicts Caesar Sulla Magna in senatorial robes, seeming to bring the ancient emperor to life through the detail of its paint - a living titan watching over Venceia. Behind him, the great triumphal arch of Caesar Constantinus Magnus displays scenes of his numerous campaigns alongside representations of religious reforms and civil expansion. The 100 meter wide and 50 meter tall monument has two small arches flanking a massive central archway, inside of which is an image of Constantine surrounded by angels.
Farther down the 1 km Forum are the Senatorial reflecting pools, dotted with intricate lights and fountains that spray over 40 meters into the air. From the east end stretches the Sulla Expressway. At the Caesarian Wall, Julia Road ends with the Julia Gate which connects through side streets (diverticula) to the Dedio Highway and Salaria Street.
While the Forum Magnum is Caphiria's most famous square, smaller plaza squares (fora) dot the cityscape. Next most noticeable is the Forum Palatinum, west of Caesar's Palace. A hundred meters on all sides, this plaza has roads of equal width that extend in four directions. East-West is the Via Augusta, going deep into the Transtiberium District across the river; North-South is the Via Palatina, ending at the Forum Magnum. The former's eastern length is lined with ten Colossi of the greatest Imperators and Caphirian politicians: Martyrius Lux, Darius Lux, Maximus Trebonianus, Bacchis Pavo Rahla, Imperator Galba, Imperator Bethsarabeorth, Caristanius Avitus, Cervianus, Caesar Draco, Caesar Magnus I and, in front of the Palace, Quintus Caphiriasi.
Another popular forum in the Imperial district is the Forum Sacrum, a sacred plaza for the Imperial Church. Within these ecclesiastical grounds are three ancient monuments: the Obeliscus Crucifica, an obelisk stolen from Karnak and adorned by a three meter golden crucifix; the Colossus Apostolus, a statue of Saint Peter as an apostle and the Colossus Pontificus, a statue of St. Peter in Pontificate-era imperial robes.
Between the Forum Sacrum and the Palatine lies the modest Forum Maecenam, dedicated to the fine arts. Audience entrances for the Grand Theater Venceia (Odeon Magnus), largest permanent theater in the Imperium, are on the west side of the plaza. On the Via Maecena is the Basilica Artifica, an interior public space for artists, musicians and actors to freely practice their trade. An actor's school and an entrance to the Taberna Dionysii, the district's only brothel and bar, are opposite the basilica on the same road. Within the plaza itself are two statues. Looking at them from the Theater entrance they are the Colossus Magnus Magnus on the left, late Pontificate period's most illustrious emperor and the Colossus Maecenas on the right, to his friend and cultural leader, Darius Lux.
This plaza's grandest building is the Imperial Museum of Art (Musaeum Imperium Artificis). Built in 1232 as merely the the Imperium's second public museum, the IMA is 0.25 km² in area and possesses works of art dating back almost 2,000 years into Caphirian history. One exhibit features the armor of XXX, the city's founder, with a few pieces dated to the 8th century BCE. IMA retains the title of largest museum of art in the Imperium and, by the agreement of most art critics, also one of the greatest ones in the world.
File:Magnus the Great.jpg
Magnus the Great, the crowning jewel of the Imperial Museum of Art
Sitting on the banks of the Intero River are two parks in the Imperial district. Northernmost is the Forum Scipium, marked by Scipio (II)'s Column. This 34 meter tall monument is part of a fountain which shoots a stream of water an additional 20 meter high, designed so precisely that on a calm day, the stream splits in two and lands in receptacles below without splashing the column.
Southernmost of these is the Forum Plebeium, location of the Basilica Res Publicae. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Imperator resides in this minor palace for several hours hearing the pleas of his people directly. Its atrium is a waiting room able to comfortably hold over a 100 people or uncomfortably fit a thousand. Appointments are made by signing a wax tablet posted on the doors when no one is being received.
Elsewhere around the Plebeian Plaza are marble monuments with sections of the Constitution written on them and, inside the Basilica, are statues honoring the famous Plebeians of history, including Olympio Caecus, Alanus Sulla and Aurelio Saturninus.
