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Thread: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

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    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Sorry for the delay, but where I live when a book is said to arrive in a week, it means a month :P

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Province: Bithynia

    Traveller's Log

    Coming ashore in the small harbour of Myrleia, a Ionian colony of Kolophon, the traveller has arrived in Bithynia. To the West lays the mouth of the Rhyndakos River, issuing from Lake Apolloniatis. At its North-Easternmost shore is located the town of Apollonia, standing in front of several islets dedicated to Apollon. Further South-East stands Mount Olympos, marking the border with Mysia. Moving towards the coast to the North-East Daskyleion can be found, which used to be an important Satrapal capital. Then the Traveller comes to Kios, a Milesian colony eponymous for the gulf where it stands. Above it stands Mount Arganthonos, where Hylas, one of the Argonautai, was abducted by nymphs, never to be seen again. To this day the locals celebrate a festival, marching in procession and calling for Hylas. Striking inland stands Lake Askania, surrounded by a very fertile and large plain, albeit not at all healthful in summer. Here Basileus Antigonos Monophthalmos founded a polis, named after himself, to overlook and control the area. Later Basileus Lysimachos of Thraikia repaired and embellished this polis, renaming it Nikaia in memory of his first late wife. The latest architectural techniques were employed, ensuring a quadrangular plan so that the four gates could be seen from the centre of Nikaia. Back on the coast of the Propontis, there used to be the polis of Astakos, rased by Lysimachos. The gulf where it stood was named after it and in the vicinity there are the Pythia thermal springs, sacred to Apollon. Farther to the North-West, at the Thraikios Bosporos, on a barren and sandy soil stands Chalkedon. Colonized by the Megareis, it was called "Habitation of the Blind" by the oracle of Delphoi, when other colonists enquired Apollon about new settlements. To the North there's another Megarian colony, Chrysopolis, whose excellent position allows it to control and block the Bosporos. Turning eastwards and following the coast of the Pontos Euxeinos, the traveller encounters the promontory of Kalpe. It is a sheer cliff that runs out into the sea, with an harbour under its west-facing side. This is quite a fertile place, with freshwater springs and a great deal of various kinds of timber. This promontory extends inland as an hilly ridge, with thick forests by the coast and several villages in the mainland. These stand on excellent soil, producing barley, wheat, all kinds of legumes, millet, sesame, a good number of figs and plenty of grapes, which make a sweet wine. Continuing up the coast there is the mouth of the River Sangarios, watering much of Bithynia and whose winding marks the boundary with Galatia. Farther North-East lays the town of Kieros by Mount Hypios, an Herakleian colony. In the interior stands Bithynion, whose territory is the best pasturage for cattle and where an excellent cheese is produced. While the surrounding ridges separate Bithynia from the land of the Galatai.

    Geography

    Bithynia is split into two major geographical areas, by the Sakarya River (ancient Sangarios). To the East there are thickly wooded highlands characterized by snowy winters and very warm summers. While to the West the climate is milder, but humid. This area possesses prosperous and well watered plains. The northern coast is steeper and somewhat linear, unlike that of the Marmara Sea (ancient Propontis). The latter has in fact two larger gulfs, crenellated by several promontories. This is also the most populous part of Bithynia, favoured by important trading harbours, three lakes abundant with fish and the close proximity of both agricultural and mineral resources. The mountainous features close to the Black Sea (ancient Euxeinos) prevented the construction of roads, which had to run a considerable distance inland, thus sea traffic was prominent. But this was monopolized by Herakleia Pontika, relegating Northern Bithynia to sporadic anchoring. However the pastoral communities of the hinterland thrived, taking care of their flocks of sheep and herds of goats. Mount Uludağ (ancient Mysian Olympos), covered in snow well into March, was roamed by cervids and some wolf packs.

    The People, Society and Government

    The Bithynoi are a Thracian speaking people, who crossed over to Mikra Asia. They are described as wearing fox-skin caps, dressed in tunics with colourful long coats and mid calf boots made out of fawn-skin. They also carried javelins, Pelte shields and Sica daggers. However they gradually adopted Hellenistic simple tunics. The Bithynoi lived in self-sufficient villages and towns, but contacts with large neighbouring polities and especially encounters with invading armies, fostered coordinated efforts. Such bands would be led in defense, on raids or to attack Hellenic colonies, with the ultimate goal of imposing tribute or curb their expansion. This allowed powerful Bithynoi to establish at least nominal authority over the various communities. These dynasts, in typical Thracian fashion, built Tholoi tombs already in the late 5th century BCE. Their successors later established themselves as Hellenistic Basileis and, just like the Makedones, used urban foundations to control newly won territory. This was done with a keen eye towards political and economic reasons for the major centres, but the majority of settlements were built following military needs. Thus the royal family presented itselves as Philhellen, but the Bithynian villages remained untouched. Nevertheless the Hellenistic poleis flourished and celebrated scholars were born and studied there. The Bithynoi venerated Kybele and there are also evidences of the cult of Bendis. She was an healing deity, likely developed from the tradition of noble priestess-healer of the Early Iron Age. Also the Hellenes perceived them as worshipers of Ares, Dionysos and Artemis, but that is a superficial observation of their passion for fighting, drinking and hunting. Although the Dionysiac implications of ecstasy, fertility and rebirth were very much part of Bithynian culture, no individual deity embodied these aspects. The Bithynoi also kept the Thracian tradition of a tribal ancestor-hero-protector, which may have been the highest personal concept in their religion. By the Roman Era it had gained the semblance of Zeus Hypsistos (Most-High God), which later favoured the transition to Christianity.

    History

    Little is known about the Bithynian migration to Asia. The Homeric tradition recorded of Thraikioi, led by Rhesos, coming to help Priamos in the Trojan War. Similarly the Bithynian oral tradition, recounted by Herodotos, held that the Bithynoi used to live in the Strymon Valley (whence Rhesos came from) and were later defeated by Mysoi and Teukroi. This forced them to settle in what would become Bithynia. Thus the testimonies might offer a glimpse about a mercenary enterprise gone awry, which left a group of Thraikioi stranded in Asia. As hypothesised by the Bithynian born historian Arrianos, these people, surrounded by enemies, had no means to sail away or cross back to Thraikia and found refuge in the forests of North-Western Anatolia. Whatever the case by end of the 8th century BCE the Bithynoi were well established, capable of assembling in enough numbers to raid and detriment Hellenic attempts of colonisation. However at the turn of the 7th century BCE Kimmerioi bands were causing upheaval in Mikra Asia. It is possible that the Bithynoi suffered heavily by these attacks, because from this time Hellenic colonies managed to survive and grow. Nonetheless the Bithynoi recovered, but by 560 BCE Kroisos of Lydia could consider Bithynian leaders as his tributary subjects. This also poses a problem, for Herodotos mentions Thynoi as Lydian tributaries as well. A tribe that in his time lived in European Thraikia, however neither Lydia, nor the Bithynoi had a navy and it is puzzling how these land based polities could have exercised authority across the Propontis. Therefore these Thynoi must have been living in the vicinity of the Thraikios Bosporos, on the side of Asia. However Dārayavahuš of PÔrsa (Darius I) around 515 BCE, formalised Bithynia as a dependency of Daskyleion, which provided, along with other regions, a tribute of 630 talents. The Bithynoi could do very little to oppose this situation: only two years later the Khšāyathiya Khšāyathiyānām (King of Kings) in person led a vast army to Chalkedon. This force had come to invade Skythia and while the fleet was securing a crossing of the Istros River, the Samian engineer Mandrokles bridged the Bosporos with pontoons. At this time the Thynoi, or the people that would later be named such, crossed with the Persian army. Their linguistic affinity with the other Thracian tribes, was definitely invaluable and Dārayavahuš might have pushed for their resettling. Later the campaign in Skythia failed and mixed reports reached Chalkedon, whose citizens even considered burning down the bridge. But Dārayavahuš made it back and punished the Chalkedonioi by destroying their temple to Apollon. Persian suzerainty had to be generally reasserted and Utāna was ordered to take over Chalkedon and Byzantion in 510 BCE. However the Hellenes at the Bosporos later supported the Ionian Revolt. In 493 BCE, upon hearing of Miletos' fall and of an incoming punitive expedition by the Ponnim fleet, the Chalkedonioi decided to flee and settle in Mesembria on the Thracian coast of the Pontos Euxeinos. In 480 BCE the Bithynoi were levied to supply a contingent for the invasion of Hellas. During the aftermath Persian authority steadily diminished in Bithynia, due to Hellenic intervention from the Propontis to the eastern Mediterranean. As a result the Bithynoi experienced the rise of native centralisation of power and around 440 BCE Doidalsas of Bithynia succeeded in unifying his people. Now Bithynia was de facto independent and Doidalsas mounted expeditions against Chalkedon, forcing the latter to appeal to Athenai. Thus Klerouchoi were sent to keep in check the Bithynoi. The Tholos tomb of Iznik (ancient Nikaia), dated to this period, likely belonged to Doidalsas, who established the ruling dynasty of Bithynia for the next 400 years.

    The Persian response to this new situation was to set up a dependency of the Khšašapāvan (Satrap) at Daskyleion, with headquarters in Kios. In 424 BCE the Athenian Strategos Lamachos was sent to the Pontos Euxeinos to collect tribute, but lost his ships due to a flood of the river where he had anchored. This compelled him to march inland across Bithynia to reach Chalkedon and his actions embittered relations further with the Bithynoi. They now were growing weary of Athenian expansion, being the only foreign power actively operating in their territory. In 410 BCE a reinstated Alkibiades set sail for Chrysopolis and set up a customs house, with a garrison imposing a 10% tax on cargos crossing the Bosporos from the Euxeinos. These dispositions alienated the Chalkedonioi, who revolted and allied with Sparta. Expecting to be put under siege, the Chalkedonion entrusted all their portable property to Boteiras, Doidalsas' son and successor. However in 409 BCE Alkibiades, with the Chalkedonian blockade in place, sent heralds threatening war against Bithynia, unless it handed over the possessions. Boteiras agreed and also stipulated a treaty of friendship. Meanwhile the Khšašapāvan Farnavaz (Pharnabazus) had arrived from Daskyleion, to raise the siege of Chalkedon and the Spartan Harmostes (military governor) Hippokrates sallied out to catch Alikibiades on two sides. But Farnavaz, slowed down by the Athenian stockades, was too late and withdrew. Later in 408 BCE an agreement was reached, where Farnavaz would pay twenty talents and present Athenian ambassadors to the Khšāyathiya Khšāyathiyānām, while both sides pledged to respect the other's territory. However Dārayavahuš of PÔrsa (Darius II) sent his son Kuruš (Cyrus the Younger) to support Sparta and in 405 BCE the Nauarchos Lysandros defeated the Athenian fleet. The following year Spartan garrisons were re-established at the Bosporos and Alkibiades, fearful of Lakedaimonian mastery in Hellas and the Aigaion, took all the loot he could, planning to offer his services to PÔrsa. However he had to travel across Bithynia and Boteiras was more than happy to repay him, by plundering and capturing much of the Athenian's riches. In 400 BCE Oi Myrioi (The Ten Thousand) had reached Bithynia, but frustration had led to internal division. The Arkades and Achaioi, 4,500 Hoplitai strong, due to their numerical superiority thought that the army's survival was thanks to their efforts and now decided to march alone. Their plan was to disembark at Kalpe and make a sudden assault on the Bithynoi to seize any loot. At dawn they attacked the nearest villages, but the Bithynoi at first fled in order to regroup the available forces and then ambushed an Arkadian Lochos (military company) and annihilated it at a gully. Right after they rushed towards another Lochos and killed every single mercenary, except for its Lochagos (company commander) and seven men, who managed to escape. The remaining Peloponnesioi had, in the mean time, assembled at a hill where they spent the night. While the Bithynoi mustered all the neighbouring men and now not only Peltastai, but also Hippeis were called up. These resolutely encircled the hill and attacked from all sides, completely cutting off the Hellenes from any water. Thus the Peloponnesioi engaged in talks to set terms for a surrender. At the same time Xenophon had reached Kalpe, heard of their plight and rushed to their position setting ablaze as much territory as possible. This made his force appear large, but all he at were 1,700 Hoplitai, 300 Peltastai and 40 Hippeis. Nevertheless as soon as they finished eating and put out their camp fires, the Bithynoi figured a massive night attack was about to start and fled. From Kios had also arrived Spithradata and Rathina with a considerable force of cavalry and infantry. They had been sent by Farnavaz, who up until now was delighted to have Hellenes and Bithynoi fighting eachother. But he was now worried Oi Myrioi would try to descend on Persian territory once more. His generals cut down 500 Hellenic foragers and at night Bithynoi assaulted Xenophon's camp, emerging from the surrounding forest. The following day Spithradata, Rathina and the Bithynoi joined forces and defeated the Hellenic Peltastai, but avoided any close encounter with the Hoplitai. This counted as a victory for Xenophon, since he was in command of the battlefield and after setting up a Tropaion, he led his men away. Having made contact with friendly Hellenic traders and communities, they sold their booty, marched to Chrysopolis and crossed over to Thraikia. In 398 BCE the Spartan Derkylidas was conducting a war to liberate the Asiatic Hellenes, but agreed to an eight months truce with Farnavaz. So he set about pillaging Bithynia. There he was joined by Odrysai, sent by their Basileus Seuthes II, who was subjugating every Thracian tribe. These Odrysai instead of plundering, right away built fortifications, planning to gradually take over the land. Boteiras had kept a close watch on these activities, especially keeping track of the Hellenic raiding parties. After getting together all the Hippeis and Peltastai he had, Boteiras struck at dawn killing several men and all the Odrysai left guarding the booty. Which was recovered, the fallen were stripped of any valuable and as the Bithynoi came, they dispersed. In 395 BCE it was the Spartan Archagetes Agesilaos II, who was leading the war in Asia and after enjoying successes in Lydia moved for Paphlagonia. This was done at the behest of Spithradata, who had defected to him, promising him allies and resources there. They however decided to avoid any marching in Bithynia and sailed past it, disembarking at Kios. There Agesilaos set up quarters to conduct a punitive expedition against the Mysoi, with whom he had a score to settle. However when Spartan officers demanded Spithradata to hand over what he had brought from Paphlagonia to be redistributed, he felt insulted and defected back to the Persian side. In 389 BCE the Athenian Strategos Thrasyboulos was bringing about the resurgence of his polis' power, by re-establishing friendly relations at the Bosporos, secured by both Byzantion and Chalkedon.

    In 387 BCE Āryabarzāna, who until now was holding Kios, succeeded his kinsman Farnavaz at Daskyleion. This was a temporary measure, because Farnavaz had been summoned to marry Artakhšaša of PÔrsa (Artaxerxes II)'s daughter Apamā. In 378 BCE Āryabarzāna supplied the Spartan diplomat Antalkidas with ships, for they were good friends since the time Āryabarzāna acted as an intermediary for peace talks. After two years Boteiras of Bithynia died and his son Bas inherited the leadership of the Bithynoi. Some time later Farnavaz died as well and Āryabarzāna started to act as guardian for the underaged son of Apamā. However in 367 BCE he refused to relinquish his power in Daskyleion and joined Dātama, a Khšašapāvan in open rebellion. Āryabarzāna at first was being hard pressed by loyal forces, but in 365 BCE secured assistance from Hellas, consisting of 8,000 mercenaries and thirty Triereis. This had been possible because Āryabarzāna had been the escort for the Athenian ambassadors, whom Farnavaz could not send to the royal court, and also thanks to his contacts in Lakonia. The new force, led by Agesilaos II in person, caused a reversal and soon all of Mikra Asia was in revolt. Mithradata, who had succeeded his father Āryabarzāna in Kios, tried to expand his family influence across the Euxeinos installing a Tyrannos in Herakleia Pontika by 364 BCE. But Klearchos, soon as he took power in Herakleia, imprisoned Mithradata for a ransom. There are no evidences of conflicts involving the Bithynoi, so Herakleia must have been a vital target for the rebels, because bypassing Bythinia had become the best course of action. Boteiras had made all too clear how invading it was not worth the effort and Bas made sure that status was preserved. In the meantime Āryabarzāna gifted Athenai the poleis of Sestos and Krithote, receiving in return Athenian citizenship for himself, his sons and an Hellenic subordinate. However Mithradata from the start had received orders from the Khšāyathiya Khšāyathiyānām to deal with Dātama and had been playing his part to gain the rebels' confidence. In 362 BCE he decided to act by seizing his own father Āryabarzāna, whom he handed over to Artakhšaša II for crucifixion, and requesting an audience with Dātama where he killed him with a concealed dagger. This allowed ArtavazdÔ, son of Farnavaz and Apamā, to finally take power as Khšašapāvan at Daskyleion. While Mithradata likely joined Artakhšaša II's court, becoming effectively an hostage, for his brother Āryabarzāna II took over as governor of Kios. However in 356 BCE ArtavazdÔ revolted, because Artakhšaša of PÔrsa (Artaxerxes III) had demanded the disbandment of private armies and mercenaries. Āryabarzāna II likely fought against the rebel, the latter supported by Athenai and Thebai. Isolated in Mikra Asia ArtavazdÔ had to flee in 352 BCE, seeking refuge at the court of Philippos II of Makedonia. In 337 BCE Āryabarzāna II died and his brother Mithradata II succedeed him, this was the third of Āryabarzāna's sons and there are no indications that the older Mithratada was reinstated or whether he was still alive. Mithradata II would actually have been guardian for Āryabarzāna II's son, another Mithradata, who was just 13 years old at the time. But the following year Makedonian troops invaded Asia and in 334 BCE the Ilarchos Kalas, son of Harpalos and first cousin of Antigonos Monophthalmos, was made Satrapes of Hellespontine Phrygia at Daskyleion. However in 326 BCE Kalas attacked the 71 years old Bas to annex Bithynia, but was soundly defeated and killed in battle. Bas died as well, whether in relation to the battle or not is unknown, and his son Zipoites took over the Bithynian leadership.

    Following the death of Alexandros Megas and soon as the political situation seemed somewhat clearer, local dynasties could pick sides among the Diadochoi. Mithradata II kept hold of Kios and sided with Eumenes of Kardia, in whose army his nephew Mithradata served. However after the defeat at Gabiene in 316 BCE, Mithradata joined Antigonos Monophthalmos, living at the latter's court as a token of loyalty, while his uncle kept power at Kios. The following year Antigonos prepared to face a massive coalition of Diadochoi and sent his own nephew Polemaios to protect Anatolia from Kassandros. Upon reaching Bithynia, Polemaios discovered that Zipoites was besieging Chalkedon and Astakos. In the ensuing parley Polemaios obtained a cessation of hostilities and an alliance by all parties to Antigonos. Later Antigonos sported a policy of freedom for every polis and probably around 306 BCE, when he assumed the diadem of Basileus, Antigoneia by Lake Askania was founded. However in 302 BCE Basileus Lysimachos of Thraikia invaded and Mithradata II was suspected of contemplating treason. Thus Antigonos Monophthalmos ordered his execution and for his nephew Mithradata a similar fate was planned. But Demetrios, co-ruler and son of Antigonos, had become a good friend of Mithradata and warned the latter. With all haste Mithradata fled to the fortress of Kimista in northern Kappadokia, whence he would establish the Pontic kingdom as Mithradates I Ktistes (the Builder). Later in 301 BCE, with the death of Antigonos at Ipsos, Zipoites was free to resume his campaigns. He captured Astakos, while Chalkedon was saved by the intervention of Byzantion, alarmed by Bithynian power gaining access to the Bosporos. Zipoites was also encroaching on Herakleia Pontika's territory, but Lysimachos could not tolerate such a troublesome dynast at his doorstep. Astakos was rased and in 300 BCE Lysimachos refounded Antigoneia as Nikaia, becoming his stronghold against Zipoites. Nevertheless the Strategos sent to deal with Zipoites was killed and his successor did not fare any better, for he was repulsed. Bithynian independence was secured and in 297 BCE Zipoites proclaimed himself Basileus, founding Zipoition as his royal residence at the foot of Mount Lypedros, both unfortunately of unknown location. Later in 281 BCE Zipoites I sided with Seleukos I Nikator and helped defeating Lysimachos. The subsequent murder of Seleukos also absolved Zipoites of any obligation he had swore to abide. However Antiochos I dispatched his Strategos Patrokles to reassert Seleukid power in Mikra Asia. In turn Patrokles sent one of his officers, Hermogenes, to consolidate the Pontos Euxeinos' coast. In 280 BCE Herakleia Pontika surrendered upon hearing of the incoming army, thus Hermogenes turned his attention on Bithynia. However Zipoites ambushed him and annihilated the whole Seleukid army, but died the following year.

