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Portrait by an anonymous artist, 1788
Château de la Brède, La Brède, Gaullica
|Died||19 August 983 (aged 60) AD|
|Eulogy of the Republic|
A Framework for Kings
|Political philosophy, moral philosophy|
'Ideal Climate Theorem'
Alexandre Seyres, historically known as The Patrician, was a Verliquoian senator and de-facto ruler of the Solarian Empire from the 11th of March, 971 AD until his assassination on the 19th of August, 983 AD. Known for his house arrest of Emperor Charles IV after failing to replace him with his sister Jehanne, Seyres led a senate led imperial government for twelve years in an attempt to curtail the influence of the increasingly powerful semi-feudalistic nobles of the empire.
Seyres' work on political theory, governance, the right's of man and the balance of powers within a functioning gubernatorial body was largely disregarded until it was recovered during his renaissance of opinion leading up to the Euclean Spring. He is most well known for a speech sharing a name with a major work of his, Elogium rei publicae, which would remain an important piece of literature within Gaullican culture for hundreds of years. As a whole, his works and ideas would go on to influence at least every republican movement in Euclea.
Seyrès was born to a noble patrician family that could trace its lineage to members of the senate in Solaris proper. Born in Château de la Brède, both his father and mother were of noble standing. His father, also called Alexandre Seyres (but historically referred to as Alexandre Seyres the Elder or the First), was a senator in the Verliquoian Empire's largely 'rubber-stamp' senate. His mother was a low ranking member of the nobility, the daughter of a local 'comte.' Both his parents died in 934 during a street riot in Verlois following an increase in prices of several goods due to the naval engagements the Empire was having with the Arsanids. At age 11 and orphaned, Seyrès was adopted by the speaker of the senate, a friend of his father's: Adamus Vincentius. Vincent was instrumental in the upbringing of the child. He rigorously schooled him in rhetoric, philosophy, politics, mathematics, Solarian and Gaullican and brought the young Seyres to many of the sessions of the senate, even if they were redundant.
It is speculated that a young Seyres met with numerous members of the imperial family and nobility. Later on in his life Seyres would report part of the reason for his distaste of a powerful and landed aristocracy came from interactions with the Duke Guillaume of Assonaire and the Duke of Tomont, who would go on to serve as the ward and father-figure of Charles IV, the emperor he would imprison.
Whilst initially interested in a career in the clergy or soldiery, the latter of which he served in the retinues of the emperor for a short time, his life brought him back to the senate house upon the death of Vincent in 949. At age 26, Seyres became one of the youngest seated senators in Solarian history and viewed as the protege and continuation of the radicalism espoused by his mentor. A keen orator, Seyres would often verbally duel with the monarchs who came to the rubber-stamp sessions and would question them on the constitutional principles of the Solarian Empire.
During times of suspension from the senate or when it was not in session, Seyres began using his experiences from within the senate house to write books on political theory. He famously used first hand accounts and examples from within the senate to display the arrogance of several members, criticise authoritarian monarchies, despotism and sole authority in a monarch. His first work, Elogium rei publicae (literally Eulogy of the Republic, but sometimes translated to 'Death of the Republic'), was a scathing criticism of the processes of the Verliquoian empire's governance in the first part and a supposed remedy based on 'tripartite governance' in the second. The second part, the far most famous (and sometimes regarded as the only part of the work), called directly for government to be organised into an executive, legislative and judicial in a balanced semblance of powers to distribute authority, accountability and power away from a single individual. Written by the end of 955, Eulogy became a popular work within the senate house but was largely disregarded as fanciful.
A second work came almost immediately after: 'A Framework for Kings' was completed by the end of 957 and was a far longer work. Framework dealt with the criticism levied against him that a government of his magnitude as proposed in Eulogy was not possible, and such Seyres penned what he called a 'companion guide.' 'Framework' can largely be seen in modern terms as a recommendation for a set of behaviours a monarch should abide themselves to as an apolitical authority appointed by a beneficial God for just rule. It was largely viewed as bordering on treason at the time it was written, and for about three years Seyres retreated into private life.
By the time Seyres had returned at around 963, he was held as a hero by those in the senate calling themselves the Impérialistes. These individuals were concerned with the amount of attention that the heir to the empire, Prince Charles, was receiving by the tutelage of the aforementioned Duke of Tomont: Garnier Vauquelin. Vauquelin's influence over the would-be emperor, as a close friend of the Emperor, reached from betrothal to sportsman games, hunting excursions and campaigns. So concerned was Seyres that he took command of the dissenting factions within the senate and conspired a plan to replace Charles, now Emperor Charles IV, with his sister Jehanne. Unfortunately for them, Jehanne -- and a fair few of the conspirators -- died in the 'Great Plague' of 967. With their plans set back, Seyres resorted to more extreme methods.
On the morning of the 11th of March, 971, as Charles IV convened a symbolic opening of the Senate in preparation for the Easter Celebrations in Verlois, the Impérialistes conducted their new plan. They imprisoned the Emperor in his palace and ruled in his name, utilising bribed elements of the Imperial Guard to perform these actions.
Seyres and his co-conspirators utilised existing allegiances with the Emperor to their advantage, threatening him and his family if nobles would turn on the capital. Their hold on the Imperial Capital held for over twelve years, during which they fought insurrections across the empire, staved off sieges and were able to manipulate the Emperor into signing decrees reinstating several of the privileges and powers held by the senate during the hay-days of the Empire and the Republic before it. However, their twelve year control over the nation ended, abruptly on a morning in August 983 when the imperial guard (who up until that moment, we presume, were paid off by the senate) assassinated Seyres and opened the city to pro-imperial factions, led by the Duke of Tomont, to retake control of the city.
Whilst Seyres was never known to be buried, he was symbolically interned into a mausoleum for republicans during the establishment of the Gaullican Republic in 1936. Furthermore, whilst initially disregarded as merely a power-hungry politician by many of his contemporaries, much of his work survived and came to light again before the Euclean Spring. Some, especially in Gaullican circles, regard him as the father of republicanism.