Another minor plaza in the Imperial District is the Forum de Sancta Asinia - where the former Pantheon -, now the Basilica of Sacred Asinia of Caphiria (Basilica de Sancta Asinia de Caphiriavia), is situated. This Basilica is a popular site of pilgrimage for the nobility that wish to pay respect to the ancient Caphirians, their ancestors, as it is the only church with a shrine honoring the old Caphirian pagan Gods.
The Imperial District's last plaza is the Forum Alexandrium around the Mausoleo Alexandrios, final resting place of Caesars Alexander VI through XIII. It was built early in the reign of the Alexandrian emperors against the ancient law that forbids burial within the Pomerium - a law that has been waived for many prominent citizens, including Caesar Aegranus, whose body was relocated to a tomb above his original resting place as well as a host of other emperors and Popes over the millennia.
Resorts (diversoria) are destinations for tourists from across the empire. Caphirians adore holidays and it isn't surprising that there are over two dozen national holidays, while some jobs offer six weeks worth of paid vacation. This gives Caphirians plenty of time to visit other provinces and sister nations; and for Caphirians around the world, their holidays are a chance to see their magnificent capital.
For visitors, Venceia has seven major diversoria that cater to the very rich and very poor alike. A further 859 public inns (stabula) offer basic accommodations without the flare of a resort, while visitors uninterested in either stabula or diversoria may stay with a hospes, a friend offering the hospitality of their home.
The Grandest resort in Venceia is the Imperial Grand Resort (Diversorium Imperium Magnum) across the river from the Palatine Hill, constructed around the fabulous Forum Alexandrian of the wealthy Alexandrian clan. Billionaire real estate magnate Simo Ahala, seeking support from the Senate for his Censorship, commissioned this stunning resort for wealthy citizens who couldn't be bothered maintaining a house while absent in the outer provinces.
Base price for a day at the IGR is 90₳, with hourly rates for a tenth of that - it's natural for Caphirian hotels to offer rooms by the hour. Those looking for a more ostentatious room need to fork out ₳600 for the day, treating them to one of 42 senatorial suites with unlimited access to the pool, bar and buffet. The wealthiest might spend 6,800₳ - more than average Caphirian make in a month- for a day in one of the ten Golden Suites (Cubicula Aura) These rooms are regarded almost universally as the finest in the world, earning the IGR the charming nickname of Palace of Imperators.
The other resort worth mentioning is the Gambler's House (Villa Alearia) that provides room to clientele of Venceia's only (legal and licensed) casino. The original Villa was built by the Esquiline Collegiate after receiving permission from the Senate to build a gambling house for the people of Venceia, at a time when the empire was turning Christian and practices like gambling and prostitution were being regulated. It was rebuilt several times, most recently in the early 1900's. Due to economic pressure from the Aventine Collegiate, which bought the Esquiline Collegiate in 1945, the Villa Alearia remains the only public casino in Venceia.
The less fortunate, or economically incompetent, also have a home in Venceia. When Magnus II started to reform the empire to accommodate all classes of society, free public houses, cauponae, that offer basic accommodations were built in many of the major cities. An especially large number were built in Caphiria, though many have since been re-purposed due to insufficiency of demand.
Within Venceia there are over 500 monuments, ranging from cenotaphs, mausoleums, columns, colossi or even arches. Here is a list of the primary monuments of the Imperial District, mostly in the form MONUMENT (LOCATION):
- Grand Colossus of Sulla (Forum)
- Equestrian Marcus Aurelius (Forum)
- Colossi of the Imperials (Palatinum)
- Grand Arch of Constantine (Forum)
- Arch of Rahla (Palatinum)
- Arch of Sextus Severus (Palatinum)
- Arch of Valens (Palatinum)
- Arch of Avitus (into Regio VII)
- Arch of Galba (into Regio VI)
- Arch of the Republic (into Regio II)
- Magnus' II's Column (Scipium)
- Volta's Tower (Palatinum)
- Obelisk of the Crucifix (Sacrum)
- Monument to the Apostles (Sacrum)
- Monument of the Papacy (Sacrum)
- Colossus of Draco (Sacrum)
- Colossus of Darius (Maecenam)
- Colossus of Magnus II (Maecenam)
- Saepta Tyrianus (Field of Mars)
- Legacy Palace (Field of Mars)
From a legal standpoint, the Pomerium designates the legally and ecclesiastically defined city limits of Venceia. Land outside this zone is territory either owned or not yet owned by Caphiria; everything beyond it is simply territory owned by Caphiria. Officially, this land is the empire's only non-colonial territory, as the rest of the country is under its authority.