    This unleashed a succession crisis between the eldest son Nikomedes and another son named Zipoites. The latter held sway over eastern Bithynia and was supported by his other two brothers. This Zipoites did not recognize Nikomedes' rule and concentrated on expanding his own domain at the expenses of Herakleia Pontika. Nikomedes, unlike his brother, was far more aware of the larger geo-political stage: he offered back to Herakleia Pontika all the territory conquered by his father, which was held by his brother, in exchange for an alliance. Thus Nikomedes gained Herakleian maritime skills and assistance from a professional fleet. Most of all, conscious of Antiochos I preparations for a personally led invasion, Nikomedes allied himself with Antigonos Gonatas of Makedonia. Nonetheless neither side engaged the other and the two Basileis reached an agreement, leaving Nikomedes isolated in 278 BCE. With very few options left, Nikomedes gambled a dangerous alliance with the Galatai, specifically the tribes of the Tektosages, Trokmoi and Tolistobogioi. Their warriors helped him defeat his brother, unite Bithynia and even expand it further inland, where Nikomedes founded the military colony of Bithynion. At that point, taking the acquired loot, the Galatai disbanded and settled in a land of their choosing, which was named Galatia after them. This granted Nikomedes momentary respite for Antiochos I would have to deal with the newcomers, spending his resources and men in the process. Now Nikomedes concentrated on his Phihellenic policy, founding Nikomedeia in 264 BCE where once Astakos stood, resettling the latter's survivors. This new capital on the Propontis brought commerce and a link to the Hellenistic world, with its culture. A statue of Nikomedes was erected in Olympia and sacrificies in his honour were performed at Kos, an island off the Karian coast. Nikomedes also pursued friendly relations with Makedonia and the Ptolemaioi. Thus around 250 BCE, nearing his death, Nikomedes named Ptolemaios II Philadelphos, Antigonos II Gonatas, Byzantion, Herakleia and Kios guardians of his children by his second wife Hetazeta. However his first born, by another wife, Zileilas had found refuge at Arsham I of Hayasdan's court. During the regency of her step-mother, Zileilas gathered an army, boosted by the Tolistobogioi and invaded Bithynia. The Bithynoi made the last surviving brother of Nikomedes I, whom the latter pardoned in the past, marry Hetazeta and rallied under his leadership. The neighbouring guardian poleis also sent reinforcements and at first they withstood any offensive, but by 246 BCE Zileilas had become Basileus. The guardians signed a truce with Zileilas, while Hetazeta and her sons fled to Makedonia. The new Bithynian Basileus engaged in further expansion, capturing Kieros, promoting urbanization there and at Bithynion. Then in 245 BCE Zileilas had his daughter marry Antiochos Hierax, who had claimed the Seleukid diadem, and exploited the latter's conflict to expand his influence. However in 228 BCE, defeated and without pay or loot to live off, the Galatai fighting for Hierax abandoned him and went on raiding, killing Zileilas in the process.

    Thus Prousias I, Zileilas' son, became Basileus of Bithynia and right from 227 BCE munificently sponsored reconstructions at Rhodos. The island had been hit by a severe earthquake and Prousias planned on outdoing any Hellenistic Basileus regarding benefactions. This gesture granted Prousias much amity among the Hellenes and he went on instituting Soteiria games. However the Byzantioi refused to participate and even aborted the construction of statues they had decreed in Prousias' name. In fact Byzantion was ultimating the construction of fortifications at Hieron on the Bosporos. Thus in 220 BCE Byzantion imposed taxes on the traffic to the Pontos Euxeinos, causing Prousias to declare war against them. The latter was joined by Rhodos, although its fleet limited itself on blockading the Hellespontos. Right away the Bithynoi were successful in dismantling any stronghold, but news reached Prousias that Tiboites, one of Hetazeta's sons, was marching from Makedonia to claim Bithynia. Fortunately for Prousias his uncle died and the Bithynian Basileus hired nearby tribes in Thraikia, to prevent an easy march by any other reinforcements towards Byzantion. However Kavaros of Tylis, even though was exacting an 80 talents tribute from Bithynia, did not appreciate any neighbouring power getting supremacy of the Bosporos. And together with Rhodos was growing apprehensive of Prousias' imminent success. They pressed for a peace agreement that in 219 BCE brought back the status quo, compelling Prousias to give up all his conquests and lifting the Byzantine toll at the Bosporos. In the meantime Attalos I of Pergamon was fighting against Achaios at Sardis and had settled the Aigosages in the Troas. However these tribesmen started to raid Ilion and Abydos, which begged Pergamon for deliverance, but Attalos could not dispatch any force. Thus in 218 BCE Prousias took the initiative, perhaps to reinstate a good image among the Hellenes after his war with Byzantion, and slaughtered the whole tribe. Around this time Prousias also married Philippos V of Makedonia's half-sister Apama, establishing an alliance. Later in 208 BCE Prousias I sided with Philippos V in his war against the SPQR and their allies, bolstering the Makedonian fleet and invading Mysia the following year to force Attalos I to concentrate his army away from Makedonia. Eventually Philippos V signed a peace treaty, in the name of Prousias I as well, but in 202 BCE they now moved to expand in the Aigaion and Propontis. Prousias was particularly interested in Kios, which had fell in the hands of the Tyrannos Molpagoras, and together with Makedonian troops invested it. However Philippos V made sure that these additions to Bithynia were destroyed, but Prousias quickly refounded Kios into Prousa and expanded the port of Myrleia as the polis of Apameia Myrleia. These actions brought again Roman intervention in 200 BCE, but Prousias, either embittered by the Makedonian destruction of his conquests or simply too preoccupied with consolidating them against Pergamon, kept himself out of that conflict. In fact it seems that Prousias had managed to encroach in northern Mysia during the previous war. Around 190 BCE Antiochos Megas might have approached Prousias, after sufferring defeats in the Aigaion and losing control of it, hoping to gain his assistance against Pergamon. However Roman letters from the Scipiones and a Legatvs from the Propraetor Caivs Livivs Salinator, informed Prousias I that the SPQR had no quarrel with him. With such ease of mind the Bithynoi descended on Phrygia capturing large tracts of land and expanding as far as the River Rhyndakos in Mysia. However in 188 BCE the SPQR dictated that Prousias had to restore to Pergamon all of Mysia, the Bithynian Basileus complied, but at the same time granted asylum to Hannibal Barca, who joined Prousias' court. Unable to expand westwards and southwards, Prousias now moved against Herakleia Pontika retaking Keiros. Which was refounded as Prousa by the Hypios. The Bithynian assault continued with much success as far as Herakleia Pontika itselt, but during the siege one of Prousias' legs was broken and he had to be carried away. The Bithynian army fell back and Prousias was nicknamed as Cholos (the Lame), convincing Eumenes II of Pergamon that Bithynia could be invaded in 186 BCE. Ortiagontes, a chief of the Galatai, supported Prousias I Cholos, but in 184 BCE Eumenes II won a great victory near Mount Lypedros. Nevertheless the war still hung in balance and Hannibal Barca even forced Eumenes II back to his camp during a naval engagement, employing earthen pots filled with venomous snakes. Following the reversal Hannibal rallied the Bithynoi and won engagements on land against the Pergamenoi. At this point the SPQR intervened and arbitrated a peace agreement, whereby Prousias I ceded all his territorial gains around Mount Olympos to Eumenes II. To ensure Roman magnanimity the Bithynian Basileus also promised to hand over Hannibal, who in turn ended his life with poison in 183 BCE. One year later Prousias I Cholos died as well and his son Prousias II Kynegos (the Hunter) succeeded him.

    Faced with the ever increasing Roman influence in Asia, Prousias II aligned his policy to Eumenes II's. Thus Bithynia supported, albeit negligibly, the war against Pharnakes I of Pontos. Which concluded in 179 BCE, mostly due to procrastination in the Roman diplomacy. Then Prousias II engaged in larger political networking: he offered the spoils of war to Apollon at Dydima, was honoured an equestrian statue at Delphoi and sent ambassadors to the Apteraioi in Krete. But most of all Prousias II married Perseus of Makedonia's sister Apama, cementing further the bond between the two royal houses. However, keeping a neutral stance to judge which side held the upper hand, in 169 BCE Prousias II dispatched five warships to help the Consvl Qvintvs Marcivs Philippvs in his Makedonian campaign. In the following years Prousias II attempted in every way to undermine Pergamon's standing and influence through diplomatic channels, with the help of envoys from Galatia as well. However this was due to Prousias II's misguided interpretation of Roman uneasiness towards Pergamese expansion as possible open hostility. Later in 156 BCE Prousias II Kynegos invaded Mysia, raiding along the way unopposed. Because Attalos II Philadelphos of Pergamon did not want to engage in open hostilities without Roman approval. Thus when the Roman commission requested an audience, Prousias II presented himself with his army in full force and rushed to Pergamon. Planning on capturing Attalos II himself, who shut himself in his capital. Unable to assault such a formidable polis, Prousias II's army went on looting temples and the countryside in Mysia. The SPQR limited itself on sending another commission to denounce Prousias II, who kept on raiding throughout 155 BCE. In the meantime Attalos II had assembled a considerable force, with the support of Mithradates IV of Pontos and Ariarathes V of Kappadokia. Now Roma dispatched allied forces to guard coastal fortifications, in order to prevent other polities to join Prousias II. At this point the Bithynian Basileus realized his cause was futile and accepted the conditions for peace, which made Bithynia a tributary state of Pergamon for the next twenty years as indemnity.

    Prousias II eldest son, Nikomedes, was sent to Roma to establish beneficial relations with important figures and in 149 BCE to lessen the tribute. While the Bithynoi were growing restless of Prousias II's rule due to fiscal pressure. Nikomedes might have indeed followed these instructions, but he likely presented himself as the guarantor and returned to Bithynia hailed as Basileus by the Bithynian army and supported by Attalos II's troops. Gates were opened to the usurper, who had his father assassinated. At first Nikomedes II kept a subservient stance towards Pergamon, but eventually relations deteriorated and Attalos II successfully invaded Bithynia. However Nikomedes II's contacts in Roma affirmed his rights in the Senatvs and any gains by Pergamon were lost. The Bithynian Basileus also assumed the title of Epiphanes (god manifest) and introduced something of a state cult for the royal family. In 132 BCE Nikomedes II provided assistance against the pretender Aristonikos of Pergamon and in vain attempted to be granted northern Mysia by the SPQR. In 127 BCE Nikomedes III Euergetes (benefactor) succeeded his father and initiated a policy if not hostile, at least unfriendly towards Roma. For he had been hardpressed by the Roman collection of tribute and had failed, through corruption, to gain a favourable vote against a law that incremented said tribute. Around 113 BCE, in alliance with Mithradates VI of Pontos, Nikomedes III conquered a smaller portion of Paphlagonia. When the Senatvs' commission demanded the restitution of Paphlagonia, Nikomedes III renamed one of his sons as Pylaimenes (the traditional name for the ruler of Paphlagonia) and claimed that legitimacy had been restored already. This did not last long and eventually the bastard son, Sokrates, was removed as ruler. Later in 104 BCE the SPQR asked for allied contingents against the Kimbroi, but Nikomedes III Euergetes replied he had no none. Declaring how the Pvblicani (Roman tax collectors) had made the Bithynoi slaves, for the widespread poverty in Asia had unleashed bands of slavers in the neighbouring states. Although such depredations occurred, Nikomedes III still had troops and used them to capture Kappadokia, which was under the regency of Laodike. She was Mithridates VI's sister, but the Pontic Basileus desired a direct control of her domain. Thus she married Nikomedes III, whose expansion gave Mithridates VI just the excuse he was looking for and expelled them. In the following years the Bithynian royal couple begged for Roman intervention, which obviously never materialized. Having alienated any power capable of supporting him, Nikomedes III died in 94 BCE and his son Nikomedes IV Philopator, by the latter's first wife the Kappadokian princess Nysa, now set forth patching up relations with the SPQR. However Mithradates VI lost no time and dispatched his Strategos Archelaos with a massive army of 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry in 90 BCE to set up Sokrates as a puppet Basileus of Bithynia. The SPQR could not tolerate such an expansion of Pontic influence and the governor of Asia Caivs Cassivs was tasked in supporting Nikomedes IV. The following year with the help of Phrygian and Galatian reinforcements, the Roman army quickly cleared Bithynia and Kappadokia. Mithradates VI could only watch as pro-Roman Basileis took over his dependencies, executing Sokrates in the process. Now Roman authorities, who did not want to engage in open warfare with Pontos, incited Nikomedes IV to wage raids against Mithradates VI. The Bithynian Basileus had to give in, hard pressed to cover the debts he had promised along his restoration. These raids went on unopposed, for such acts permitted Mithradates VI to rally his subjects and people of Mikra Asia against Roman sponsored oppression, starting a major war. The Bithynoi were assigned to the vanguard, but although outnumbering the Pontic outriders, they were defeated by superior tactics and the use of scythed chariots. Nikomedes IV fled to regroup with the Roman contingents, but the Pontic onslaught was unstoppable and a small detachment of Sauromatae was able to charge and cut down the larger opposition. Bithynia for the next three years belonged to Mithradates VI, only then by a peace agreement with Lvcivs Cornelivs Svlla was Nikomedes IV, who had fled to the Italian Peninsula, back in power. Around 80 BCE Caiv Ivlivs Caesar joined Nikomedes IV's court, asking for naval assistance against pirates in the Aigaion and after two years sailed to Mytilene, where he was successful. However Bithynia had been severely weakened and its resources depleted, thus in 74 BCE dying Nikomedes IV bequeathed it to the SPQR.

    In fact the late Basileus only had a daughter by his wife of the same name Nysa, a kinswoman of Laodike. The latter had wanted this marriage and Nysa might have had already a son, Lykomedes. Who now claimed the Bithynian diadem, but was unsuccessful. In any case Mithradates VI of Pontos had returned and invaded once again Bithynia, whose defenses were being organized by Caivs Ivlivs Caesar. But the Pontic army and fleet struck for the Bosporos, where the Consvl Marcvs Avrelivs Cotta held Chalkedon. The Bastarnai of the vanguard managed to break the long chain of bronze that guarded the harbour entrance, allowing the Pontic fleet to swarm in. Four Roman vessels were defeated and resistance collapsed, thus Mithradates VI was free to captured the remaining 60 Roman warships. Such overwhelming victory turned the local support in favour of the Pontic Basileus and the Roman troops had to regroup in Phrygia. Nevertheless by 72 BCE the tide of war had been reversed and Mithradates VI's position in Bithynia became untenable. Thus taking any wealth that remained, the Pontic Basileus and his army evacuated by sea. With the major powers' attention elsewhere, Bithynia became something of a political limbo with the poleis being left to themselves. Orsobaris, the youngest daughter of Mithradates VI, married Lykomedes and started to mint coins in Prousa. Even in 67 BCE when the Consvl Manivs Acilivs Glabrio was given the new Provincia of Bithynia et Pontus, he made light work of taking control of Bithynia. Still the following year Bithynian levies were sent to Gnaevs Pompeivs for his offensive against Mithradates VI. But only in 64 BCE did Gnaevs Pompeivs settle affairs to form a single administrative unit of Bithynia and Pontos. Now Bithynia started to recover economically and its population was generally favourable to Caivs Ivlivs Caesar, likely thanks to his stay and operations. In 47 BCE as Dictator he granted the priesthood of Komana to Lykomedes, while later in 29 BCE Nikaia was allowed to establish a precinct to Roma and to Divvs Ivlivs (the divine Julius). Nikomedeia subsequently, engaged in a rivalry for honours between poleis, built a temple to Avgvstvs.

    Strategy

    Bithynia is a province rich in many resources, with an enviable geographical position, which protects its settlements and is able to control Pontic commerce. Any ruler would be wise keeping it secured, or even establishing his seat of power in it.


    I do try to keep them brief (XD), but there's just so much to write about!
    Last edited by Arjos; 09-06-2013 at 15:54.

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  2. #122

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    This may not bring much into discussion but I have to say it: Arjos you are great :D
    My girlfriend plays EB (plus she is hottie). I won the universe.

  3. #123
    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    As people might well be aware, I'm running a PnP historical roleplaying game set in Massalia, 300BC. Is there any chance one of the team might be willing to post the current internal version of Uidi Saluuioi? I'm really struggling with decent sources on Massalia and its immediate environs, and that's going to at least as well researched as anything else I've seen.
    It began on seven hills - an EB 1.1 Romani AAR with historical house-rules (now ceased)
    Heirs to Lysimachos - an EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR with semi-historical houserules (now ceased)
    Philetairos' Gift - a second EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR


  4. #124

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    At long last, (a little over a week, I think): Persis

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Province Persis
    Traveller's Log
    Approaching from Karmania , the traveller enters the Persian homeland, a land of broad river basins and plateaus cradled by the Zargos, through a rift in the eastern mountains and first sets foot on arid lowlands locally called the garmsir, or ôwarm lands.ö Sparse rain falls in the south and east and agriculture is only sustained by a complex web of irrigation ditches criss-crossing the country. Journeying further west, the traveller encounters Pasargad ľ the early capital of the Kings of Kings. Built at the command of Cyrus the Great, Pasargad still houses his tomb, though he fell in battle before the city's completion. Leaving Pasargad and continuing west, the traveller comes upon the jewel of the Persian empire: Parsapura, known to the Greeks as Persepolis. Despite burning to the ground during Alexander's campaigns, the city retains some of its former glory even today. As the largest and most central settlement in the region, Persepolis contains the administrative headquarters for Persis and remains a hub for trade between India and the West. Farther past Persepolis and nearer the salt lakes in the north lies Anshan, the ancient seat of Persian power and original home of Cyrus the Great. The Mand river separates Anshan from the other cities in the east and, should the traveller choose to follow it southward, winds to narrow coastal plains stretching between the southern mountains and the Persian Gulf. If the traveller had continued west from Anshan, they would climb onto the cooler, wetter highland plains called the sardsir, or ôcold lands.ö Although more rain falls, the hilly nature of the land precludes irrigation and farmers rely mainly on precipitation to water crops. At the western edge of the province, mountain passes lead to Elam and Babylonia or northward to Media.

    Geography
    The heart of Persis, roughly corresponding to the modern province of Fars, consists of river-drained plains sandwiched between two ridges of the Zagros mountains running east-west. Exceeding altitudes of 4000 metres in the north-west, the enclosing mountains gradually decrease in height toward the south-east but mostly remain above 2000 metres. Minor streams meander southward to the sea, the largest of which, the Mand, almost divides the province in half. In the north, however, several basins empty into lakes of high salt content. The north-western plains are hillier and, as a result, receive more rain than the flatter south-east. The wetter environment at higher altitudes permits temperate forests to grow ľ including oak, pomegranates and pistachio-almond trees. Date palms demarcate the line between the garmsir and sardsir while grapevines are cultivated at the warmer elevations in the sardsir. Drought-resistant acacias and jujube-trees dominate the warm lowlands. Between the southern ridge and the sea lie constricted coastal plains broken up by hills. Although relatively dry, the coast supports moderate farming and even forests at greater heights.

