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Empire of Siphria
Motto: Կանէշոմ իլէնամ կղնիշ
Kanāšum ilānam kīniš
Serve the gods righteously
Anthem: Յա Աբորրէյո Իլէնօ
Ya Aburrāyu Ilānū
O Blessed Siphria
|Map of Siphria|
Map of Siphria
and largest city
|Government||Unitary absolute monarchy|
|Narkab-dammiq mār Tukulti-Arūtu|
|History of Siphria|
• First Empire
• Fourth Empire
• Current dynasty
|195,632 km2 (75,534 sq mi)|
• 2015 census
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Siphrian shiqil (Շ) (SFS)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (CE)|
|ISO 3166 code||SP|
Siphria (Siphrian: Աբորրէյո, Aburrāyu), officially the Empire of Siphria (Siphrian: Շարշարրէնատո Աբորրէյո, Šaršarrānatu Aburrāyu) is a unitary absolute monarchy located in the Esquarian continent of Nautasia. It is bordered by LOREM to the west, the Union of Nautasian Irfanic Republics to the north and east, and the Gulf of Siphria to the south. The country is home to roughly 23.5 million people. Its capital and largest city is Aqrū.
Siphria is widely considered to be a cradle of civilization within Esquarium, with evidence of agriculture and pottery dating as far back as the 5600s BCE, and of complex irrigation, writing, and bronze metallurgy by the 2400s BCE. Siphria's political system has typically been based around either a network of competing city-states known as ālū, or around a unified imperial polity. The first of these empires, which lasted for over a thousand years, was proclaimed in 1457 BCE by Narkab-šarra-utsur, overseeing a flourishing of science, trade, and culture before its collapse. The second empire was marked by internal instability and conflict with Awiyyi tribes, exemplified by the conquest of Siphria by an Awiyyi tribal confederation in 14 BCE. The Third Siphrian Empire was marked by periodic conflict with expanding Irfanic polities in neighboring Pasdan and a resumed flourishing of science and culture within Siphria. The current empire, the fourth, was proclaimed in 1568, and underwent a period of substantial modernization and reform in the 1800s. Since the establishment of the Union of Nautasian Irfanic Republics, there have been periodic clashes between Siphria and its larger neighbor, most infamously the Khitiyu War in 1974.
The government of Siphria is an absolute monarchy, currently ruled by Emperor Anaslu-nātsir-apli. The current ruling dynasty, the Shapukhtid dynasty, has held power since the ascension of Lābubirqu-nādin-apli II in 1717. The country has a consultative assembly, known as the National Assembly, divided into an Assembly of the Lords and Assembly of the Commoners; however, this body lacks any legislative powers and serves only in an advisory capacity. The country also lacks an independent judiciary. While Siphria's government unofficially recognizes some civil and political rights, it has been criticized for failing to formally protect these rights and for its active rejection of principles such as equality under the law. Corruption, particularly a form of cronyism known locally as qarābinu, is also a widespread issue.
Siphria has a heavily diversified economy, which has helped protect it from the issues facing rentier economies elsewhere in Nautasia. The production of cereal crops, citrus fruits, cotton, tobacco, and rapeseed, as well as the raising of livestock for meat and dairy, continue to be the backbone of the economy in Siphria's rural regions; the illicit production of opium is also a source of income in some rural communities, though the country's government has attempted to suppress this. Mining is also an important source of income in many regions of Siphria; minerals produced in Siphria include iron, copper, lead, zinc, phosphates, limestone, and marble. While Siphria has limited petroleum reserves, oil production does not compose a notable section of the economy. Within urban regions, industry- particularly textile manufacturing, though heavy industry has grown steadily in recent years- serves as the backbone of the economy. Tourism has become an important sector of the Siphrian economy in recent years as well, though it has seen negative repercussions due to instability in Siphria and Nautasia.
