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The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by government headed by emperors, and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa, and Asia. While the republic had lasted around 500 years, the western part of the empire endured for for some 500 years, while the eastern part was to last until 1453 AD, when it fell to the Ottomans. The empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military forces in the world of its time. It was the largest empire of the Classical antiquity period, and one of the largest empires in world history. At its height under Trajan, it covered 6.8 million square kilometers and held sway over some 70 million people, at that time, 21% of the world's entire population.



Aurelian was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. Born in humble circumstances, he rose through the military ranks to become emperor. During his reign, he defeated the Alemanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety. He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, and the abandonment of the province of Dacia. His successes were instrumental in ending the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis or 'Restorer of the World'.


Aurelian's short reign reunited a fragmented Empire while saving Rome from barbarian invasions that had reached Italy itself. His death prevented a full restoration of political stability and a lasting dynasty that could end the cycle of assassination of Emperors and civil war that marked this period. Even so, he brought the Empire through a very critical period in its history, and without Aurelian it never would have survived the invasions and fragmentation of the decade in which he reigned. Much hard fighting remained for his successors before the Empire finally regained the initiative against the Persians and the northern barbarian peoples and it would be another twenty years or more before Diocletian fully restored stability and ended the Crisis of the third century. However, after that the Western half of the Empire would survive another two hundred years, while the East would last another millennium and, for that Aurelian must be allowed much of the credit.

Unique Components[]

Dalmatian Cavalry[]

The equites Dalmatae, Latin for "Dalmatian horsemen" were a class of cavalry in the Late Roman army.  They were one of several categories of cavalry unit or vexillatio created between the 260s and 290s as part of a poorly understood reorganization and expansion of Roman cavalry forces.  The equites Dalmatae appear to have contributed to the victories of Claudius II (268-270) over the Goths in 269, and they participated in Aurelian’s reconquest of Palmyra in 272-3. Subsequently, probably under the Tetrarchy or Constantine I, most of the equites Dalmatae were permanently assigned to the garrisons of frontier provinces.

Templum Solis[]

Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers. In 274 the Roman emperor Aurelian made it an official cult alongside the traditional Roman cults. The god was favored by emperors after Aurelian and appeared on their coins until Constantine I. Aurelian also built a new temple for Sol, bringing the total number of temples for the god in Rome to (at least) four.