    People, Society and Government
    The extreme variation in climate prompted a variety of coping responses, most notably traditional nomadic pastoralism and settled agriculture introduced from Mesopotamia. The nomads rely on migrating seasonally between winter quarters in the garmsir and summer quarters in the sardsir to water and feed their herds. The quest for richer and more fertile grazing land often pits the roaming tribes against sedentary farmers, however, and the subsequent conflict sometimes erupts into civil war. Most of the time, though, the settled and nomadic elements are able to maintain a workable peace. Despite the major differences, the populace is linguistically homogeneous, all speaking the predecessor to modern Persian. Unlike so much else of the near east, archaeological evidence reveals very limited Greek influence in Persis. The absence of Greek infiltration can perhaps best be explained by the decentralised mode of government. Instead of appointing a Hellenophone satrap to rule Persis, the Seleucid Kingdom elevated local nobles to positions of power and largely followed a policy of benign neglect.

    Regarding religion, the Persians followed a variety of different belief systems, the most important of which was Zoroastrianism. The religion's tenets encouraged ethical conduct and posited two opposing supernatural forces: Ahura Mazda ľ the creator and origin of all good in the world ľ and Angra Mainyu ľ the source of evil and destruction. Truth and Order were two of the most esteemed virtues, a fact reflected in Herodotus famous statement that, ôfrom a young age, Persian boys are taught to ride well, shoot straight and always speak the truth.ö Although monotheistic in theory, Zoroastrianism was frequently adapted to the older polytheistic deities.

    History
    The archaeological record of Persis begins in 5500 BC, when the first agrarian settlements were founded along rivers in the Kor basin. Contact with centres of civilisation to the west started early, sometime around 4000 BC, which resulted in the gradual growth of commerce. Until the late fourth millennium BC, however, most of the inhabitants still lived as nomadic herders. Near the close of the 4000s, strong cultural and linguistic influences from proto-Elamite society spread over much of western and central Iran. The first true urban centre developed at Anshan at the time. Sumerian domination of Elam, though, weakened ties between east and west, and the populace mainly reverted to pastoralism. When Elamite society flourished again during the late 2000s, the dynasts in Susa renewed links with Anshan, eventually adopting the official title ôKing of Susa and Anshan.ö Agricultural settlements proliferated during the period ľ Anshan itself grew to more than 30,000 inhabitants and covered an area of about 150 hectares. The nebulous political relationship between Susa and Anshan notwithstanding, numerous written sources document the pivotal role Anshan played in the economy and military. A gap appears in the historical record between 2000 BC and 1400 BC, which correlated with a decline of the Elamite empire. The population in Anshan dropped by two thirds and the number of inhabited settlements evidently decreased. A minor resurgence in Elam around 1400 BC briefly rejuvenated urban trends but ended abruptly with the Assyrian capture and destruction of Susa and Anshan. For a few hundred years Elam, including Persis, vanishes from the historical record only to reappear as the feeble neo-Elamite kingdom of ôAnzan and Susa.ö Elam lost control of Persis for the final time when Assurbanipal invaded Susa in 646 BC.

    Despite the lack of any clear indications for how Persis transformed from an Elamite kingdom into a Persian-speaking kingdom with a distinct culture, current theories suggest the gradual infiltration of small bands of Iranian pastoralists whom then mixed with the native populace and gradually gained dominance. Iranian peoples had already appeared in the north-west in 1600 BC and probably migrated southward during the time of Elamite impotence between 1100 and 1000 BC. The hypothesis is further supported by the paucity of evidence for urban settlement in the years preceding Cyrus the Great's rise to power, implicating a nomadic populace. Prevailing thought proposes that, after 646 BC, the newly-independent Anshan formed itself into a kingdom under a Persian dynasty to combat the Assyrian threat. The Persians proper first enter the historical record when Cyrus II the Great of the Achaemenids conquered Media and urban growth exploded. After capturing Ecbatana, the capital of the Medes, he transferred the looted treasure to Anshan. In a series of brilliant campaigns, Cyrus captured Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, modern-day Afghanistan and much of Central Asia. He died in battle against a Scythian tribe on the northern frontier. His son, Cambyses II, invaded and occupied Egypt and spent several years consolidating the western fringe of the empire. A rebellion in Persia forced him to return but he died en route. The next emperor, Darius I, overthrew the pretender which had seized power and reversed the rebel's policies. In rapid succession, though, revolt broke out in Elam, Babylonia, Armenia, Persia, Media, Assyria, Parthia, Margiana, Sattagydia, and Scythia. Elam and Babylon were shortly subdued but the other rebellions stretched Darius to the limits of his abilities as a general and politician. First concentrating efforts on the central provinces, he later crushed the revolts at the edges of the empire after the core was regained. Realising the need for reform, Darius re-organised the imperial administration once the rebellions had been pacified. Later, he embarked on several campaigns of conquest and gained control of the Indus valley, the Ionian islands and parts of Thrace and Scythia. The Ionian Greeks grew restive, however, and, with mainland Greek support, revolted. They were quickly subjugated, and Darius resolved to take revenge against pro-Ionian coalition. He gathered an invasion force and landed by boat near Athens. After the astonishing Athenian victory at Marathon, though, the Persians retired to Anatolia to lick their wounds. Darius intended to attack a second time but died before the plans materialised. His successor, Xerxes, attempted another invasion but was rebuffed after a series of inconclusive land battles and a crushing naval defeat. The Persians, however, burnt Athens to the ground before retreating.

    Subsequent conflicts between the Greeks and Persians resulted in no considerable advance by either side, though the Persians intervened in the interminable wars between Greek city-states. Although the emperors established a firm hold on most of the empire, the days of expansion were over. Complacency lent itself to corruption, and by the closing stages of Achaemenid power, a string of inept and venal emperors hit bottom under Darius III.

    In 334-330 BC, Alexander the Great invaded and conquered the entirety of the Persian empire and even encroached on India. To crown his victory, he burnt and pillaged the royal sectors of Persepolis, partly as revenge for the burning of Athens. Under Makedonian and later Seleucid rule, Persis was largely sidelined in international affairs, but retained most of its traditional aspects. Greek influence was marginal at best, and government fell to local aristocrats. The old glory was lost, though. Under the Achaemenids, Persis represented the cultural and political centre of the empire. Persians enjoyed numerous privileges, including freedom from tribute and execution by the king. Under the Seleucids, Persis was simply another province in a vast empire. When the Parthians invaded and conquered Persis, the situation hardly changed. Locals still governed and followed the practices and customs of their forebears, especially concerning religion. It wasn't until the rise of the Sassinians ľ a dynasty native to Persis ľ that the region regained the former prestige.

    Strategy
    Persis rests in the middle of a protective ring of mountains. Any potential enemy could be stopped at one of the mountain passes, which form natural choke points. Trade from India to the West still flows through Persis, and some of it remains to enrich the province. Moderately productive farming, combined with valuable natural resources like lumber, provide a strong base to economic development and empire building. But beware, any ruler that can't maintain the delicate balance of power between the nomads and city-dwellers risks losing control of the province.


    With my virtually non-existent knowledge on the subject, I had no trouble keeping it brief.
    Last edited by Rex Somnorum; 07-21-2013 at 01:08. Reason: A few more minor alterations

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  5. #125
    The Usual Member Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post

    In 334-330 BC, Alexander the Great invaded and conquered the entirety of the Persian empire and even encroached on India. To crown his victory, he burnt and pillaged the royal sectors of Persepolis, partly as revenge for the burning of Athens. Under Makedonian and later Seleucid rule, Persis was largely sidelined in international affairs, but retained most of its traditional aspects. Greek influence was marginal at best, death to America, and government fell to local aristocrats. The old glory was lost, though. Under the Achaemenids, Persis represented the cultural and political centre of the empire. Persians enjoyed numerous privileges, including freedom from tribute and execution by the king. Under the Seleucids, Persis was simply another province in a vast empire. When the Parthians invaded and conquered Persis, the situation hardly changed. Locals still governed and followed the practices and customs of their forebears, especially concerning religion. It wasn't until the rise of the Sassinians – a dynasty native to Persis – that the region regained the former prestige.
    Um?



  6. #126

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Ice View Post
    Um?
    I just wanted to check if anyone actually read it. And it is a province in Iran...

    Edit: It's been excised.
    Last edited by Rex Somnorum; 07-21-2013 at 01:09.

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  7. #127
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    I just wanted to check if anyone actually read it. And it is a province in Iran...

    Edit: It's been excised.
    Just read it last night after Arjos' Bithynia... Logged in this morning only to find a post with the question I was about to ask: Does anybody actually read these?

    Obviously some people do. And some people go out of their way to find out. Inflammatory text aside, I will be thanking for the post. I thought it was well balanced and easy to read through.Well suited for the purpose.
    I thanked Arjos for Bithynia too, for all the analysis and detail. A very interesting post.
    Last edited by kdrakak; 07-21-2013 at 10:03.
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  8. #128
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    I just wanted to check if anyone actually read it. And it is a province in Iran...
    I admit I didn't read the description; but there's less inflammatory ways of finding out.
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  9. #129

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Ludens View Post
    I admit I didn't read the description; but there's less inflammatory ways of finding out.
    But not quite as humorous. I find it doubly ironic that someone with a US flag in their sig was the first to comment.

    I slipped in an intentionally offensive phrase to gauge the reader's scrutiny. If they can't spot "death to America," how can they question my other, more pertinent facts? For instance, I have yet to hear anyone challenge the assertion that "inept and venal" emperors characterised the end of the Achaemenid empire. Or even my assumption that Middle Persian was spoken during the game's time period. Reading is not enough. Sceptically reviewing is better.
    Last edited by Rex Somnorum; 07-22-2013 at 03:13.

  10. #130
    Minister of Useless Tidbits Member joshmahurin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    And if you can't humorously say death to America on an international forum we have problems



  11. #131
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    how can they question my other, more pertinent facts? For instance, I have yet to hear anyone challenge the assertion that "inept and venal" emperors characterised the end of the Achaemenid empire. Or even my assumption that Middle Persian was spoken during the game's time period. Reading is not enough. Sceptically reviewing is better.
    Is that everyone's job ? I mean on a thread with a specific agenda? There is over 25 regional descriptions and even history is more assumption than fact at times.
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  12. #132
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    To add, this isn't even the tip of the tip of the iceberg that is the amount of EBII's work...
    And it's july: I myself am sunbathing or swimming when I'm not writing or reading for these XD

    Proofreaders and historians will eventually get to it...

    I'm not getting RS' point, is he after gratification or thinks there has been a lack of reviewing?

  13. #133

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    But not quite as humorous. I find it doubly ironic that someone with a US flag in their sig was the first to comment.

    I slipped in an intentionally offensive phrase to gauge the reader's scrutiny. If they can't spot "death to America," how can they question my other, more pertinent facts? For instance, I have yet to hear anyone challenge the assertion that "inept and venal" emperors characterised the end of the Achaemenid empire. Or even my assumption that Middle Persian was spoken during the game's time period. Reading is not enough. Sceptically reviewing is better.
    I, along with most others probably, am giving the descriptions a brief look over - seeing the work involved and being thankful because I appreciate the work that has clearly gone in. I see your point but... being thankful isn't necessarily a signal that a full critical analysis has been given to the article; it merely shows gratitude to the team who are still labouring to bring this mod to us.

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  14. #134

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjos View Post
    To add, this isn't even the tip of the tip of the iceberg that is the amount of EBII's work...
    And it's july: I myself am sunbathing or swimming when I'm not writing or reading for these XD
    Sounds dreadful. Enjoy skin cancer.

    Proofreaders and historians will eventually get to it...

    I'm not getting RS' point, is he after gratification or thinks there has been a lack of reviewing?
    Lack of reviewing, or at least very slow reviewing. Work on other areas of the mod seems to be surging ahead, and I'd like to expedite the process by any road possible. It's the primary reason I chose to contribute, even if my fraction of the effort is pitiful compared to others. My impression was readers would correct and refine province descriptions so that by the time the team's actual historians read them - who are very few in number, to my knowledge - most of the work has been done. And considering the length of some descriptions, the work load is heavy indeed.

    In other news, I'll take Karmania if it's free.
    Last edited by Rex Somnorum; 07-23-2013 at 03:55.

  15. #135
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    Work on other areas of the mod seems to be surging ahead
    That is the whole point of this project: letting them use their time fully on everything else...

    My impression was readers would correct and refine province descriptions so that by the time the team's actual historians read them - who are very few in number, to my knowledge - most of the work has been done.
    And this isn't happening how?
    I mean if you are referring to grammar and such, I don't see why you couldn't offer to be a proofreader (since I'm gathering, you are keen on it). Or do it right of the bat.
    Otherwise demanding that people should do it, it would be forcible. Not that such freedom of action is in any way precluded...

    Also I cannot speak for the team, but I think they'd like to have some credentials or confidence in any volunteer, for such a delicate task as proofreading.
    For example I can easily see how terrible I would be with my own mother tongue :P

    And again, we are in the middle of holiday season. If anyone wants to do something, it'd be great and welcomed. But otherwise let people live ^^
    Last edited by Arjos; 07-23-2013 at 10:38.

  16. #136

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjos View Post
    That is the whole point of this project: letting them use their time fully on everything else...
    Obviously. Which is why I suggested - not demanded: suggested - non-EB team readers could proofread them and save the team effort.

    I browsed over your Bithynia description. Here's some pointers:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Province: Bithynia

    Traveller's Log

    Coming ashore in the small harbour of Myrleia, a Ionian colony of Kolophon, the traveller has arrived in Bithynia. To the West lays the mouth of the Ryndakos River, issuing from Lake Apolloniatis. At its North-Easternmost shore is located the town of Apollonia, standing in front of several islets dedicated to Apollon. Further South-East stands Mount Olympos, marking the border with Mysia. Moving towards the coast to the North-East Daskyleion can be found, which used to be an important Satrapal capital. Then the Traveller comes to Kios, a Milesian colony eponymous for the gulf where it stands. Above it stands Mount Arganthonos, where Hylas, one of the Argonautai, was abducted by nymphs, never to be seen again. To this day the locals celebrate a festival, marching in procession and calling for Hylas. Strinking1 inland stands Lake Askania, surrounded by a very fertile and large plain, albeit not at all healthful in summer. Here Basileus Antigonos Monophthalmos founded a polis, named after himself, to overlook and control the area. Later Basileus Lysimachos of Thraikia repaired and embellished this polis, renaming it Nikaia in memory of his first late wife. The latest architectonic2 techniques were employed, ensuing3 a quadrangular plan so that the four gates could be seen from the centre of Nikaia. Back on the coast of the Propontis, there used to be the polis of Astakos, rased by Lysimachos. The gulf where it stood was named after it and in the vicinity there are the Pythia thermal springs, sacred to Apollon. Farther to the North-West, at the Bosporos Thraikios, on a barren and sandy soil stands Chalkedon. Colonized by the Megareis, it was called "Habitation of the Blind" by the oracle of Delphoi, when other colonists enquired Apollon about new settlements. To the North there's another Megarian colony, Chrysopolis, whose excellent position allows it to control and block the Bosporos. Turning eastwards and following the coast of the Pontos Euxeinos, the traveller encounters the promontory of Kalpe. It is a sheer cliff that runs out into the sea, with an harbour under its west-facing side. This is quite a fertile place, with freshwater springs and a great deal of various kinds of timber. This promontory extends inland as an hilly ridge, with thick forests by the coast and several villages in the mainland. These stand on excellent soil, producing barley, wheat, all kinds of legumes, millet, sesame, a good number of figs and plenty of grapes, which make a sweet wine. Continuing up the coast there is the mouth of the River Sangarios, watering much of Bithynia and whose winding marks the boundary with Galatia. Farther North-East lays the town of Kieros by Mount Hypios, inhabited by the native Mariandynoi. In the interior stands Bithynion, whose territory is the best pasturage for cattle and where an excellent cheese is produced. While the surrounding ridges separate Bithynia from the land of the Galatai.

    Geography

    Bithynia is split into two major geographical areas, by the Sakarya River (ancient Sangarios). To the East there are thickly wooded highlands characterized by snowy winters and very warm summers. While to the West the climate is milder, but humid. This area possesses prosperous and well watered plains. The northern coast is steeper and somewhat linear, unlike that of the Marmara Sea (ancient Propontis). The latter has in fact two larger gulfs, crenellated by several promontories. This is also the most populous part of Bithynia, favoured by important trading harbours, three lakes abundant with fish and the close proximity of both agricultural and mineral resources. The mountainous features close to the Black Sea (ancient Euxeinos) prevented the construction of roads, which had to run a considerable distance inland, thus sea traffic was prominent. But this was monopolized by Herakleia Pontika, relegating Northern Bithynia to sporadic anchoring. However the pastoral communities of the hinterland thrived, taking care of their flocks of sheep and herds of goats. Mount Uludağ (ancient Mysian Olympos), covered in snow well into March, was roamed by cervids and some wolf packs.

    The People, Society and Government

    The Bithynoi are a Thracian speaking people, who crossed over to Mikra Asia. They are described as wearing fox-skin caps, dressed in tunics with colourful long coats and mid calf boots made out of fawn-skin. They also carried javelins, Pelte shields and Sica daggers. However they gradually adopted Hellenistic simple tunics. The Bithynoi lived in self-sufficient villages and towns, but contacts with large neighbouring polities and especially encounters with invading armies, fostered coordinated efforts. Such bands would be led in defense, on raids or to attack Hellenic colonies, with the ultimate goal of imposing tribute or curb their expansion. This allowed powerful Bithynoi to establish at least nominal authority over the various communities. These dynasts, in typical Thracian fashion, built Tholoi tombs already in the late 5th century BCE. Their successors later established themselves as Hellenistic Basileis and, just like the Makedones, used urban foundations to control newly won territory. This was done with a keen eye towards political and economic reasons for the major centres, but the majority of settlements were built following military needs. Thus the royal family presented itselves as Philhellen, but the Bithynian villages remained untouched. Nevertheless the Hellenistic poleis flourished and celebrated scholars were born and studied there. The Bithynoi venerated Kybele and there are also evidences of the cult of Bendis. She was an healing deity, likely developed from the tradition of noble priestess-healer of the Early Iron Age. Also the Hellenes perceived them as worshipers of Ares, Dionysos and Artemis, but that is a superficial observation of their passion for fighting, drinking and hunting. Although the Dionysiac implications of ecstasy, fertility and rebirth were very much part of Bithynian culture, but4 no individual deity embodied these aspects. The Bithynoi also kept the Thracian tradition of a tribal ancestor-hero-protector, which may have been the highest personal concept in their religion. By the Roman Era it had gained the semblance of Zeus Hypsistos (Most-High God), which later favoured the transition to Christianity.

    History

    Little is known about the Bithynian migration to Asia. The Homeric tradition recorded of Thraikioi, led by Rhesos, coming to help Priamos in the Trojan War. Similarly the Bithynian oral tradition, recounted by Herodotos, held that the Bithynoi used to live in the Strymon Valley (whence Rhesos came from) and were later defeated by Mysoi and Teukroi. This forced them to settle in what would become Bithynia. Thus the testimonies might offer a glimpse about a mercenary enterprise gone awry, which left a group of Thraikioi stranded in Asia. As hypothesised by the Bithynian born historian Arrianos, these people, surrounded by enemies, had no means to sail away or cross back to Thraikia and found refuge in the forests of North-Western Anatolia. Whatever the case by end of the 8th century BCE the Bithynoi were well established, capable of assembling in enough numbers to raid and detriment Hellenic attempts of colonisation. However at the turn of the 7th century BCE Kimmerioi bands were causing upheaval in Mikra Asia. It is possible that the Bithynoi suffered heavily by these attacks, because from this time Hellenic colonies managed to survive and grow. Nonetheless the Bithynoi recovered, but by 560 BCE Kroisos of Lydia could consider Bithynian leaders as his tributary subjects. This also poses a problem, for Herodotos mentions Thynoi as Lydian tributaries as well. A tribe that in his time lived in European Thraikia, however neither Lydia, nor the Bithynoi had a navy and it is puzzling how these land based polities could have exercised authority across the Propontis. Therefore these Thynoi must have been living in the vicinity of the Bosporos Thraikios, on the side of Asia. However Dārayavahuš of PÔrsa (Darius I) around 515 BCE, formalised Bithynia as a dependency of Daskyleion, which provided, along with other regions, a tribute of 630 talents. The Bithynoi could do very little to oppose this situation: only two years later the Khšāyathiya Khšāyathiyānām (King of Kings) in person led a vast army to Chalkedon. This force had come to invade Skythia and while the fleet was securing a crossing of the Istros River, the Samian engineer Mandrokles bridged the Bosporos with pontoons. At this time the Thynoi, or the people that would later be named such, crossed with the Persian army. Their linguistic affinity with the other Thracian tribes, was definitely invaluable and Dārayavahuš might have pushed for their resettling. Later the campaign in Skythia failed and mixed reports reached Chalkedon, whose citizens even considered burning down the bridge. But Dārayavahuš made it back and punished the Chalkedonioi by destroying their temple to Apollon. Persian suzerainty had to be generally reasserted and Utāna was ordered to take over Chalkedon and Byzantion in 510 BCE. However the Hellenes at the Bosporos later supported the Ionian Revolt. In 493 BCE, upon hearing of Miletos' fall and of an incoming punitive expedition by the Ponnim fleet, the Chalkedonioi decided to flee and settle in Mesembria on the Thracian coast of the Pontos Euxeinos. In 480 BCE the Bithynoi were levied to supply a contingent for the invasion of Hellas. During the aftermath Persian authority steadily diminished in Bithynia, due to Hellenic intervention from the Propontis to the eastern Mediterranean. As a result the Bithynoi experienced the rise of native centralisation of power and around 440 BCE Doidalsas of Bithynia succeeded in unifying his people. Now Bithynia was de facto independent and Doidalsas mounted expeditions against Chalkedon, forcing the latter to appeal to Athenai. Thus Klerouchoi were sent to keep in check the Bithynoi. The Tholos tomb of Iznik (ancient Nikaia), dated to this period, likely belonged to Doidalsas, who established the ruling dynasty of Bithynia for the next 400 years.

