The Ealdian Culture
1.) Ealdian Religion
The pantheon of the Ealdian gods is based on the belief of the Darian tribe, but is modified in the following periods by Gurian and Nyralian elements.
At the top of the Ealdian pantheon stands the father of the gods, Arturus, who created the world together with the Great Mother, Ealda, who later was seen as the protectress of the realm and the city of Eald.
With her Arturus begot two sons and two daughters. One of the sons, Curon, turned against the father and desired to rule the world all by himself. But Arturus vanquished him in a two-week long fight and banned him from the seat of the gods, the Paraion, to the underworld Cylados. Curon is seen as the god of evil and death. From the third century onwards he shares the latter function with Gadyr, a Nyralian divinity.
Out of the union of the second son Laiaron and the daughter Posaia, the goddess and protectress of fertility, originated the other, lesser gods (the Triads):
god of war (of Gurian origin);
Gloriana, goddess of lovers and protectress of holy friendship;
Valon, god of the hunt (gur.);
Sygon, master of animals (nyr.), also called the Mighty Bear;
Coriana, goddess of the hearth and later protectress of peace ("Temple of Peace", in Eald);
Puron, god of fire and patron of holy wrath;
Deiama, goddess of beauty and patron of arts (gur.);
Galaron, god of the light at day and night. protector of medicine and happyness (his person combines Darian, Gurian and Nyralian influences); and
Nastanos, god of the sea and patron of seafaring (gur.)
According to mythology, the demi-god Grunos came from the union of Laiaron with the beautiful Aianara, daughter of the King of Mountain-giants. The second daughter of the father of the gods apparently merged in the person of Coriana.
2.) The Culture of Eald
The entire history of Eald as a kingdom and an empire knows four prime epochs of art and a preliminary epoch before the first prime of the empire.
Heyday of the Kingdom (202 - 235)
The buildings of the Ealdum (centre of the realm in the kingdom) are lined with Gurian marble; the dome of the Royal Palace (regia) is gilded; the Telarion-Caldaries are built (207 -212); tragedies of Ruros Grusareios ("Rurian Cycle of Tragedies")
Pre-Heyday of the Empire (240 - 350)
First Imperial Palace (252 - 258); Temple of Coriana (248 - 251); Amphitheatre in Akuradum (308 - 311); philosophical books of Sublaron Ealdian; "History of Eald since Grunos" by Syrmon Steralian
1st Heyday of the Empire (520 - 660)
Highlights of physical representation (statues and statuettes, pictorial friezes) by the "School of Arathon"; Legamanos-Caldaries; philosophical writings of Timaron and Alon an Derana; highlights of historical wiritngs; the dramas of Apatus an Delanon; extension of the Great Amphitheatre under Rylamon I.; Temple of Deiama in Eald; Rylamon's Library.
2nd Heyday of the Empire (735 - 755)
Heyday of the Western Realm (735 - 750): extension of Ratiudum under Legamanos the Great (Temple of Ealda); extension of the Summer Palace in Rall (Great Amphitheatre, Statue of Kyros Myrddios); prime time of goldwork (Cardian Style); Tragedies of Rythan Susanios; "Philosophical Books" of Aritanos an Regana; the sciences are florishing: "Chemistry" of Riathon, "Celestial Movement" by Dylon an Beban
Heyday of the Eastern realm (745 - 755): the "Unfinished Library" is begun under Narodos III. (751 - 754); Temple of Ealda and of Posaia in Lagdum; "Dialogues with the Emperor" by Galdos Ratianus
In most areas of art Eald owed the richness of ideas and the motivation especially to the Gurians. Before that, craft as the only form of art of the kingdom worth mentioning was restricted to the making of pieces of jewellery and literature was retricted almost solely to the area of administration. Only a short saga from the fourth century before the foundation of the empire is handed down by Nagorestos (218 - 178). In the architectural area the first remarkable edifice comes with the Old Royal Palace (15 - 20 b.G.), the only decoration of pottery and amphoras etc. was a red glaze ("Red Firing"; 120 b. - 80 a.G.) and a simple carved decoration in the form of one to three rows of sinuous lines (380 - 210 b.G.)
1.) Philosophy and History
The first philosophical system that has come down to us dates from the second century after the foundation of the realm. Before that philosophy seems to have been dedicated to theological speculations. In his book "De natura deiorum et humanorum" ("Of the Nature of Gods and Men"), Primos Sapientum (~ 182 -251), whose real name is unknown, refers derisively to the view of a priest by the name of Proelium, that the world had originated from a tear of Arturus, the father of the gods. We don't know more about the time before that.