A military leader who commands imperium - Generalissimus, Legatus, Strategoi, Dux, etc- immediately forfeits it to the Imperator upon crossing a gate on the Caesarian Wall. Only victorious generals, returning to Venceia for a Triumph, maintain leadership of their legions but cannot issue orders of violence, e.g. arresting a criminal, quelling a riot or assassinating an official. For the most part, soldiers within the Pomerium are commanded by the Imperator alone. This law has been in effect since the civil war of the 11th century but was an unwritten policy for most of Caphirian history. Non-citizens aren't allowed anywhere near it without permission from the Senate or Imperator.
As the most populous settlement on the planet, Venceia is home to 55,230,135 citizens or almost 5% of the Imperium. These people are a rather homogeneous group for a Caphirian city - 86% Caphirian, 5% Kiravian, and 5% Urcean- but tourists from across the empire give its streets a color that truly blends cultures. However, non-citizens are a rarity in the imperial city as they are forbidden except by decree of the Senate. When an Urcean ambassador or a Kiravian business mogul visits he can expect dozens of invitations to dinner parties as every patrician get excited when rumors spread of someone exotic walking the streets.
As of 2026, Venceia had 55,230,135 residents, split evenly between genders and with a 3.3% unemployment rate. Also reported in the Census were 8,960,541 patricians, 3.4 children per woman, 224,980 Jews, a median household income of $57,120 and 100% for both fluency in Latin and Caphiric citizenship among residents of the Capital city.
The wealthiest district is Regias V, the Valentissima District, where luxurious mansions for the city's patricians are segregated from the relative poverty of other residents. This regias has the highest concentration of wealth of any administrative region in any country. Average household income is in the millions and some of the richest individuals in the Imperium own their primary palatia there. By contrast, the Aventine District is a dense mass of doma with few gardens, monuments or public buildings where the average household barely makes more than 4,200₳ in a month.
Venceia is renowned for the level of education it provides its citizens, as are any other civilized Caphirian cities. Roughly 2,800 public schools and 850 private or religious schools - all known as grammatici - operate out of there. This is the extent of the city's lower education. In higher education, over 1,730,000 post-minor students attend at least one of either the two universities (universales) or four academies (academiae) in the University District.
In the imperial education system, a university is defined as a collection of facilities made of multiple academies offering a concurrent curriculum. The largest, in Caphiria and the world, is Fortuna Institute, the historical model of an imperial university. Its student body consists of 100,000 students attending at least one of its eight distinct academies. These facilities are devoted to Engineering, Theoretical Science & Mathematics, Anthropology & History, Law & Politics, Business, Teaching, Medicine and Philosophy.
The other university is the Imperial Academy of Science (Academia Imperia Scientiae), an influential institute for education and research in a scientific context. It is made up of four major academies: the Physics Academy, the Materials Academy, the Medical Academy and the Academy of Advanced Research. Around 67,000 people attend the IAS, second largest in the empire. Many of the major scientific and technological advances of the last 8 centuries - including the discovery of 24 elements, production of nearly a thousand materials and the founding of relativistic and quantum physics - originate in the halls of this most illustrious center of higher learning.
Solitary academiae offer a more extensive education dedicated to a particular subject-matter. This is the only path to receiving an Academy Degree and being named a Doctor (PhD) of a field. Venceia's academies are the Academia Lingua, for the study of Latin and Latin literature; the Academia Artium Prodigialis, for the study of the plastic and performing arts; the Academia Teslae, for advanced study of mathematics, and the Academia Augustana, for becoming a lawyer or legislative philosopher. Altogether, these academies boast a student body of 420,000. Nevertheless, their campuses, classes, and staff are completely separate.