    The Persian response to this new situation was to set up a dependency of the Khšašapāvan (Satrap) at Daskyleion, with headquarters in Kios. In 424 BCE the Athenian Strategos Lamachos was sent to the Pontos Euxeinos to collect tribute, but lost his ships due to a flood of the river where he had anchored. This compelled him to march inland across Bithynia to reach Chalkedon and his actions embittered relations further with the Bithynoi. They now were growing weary of Athenian expansion, being the only foreign power actively operating in their territory. In 410 BCE a reinstated Alkibiades set sail for Chrysopolis and set up a customs house, with a garrison imposing a 10% tax on cargos crossing the Bosporos from the Euxeinos. These dispositions alienated the Chalkedonioi, who revolted and allied with Sparta. Expecting to be put under siege, the Chalkedonion entrusted all their portable property to Boteiras, Doidalsas' son and successor. However in 409 BCE Alkibiades, with the Chalkedonian blockade in place, sent heralds threatening war against Bithynia, unless it handed over the possessions. Boteiras agreed and also stipulated a treaty of friendship. Meanwhile the Khšašapāvan Farnavaz (Pharnabazus) had arrived from Daskyleion, to raise the siege of Chalkedon and the Spartan Harmostes (military governor) Hippokrates sallied out to catch Alikibiades on two sides. But Farnavaz, slowed down by the Athenian stockades, was too late and withdrew. Later in 408 BCE an agreement was reached, where Farnavaz would pay twenty talents and present Athenian ambassadors to the Khšāyathiya Khšāyathiyānām, while both sides pledged to respect the other's territory. However Dārayavahuš of PÔrsa (Darius II) sent his son Kuruš (Cyrus the Younger) to support Sparta and in 405 BCE the Nauarchos Lysandros defeated the Athenian fleet. The following year Spartan garrisons were re-established at the Bosporos and Alkibiades, fearful of Lakedaimonian mastery in Hellas and the Aigaion, took all the loot he could, planning to offer his services to PÔrsa. However he had to travel across Bithynia and Boteiras was more than happy to repay him, by plundering and capturing much of the Athenian's riches. In 400 BCE Oi Myrioi (The Ten Thousand) had reached Bithynia, but frustration had led to internal division. The Arkades and Achaioi, 4,500 Hoplitai strong, due to their numerical superiority thought that the army's survival was thanks to their efforts and now decided to march alone. Their plan was to disembark at Kalpe and make a sudden assault on the Bithynoi to seize any loot. At dawn they attacked the nearest villages, but the Bithynoi at first fled in order to regroup the available forces and then ambushed an Arkadian Lochos (military company) and annihilated it at a gully. Right after they rushed towards another Lochos and killed every single mercenary, except for its Lochagos (company commander) and seven men, who managed to escape. The remaining Peloponnesioi had, in the mean time, assembled at a hill where they spent the night. While the Bithynoi mustered all the neighbouring men and now not only Peltastai, but also Hippei5 were called up. These resolutely encircled the hill and attacked from all sides, completely cutting off the Hellenes from any water. Thus the Peloponnesioi engaged in talks to set terms for a surrender. At the same time Xenophon had reached Kalpe, heard of their plight and rushed to their position setting ablaze as much territory as possible. This made his force appear large, but all he at were 1,700 Hoplitai, 300 Peltastai and 40 Hippeis. Nevertheless6 soon as they finished eating and put out their camp fires, the Bithynoi figured a massive night attack was about to start and fled. From Kios had also arrived Spithradata and Rathina with a considerable force of cavalry and infantry. They had been sent by Farnavaz, who up until now was delighted to have Hellenes and Bithynoi fighting eachother. But he was now worried Oi Myrioi would try to descend on Persian territory once more. His generals cut down 500 Hellenic foragers and at night Bithynoi assaulted Xenophon's camp, emerging from the surrounding forest. The following day Spithradata, Rathina and the Bithynoi joined forces and defeated the Hellenic Peltastai, but avoided any close encounter with the Hoplitai. This counted as a victory for Xenophon, since he was in command of the battlefield and after setting up a Tropaion, he led his men away. Having made contact with friendly Hellenic traders and communities, they sold their booty, marched to Chrysopolis and crossed over to Thraikia. In 398 BCE the Spartan Derkylidas was conducting a war to liberate the Asiatic Hellenes, but agreed to an eight months truce with Farnavaz. So he set about pillaging Bithynia. There he was joined by Odrysai, sent by their Basileus Seuthes II, who was subjugating every Thracian tribe. These Odrysai instead of plundering, right away built fortifications, planning to gradually take over the land. Boteiras had kept a close watch on these activities, especially keeping track of the Hellenic rading7 parties. After getting together all the Hippeis and Peltastai he had, Boteiras struck at dawn killing several men and all the Odrysai left guarding the booty. Which was recovered, the fallen were stripped of any valuable and as the Bithynoi came, they dispersed.8 In 395 BCE it was the Spartan Archagetes Agesilaos II, who was leading the war in Asia and after enjoying successes in Lydia moved for Paphlagonia. This was done at the behest of Spithradata, who had defected to him, promising him allies and resources there. They however decided to avoid any marching in Bithynia and sailed across it9, disembarking at Kios. There Agesilaos set up quarters to conduct a punitive expedition against the Mysoi, with whom he had a score to settle. However when Spartan officers demanded Spithradata to hand over what he had brought from Paphlagonia to be redistributed, he felt insulted and defected back to the Persian side. In 389 BCE the Athenian Strategos Thrasyboulos was bringing about the resurgence of his polis' power, by re-establishing friendly relations at the Bosporos, secured by both Byzantion and Chalkedon.

    In 387 BCE Āryabarzāna, who until now was holding Kios, succeeded his kinsman Farnavaz at Daskyleion. This was a temporary measure, because Farnavaz had been summoned to marry Artakhšaša of PÔrsa (Artaxerxes II)'s daughter Apamā. In 378 BCE Āryabarzāna supplied the Spartan diplomat Antalkidas with ships, for they were good friends since the time Āryabarzāna acted as an intermediary for peace talks. After two years Boteiras of Bithynia died and his son Bas inherited the leadership of the Bithynoi. Some time later Farnavaz died as well and Āryabarzāna started to act as guardian for the underaged son of Apamā. However in 367 BCE he refused to relinquish his power in Daskyleion and joined Dātama, a Khšašapāvan in open rebellion. Āryabarzāna at first was being hard pressed by loyal forces, but in 365 BCE secured assistance from Hellas, consisting of 8,000 mercenaries and thirty Triereis. This had been possible because Āryabarzāna had been the escort for the Athenian ambassadors, whom Farnavaz could not send to the royal court, and also thanks to his contacts in Lakonia. The new force, led by Agesilaos II in person, caused a reversal and soon all of Mikra Asia was in revolt. Mithradata, who had succeeded his father Āryabarzāna in Kios, tried to expand his family influence across the Euxeinos installing a Tyrannos in Herakleia Pontika by 364 BCE. But Klearchos, soon as he took power in Herakleia, imprisoned Mithradata for a ransom. There are no evidences of conflicts involving the Bithynoi, so Herakleia must have been a vital target for the rebels, because bypassing Bythinia had become the best course of action. Boteiras had made all too clear how invading it was not worth the effort and Bas made sure that status was preserved. In the meantime Āryabarzāna gifted Athenai the poleis of Sestos and Krithote, receiving in return Athenian citizenship for himself, his sons and an Hellenic subordinate. However Mithradata from the start had received orders from the Khšāyathiya Khšāyathiyānām to deal with Dātama and had been playing his part to gain the rebels' confidence. In 362 BCE he decided to act by seizing his own father Āryabarzāna, whom he handed over to Artakhšaša II for crucifixion, and requesting an audience with Dātama where he killed him with a concealed dagger. This allowed ArtavazdÔ, son of Farnavaz and Apamā, to finally take power as Khšašapāvan at Daskyleion. While Mithradata likely joined Artakhšaša II's court, becoming effectively an hostage, for his brother Āryabarzāna II took over as governor of Kios. However in 356 BCE ArtavazdÔ revolted, because Artakhšaša of PÔrsa (Artaxerxes III) had demanded the disbandment of private armies and mercenaries. Āryabarzāna II likely fought against the rebel, the latter supported by Athenai and Thebai. Isolated in Mikra Asia ArtavazdÔ had to flee in 352 BCE, seeking refuge at the court of Philippos II of Makedonia. In 337 BCE Āryabarzāna II died and his brother Mithradata II succedeed him, this was the third of Āryabarzāna's sons and there are no indications that the older Mithratada was reinstated or whether he was still alive. Mithradata II would actually have been guardian for Āryabarzāna II's son, another Mithradata, who was just 13 years old at the time. But the following year Makedonian troops invaded Asia and in 334 BCE the Hipparchos Kalas, son of Harpalos and first cousin of Antigonos Monophthalmos, was made Satrapes of Hellespontine Phrygia at Daskyleion. However in 326 BCE Kalas attacked the 71 years old Bas to annex Bithynia, but was soundly defeated and killed in battle. Bas died as well, whether in relation to the battle or not is unknown, and his son Zipoites took over the Bithynian leadership.

    Following the death of Megas Alexandros and soon as the political situation seemed somewhat clearer, local dynasties could pick sides.10 Mithradata II kept hold of Kios and sided with Eumenes of Kardia, in whose army his nephew Mithradata served. However after the defeat at Gabiene in 316 BCE, Mithradata joined Antigonos Monophthalmos, living at the latter's court as a token of loyalty, while his uncle kept power at Kios. The following year Antigonos prepared to face a massive coalition of Diadochoi and sent his own nephew Polemaios to protect Anatolia from Kassandros. Upon reaching Bithynia, Polemaios discovered that Zipoites was besieging Chalkedon and Astakos. In the ensuing parley Polemaios obtained a cessation of hostilities and an alliance by all parties to Antigonos. Later Antigonos sported a policy of freedom for every polis and probably around 306 BCE, when he assumed the diadem of Basileus, Antigoneia by Lake Askania was founded. However in 302 BCE Basileus Lysimachos of Thraikia invaded and Mithradata II was suspected of contemplating treason. Thus Antigonos Monophthalmos ordered his execution and for his nephew Mithradata a similar fate was planned. But Demetrios, co-ruler and son of Antigonos, had become a good friend of Mithradata and warned the latter. With all haste Mithradata fled to the fortress of Kimiata in northern Kappadokia, whence he would establish the Pontic kingdom as Mithradates I Ktistes (the Builder). Later in 301 BCE, with the death of Antigonos at Ipsos, Zipoites was free to resume his campaigns. He captured Astakos, while Chalkedon was saved by the intervention of Byzantion, alarmed by Bithynian power gaining access to the Bosporos. Zipoites was also encroaching on Herakleia Pontika's territory, but Lysimachos could not tolerate such a troublesome dynast at his doorstep. Astakos was rased and in 300 BCE Lysimachos refounded Antigoneia as Nikaia, becoming his stronghold against Zipoites. Nevertheless the Strategos sent to deal with Zipoites was killed and his successor did not fare any better, for he was repulsed. Bithynian independence was secured and in 297 BCE Zipoites proclaimed himself Basileus, founding Zipoition as his royal residence at the foot of Mount Lypedros, both unfortunately of unknown location. Later in 281 BCE Zipoites I sided with Seleukos I Nikator and helped defeating Lysimachos. The subsequent murder of Seleukos also absolved Zipoites of any obligation he had swore to abide. However Antiochos I dispatched his Strategos Patrokles to reassert Seleukid power in Mikra Asia. In turn Patrokles sent one of his officers, Hermogenes, to consolidate the Pontos Euxeinos' coast. In 280 BCE Herakleia Pontika surrendered upon hearing of the incoming army, thus Hermogenes turned his attention on Bithynia. However Zipoites ambushed him and annihilated the whole Seleukid army, but the following year he died as well.11

    This unleashed a succession crisis between the eldest son Nikomedes and another son named Zipoites. The latter held sway over eastern Bithynia and was supported by his other two brothers. This Zipoites did not recognize Nikomedes' rule and concentrated on expanding his own domain at the expenses of Herakleia Pontika. Nikomedes, unlike his brother, was far more aware of the larger geo-political stage: he offered back to Herakleia Pontika all the territory conquered by his father, which was held by his brother, in exchange for an alliance. Thus Nikomedes gained Herakleian maritime skills and assistance from a professional fleet. Most of all, conscious of Antiochos I preparations for a personally led invasion, Nikomedes allied himself with Antigonos Gonatas of Makedonia. Nonetheless neither side engaged the other and the two Basileis reached an agreement, leaving Nikomedes isolated in 278 BCE. With very few options left, Nikomedes gambled a dangerous alliance with the Galatai, specifically the tribes of the Tektosages, Trokmoi and Tolistobogioi. Their warriors helped him defeat his brother, unite Bithynia and even expand it further inland, where Nikomedes founded the military colony of Bithynion. At that point, taking the acquired loot, the Galatai disbanded and settled in a land of their choosing, which was named Galatia after them. This granted Nikomedes momentary respite for Antiochos I would have to deal with the newcomers, spending his resources and men in the process. Now Nikomedes concentrated on his Phihellenic policy, founding Nikomedeia in 264 BCE where once Astakos stood, resettling the latter's survivors. This new capital on the Propontis brought commerce and a link to the Hellenistic world, with its culture. A statue of Nikomedes was erected in Olympia and sacrificies in his honour were performed at Kos, an island off the Karian coast. Nikomedes also pursued friendly relations with Makedonia and the Ptolemaioi. Thus around 250 BCE, nearing his death, Nikomedes named Ptolemaios II Philadelphos, Antigonos II Gonatas, Byzantion, Herakleia and Kios guardians of his children by his second wife Hetazeta. However his first born, by another wife, Zileilas had found refuge at Arsham I of Hayasdan's court. During the regency of her step-mother, Zileilas gathered an army, boosted by the Tolistobogioi and invaded Bithynia. The Bithynoi made the last surviving brother of Nikomedes I, whom the latter pardoned in the past, marry Hetazeta and rallied under his leadership. The neighbouring guardian poleis also sent reinforcements and at first they withstood any offensive, but by 246 BCE Zileilas had become Basileus. The guardians signed a truce with Zileilas, while Hetazeta and her sons fled to Makedonia. The new Bithynian Basileus engaged in further expansion, capturing Kieros, promoting urbanization there and at Bithynion. Then in 245 BCE Zileilas had his daughter marry Antiochos Hierax, who had claimed the Seleukid diadem, and exploited the latter's conflict to expand his influence. However in 228 BCE, defeated and without pay or loot to live off, the Galatai fighting for Hierax abandoned him and went on raiding, killing Zileilas in the process.

    Thus Prousias I12 became Basileus of Bithynia and right from 227 BCE munificently sponsored reconstructions at Rhodos. The island had been hit by a severe earthquake and Prousias planned on outdoing any Hellenistic Basileus regarding benefactions. This gesture granted Prousias much amity among the Hellenes and he went on instituting Soteiria games. However the Byzantioi refused to participate and even aborted the construction of statues they had decreed in Prousias' name. In fact Byzantion was ultimating the construction of fortifications at Hieron on the Bosporos. Thus in 220 BCE Byzantion imposed taxes on the traffic to the Pontos Euxeinos, causing Prousias to declare war against them. The latter was joined by Rhodos, although its fleet limited itself on blockading the Hellespontos. Right away the Bithynoi were successful in dismantling any stronghold, but news reached Prousias that Tiboites, one of Hetazeta's sons, was marching from Makedonia to claim Bithynia. Fortunately for Prousias his uncle died and to avoid other reinforcements to easily reach Byzantion, the Bithynian Basileus hired nearby tribes in Thraikia.13 However Kavaros of Tylis, even though was exacting an 80 talents tribute from Bithynia, did not appreciate any neighbouring power getting supremacy of the Bosporos. And together with Rhodos was growing apprehensive of Prousias' imminent success. They pressed for a peace agreement that in 219 BCE brought back the status quo, compelling Prousias to give up all his conquests and lifting the Byzantine toll at the Bosporos. In the meantime Attalos I of Pergamon was fighting against Achaios at Sardis and had settled the Aigosages in the Troas. However these tribesmen started to raid Ilion and Abydos, which begged Pergamon for deliverance, but Attalos could not dispatch any force. Thus in 218 BCE Prousias took the initiative, perhaps to reinstate a good image among the Hellenes after his war with Byzantion, and slaughtered the whole tribe. Around this time Prousias also married Philippos V of Makedonia's half-sister Apama, establishing an alliance. Later in 208 BCE Prousias I sided with Philippos V in his war against the SPQR and their allies, bolstering the Makedonian fleet and invading Mysia the following year to force Attalos I to concentrate his army away from Makedonia. Eventually Philippos V signed a peace treaty, in the name of Prousias I as well, but in 202 BCE they now moved to expand in the Aigaion and Propontis. Prousias was particularly interested in Kios, which had fell in the hands of the Tyrannos Molpagoras, and together with Makedonian troops invested it. However Philippos V made sure that these additions to Bithynia were destroyed, but Prousias quickly refounded Kios into Prousas and expanded the port of Myrleia as the polis of Apameia Myrleia. These actions brought again Roman intervention in 200 BCE, but Prousias, either embittered by the Makedonian destruction of his conquests or simply too preoccupied with consolidating them against Pergamon, kept himself out of that conflict. In fact it seems that Prousias had managed to encroach in northern Mysia during the previous war. Around 190 BCE Antiochos Megas might have approached Prousias, after sufferring defeats in the Aigaion and losing control of it, hoping to gain his assistance against Pergamon. However Roman letters from the Scipiones and a Legatvs from the Propraetor Caivs Livivs Salinator, informed Prousias I that the SPQR had no quarrel with him. With such ease of mind the Bithynoi descended on Phrygia capturing large tracts of land and expanding as far as the River Ryndakos in Mysia. However in 188 BCE the SPQR dictated that Prousias had to restore to Pergamon all of Mysia, the Bithynian Basileus complied, but at the same time granted asylum to Hannibal Barca14. Unable to expand westwards and southwards, Prousias now moved against Herakleia Pontika retaking Keiros. Which was refounded as Prousas by the Hypios. The Bithynian assault continued with much success as far as Herakleia Pontika itselt, but during the siege Prousias one of his legs was broken and he had to be carried away. The Bithynian army fell back and Prousias was nicknamed as Cholos (the Lame), convincing Eumenes II of Pergamon that Bithynia could be invaded in 186 BCE. Ortiagontes, a chief of the Galatai, supported Prousias I Cholos, but in 184 BCE Eumenes II won a great victory near Mount Lypedros. Nevertheless the war still hanged15 in balance and Hannibal Barca even forced Eumenes II back to his camp during a naval engagement, employing earthen pots filled with venomous snakes16. Following the reversal Hannibal rallied the Bithynoi and won engagements on land against the Pergamenoi. At this point the SPQR intervened and arbitrated a peace agreement, whereby Prousias I ceded all his territorial gains around Mount Olympos to Eumenes II. To ensure Roman magnanimity the Bithynian Basileus also promised to hand over Hannibal, who in turn ended his life with poison in 183 BCE. One year later Prousias I Cholos died as well and his son Prousias II Kynegos (the Hunter) succeeded him.