The vast majority of Siphria's population resides along the country's southern coast, between the Gulf of Siphria and the Khursaneh Mountains. The region of Awiyyistan, north of the Khursanehs, is sparsely populated as a result of the rain shadow effect of the mountains. Ethnic Siphrians are the largest ethnic group in Siphria, comprising more than eighty percent of the country's population; the country also has an Arab minority, typically subdivided between Awiyyi Arabs in Awiyyistan and LOREM Arabs along Siphria's border with LOREM, and a Pasdani population near the Siphrian border with the UNIR. A majority of Siphrians practice Īnu Ebēbim, a polytheistic religion that is also the Siphrian state religion. A portion of the country's Arab population continues to practice pre-Irfanic polytheism, heavily syncretized with Īnu Ebēbim; other Siphrian Arabs and the country's Pasdani minority typically practice Irfan.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Politics
- 4 Geography
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
The exact etymology of the exonym "Siphria" is disputed. The vast majority of academics link it to the Arabic triconsonantal root ص ف ر; however, its exact relationship to this root is a subject of debate. Some scholars, such as Montaser Shahbazi, argue that the name comes from the Arabic word safr (صَفْر), literally "empty", and originally referred to Awiyyistan before being applied to Siphria as a whole. Others, including Aymeric Lejeune and Hideki Kobayama, link it to saffara (صَفَّرَ), "to color yellow", arguing that the name is related to Siphria's long history of growing cereal crops, which are golden-colored during the harvest season. Still others link it to the term sufr (صُفْر), literally "brass" but commonly used to refer to currency, arguing the term rose as the result of trade between ancient Siphria and the remainder of Nautasia. A minority of academics argue that the name potentially derives from the Siphrian term siparru (սիպարրո), meaning "bronze", or sipru (սիպրո), "document"; however, these claims are not as broadly accepted.
The country's endonym Aburrāyu (Աբորրէյո), by contrast, is near-universally agreed to derive from the Siphrian word aburru (աբորրո), literally meaning "farmland" or "pasture", referring to the fertile, cultivated land they inhabited south of the Khursaneh Mountains. This region was also sometimes known as Kibturu (Կիբտորո), literally "the land of wheat", in archaic records for similar reasons; however, Kibturu had fallen out of widespread usage by the 1st century and retains only a poetic usage.
Prehistory and origins
Archaeological evidence attests to a human presence in Siphria as far back as the Upper Palaeolithic, with artifacts from nomadic populations such as the Emiran and Aterian cultures found in Siphria dating to as far back as 40,000 years ago. These cultures were replaced by the Antelian and Kebaran cultures in the Mesolithic, and in turn supplanted by the semi-sedentary Shukhbiyu culture in the early Neolithic; while the Shukhbiyu culture was pre-agricultural, it left behind several archaeological sites speculated to be villages or towns, and evidence suggesting the domestication of the dog within the region.
There is a comparative dearth of archaeological evidence between the end of the Shukhbiyu culture in roughly 9500 BCE and the rise of the Lashu culture in 5600 BCE; the archaeological record explodes following the rise of Lashu culture, however, with evidence of the development of agriculture, animal husbandry, pottery, and copper metallurgy evident during this period. The Lashu culture was replaced by the Ranya culture in 3900 BCE, which saw some further development in pottery, and the development of proto-writing and the wheel. The Ranya culture collapsed violently for unknown reasons in the 2600s BCE, with few artifacts from the subsequent two centuries being found.
The gap in the archaeological record caused by the collapse of the Ranya culture ends with the rise of Ancient Siphrian civilization in the 2400s BCE. Early Siphrian civilization was marked by several technological advancements that distinguished it from previous cultures; large-scale irrigation, crop rotation, and bronze metallurgy led to an agricultural boom that led to increased population growth and social stratification, the arrival of the domestic horse resulted in the rise of chariot warfare, and the development of the ellušitri script by 2100 BCE set the groundwork for future development of mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and other fields within ancient Siphria. During this period, a caste system arose in which society was formally divided into a noble caste (mār amēli), a commoner caste (mār khupši), and a slave caste (mār abdi), which were then unofficially subdivided further into sub-castes based upon occupation.
