History of Dynamo Island

Before the arrival of the Celts in 1000 BC, Dynamo was, like the more westerly parts of Europe, uninhabited. But when humans did arrive, the presence of gold and base metals in the Handlebar Mountains and the fertile eastern plains facilitated the rapid establishment of human culture, attested to today by the large number of Celtic burial sites and archeological remains. The meeting of the mountains and the plains in the level foothills east of the Handlebar range was the site of particularly rich cultural development, with a major religious and ceremonial site, Marl Grange, at the meeting of the rivers Rafter and Crease in the region of Lower March and Hubcaster. Since there were no natives on the island prior to the Celts, the latter were able to develop and rich and homogeneous culture.

Dynamo Island was in turn discovered by the Romans at the time of Hadrian’s rule (2nd Century AD). Roman ships en route for Britannia had been blown off course and managed to make landfall in the southern part of the island. Realizing the rich potential of what they had discovered, the Romans quickly established a capital at Hadrianopolis, at the mouth of the river Antinous, named by Hadrian himself after his favourite, on a visit to the island on a return trip from Britannia. The resistance of the native Celts or Velociae as the Romans called them, was fierce. Fleet of foot and with hard and dexterous hands, the Velociae were formidable opponents in hand-to-hand battle and on horse-back. Celtic resistance was particularly strong in the southern regions first discovered by the Romans and in particular in the province centred on the Ring Mountains that Hadrian named Pugilia. A major victory of the Romans at the Celtic regional capital of Boxcaster (Buxus castra) on the River Antinous however marked the first stage of Roman occupation of the island.

The Celtic prowess in the martial arts meant that, when finally subdued, they became prized within the Roman empire as boxers, gladiators and charioteers. Amphitheatres were quickly established at Hadrianopolis and Boxcaster, and later at Hubcaster and Veloxeter. The level plains of the eastern side of the island and the broad valleys of the River Crease’s many tributaries facilitated the construction of paved roads enabling Roman troops to establish their dominance in the south, east and northern parts of the island. As in Britannia, the Celtic strongholds retreated to the western mountains where they managed to survive despite many punitive expeditions on the part of the Romans. A famous battle at Rory Gap in 300 AD at which Celtic defenders inflicted serious losses on Roman troops marks the beginning of the decline of Roman power in the island. However two generations of intermarriage between Romans and Celts, the establishment of Latin as the dominant language and the installation of Roman-style infrastructures resulted in the convergence, as in Britannia, of the two racial and cultural traditions to form a new synthesis.

Roman amphitheatre, Boxcaster.

Apart from the establishment of towns and roads, baths and amphitheatres, the cult of games and martial sports, the Romans also built up trade links with other parts of the Empire, in particular through the eastern and subsequently national capital of Veloxeter. They also diversified the island’s agriculture, planting vines in the south-east and introducing many Mediterranean herbs and shrubs. Roman mythology merged with or superseded Celtic religious beliefs, with a particularly rich synthesis of rituals relating to mensual and seasonal cycles. The Roman calendar was adopted, along with the Roman system of measurements and currency. Early Velocian coinage displays the Wheel, subsequently to become the country’s national symbol, with, on its obverse, profiles of successive Roman emperors.

Like Britain in the seventh and eighth centuries, Dynamo was visited and settled by Angles, Saxons and Jutes. The prevailing Latin tongue became anglicized and with the coming of Christianity in the ninth century, established by St David, the island’s culture became progressively Europeanized. Periodic incursions and subsequent settlement by the Vikings and the Normans in the tenth and eleventh centuries further diversified the island’s linguistic and cultural traditions. Ownership of the land, established by the Romans on an individual as opposed to tribal basis, was continued: although there were some large estates that later became the basis of a landed aristocracy, the general pattern was one of smaller estates owned by individual farming families, with common land and grazing rights for all villages. Although certain powerful regional chieftains had in the ninth and tenth centuries attempted to establish themselves as national monarchs, the strong tradition of regional independence prevailing in the eight Roman-founded provinces, meant that no legitimate monarchy was ever established. Instead was inaugurated a system whereby the heads of the eight provinces met at regular intervals of the year at Hubcaster, the old capital, to agree national policy. Disagreements between the eight chiefs, who nominated on an annual basis one of their number as presider–in-chief, were resolved by referring issues to the vote of all land-owners (possessing more than one acre) and house-holding citizens of the towns. In this way, a tradition of broad, if often painfully slow consensus was established in the island. The power of the Church in Dynamo was curtailed in a similar way to that in Britain, the country becoming by the seventeenth century, a protestant Commonwealth on the model of what Cromwell had already attempted to establish in Britain. The later seventeenth century marked Dynamo’s first golden age, with the establishment of an Academy of Sciences, of universities in Veloxeter, Hubcaster, Rugby and Upper March, with a naval college at Hadrianopolis. The new, more fully representative, parliament was established in a magnificent new building in Veloxeter with an upper house consisting of representatives of each of the eight provinces, each of whom was to be over 50 years of age, with women as well as men being eligible for election. Each of the eight provinces had its capital city with a regional council which enacted the legislation of the national government and dealt with local affairs. The distinctive qualities and characteristics of the regions were jealously guarded with a strong tradition of friendly rivalry between them.

Inspired by the model of the United States of America, in the late eighteenth century Dynamo adopted a fully representative democratic political system with a written constitution and a Bill of Human Rights. The capital of the country at Veloxeter became the country chief administrative centre. The House of Representatives was elected by all adults, male and female, of 21 years and over, the Upper House or Senate consisting of thirty-two senior citizens, sixteen men, sixteen women, also elected by general consensus. From the time of the Napoleonic wars, the country adopted a policy of neutrality. Its strong navy protected its shores and maritime routes while its army was trained for national defence rather than expeditionary engagement abroad. Despite its strategic position in the mid-Atlantic, during both World War I and World War II, Dynamo was able to maintain its neutrality. It was beyond the range of German bombers in World War II and well south of the main north Atlantic convoy routes between America and Britain. It was nevertheless on full alert during both world wars and its merchant and naval fleets were instructed to save survivors of torpedoed allied shipping. During the Cold War period of the second half of the twentieth century, Dynamo became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and entered the European Community (EU) in the early 1970s, at the same time as Britain and Ireland. It now takes very seriously its integration into the European Union, in which its influence has been strongly felt in particular in relation to human and environmental issues.