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the White Citadel, the Light of the West
Ⰰⰴ ⰾⱆⰽⰵⰿ ⱂⰵⱃⱄⰵⰲⰵⱃⰰⰱⰹⰿⱆⱄ
Ad lucem perseverabimus
We will persevere towards the light
|County||Municipality of Arciluco|
|• Body||Council of the Central Capital|
|• Central Mayor||Andreea Arezean|
|Time zone||Euclean Standard Time|
Arciluco (Amathian: Ⰰⱃⰽⰹⰾⱆⰽⱁⱁ), is the capital and largest city of Amathia. With a population of around 3 million people, it is the country's cultural, industrial and financial center, located roughly in the country's center, along the banks of the Althio river. It has a special administrative status as the country's central capital, separate from the constituent republics, and its metropolitan area borders Argetia, Malvia and Soria. In Amathia, it is sometimes known simply as "the Capital City" ( Ⱁⱃⰰⱎⱆⰾ Ⰽⰰⱂⰹⱅⰰⰾⰻ, Orașul Capitală), but the city also has many historical nicknames, like the "White Citadel" (Ⰽⰹⱅⰰⰴⰵⰾⰰ Ⰰⰾⰱⱐ, Citadela Albă) and the "Light of the West" (Ⰾⱆⰿⰹⱀⰰ Ⰲⰵⱄⱅⱆⰾⱆⰹ, Lumina Vestului).
It was firstly documented in the 5th century BCE and served as the religious center of the ancient Amathii, and then as then as the capital of the Solarian province of Amathia, from which it founded and led the Solarian rump state of Arciluco, a small realm that had a profound effect on the cultural and religious history of Euclea. After the end of its imperial claims, the city was chosen as the capital of the [Unio Trium Nation]], and it slowly developed as the center of Amathian nationalism throughout the Brotherly Union's last century of existence, being chosen as the capital of the Kingdom of Amathia. The city was occupied by the victorious Narozalic forces after the end of the Great War, and half of it remained under Narozalic control as West Arciluco, with East Arciluco as the capital of the Amathian Equalist Republic. Following the Arciluco Accords of 1979, the West was returned to Amathian control, and the reunified city became the capital of the Amathian Democratic Republic following its revolution.
Today, the city continues to be considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, despite the loss of an important part of its heritage during the war and the Equalist regime. Its many historic monuments have been designated as World Heritage Sites, while its thriving nightlife and club scenes have the stopped the city from becoming too obsessed with its past, and Arciluco is considered to be one of Euclea's most important cultural centers, even if persistent issues and a lack of funding have somewhat hampered its position. After the revolution, the district of New Arciluco has developed into the country's financial center, and the city as a whole is considered to be an incredibly dynamic metropolis.
Arciluco hosts all of Amathia's central institutions, and it is the seat of the University of Arciluco, the Arcilucan Academy of Sciences, the National Museum of Amathia and the Grand Tresian Art Gallery, while also being known for its many museums, churches and vibrant festivals. The city has also historically had issues with its quality of living, but it has improved significantly in the last decade. Despite its importance for the Amathian culture, its historical status as a multicultural capital can still be seen today, despite the solidification of the Amathian national identity at the loss of its regional cultural identities and the decline of its Narozalican minority. Arciluco continues however to be an important center for the Miruvians, and it hosts the greatest number of Dezevauni people in Amathia, while also having recently started to attract more foreign migrants.
The Amathian name of Arciluco has an uncertain origin. Several different origins have been proposed, including Solarian, Preidan and Piraean terms, but no theory has been definitively proven so far. Historians also disagree as to when the name of the city was firstly chosen, with most experts believing that the name firstly developed either during the Piraean influence over the Amathii, or during the aggressive Solarianization of the recently conquered province of Amathia.
The first part of the name, "arci" is considered to be related to the Solarian word arx, which can be translated as citadel or fortress, related to the Piraean verb ᾰρκέω/arkéō which means to ward off, to defend. It is known that Arciluco has been the site of several different impressive systems of fortification throughout the ages, from an old fortress of the Amathii natives to the castrum and later provincial fortress of the Solarians. A different but similar theory considers that the word might have also simply referred to the hilltop on which the ancient city was built.
The second part of the name has however caused a stronger controversy. The traditional explanation is that "luco" is derived from the Ancient Piraean word λευκός/leukós, translated as bright, light in color, or white. This specific origin has been favored by most exports because due to important deposits of limestone near the city, all of the fortresses built in the area of today's city had white walls, and the city's traditional nickname from the earliest records has been that of "the White Citadel." Opponents of this theory however tend to point towards the possibility of an even earlier origin of the city - as a holy site of the Amathii. It is believed that by the time the first Solarians visited the region, the Amathii still had a powerful presence - and that like many other of their holy places, Arciluco hosted a sacred grove. Similar sites have been excavated in other places, and it is known that the Amathii had an ancient practice of building fortified temple-cities near their sacred places. In that case, the second part of the name could potentially be related to the Solarian word lucus.
As such, the city's names has been translated alternatively as either the Citadel of the Light, or the Citadel of the Sacred Grove.
The city of Arciluco has a long and complicated history, with its origin being debatably traced as far back as the 5th century BC, with Piraean historians describing a religious capital of the ancient Amathii people in the area, something that was partially confirmed by archaeological findings. The temple system was however destroyed by the invading Solarians, with the capital of the new imperial province being built on top of the old city - and it is believed that the Solarians simply adopted an already existing name for the city, with their records being the first uncontested use of the name. Arciluco flourished under Solarian rule, its imposing fortifications and mountainous location turning it into a key element of the Solarian limes. The city survived the fall of Solaria, as the capital of the rump state in the borders of today's Amathia, and the Arcilucan realm went on to play an incredibly important rule in the history of Euclea, being responsible for the Sotirianization of many of the Marolevs. In this period, the city became much more than a fortress - being the cultural and religious capital of Central and Western Euclea for a few good centuries.
Although its importance declined during the era of Verliquois suzerainty, Arciluco retained its leading religious role during the Schism as the heart of Episemialism. Even as the Arcilucan realm collapsed in the 15th century, and even as the city declined even further, it remained the center of Amathia, being chosen as the capital of the Unio Trium Nation in 1526, and under the Brotherly Union, it became known as a place of learning, its famous university attracting students and scholars from far away. The two battles that were fought in the city in 1689 and 1711 during the collapse of the Union damaged it, and the Grapevine Cross that was once the city's most treasured relic was lost to Samistopol, but Arciluco continued to be the lifeblood of the Amathian identity, and it was once again elevated to the status of capital of the newly formed Kingdom of Amathia. The royal era turned it into the jewel of the Telois-Tresia crown, and the new Tresian areas of the city, as they became known, quickly gained the nickname of the "Verlois of the West".
The Great War once again led to battles being fought in the city, but the relatively quick occupation of the city by Narozalic forces spared it from the fate of Cluzia. The end of the conflict and of the Amathian Civil War broke the city into two however, with the Narozalic forces refusing the leave the West Arciluco that they had gained, with only the East remaining into Amathian hands. This scar remained in the middle of the city for more than 40 years, irreveresibly changing it - while the West received Narozalic influences it nontheless proudly maintained its heritage and historic monuments, while the East was further scarred by Equalist attempts to improve their prestige, their systemic rebuilding and construction of such monuments as the Palace of the People permanently destroying a part of the city's long history.
The city was eventually reunified in 1979 and it remained the capital of the new Amathian state after the revolution.