Juventius’ culture was largely founded upon a background of Sura culture. The Sura Empire, being an extremely ancient state, has a very well defined idea of its own culture. Sura architecture, art, language, naming customs and much more came with Damasus when he founded Juventius. Damasus endeavoured to found a culture of fairness, and he never sponsored or supported a religion during his reign. This legacy has remained intact. Many religions are followed by the people of Juventius, and many more follow none at all. No religion has had a clear majority in the people's history.
EducationThe age of majority in the eyes of Juventian culture is 17. Low born children are usually educated at home until the age of 12, when they may begin to train in a trade and attend a tutors classes simultaneously. At 15 tutoring normally ends, with a child expected to have learned reading and writing, basic sums and some history and philosophy. At this point, they begin their trade in earnest or pursue another career - such as military enrolment. Higher born men are educated by private tutors from the age of 11 until 17. The topics seen fit for a noble son differ to that of a low born; writing, reading and maths are complemented by science, philosophy, a deeper history of Juventius, literature, and sports - usually sword duelling, wrestling and relay (with relay especially though to encourage good social behaviours). At 17, most begin to train in their family businesses, management of family estates or with their father in political circles, depending on the circumstance. The education of women is not always prized by the higher classes, where it is seen most appropriate for them to be married off to a suitable match (often either for wealth or political connections), with the only rudimentary reading and writing taught by tutors until age 13, when a mother will begin training in how to manage a household's servants, raise children and be a hostess for the husband’s guests.
Role of WomenJuventius has a largely patriarchal society; though in comparison to some cultures the rights of women are greater. Women may divorce, own property, learn a trade, defend themselves in court, and a woman has inherited the throne once. However, leadership roles are largely dominated by men, and women usually only inherit noble titles upon death of all direct male relatives. Men are also favoured in the inheritance of property, with women receiving a lesser share. A married noble woman will live with the husband’s family, where sons and their families usually live at home as part of an extended family unit - which often leads to noble houses being extremely large. However women do not take their husband’s name and the political nature of most noble marriages has led to other lovers being common for both the woman and man, with affairs often becoming serious relationships.
ClothingWithin most nations of the Sura culture group (the Sura Empire, the Five Kingdoms of Pascent and the innumerable nations on the continent of Lissimo clothing has never been immensely complex for one major reason : Sura and Pascent alike have extremely stable, hot, tropical or arid climates. Their architecture and clothing are both designed to cope with the heat. Clothing is simple and adapted to the climate. Male nudity is not uncommon and in athletics is expected. Outside of sports, low born men may wear short wraps, tied at the front and covering just the thighs, or work naked when the heat or exertion is particularly strong. The higher class you are the more clothing generally worn; rich men wear tunics to compliment the wraps and wealthy women wear robes with a decorative shawl of bright fabric pinned with brooches. This can be partially attributed to the fact that the rich can afford expensive cooling mechanisms such as living in prime positions by the river, fountains within the home, within Sura itself slaves to fan you, and magitech refrigerators to cool food and drink. The desire to flaunt wealth by using expensive and colourful fabric and jewellery is also part of the reason behind increased clothing as you go up the social strata. Females are expected to cover the breasts and genitalia, and so generally wear a rectangle piece of fabric, tied around the waist with a corded belt, with the excess gathered behind and draped over the shoulders and tucked into the belt. Wealthier women may also wear a coloured cloak of light fabric over top. Most people go barefoot, though laced, leather sandals are used when the feet need to be protected. Jewellery is common for all classes, the material and amount depending on wealth. Men often wear bicep rings, torcs, anklets, and rings. Necklaces, brooches and bracelets are additionally worn by women, though highborn men may also wear these. Much clothing is made of fibres of the Dellaci plant, which is lightweight and grown plentifully in Pascent, and Likatoff Silk from Kalord is used in garments for the very wealthy, prized for its strength and delicate texture.