Continuing population growth resulted in the rise of several city-states and the beginning of the first ālu period, typically placed by historians at 1800 BCE. Major city-states, or ālū, from this period included Ašnakkum, Kisurra, Purattu, Šušarra, and Tarbisu. While Šušarra and Ašnakkum were the dominant polities for much of the first ālu period, by the 1500s BCE the city-state of Kisurra was rising in power, having secured alliances with, and later fealty from, Purattu and Tarbisu. This put Kisurra in a position to unify Siphria in the 1400s BCE.
In 1469 BCE, Kisurra- under the leadership of Narkab-šarra-utsur- launched a series of wars against Šušarra, Ašnakkum, and several other city-states not already allies or vassals of Kisurra. After defeating these city-states, Narkab-šarra-utsur proclaimed the First Siphrian Empire in 1457 BCE, becoming the first Siphrian emperor.
The First Siphrian Empire would dominate the area for several centuries, controlling the coastlines of Siphria and LOREM by the death of Anaslu-bēl-kala I in 1254 BCE; the empire also launched repeated campaigns in Awiyyistan, aimed either at repelling raids from, or at securing tribute from, the Bedouin population of the region. Political conflicts such as the rebellion of Lābubirqu-šumu-līšir and the Engurru rebellion intermittently destabilized the empire, as did natural disasters and famines; nevertheless, the general stability and security of the Siphrian Empire led to a flowering of science, art, religion, and culture. Ancient Siphrian law was codified across the entirety of the empire for the first time by Anaslu-kudurri-utsur I in 920 BCE, and further reformed by Narkab-nātsir-apli I in the 600s BCE; Narkab-nātsir-apli I also minted the first known coinage in Esquarium, and the nišēšitri script, one of the first alphabetic scripts in Nautasia, was developed by the emperor Anaslu-bēl-kala II in the 850s BCE.
The First Siphrian Empire also engaged in extensive trade with its neighbors, including the Bedouin populations of Awiyyistan, Afro-Nautasian populations to the west, and the Naqabiri and Korazdan empires in what is now the Union of Nautasian Irfanic Republics. The ancient Siphrians exported goods such as cedar wood, copper, iron, marble, olive oil, beer, and wine in exchange for tin, gold, silver, glass, dyes, incense, and ivory. There was also periodic conflict between the First Siphrian Empire and its neighbors; the most famous of these was the Siphrian-Korazdan War, fought between 547 BCE and 543 BCE, in which the ancient Siphrians, under the emperor Anaslu-rāim-nišēšu I, successfully repelled an attempt by the Korazdan emperor Batarus to conquer or vassalize the First Siphrian Empire; the war was concluded with a formal treaty, known as the Treaty of Markhašu, of which copies survive both in Siphrian and in Old Pasdani.
By the mid-400s BCE, however, the First Siphrian Empire had been severely weakened due to crop failures, political conflict, and mismanagement. Frustration among the nobility and clergy with the rule of Bēlumē-šumu-līšir broke out into the Kalkhu Revolt in 441 BCE; the conflict ended in 435 BCE with the brutal sacking of Kisurra. After the fall of Kisurra, the leaders of Ekallatum, Irītu, Kaštiliašu, and Purattu- which had become the de facto leaders the revolt- signed a document known as the Covenant of Four Kings in which they formally dissolved the empire and agreed to divide its lands between them.
In practice, however, the Covenant of Four Kings resulted in a reversion of power to city-states and other local polities, beginning what is known as the second ālu period. Initially Ekallatum was the most powerful of these city-states, thanks to its network of alliances with smaller cities and towns, but it was increasingly rivaled by Irītu by the 100s CE. Conflict between the Siphrians and the Bedouin also continued during this period, with Siphrian cities near the Khursanehs suffering from raiding at the hands of Bedouin tribes. The period also saw the widespread adoption of the nišēšitri script as papyrus and parchment fully replaced the clay tablets of earlier eras.
