Dates for AoE2 Civs

Hey all,
I was thinking recently as to what each of the AoE2 civilizations are actually meant to represent in-game as a way of establishing what time period the game is actually attempting to cover. To that end, I tried to find the earliest post-classical political entities to represent each civ, with a bit of discussion on alternatives. This is purely for fun, and I encourage my fellow history/AoE2 enthusiasts to share their thoughts. Without further ado…

Persians - Sasanian Empire (founded 224 AD). It always seemed clear to me (given the use of Persian War Elephants and the ‘Bukhara’ historical battle in the campaigns) that the Persians civ was meant to represent the Sassanids. However, if the Sasanian Empire is too early, an argument could be made that the Persians represent the Abbasid Caliphate (750 AD)

Mayans - Rise of Tikal and Calakmul (c.250 AD).

Romans - Diocletian splits the Roman Empire into East and West (286 AD). A strong argument could also be made for Constantine’s Edict of Milan (313 AD).

Bengalis - Gauda Kingdom (c.320 AD). An argument could also be made for the Pala Empire (750 AD).

Ethiopians - Kingdom of Aksum becomes Christian (340 AD). An argument could also be made for the Ethiopian Empire (1270 AD).

Goths - Alaric unites the Visigoths (394 AD). Argument could also be made for the foundation of the Visigothic Kingdom (418 AD).

Berbers - Mauro-Roman Kingdom (early 400s). Argument could also be made for the Berber taifas in Al-Andalus (early 1000s) or the Almoravid Empire (1050s).

Burgundians - Kingdom of the Burgundians (411 AD), although the civ represents the Duchy of Burgundy (918 AD) much more.

Huns - Rugila unites the Huns (c.430 AD).

Celts - Kingdom of Ulaid (c.450 AD).

Franks - Clovis unites the Franks (501 AD).

Chinese - Liang Dynasty (502 AD) There’s no shortage of Chinese dynasties you could use, but the Liang Dynasty is the earliest if you go by the AI player names. An argument could also be made for the Jin Dynasty (266 AD)

Malay - ######## Kingdom (500s), although much more representative of the Majapahit Empire (1293 AD).

Japanese - Asuka Period (538 AD), although you could also argue for the rise of feudal Japan in the Kamakura Period (1185 AD).

Dravidians - Chola Empire (600s).

Byzantines - Heraclius changes the Roman Empire’s language to Greek (610 AD). Argument could be made for MANY other emperors, including Constantine establishing Constantinople (330 AD).

Slavs - Samo’s Empire (c.623 AD), which was the first recorded Slavic state.

Saracens - Rashidun Caliphate (632 AD).

Koreans - Unified Silla (668 AD), although you could argue Goryeo was the first unified Korean state (918 AD).

Bulgarians - First Bulgarian Empire (681 AD).

Tatars - Tatar Confederation (700s).

Spanish - Kingdom of Asturias (718 AD), although you could argue there was no “Spanish” identity or state until the Spanish Empire (1492 AD).

Gurjaras - Gurjara Pratihara Dynasty (c.730 AD).

Vikings - Beginning of the Viking Age with the first attack on Lindisfarne (793 AD).

Khmer - Khmer Empire (802 AD).

Magyars - Magyars achieve independence from the ####### (c.830 AD).

Burmese - First Burmese Empire/Kingdom of Pagan (849 AD).

Portuguese - County of Portugal (868 AD).

Cumans - Cuman-Kipchak Confederation (900s).

Britons - Kingdom of England established (927 AD), although you could argue the in-game Britons only represent England after it had conquered Wales (1277 AD).

Vietnamese - Dai Viet (938 AD).

Poles - Kingdom of Poland (960 AD).

Teutons - Otto the Great becomes first Germanic Holy Roman Emperor (962 AD).

Italians - Republics of Pisa, Genoa, and Ancona are established (1000 AD).

Turks - Seljuk Empire (1037 AD).

Sicilians - Sicily comes under Norman control (1071 AD), although you could argue for the foundation of the Kingdom of Sicily (1130 AD).

Incas - Kingdom of Cuzco (1197 AD), although you could argue for the Inca Empire (1438 AD).

Bohemians - Kingdom of Bohemia (1198 AD).

Hindustanis - Delhi Sultanate (1206 AD).

Mongols - Temujin/Genghis Khan unites the Mongols (1206 AD).

Lithuanians - Lithuanians united (1219 AD) or foundation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (c.1236 AD).

Malians - Mali Empire (c.1230 AD).

Aztecs - Establishment of Tenochtitlan (c.1325 AD) or the creation of the Triple Alliance (1428 AD).

And that’s it. I understand that most civilizations predate the dates given here, but I tried to restrict it to periods relatively close to Late Antiquity/Medieval and attempted to limit it to independent political entities that are clearly represented by their corresponding AoE2 civ.


The automatic censorship ate parts of your message.

