Greater Holy Empire of Arome
Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion (Laimiaic)
Majorem Sacrum Imperium Aromanum (Fragran)
Motto: Beacon of the Light of Christ
Map of Tagmatium
|Official languages||Laimiaic, Fragran|
• Agios Basileos kai Autokrator Kai Isapostolos (Holy Emperor and Autocrat and Equal-to-the-Apostles)
• Mesazon (Prime Minister)
• First Division of the Aroman Empire (Octarchy)
|23 April 274|
• Burning of Arome
|17 July 297|
• Foundation of Europatorion
|12 March 333|
• The Purification
|3 February 683|
• The Eclipse
• The Reunification
|4 February 1788|
• The Long War
|19 June 1932|
• The Admirals' Coup
|3 August 1969|
• The Civil War of 2005
|28 January 2005|
|942,836 km2 (364,031 sq mi)|
• 2019 census
|268.8/km2 (696.2/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2021 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Hyperpyron Nomisma (HYN)|
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The Greater Holy Empire of Arome (Laimiaic: Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion; Fragran: Majorem Sacrum Imperium Aromanum), referred to internationally and occasionally internally as Tagmatium, is a sovereign country located in the Occidental region of north-western Europa on Eurth. Tagmatium is bordered to the north-west by Haruspex, to the west by Adaptus, to the south by Suverina and to the south-east by Sporsia. It shares maritime borders with Akwisia, which is a protectorate of the Greater Holy Empire, and the Hexanesa, a breakaway state that Tagmatium does not recognise. The Greater Holy Empire has a population of 253 million, which is moderately urbanised, despite the country's long history of urbanisation. The population is mainly concentrated in cities and villages around the Central Sea and the eastern seaboard, as well as along the Iaehos River. The total area of the Greater Holy Empire is 942,836 km2. The official languages are Laimiaic, which is mainly spoken in the north of the country and Fragran, mainly spoken in the south. There are several other minority languages and dialects, although not all of these have official recognition. The primary and official religion is the Enlightened Aroman Church.
Tagmatium is a unitary theocratic elective absolute monarchy, although it defines itself as a unitary constitutional elective monarchy and parliamentary democracy. The current monarch and head of government is Holy Emperor and Autocrat of the Aromans and Equal to the Apostles Kommodos III, who has ruled Tagmatium since 2005. The political capital city of Tagmatium is Tagmatika, a cultural, commercial and religious centre, located on the northern side of the mouth of the central sea and with an urban area population of 5.3 million. The most populous city in Tagmatium is Europatorion, which is the cultural, financial and religious centre of the country and also a global city, with a population of 12.5 million. Other major urban areas include the ancient capital of Aroma, Prousa, Dymafos, Trapezon, Resafa and Kalamanon. Uniquely amongst nations on Eurth, Tagmatium maintains three capitals - Arome, Europatorion and Tagmatika, of which the latter is where the machinery of government is currently based.
The government of Tagmatium considers itself to have an unbroken lineage to the Aroman Empire and therefore to the possibly mythical Foundation of Arome, although the precise date of this unknown and is anywhere from BCE 814/3 to BCE 752. A later date was favoured by earlier rulers of Arome but now an earlier date is claimed by the Holy Imperial Government. Certainly, archaeological evidence from the site of Arome suggests that human occupation began about 14,000 years ago, although later activity such as urban expansion has obscured or destroyed many of the sites. Other parts of what is now Tagmatium have an equally ancient lineage, such as the Laimias peninsula, which has a similarly long history of human population and urban civilisation, as do the south-eastern Megale Agrotikon and the western Flektemon regions. Laimias is especially famous for its city states, which had a huge influence through the spread of colonies (Laimiaic: apoikia) across the lands surrounding the Central Europan Seas and even down the north and south coasts of the Raga Sea. Although Aroman culture was dominant in the Empire for much of its history, by the late 6th Century, Laimiaic had overtaken Fragran as the language of administration. This was made official during the reforms of Ioannes II. This was partially through the high esteem Laimiaic culture had always been held in by the elite of the Empire but also through the turmoil the south of the empire had suffered over the last several hundred years, which had meant that the Imperial court had spent its times in the differing capitals of the ruling emperors, rather than Arome. Many of these were in the Laimiaic north of the Empire.
After the chaos of the end of the Octarchy, Methodianos and his successful campaign to make himself sole ruler of the Aroman Empire marked a new epoch in the Empire's history. Methodianos was the first ruler of Arome to have Christianity as his personal faith and he officially moved the capital of the Empire to Europatorion, which he remodelled to serve in that capacity. Arome was still a ruin after its burning in 297. During the Octarchy and before, other cities had served as capitals, but the efforts of Methodianos saw the city entirely remodelled. The official foundation of Europatorion as capital on Easter Sunday on AD333 marks one of the acknowledged starts of Late Antiquity, as well as what is taken many as the division between the Aroman Empire and what is known as Tagmatium. It wasn't until the reign of Valentianos I that Christianity was made the state religion of the Empire, marking the beginning of Christian dominance that lasts until this day.
Much of the rest of Tagmatine history saw the the Empire invaded by Buranic tribes, which briefly saw a dynasty form under a barbarian general in late 300s. Dynastic squabbling, as well as religious quarrels, saw the borders of Arome contract and expand again and it was not until the rise of the Enlightened Aroman Church, piloted by Mikhael I "the Inspired", that much of these quarrels were quashed. This saw Pope Calrissius driven from Arome to Salvia. Much of the next thousand years saw invasion and counter-invasion, with both northern and southern Tagmatium often being involved in conflict. Peace was not truly brought until the the Epifanid dynasty in the late 1700s, when Tagmatium became stable and entered into an industrial revolution, With this, the Greater Holy Empire become one of the most advanced nations in Europa. Increased contact with Kirvina happened during this time, especially through involvement in the Typhon Wars. This period also saw the first heavier-than-air flight, in 1906 by Ioannes Glauketes, outside of the city of Klimatos. This golden age was brought to an end by the Long War and the coup and countercoup in the aftermath. It has not been until the Civil War of 2005 and the reign of Kommodos III that Tagmatium has once again become one of the great powers on Eurth.
