All of this does not change my initial point: Expeditions series was always somewhat economical with historical truth. In the first game it was the female conqistadors running around everywhere. Here is overrepresentation of dark-skinned characters (although I did not have the same experience as Jrpgfan most of my Centurions were quite pale).Berbers as depicted in an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh's tomb:
Very white skin color there. Same as the Syrian, and modern Syrians are your regular near eastern tanned people - same with Berbers/Amazighs.
Modern North African countries have the same phenomenon as Europe: sub-saharan African immigrants. That's why photographs of black people in Moroccan garb exist. That does not make them native Moroccans, or ethnic Berbers/Amazighs, or anything of the sort, just like a black guy in Poland can't trace his ancestry back to the old Rzeczpospolita.
I know a traditionalist Amazigh pagan who follows the ancient traditions of his people and is a hardline ethno-nationalist. His people are even more racist towards black people than your average American, lmao.
And from his looks, he's indistinguishable from your average south Italian or Greek.
The ancient world was a very Mediterranean centric world. Your average person in the Roman Empire would have looked like your average Italian, Spaniard, Greek, etc. North Africa was populated mostly by:
- natives like the Amazighs in western NA
- Greek colonists who've been living there for centuries (Cyrenaica had a Greek colony even before the Hellenic era, for example)
- Phoenicians, who were a Semitic people and would look similar to people from the Levant or Arabia (Carthage was originally a Phoenician colony)
- Egyptians, who mostly stayed in Egypt and the Levant and didn't travel west much
None of these groups were black-skinned. Tanned like the Egyptians, yes. Black like sub-saharan Africans, no.
The only black-skinned people known at the time were Nubians/Ethiopians, who come from east Africa, to the south of Egypt.
There was little to no contact with sub-saharan Africans on the western half of the continent. Places like Mali only really came into wider contact with the Arab-Muslim world in the middle ages, and even then they didn't intermingle much beyond trade. There were a few Carthaginian naval expeditions down the west coast of Africa, but no permanent colonies or contacts were established. Only during the age of exploration in the 15th century onwards did Europeans and North Africans have regular contact with west Africa, which up to that point had been terra incognita.
As for the Nubians and Ethiopians, a few individuals of these did travel to the Roman Empire, yes. Some as slaves: we know that during Nero's time as Emperor, Ethiopian slaves were used as gladiators and considered quite the spectacle by the Roman citizens who found such dark-skinned people to be an exotic and unusual sight. Is it possible that, during the height of the Empire, a few Ethiopians/Nubians could have joined the legion and risen up the ranks to become centurions? Yes.
But the game is set during the late republic, the time of Caesar and Pompeius. A time when all men of the Roman army were Romans. From Italy. They didn't even recruit northern barbarians from Gaul and Germany yet, which became a common practice in the Empire, particularly during the late period when the majority of Roman soldiers were of Germanic ethnicity. In fact, during the time that Expeditions: Rome is set in, Egypt hadn't yet become a Roman province, it was still an independent kingdom.
How, then, would a black African - who could only come from Nubia/Ethiopia, which had access to the Mediterranean world only through Egypt, which at that point wasn't yet part of the Roman Empire - join the Roman legion and rise up to the rank of centurion?
For this time period, within the context of this particular game, this is completely fictional and ahistorical.
Female conquistadors are more historical than black sub-saharan African centurions in the late Republic.
If the game was set in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, fine, I could accept one or two soldiers of Ethiopian origin. But late Republic? Complete bullshit, made up, didn't happen, more fictional than female conquistadors for which we have at least one example.
Why the butthurt and ragequitting now? Logic Artists have been releasing games since 2013...