Syncary (from Aucurian zinkārība, literally "curiosity") was a West Borean cultural movement that idealized Conitian philosophy and culture, particularly that of the Latin Republic. Though it existed to varying degrees across much of West Borea, it is primarily associated nowadays with Aucuria, where it became a major political and cultural force and is sometimes credited with provoking the Aucurian Revolution.
Syncary arose as the result of the opening of new sea routes between western Borea and Conitia and the ensuing trade in goods and ideals alike between the two continents. This contact, and the progress being made in philosophy and the sciences in Conitia amidst the Renaissance and Enlightenment, generated intense interest in a stereotyped version of Conitian culture, history, and philosophy in western Borea, particularly among the educated classes. Those who espoused syncary were known as syncarists.
Syncarists commonly adopted Latinate names and Conitian-style dress, used Conitian themes and motifs in artwork, created equivalents to the Conitian salon and coffeehouse for disseminating their ideas, and idealized the politics of the Latin Republic. They also translated Latin and Conitian philosophical, scientific, and cultural works into local languages such as Aucurian, Luziycan, and Razarian. A wide variety of syncarist works of writing and art were produced during the movement's heyday, particularly in Aucuria. This included philosophical texts, political treatises, paintings and sculptures imitating Latin styles, musical pieces in the Conitian style, and plays and novels set in the Latin Empire. Critics of the movement, however, bemoaned the perceived abandonment of traditional West Borean philosophy and culture by syncarists, and mocked the one-dimensional picture of Conitia painted by the syncarists as unrealistic and utopian.
The movement was commonly associated with burghers and the merchant class, who were the first to be exposed to Conitian culture and ideals; however, the introduction of the printing press allowed for the dissemination of syncarist ideals to a wider audience. Its association with the nascent political movement of liberalism, and its challenging of traditional notions of legitimacy and authority, resulted in efforts to suppress it by many west Borean leaders.
Though it gained only limited traction in continental western Borea as a result of suppression by ruling authorities and competition from other cultural movements, syncary and syncarist ideals eventually came to hold substantial influence in nations such as Luziyca and Aucuria. Certain scholars have argued that syncary was crucial in the adoption of liberal democracy in the two countries, and that it remains apparent in the decision of both countries to join the primarily-Nordanoconitian Esquarian Community.
Syncary is often contrasted with divleny, a contemporaneous movement that similarly extolled Sepcan and Monic culture.
Traditionally, the primary cultural and philosophical influences upon West Borea were the first and second Sepcan Empires and the Tastanist and Cositene religions. Notions originating from these influences, such as sualny and obishty, were largely unchallenged in their dominance of the area, and Literary Vitrian remained the regional lingua franca of the elite.
While contact had been established between eastern Borea and western Nordania in the 13th century, allowing for some trade in goods and ideas between Borea and Nordanoconitia, this contact was limited due to Sjealandic exclusivity contracts with the nations it encountered and the shortcomings of shipbuilding during the period, and the possibility of travel between western Borea and Conitia remained unknown. This limited the spread of ideas between the two continents. Additionally, the distance of western Borea and Conitia alike from the points of contact between Borea and Nordania meant they remained largely unexposed to each other during this period.
Eager to find a way to bypass the Sjealandic monopoly on Borean goods, Conitian merchants from countries like Ainin and Desena began to search for a way to reach Borea from Conitia. The development of the caravel and carrack, which were better suited for oceanic travel than traditional cogs, allowed Conitian explorers to reach western Borea in the early 16th century. This triggered a dramatic transfer of plants, animals, goods, and technology between the two regions. The growing prosperity of Conitian nations, and the perceived dynamism of Conitian culture amidst the Renaissance and, later, the Enlightenment, made Conitian culture particularly alluring to many in western Borea. The contrast of Conitian culture was further reinforced by that the Cositene world itself was in a sort of cultural decline after extensive critique of philosophy and crackdown on dissenting thinking caused something of an intellectual stagnation known as the Delirium and Torpor, as well as increasingly violent and destructive conflict between the continent's powers. This led to the extensive trade of ideas, philosophies, and cultures between the two continents.
Aucuria, due to its location in the Rimmory Sea between Conitia and continental western Borea, quickly became an important stopping point for ships travelling between the two continents. Many Conitian merchants would stop in Aucuria to sell goods such as corn, potatoes, chocolate, tobacco, and vanilla before returning home, allowing Aucurian merchants to turn around and sell these exotic goods to other western Boreans. Similarly, western Borean merchants would deposit goods such as furs, amber, ambergris, and coffee in Aucuria for their sale to Conitia. As a result of its newfound status as a mercantile hub, Aucuria was heavily exposed to Conitian culture, language, art, and philosophy during this period. Additionally, Aucuria's cultural connections to the remainder of western Borea were already unusually weak as a result of a comparative lack of historical Sepcan control over Aucuria, and the religious differences between Miskist Aucuria and the Cositene nations of continental West Borea. These factors made it a particularly receptive location for Conitian culture and ideas, and as a result it is often considered the birthplace of syncary.