The Great Holy Empire is considered to be a developed country and has the fourth largest economy on Eurth, with a GDP of $4.995 trillion. It does lag behind the other large economies for GDP per capita, at twenty-third place, as it has a of $19,548. It is a developed mixed economy, with agriculture and heavy industry being the largest sectors. Recent economic and political drives have meant that Tagmatium has the largest bio-fuels industry on Eurth, along with most of the country's power needs being supplied by renewable energy. However, the service sector is weaker than the other comparable economies on Eurth. Glubally, Tagmatium is a great power. It has stood apart from other multinational alliances in recent years but that has begun to change. Its closest allies are Machina Haruspex and Adaptus, although it has a history of friendly contact with Iverica (later, New Iberium) in the modern era. Recent events have meant that the Great Holy Empire has come into the orbit of TRIDENT, a military alliance based around the defence of Argis, Alharu and Thalassa. As well as this, Tagmatium has fostered closer relations with the Kingdom of Seylos and the Ceriser nation of the Noble Republic of Secryae. Relations with Machina Haruspex have cooled significantly due to a refugee crisis caused by that nation.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
The Anglic version of the native name for the country, either Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomaion in Laimiaic or Majorem Sacrum Imperium Aromanum in Fragran, is the "Greater Holy Empire of Arome". This is a direct translation of the native names of used by the inhabitants of the nation. Commonly, this tends to be shortened to either the "Greater Holy Empire", "Arome" or "Aromania". However, due to the convention of using the "Empire of Arome" or the "Aroman Empire" to refer to the historical state of the Aroman Empire, this is not the most internationally common name for the Greater Holy Empire. The most internationally common name for the nation is the "Greater Holy Empire of Tagmatium" or "Tagmatium".
The name "Tagmatium" follows a convoluted route. It is not the name of the country in the local languages - it is still referred to by various versions of "Arome", "Aroman Empire" or "Aromania" by the native inhabitants, with the latter being the preferred name. The name "Tagmatium" comes from the capital, Tagmatika, which was named after being an encampment of the Tagmata, the regiments of the palace guard. "Tagmatika" effectively means "place of the regiments" but was used to refer to the eastern part of the old Aroman Empire, where Adaptus represents the west. "Tagmatium" started to be used as a way to refer to the country of which Tagmatika was the capital, which had previously just been called "Aromania", in order to differentiate it from Adaptus or the other surrounding nations that laid claim to an Aroman heritage. These include Sporsia and Euandria, although these two nations have never referred to themselves by that name, as they also draw upon their ancient, pre-Aroman heritage.
Tagmatium is located in the north-west of the Europan subcontinent of the Occident, with the nation roughly split into two halves by the Central Sea. The country has a land area of 942,836 square kilometres (364,031 sq mi), making Tagmatium the fourth-largest country by land area on Eurth. In the past, the small isthmus that conjoins the Occident to the rest of Europa acted as a land bridge for migration and invading armies. However, the construction of the Isthmus Canal (Laimiaic: Dhioryga tou Isthmou) in the late 2000s has meant that this link has now been severed. The country is bordered by the Ranke Sea to the north-east and the Vanarambaian Strait to the east. To the west, Tagmatium is bordered by the Sovereign Imperium of Machina Haruspex and the Grand Federated Imperium of Adaptus. Much of this border is made up by the Iaehos River, which is also one of the main arterial trade routes in the Greater Holy Empire. To the south, the Greater Holy Empire shares a border with the Great Queendom of Suverina and to the south-east, the Senatorial Federation of Sporsia.
The heartland of Tagmatium borders the Central Sea and extends in a peninsula into the Ranke Sea. This area, along with the Tagmatine side of the Iaehos River, are the most populous parts of the country, with the majority of the inhabitants residing there. This area is typified by low, rolling hills and fertile river valleys, which mean that it is amongst the most productive farmland on Eurth. To the north and west of the Central Sea, the land rises and forms the High Plains area of Tagmatium, which steadily rise to the foothills of the Ouranodistrision (Anglic: "Skypiercer") mountains. These mountains form a rainshadow to their east, and a cold arid and semi-arid area, known as the Desert of Trapezon. Apart from the cold arid and semi-arid area found in the far north of Tagmatium, much of the country has a hemiboreal climate. This means that the nation usually has warm summers but cold winters, with much of the country seeing snowfall over the winter months.
(WIP. Geographic Regions. Geology. Climate. Fauna.)
Contraction of the Empire
By the 2rd Century, the Aroman Empire's borders were beginning to contract. Where it had once stretched down to the Haken Bay, Azanian tribes had begun to nip at the heels of the Aroman possessions down there. These raids had intensified to open warfare, as the tribes were able to put concerted pressure on the Aroman forces in the area and started to roll them back. In order to shore up their defences, the Emperor Fundanus authorised the large-scale employment of Azanian mercenaries in 179CE to try to prevent the total loss of the provinces on the southern shore of the Amnalos Sea. Whilst this stabilised the area for several years, the mercenary cheiftain Jadimus saw the opportunity in imperial weakness and revolted against the Aroman governor Pascentus, declaring independence and seizing most of the provinces of $$$ and $$$. Pascentus fled back to Arome, leaving the legions to their fate. Although panic ensued, the Aromans were able to retain several cities on the northern coast and the island of $$$, but these remained as isolated exclaves of the Empire.
Whilst the south of the empire was under threat from the attentions of Azanian tribes, the tribes of Burania were also beginning to move against it. As Arome started to focus more heavily on its southern borders, forces were stripped away from their defensive positions on the Limes Buranicus, the network of border posts and forts that had kept the Buranian tribes at bay for over a hundred years. With troops being withdrawn and the subsidies that had kept the tribes content being paid increasingly erratically, the Buranians started to infringe on the eastern borders of Arome more and more often. This was stabilised somewhat after the fall of Aroman Azania, as it meant that the Aroman Empire could stabilise its eastern borders with the forces that had once been deployed in its south-west.
