This is from 4 years ago now, but I decided to post it since Meg was asking me about what life was like in that city.
Located along the Southeastern border of the Tyrian Empire, Piraeus is relatively well-known for a variety of reasons, most notably for its destruction much later on. However, it was originally a large port-city riddled with canals, making it one of the main hubs of trade and commerce between Tyria and Archaea. It is laid out in a seemingly nonsensical manner, so much that even those who had lived there all of their life still get lost. It is not like most of the cities in the Tyrian Empire.
The Tyrian Empire was never known for being open about immigration and cultures other than their own, despite the laws enacted by the Emperor Tairn Runihura to try and promote cultural exchange. Unlike the cities close to the capital, where these laws were highly enforced, the border cities were much less tolerant of immigrants, mainly because there was such a high influx of immigrants in these cities. Verbal exchange was very difficult because Tyrians and Archaeans had their own separate languages, both of which were highly different from each other. Instead of learning Tyrian, Archaeans would continue to speak Archaean, expecting Tyrians to understand them, while Tyrians refused to learn Archaean to help accommodate them.
Piraeus was no exception to this, although discrimination was especially strong in the city. Certain sections of the city become known as “Argetonas” (Ar-hey-tone-as), which had an anathema much like today’s “ghettos”. Some Archaeans were able to penetrate Tyrian society, but these were mainly the higher class citizens and even they continued to experience discrimination, even if it was hidden behind flowery words and quips.
Despite the strong resistance to Archaean immigration, Piraeus became rather eclectic culturally. Although many strove to retain their Tyrian roots, Archaean beliefs and mannerisms did eventually acculturate into Tyrian life. Some Tyrians began to celebrate certain Archaean holydays (similar to our holidays, but entirely religious based), such as celebration of the solar equinoxes of both suns.
Clothing style became more colorful and slightly more conservative in Piraeus before it did in cities not along the border. Tyrian fashion consisted of relatively little clothing due to the warm climate, nor did they know how to use dyes, so most clothing was relatively bland in color (often white only) unless you could afford for them to be embroidered with colored threads. Archaeans, who had learned how to dye things and were the leaders in colored fabric trade, brought the technology with them, creating vibrant colored fabrics available to every class from the nobles to the untouchables.
Public baths played a large part in Tyrian society. Not only were they a place to bathe, as most households did not have their own water supply for such activities, they were also a place to socialize. Water was very hard to come by in the Tyrian Empire due to its warm, desert-like climate in much of the Empire. Cities like Piraeus, which were by the water, were expected to provide water to the cities farther inland using relatively primitive aqueducts, therefore water consumption was almost equivalent to that of cities farther inland, despite the seemingly abundant resource. Some of the richer families were able to afford private baths, but for the most part, all citizens met at the public baths. Here, citizens could exchange all sorts of information. Conversations ranged from friendly gossip to even business transactions!
This was another thing Archaeans found to be rather unpleasant. Water was not in short supply in the Archean Empire, nor was the technology to distribute it. Intricate aqueducts dotted many of the Archaean cities and countryside, providing water to most of its citizens. Therefore, most Archaeans had their own private baths. However, this was something Archaeans quickly became accustomed to, as there was nothing they could do about the lack of water.
Sex was, not surprisingly, a large part of Tyrian culture (much like the ancient Greeks.) They were extremely open about sexuality and practice, as evident by the numerous brothels throughout the city. It was not uncommon and generally accepted for someone to seek comfort at the Lupinar, Piraeus’ most famous brothel, married or otherwise. Polygamy or mistresses were not frowned upon either, although these practices were reserved for the upper class and nobles primarily.
Archaeans originally found these practices to be scandalous, but this was one aspect of their culture that Tyrians refused to compromise with Archaeans about (lol sex hounds), so immigrants eventually came to accept these practices (and even practice them themselves.) However, the transition to this was extremely slow.