Nice message. You could hardly argue the Sassanians are too early considering the lasted longer than the Romans unless you count the Byzantines) and the Abbasid Caliphate would be mainly Saracen with Persian elements I think.

I think an argument could be made for the Kingdom of the Aurès (484) to be seen as the first Berber state in this era. Or maybe the Kingdom of the Hoggar, though I have difficulties finding reliable informations on this one and I couldn’t even find a date of foundation.


The second one is Kazars.

1 Like

Why am I not surprised…

Surprised about what? That it’s censored or that the Magyars used to be part of them?

The word is considered a slur against Jewish people, because the historical Kazars were Jewish. Never mind the fact that no one on the internet that I’ve seen has ever used it in that context, or the fact that we’re literally on a forum for a historical game series where talking about the real people group would be expected…


That it’s the Kazars specifically. I feel like 90% of censored posts about the Medieval Era are about the Kazars (for the Ancient Times, it’s the Hattis).


Very cool but it misses the end dates! Like when you could read them for every civ in the historical notes.

1 Like

Nice list. Here’s my excessively detailed take on Britons:

  • Dark Age starts c. 450 with the arrival of Angles, Saxons, Jutes, etc. in Britain.
  • Feudal Age starts in the early-to-mid 600s, with the Christianisation of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
  • Castle Age starts in 1066 with the Norman Conquest.
  • Imperial Age starts during the reign of Edward Longshanks, some time between 1277 (conquest of Wales) and 1304 (construction of Warwolf).
  • Imperial Age ends in 1485, with the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Naturally, there are some problems with this (and, I think, with any similar interpretation of any other civilisation). Most notably:

  • The Britons’ sheep bonus mostly affects the Dark Age, but it’s based on the English Wool Trade, which wasn’t significant until later.
  • The Town Centre discount is probably based either on burhs (fortified settlements) or on building on the sites of former Roman settlements. Either way, its basis is Anglo-Saxon but it doesn’t kick in until Castle Age.
  • You can’t build monasteries until Castle Age, so Christianisation isn’t reflected in the gameplay.

I think you’re overstating the significance of this (and probably of other state formation dates). It’s not like the concept of being English suddenly came into being when Athelstan became King of (most of) England. By that time, it had existed for a long time already, e.g. Bede wrote his Ecclesiastical History of the English People about 200 years earlier.

It depends what you’re trying to determine dates for. Most of the civ design in based on that period (at least from Castle Age onwards), but within the game, e.g. in campaigns, it represents something broader.

That’s interesting, and makes more sense to me than the forum’s censorship often does. But I’m reminded of Uuganaa Ramsay’s comments on the negative connotations of the word ‘Mongol’:

I want people to know you can use Mongol in the same way as you would refer to a Scot, Turk or Pole. It’s fine. We can unlearn negative connotations because we learnt them. You can call me Mongol because I am one.

Although perhaps censoring ‘Kazar’ isn’t similarly problematic because (as far as I know) there aren’t any Kazars anymore.


Dark Age Britain feels non existent in this game. Britons seem to begin at the very least after Hastings.

Yeah, it feels weird to play Richard Lionheart with an army of longbowmen though…

Interesting, I’m used to the term being have this connotation in French (though I’ve rarely heard or red it in the past decade or so) but I had never seen it in other languages so I didn’t realise this special brand of racism and ableism existed in other countries…

Many ######### people claim to have a Kazar heritage, though it can hardly be proven.

Darj Age in general feels quite non existent in the game, unless it’s represented in other ages…

EDIT: Oh god, A s h k e # # # # is censored quite probably for the most baffling reason…
EDIT2: It’s even censored with spaces between the letters :smiling_face_with_tear:

I can give my little contribution to what pertains late antiquity…

286 is fine but centurions have the chi ro symbol on shields and you build monasteries as Romans so 313 may be more accurate but as far as accuracy goes in this game 30 years of paganism are not an issue. Vikings and Lithuanians build monasteries from the beginning after all…
For the end date I’d say either 640, death of Heraclius and dismantling of the late Roman military system for the first themata in the wake of Arabs invasions, or 750 circa, fall of Ravenna and the last exarchate while the duchy of Rome becomes the papal states. To be more generic you could say VII century, which marks the end of the ancient Mediterranean empire to the Muslims, or VIII century, disappearance of Romans as an ethnicity and of the arguably last romano-barbaric kingdom (Longobards).

I’d keep Aksumites and Ethiopians apart in case of a future split (Yodit destroyed the kingdom of Axum in the X century and then it came the Ethiopian empire).

As for every other Germanic tribe they existed way before the foundation of their kingdom. They were already quite important in the third century, being probably one of the few aoe2 civs that could appear in aoe1, so 230 circa I guess as the beginning.
For the end it depends if you count Crimean goths, in that case I’d say as late as 1475 which is concomitant with the fall of the last Byzantine rump state, the principality of Theodore in gothia (south Crimea). But more realistically I’d say 730 circa or VIII century with the fall of the Visigothic kingdom, giving the last attested goths were living in septimania (called march of gothia under Charlemagne) around that time.