In order to keep the armies loyal to them, emperors after Poppidius (186-203CE) had resorted to paying large donativum, essentially bribes, to them on their ascension to the purple. From the reign of Spurius (211-219CE), this had also been accompanied by ever higher wages for the troops, in order to retain this loyalty. This, combined with the Aroman Empire on the defensive and the steady loss of forces in battle, whittled away the economic and military strength of the empire. With more forces being needed to keep the borders defended, the interior provinces became more anarchic, especially away from the heart of the empire around the Mare Centrum. Although the borders of the empire remained more or less inviolate during the period from 230-250CE, the internal structure of the empire became more and more unsound, with few emperors lasting more than five years and most lasting less than a year.
In 250CE, the Limes Buranicum were finally breached and Buranian horse raiders swept through the province, led by the Acirii tribe, only stopping at the straight between it and Vanarambaium. This resulted in the wholesale destruction of three legions and the conquest of the province of Illisia from the empire. It was a massive economic loss for the empire, as that province was one of the main breadbaskets and tax sources for the empire as a whole. It also directly precipitated the treason of the governor of Aexpurtia, Vetrianus, who conspired with the Acirii to usurp imperial rule and take the province as the heart of his own empire in 256CE. This was another of the richest provinces of the empire and represented a crippling blow to Arome. The next twenty years saw numerous emperors raised up by their own legions or the senate, only to be cast down just as quickly by the next usurper. Quintillius (258-267) ruled the longest during this time but he was murdered by a jealous chambermaid and his attempts to stabilise the empire died with him.
The New State
In 272, the emperor Heraclian and his son and heir Valentius were killed in battle against a large-scale Volsci invasion of the province of Crances Inferior in the north-east of the Aroman Empire. In the aftermath, the low-born infantry general, Auxentius, was proclaimed emperor by the forces on the battlefield. He quickly marshalled the forces of the north-east and marched against the emperor's surviving son Heraclian II, facing him at the Battle of Scutum (modern Skouton). Heraclian had become increasingly unpopular with the rest of Arome, reportedly treating the Senate with contempt and even seducing the wives and daughters of his own officers. The turning point of the battle came at the start when, as he addressed his troops, Heraclian was struck and killed by a javelin hurled by one of them. The rest of the army came over to Auxentius without a fight.
Auxentius was bouyed by this early success and quickly marched on Arome, where he was accepted by the Senate and people in a scene of jubilation. However, he was merely the latest in a long line of soldiers who had been declared as emperor on the battlefield and he faced an uphill task against him, one that had many others had been defeated by. The Empire had lost almost all its territory outside of the Occident, with the island of Vanarambaium having been taken by the Ganrid Empire under Vetrianus in 259CE. To try to answer the turmoil of the empire, Auxentius made his fellow-general, Numerian, his co-emperor and dispatched him to the north of the Central Sea to prevent the north Occident from breaking down again. Due to their close cooperation as generals, Auxentius and Numerian were able to support each other and bring stability back.
This provided the inspiration for a more ambitious scheme - dividing the empire up into quarters, each presided over by a senior emperor (Venerabilius) and a junior emperor (Cotta), using the imperial titles for them. Through this system, Auxentius was able to keep the borders relatively secure and pacify the internal structures of the empire. In a mood of optimism, Auxentius referred to this new system as the “New State” or “New Empire” (Novus Imperium) on several monuments that he erected at this time and even several speeches read out on his behalf to the Senate in Arome. Auxentius also tried to enact both economic and moral reform, with laws attempting to stabilise inflation by putting down edicts on maximum prices that could be charged for items such as bread, and the persecution of those who would not honour the gods by the traditional sacrifice. This was especially aimed at the followers of the executed prophet, who had spread across the entirety of the east of the empire.
By 287CE, the empire had stabilised enough that Auxentius was confident to go on the offensive against the Ganrid Empire. The campaign started in 289CE and lasted until 296CE but it had been much bloodier than expected. Domitillan, third and last Ganrid emperor, fled to the lands of the Acirii, where he lated committed suicide. Pax Aromana had returned to the empire, although it was now little more than the Occident and a few adjacent territories. It was a fragile peace, however, as the tribes that surrounded it were still probing at it and there was still unrest and outbreaks of plague internally.
The system faced its biggest challenge in 296CE, when the term limits that Auxentius had put in place were up. Each Venerabilius was to serve fifteen years before retirement, and this was a hard figure that counted any successor to them as being subject to that same limit. Auxentius and Phaltonius were content to retire, but the others were not. The other two retired Venerabilii, Petronius and Delmatius, conspired to regain their former authority and schemed with the Cussians, who were to act as a distraction and take as much of northern Arome as they could. The two former Venerabilii aimed to strike for Arome and the way down the Iaehos was almost clear, with only scratch forces and small garrisons in their way. These forces slowed them enough, however, and Ambrosius, the Venerabilius of Aexpurtia, was able to meet them at the Battle of the Veiian Fields outside of Arome.
The Burning of Arome
In the Battle of Veiian Fields, the two sides met. Although both forces contained significant numbers of cavalry, they had been committed in piecemeal skirmishes in the days leading up to the battle, so the battle itself was mainly a slog between the veteran infantry forces of both sides. Ambrosianus himself had been nervous about the coming battle, and so had delayed engaging until there was a chance that the coming sunset could cover his retreat. In the end, both sides suffered horrendous casualties and Ambrosianus was forced to break off and use the darkness to cover his retreat, almost as he had planned. The usurpers feared to stay on the battlefield, in case any pursuing forces caught up with them. They quickly marched on Arome.
Arome had little to defend itself with. The garrison forces, such as they were, had been stripped by Ambrosianus in order to bolster his own forces that had been strung out by their march from the south-east. The walls and defences of the ancient city were in a state of disrepair. At first, a body of armed citizens attempted to stop the forces of Petronius and Delmatius from entering the city, but they were quickly ridden down by the returning heavy cavalry of the usurpers. And when the forces did enter the city, there was no triumphal moment. Ambrosianus had been quick to spread the news that the two usurpers had invited the ancient Cussian enemy to attack Aroman territory. The citizens of Arome began to riot as soon as the vanguard entered into the city limits.