The streets of Venceia are monitored by three policing organizations: the '''Praetorian Guard''', an ancient order of imperial bodyguards; the 101st legion, the Imperator's personal army, and watchmen hired by local collegia.
The Guard dedicates 10,000 highly trained soldiers to maintaining order in the nicer parts of the city. As is the custom, lictors (national bodyguards) for magistrates are replaced with Praetorian guards during their stay in Venceia as the fasces, which lictors must carry, is not permitted in Venceia's streets. One of the primary functions of the Guard and 101st legion is to prepare areas of Venceia for the Imperator when he leaves his Palatia. Discretion is desirable to a degree, but his security is a top priority.
The 101st's complement in Venceia consists of 6000 legionaries and their officers without a general, whose role is taken by the Imperator. Overall, residents favor the 101st legionaries as their police because they lack the arrogance of Praetorian guards and are more disciplined than watchmen.
Crimes rarely happen in Venceia, limited to minor gang violence or rowdy adolescents. Only about 34 homicides, 860 robberies and no counts of arson were reported last year. While the lack of poverty keeps crime rates at a natural minimum, illegal activity is deterred by a prohibition of firearms in the city walls and maintenance of all buildings to a high standard of structural conditions.
Venceia has the second largest metropolitan economy in the world. The 2025 Census shows that it had a total GDP of US$14.515 trillion. As of 2025, 37 of the top 250 corporations in the world are based in Venceia. Most notable is Quicksilver Industries, the second most valuable company globally, with a revenue last year of US$500 billion. Most companies based here are dedicated to retail as nearly all banking, real estate and investment collegia base themselves in Castra Vetera.
A major national commercial center, Venceia houses the headquarters of several of the empire's largest publishing, transportation, broadcasting and natural resource firms. The focal point of finance in Venceia is its central business district, Regio IX, the aptly-named Golden District (Praefectura Aura). Venceia's stock exchange, the CSE however, is situated on the Forum Magnum near the Senate. It is one of ten locations for the CSE, which has the highest market capitalization of any finance medium and is the standard for measuring the empire's GDP, with a total market value of US$256.8 trillion.
Caphiria is credited with creating a unique system of capitalism (parsimonium). In ancient Caphiria, commerce was run by organized bodies known as collegia, an equivalent to a guild or corporation. As collegia expanded themselves to encompass multiple cities worth of business, their influence on national affairs started to be noticed by the Senate. By 848, legislation was coming into existence that regulated the relationships of collegia, effectively creating a national standard for commerce. Included among these regulations was the requirement that a guild openly declared the value of its capital stock as owned by its investors in parts. This facilitated investment in large collegia by creating the flow of information necessary for an open market of business shares (partes).
According to the Corporate Exchanges Act of 1068, trades of shares in a collegium must be done over a public medium of exchange, established as the CSE in 1197. Exchanges can still be private, in the sense that the guild does not publicly offer shares of its stock, but trades must be monitorable by the Senate.
Some guilds predate modern capitalism. One of the most unusual of these is the Commerce Guild (Mercatura Collegium), one part corporation and one part gang. Founded when traders were scared of how an invasion by Nazzareno Sberna would affect Caphirian commerce, the Commerce Guild was from the start designed to safeguard the interests of wealthy businessmen. This corporation operates behind the scenes of everyday business, setting next month's price of bread or oil by controlling supply, settling disputes between guilds trading in the same market or focusing efforts to lobby to the Senate. Unsurprisingly, the Commerce Guild's Centurio (Chief Executive Officer) is one of the most powerful men in Caphiria. The purpose of the MC is ostensibly as a union of sorts for the leaders of other corporations. Thus, even Caesar Alexander I supported it by offering them an office building, the Basilica Crassa, as a new headquarters.
Other prominent corporations deal directly with the Senate, performing some duties traditionally the responsibility of the government. In the densely populated Regias VII, the Aventine District, the massive Aventine Collegiate keeps the peace with its own law force and distributes the grain ration (Annona) and olive oil ration (Amphora) that only residents of Venceia are privileged to receive.