ReligionReligion holds little sway in Juventius. The founding King held little sympathy for organised religion, though he allowed individual belief. He had, after all, fled an empire ruled by superstition and religion that had corrupted its core and which persecuted many. The stories of a kingdom where religion was a choice, not a mandate, attracted many lost souls over the years. Those seeking refuge from persecution for their beliefs or lack thereof. A melting pot of religious beliefs is the result of this situation, with few religions holding particularly many followers. The followers of the One and Six Gods are perhaps one of the most common, a holdover from old Sura.
ArchitectureJuventian architecture was inspired by buildings designed for the moderate climate of Sura. Juventius is even hotter than Sura, with a constantly hot and dry climate, and so its architecture was orientated even further towards encouraging cooling breezes through open plan, courtyard orientated living. Most Juventian homes are built around a productive garden; though in the more wealthy estates, ornamental gardens accompany this. The largest homes encircle a garden courtyard entirely; smaller ones open onto one from a covered walkway running the length of the home. Due to the heat of a Juventian summer, these courtyards are essential to cooling the home, and often contain a covered well for water supply. The walls of the house also protect the courtyard from storms. Balconies or overhanging eaves are customarily included to shade main house from the sun. It is customary for smaller houses to lack doors and for larger homes to possess large double doors which can be opened in summer to circulate air. Internal doors are also rare, only used for the very richest or rooms containing precious objects. Without doors, privacy is sometimes granted using fabric over doorways or beaded curtains. Homes are largely open plan, with large archways between rooms except for sleeping quarters, which feature smaller doors. Columns are a favourite piece of ornamentation in Juventian architecture, and serve practical uses as supports for the popular porches. An easy supply of stone from the quarries within Juventian territory means most buildings are granite or marble faced with brick sandwiched between; wood is a rare extravagance as the trees grown in any number within Juventius produce poor quality wood for building. Statues of heroic figures and past kings, as well as nature spirits, are a significant feature of ornamentation, and mosaics of coloured and glazed tile or natural stones are popular as floor decoration. Much of the art displayed in Juventian homes is in the form of mosaics or on large display pieces of pottery, but murals are popular in very wealthy homes. Dwellings generally face inwards onto their courtyards, instead of the streets, but exceptions exist. Family shops may operate from the street facing part of a home in some situations. Central town squares - which large towns may have multiple of, and in Juventius there exists hundreds - are usually surrounded by covered open air walkways (Stoas) with roofs supported by colonnades, framing a marketplace or public square, with a public fountain as centerpiece. The widest thoroughfares of towns are generally lined with homes, the front of which are used as shops. The grandeur of these shops varying depending on the wares they sell. A smell jeweller, silversmith, potter or baker may produce wares onsight, but the largest shops may have dedicated manufactories in other parts of the town, usually mixed with the warehouses of merchants to form a commercial district.
Naming ConventionsThe tradition of Juventian naming is connected deeply to traditions passed down from Sura; however the practices of naming were simplified by Damasus the Great when he founded Juventius, and the right of a legal family name expanded to all citizens. Traditional Juventian names are formed of three parts; the personal name, the parental name, and the familial name. The personal name is chosen by an individual’s parents, and may be changed by an individual once they reach adulthood. The parental name is the personal name of one of individual’s parents. For women this is their mother, for men their father. The familial name is the personal name of the individual to whom members claim ancestry. Utilising Volusenna Petrus Mutius as an example then Volusenna is the personal name, Petrus is the parental name and Mutius is the familial name. It may be interpreted as Volusenna, son of Petrus, descendant of Mutius.
Marriage is generally only practiced amongst nobility, where it is useful for political and economic reasons. The common citizen may have one life partner or several, but these may change many times over the course of their life; polyamory is common in Juventian society, as is homosexuality. Low born daughters are generally expected to support the family just as much as sons, and matches are largely left up to the daughter to decide. Some may live with their life partners family, or their life partner may join them in their family home, depending on circumstance. High born nobles may marry for inheritance reasons, where the children who are product of a marriage have first claim to titles, and for political purposes - it is often used to cement an alliance.