Venerabilius himself boasted that he had found Arome a city of brick and left it one of marble. In actuality, it always remained one of wood. As the rioting against the entry of the forces of the two usurpers into the city reached a fever pitch, a fire broke out, which swiftly turned into a conflagration that engulfed the ancient capital. It had been a dry spring and summer, and the fire burned for almost a week before it died down, leaving the capital almost completely destroyed. The forces of the usurpers withdrew from the capital and occupied the cities of west of Arome. Much of the empire was in a state of shock as they heard the news of the fate of the capital, and the rest of the Octarchy was gathering forces to seek revenge.
Rise of Methodianus
The civil war that followed the Burning of Arome was swift and brutal. The armies of the other Octarchs joined with that of Ambrosianus and quickly pursued them, forcing them to retreat from the cities that they had taken and back north, in the hope of linking in with their Cussian allies. They were caught outside of the city of Iastia Veneribilium (modern Easteia), where they were forced to give battle. The Battle of Iastia wore on for two days, one of the few of the ancient wurld to do so, and caused high casualties amongst both sides. Petronius and Delmatius were captured alive and were taken back to Arome to view the damage they had caused. In a display of savagery, they were put to death by having the rubble of the city forced down their throats.
Although the fight against the two usurpers could have been an opportunity to draw the Octarchs closer together, in reality it drew them further apart. Each of them now suspected the other of conspiring to become the sole ruler of the empire. It didn't take long for this distrust to become skirmishes and then complete civil war, with the first battles taking place in 299CE. In an attempt to head off any individual amongst the Octarchs from claiming the sole title, a delegation was sent jointly by Octarchs Hermogenianus and Methodius to get Auxentius out of retirement to become that sole emperor, but he declined. Those two also worked closely together to defeat Octarch Ambrosianus of Aexpuriensis, who they viewed as partially responsible for the burning of Arome. They divided Aexpurtia between them. From there, an element of statemate set in.
Methodius died in 303CE and his son, Methodianus was proclaimed both Venerabilius and Cotta by the army stationed at Catana. Using this impetus, Methodianus crossed from Vanarambaium and into Laimias, with most of the cities quickly going over to him. The Venerabilius Arcadius and Cotta Majorian of the north-eastern quarter of the empire accepted Methodianus as their superior, although he later had them murdered. Julian and Justinus, senior and junior emperors of the Limes Adlanticum, the north-western quarter resisted Methodianus for several years before being put to flight, fleeing for the islands off the coast. Finally, Methodianus faced Hermogianus at the Battle of the Riverine Plains, to the east of modern Novumcastrum. Hermogianus himself was killed as he led his cavalry in a charge aimed at Methodianus, his horse falling as it stepped into a hidden drainage ditch and trappin him underneath it, to drown in the water at the bottom.
The Empire of Methodianus
Under the Methodian Dynasty
After the chaos of the previous decades, Methodianus sought to return peace to the empire. He at first attempted to rebuild Arome but quickly despaired of it. Instead, Methodianus founded a new capital in 333CE, named Europatorium, on the northern coast of the Central Sea with an eye to it becoming the heart of a Europa-wide empire. He spent lavishly upon it and brought many treasures from across the empire to it. As well as this, Methodianus significantly reformed many of the imperial institutions with an eye to regaining control over them and to reduce expenditures. This was undone by both his abortive rebuilding of Arome and the vast scale of the building project that was his new capital.
Methodianus favoured Christianity and even converted on his death bed but never made it the state religion of the Aroman Empire, supporting it and granting it privileges. However, he never took steps to penalise the Aroman religion, which remained the state religion of the empire. He was also able to establish the claim that the emperor was the head of the Church, although this remained challegned from some quarters. He took an interest in the unity of Christianity, calling several councils over his reign, including the First Council of Iconium and the Synod of Syracenio, to remedy doctrinal and theological issues. It was also established that the emperor couldn't rule on these issues alone but needed the consensus of the Church. Christianity continued to rise over this period but it remained a minority faith, partially due to the fact that until this point, Aroman Christians would often leave the empire for Salvia rather than remain and face persecution.
The heirs of Methodianus were able to preside over a period of relative peace and stability, although it also saw increasing Buranic migration, especially within the north-east of the empire. Eventually, these Buranic tribes were utilised as a source of manpower for the Aroman army and the legions were increasingly supplemented by Buranic auxilaries, especially as the Cussians, Haru and Qubdi were pressing in on the empire's borders again. They were also settled away from the heartland of the Empire, in the south-west corner of the Occident. The heirs themselves tended to squabble amongst themselves, which often led to one overthrowing the other. The Buranians provided forces that could be relied on to stand aside from the imperial family's politicking. Before long, Buranians were even becoming high ranking officers of the Aroman army.
The last of the Methodians, Florens, died without heirs in 397CE and power shifted into the hands of the Buranians. The half-Aroman Magister utriusque Militiae (Commander-in-Chief) Gento, who had been the power behind the throne of the last two Methodian emperors, was able to get his grandson elected as Methodianus III. However, the Buranic Dynasty is shortlived, as the Aroman upper classes and military grow tired of being ruled by foreigners. An almost empire-wide purge ensues and the Magister Officiorum Hilarius is placed upon the throne in 439CE.
Collapse of the East and the West
Hilarius was able to negotiate peace treaties withe the external enemies of the empire, although they came at significant financial cost to the empire. He used this breathing room to attempt to drive out the Buranian settlements from the north-east of the empire, forcing them to join the rest of their compatriots in the south-west. This included what would now be termed "death marches", with bodies being left where they lay by the sides of the roads. However, at times these forced migrations were resisted by the Buranians, and subtly aided by the Cussians, and the west of the empire became increasingly lawless. In order to help with the deteriorating situation in the west of the empire, the garrisons of Vanarambaium were withdrawn.