Apart from the book mentioned above, a letter of Primos Sapientum (who was named thus by Timaron) to his friend Aritus Manetus from Lugas is also preserved, which is called "de aedificatio orbis terrae" after its first line. There Primos imagines a tripartite division of the world into Orcus, Summus and Mons. The Orcus is the domain of the spirits (of the ancestors) and demons (to be best translated as lower spirits), the Summus (the "above") that of men and the Mons (from "mountain-top") the area of the heigher spirits, which to men ("de natura") seem like gods but which, accordings to Primos, embody only another kind of being -- detached from the needs of the body. But this kind of being is to be seen as higher than that of the demons and the spirits of the ancestors, because they (the "gods") aspire to spiritual things, whereas the spirits of the Orcus desire to be like men -- which is why they strive for contact with human beings, where the higher spirits do this only accidentally.
The main influence of Primos Sapientum on the following philosophers lies in the fact that he directed the view from religion to mankind in the first place and emancipated them from the "gods".
Telaron, the second emperor of Eald, is numbered among the phislosophers only because the "Lex Ealdum" which he established, was of importance for the eminent moral philosopher Alon an Derana and for the type of state of the empire.
In his works "Primum Mobile" and "Mechanica Caelis" Sublaron Ealdian (306 - 362), a personal advisor of the emperor Ragoras Alanos, explained the astronomical laws which had been taken over from the Gurians and established astrology as a science of the empire. Especially in the time of the Decadence /(630 - 666) horoscopes were much sought after by the emperors and the rich.
In his "Philosophia Patrorum Gentorum" Timaron for the first time arranged the philosophers and historians in a chronology which began around 200 b.G. In his main works "Physicon" and "De animate et inanimate" ("Physics", "Of animate and inanimate thiongs") he drew up an hierarchical order of things and living beings. He imagined that the phenomena of the world were concstructed out of the three elements stone, water and a kind of spiritual element, which he called "Mens Prima". In his myth of creation he imagined that everything had sprung from the Mens Prima. According to him, at first a spiritual element had emanated, then the liquid and finally the remains had cristallized to stone. Afterwards these three elements are thought to have mixed, and the world "and everything on it and in it" (de animate, 3, 230) originated. In his "Physicon" he subsequently laid down the laws which moved this world. According to this theory the Mens Prima, although indefinitely divided and being contained in everything to a greater or lesser degree, is the driving element.
The next philosopher is the already mentioned moral philosopher Aratus Alon an Delana (516 - 566). In his "Ethicon" (549) he declared human thought and action to be determined by the principles decorum, piety and sense of duty. In the following work "De moralia et officia" (554; "Of moral and duty") he subsequently differed between the outer duties (decorum, piety and duty against the state and the forebearers -- an old demand of the Gurians) and inner duties -- those are duties which man has towards himself, like the pursuit of happiness and to live according to his own nature. Following an Derana, an amalgamation of inner and outer duties is the highest aim of man and opens the way to a fulfilled life. In the comparisons ("Comparationes", 562) an Derana confronts several philosophers and writers and compares them in regard to his teachings. The influence of Alanon an Derana lies in his interest in the individual as opposed to state and tradition. While being no revolutionary he nevertheless was a "transgressor" of tradition.
Aristanos an Regana (687 - 741), a philosopher of the so-called "Ealdian School" (730 - 754) which was "founded" by the moral philosopher Luganos Ealdian (640 - 712), in his "Liber Philosophicus" showed himself to be especially influenced by Alon an Derana. But in his opinion the pursuit of happiness becomes the priority of ehtics and morals (4th book) and the state solely a matter of the state. Still Aristanos demands of the civil servants and the emperors that they shall put the interest of the state over everything (Liber Philosophicus, 5th book). He also argues in favour of a strict separation of powers between the Imperial Council on one side and the Emperor and the Magistrate on the other; in the sense that the magistrate supports the citizens against the state in their pursuit of happiness. In his first three books he adopts the natural philosophy of his colleague Riathon (690 - 750) and develops an aesthetics which demands the combination of art and religion.
In his "Electreion" (732), Riathon (690 - 750) imagines the world to be interspersed with infinitesimal particles which cause and control all processes of life, of transmutation and of decay resp. of death. In the "Chemica" he then tries for an explanation of natural processes. Riathon was a pure natural philosopher who did not concern himself with ethics and morals at all.
Dylon an Beba (691 - 756) concerned himself with astronomy in his "De motio caeli" and in his fourth book "Spiritus Caeli" sets forth a metaphysical system which is following Primos Sapientum; here the heavens are divided into seven spheres from which an ascending hierarchy of spiritual beings influences the life of man. And so it is no wonder that Dylon severely opposed the Ealdian School, arguing that man had no right of disposal over his happiness resp. his fate; at the utmost abandoning himself blindly to his desires -- i.e. those things he considered his happiness. His art of argumentation and speech are a highlight of late Ealdian rhetoric.