    Faced with the ever increasing Roman influence in Asia, Prousias II aligned his policy to Eumenes II's. Thus Bithynia supported, albeit negligibly, the war against Pharnakes I of Pontos. Which concluded in 179 BCE, mostly due to procrastination by17 the Roman diplomacy. Then Prousias II engaged in larger political networking: he offered the spoils of war to Apollon at Dydima, was honoured an equestrian statue at Delphoi and sent ambassadors to the Apteraioi in Krete. But most of all Prousias II married Perseus of Makedonia's sister Apama, cementing further the bond between the two royal houses. However, keeping a neutral stance to judge which side held the upper hand, in 169 BCE Prousias II dispatched five warships to help the Consvl Qvintvs Marcivs Philippvs in his Makedonian campaign. In the following years Prousias II attempted in every way to undermine Pergamon's standing and influence through diplomatic channels, with the help of envoys from Galatia as well. However this was due to Prousias II's misguided interpretation of Roman uneasiness towards Pergamese expansion as possible open hostility. Later in 156 BCE Prousias II Kynegos invaded Mysia, raiding along the way unopposed. Because Attalos II Philadelphos of Pergamon did not want to engage in open hostilities without Roman approval. Thus when the Roman commission requested an audience, Prousias II presented himself with his army in full force and rushed to Pergamon. Planning on capturing Attalos II himself, who shut himself in his capital. Unable to assault such a formidable polis, Prousias II's army went on looting temples and the countryside in Mysia. The SPQR limited itself on sending another commission to denounce Prousias II, who kept on raiding throughout 155 BCE. In the meantime Attalos II had assembled a considerable force, with the support of Mithradates IV of Pontos and Ariarathes V of Kappadokia. Now Roma dispatched allied forces to guard coastal fortifications, in order to prevent other polities to join Prousias II. At this point the Bithynian Basileus realized his cause was futile and accepted the conditions for peace, which made Bithynia a tributary state of Pergamon for the next twenty years as indemnity.

    Prousias II eldest son, Nikomedes, was sent to Roma to establish beneficial relations with important figures and in 149 BCE to lessen the tribute. While the Bithynoi were growing restless of Prousias II's rule due to fiscal pressure.18 Nikomedes might have indeed followed these instructions, but he likely presented himself as the guarantor and returned to Bithynia hailed as Basileus by the Bithynian army and supported by Attalos II's troops. Gates were opened to the usurper, who had his father assassinated. At first Nikomedes II kept a subservient stance towards Pergamon, but eventually relations deteriorated and Attalos II successfully invaded Bithynia. However Nikomedes II's contacts in Roma affirmed his rights in the Senatvs and any gains by Pergamon were lost. The Bithynian Basileus also assumed the title of Epiphanes (god manifest) and introduced something of a state cult for the royal family. In 132 BCE Nikomedes II provided assistance against the pretender Aristonikos of Pergamon and in vain attempted to be granted northern Mysia by the SPQR. In 127 BCE Nikomedes III Euergetes (benefactor) succeeded his father and initiated a policy if not hostile, at least unfriendly towards Roma. For he had been hardpressed by the Roman collection of tribute and had failed, through corruption, to gain a favourable vote against a law that incremented said tribute. Around 113 BCE, in alliance with Mithradates VI of Pontos, Nikomedes III conquered a smaller portion of Paphlagonia. When the Senatvs' commission demanded the restitution of Paphlagonia, Nikomedes III renamed one of his sons as Pylaimenes (the traditional name for the ruler of Paphlagonia) and claimed that legitimacy had been restored already. This did not last long and eventually the bastard son, Sokrates, was removed as ruler. Later in 104 BCE the SPQR asked for allied contingents against the Kimbroi, but Nikomedes III Euergetes replied he had no none. Declaring how the Pvblicani (tax collectors)19 had made the Bithynoi slaves, for the widespread poverty in Asia had unleashed bands of slavers in the neighbouring states. Although such depredations occurred, Nikomedes III still had troops and used them to capture Kappadokia, which was under the regency of Laodike. She was Mithridates VI's sister, but the Pontic Basileus desired a direct control of her domain. Thus she married Nikomedes III, whose expansion gave Mithridates VI just the excuse he was looking for and expelled them. In the following years the Bithynian royal couple begged for Roman intervention, which obviously never materialized. Having alienated any power capable of supporting him, Nikomedes III died in 94 BCE and his son Nikomedes IV Philopator, by the latter's first wife the Kappadokian princess Nysa, now set forth patching up relations with the SPQR. However Mithradates VI lost no time and dispatched his Strategos Archelaos with a massive army of 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry in 90 BCE to set up Sokrates as a puppet Basileus of Bithynia. The SPQR could not tolerate such an expansion of Pontic influence and the governor of Asia Caivs Cassivs was tasked in supporting Nikomedes IV. The following year with the help of Phrygian and Galatian reinforcements, the Roman army quickly cleared Bithynia and Kappadokia. Mithradates VI could only watch as pro-Roman Basileis took over his dependencies, executing Sokrates in the process. Now Roman authorities, who did not want to engage in open warfare with Pontos, incited Nikomedes IV to wage raids against Mithradates VI. The Bithynian Basileus had to give in, hard pressed to cover the debts he had promised along his restoration. These raids went on unopposed, for such acts permitted Mithradates VI to rally his subjects and people of Mikra Asia against Roman sponsored oppression, starting a major war.20 The Bithynoi were assigned to the vanguard, but although outnumbering the Pontic outriders, they were defeated by superior tactics and the use of scythed chariots. Nikomedes IV fled to regroup with the Roman contingents, but the Pontic onslaught was unstoppable and a small detachment of Sauromatae was able to charge and cut down the larger opposition. Bithynia for the next three years belonged to Mithradates VI, only then by a peace agreement with Lvcivs Cornelivs Svlla was Nikomedes IV, who had fled to the Italian Peninsula, back in power. Around 80 BCE Caiv Ivlivs Caesar joined Nikomedes IV's court, asking for naval assistance against pirates in the Aigaion and after two years sailed to Mytilene, where he was successful. However Bithynia had been severely weakened and its resources depleted, thus in 74 BCE dying Nikomedes IV bequeathed it to the SPQR.

    In fact the late Basileus only had a daughter by his wife of the same name Nysa, a kinswoman of Laodike. The latter had wanted this marriage and Nysa might have had already a son, Lykomedes. Who now claimed the Bithynian diadem, but was unsuccessful. In any way21 Mithradates VI of Pontos had returned and invaded once again Bithynia, whose defenses were being organized by Caivs Ivlivs Caesar. But the Pontic army and fleet struck for the Bosporos, where the Consvl Marcvs Avrelivs Cotta held Chalkedon. The Bastarnai of the vanguard managed to break the long chain of bronze that guarded the harbour entrance, allowing the Pontic fleet to swarm in. Four Roman vessels were defeated and resistance collapsed, thus Mithradates VI was free to captured the remaining 60 Roman warships. Such overwhelming victory turned the local support in favour of the Pontic Basileus and the Roman troops had to regroup in Phrygia. Nevertheless by 72 BCE the tide of war had been reversed and Mithradates VI's position in Bithynia became untenable. Thus taking any wealth that remained, the Pontic Basileus and his army evacuated by sea. With the major powers' attention elsewhere, Bithynia became something of a political limbo with the poleis being left to themselves. Orsobaris, the youngest daughter of Mithradates VI, married Lykomedes and started to mint coins in Prousa. Even in 67 BCE when the Consvl Manivs Acilivs Glabrio was given the new Provincia of Bithynia et Pontus, he made light work of taking control of Bithynia. Still the following year Bithynian levies were sent to Gnaevs Pompeivs for his offensive against Mithradates VI. But only in 64 BCE did Gnaevs Pompeivs settle affairs to form a single administrative unit of Bithynia and Pontos. Now Bithynia started to recover economically and its population was generally favourable to Caivs Ivlivs Caesar, likely thanks to his stay and operations22. In 47 BCE as Dictator he granted the priesthood of Komana to Lykomedes, while later in 29 BCE Nikaia was allowed to establish a precinct to Roma and to Divvs Ivlivs (the divine Julius). Nikomedeia subsequently, engaged in a rivalry for honours between poleis, built a temple to Avgvstvs.

    Strategy

    Bithynia is a province rich in many resources, with an enviable geographical position23. Any ruler would be wise keeping it secured, or even establishing his seat of power in it.


    I numbered each point which needs revising in the text above. While posting this, however, I noticed something I missed earlier and resized it. Consider changing the grammatical construction.

    1. Striking. Spelling error.
    2. I'd advise against using an unnecessary and obscure synonym for “architectural.”
    3. Ensuring?
    4. Needless "but."
    5. So the Bithynian natives fought in a Greek fashion? Furthermore, did the conflict between Hellenic colonies and natives continue into the Alexandrian period?
    6. Insert "as."
    7. Raiding. Spelling error.
    8. The two prior sentences just need some general clarification.
    9. Across what?
    10. Sides among whom? Alexander's successors? Clarify that point. Never assume the reader always understands the region's history.
    11. Rephrase the last clause as "but died the following year." It's more concise and readable.
    12. Son of Zileilas? The point's not entirely straightforward.
    13. Hired for what purpose?
    14. Add that Prousias employed Hannibal. It smooths the transition to later sentences and aids understanding.
    15. Hung, not hanged.
    16. Arguably, the most interesting fact of the bunch.
    17. "By," is awkward. Consider changing to "in."
    18. "While," to "pressure." is a fragment.
    19. Roman tax collectors.
    20. Interesting interplay between ruler and ruled. On a general note, concentrate more on the province itself rather than the leaders. The kings represented a pitiful fraction of the population yet almost every statement concerns only the rulers. Remember, this is not a history of Bithynian Basileis but Bithynia.
    21. Change "In any way," to "In any case."
    22. How did his operations benefit the populace?
    23. Expand on why the position is enviable.

    Overall, though fascinating, the history section indicates clear misunderstanding of the audience. The length poses a major problem, which itself stems from a deeper root: the content. Instead of providing a brief historical overview of the province, the description enumerates every political occurrence in the province's history regardless of how negligible an effect it had on Bithynia's development. It essentially constitutes superficial recitation of facts devoid of any meaning, which in turn, implies a profound misapprehension of the nature of history. History represents not a body of names, dates and events, but a combination of numerous other fields, most importantly sociology, political science and archaeology, which endeavour to explain the past, not just record it. Facts form the basis of history. Analysis with the ultimate goal of understanding forms the substance.

    My only suggestion for improvement it is to compress most of the information. Instead of spending an entire paragraph devoted to a single ruler's actions, merely mention them as part of a wider trend in Bithynian history. In fact, only the truly pivotal rulers deserve mention by name at all. Unless an individual is responsible for long term changes in the political, social and cultural framework in Bithynia, don't include them. Recounting each leader, temporary alliance and minor skirmish just makes for bad history and reading. Long reading.



    I welcome any criticism on Persis.
    Last edited by Rex Somnorum; 07-25-2013 at 01:31. Reason: Spatial dyslexia

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  17. #137

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    I know I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would let anyone concerned know that I am almost finished with Kush. I also am relinquishing Elymais. As commoner, I have very little access to specialised resources on Elymais and had a difficult time finding any detailed information. I happen to know more about African history and would happily take a African province instead. Which ones have yet to be called?

  18. #138
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    5. So the Bithynian natives fought in a Greek fashion? Furthermore, did the conflict between Hellenic colonies and natives continue into the Alexandrian period?
    They fought as mounted javelineers, I kept the same name of EBI's unit Thraikioi Hippeis (Hippeis being also the word any Hellenic/Hellenistic person would use to define them. Lacking a Bithynian noun for it)...
    It most certainly did and well into the Hellenistic period too...

    8. The two prior sentences just need some general clarification.
    I don't fully get that, sorry...

    22. How did his operations benefit the populace?
    We don't know, maybe he helped securing them inside the walls. Or he organized defenses against raiders. Or it was just the nobles at court that appreciated his defense of Nysa and anything else/other favour he might've done to them. I'm leaving out speculations when they are so broad, what is known is that he was there and is said to have helped and later the Bithynoi established a cult to him...

    20. Interesting interplay between ruler and ruled. On a general note, concentrate more on the province itself rather than the leaders. The kings represented a pitiful fraction of the population yet almost every statement concerns only the rulers. Remember, this is not a history of Bithynian Basileis but Bithynia.
    But what was recorded was the Basileis' history. Which influenced Bithynia's and "reading between the lines" there are the deeds of the Bithynoi following those Basileis...

    Overall, though fascinating, the history section indicates clear misunderstanding of the audience. The length poses a major problem, which itself stems from a deeper root: the content. Instead of providing a brief historical overview of the province, the description enumerates every political occurrence in the province's history regardless of how negligible an effect it had on Bithynia's development. It essentially constitutes superficial recitation of facts devoid of any meaning, which in turn, implies a profound misapprehension of the nature of history. History represents not a body of names, dates and events, but a combination of numerous other fields, most importantly sociology, political science and archaeology, which endeavour to explain the past, not just record it. Facts form the basis of history. Analysis with the ultimate goal of understanding forms the substance.
    I disagree, while yes it is lengthy and needs to be shortened, the idea behind is that it offers the players the following:

    - Understanding of the events and political precedences connected to the region, to allow the player to choose any course of action in response to them.
    - A possible guideline for the Hellenistic period.
    - A model on which to base any RPing policy.

    You might see it as a boring list of events, probably due to my bad writing, but the "fields" are there (examples: euergesia towards Rhodos, which enables military assistance. [political science?] Intricacies related to the establishment on new tributes and how it affected the populace, prompting their reaction. [sociology?] 5th century tholos showing a new/stronger leadership; funeral stela to gather the Bithynian (at least higher class) clothing [archaeology?]
    I tried my best with a part of the world and history, relatively unknown. I'd love to write more detailed or encompassing analysis towards a greater understanding, but there isn't so much about Bithynia (in the languages I can read). Bithynian history is an history of minor skirmishes (in your opinion), diplomatic/political games played along/against greater powers. Regardless of how your subjectivity perceives it, that's its history.
    Stylistically I hoped that was the shortest way of writing it (! XD). For by connecting the concepts into a cause-effect or broad implications, it'd become an even longer read...

    I welcome any criticism on Persis.
    Afaik Parsapura is Sanskrit and the Persians called it Parsa like their homeland.
    Also I'm just going to redirect your point: you make an overview of the development of civilization in Fars (which is interesting, but personally I find it only remotely connected to "our" Persis. Which yourself mention changed in culture and gets the minimal attention. But I know how difficult it is to write with little evidences.). After that you jump between few Kings and hardly speak of anything about Persis, condensing the whole Hellenistic age portion of EBII's in a sentence. Which as far as we know, it wasn't even "simply another province in a vast empire", for by numismatics alone there's ground to see Persis' political independence and from there it could be reconstructed its relation and 'political power-play' between Seleukia and Parthia. The only portion of Iranian Persis' history is the burning of its capital and in a very oratorical manner.

    I don't pretent to know any 'right' or 'wrong' way, but the way I see it your suggestion of 'compressing' makes for a rather superficial approach, which generalises and in the end says little to nothing...

    These History sections are a very complex issue, imo, should we offer the players the prior knowledged up to 272 BCE of what is necessary to "know where and what you are"? Or grant them the tools to undestand and being able to recreate at their leisure "hellenistic life", to the best of the evidences allow? Or just throw at them a snapshot and call it a day? I do not know, that's why I'm leaving mine as they are, for the team to make that call. Because the required brevity in itself denies the proper delivery of what is asked for...

    Still thanks for the fixes, those I understood, I've implemented right away :)

    @Perditrix Mvndorvm I'm just going to quote GSC's former post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius Scribonius Curio View Post
    Oasis Megale, Triakontaschoinos, Erythraia and Libye all need authors too.
    BTW can't wait for Kush, I'm very interested in it and so far haven't been able to read about it (some books must have been printed in golden ink and platinum pages, given their prices XD)
    Last edited by Arjos; 07-25-2013 at 08:12.

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  19. #139
    Tribunus Plebis Member Gaius Scribonius Curio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    Lack of reviewing, or at least very slow reviewing. Work on other areas of the mod seems to be surging ahead, and I'd like to expedite the process by any road possible. It's the primary reason I chose to contribute, even if my fraction of the effort is pitiful compared to others. My impression was readers would correct and refine province descriptions so that by the time the team's actual historians read them - who are very few in number, to my knowledge - most of the work has been done. And considering the length of some descriptions, the work load is heavy indeed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjos View Post
    That is the whole point of this project: letting them use their time fully on everything else...
    And this isn't happening how?
    I mean if you are referring to grammar and such, I don't see why you couldn't offer to be a proofreader (since I'm gathering, you are keen on it). Or do it right of the bat.
    Otherwise demanding that people should do it, it would be forcible. Not that such freedom of action is in any way precluded...

    Also I cannot speak for the team, but I think they'd like to have some credentials or confidence in any volunteer, for such a delicate task as proofreading.
    For example I can easily see how terrible I would be with my own mother tongue :P

    And again, we are in the middle of holiday season. If anyone wants to do something, it'd be great and welcomed. But otherwise let people live ^^
    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    Obviously. Which is why I suggested - not demanded: suggested - non-EB team readers could proofread them and save the team effort.
    I believe that I speak for the EB team as a whole when I say that any critiques, if they provide constructive feedback, are welcomed. Having said that, we reserve the right to further editing if we feel that it requires it.
    However, as has been mentioned, as far as I am concerned, the inclusion of deliberately provocative items, or mistakes, is counterproductive. While I appreciate the point that you raise, Rex Somnorum, it is the middle of the Northern Summer and people are travelling. More pertinently while I am making an effort to read each and every post in this thread briefly, I am currently more concerned with writing the Roman and Bosporan building descriptions (which is a huge task, as I am sure that you can appreciate) and do not have the time to proofread these carefully alongside my own research and teachingů
    The team as an entity will get to these eventually, until such a point we are grateful for all the work put in by our fans, ask for patience, and welcome any constructive feedback from among the wider group. If you would like to volunteer, Rex Somnorum, you could take temporary charge of editing for this thread, but please do not feel under any pressure or obligation to do soů

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    In other news, I'll take Karmania if it's free.
    Karmania is free, please proceed, if you are so inclined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    Overall, though fascinating, the history section indicates clear misunderstanding of the audience. The length poses a major problem, which itself stems from a deeper root: the content. Instead of providing a brief historical overview of the province, the description enumerates every political occurrence in the province's history regardless of how negligible an effect it had on Bithynia's development. It essentially constitutes superficial recitation of facts devoid of any meaning, which in turn, implies a profound misapprehension of the nature of history. History represents not a body of names, dates and events, but a combination of numerous other fields, most importantly sociology, political science and archaeology, which endeavour to explain the past, not just record it. Facts form the basis of history. Analysis with the ultimate goal of understanding forms the substance.