This lawlessness spread, preventing the empire from collecting the taxes that it needed to support the troops to prevent the lawlessness in the first place. Hilarius' successor, Constantius (451-464CE) spent much of his reign attempting to reassert central rule over the west but with only varied success. When the Proconsul of Catanensis asked about further help for his province, he was told that he had to look to his own defences. His lasting monument are the Walls of Constantius which still surround Europatorion and rendered the city impregnable for over a thousand years. His successor, and father, Ioannes I (464-9CE) spent his reign reforming the tax system and introducing maximum prices on stables in order to both quell the rebellions and to raise the money to pay soldiers bring back peace to the empire. The coinage was also reformed, with a solid gold coin, termed the "Purus" or "Ameges" (Fragran and Laimiaic for "pure" respectively) becoming the standard after years of debasement. It remained stable for over one thousand years.
By the reign of Arcadius I (480-484CE), a general raised to the throne specifically to lead Arome through the tumultuous period it was in, the west was in dire straits. Most of the western provinces were either under governors who were rebelling against central rule, had been taken over by Buranians forced into revolt to survive or taken by Azanian tribes crossing the Amnalos Sea. Arcadius was an energetic ruler, and who never sat in the recovered Leopard Throne in the Great Palace in Europatorion, he was not able to recover the situation. In 484CE, he led a force into the Ragasian provinces to attempt to bring the rebellious governor to heel. He was met outside the city of Dubaserium by a mixed force of renegade Aromans and Azanian mercenaries and defeated. Arcadius himself was killed in the ensuing rout.
This resulted in the Aroman Empire losing all of its territory west of the Iaehos river and the $name mountains and with only a tenuous grip on the west of Vanarambaium. Still, Aexpurtia remained under imperial control, as did the heartlands around the Central Sea and eastern shore of the Ranke Sea, although this was often under Buranian raids.
Tagmatium is a unitary constitutional elective monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with one of the oldest surviving legislative systems on Eurth, one which has inspired many of those in the rest of the wurld. The monarch, officially titled the Holy Emperor and Autocrat of the Aroman People and Equal-to-the-Apostles (Laimiaic: Agios Basileos kai Autokrator ton Arhomaion kai Isapostolos), is both head of state and government. Although nominally bound by the constitution of Tagmatium, in practice the Holy Emperor is an absolute monarch, with very little to prevent the monarch from acting as they see fit. This is partially because the Tagmatine Constitution is uncodified and exists as disparate written sources, such as statutes, case law set down by judges and motions passed by the Senates. It is also partially due to the fact that the Holy Emperor is taken to be God's representative on Eurth and the living figure of the law (Laimiaic: nomos empsychos), therefore possessing the ability to override or change aspects of the constitution as they see fit.
Uniquely amongst nations on Eurth, Tagmatium has three legislative bodies - the Senates of Arome, Europatorion and Tagmatika, commonly known as the Sinatos, the Gerousia and the Synkletos respectively. Although they are considered to be legislative bodies, they act more as advisory bodies for the Holy Emperor - they can pass resolutions that the Holy Emperor may issue as edicts and the monarch might also turn to them for advice on matters. The senates are not directly elected by the Tagmatine citizenship. Rather, the members are there through inheriting their position or by being rewarded for service by the Holy Emperor. The number of members for each of the Senates is capped at two thousand. There is also an element of seniority at play in the senates. That of Arome is the oldest and therefore the most senior, followed by Europatorion and then Tagmatika. Whilst the resolutions passed by the senates are non-binding for the Holy Emperor, tradition has dictated that something passed by all three senates has to be enacted.
Despite having a long history of participation by the population in democratic processes of the state, the history of democracy has been long and difficult. For much of the history of Tagmatium and back into the Aroman Empire, it was tied not just citizenship but wealth, property and faith as well. If a citizen was not of the majority faith of Tagmatium, which has been the Enlightened Aroman Church for most of its history, then they could not take part in any votes. It wasn't until 1957, in the democratising reforms of Leon III, that sufferage was given to all citizens of Tagmatium, without reference to property, wealth or religion. Leon also made the vote for the Holy Emperor a general election, with all those of voting age eligible (with some caveats, such not disbarred due to criminal convictions or medical reasons), rather than just amongst the membership of the Senates. This has been the case ever since.
The Holy Emperor is both head of state and government but they are closely assisted by numerous officials and ministers, who are appointed at the leisure of the monarch. The chief amongst these are the Mesaszon (Anglic: Intermediary), the Rhaiktor (Anglic: Rector) and the Kouropalates (Anglic: Majordomo). These three roles are considered the great offices of the Tagmatine state and function similarly to prime minister, minister of the empire and chief of staff respectively. All ministerial and department heads hold office irrespective of any of the Senates, although former ministers and department heads may be appointed to the Senates as a way of rewarding service and enabling imperial control of the events within the Senates.
Tagnatium has a unitary structure in terms of administration and this is one of the most important factors shaping Tagmatine public administration. Almost all power - executive, legislative and judicial - is exercised by the central government and are considered to be the main functions of the state, so local administrations have little power. The Greater Holy Empire does not have a federal system and the provinces (Laimiaic: themata, singular: thema) are subordinate to the central government. Local administrations were established to provide services in place and the government is represtented by the provincial governors (protonotarios), who oversee their provinces on behalf of the central government but are advised on local issues by the provincial councils (Laimiaic: synhedreia, singular: synhedreion), which are directly elected by the people. Other senior public officials are also appointed by the central government rather by the provincial councils, although again the choice is often advised by the councils. The provinces are divided into districts, which are governed by elected councils (Laimiaic: boulai, singular: boule) and then further subdivided into subdistricts, again governed by elected councils (Laimiaic: koureia, Fragran curia). The smallest subdivision, the municipality, also has an elected council (Laimiaic: ourdos, Fragran ordo).
Within this unitary framework, Tagmatium is subdivided into four levels of administrative district: provinces, districts, subdistricts and municipalites. Provinces (Laimiaic: themata, singular: thema) are divided into "districts" (Laimiaic: meroi singular: meros), which are then divided into "subdistricts" (Laimiaic: droungoi singular: droungos) and finally municipalities (Laimiaic: banda, singular: bandon). Tagmatium is also divided into ten regions (Laimiaic: regeonai, Fragran: praefectura) and these are for geographic, demographic and economic purposes; it does not refer to an administrative division.