Venceia has always been constantly evolving with construction projects and infrastructure growth. Aqueducts, roads, power lines, transit, telecommunications - these things are as advanced around here as anywhere else in the world.
Electricity flows in from eleven major Caphirian power plants. Of the power supplied to Venceia, 650 GW comes from nuclear fusion, a consistent 18 GW comes from hydroelectric and the rest comes as demand warrants from alternative means. Hydroelectricity and nuclear fusion are relatively inflexible methods of generating power so the Helios network of orbital power stations directs whatever energy is required to fill Venceia 's remaining demand.
Telecommunications are carried into the city by varying means. The Cratis (internet) works over fiber optic cables connected to servers across the entire Imperium, going over the Artineo and beneath Julia Bay. Phones are linked by fiber optic and satellite connections, tying together wireless handhelds and landlines. Subsidiary communications like holographic-calling and telescreen programming are mostly transmitted by satellite.
The Underground Transportation Relay (Subterra Vectura) is a 974 km rapid transit network that serves 450 stations, 48% of which is underground. Navigating this complex array of railways can be easily done with the Subterra Carta, an unscaled, simplified map of the system's lines. Six different lines meet at the busy Tesla Station in the Golden District. This massive structure extends 260 meters below ground and one km across at its longest. 11.3 million passengers are served daily, up to a total of 3.9 billion riders in 2020. The farthest station is Julian Station, where the continental rail lines meet and connect to Venceia International Airport.
Aboveground the only public transportation comes from bicycle stations offering a vehicle for a 25 Triens deposit that is returned after parking the bike. Otherwise, public transportation is free in Caphiria, a gift from the Senate ever since light rails were operated above ground in 1990.
Traversing the city by road is very popular in the Imperium, a proven method to arrive where you intended without hassle and with improvement to your health. Roads (Viae) in Venceia are built to the highest standards of workmanship, some surviving from the 11th century in good condition. After 9 pm and before 7 am, vehicles are allowed through the city gates to deliver goods to shops or ferry residents out. The lack of vehicular street traffic during the day is a classic quality of Caphirian cities, setting them apart from smaller towns.
Deep in the Imperium, it is unusual for legionaries to be needed but nothing is risked when Venceia is on the line. An entire legion - the 101st - devotes itself to the protection of the city and the Imperator at all costs. One of the foremost fighting forces on the planet, they train in dozens of combat styles and are outfitted with legionary equipment peculiar in both appearance and function. Legionaries of the 101st are unfailingly loyal to their Imperator.
Their primary barrack in the city is the Vatican Citadel (Arx Vaticana) across the Naviscus Pier from the Palace on Vatican Hill. The Vatican Citadel is a massive complex within polygonal fortifications several layers deep - a perfect demonstration of the star fortress design that continued dominating Caphirian military engineering into the First Great War. This citadel, in particular, has 11 bastions laid out in a beautiful symmetrical design.
Within its impenetrable walls - the outer fortifications are no less than 3.8 meters of thick granite - are the barracked 3,000 legionaries of the 101st. A bubble of graphenated carbon nanotubes can be projected around the entire citadel by electromagnetic emitters. In extreme circumstances, three high-energy lasers deploy from the roofs to neutralize incoming missiles before impact. The Arx's defenses are so impressive that its praefecti have proudly boasted that "if Venceia were to fall, the Arx Vaticana would not".
Global in reach, Caphirian culture influences billions of lives. The two cities that provide the values, beliefs and trends of Caphirian culture are Cariati and Venceia. The Academy of Fine Arts (Academia Artium Bonum) one of three imperial academies devoted to the fine arts, was founded in 1508 and remains one of the world's largest school of arts. Talented artists, playwrights, and actors from Motias Lugius, leader of the Renascie artistic revival movement in theater and music, to Quintus Piso, who painted the Ascension of Augustus, trained there.
A prominent icon of Caphirian fine arts is the Imperial Museum of Art in Regias I. As well as exhibiting some of the Legion's most famous plundered artifacts, it possesses the largest collection of imperial art. An entire wing is dedicated to the works of Archaedavincus while other sections are arranged by artistic style and time period. The museum displays an estimated 36,000 works but its most famous exhibit is the Display of History (Aula Historiae), a two hundred meter hallway featuring a history of Caphiria. Every year, IMA gets over 14 million visitors, no doubt looking for the finest exhibit of fine art.
