|Common languages||Agudan Ziba|
• 1458-1469, 1483-1501
• Establishment of monarchy in Gobobudi
• Declaration of Aguda Empire
• c. 1750
The Aguda Empire was an empire that spanned Southeast Coius in the early modern period. It was officially established in 1476, and disestablished in 1866. Officially Badist, it grew through rapid conquest initially, but became renowned for culture, engineering projects and commerce. It went into decline as it lost its authority to colonial influence, mainly Gaullican, via Saint-Bermude's Company. At its peak, it had over a hundred million people. Its territory is in present-day Dezevau, Lavana, Zomia, Nainan, Zorasan, Mabifia, Rwizikuru, North Kabu, South Kabu, Namayan, Gaullica (through Nouvel Anglet) and Estmere (through Kingsport).
The !Lavanan Empire had dominated most of the region up to the south bank of the Buiganhingi River in previous centuries, but by the 1400s it had collapsed to civil war, with no clear successor. One fragment, centred in Gobobudi, was among the more powerful; the city was a centre of trade, with productive if unruly hinterlands, and strong walls. It was frequently dominated by warlords, but a significant grouping, mainly civil in nature, were in favour of a council city-state, on traditional pre-empire lines.
Gobobudi's hold over its environs fluctuated, with Liucpa, Zuvai and Mhuogezu being significant cities in its territory. However, the lattermost of these successfully revolted in 1449. Despite lukewarm support from civil societies, generally opposed to wars of conquest, the city-state was unable to retake the colony, leading to dissatisfaction with the status quo and economic hardship from the costs of the campaign and lost revenue.
Partially owing to this strife, Gobobudi was successfully couped by Gauvadizi, a landholder and merchant, who declared himself zeja (or king), in 1458. He led a successful campaign to retake Mhuogezu, and put down unrest and dissent across the city-state's territories, including within the city itself. He had some ambitions of restoring an imperial state, but political conditions for it were adverse after some initial conquests. He also promoted internal trade and promulgated law codes, making the legal system fairer and more consistent. He abdicated in 1469 in favour of his son, Tazadiu, during a period of relative peace when he was in his 50s, but remained involved to some extent in politics.
Tazadiu faced renewed separatist unrest near the beginning of his reign, from conquered cities as well as from peasants in the countryside, chafing under centralisation. After a few years, he came to the conclusion that a radical solution was needed, and he decided to relocate its capital to a new site in the Zedenge Valley in 1472. This, he reasoned, would reduce the favouritism and chauvinism towards Gobobudi proper that encouraged other areas to break away, move the administration to a more geographically centred area, and put a fresh face to the regime that might silence old detractors. He became intimately involved with the planning of the new city, being concerned that it should not only be defensible, but practical for the purposes of productivity and administration. The city was named Dabadonga later in his reign.
With the aid and influence of ministers including Dhaubadine, Tazadiu developed a new, broad ideological justification for his empire and its position; in 1476, he proclaimed the Aguda Empire, designating it no longer as a city-state or petty kingdom, but a legitimate union of lesser territories for the purpose of promoting regional peace and prosperity. Though able to call on nostalgia for the !Lavanan Empire in southern territories, this was a relatively novel concept in the north, and there was some engagement of Badist theologians for propagandistic purposes. Though he faced fierce critique from the elders and elites of Gobobudi, who had previously been willing to give leeway for the sake of imperialism's boons to the metropole, Tazadiu maintained his hold on power.
Tazadiu also launched new campaigns of conquest, on the basis of spreading the empire's peace and justice. These were largely successful; Tazadiu was known as a brilliant tactician, if headstrong, but the empire also enjoyed numerical superiority, a culture of militarism, and an edge in logistics. The Agudan Wars saw the first large-scale use of gunpowder in Dezevau, which had spread from Shangea, largely by the Agudan forces. These wars were contemporaneous with several realignments in the eastern city-states of Dezevau that had led to considerable upheaval in trading relations. At the time of Tazadiu's death in a military accident in late 1483, the Aguda Empire held much of the lower reaches of the Buiganhingi basin, the Zedenge Valley and some territories westwards, in addition to its core areas; it was the militarily strongest and largest power in the region.
Gauvadizi moved quickly on his son's death, demanding and receiving the loyalty of military commanders, and ending the ongoing eastern military campaigns on neutral terms. A council was convened across the empire to decide Tazadiu's successor, as no clear succession rules had been established, and this was the usual custom across the Dezevauni city-states. Gauvadizi ensured that those who opposed the empire's existence were excluded, with the council being widely representative of the empire geographically, but ideologically highly loyalist to the late Tazadiu. While he had probably originally intended not to run, he acceded to the general feeling of the council, putting aside his nominees and accepting the title of zeja once again. His reign saw continued judicial and commercial development, as well as some minor conquests, but was otherwise largely uneventful, being decades of consolidation, including the completion of Dabadonga's walls. At Gauvadizi's death by old age in 1501, the procedures for succession by convention of a council, heavily stacked in favour of loyalists to the empire, were followed, as laid down and clarified by him during his reign.