The second ālu period ended after Lābubirqu-šākin-šumi I, ruler of Irītu, proclaimed himself emperor in 207 BCE following his victory at Kurukhanni, marking the beginning of the Second Siphrian Empire. During this period, rulers such as Narkab-rēša-iši I and Nādinballit-apla-utsur I made important legal, bureaucratic, and land reforms, while the emperors Puzur-Šarruma and Muddiš-Anaslu I undertook notable infrastructural efforts; Muddiš-Anaslu I also oversaw the construction of a new capital city, Dur-Lābim. Records suggest that improvements to the country's irrigation system allowed for increased crop yields and an ensuing population boom, while improved infrastructure made trade faster and safer within Siphria.
However, Siphria also suffered some political turmoil during this period. Multiple emperors during this period were assassinated, and the country was taken over by the foreign-origin Najrid and Mehrdatid dynasties in 14 BCE and 276 CE, respectively; both the Arab Najrids and Pasdani Mehrdatids would assimilate into Siphrian culture, adopting Siphrian regnal names and customs and practicing syncretized forms of Īnu Ebēbim.
Following a long period of famine and civil turmoil, the Second Siphrian Empire collapsed in 475 CE, beginning the third ālu period. The six most prominent city-states during the third ālu period were Kaštiliašu, Ursa'um, Dur-Lābim, Alakhum, and Engurru; of these, Ursa'um and Engurru were the most prominent, with Ursa'um holding sway over much of Siphria's west and Engurru over much of the country's east. Kaštiliašu, Dur-Lābim, and Alakhum periodically allied to restrict the influence of the other two; however, these alliances were typically fractious and short-lived, and proved largely unable to prevent the growing influence of Engurru and Ursa'um.
In 616, Ursa'um and Engurru were united under the rule of Anaslu-šarra-utsur II, who subsequently proclaimed the creation of the Third Siphrian Empire, using the threat of military force to vassalize the remaining city-states. This marked the end of the third ālu period and the beginning of what is sometimes referred to as the Siphrian Golden Age.
The first three centuries of the third empire's existence were marked by an explosion of Siphrian learning, art, and culture. During this period, Siphrian emperors oversaw the construction of academies and libraries, encouraging a flourishing of medicine, philosophy, astronomy, optics, and mathematics that was further aided by the arrival of paper from eastern Borea. Visual art- particularly painting, manuscript illumination, and calligraphy- and architecture also flourished during this period, often influenced by the strong geometric forms and recurring motifs of Irfanic art. Poetry and literature, whether religious and secular, also flourished during this period.
The period also saw several crucial military and political developments, both in Siphria and Nautasia as a whole. The rapid expansion of Irfan brought the Third Empire into conflict with the First Dominion of Heaven; Siphrian forces under Tukulti-Anaslu I would eventually defeat Irfanic forces at the Battle of Dur-Zībim, halting Irfanic westward expansion, though the two would continue to come into conflict. Domestically, during the reign of Narkab-bāni-apli II, members of the clerical sub-caste formed a singular body aimed at advancing the clergy's interests; this inspired similar efforts by the country's other sub-castes, resulting in the creation of a series of semi-official quasi-representative bodies, selected by members of a given sub-caste and aimed at advancing their interests.
The period was also marked by a series of reforms to Īnu Ebēbim known as the Šadād, literally "the expansion" or "the drawing-away", focused upon connecting folk religion to the formal rituals of the clergy and initiated by a priest named Mušallim-Kaspmakhkhū in the early 9th century. The most notable impact of the Šadād was the creation of a series of chapels, where the general public could worship and receive pastoral care; this contrasted with traditional Īnu Ebēbim temples, where access to certain areas of the temple was strictly controlled. These reforms were ultimately formally backed by leading members of the clergy and are credited by some historians with blunting the appeal of Irfan within Siphria.
Siphria was hit by a severe famine in the mid-10th century. Anger over the monarchy's inability to handle the famine resulted in the Serrid Revolt, a large peasant revolt that ultimately came under the leadership of a shepherd named Serru; after seizing the capital city of Ursa'um, Serru was proclaimed as emperor by the rebels, adopting the regnal name Anaslu-rēša-iši II. Anaslu-rēša-iši II and his descendants were able to temporarily restore stability, but the country was once again plunged into turmoil by the arrival of the Panoles plague in 1057.