Aucuria's position in the nascent trade network between Conitia and western Borea allowed members of the laukininkai residing in Aucurian cities to become increasingly wealthy, forming a new class known as the miestininkai, analogous to Nordanoconitian burghers. The newfound wealth of the miestininkai allowed them to commission artistic works in Conitian styles, adopt Conitian clothing, and open salons, coffeehouses, publishing houses, and debating clubs; their comparatively high rates of education allowed them to be exposed to Conitian scientific, historical, and philosophical texts, and to translate and republish these texts in Aucurian (and to create an orthography for Aucurian based upon the Latin alphabet, which would steadily supplant the traditional Glagolitic alphabet through the 1600s and 1700s). As a result, they quickly became the core of Aucurian syncary. The widespread adoption of syncary by the miestininkai soon led to its adoption by the laukininkai more broadly, among whom it became a sign of wealth, erudition, and prestige, and drew the interest of many members of the bajorai, or lesser nobility.
Much of the appeal of syncarism in Aucuria was due to the exotic nature of Conitian dress and art, the dynamicity of Conitian culture in contrast to the seeming stagnation of West Borean culture, and the perceived glory of the Latin Republic and Conitian merchant nations such as Ainin. Syncarists in Aucuria were particularly intrigued by the Latin Republic, which they compared to the two Sepcan empires; these comparisons frequently lauded the wealth, glory, power, and cultural richness of the Latin Republic while disparaging the Sepcan empires as backwards, incompetent, and cruel. Some Aucurian syncarists argued that seemingly-exotic Conitian concepts like humanism and rationalism were compatible with traditional Aucurian culture, pointing to similar lines of thought in some schools of Miskism. Additionally, political liberalism appealed heavily to the laukininkai and miestininkai who, as commoners, were excluded from the uppermost ranks of Aucurian society; it also appealed to the bajorai, who were similarly excluded from certain positions by the rytokai, or high nobility.
The birth and widespread adoption of syncary within Aucuria meant it quickly became the bastion of syncarist thought within West Borea. Famous Aucurian syncarists include theologian Valerijonas Baravykas; philosophers Sirputis Adomaitis and Boleslovas Zydraitis; scientist and mathematician Justas Jautakaitys; authors Augustas Daukša, Beatričė Valeškaitė, and Feliksas Vienuolis; painters Narimantas Karauskas, Kazimieras Lysandrevičius, and Vytautas Nasvytis; playwright Sergejus Eidrigevičius; composers Blēzas Sirvydas and Euzebijos Večerskis; and sculptor Nikiforas Meras. From Aucuria, syncarist ideals would subsequently spread to other regions of West Borea.
In Atlia, now part of Aucuria but then under an independent monarchy, there was some interest in syncary and in Conitian culture; syncarist ideals were often disparagingly associated with Aucuria, however, triggering a backlash against them, and political and societal issues within the khanate tended to result in calls for the rejection of both syncaric and divlenic ideas in favor of a return to "pure" Atlian ideals.
The admiration and glorification of the Latin Republic by syncary aided the spread of liberal ideals - including popular sovereignty, checks and balances, natural rights, and rule of law - in Aucuria, and when the Aucurian Revolution broke out in 1790, many of its leaders - including Klemensas Brazauskas, Silvestras Elinauskas, Oskaras Fedaravičius, Juozapas Kairys, Bendiktas Klimantis, and Izoakas Poškus - were syncarists. The early leaders of the Aucurian Republic enshrined Enlightenment ideals from Conitia in the Declaration of the Rights of the People, and frequently drew from the government of the Latin Republic when drafting the Constitution of Aucuria and establishing its government institutions. The new republic additionally adopted a Latin motto and the Latin term "president" for the leader of its executive branch; in some writings from the early republic, the Aucurian Saeimas is even referred to as "the Senate".
Some analysts, such as Ljudevit Kuljević, Feofilakt Karshev, and Yositomo Isiguro, have argued that Aucuria remains a fundamentally syncarist nation into the present. These analysts have pointed to the continuing dominance of liberal ideals within Aucuria (most notably human rights), the country's membership in the primarily-Nordanoconitian Esquarian Community, and the increasing cultural difference between Aucuria and its continental neighbors (such as Razaria, Zesmynia, and Nunalik) as a result of Aucuria's cultural, economic, and political ties with Nordanoconitia.
Syncary, while not as prevalent in Luziyca as it was in Aucuria, was nonetheless more prevalent than it was in the remainder of continental West Borea.
In 1857, Huswa Varanken published An Ideal Government, which argued for the unification of Luziyca "to create a new empire in West Borea" based on the ideals of the Latin Republic (popular sovereignty, checks and balances, natural rights, and rule of law) while urging for the selection of civil servants via what he called "Oriental meritocracy," the creation of a tributary system to protect smaller republics in West Borea along the lines of the Tengkong System, and the establishment of an electoral college based off the traditional method of electing the monarch of the Ancient Sepcan Empire. He believed that "by reconciling the two concepts [of divleny and syncary], it would be possible to create a new universal sovereignty over West Borea based on the principles of both our forefathers and our brethren in Aucuria."
After the unification of Luziyca, most of these principles outlined in An Ideal Government were adopted by the Luziycan government, although the tributary system was never adopted, and the electoral college simply became a joint session of Congress held every four years to elect the President of Luziyca. Following the failure of Igor Sprskov's rebellion in Katranjiev to join Luziyca, the idea of podslynitsia was largely abandoned, with the government becoming more influenced by syncary, as opposed to divleny.
[syncary in luziyca today portion; similar EC stuff to above]
Elsewhere in West Borea
[suppression by regimes who don't like this new 'liberalism' shtick and divleny prevent it from gaining a proper hold; tie in the divlenic theory of illiberalism here]