Themiclesian nationalisms

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Themiclesian nationalisms, in scholarly discourse, are a set of ideas that past and present Themiclesians have used to define Themiclesia. Native conceptions of Themiclesian identity, first originating within the Hexarchy and developed as a consequence of the Restoration of the Meng Dynasty, were fluid and pluralistic. On an essentialist level, language and culture were main discriminants, and on a constructivist level, groups of individuals acquired various "Themiclesian" identities according to their political, military, and financial relationships with the royal court and each other. Some of these concepts are readily comparable to Menghean notions of nationality, while others are better explained as native innovations. In the 18th century, Camian and Casaterran notions of nationhood challenged traditional ones, and in the 19th national identity was combined with romanticism of Themiclesia's past imperial projects in Columbia and Meridia, and consequently given political importance.


Historians rely on the names Themiclesian have applied to the land on which they themselves or categories amongst themselves reside. Asserting to be living on a geographical area that is unified under the same label is usually taken as a sign of an identification of the first person. Unlike many others, Themiclesia does not have or generally use a straightforward translation of the word "nation" in the sense of a monistic, non-poliitcal label for all people deemed nationals under the sense of international law. Terms such as prong (the political state) and gwênh-kwal (the financial state) each have significant overlaps with the Anglian word "nation" but also carry nuances not expressed by "nation". These nuances can be implicational, i.e. having a more limited meaning, or functional, i.e. having a more limited use.

During the Hexarchy (c. 300 BCE – 265 CE), several states existed on what is now Themiclesia; the kings of these states were forced to submit to Tsjinh State in 265, though their political autonomy persisted for at least another two centuries. Since Tsjinh would be framed as the "legitimate" government in later centuries under more unitary governments, canonical history was written and cited almost exclusively from the perspective of Tsjinh. The people of Tsjinh, before unification, called the area directly controlled by their king prong, usually rendered as "state" or "the state" in Anglian. Relative to the other states, which were called "name + prong", Tsjinh thus became a default, unmarked category, while the others were marked ones.

The prong initially fluctuated in definition as Tsjinh enlarged itself by conquering neighbouring states. By c. 100 BCE, it seems the prong had fixed in size, and new territory were no longer deemed part of it, instead called kljulh, or "prefectures". The motivation for this differentiation is debated. Both prong and kljulh had co-equal obligations to the central government in taxes, corveé, and military service; however, while both were divided into counties, those in the prong were directly subordinate to the central government, while in the kljulh they first answered to the prefect, then to the central government. This new layer of administration may have appeared as a great innovation at the time, and since it was only imposed in newly-conquered areas, it might have been deemed a measure for defensive convenience or even subjugated foreigners.

After the period of rapid conquest between 300 to the beginning of the Common Era, Themiclesia entered a phase of relative peace, with fewer but more concerted wars between the six remaining states. All six states were in the proces of consolidating their governmental structures, though for historiographic reasons the situation in Tsjinh is best understood. Over the next centuries, the prong was extended to the frontiers. The original prong acquired, around 50 CE, its present name nubh-srje′ or Inner Region, from the title of its chief administrator the Inner Administrator. The commander of the forces of the prong, originally prong-′judh "State Marshal", was now changed to trjung-judh, "Capital Marshal". Tsjinh's original territories became its political core, still retaining the prestige of being an unmarked category, relative to the prefectures.

Tsjinh would conquer one other state before acquiring sufficient influence to secure the submission of the four other states in 265. While it is popular to consider Themiclesia united in 265, and indeed in Tsjinh texts it is often so described, scholars have cast doubt on this characterization. After twenty years of warfare, the Treaty of Five Kings was concluded, the four others promising never to conspire with each other or foreign states against Tsjinh and to pay homage and tribute to Tsjinh every year. While this is a somewhat unequal treaty, Tsjinh also pledged not to tariff goods more than once as they crossed state borders. Rather than a unification as such, recent scholarship have tended to describe this as the first time in which an unequal relationship or one of hegemony has been established amongst the states. While the Tsjinh king's control over the others states was minimal, the definitions of words were again in flux. A small number of authors took the view that prong now referred to all five states, but most still believed that prong equalled Tsjinh. The Vice Chancellor said in 277, "The four prong all have their own laws and kings," implying that the Tsjinh prong did not extend over them.

See also