Stability was again restored in the 1100s and 1200s, particularly under the emperor Anaslu-kabit-akhkhēšu IV, who undertook a litany of bureaucratic, legal, military, and monetary reforms during his eighty-three-year reign. However, the assassination of Anaslu-kabit-akhkhēšu IV by his grandson Bēlumē-šarra-utsur provoked the Nikhriya Revolt in 1309; the war ended in 1311 with the partition of Siphria between the cities of Galalu, Aqrū, Nikhriya, Simurrum, and Engurru in the Covenant of Five Kings, beginning the fourth ālu period.
Unlike previous ālu periods, where power had been held by various city-states, the fourth ālu period was overwhelmingly dominated by the city-state of Aqrū. An effort by Galalu, Simurrum, Engurru, and several smaller city-states to dethrone Aqrū in the 1560s ultimately resulted in a resounding victory for Aqrū, whose leader Anaslu-mudammiq proclaimed the Fourth Siphrian Empire in 1596. Though the early fourth empire was frequently unstable and riven by dynastic intrigue, it was stabilized by the empress Ninepir-lēqi-unninni, the first and thus far only Siphrian empress regnant, in the mid-1600s. Technologically, politically, and culturally, however, the Fourth Siphrian Empire - like many other countries in eastern Borea - stagnated during this period, falling increasingly behind Nordanoconitia and western Borea.
The eighteenth and current Siphrian dynasty came to power in 1717. During the 1700s, the period of cultural, political, and scientific stagnation of the preceding centuries continued largely unabated, though the country remained stable.
Increasing contact with Nordanoconitia and western Borea, whose technology and military capabilities increasingly outstripped Siphria's, and who were able to impose a series of concessions upon Siphria, ultimately necessitated a program of intensive modernization. Though minor reforms were undertaken by several emperors, the largest and most comprehensive were undertaken by Šarra-Anaslu-guda II. These reforms, known as the Ezērim, or "reorganizations", included the construction of railroad and telegraph infrastructure, foundation of modern universities, modernization of the country's military and bureaucracy, the transformation of the quasi-representative sub-caste bodies into the National Assembly, and the abolition of slavery. Contemporaneous with the Ezērim was the Šakharād, a cultural and intellectual movement associated with a flourishing of political thought, theology, philosophy, visual and performance art, and literature.
In spite of these reforms, however, the concession agreements forced upon Siphria resulted in the country going into debt and caused periodic political turmoil. These culminated in a rebellion against Anaslu-apla-utsur in 1913, which was ended only by the cancellation of several concessions and his abdication. Nonetheless, the reforms allowed the Siphrian monarchy to persist even as other Nautasian dynasties - most notably the Erkemen dynasty - succumbed to popular revolutions.
Siphria came into increasing conflict with Pasdan-Khazestan after the latter's establishment in the 1926 Arduous Revolution, as a result of political and religious differences, and a territorial dispute over the city of Khitiyu, between the two countries; however, relations between the two remained cold if peaceful until 1973, when a Pasdani-backed coup attempt resulted in the death of Anaslu-šaduni II. The following year, the Khitiyu War broke out, ultimately ending in a victory for Siphria as a result of poor planning by Pasdani forces and political divisions within the Pasdani government. Since then, relations between the two have fluctuated, though progress has been made in recent months.
Domestically, Siphria has continued with a path of economic modernization and limited political and social reforms throughout the 20th and 21st century. The country has been gripped by an ongoing insurgency in the region of Awiyyistan and with intermittent political turmoil spearheaded by groups campaigning for greater political and social freedom within Siphria.
Siphria is an absolute monarchy in which the Emperor of Siphria functions as both head of state and head of government. The country's basic law, decreed in 1999, stipulates that the emperor is "bound by the customs and traditions of the Siphrian nation" and that he is obligated to abdicate if a four-fifths majority of the Assembly of the Lords calls for such to occur; aside from this, however, there are no checks upon his power. The country's cabinet is led by the emperor and its members serve at his leisure; legislative initiative rests solely with the emperor, and royal decrees form the bulk of the country's legal code; and the emperor has the ability to appoint judges and overrule judicial decisions as he desires. The emperor is also commander-in-chief of the Imperial Siphrian Armed Forces.