Several large cities are also considered to be seperate administrative divisions given an element of self-governance outside of the framework of the themata especially the "imperial cities" (Laimiaic: Basilikoi Poleis) of Arome, Europatorion and Tagmatika. Whilst this is little more than a freedom to enact some policies, such as urban planning, environmental and energy policies, it is often very beneficial to those cities. Due to this, there are three types of city within Tagmatium. The first is the three "imperial cities", which have an ancient history of self-governance and have a status as joint capitals of the Greater Holy Empire and are accorded high status within the political and cultural spheres. The second is the "great city" (Laimiaic: megalopoleis), which are part of the province in which they are located by accorded freedom in the same way as the "imperial cities". The third is the "thematic city", which are merely a recognition of a large urban settlement that is still governed within the limits of the province and function as second or third level administrative divisions depending on population size, and are again further subdivided.
The country is split into ten administrative regions (Laimiaic: regeonai, Fragran: praefectura). These are the highest tier of sub-national divisions in Tagmatium, although they do not fulfil any functions within the government of the nation beyond statistical, economic and policy purposes. Regions are often historic in nature and are somewhat ecletic in origin - some reflect the administrative divisions of the nation from the time of the Octarchy until reforms undertaken during the Ioannesian Dynasty, such as Nidoria and Apenantion. Others reflect far ancient tribal boundaries that predate even the Aroman Empire, like Laimias and Vrygeia. Some are much more modern, like Kleisourakon, which was an amalgamation of small military border districts (Laimiaic: kleisoura) that had been set up to defend the border with Haruspex and formed in reforms of Konstantinos VII. The main role that the regions play is for the implementation of national-level policies, as well as for censuses and some judicial and law enforcement agency purposes. In some instances, namely in the case of Laimias, Nidoreia, Flektemon and Tzankheia, the regional bodies help the Themata within the region to act with more cohesion, especially with regard to economic practices. These regions have a strong history as occasionally de facto independent nations, which means in turn that the central government often keeps them on a short leash.
The regions are as follows, with the Fragan name in brackets where applicable:
- Nidoreia (Nidoria)
- Megale Agrotikon (Magna Agri)
- Stannokolleia (Stannocollia)
Tagmatium is a member of few regional organisations since the early 2000s, when the regional alliances within Europa often brought the continent close to the brink of war. Due to its large economy, Tagmatium is a member of Group of 7 and aligned with TRIDENT through the Partnership for Peace programme. The Greater Holy Empire has also applied to join ATARA as a full member.
Tagmatium maintains an intelligence service, the Tagmatine Intelligence Network or Arhomaiki Noimosyni Dykton in Laimiaic. This a combined internal and foreign intelligence service and it monitors possible threats to the Tagmatine state and its interests through collecting intelligence, both at home and abroad.
Tagmatium maintains strong ties with its western and northern neighbours, Adaptus and Haruspex. However, the latter is relatively recent, as an alliance was only formed in 2010 between the two countries, with the signing of the Treaty of Chisinau in the capital of Suverina, which has recent friendly relations with both nations. Prior to that, the countries had a history of mutual antagonism and sporadic warfare. The Greater Holy Empire's relations with the rest of Europa have a chequered history, often recalling ancient Arome's conquest. A strong alliance existed with Akiiryu, which still exists despite the Akiiryans suffering through the Great Europan Collapse. The southern Aroman nations of Sporsia and Euandria are much more fraught, as both perceive Tagmatium as possessing an irredentist attitude towards their nations. Similarly, the Republic of Qubdi has also had historically hostile relations with Tagmatium, although these have warmed in recent years, although it couldn't be described as "friendly".
Despite the two nations being significant trading partners, Tagmatium and Great Anglia have kept each other at arms' length, with the former viewing the latter as an upstart and the latter possessing an inferiority complex towards the former. The Volsci Republic has been a historical enemy of the Aroman Empire and then Tagmatium. This antagonistic relationship has become less hostile but the nations still hold each other at arms length, with very little official contact. Much of Europa still suffers through the Great Europan Collapse, which has drawn Tagmatium's attention towards the New Wurld.
Relations with the wider Eurth have often been sporadic and usually limited to the occasional embassy or diplomatic visit, as Europa was the main focus of Tagmatium's attention. The so-called Great Christian Fleet circumnavigated the glube between 1911 and 1913, as a show of force that did not resonate much with the New Wurld. They have only recently become far more mutual and interconnected, especially as trade between the New and Old Wurlds becomes much more integrated. Recent events, such as the Sentist War, have meant that Tagmatium has become more involved in New Wurld events, through peaceful and military methods.
Now, Tagmatium has cultivated close partnerships with many of the New Wurld nations, with Iverica (and later, New Iberium), Seylos and Salvia being especially close. There has also been close cooperation with Prymont in education and research. Through the Partnership for Peace programme, Tagmatium is now allied with the nations of TRIDENT. Due to the proximity of eastern Argis, Ebrary has long been a trading partner of Tagmatium and the Holy Imperial Government is attempting to cultivate it further. Through the Ceris Crisis and then the Sentist War, Tagmatium has also formed a relationship with the Ceris nation of Secryae, providing both economic and military aid.
The southern continent of Aurelia remains both figuratively and metaphorically distant to Tagmatium. The only nation that the Greater Holy Empire has meaningful ties with is Kirvina, which is considered to be an Aroman successor nation, like Tagmatium and Adaptus. From its founding as a colony in 290AD, Kirvina has maintained relations with its homeland and trade has continued through to the modern day. This included capybaras, which were long a symbol of status amongst the Tagmatine aristocracy.
Although the foreign policy enacted by Tagmatium varies from one occupant of the Leopard Throne to the next, as the absolutist nature of the Tagmatine system means that the personal opinions and views of the Holy Emperor have much more weight than they might in other nations, it still tends to follow along similar lines. Both the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of Barbarians, as well as the Aroman Intelligence Network and the military, enact the foreign policy of Tagmatium, as handed down to them from the Holy Emperor.