The operational center of the Lingua Latina, a language spoken by almost four billion people, is the Academia Lingua in Venceia. Founded in 1221, the Language Academy was charged by the Senate and Magnus the Great to organize grammatical rules and add words to the language. Over 340,000 distinct terms have been added by the academy and another 17,000 old words modified for simplicity. Nevertheless, its greatest invention was the Latin Codex. Based on the concept of Korean script, the Codex was completed in 1764 as a means of conveying the maximum amount of information in as small a space as possible. This code consists of 60 typolus (symbols), representing syllables, combined into words no bigger than Japanese kanji. Due to its simplicity and efficiency, the code has become common on government documents but is never used in public messages or signs as it is only understood by lawyers, doctors, magistrates, and soldiers; hardly enough people for public circulation.
The Grand Theater Venceia (Odeon Magnus) is the largest theater in the world, with a capacity of 17,530 people. Theatrical pieces are held there weekly by local and traveling groups alike, but the Odeon is most famous for its dozens of weekly, monthly and yearly traditions. Sundays are for screening the latest blockbuster film in the evening and a classic movie in the morning. Wednesdays are days of constant orchestral performances from 10 AM till nightfall. Every January 16 the Surgum Augusti, a legendary play of Motias Lugius, is shown, and on the Imperator's birthday, his choice of play or movie is featured all day. Discluding banquets and other private events, the Odeon Magnus receives close to 11 million visitors a year as measured by ticket sales. Fifteen other theaters can be found around the Imperial City, most of which can hold between 2,000 to 8,000 people. These have their own theatrical events a couple of times a week and often serve as enormous venues for movies, public announcements, concerts and private events. For the less discerning citizens, there are 310 movie theaters around the city with anywhere from one to fifteen screens. The Transtiberium District's massive Pinacotheatrum is the largest with 22 screens and enough seating for 17,000 patrons in its many rooms.
Venceia has earned itself a reputation as a nexus of culinary innovation that stems from its ethnic diversity and number of rich patrons of ambitious chefs. No other city can boast about as varied a palette of foods as Venceia. While its tabernae tend only to serve Caphirian dishes, there are countless restaurants serving Latin, Kiravian, Vannosian, or other exotic foods. Likewise, the markets in Venceia sell foods from across the empire and beyond so that the tastes of even the most peculiar Caphirians can be satisfied. Public restaurants are only known to serve two meals - according to time of day - prandium, a sort of brunch, and cena, the infamous Caphirian dinner. Nearly all imperial cities follow this pattern. Delis in Venceia, as in Cariati and Carrhae, are uniquely known for their policies of hosting lavish dinner parties for the nobility. Here alone, some restaurants display a plaque stating that IMPERTATOR HIC EDIT (Imperator ate here), regardless of its truth.
A national crossroads for nearly two millennia, Venceia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, exceeding those cities that do not restrict visitors by citizenship. Last year saw the arrival of 102 million tourists in Venceia, 10% of which came from the Audonia. While the city's cultural and historical destinations attract tens of millions of people on their own, the numerous museums, theaters, churches, hotels, restaurants and arenas are equally as attractive for people living anywhere the empire. On any given day, Venceia's population swells by up to 4 million from the tourists visiting its sights.
Despite its attractiveness to tourists, most of Venceia is catered towards its residents and very few establishments have appeared to take advantage of the tourist industry since doing so is looked down upon by patricians and equestrians, and is frowned on by the municipal and federal governments. This attitude to non-residents actually enhances the appeal of Venceia, ensuring an authentic local experience for every visitor.
The apogee of sports in Venceia is the Great Colosseum (Colosseum Ingens) or Aelian Amphitheater in the Imperial District. Every day around ten separate events takes place in this gigantic stadium. Announcements to the public, religious festivals and sports matches can all be watched there. While some events are regular, every day has its peculiar schedule. The only daily event, occurring without fail, is the morning announcement by a Consul that declares the day's activities.