The reigning emperor is Anaslu-nātsir-apli, a member of the Shapukhtid dynasty and the 174th holder of the title. He succeeded his father, Mutakkil-Narkab II, in 2002. The current heir to the throne is Prince Annamru-kašid. The Shapukhtid dynasty, which has held the throne since the accession of Lābubirqu-nādin-apli II in 1717, exercises great control over the country's political system; members of the family typically hold key government ministries and important positions within the country's bureaucracy. An important dimension of the country's politics occurs between members of the royal family, who are divided between factions based upon familial relation, political alignment, and individual ambition.
Siphria has a consultative assembly known as the known as the National Assembly, which was created by Emperor Šarra-Anaslu-guda II and is divided into an Assembly of the Lords and Assembly of the Commoners. The Assembly of the Lords consists of members of the country's mār amēli, composed primarily of hereditary nobles and leading clergymen, with a small number of its members being life peers. The Assembly of the Commoners consists of members of the mār khupši, elected for a five-year term using a first past the post electoral system. However, the National Assembly lacks any legislative capability, and can only advise the monarch on proposed legislation or request that the monarch issue legislation on a given topic. Additionally, the body can be indefinitely suspended by the monarch at leisure, limiting its relevance.
Siphrian law nominally does not recognize political parties, but political blocks exist both inside and outside the National Assembly, and function as political parties in all but name. Both of the National Assembly's chambers have speakers, respectively known as the Minister of the Lords and the Minister of the Commoners in charge of both presiding over sessions and of representing the body to the emperor; these positions are typically elected by the bodies from their own membership and approved by the emperor, though the monarch retains the power to instead appoint individuals to both offices. The incumbent Minister of the Lords is Narkab-dammiq mār Tukulti-Arūtu; the incumbent Minister of the Commoners is Kudurrānu Pakhārim.
The government of Siphria unofficially recognizes some civil and political rights, though often to a limited degree. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion are all permitted within tight bounds, though the government reserves the right to "suppress that which is treasonous, seditious, or threatening to the national order" and disallows proselytizing by foreign religions; the right to unionize has also typically been respected, and the country's judiciary offers presumption of innocence. However, none of these rights are enshrined by law or formally protected, and human rights advocacy groups such as Sergetojai International warn that they could easily be suppressed or revoked. The country has also been criticized for lacking judicial independence, failing to uphold the right to counsel, and for codifying inequality under the law through the country's caste system, which explicitly establishes the mār amēli as superior to the mār khupši, according the former several special privileges.
Corruption is also widespread within Siphria. The country is infamous for qarābinu, a form of cronyism akin to guanxi, blat, or wasta based upon individual connections. Qarābinu is regarded as near-omnipresent within both the private and public sectors within Siphria. Foreign NGOs have also reported that bribery, graft, and embezzlement are common within the government, though the Siphrian regime strenuously denies this and maintains that "the Empire of Siphria undertakes constant and vigorous measures to combat corruption within the imperial government".
(iunno some mix of vassal monarchs and appointed viceroys probably)
(entreaties towards ec were ignored so things are kind of eh here)
Military and police
(primary duties: shooting bedouins, shooting ankorenis)
(big mountain range separates coastal plain from inland flatland)
(rain shadow effect means a nice coast with mediterranean - koppen csb - weather...)
(coupled with a desert where only fools and bedouin dare live)
(grains, olives, figs, dates, grapes, and citrus for food; cotton, tobacco, linseed, and rapeseed as cash crops; illicit opium)
(largest sector of economy; light industry and textiles)
(some heavy industry but it's rare) (talk about heskif?)
(copper, iron, phosphates, and limestone/marble)
(some petroleum, but not enough to make it a large sector of the economy)
(actually surprisingly diversified for a country like siphria, though this is under threat)
(radio, tv, internet, postal, whatever)