    My only suggestion for improvement it is to compress most of the information. Instead of spending an entire paragraph devoted to a single ruler's actions, merely mention them as part of a wider trend in Bithynian history. In fact, only the truly pivotal rulers deserve mention by name at all. Unless an individual is responsible for long term changes in the political, social and cultural framework in Bithynia, don't include them. Recounting each leader, temporary alliance and minor skirmish just makes for bad history and reading. Long reading.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arjos View Post
    But what was recorded was the Basileis' history. Which influenced Bithynia's and "reading between the lines" there are the deeds of the Bithynoi following those Basileis...
    I disagree, while yes it is lengthy and needs to be shortened, the idea behind is that it offers the players the following:
    - Understanding of the events and political precedences connected to the region, to allow the player to choose any course of action in response to them.
    - A possible guideline for the Hellenistic period.
    - A model on which to base any RPing policy.
    You might see it as a boring list of events, probably due to my bad writing, but the "fields" are there (examples: euergesia towards Rhodos, which enables military assistance. [political science?] Intricacies related to the establishment on new tributes and how it affected the populace, prompting their reaction. [sociology?] 5th century tholos showing a new/stronger leadership; funeral stela to gather the Bithynian (at least higher class) clothing [archaeology?]
    I tried my best with a part of the world and history, relatively unknown. I'd love to write more detailed or encompassing analysis towards a greater understanding, but there isn't so much about Bithynia (in the languages I can read). Bithynian history is an history of minor skirmishes (in your opinion), diplomatic/political games played along/against greater powers. Regardless of how your subjectivity perceives it, that's its history.
    Stylistically I hoped that was the shortest way of writing it (! XD). For by connecting the concepts into a cause-effect or broad implications, it'd become an even longer read...
    Also I'm just going to redirect your point: you make an overview of the development of civilization in Fars (which is interesting, but personally I find it only remotely connected to "our" Persis. Which yourself mention changed in culture and gets the minimal attention. But I know how difficult it is to write with little evidences.). After that you jump between few Kings and hardly speak of anything about Persis, condensing the whole Hellenistic age portion of EBII's in a sentence. Which as far as we know, it wasn't even "simply another province in a vast empire", for by numismatics alone there's ground to see Persis' political independence and from there it could be reconstructed its relation and 'political power-play' between Seleukia and Parthia. The only portion of Iranian Persis' history is the burning of its capital and in a very oratorical manner.

    I don't pretent to know any 'right' or 'wrong' way, but the way I see it your suggestion of 'compressing' makes for a rather superficial approach, which generalises and in the end says little to nothing...

    These History sections are a very complex issue, imo, should we offer the players the prior knowledged up to 272 BCE of what is necessary to "know where and what you are"? Or grant them the tools to undestand and being able to recreate at their leisure "hellenistic life", to the best of the evidences allow? Or just throw at them a snapshot and call it a day? I do not know, that's why I'm leaving mine as they are, for the team to make that call. Because the required brevity in itself denies the proper delivery of what is asked for...
    This discussion raises two important points: length and content. While I am tempted to bypass the question and state that there will always be differences in approach, I will make an attempt for some sort of consistency.

    While the team recognises the broad swathe of history, encompassing royal, noble and Ĺpeasantĺ history, stretching from the Atlantic to India, there obviously has to be a limit somewhere. Unlike the proclivities of my esteemed colleague (and I would hope friend) @ Brennus I would press for a limit of 1000-1500 words per description all up. Exceptions should be granted in exceptional cases, but I believe that a decent and accurate overview of a given province can be achieved within that limit. If this provokes a storm of protests, then consider me overruled, but that was the expectation placed upon me when I joined the team, and is what I continue to aim for.

    Here is an example of a shorter description already integrated into the build that fulfils our criteria:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Overview

    On the farthest shores of Euxeinos, the Bosporion Tyrannesis holds sway. It is a kingdom of Hellenes and barbarians, a cluster of poleis surrounding the entrance to the Maeotian Lake, beyond which lies the vast emptiness of the open steppe. Truly this might be considered the very edge of the civilised world. This coalition controls the route up the mighty Tanais, monopolising the trade with the Skythai and Sauromatai beyond. Furs, fish, hides and slaves are among the items sold on to Hellas. Yet it is the natural gifts of the Bosporos which provide the foundations for the kingdomĺs success. The fertile land brings forth such copious amounts of grain that even the vast demand of grandiose Athenai cannot exhaust their supply, while their coasts are ringed with natural harbours and populated by a plethora of cities. It is for this reason that the pressure of Skythai is resisted, the freezing assaults of Boreas endured and that the Bosporion Tyrannesis, under its Leuconidean basileis, remains a force to be reckoned with.

    Geography

    The poleis of the Bosporion Tyrannesis are constructed in the harbours and coves surrounding the entrance to the Maeotian Lake (Sea of Azov). While numerous rivers flow into this internalised sea, by far the most important is the Tanais (Don), which flows from the midst of the Russian steppe. In addition the Hypanis (Kuban), which used to empty into the strait separating the Maeotis from the Euxeinos (Black Sea) and, now, flows directly into the lake, watered the area known as the Sind, the source of much of the kingdomĺs agricultural capacity.

    The area suffers particularly harsh winters due to prevailing winds crossing the steppe from Siberia, and, given the extremely low salinity of the Maeotian lake, the waterways of the area are prone to freeze over, perhaps giving rise to the tales, related by Strabon, of fish being cut out of the ice (Str. VII.3.18).

    The area surrounding the straits was noted in antiquity for its bounty; huge fish abounded (Herod. IV.53, Str. VII.3.18), but it is grain that was the staple export of the Bosporion Tyrannesis. Strabon notes the extreme fertility of the region, stating that the Greeks and Mithridates of Pontos imported Bosporan harvests (VII.4.4, 6). Certainly Athens was one beneficiary, providing a huge and willing market for Euxine grain (Isoc. XVII.3-5, Thuc. III.2.2).

    History

    The Bosporion Tyrannesis originally arose out of a coalition of Hellenic colonies clustered at the mouth of the Maeotian Lake (Sea of Azov). Pantikapaion (modern Kerch), later the seat of the Bosporan rulers, was founded by the Milesians, after driving out the Skythians who had originally inhabited the area, in the late 6th century BCE (Plin. HN. IV.86, Str. XII.2.6). Across the straits, Hermonassa was built by the Mytilineans in the same period, while Phangoria was founded by the Teans in approximately 550 BCE (Herod. I.162-164). The relationship with the neighbouring Skythians does not seem to have been overly unstable, but by 500 BCE, these initial colonies seem to have merged their sovereignty against outside threats, with the possible inclusion of the nearby Sindi, whose small islands in the delta of the Hypanis (Kuban) were extremely fertile.

    An early ĹArchneanicĺ dynasty seems to have arisen in approximately 480, displaced four decades later by the first Spartokos (Diod. XII.36f.). The long reigns of his son and grandson, Satyros and Leucon, oversaw the rise of the kingdom to a substantial power (Diod. XIV.95, XVI.31.6, XVI.52.10). This coincided with a huge rise in demand for grain from Aegean states, particularly Athens and Mytilene and the Bosporion Tyrannesis, with its huge production capacity, stepped into this niche as a stable and reliable supplier (Lys. XVI.4, Isoc. XVII.3-5, Thuc. III.2.2). During this period, the emerging kingdom annexed the city of Theodosia in the southern Crimea, and fought an indecisive conflict with Heraklea Pontika ([Arist.] Oec. II.2.8, Polyaen. V.23, 44, VI.9.2-4, VII.57).

    In the late 4th century bce, a brief civil war was fought, but the ambitious victor, Eumeles, restored order, attempting to police the Euxeinos against piracy. His son, Spartokus III, became the first Bosporan to be called ĹBasileusĺ (CIRB 974, 1043). Even during this apogee, however, the Bosporans never claimed to rule the Skythai in their midst.

    The collapse of Athens as a secure market led to an extensive and wide-ranging search for a replacement buyer, but, by and large, this was never forthcoming. While a Paerisades managed to distract Atheas of the Skythai (Dem. XXXIV.8), and seems to have been granted divine honours (Str. VII.4.4), the age of Bosporan expansion was largely over. Palakus, a son of Skilouros, managed to unite the Tauroi and Rhoxolanoi against the Bosporan rulers in the late 2nd Century BCE in the course of his conflict with Mithridates VI Eupator of Pontos, to whom the final dynast, Paerisdae V, entrusted his kingdom. Some final intrigue involving a Skythian named Saumakos, raised at the court, attempting to seize power was crushed, and Pantikapaion became the centre of the Pontic rulerĺs northern domain. This area passed to his son, Pharnakes, upon his final defeat, until he succumbed to Caesar, and finally became a Roman client kingdom.


    While EB II is focused on the Hellenistic period, we recognise that it cannot be analysed in a vacuum. Previous, and in some cases subsequent developments, can be examined. In terms of socio-political or cultural developments as opposed to what might (cruelly) be referred to as ĹKings and Datesĺ history: both have their merits. It is easy as an aspiring (English as a First Language) academic to sit back and criticise these descriptions at a post-graduate level, but most of the people writing do not have those advantages. If there is a critical weakness with a particular description, we will endeavour to fill it or recognise it, but exhaustive presentation of the facts is as valid approach as a prima facie more nuanced investigation of the development of land division.

    In summary, I encourage those engaged in this aspect of the project to engage in as much constructive criticism (and peer-review) as you wish to, but please be mindful that everyone wants to advance the project and will not be approaching this from the same historiographical perspective.

    Thank youů
    Last edited by Gaius Scribonius Curio; 07-25-2013 at 11:06. Reason: Grammar...
    Nihil nobis metuendum est, praeter metum ipsum. - Caesar
    We have not to fear anything, except fear itself.



    Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram
    perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna:
    quale per incertam lunam sub luce maligna
    est iter in silvis, ubi caelum condidit umbra
    Iuppiter, et rebus nox abstulit atra colorem.
    - Vergil

  20. #140

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    They fought as mounted javelineers, I kept the same name of EBI's unit Thraikioi Hippeis (Hippeis being also the word any Hellenic/Hellenistic person would use to define them. Lacking a Bithynian noun for it)...
    It most certainly did and well into the Hellenistic period too...
    "Peltastai" and "Hippeis" might mislead the reader into thinking the population at large had been Hellenised.

    I don't fully get that, sorry...
    The grammar is muddled. Did the Odrysai flee and abandon the treasure? If so, who recovered it and later dispersed?

    I disagree, while yes it is lengthy and needs to be shortened, the idea behind is that it offers the players the following:

    - Understanding of the events and political precedences connected to the region, to allow the player to choose any course of action in response to them.
    - A possible guideline for the Hellenistic period.
    - A model on which to base any RPing policy.

    You might see it as a boring list of events, probably due to my bad writing, but the "fields" are there (examples: euergesia towards Rhodos, which enables military assistance. [political science?] Intricacies related to the establishment on new tributes and how it affected the populace, prompting their reaction. [sociology?] 5th century tholos showing a new/stronger leadership; funeral stela to gather the Bithynian (at least higher class) clothing [archaeology?]
    I tried my best with a part of the world and history, relatively unknown. I'd love to write more detailed or encompassing analysis towards a greater understanding, but there isn't so much about Bithynia (in the languages I can read). Bithynian history is an history of minor skirmishes (in your opinion), diplomatic/political games played along/against greater powers. Regardless of how your subjectivity perceives it, that's its history.
    Stylistically I hoped that was the shortest way of writing it (! XD). For by connecting the concepts into a cause-effect or broad implications, it'd become an even longer read...
    The problem remains that you provided a treasure-trove of fact with little to no analysis, instead leaving most of it up to the reader to infer. While I agree "the 'fields' are there," they certainly aren't explicit. Aside from a few coy references, it's just a string of chronologically related events. I'm not decrying specific information, but the inclusion of insignificant facts. Facts without analysis - expressly stated analysis - are meaningless. Conversely, analysis without facts is mere supposition. Together, the facts and analysis form history. Unfortunately, adding the amount of analysis commensurate with the current facts would about triple the length of the description. And, even though I'd thoroughly enjoy reading it, such a description is inappropriate for the task.

    I also disagree that summarising diminishes the significance. Over-generalisation does present an ever-present risk. But forming a synopsis requires the writer to sift through a mass of information to decide what's important and what's not. A properly supported synopsis contains far more significance than the original hoard of facts. Even if Bithynian history consists of nothing but shifting alliances and intermittent warfare, each minute change in policy does not merit attention. Identify broader tendencies and, then include the most important facts to exemplify them. "Short" in no way equates to "shallow," inasmuch as "long" does not mean "in depth." Of course, this is all opinion, but there is no such thing as a truly objective position anyway - every argument is founded upon some inherently unprovable assumption. But I feel my definition of history matches the brevity guidelines.

    Reading through your history section, I could identify roughly four phases in Bithynia's past: the early migratory and establishment period of Thracian tribes, the Hellenic and Persian period, the Hellenistic period, and the Roman and Pontic period. Every event in the history section fits into one of those categories. Summarise the trends - such as the growth of population, changes in demographics or culture - and focus on the net effects of each period. What changed in Bithynia as a result of foreign and internal interactions? And then include the most important kings and actions that characterised the period. If notable exceptions to the general flow occur, mention them, but only the genuinely remarkable ones.

    In regards to Persis, the sources I used claimed Parsapura was Old Persian. Considering the similarities between Sanksrit and OP, it's possible the word is the same in both languages. In terms of structure and content, I concentrated more heavily on the periods prior to the game's time frame to simulate a telescopic view for the reader. Since the goal of EB is to forge an alternative history, I thought everything leading up to and influencing the province at the beginning of the game was the most important since everything afterwards might change. Another part of the issue is my fascination with early Iran, especially Elamite civilisation. In hindsight, I know I should have supported some of my assertions better, and I fully intend to elaborate more on Hellenistic Persis. The greatest hurdle is that Persis really was just a province in a vast empire. It sported no major cultural or literary centres, it spawned no kingdom-builders and never hosted bids for autonomy: the ruling aristocracy in Persis barely resisted when the Parthians arrived. To all appearances, Persis hibernated until the rise of the Sassinians. Archaeology and government records point to no major population shifts or changes in subsistence methods. The amount of urbanisation remained the same. Linguistically, the Persians shifted from late Old Persian to Pahlavi, but those were totally indigenous developments independent of outside influence. Nor did the lingual evolution entail change in other areas. Persis simply existed.


    It is easy as an aspiring (English as a First Language) academic to sit back and criticise these descriptions at a post-graduate level, but most of the people writing do not have those advantages.
    The purest intellectual snobbery. All that is necessary for a good historian is a critical mind and a well-stocked library. At best, you have access to better sources. Otherwise, this is nothing less than an appeal to authority.

  21. #141
    Tribunus Plebis Member Gaius Scribonius Curio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    I think you have misread the intent of that line. Out of context I can see where I made a mistake, and I apologise for any unintended offence. I am not saying that my opinion has any more value than anyone elses. In in fact I was saying the opposite.

    As clarification: one could sit back and criticise someone else's description on the grounds that it does not fit with ones preferred approach. I prefer to examine each description on its own merits, rather than mandate one standard approach.

    I sit between a Neolithic archaeologist and a Classicist who focuses on the literary techniques of Statius. I focus on the institutions of the Late Republican period. Ask any one of us to write a historical overview of a given region and you will come out with three very different but equally valid pieces. It is the same in this case. Your approach certainly has its merits, but Arjos' does as well. Constructive feedback is welcomed, but please recognise that we want this to be an inclusive process: some people will be comfortable writing narrative, or closely-sourced based historical summaries, while others, like yourself clearly, will prefer to identify broader trends.
    Nihil nobis metuendum est, praeter metum ipsum. - Caesar
    We have not to fear anything, except fear itself.



    Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram
    perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna:
    quale per incertam lunam sub luce maligna
    est iter in silvis, ubi caelum condidit umbra
    Iuppiter, et rebus nox abstulit atra colorem.
    - Vergil

  22. #142

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Pardon me if I seem aggressively confrontational. I merely think there is a middle-ground between the two approaches and that, to truly follow Arjos' method of giving each event its due, simply takes too long. I fully appreciate the effort involved on everybody's part, even if I personally believe some of it is misplaced. I understand that the EB team is under pressure to finish the mod, on top of real-world issues and general summer lethargy. Everyone contributing to such a worthy endeavour - which, in my opinion, ranks somewhere above the search for a cure to cancer - receives my gratitude and praise, for what it's worth.

    Member thankful for this post:



  23. #143
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Somnorum View Post
    "Peltastai" and "Hippeis" might mislead the reader into thinking the population at large had been Hellenised.
    Considering how the first corp was taken from the Thracian tribes and for both there are EB units that will be recruitable in the province, I just don't see it. Changing it to javelineers (or the more accurate targeteers), would be the same, while actually leaving the terminology of Hellenistic warfare.

    The grammar is muddled. Did the Odrysai flee and abandon the treasure? If so, who recovered it and later dispersed?
    They were defeated and the Bithynoi (the name is there) captured the movable loot and left just as fast as they appeared.

    Reading through your history section, I could identify roughly four phases in Bithynia's past: the early migratory and establishment period of Thracian tribes, the Hellenic and Persian period, the Hellenistic period, and the Roman and Pontic period. Every event in the history section fits into one of those categories. Summarise the trends - such as the growth of population, changes in demographics or culture - and focus on the net effects of each period. What changed in Bithynia as a result of foreign and internal interactions? And then include the most important kings and actions that characterised the period. If notable exceptions to the general flow occur, mention them, but only the genuinely remarkable ones.
    I'm perfectly aware of them (that's pretty much what decides where I make a new paragraph), but it's easier for me to write it like that. Maybe I'll try GSC's 1000-1500 limit for my next one and see how that goes. If well I'll make basically synopsises of those already done. I've stated how every one of them needs just that, but I've decided to leave it to far better writers with more skills and knowledge than me...

    In regards to Persis, the sources I used claimed Parsapura was Old Persian. Considering the similarities between Sanksrit and OP, it's possible the word is the same in both languages.
    Persian inscriptions call it PÔrsa. Circular reasoning and a transliteration of the Greek name are pointless...

    Another part of the issue is my fascination with early Iran, especially Elamite civilisation.
    That much was clear, but how relevant is it to our period?
    Afaik Elamite institutions influenced the very early Achaemenid state, which had to pick up more of Median customs quickly as an empire.
    But for a description about Persis the connection is minimal at best...

    I thought everything leading up to and influencing the province at the beginning of the game was the most important since everything afterwards might change.
    The point is, by your own text, everything changed already with the arrival of Iranian nomads...

    Anyway all of this isn't going anywhere, EBII's redaction will pick what is needed...
    Last edited by Arjos; 07-26-2013 at 10:56.

  24. #144

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjos View Post
    Anyway all of this isn't going anywhere, EBII's redaction will pick what is needed...
    Righto. I'll leave everything up to them, no editing needed.