Broadly, the foreign policy of Tagmatium has followed broad trends, usually trying to maintain its standing in the wurld, protecting its own sovereignty and the safety of its citizens. It has also tried to increase trade with other nations and attempted to maintain peace across the Eurth. This is especially true of the nation under Kommodos, who has maintained a more active role in foreign affairs than his predecessor, Theodosios VI. Tagmatium has regularly pursued trade agreements with other nations, as well as renewing old ones, and sought membership of international organisations. This is both to bring the wurld closer together but also to improve the Tagmatine economy.
Moreso than under in the reigns of previous Tagmatine monarchs, Kommodos has been active in making sure that crises do not threaten wurld trade and has used sanctions and embargoes against those who are inflicting human rights abuses on their own citizens or those of other nations, as well as threatening wurld peace. Recent examples of this are the intervention in the piracy that was plaguing the Dolch Sea, which led to Tagmatine involvement in the Sentist War but also the sanctions placed against Great Anglia, Suverina and Qubdi in the opening stages of the Anglian Crisis.
Law and Criminal Justice
The Aroman Force (Laimiaic: Exerkitos Arhomanos, Fragran: Exercitus Aromanus) is the military of Tagmatium. It is tasked with the defence of the state and its citizens, as well as protecting the interests of Tagmatium abroad. It is also tasked with waging warfare, if it is deemed necessary. It consists of three service branches: the Basilikostratos, the Basilikoploimon and the Basilikoaeroporia, the Imperial Army, the Imperial Fleet and the Imperial Air Force respectively. They are managed by the Logothesion tou Stratiotikou and controlled by the the High Command (Laimiaic: Epistrategaion). The Holy Emperor is commander-in-chief of the military, and members of the military swear an oath both to their monarch and before God.
Members of the military also play a key role within the Acclamation of the Holy Emperor. Four members of the armed forces - one from each of the branches and then one from the Tagmata - hoist the Holy Emperor on a shield after they have been crowned.
The Border Guard, the Foussatores, are counted as part of the Basilikostratos and demonstrate an unbroken lineage from the forces of ancient Arome. However, their role is now border security and they are a paramilitary rather than a military force.
The Vestiaritai run a double duty as both coast guard and a financial guard. Although they come under the authority of the Logothesion tou Genikou, they remain part of the Tagmata and are therefore rated as a guards regiment, even though they are organised more along the lines of a paramilitary force than a true military one.
The Basilikoploimon is the navy of Tagmatium. Historically, it was little more than a small force that provided transport to the Basilikostratos and intercepted any attempted seaborne invasions of the Greater Holy Empire's territory, as well as bore the army when it undertook its own invasions. However, beginning in the 1790s with the reunification of Tagmatium under Konstantinos VII (1788-1809), there was serious investment into the Basilikoploimon to enable it to undertake what would now be called "blue water" tasks and missions. This saw a high point in the early 1900s, with the Great Christian Fleet, made up of twelve battleships and numerous escorting vessels, circumnavigated the glube. They left Tagmatium in 1911 and called at several foreign ports along their route before returning in 1913. Whilst it was an impressive show of force, most of the ships were of outdated designs. This set the pattern for the Basilikoploimon throughout the rest of the early 1900s, as it was often more of a powerful force on paper than in reality. It was only under the Navarkhokrateia that the Tagmatine navy was able to become a truly modern force.
The Basilikoploimon serves to defend and protect the Greater Holy Empire's coastal waters and overseas interests, as well as policing domestic shipping lanes. It maintains both a green water force and a blue water force, the latter containing the most impressive vessels in the Tagmatine fleet, the Protathlites tou Khristou (Anglic: "Champions of Christ") class the aircraft carriers. However, it is the former that make up the bulk of the Basilikoploimon, as the blue water element is much newer. The other parts of the Basilikoploimon are the naval air arm, the , and the marine force, the .
The economy of Tagmatium is a developed mixed economy, with a reliance on heavy heavy industry and agriculture, a growing biofuels and alternative energy sector, a well-established armaments sector, with tourism playing a large role. Whilst Tagmatium does have a leading regional manufacturing sector, with an element of automation, it lags behind this when compared to the wurld's other leading economies. Tagmatium holds the wurld's largest share in the biofuel market, being the largest grower of the raw material, the largest producer and largest exporter of the biofuel itself. The manufacture of textiles is the leading Tagmatine light industry, using wool or plant fibres often grown within the Greater Holy Empire's borders. This sector, as well as agriculture and construction, tend to provide low-skill, low-paying jobs for much of the Tagmatine workforce.
Within the farming sector, staple crops such as wheat and maize are predominant, with Tagmatium being the largest exporters of grain on Eurth. Much of this is exported to other Europan countries. This goes hand-in-hand with Tagmatium's booming biofuels industry. The problem this has begun to pose is that there is competition for arable land between crops such as wheat or maize and crops used for seed oil. Farming sees a high degree of automation, although this is often seen in the large farming combines that dominate the growing of these staples for exports – smaller, family owned farms often cannot afford the newer generation of machinery.
Besides arable farming, sheep and cattle are raised, both for meat, dairy produce and wool. Seed oil is the biggest growing sector within the Tagmatine agricultural sector, aided by subsidies and the fact that the government is actively seeking foreign markets for it. This sector also provides much of the luxuries that Tagmatium exports – Tagmatine wine, brandy and whisky are amongst the most famous, as well as more niche products such as garos.
Forestry is often tightly controlled by the Ministry of the Environment, the body that also covers agriculture in general. Much of this comes from the historic need to supply wood for weaponry and charcoal for metalworking, long since redundant, but also part of the drive of Kommodos III's government towards a sustainable future. Logging and the utilisation of forests and woodlands for commercial uses is strictly licensed and monitored.
