by Max Barry

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Pax Aurea is a multi-racial society, and has been one for two thousand years. Though original, authentic "Aurean" ethnic bloodlines can still be traced, especially in the more remote islands, most present-day Aureans have European, African, Middle-Eastern, Mesoamerican, and even Chinese blood flowing in their veins. Despite this, the majority of the population is still considered to be Caucasian, more accurately Roman.

The genomes of 20,000 Aureans were mapped in 20082009, shedding new light to the ethnical origins of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

When the Romans colonized the Aurean Isles during the first century AD, there was but a small Greek population living on the islands. The Greeks still had some common ancestry with the previous Phoenician colonists and the minor groups of Celts who had migrated to the archipelago in 500300 BC. By 100 AD, most of the Aureans were Romans; but as trade routes became more numerous and new immigrants started to arrive along them, attracted by the scholastical atmosphere of Pacifica's brand new libraries, temples, academies, and churches, a colourful mix of ethnicities that is today Pax Aurea was slowly born. Of the non-Romans, North Africans, Egyptians, and Middle-Easterns in particular were well represented.

During the Middle Ages, Pax Aurea received some new citizens from the Iberian Peninsula and France, and even some adventurous Viking seamen decided to anchor their ships permanently at Aurean ports.

As the Renaissance dawned and the world suddenly became much larger than expected, Aureans were among the first to set up sails and head to the New World. Through establishing trade posts, settling uninhabited islands, and diplomacy, several native Mesoamerican groups ended up living in the nation that back then was the Republic of Pax Aurea. Aureans were horrified of the black slave trade that soon followed the colonization of the Americas, and many a privateer that commandeered the slave transports was of Aurean origin. Some of the liberated slaves were returned to Africa; many decided to stay in Aurean colonies in the Caribbeans or moved to the main islands.

The cultural exchange between Pax Aurea and China became increasingly flourishing from 17th century onwards. The majestic galleons returning from the Far East brought with them not only merchandise and new ideas but also travellers, Chinese who were curious to learn more about the "Golden Islands" on the far side of the globe. In 1656, Consul Septiminus authorized the creation of the Chinatown of Pacifica. Later on, more Chinatowns sprout in other major cities. The influx of Chinese helped to lure in immigrants from India, Korea, and Japan (after the Meiji Restoration), especially during the industrialization era of the 19th century.

Today, approximately 65% of Aureans can still be considered "Roman", but they seem to be a dying breed: more and more citizens of the Commonwealth come from multiracial families, and if ethnicity has ever meant much to the typical Aurean, all that will soon be history.