The forum around the Colosseum is one of Venceia's busiest plazas, just behind the Forum Magnum. Entry to the base of the Colosseum from its forum is through any of its 720 ground-level archways. Contestants enter the arena directly from underground passages (a hypogeum) and when a home team is playing, it enters through the Imperator's private entrance from his Palatia. From ground level, four staircases lead into the different classes of seating and with any of the priced seats, patrons can stay inside for as long as desired but must pay again if they return to ground level.
- The Sedis Vilis are entered by the south staircase and are free for everyone. The stairs finish at a hallway on the top floor of the Colosseum where the marble benches are situated, farthest from the arena. The Sedis Villis supports 200,000 spectators.
- The east stairs lead up to the Sedis Paris, which features marble chairs that are available for the price of 10₳. This area includes basic amenities and supports 100,000 spectators.
- The west staircase goes almost midway up the Colosseum where the 40,000 capacity Sedis Lepidis await spectators who want a moderately luxury experience. Starting at 50₳, these chairs have cushions for the back, seat and armrests - washed daily- and are assigned by ticket.
- The next tier of seating is the Sedis Pulchris, which can accommodate 13,500 spectators. For ₳150, a spectator can enjoy the show from a reclining chair positioned in an ideal location with snacks and refreshments provided all day by paid workers.
- The most expensive seating are the 500 arena-side Cubicula. Every room features lecti for four people and a table where meals are served over the day - the perfect location for a small dinner gathering. These must be reserved ahead of time with an immediate payment of ₳2000. Lastly, the Imperator owns a personal stand on the west side with couches, chairs and a beautiful throne right at its center.
Gladiatorial combat remains the most popular sport in the Colosseum though it has been toned down from the bloody deathmatches of ancient Venceia. Modern gladiators come in three varieties: martial artists, actors staging spectacles between anachronistic warriors - a monthly occurrence - and classical gladiators, fitted with advanced armor which locks up after a "killing" blow. Actual fights to the death between slaves became impossible following the emancipation of the slaves in 1449. However, it was not difficult to find citizens willing to risk their lives for glory in the arena and gladiatorial combat was reinstated in 1467. Mixed with the seekers of fame and fortune were criminals sentenced to death, the arena being a common choice for those who were going to be executed. Seven victories meant a public pardon.
The Guild of Gladiators (Gladiatores Collegium), Caphiria's foremost gladiatorial guild, invented suits of armor and weapons in 1992 that would allow for non-lethal - but equally dramatic - combat so that they would stop losing popular combatants. Blows to limbs, say on the elbow, would cause the sections of armor that would be incapacitated to lock up - impact velocity and blade direction taken into account. In 2011, changes were made so that the weapons were still lethal but were prevented by electromagnets from fatally striking the torso or head while allowing the severing of limbs which could be reattached after the fight. This modification saved the sport when people were becoming less enthused with its modern bloodlessness.
Four other major sporting events are held in the Colosseum. Thursdays and Fridays are for weekly track and field tournaments, open to anyone wishing to compete. In Winter, the annual Nike Tournament begins, for the popular ball sport, Serto, based on the ancient sport ullamaliztli. Matches happen across the Imperium, with the finals and a few matches in Venceia. Horse and chariot races are featured almost daily, a common sport on which to place bets. Of course, all transactions must be made in the Gambler's House.
The last major sport comes to Venceia in the summer for the Bellatoria Cup, a sport invented by legionaries in their conquest of Rethistan and adapted into a civilian sport in the 800's. This is the national Caphirian sport, played by over a half billion people at home, at school and in provincial tournaments, of which the Bellatoria Cup is the grandest.
Besides sports and gladiatorial games, numerous other activities take place in the Aelian Amphitheater. Mock naval battles may be among the most spectacular but the Caphirian public enjoys plays and concerts there as well. Other days, the Colosseum is used for state funerals, technology exhibitions or showing a movie to the Imperator. A final use for the Aelian Amphitheater is an arena for track events of the Great Capital Games (Ludi Capitolini), a national event that takes place in major cities all over the Imperium and culminates with an extravagant event in Venceia to celebrate the winners of the events.