Ziujebano was acknowledged as zeja in 1502, expected to be a conservative and civilly focused ruler, as someone from the bureaucracy. However, almost immediately on her election, a coalition of city-states in eastern Dezevau launched a war against the Aguda Empire, ostensibly on the basis of various border disputes, but with the understood goal of cutting down the empire to size. At the same time, unrest emerged in the northwestern territories. While less capable of mustering troops, and disunited, the coalition included some of the richest and most prestigious city-states, such as Bagabiada and Noagiabegia; they hired mercenaries from Bahia and Sublustria to help. While some in the government wanted to acquiesce to their demands to preserve a smaller empire which would not be seen as such a paramount threat, Ziujebano immediately mobilised at a large scale, and marched against them. Dhijivodhi was heavily weakened by previous wars against the Aguda Empire, but retained its independence and reputation as a cultural centre and a city of great beauty. Coalition forces had begun to muster there, and had convinced or pressured Dhijivodhi to join the coalition, despite it not having initially declared war. Ziujebano arrived before forces from the further coalition city-states could do so, and smashed the armies that had arrived in the Battle of Dhijivodhi (1504). The city surrendered after the battle outside its walls, and it was taken peacefully, and annexed to the empire.
Further strings of victories, marked by relatively rapid manoeuvre and aggressive battlefield tactics, caused the coalition to fold in 1508. Dhaubadine, a significant government minister since Tazadiu's reign, negotiated with merchants and innovated new forms of banking to finance the state, whose resources were stretched by warfare. Ziujebano, who had led her troops on campaign, signed a treaty with the coalition city-states at the site Bazadavo would later be founded on, whereby most of the city-states were annexed, or became subordinates, some of them with paths that the Aguda Empire could take to annex them legally later; she was recorded to be as fierce a negotiator as a general.
On returning to Dabadonga, she took several years largely administering the new territories and keeping the bureaucracy in line, as things had changed during her absence and the state of war. While some had anticipated her to be easy to manipulate for their own ends before her election, these thoughts were dispelled after the end of the Agudan Wars. Through diplomatic manoeuvring, commercial agreements, military threats and only occasionally actual action, she extended the power of the Aguda Empire further southwest. In her later years, the threat of a peasant rebellion in the central-northern areas of the empire was dispelled without violence. She also commenced the construction of the Zedenge Canal, and received Euclean explorers and traders. Notably, it was in her reign that the ideology of jamhediboga because a guiding one for the Aguda state, though it had been floated for some decades. She died peacefully in 1541, with widespread acclaim for her reign.
Davadaojene became zeja in the same year, as a moderate, widely supported candidate. While his personal diplomatic manner was lacking, he focused on extending the influence of the empire onto the Great Steppe, where existing influence was turned into formal agreements of suzerainty or even annexation over time. He particularly focused on religion as a tool to do this, and while the Badist establishment had largely acquiesced and even become friendly to the regime in Ziujebano's time, he built especially strong links; the religiously-legitimised jamhediboga was an accepted reality of life by his reign's end. He also continued with major engineering projects thought up or started earlier; the completion of the Zedenge Canal saw it become a vital waterway for commerce and communication, and rapid economic growth in its vicinity. The Five Great Canals Restoration Project was conceived of and completed in his time, and several of the theological institutes that later became enormously prestigious were established. Meanwhile, Euclean trade and technology became important to the empire, building on links established in Ziubejano's reign to become significant in terms of weaponry especially; Davadaojene granted several small concessionary areas to traders from around the world, including Euclea. Towards the end of his life, Davadaojene launched a series of small border campaigns; some suggest that he was concerned about leaving his mark, while others suggest that it was because he felt that on his death, a new election would limit the diplomatic impact thereof. These border campaigns dragged on past his death, and were ongoing during the council to select his successor in 1563.
Great Agudan Peace
While Duazaiginhe had fought under Ziujebano, their upbringing had been in a Badist temple dedicated to Motion. Their election was recorded as having been unusually almost unanimous, and widely acclaimed, because of their good character, balanced experience and energy. It is not clear if Duazaiginhe was a distant relation of Tazadiu and Gauvadizi, nor if it was known at their election. The beginning of the Great Agudan Peace is usually traced back to the beginning of their reign, though no such concept existed at the time; this is a retrospective convention. On election in 1563, Duazaiginhe ended ongoing disputes and wars, and several years were fairly quiet.
Later on, they embarked on governance reforms, and built several large projects. The influence of the Badist clergy grew during their time, while challenges included disasters at some important projects (such as a landslide at an important stronghold in the Shalegho Mountains' foothills) and outbreaks of infectious disease near the capital. The empire's influence on border regions such as the Great Steppe grew. Arguably, the most important developments during Duazaiginhe's reign were fairly unrelated to their actions, but were to do with accelerating global trade, and commercial prosperity which was a result of a large, unified, advanced economy, with few disruptions such as war or corruption. Some modern scholars, however, have found that Duazaiginhe was responsible for quiet liberalisation, as so not to alienate established merchants and nobles, and thus attribute more of the prosperity to them. Towards the end of their reign, they were known for some cruel or odd decisions in relation to criminal justice, while culture and the arts flourished. Many culinary historians suggest that Duazaiginhe's reign was the most influential period on traditional Dezevauni cuisine. They retired in 1585, whereupon the selection process for a new zeja commenced again.