The industrial sector is helped by a good supply and variety of natural resources, including abundant deposits of iron, copper, coal, zinc and even some rarer ores, such as bauxite, tungsten and uranium. A well-developed infrastructure – famously, metaphorically so – aids extraction and use of these resources, but international competition means that much of this is limited to central and northern Europa. Shipbuilding, farming machinery and locomotive construction are the largest parts of the industrial sector, whilst the automotive industry tends to lag behind foreign examples.
The arms industry supplies the needs of the Exkerkitos Arhomanos, with everything from small arms to armoured vehicles and most ship types domestically produced, with some export to allied or at least friendly nations. Whilst this means that it is a relatively large domestic employer, there is little international demand for Tagmatine arms and armaments.
Its commercial electronics and software development is good for northern Europa but cannot be described as wurld-beating – at times, the indigenous companies do little more than play keep-up with foreign competitors. This has become somewhat reinforced by recent trade deals struck by the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion with Salvia and Iverica, which reduced the tariffs for foreign imports in this sector. It was hoped that this would spur the domestic manufacturers and developers, although this has yet come to pass.
Due to Tagmatium's booming agricultural sector, the production of industrial chemicals for fertiliser and pesticide has seen a similar upswing, at least within the internal market. It is hoped that it will become a key part of international trade as well.
The service sector remains a bit more rudimentary than other comparable national economies, more focussed on the internal market than the international one. This is partially due to the nascent state of the Tagmatine electronics sector but it is also hindered by other factors. These include a language and culture that doesn't spread much beyond the Occident and north-eastern Amutia, despite increasing interest in the projection of soft power by the Tagmatine government.
Healthcare is provided by a mixture of the state and the Church, with most hospitals, hospices and residential care being run administratively and funded by a diocese but staffed by employees of the Ministry of Health. Private healthcare exists but is rare and is usually only accessed by the wealthy.
Hospitality is a major part of the service sector, providing a wide range of low-paying jobs. Food service is split between restaurants, which includes everything from the high end to fast food, to bars, taverns and pubs. Hotels can be much more varied, from luxurious ones that cater to foreign and domestic tourists to those that cater almost exclusively towards pilgrims travelling between the various shrines and religious sites in Tagmatium, often as part of a pilgrimage route, which are usually Spartan. In between lie ones that cater business travellers.
The Tagmatine merchant fleet has been able to take advantage of the continental economic downturn and step into the void formed by other countries no longer being able to maintain extensive merchant fleets of their own. This has been aided by the favourable rates the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion offers on transit through the Isthmus Canal to shipping firms registered within Tagmatium. It has meant that the Tagmatine merchant fleet has come to become the leading freight service within the Raga and the Central Europan seas.
Tourism remains a steady sector – the ancient sites and sights of the Aroman Empire draw tourists from across Eurth, whether to see such storied sites as the Walls of Konstantios which dominate Europatorion and various ancient Christian sites that dot the country. The continental economic downturn has seen a reduction in tourists from Europa but increasing contact with the New Wurld means that much of this has been replaced by tourists from Marenesia and Argis.
Infrastructure remains nationalised – the railways are all state-controlled, apart from rail lines that operate within large mines, quarries or industrial sites. The road network is maintained by the state, as are ferries and air carriers. Whilst this has benefit for times of emergency, it does mean that it can lean towards the inefficient at other times. It is administered by the Ministry for Transport.
Similarly, utilities are owned and maintained by the state, although administered by separate ministries, namely the Ministries of Aqueducts and Power, with the Ministry of Information covering telecommunications.
Previously, energy was mainly generated by coal-burning power stations, as well as several nuclear power stations, recent drives during the reign of Kommodos III has seen the power grid transition to renewable sources. In November 2018, the country was able to fulfil all of its energy needs for a week through renewable and nuclear sources, and this became more the norm throughout 2020.
According to the Holy Imperial Census, as of the Spring Census of 2019, the population of the Greater Holy Empire is 253,491,524.
Various forms of Christianity have dominated the religious life of Tagmatium for almost 1,700 years. The Emperor Methodianos adopted Christianity as his personal religion soon after he became sole emperor in 307, ending the crises of the previous century. He then took steps to promote Christianity although it was not until the reign of Valentianos I, in 383, that Christianity became the state religion of the Aroman Empire with the Edict of Matapon. Since then, Christianity has been the majority religion of Tagmatium, although the exact denomination has differed over time, as often varying emperors promoted the branch of the faith that held most true to them. The upheaval of the Enlightenment saw the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church, which had been most common in the south and north of the country respectively, driven from Tagmatium, with much of the hierarchy exiled. In its place, the Enlightened Aroman Church was installed as the dominant Christian denomination in the nation, which has remained the case since then. The most recent census, in 2019, showed that 96% (roughly 242 million) of the population of Tagmatium identified as Christian and 94% of that number, some 230 million, hold to the Enlightened Aroman Church.
The next largest religious groups are the Catholic Christians, Coptic Christians and Orthodox Christians. These groups are mainly in the south of the country, although most cities and large towns have small populations of these religious minorities. Arome and Dymafos, as ancient centres of Christianity, are known to have especially large religious minorities from the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Orthodox Church, mainly in the form of the Suverinian Orthdox Church, is the largest, with 5 million adherents, followed by 4 million Coptic Christians and 3 million Catholics. A population of Gerenian Christians, at about 500,000, is focused on the northern port of Trapezon, as well as in the region of Kleisourakon, although this number is estimated to have increased in the wake of the Cussian Crisis, as deportees were settled in Tagmatium. Other Christian communities, such as those from the Amendentist churches, represent expatriate communities and number roughly 2 million altogther.
A small percentage of the Tagmatine population states itself to be either irreligious or Atheist, usually estimated to be around 1% or 3 million. Although the Holy Imperial Government guarantees religious freedom to its citizens, the irreligious or Atheist often suffer from some degree of discrimination. It is, however, stated to be illegal by the Tagmatine government. Other religious communities include a Yehudan community of roughly 1 million and a Salam community of 1 million, which are focussed mainly in the larger ports and cities of Tagmatium. Other groups include various religious groups from Orioni, as well as Pagan groups that profess to follow differing pre-Christian religions originating within the Aroman Empire, and these all amount to around 3 million in total.