  25. #145
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    VoilÓ Phrygia:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Province: Phrygia

    Traveller's Log

    South of Mount Olympos the traveller comes to the old country of Phrygia. It was theatre to many deeds, which have changed the land itself, reshaping time and time again the Phrygian borders. Technically this is Mikra Phrygia and only part of Phrygia Megale, for the latter has been settled by Galatai. Now the Rhyndakos River acts as a border with Mysia. In this area stands Lake Daskylitis, fed by the aforementioned river, on whose shore Daskyleion was built. This stronghold used to be the Hellespontine Phrygian centre of power for centuries and Antigonos Monophthalmos tried to expand it as an Antigoneia. But it was a shortlived enterprise and the town never grew, its strength laying in its easily defendable akropolis. To the east as far as the Tembris River, the inland is dotted by small trading posts. Characterized by important names like Dorylaion, Aizanoi and Midaion, vestiges of the illustrious past. Farther to the south is Phrygia Paroreia, meaning 'along the mountain' due to the elevation of its ground. Here is where most communities live and the largest settlements are found. Towns like Synnada, rich in olives, which used to be one of Antigonos Monophthalmos' treasuries. Nearby stands Dokimeion, founded by Antigonos' treasurer Dokimos (one of whose subordinates was Philetairos, the current ruler of Pergamon), famous for its marble quarries of excellent quality. Here is also where the Maiandros River has its source, next to the town of Kelainai. This has been a fortified estate since the days of Midas, later it became the seat of Satrapal power during Persian suzerainty. Apollon himself was challenged by Marsyas, in this place, to a musical contest, causing the latter to be flayed alive once bested. Near the many springs is situated Lake Aulokrene, which produces a reed suitable for the mouth-pieces of pipes. Kelainai then became Monophthalmos' seat of power, until he assumed the royal diadem, but recently its population was moved down in the plain below. Because Antiochos I Soter founded Apameia Kibotos, in honour of his mother Apama, which has been growing steadily becoming an important emporion. The surrounding land is the perfect pasture for sheep by raven-black wool, highly praised by its softness. Unfortunately this region suffers from terrible tremors of the earth, the reason why the locals worship Poseidon, even though they live far removed from the sea. To the north-east stands Ipsos, unremarkable except for the battle fought in its territory, where Antigonos Monophthalmos died. But the town stands on the direct line of the Royal Road, whose control is of the utmost importance. Following this road then the traveller arrives to Karoura, a town with many inns and a nearby temple of Mŕn. This is held in remarkable veneration by the locals. Beyond stands the boundary with Karia and Pisidia, while a little to the interior Antiochos I Soter founded another settlement, Antiocheia Pisidias. All these foundations were done in response to the recent incursions conducted by the Galatai, in order to protect the people and trade. Farther to the east, passing Lake Karalis, the traveller enters Lykaonia. Whose land is cold, bare of trees and has a scarcity of water. Although to the north Lake Tatta is located, which is the largest of Anatolia, it is a natural salt-pan. The water so easily congeals, that when people let down into it rings made of rope they draw up wreaths of salt. The locals resorted to building the deepest wells in the world, just as at Soatra, where drinkable water is actually sold. Despite this lack of water, the pastures manage to feed wild asses and sheep, but the latter's wool is coarse. To the south stands Ikonion, a town that is well settled and has a more prosperous territory. Surrounded by the heights of the Tauros, which are very steep and for the most part impassable, delimiting Lykaonia.

    Geography

    Phrygia is essentially an high plateau bounded by steep mountain ranges. Its climate is particularly harsh with intense heat during the summer and severe cold during the winter. It possessed rich mineral deposits in its mountains, whence aurifer rivers flowed. The surrounding regions actually used to be Phrygian vineyards, for the central area is characterized by patches of dry grasslands, dotted with low plants and stunted bushes. This steppe has water surfaces of high salinity, where only salt marsh grass manages to grow. That is why pastoralism became the principal activity, supported by an optimal forage, thanks to its rich mineral content. Thus Phrygian landscape consisted of small ruminants and dairy cattle roaming the highlands. Nonetheless it was possible to grow rainfed cereals and legumes. Tectonic movements, with the correlated seismic and volcanic activity, although not fully understood were an integral part of Phrygia and the neighbouring regions.

    The People, Society and Government

    The Phryges are thought to have migrated into Anatolia from the Balkans around the late Bronze Age. Their name is not attested in any extant Phrygian text, making unclear how they identified themselves. In fact Phryges may be the Greek transliteration of a Lydian term signifying "freemen". Indeed the Phryges that gradually intruded Anatolia, quickly filled the local political vacuum, establishing cities run from an elite quarter. From the early 9th century BCE the Phryges had centralized economic control, devoted to intensive processing of foodstuffs and textiles. Phrygian society was a prosperous and powerful one, which developed urban centers with complex plans, monumental architecture and high quality luxury goods. On this structure stood the political power of Anatolia for the centuries to come. It is no wonder that the term used to describe them, became a byword for an high social status. They worshiped Matar Kybeleia, the mountain mother goddess and Sabazios, the horseman-sky father. Another important deity was Matar Kybeleia's son Attis, the patron of pastures, meadows and herds. These deities were celebrated with orgiastic rites, accompained by wild music and dances. During the winter solstice naked women, driven by priests, would wander in bands through the fields and forests, shouting the name of Sabazios, or the diminutive Saboi, in order to awaken the figuratively dead god. He was imagined as passing rapidly through childhood, adolescense and youth and held to be incarnate in a bull, a buck, a man and an infant. The festival's climax consisted in the devouring of raw flesh torn from a live bull, goat or even the priest to be consumed by the devotees. The Phryges seems to have had a somewhat mystic and fantastic character, they cherished powers of creation and fertility. To the extreme that whoever hindered these activities, agriculture and pastoralism, by killing an ox or stealing agrarian implements was sentenced to death. Another peculiarity is that the Phryges are said to have never taken or exacted an oath. In net contrast to their connection to the status of freemen, soon as they were conquered, they were held in contempt and it became customary to name slaves after Midas. Ingenious was how the Phryges coped with the climate and resources of central Anatolia, by digging dwellings into natural hillocks, thus enjoying coolness for the summer and warmth in winter. The Phryges are recorded as wearing buskin, trousers, a tunic and cloack. But most of all the Phrygian cap, which became the symbol of eastern origins par excellence. Indeed the aforementioned clothing was so widespread in Anatolia, that it was virtually impossible to distinguish provenance. Yet another cultural legacy by the Phryges to the communities of Mikra Asia. Despite losing their independence early on in the Iron Age, the Phryges mantained martial practices, even though these do not appear to have been particularly relevant to them. They served in the Hakhāmanišiya armies and as cavalrymen for Antigonos Monophthalmos.

    Little is known of the Lykaonioi unfortunately. They seem to have been highlanders from the Tauros mountain complex, who never acknowledged Persian suzerainty. From the end of the 5th century BCE they started to gradually advance westward, settling in the grasslands of central Anatolia. They are described as being daring and intractable, warranting strong military actions to gain any semblace of cooperation from them.

    History

    As already stated, Phrygian early history marked the foundations for the urbanisation and power structure of Anatolia. Indeed both the Lydian and Persian empires benefited and exploited what the Phryges accomplished in administration. What the Hakhāmanišiya introduced from the end of the 6th century BCE was the title of Khšašapāvan (Satrap). This 'protector of sovereignty' was a member of the highest social class, who was entrusted with running the affairs of his assigned territory. However this administration was to a greater extent characterized by deeply rooted traditional structures. So each Khšašapāvan formed a system adapted to the local cultural environment, preserving or establishing dependencies in accordance. One of such organizations was inherited by Antigonos Monophthalmos in 333 BCE, when he became Satrapes of Phrygia at Kelainai. For roughly the next twenty years Antigonos formalized that very Satrapal system, introducing the Makedonian Synedrion (assembly) and officials bearing titles adopted from the Persian decimal system of command, into Hellenistic kingship. Indeed the matrix for the Seleukid administration of the next two centuries, was forged in Phrygia during that period by the Monophthalmos. It was so effective and seemingly unintrusive that an anecdote was recorded of a Phrygian peasant, following the death of Antigonos, digging in search of the dead Basileus, hoping to bring back the pleasant life during his rule. During 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE Phrygia was targeted by Galatain raids and was the stage of Seleukid dynastic struggles. The latter being exploited by Attalos I of Pergamon, who expanded as far as Aizanoi in the 220s BCE, dubbing the new land Phrygia Epiktetos 'the acquired Phrygia'. Later in 189 BCE Antiochos III Megas, defeated by the Romani, had to accept a treaty at Apameia Kibotos relinquishing Seleukid possession of Asia west of the Tauros. Phrygia and Lykaonia were added entirely to the land of Pergamon, until 129 BCE. Then Mithradates V Euergetes of Pontos was awarded Phrygia for his assistance against the pretenderer Aristonikos. However with this Basileus' assassination nine years later, the Senatvs rescinded Pontic possession of Phrygia. This act would be one of the causes for the war with Mithradates VI Eupator Dionysos of Pontos. When the dust of that conflict settled, Phrygia was firmly in the hands of the SPQR. While Lykaonia was briefly held by the last ruler of Galatia Amyntas in the 30s BCE. Who made himself very rich thanks to over 300 flocks of sheep. From 25 BCE all the land was under the rule of Avgvstvs. But Roman authorities had been in touch with Hellenistic kingship for so long, that now their polity as well was embodied by a single man. Whose trust meant influence and whose judgement dictated the affairs of state, in accordance to local traditions.

    Strategy

    Phrygia is rich in many resources. The most important being precious mineral deposits, enabling whoever holds power to mint coins. However this province is exposed almost on every side and a ruler will have to protect it. For Phrygia stands on the crossroads of Anatolia and its control is imperative.


    I dissociate myself from this, it is merely a transcription of a fortune cookie ;)
    Last edited by Arjos; 09-24-2013 at 05:36.

  26. #146
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Pamphylian encore! :P

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Province: Pamphylia

    Traveller's Log

    Following the southern route from Sardis, the traveller finds himself in a rugged and divided country. The westernmost summits of the Tauros Mountains stand in Pisidike, a rough country inhabited by many tribes collectively known as the Pisidai. The first tribe is that of the Solymoi, inhabiting Termessos. A town celebrated for its natural and artificial fortifications, which defied Alexandros III of Makedonia and only later welcomed Antigonos Monophthalmos. Near the main crossroad stands Kretopolis, founded by Nearchos during his Satrapal rule to secure communications from the Pisidai. Then come the Etenneis occupying hilly places, everywhere planted with olive trees. In the vicinity live also the Sagalasseis, controlling a fertile plain, abounding in wheat and barley. This is a brave tribe that decided to meet Alexandros III in an open battle. Next is the area controlled by the Selgeis, the largest and strongest tribe of the Pisidai. Their capital, Selge, has abundance of oil and wine. But being surrounded by precipices and torrents, flowing towards the Eurymedon and Kestros Rivers, Selge can only be reached thanks to bridges. Legend has it the Selgeis are descendants of Lakedaimonioi and they are indeed fierce warriors. Their country is also rich in timber and a variety of trees. Foremost is the styrax, albeit not large, it grows straight up and is ideal for crafting javelins. It is also much valued for yielding gum resins, which are turned into a strong perfume, used in large quantities as frankincense by the worshippers of the gods. Another plant, the Selgic iris, is celebrated for the production of a medicinal ointment. Farther to the east, at the extremity of lake Karalis dwell the smaller tribe of the Homanadeis, standing at the border with Isauria. The latters inhabitants are kindred of the Pisidai, who not only resisted, but killed Balakros a Somatophylax of Alexandros III. The Isauroi used to live in a strongly fortified and large city, Isaura Palaia. Which Perdikkas besieged in retaliation for Balakros' death, nevertheless he was unsuccessful. The Isauroi repelled every attack, but running low on supplies decided to set themselves and their capital on fire. The Makedones could only enter after the conflagration to loot the molten gold and silver. However Isauroi from Isaura Nea still roam the Tauros, living of plunder and rapine. Following the course Kalykadnos River the traveller enters Kilikia Tracheia. Epithet describing the roughness of the land, which abounds in ship-building cedar. Continuing southwards the landscape is dotted by fortresses on rocks, until the mouth of the Kalykadnos. There, between the Zephyrion and Sarpedon Promontories, Seleukos I Nikator founded the harbour town of Seleukeia on the Kalykadnos. It stands far aloof from Kilikian and Pamphylian maritime traffic, but offers a welcomed safe anchorage. Sailing westward and doubling Cape Anemourion, the southernmost point of Mikra Asia, the traveller encounters the harbour of Korakesion. Which marks the beginning of Pamphylia, consisting of a well watered and narrow strip of coast. The mooring-places of the Pamphylian gulf are under Ptolemaic authority, first being Ptolemais, newly founded by Ptolemaios II Philadelphos, and past the Melas River, Side. A colony of the Kymaioi from Aiolis. Followed by the navigable mouths of the Eurymedon and Kestros Rivers, surrounded by the most fertile land in Pamphylia. Whereby the poleis of Perge and Aspendos are located, being the most important Pamphylian ports. Further inland is the large Lake Kapria, whose periodic drying allows the collection of valuable salt. While back on the coast the large fortress of Olbia, standing near impetuous waterfalls, marks the boundary with Lykia. However the eastern half of Lykia is the least populated, for it is separated by Mount Klimax. Its pass leading through the mountain is circuitous and steep, but in fair weather manageable. By the coast stands the Rhodian colony of Phaselis, another Ptolemaic port, noted for its natural harbours separated by an isthmus. Down the coast to the West, the Limyros River marks the end of Pamphylian administered lands.

    Geography

    Pamphylia is one of the most biologically diverse regions of the Mediterranean Basin. The Tauros Mountains split it into two: with hot and dry summers, but mild winters on the coast; while the inland is arid during summer and cold in winter. But the many peaks and deep valley create isolated niches, characterised by an high level of plant endemism. Most of the forests are coniferous, comprised of Anatolian black pine, Cedar of Lebanon, Taurus fir and juniper. It is especially rich in bulbous plants. Brown bears, grey wolves, lynxes and Anatolian leopards live in the mountain complex.

    The People, Society and Government

    The Pamphyloi were a mixed people, whose customs did not differ much from Kilikian and Hellenic ones. They never established great political power or importance, but their naval expertise served whatever polity happened to be in charge. Whenever such employed was lacking, the Pamphyloi engaged in piracy and their many maritime towns were in fact markets for loot. Indeed navigation was their principal occupation and during Persian suzerainty they lived in autonomy, being only too glad to serve as marines. During the Hellenistic Period they were also levied as heavy infantry, with equipment that closely resembled the Hoplitai's.

    The Solymoi seems to have been one of the first inhabitants of the region. Who were embroiled in conflicts with the Lykioi and might have been pushed inland. They also seem to have played a part in the formation of the Pisidian communities.

    The Pisidai were not a united people, but they shared a common origin. However they were mutual rivals and developed several dialects, in relatively isolated districts. Quarrels, coalitions and disputes were the norm of Pisidian life, which no foreign power ever really managed to curb and submit. The Pisidai were warlike and free mountaineers, who would harass and conduct raids inroad, but could equally keep to themselves in the heights of the Tauros. Indeed it was mostly thanks to them and the geography of Pisidia, that the Ptolemaioi were able to maintain control of the Pamphylian harbours. The Seleukid Basileis founded military colonies along the frontier of Pisidia, to control the "Southern Highway" of Mikra Asia. In fact Pisidian allegiance could only be gained by assisting a specific tribe, against its current Pisidian enemy. Nonetheless they always proved to be good mercenaries. In general the Pisidai enjoyed some form of communal life and treaties with Hellenistic polities indicate the existence of councils of elders or judges. Noteworthy is a treaty involving Termessos containing a stipulation against tyranny, in protection of the instituted laws and taxes. This has been taken to indicate an Hellenized government from the 2nd century BCE. In fact the architecture of councils of citizens has been dated to the late Hellenistic Period. Nevertheless the Pisidai were already advanced on their own and minted coins before the arrival of Alexandros III of Makedonia.

    The Isauroi conducted a life similar to that of the Pisidai. Although defeated by Pvblivs Servilivs Vatia, who imposed on them severe measures, the Isauroi kept on defying Roman authority and resumed their raids. Thus the Romani endeavoured to check them by surrounding their country with a ring of fortifications. But this measure turned out to be unsuccessful, for the Isauroi frequently broke through.

    The Tracheiotai were Kilikes living in the mountainous western half of Kilikia. This land has been settled since the Neolithic and a Kilikian polity existed already in the 2nd millennium BCE. Much like the neighbouring communities the Tracheiotai were highlanders irresistible in guerilla warfare. With Kilikia Tracheia full of harbours, fortresses and secret recesses, the Tracheiotai became the archetypal pirates. They indeed might have invented practice of 'walking the plank': whenever a captived cried out his Roman status, they would mockingly seek forgiveness, dress the Romanvs with boots and toga, lower a ladder into the sea and bid him to rejoice and disembark. At which point most captives would not wish to go any longer and the Kilikes pushed them overboard to drown.

    History

    The history of Pamphylia could be described as that of a frontier. From the beginning of the 1st millennium BCE Pamphylia saw the cohabitation of locals and Hellenic colonists, in fact such interaction could be identified already in the middle of the Bronze Age with Mycenaean expeditions. The emerging communities would develop on their own and supply naval contingents to the powers of the eastern Mediterranean. While Pisidike and Isauria were bastions of local independence, never tamed by any power. Unless made deliberately partner of local policies, to achieve this coercively required an unnecessary amount of resources and would last only for a brief time. During the 3rd century BCE the Ptolemaioi used their Pamphylian bases to control the seas and trade routes, but also to employ mercenaries from the Tauros Mountains. This amicable relation made sure that the Pisidai concentrated their efforts elsewhere against the Arche Seleukeia. However Antiochos II Theos, around 258 BCE, managed to expel Ptolemaic forces from Pamphylia. But the dynastic struggle between his sons allowed Ptolemaios III Euergetes to reaffirm control of Pamphylia by 241 BCE. Nevertheless relations were not going smoothly with the Pamphyloi, who seeing the Basileus of Aigyptos hardpressed, around 223 BCE gained their 'independence' sponsored by Seleukid influence. Indeed the Pamphylian poleis now minted something of a 'proxy-Seleukid' coinage, following the Arche Seleukeia's weight standards. In 197 BCE Antiochos III Megas followed this by mopping up the remaining Ptolemaic sympathies among the Pisidai. It is noteworthy, that despite the Roman intervention and the new political framework with the peace of Apameia of 189 BCE, Side kept issuing coins after the Seleukid standards. An indication that although politically the Seleukid Basileis could not intervene across the Tauros, they still dominated economically. In fact Attalid standards were not adopted by the Pamphyloi, prompting Attalos II Philadelphos to found Attaleia at the Lykian border. Pamphylia and Kilikia Tracheia had become a 'no man's land' acting as buffer between Lykia, Pergamon and Seleukid Kilikia, but the latter's influence was felt until the end of the 2nd century BCE. Unemployed and with the disappearance of a strong eastern Mediterranean fleet, the locals resorted to piracy. This phenomenon grew out of proportion, because no central power regulated activities in the province, which provided safe havens. The SPQR failed to grasp this at first, in 102 BCE the Praetor Marcvs Antonivs was granted a navy, with which he inflicted losses. But all this gained was a further intensification and bolstering of the number of piratical activities. Indeed the fine imposed by Lvcivs Cornelivs Svlla on Asia, in the aftermath of his war with Mithradates VI Eupator Dionysos of Pontos, impoverished people to the point of desperation, becoming pirates. At the news of such developments Svlla replied that he did not care, since the victims had probably fought against him. Now from the Aigaion to Kilikia people were left to themselves. In fact the SPQR was far too preoccupied with civil wars and Pontic expansion. Indeed even the Proconsul Pvblivs Servilivs Vatia of 78 BCE, professing to launch a campaign against the pirates, while marching in Pamphylia, completely avoided Kilikia Tracheia, Side and Korakesion, the infamous headquarters for piracy. To instead attack the Isauroi to the north, who had been employed and held friendly relations with Mithradates VI of Pontos. Only when faced with a crisis in the supply of food to Roma did the Senatvs delegate successive commands against pirates on both land and sea. Showing an understanding of the problem and the need for an army to capture bases, after the navy had pushed the pirates there. Cnaevs Pompeivs finally completed such an operation across the Mediterranean by 66 BCE. The SPQR, or rather the Trivmviri, could now do what they pleased with Pamphylia. Marcvs Antonivs gifted it to Amyntas of Galatia in 36 BCE and the latter's death, eleven years later ambushed by the Homanadeis, prompted Avgvstvs to annex Pamphylia under one of his Legati.

    Strategy

    Pamphylia holds the harbours vital to the control of the Mediterranean. Equally important it allows its ruler to recruit excellent troops from the various mountain tribes, provided amicable relations can be maintained with them.
    Last edited by Arjos; 08-12-2013 at 18:03.