Mazaungangi reigned from 1585 to 1611.
Debeniuno reigned from 1611 to 1613, dying of what some modern scholars suspect was bowel cancer. Their son, Gonomuidui, reigned from 1613 to 1653.
Nhazagaunge reigned from 1653 to 1667.
Great Peasants' Revolt
In the 18th century, land was running out and food prices were high, while other work was drying up due to Gaullican colonial policies that were extractive, protectionist, and benefitted the metropole. An outbreak of Solar Madness in the vicinity of Bugunho Lake escalated into a widespread revolt, mainly of rural peasants, against both Euclean influence and against the wealthy native upper classes. The extent to which this was a revolt based on class as opposed to based on identity is still debated, especially insofar as the culture of rural Dezevaunis was very different to that of urbanites even before colonialism, to the extent that they were referred to as different nations. The revolt was ultimately put down, with the regulars of the Aguda Empire supplemented by Euclean reinforcements and mercenaries. However, it was a turning point politically, and reliance on the Eucleans accelerated, with use of their weapons and military expertise to maintain order, more concessions granted them to recoup debts, and some argue, deidentification among the ruling classes from the working classes. Policies that encouraged reducing pressure on the land were also pursued, blossoming into the mass emigration of gowsas. From this point on, also, it is estimated that urbanisation, economic diversification and household wealth per capita ceased growth until almost the post-colonial era.
The Aguda Empire came under the influence of Saint-Bermude's Company more and more, eventually granting wholesale concessions to it to administer its territories. It dispatched commissioners for the welfare of gowsas as more and more of them emigrated, but the achievements of its emissaries were largely on a personal basis; it had little institutional power even in its own territories, let alone overseas. It outright ceded or sold territories to other states, for ease of governance, under the influence of Saint-Bermude's Company. In 1801, the capital was moved from Mhiduzai to Bouches-de-Jouvence (colonial Naimhejia), as the company found this more convenient administratively and politically (Bouches-de-Jouvence was the real primate city of Gaullican Southeast Coius), and the zeja's government was finding it hard to maintain its institutions and buildings with a reduced budget and antiquated urban infrastructure. In 1866, the company made the decision to dissolve the unpopular and diminished puppet regime, replacing it with smaller governates that could be more easily altered. This decision was lamented by the native middle classes, but while there was an awareness and concern about it, the urban and rural working classes put no real heed.
The Aguda Empire's territorial subdivisions were based around urban or other centres or significant points; these points' hinterlands were of course still part of the empire, and governed as such, but the province's essential territory was only the capital point, while the hinterlands would fluctuate. This model of governance helped structure centralisation, by creating places where the power structure could easily be understood by rulers on high, where it was interchangeable, and where activity in the hinterland was psychologically distanced. This conception was directly descended from the idea of city-states and other boga in Dezevau.
Provinces were not lightly created or altered; many current and former countries or subdivisions in the former territory of the Aguda Empire were based on provincial boundaries, because of their administrative, economic, cultural legacy. The system was formalised from the establishment of the empire, with movement away from the traditional city-state model of governance that promoted triumphalism and regionalism.
In modern historiography, it is conventional to refer to the capital of a province by its name (e.g. Bagabiada) and to the hinterlands administered from the capital by applying the specific appellation of "province" (e.g. Bagabiada Province).
List of provinces
The Aguda Empire had culture and art, such as goaboabangas.
The most widely used language, Agudan Ziba, became the basis for modern Standard Ziba, and its influence can be seen more strongly in modern southwestern Dezevau. It was mutually intelligible with most dialects of Ziba of the early modern period, and is mostly mutually intelligible with modern dialects of Ziba.
The Aguda Empire was renowned, especially during its peak, for its large-scale engineering projects, such as walls, monuments and canals. It was largely due to its mobilisation of dense peasant labour, combined with a tightly organised civil service that it was able to achieve these projects. Perhaps its most famous project, today restored as a tourist attraction, was the Zedenge Canal, which linked the Buiganhingi basin with the z basin, via the a tributary on which the capital of Dabadonga was situated.
Its natural geography and high population density made it one of the largest agricultural economies in the world by consumption and production. At its peak in 17bb, it had around 150 million people, making it the second most populous state in the world (after the Toki dynasty of Shangea).
It also produced a wide variety of goods and engaged in large-scale regional and global trade. In the precolonial era, important exports included wood, feathers, textiles, artisanal goods (such as furniture, jewellery and art) and imports were often exotic feathers, bullion or weapons. Colonial control turned the economy towards cash crops such as coffee, cotton and tea, and extraction of mineral resources, while imports of manufactured goods increased in connection to the Industrial Revolution in Euclea.
The Aguda Empire shaped the patterns of colonisation in Southeast Coius into its twilight and past its dissolution, and arguably was as much responsible for them as Euclean powers. In the present day, it is symbolic of a powerful vision of regional unity and cross-fertilisation, as well as the possibility of aggression and authoritarianism.