Berbers existed since aoe1 times but had other names before Romans submitted many of their tribes and started to call them like that. For the sake of aoe2 I’d say the Mauro-kingdom independence from Western Roman empire makes sense, in 410 circa. It’s the earliest romano-barbaric kingdom in Africa I can think of. But they will really move away from Roman culture only with the Muslim invasions at the end of the VII and beginning of VIII century.
That could be also the ending date depending on what you want to depict with Berbers but they became many other things under Islam, from independent and rebellious caliphates to early modern Morocco.

Like with Goths Huns existed way before the start of their empire but their origin outside of Europe is mysterious. To break them apart from eventual xiongnu to be added in aoe1, still more Asiatic, you could make them start in 370 circa in aoe2 with their arrival in Europe.
Their empire disintegrated shortly after Attila’s death but Huns continued to exists as an ethnicity until the end of the VI century when some of them were last attested serving as generals under the eastern Roman empire. Probably along with Sarmatians they were gradually absorbed by other tribes coming from Asia like oigurs, sabirs, onogurs and finally Avars.

Very hard to say because the civ is confusing and dark ages Celtic history is even more. If they refer to Scots alone then I guess X century at the earliest or IX if you consider the kingdom of Alba. If you include the Gaelic kingdom of dal riata then it’s 500 circa and if you consider the Picts too, mainly because of the woad raiders, then they’re accounted as early as 300 circa.
For the end they lost their independence in the XVII century if you still consider them Celts by then.

They were already around causing problems to Romans in the third century so in aoe1 timeframe. Clovis converted to Christianity at the end of the V century after defeating syagrus and the Alemanni but they were electing kings for a while already.
The last “king of the Franks” is Philip II until 1190, after which he will adopt the title “king of France”. Depending if you consider franks to be french or not by this point, early modern France emerged from the one hundred years war, arguably being distinct from franks.

From the end of the Han dynasty (220) to the beginning of the Tang one (618) there was a messy period of transition that could maybe count as their late antiquity. It depends if one wants to include the three kingdoms period into aoe1 or aoe2 but I’m not the most expert to say. Given it’s still the third century and it’s somehow comparable to the military anarchy of Rome then should be aoe1.

Yamato should be here instead of aoe1 but there’s not really much historical non mythological accounts during ancient era in Japan as far as I know. Chronologically Aoe2 Japanese could start as early as 300 circa with the kofun period but Buddhism was not introduced until 538 (technically the end of Japan prehistory). Until 300 BC it seems Japan was inhabited by hunters gatherers so there would little space for aoe1 Japanese (600 years) but I’m not an expert so correct me if I’m wrong.

Like with Romans, 330 makes sense because byzantines are represented as a Christian civ more than the western counterpart. However I’d argue that they represent better the mid to late era of the Byzantine empire, proper medieval, so leaving space for Romans to eventually fill their early incarnation in late antiquity, so either 640 (see Romans) or 717 (end of the twenty years anarchy, second Arab siege of Constantinople relieved and Leo III becoming Basileus) as the real starting date.
See Goths for the end date (the principality of Theodore fell in 1475).

Slavs were around eastern Europe from the V century but it seems Huns encountered then even before (end of the IV century) while coming in Europe so that seems the earliest possible date.
For the end is hard to say since already by the VI century Slavs could count different designations and were not anymore something you could refer as “Slavs” if that ever was the case (Anti, sclaveni, Sorbs, carantanians etc).

Yes if you consider them just Muslims. Otherwise Arabs were there before of course. Ghassanids, tanukhids, sahalids and lakhmids for example could all be pre Islamic Saracen factions in a Persian campaign beginning in the third century circa even if this steps on the feet of aoe1 palmyrans.

Ufff one day I’ll continue maybe…


I looked at a list of religious slurs on Wikipedia, and the word was nowhere to be found. So I’m beginning to doubt that the word is actually a slur at all, especially since I’ve never seen anyone use it as such. If that’s the case, the censorship is completely overbearing.


Most of the censored words seems to just so happen to include a slur with letters before or after. For instance, in hit###es there’s “t”, “i” and another “t”, and in v###al there’s an “a” and then two “s”.

I think it’s quite old-fashioned in English. When I was at school ('90s/early '00s) people used to use just the first syllable as a generic insult, but I didn’t know (and am still not sure) whether that’s related or coincidence.

If by “heritage” you mean ancestors, then I suspect it’s almost certain (in the same way that basically everyone in Europe is descended from Charlemagne).

True – if I wanted to represent Anglo-Saxons in a campaign, I almost certainly wouldn’t use Britons. Goths are probably the best fit, although one could justify Celts for Northumbria if they weren’t so nonsensical.

According to a news article from the release of RoR, they “date back to about 395”. On the other hand, their AI names include Theodosius I and Arbogast.

Oh, either way, the censorship is completely overbearing.