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  27. #147
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Mysia's history redux:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    History

    Since the middle of the Bronze Age, Mysia has been the object of confrontation for the neighbouring politites. Either to control the Hellespontine trade or to exercise influence over the local rulers. This condition allowed various groups to infiltrate the 'warzone' and carve the possession of a specific area of Mysia. One of such people would become the Mysoi during the early Iron Age, in collaboration with Phrygian authority. However these new communities were focused toward the hinterland, being primarily farmers or shepherds. This allowed the increasing colonisation of the coastal area by Hellenic migrants. For the following centuries both groups mostly kept to themselves and grew as a consequence. However from the 7th century BCE conquerors from the east attempted once again to impose their dominance over the lucrative Mysian coasts and mineral deposits. Lydian rulers accomplished such design, but lasted briefly and ultimately it was the Achaemenid dynasty that reaped the benefits. Nevertheless Dārayavahuš I and Khšayāršā I of PÔrsa's unsuccessful wars against their enemies in Hellas, deeply shook Mysia from the 5th century BCE onwards. The landscape turned similar to its Bronze Age past, with valiant deeds carried out by opposing sides and the local population caught in the middle. Then in 366 BCE Yervand of Hayasdan rose up against Artakhšaša II of PÔrsa, joined by an alliance of other communities. That he betrayed right away, in exchange of Mysia. Building something of a private kingdom, minting gold coins at Pergamon in his own image. Towards the end of the 4th century BCE Alexandros III of Makedonia appeared to have ultimately decided, in his favour, the age old conflict between Hellas and Asia. But it proved just as ephemeral as the previous attempts and Alexandros' Diadochoi spent decades trying to reach a resolution over Makedonian leadership. Obviously no such thing was ever found, but it had become clear that power centered in the vicinity of Mysia could be turned into a viable reality. A Paphlagonian eunuch, Philetairos, working his way through shifting of allegiances had managed to become Gazophylax (treasurer) of Pergamon under Lysimachos in the early 3rd century BCE. With the modest influence his position entailed, Philetairos became a prominent figure and increasingly so in relation to Lysimachos' son and heir Agathokles. The latter in fact had brilliantly protected Mysia from Demetrios I Poliorketes' invasion of 287 BCE and to everyone seemed only logical for him to affirm his right to succession. Even to start acting as a co-ruler in Mysia, but his father and other groups at his court did not concur. In 284 BCE Agathokles was imprisoned and a failed poisoning attempt prompted his more direct assassination. Put on an hard spot, the men who had sided with Agathokles and envisioned a profitable future under his leadership, sought intervention by Seleukos I Nikator. By 281 BCE this gambit paid off beyond any expectation: Lysimachos was defeated and died on the field, while the victor was himself murdered on his way to conquer Makedonia. Philetairos hastily recovered the latter's corpse, properly cremated it and sent it to his heir Antiochos I. This gesture convinced the Basileus of Philetairos' loyalty and allowed him to keep local autonomy. From then on Pergamon followed a policy of euergesia (benefaction), winning the favour of the Mysian communities. Attalid good fortune did not end there: the Arche Seleukeia fell into dynastic turmoil and looked like it would come to an end. But the victorious pretender, Antiochos Hierax, decided to invade Pergamon in 237 BCE. Attalos, Philetairos' grandnephew, was in charge at that time and successfully defeated Hierax. Thus Attalos vanquished a Seleukid pretender, who had claimed the diadem and previously defeated the rightful Seleukid Basileus. This in the Hellenistic world meant one thing: legitimacy through conquest. Assuming the royal diadem and becoming Basileus Attalos I Soter. Now Pergamon had to defend such right from both Seleukid central authority and further pretenders. Attalos I proved once more up to the task and expanded his power in Mikra Asia. Prompting in 216 BCE Antiochos III to reach an agreement with Pergamon, whereby Attalos I would be recognized Basileus only of Mysia and would collaborate to defeat the last of the pretenders in Sardis. This was a compromise Attalos I was willing to make, for such a valuable political status. Now Pergamon was free to pursue its own policies as an equal player in the Hellenistic world. Although at first in a complacent manner for Antiochos III, simply claimed to be a Basileus Megas (Great King), putting himself above everybody else. And he definitely had the military power to back such a claim, with the Arche Seleukeia reunited under his leadership. However Attalos I now began to work on a far more lasting and influencial concept: propaganda. Philetairos' statues where reworked to accomodate swirling locks of hair and a royal diadem. The family history was rewritten justifying Philetairos being an eunuch due to an accident, who therefore had no other career option than being an administrator. Patching the demeaning associations of slavery and sexual exploitation towards eunuchs in the Hellenic imagination. In fact castrating children in Asia had been a common practice, done by the parents to ensure an important status in society at the court of rulers. But this would have been too much of a reminder to Hellenes for foreign origins, not befitting an Hellenistic Basileus. The next step was the introduction of mythical and legendary genealogies, which linked the Attalidai to the hero Telephos. Who became the Attalid forefather, being son of an Arkadian princess and Herakles, whose mother was banished to Teuthrania. Telephos was wounded by Achilleus and blackmailed the Achaioi into curing him, offering to lead them against Ilion. A subtle indication to the Hellenes that the Attalidai were their friends in Asia and at the same time descendants of Herakles, thus kinsmen of Alexandros Megas. In the following decades Pergamon kept on playing the part of champion of Hellenism, always paying for restorations of public buildings in Hellenic poleis, fighting against Galatian raiders and promoting an image of family unity, that was much appreciated by the Hellenes. Both the intellectual and common Hellenistic worlds could see in Pergamon a bastion of civilization. However Pergamon would need far stronger military assistance to emancipate itself from Antiochos III Megas' influence and started to establish friendly relations with the SPQR. Whose later war with the Arche Seleukeia offered an opportunity too good to pass and Attalos' sons threw their lot in assistance of Roma. Indeed Eumenes II was instrumental in defeating the Seleukid Basileus Megas. However a debate arose across Hellas whether following Barbaroi from the west against Makedonian Basileis was proper. The solution was simple: these were not Barbaroi, but fellow Hellenes! Intellectuals provided the grounds for such claims, and patronage from Pergamon obviously was not lacking. The poem "Alexandra" was written, describing a report to Priamos, during the sack of Ilion, about his daughter's incomprehensible prophecies, culminating in a narration of adventures in the Italian peninsula by various Trojan heroes. And what luck! One of them Aineias, accompanied by Telephos' sons among others, would become the Roman forefather. The Attalidai were then pursuing the most natural of alliances and no one could argue against that in the Hellenistic world. In the end this policy backfired, for Roma never allowed Pergamon to capitalise on its expansion and actively hindered it. Attalid possessions were bequeathed to the SPQR, bringing much hardship to Mysia. For a century fiscal corruption, war against Mithradates VI Eupator Dionysos of Pontos, pirates and civil conflicts between Roman leaders virtually annihilated the prosperity Pergamon had achieved for Mysia. Only the patronage of Avgvstvs allowed it to start a process of recovery.


    Still pretty substantial, but definitely shorter than before :D
    Last edited by Arjos; 08-14-2013 at 12:27.

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  28. #148

    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Nice work!

    BTW, for those of you who are not aware, a twitter update from the team in you honor:

    A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has helped out with the Regional Descriptions in recent months. We really appreciate it! - The EBII Team.

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  29. #149
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Galatia is served ^^

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Province: Galatia

    Traveller's Log

    Crossing the river Sangarios the traveller enters one of the oldest countries, which at the same time is the newest. This is Phrygia Megale, where Midas himself ruled in days past, but now the land is called Galatia. The first territory encountered is that of the temple estate of Pessinous by Mount Dindymos. It belongs to the Tolistobogioi, here Galatai and Phryges together venerate the Great Mother of the Mountain Agdistis, but it also serves as an emporion. To the North-East at the fording of the Sangarios stands Uindia another temple estate to the moon deity Deios Uindieinos. Near the eastern riverbank, overlooked by the Galatian Mount Olympos to the East, stands Gordion. The ancient Phrygian seat of power, which the Tolistobogioi and Phryges are rebuilding into their new capital. Next the land is dotted by fortresses, one of the most important is Petrobrogen controlling the main road to Bithynia. While to the North the country has a mountainous nature, marking the boundary with Mariandynia and is protected by the fortress of Souolibrogen. This is also where the domain of the Tektosages begins, stretching from Mount Olympos to the Halys River. Several villages lay near the fertile riverbanks, noteworthy of the area is a sanctuary to Deios Boussourigios. This is the Anatolian deity of heaven, weather and mountains. While the fortress of Ekkobriga controls the main road to Kappadokia. To the South stands Ankyra, another ancient Phrygian settlement, now the capital of the Tektosages. Farther southwards the country becomes a dry plain, bearing the name of Morimene. A hard place to live in, but it is contested for it controls Lake Tatta and is a rich source of salt. Somewhere in the mountains and forests, between Gordion and Ankyra, the most revered place in Galatia is located. Named Drunemeton, this is a sacred oak grove, where the Galatai meet in assembly to decide the common affairs of their confederation. East of the Halys River instead lays the land of the Trokmoi, which used to be part of Kappadokia and is called Chamanene. Legend has it, this was the homeland of a formidable empire. In fact no Phryges live here and the locals rarely receive gifts from the temple estates. However the Trokmoi are not preoccupied by this, indeed it is argued they are the most powerful warriors. Their walled capital, Taouion, is a formidable place. Emphasised by its sanctuary to Deios Taouianos, housing the god's colossal bronze statue and its precinct where anyone is granted asylum.

    Geography

    Galatia is a vast plateau, bounded by deciduous forests, two river plains and dry grassland. The fluvial reservoirs form several pools, making the land extremely fertile. Meadows and grazing land are also common, as are forests, which have allowed the development of various ecosystems, resulting in spectacular biodiversity. Wild boars, ibexes, red and roe deers, lynxes, gray wolves, brown bears, leopards, asiatic cheetahs and lions, to name a few, turned this region in something of a hunting paradise. Indeed since the early Iron Age this plateau housed several hunting estates and the various species, many now extinct, are still dwindling in number today. Summers are hot and dry in Galatia, but rainy springs and autumns keep the country watered and fertile. Winters are snowy and cold, but the southern plains are unaffected by all of this.

    The People, Society and Government

    The Galatai were no unified ethnic group, but rather kin groups carrying different tribal identities coalesced by an aristocratic and religious class that conveyed traditions, bearing identity to the various clans. Before crossing the Bosporos, the allied tribes of the Tolistobogioi, Tektosages and Trokmoi had seventeen prominent leaders, following the two most eminent figures among them. Indeed the name Galatai was the self-designation for specialized warrior bands, exerting military and diplomatic pressure as advance guards for colonial enterprises. A characteristic Galatian practice was the Trimarkisia, units of three cavalrymen forming a contingent capable of protracted military engagements, whereby one of the riders was always fighting and could be replaced by the two reserves. When treating with their defeated foes, the Galatai preferred to take captives for ransoms, or held hostages to secure the compliance by the opposing communities. However all of these activities were subordinated to the primary goal of settling into new land. Galatai bands were in fact disproportionally comprised of armed men, suggesting a lower standing in the original community. These 'younger sons' would then join forces in search of new tracks of land to farm, something unavailable in their homelands. Their greatest quality was the readiness to accept foreigners, often towards a mutual social advancement, under Galatian leadership. Integration resolved in the synthesis of new identities and took place in just one or two generations. The tribes established mutual friendship and hospitality not only between themselves, but also with foreign polities and these principles were of the utmost importance in Galatian society. It has been argued that around 25,000 or 30,000 Galatai crossed to Mikra Asia, but subsequent casualties and hiring by Hellenistic Basileis thinned that number considerably. The survivors finally settled in the Phrygian plateau and began that process of territorial acculturation. Indeed the Galatai encountered an autochthonous population that vastly outnumbered them, who was nonetheless willing to accept the newcomers. No lasting political centre had existed in the region for centuries and the people quickly re-shaped the tribes into a larger society. Which took over a large number of villages, surrounding major centres, where a prosperous agricultural structure provided a great variety of products. While traditional routes created a well-connected area of economic importance, that the Galatian warrior class could protect. This was a testament to the well-developed hierarchical Galatian system, that forged in little time a system of values shared by the whole population. The Phrygian priest-states, remnants of the previous political structure, were democratically split between Phryges and Galatai. Common codes and traditions were accepted right away, focused on rituals that offered the new self-representation for the people. Galatian, Luwian and Phrygian names are attested in the same social circles and communities, even mixed in the same families. These identities grew into a completely new Anatolian supra-ethnicity, which employed extravagant architecture for graves and fortifications. The latters located on strategic hilltops possessing dry-stone walls, with carefully protected gateways, projecting towers and other sophisticated defensive features. These were not simply strongholds, but kernels of important agricultural settlements and field systems. Econo-political centres were also built, with large public buildings and workshops, which saw the introduction of new tools. Otherwise the everyday life was predominantly influence by the Luwian and Phrygian population: from the housing and building styles, or methods of storage, to kitchenware. While the new elite adopted an Hellenistic life-style with extravagant graves, imported fine ware and luxury goods. Politically the three tribes, which kept their names, had four constituting groups each and these had four officials per group. They were called Tetrarchai, one served as a judge, another as the military commander and the last two as his subordinates. However the power of these twelve was not absolute, at Drunemeton a council of 300 men assembled and decided all major cases, leaving the others to the council of the Tetrarchai. Initially the Galatai were described as furious and arrogant tall men, with reddish hair. Capable of all sorts of atrocities. An image true for anyone involved in warfare. Although the Galatai did perform human sacrifices until the mid-2nd century BCE, described as offering to the gods of the most handsome prisoners, crowned with garlands, in the full bloom of their lives. Dated from the same period are surviving letters from Eumenes II of Pergamon, to Galatai settlers granting their community the status of polis. The fact is the inhabitants had already received such status from Antiochos III Megas and where now demanding Pergamene recognition. These Galatai definitely appreciated Hellenistic institutions, indeed independent Galatian communities during the 1st century BCE, had become so 'unkeltic' that they came to be known as Gallograeci. For outsiders they were just locals from Anatolia, who acted like Galatai. The Galatian synthesis had been so pervasive that all the Phrygian and Hittite foundations were unquestionably attributed to the Galatai. For the inhabitants of Galatia, there was no difference in such terms, they all described the very same people.

    History

    Galatia, before acquiring any boundary, was born as a contract in 278 BCE. Nikomedes I of Bithynia had established a Symmachia with Herakleia Pontika, Byzantion, Chalkedon, Kieros and Tieion. So that the parties involved would mutually assist eachother to protect their independence. However facing a claimant brother, holding half of his territory, and none other than Antiochos I of the Arche Seleukeia, Nikomedes I resolved to hire some Galatai. Such a group of warbands, under the chieftains Lonnorios and Lutarios, was marching against Byzantion. But the Bithynian Basileus approached them and reached an agreement: the Galatai would always be friendly towards Nikomedes and his descendants. They would not ally with others without his approval, but have his same enemies and friends. They would also join the Symmachia and help any member requiring assistance. Otherwise spoils of war and territory of their mutual enemies were theirs for the taking. At this point the tribes split their respective areas: the Trokmoi would take the Troas, the Tolistobogioi Aiolis and Ionia, while the Tektosages would fight Nikomedes' brother and take the hinterland. Thus Galatia came to be in theory, now it had to be made into a reality. The raids were incredibly successful: Bithynia was united under Nikomedes' rule, while ransoms were exacted from the people of Mysia and Ionia. Unfortunately most places proved to be poor choices for settlements, being either too exposed, difficult to assault or lacking enough arable land. However beyond the Sangarios River, there was a plentiful countryside, whose population offered little resistance. Phrygia Megale, since the 7th century BCE, had been relegated into being either a borderland or simply traversed by the Royal Road. But from the 4th century BCE constant wars plagued the inhabitants. Local Persian dynasts fought one another for personal gains, then Alexandros III of Makedonia skipped Phrygia Megale altogether. Rendering its roads insignificant and moving all the lucrative traffic to the Southern Highway by the Tauros Mountains. Then in 322 BCE Makedonian invaders plundered the land and levied men to fight in their civil wars. This condition went on for the next 43 years, when Galatai encroached the countryside. These newcomers were not after manpower, but actually offered to protect themselves what was to become the common land of all. With such premises, accepting a new military aristocracy controlling the agricultural production was not a disaster. Nor was there anyone capable of preventing the Galatai from settling there. Only around 275 BCE did such a figure present itself: Antiochos I had arrived with an army poised to reaffirm Seleukid suzerainty in Mikra Asia. Thanks to war elephants Antiochos I defeated the Galatai with ease, assumed the title Soter (saviour), but let the invaders be in what had become Galatia. This was his decision, because a cultural phenomenon had taken place. It had been since the 5th century BCE that the Hellenes faced a common foreign enemy, following the wars with PÔrsa. After that only infighting between Hellenic poleis and koina, often siding with Persian authorities took place. Philippos II of Makedonia had succeeded in coercing the Hellenes into fighting together and his son Alexandros Megas led them in a campaign of Isokratean pan-Hellenism. But it soon switched to Makedonian arbitrary authority and his Diadochoi only aggravated it. However all of that changed in 279 BCE, when Galatian tribes descendent upon Makedonia, Thraikia and Delphoi. Now there was a common enemy of all the Hellenes, foolish and hubristic Barbaroi standing for everything that is uncivilized. In 277 BCE Antigonos II Gonatas defeated Galatai at Lysimacheia and was welcomed as Basileus and saviour of Makedonia. Antiochos I Soter did the same in the following years, now Basileis could justify their claims to rule by offering protection against the Barbaroi. These were however small groups, that posed in no way such a threat, large and well-organized Hellenistic armies were no match for them. Even though, both successes were achieved through psychological advantages, trickery and the novelty of elephants, but that was no way to present the genesis of new royal powers. Still the Galatai were too useful to get rid off them, periodic victories over raiding bands, often hired by Hellenistic political enemies, were a source of prestige and legitimacy, most of all they offered professional mercenary manpower, unaffected by Hellenic sympathies. From now on the Galatai played an extremely important role in major contests of the Hellenistic world. They were virtually involved in every single conflict: for example by offering the bulk of the manpower for Pontos to resist a Ptolemaic expedition in the Euxeinos; supplying Antiochos Hierax with an army to claim the Seleukid royal diadem; serving as bodyguards for Basileis and at the same time assassinating others; as fallen invaders they allowed Attalos I to claim the status of Basileus. Galatia became an indispensable buffer zone and arguably the most important mercenary hub for the Hellenistic Period. In 189 BCE Consvl Cnaevs Manlivs Vvlso led a campaign against the Galatai, but he was actually assisted by Phrygian and Galatian priests and at least a Tretrarches. Indeed the objective of this invasion was to crush any Seleukid sympathy in Galatia and in the following decades the SPQR actually used the Galatai as a counterweight to Pergamene expasion. The Tetrarchai became important figures in the Hellenistic political world, their families ending up being married into most of the neighbouring royal families. The confederal nature of the Galatai suited perfectly the needs of Hellenistic powers, with often both sides hiring at least Galatian group. However around 85 BCE, as Mithradates VI Eupator Dionysos of Pontos' fortune in the war against the Romani was failing, the Pontic Basileus planned to abandon his current offensive. But he had taken hostages from the Galatian tribes, to make sure none of these would fight against him. Thus to avoid any reprisal, Mithradates VI invited all the members of the Drunemeton assembly and the Tetrarchai to deliver the hostages and re-establish cordial relations. The Galatai accepted, but at the feast in Pergamon organized by Mithradates VI all of them, except three men, were slaughtered. If what the Pontic Basileus had planned was to leave Galatia in political chaos, he was much mistaken. Power was centralised by the surviving Tetrarchai, becoming vital Roman allies and leading the whole Galatian tribes for the next half a century. Nevertheless when in 25 BCE Avgvstvs annexed Galatia, the inhabitants where organised into a Koinon of twelve Phylai (tribes) in typical confederal Galatian fashion.

    Strategy

    Galatia possesses one of the most valuable resources of the Hellenistic world: professional warrior bands for hire. Any ruler should make certain the Galatai are well-disposed towards him and lead them to battle.
    Last edited by Arjos; 09-17-2013 at 21:42.

  30. #150
    Speaker of Truth Senior Member Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: Regional Descriptions: Help the EBII Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjos View Post
    Galatia is served

    I'm no good at proof reading, but two errors just managed to catch my eyes:
    -"It belongs to the Tolistobogioi, here Galatai and Phryges together venerate the Great Mother of the Mountain Agdistis, but it is also serves as an emporion."
    -"Farther southwards the country becomes a dry plain, bearing the name of Morimene. An hard place to live in, but it is contested for it controls Lake Tatta..."

    I like it, it reads well and is easily understandable. nice work.

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