Civilization VI: people you know, but maybe you don’t remember

Civilization VI is the videogame we like the most. Did you know you can win by having a lot of culture? We didn’t, and right now we’re freaking out! Firstly, the videogame shows pretty important characters that we wouldn’t imagine to find in a videogame like this (Ghandi, for example); secondly, even though it doesn’t include the same number of men and women, it almost does. (As you know, in this company we’re feminists. And you should be too). So, now that we know this, we are determined to explain some characters in more depth. Here we go!

Philip II: Civilization VI and Spain

El Escorial’s library, a masterpiece from the Spanish 16th Century’s art.

It’s not unusual to say that Philip II is the best king Spain has ever had. We can always debate it, of course, but it’s true that he is key in our history. Just like in the rest of the characters, we find a quite funny parody made of him. The history revolving Philip II is lengthy, but maybe our anglosaxon friends know him better if we say that he was the husband of Mary I of England. Don’t you know Mary I of England? Ok, let’s try again: Mary Tudor? Not yet? Ok… Elizabeth I’s sister? Henry VIII’s daughter?… Not yet? Ok, have you ever tasted a cocktail called “Bloody Mary”? Well, it’s named after her! We’re sure that now you do know her! His reign was based in the promotion of the Catholic faith, his wars to control Europe and the conception of Europe as one political entity embedded by him, something he inherited from his father.

You really need to come to Spain and this is why:

However, from our point of view, the best thing he did was to continue the relation his father had with the Venetian painter Titian. Phillip II commissioned Titian’s PoesieMaybe, the best painting series ever made. We can see one of them in Prado Museum. By the way, you can find part of these series also in the National Gallery of England (London). Back in Spain, he was marvelously portrayed by Sofonisba Anguisola and so was Mary Tudor by Anthonis Mor. The King’s portrait shows the depth of his severe personality focusing on his austerity. Take a deep look: you’ll see there’s no jewel beyond the Golden Fleece, symbol of his family. Moreover, Spain’s great asset in the game is “El Escorial”, which is an amazing building you should totally see in your visit to Madrid. The picture above is just the library!

Gorgo. Civilization VI

Gorgo: Civilzation VI and 300

We’re sure you know Gorgo, but you just don’t remember. Haven’t you watched 300? What’s the name of Leonidas’ wife? There you are! Gorgo was the only woman in Sparta who got to be: king’s daughter, king’s wife and king’s mother. In Civilization VI, we’ve got a Gorgo that shares many features with the woman we see in 300: Rise of An Empire (the second part of the franchise). Nervertheless, it’s very hard to say that she took part in the Battle of Salamina. Actually, everything points to Artemisia being the only woman in command… And she, as you know, was with Xerxes.

We know very little about Gorgo, but one of the things we know about Spartan women is that they were trained in combat, just like the society of the time demanded. This is why we need a gender point of view when we speak about history, there are many things to be known when it comes to women. Maybe, the hype of Civilization VI is a great opportunity to find academical resources and find more about Spartan women.

Cleopatra: Civilization VI and Elizabeth Taylor

Cleopatra, Civilization VI

Worldwide known Cleopatra. Shakespeare wrote about her. Elizabeth Taylor played her in 1963… She was the last Pharaoh in Egypt, if that’s the correct term to use. Actually, since Alexander the Great, it’s controversial to speak about Egyptian Pharaohs, because Alexander himself conquered Egypt and declared himself the ruler. As a matter of fact, when he died, his commander Ptolomy was the ruler after him, settling down the Ptolemaic Dynasty (where Cleopatra belongs).

Even if the major part of our knowledge about Cleopatra is written by her enemies, we could say certain things about her. Through the coins under her reign, we can appreciate she was very close to a Greek appearance. And something else: we know through other sources that she truly was an intelligent woman, capable of ruling The Nile’s Gift, who also spoke several languages and impressed tons of ambassadors and foreign Governors by her cleverness. Julius Caesar and Marcus Anthony, for instance. Anyway, that’s maybe the least important of it all.

Trajan. Civilization VI

Trajan: Civiliziation VI and Italica, Provincia Hispanica Baetica (or nowadays, Seville -which is Spain, too-)

The history of Rome has several stages: Monarchy, Republic and Empire. The Empire was founded by Augustus (right after Ceasar). Some people you might know from the Empire are: Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, and a loyal servant of the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. He was the father to a murdered son and husband to a murdered wife. Eventually he will have his vengeance, in this life or the next. Well, 63 years before Marcus Aurelius acceded the Empire’s throne, Trajan did. 

His administration was excellent and the Roman Empire had the best times with him. Following the literature of the Century he was born in, Trajan sought for aurea mediocritas, that is, “the golden halfway point”. In other words, in political terms: instead of having a brass neck, he was a moderate ruler. After conquering Dacia; establishing politics about orphan kids to be taken care of (alimenta); being accurate with the inflation of the currency and other achievements, the Senate declared him Optimus Princeps, the best ruler. We can’t help being proud that he was a Spaniard, we just can’t hide that.

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