Ealdian Historiography began with the order the emperor Balaiur I. (reigned 276 - 284) gave the Gurian Rytactus an Belana (260 - 315) to write a history of Eald up to her origins, in order to prove the descent of the imperial house from the legendary founder of the Realm, Grynn (Grunus I.). In his work "Historia ab diebus Grynni" Rytactus consequently wrote a history of the kingdom and the empire which was in part mythologically embellished and in part realistic. In the course of this he could take the names of the kings since the second century onwards from a bronze-plate in the Coronation Temple, into which they had been carved by the high-priest of the city ("Pontifex Sacrorum Ealdum") as some kind of recommendation to the gods. Therefore his line of the attested rulers begins with king Archimanos Olakoos (130 - 139). After the transformation into the empire, this tradition of recommendation of names was continued, albeit soon without the religious meaning.
The time before the Olakoids was filled up by Rytactus partly with existing and partly with fictitious rulers -- for example with a king named Spoletos who was said to have ruled from 50 to 92 aGF.; a time in which the ruling house of the Grunians had died out with Alfon II. while the ruling family of the Trakaeans had come to power with Trakos I. If Rytactus did this on purpose in order to continue the line of descent of Grunos I. is not proven, but it would would be in keeping with his task. Anyway, his list of rulers was determinant until the time of Leandamon.
Next in the row of historians is an anonymous author whose work about the first emperors ("De imperatoribus primiis") must have been produced around 340. In the construction of his book this author could fall back on the list of rulers on the one hand -- now engraved in marble and subsequently gilded -- and on the other hand on the annual entries on the "Tabulae Regni Imperatorum". These tablets comprised the important actions for each year of rule: amongst them wars and battles, traditional as well as political duties (e.g. the nomination of the annually changing president of the Imperial Court) or the nomination of ImperialCouncillors etc. Also remarkable is the fact that the actual "creator" of the empire -- Archimanos Parablata -- does not turn up; instead Telaron I. is named the reformer and founder of the realm. Again it is Leandamon who breaks with this unwritten tradition.
an Palan (430 - 502), who came from Dynos, founded an entire genre
with his work "Gentiles Dynastorum Borarium". The Gentiles
treat the individual members of the ruling families, first from
the viewpoint of the relationships of the family members (between
each others and to other figures in public life), then from the
point of view of their period of office (progressing from year
to year) and finally from the viewpoint of their external lifework
(i.e. birth, death, offices etc).
Maron kept the Gentiles from the founding father of the dynasty, Boras II., up to Boras IV.; Maron's son Tylon (472 - 540) completed the Gentiles. Other ruler's Gentiles were written amongst others by Lyran an Donas (Semarians), Cudaion Derastenos (Legades) and Restanian (Septimes). From the 7th century onwards also the gentiles of city-families (e.g. of the Lyracans from Pardum) and after the foundation of the Aranian-Ealdian kingdom the gentiles of the royal family were written.
Apart from the Gentiles of the Borian dynasty Maron seems to have been interested in the past of Rygia and the merging of this kingdom with the Ealdian empire; a fragment of a historic outline about the Rgyians is at least handed down to us by Leandamon .
Leandamon himself (574 - 632) constitutes a peak of Ealdian historiography. In his "Historia Patrorum Gentorum" (611) and the late "Historia Imperii" (630) he did not confine himself to a representation of annual events -- like his forerunners --, but made also considerations about further circumstances and greater historical correlations, although sometimes in a mythologically sounding style (compare the narration, how emperor Lygamon the Lion landed on the Free Isles). Therefore it is especially through Leandamon that we have a more profound knowledge about Rygia, the Free Isles and also about the actual rulers between Grunos (who even with Leandamon remains in the historical dark) and the reign of the Olakoids; futhermore about the real circumstances of the foundation of the empire through Parablata. It were probably his education and position that let Leandamon shed a more rational light on Ealdian history. He was very well-read, spoke Rygian, Kyrian and Old Gurian apart from Ealdian and had admission to important sources as an Imperial Councillor and later on as the director of the "Bibliotheka Rylamonis". After he laid down his official duties in the year 625 he furthermore made long travels within the ralm; therefore, for example, an important contribution to the question of the beginnings of Rygia came from an appendix to Leandamons "Historia Patrorum" of 629.
Syrmon Steralian (618 - 691) from Ster stands between the height of the empire, as it emerges in Leandamon's work, and the slow decay of the realm since the reign of Ragoras'"the Glutton". Syrmon is important because he directed the interest of historiography also towards the history of the parts of the realm resp. those relams having merged with Eald -- and maybe that, too, is already a sign of the decay of the empire. In his "Historia Nyralica" (659) he researched the foundation of Nyral and the history of Nyral as an independant kingdom from 280 a.GF. and then sketched the history of Nyral as part of the Ealdian empire. Furthermore he tried to say something about the time before the foundation of Nyral in the year 154 b.GF.
The next historian, Lygamon an Duros (682 - 751), called himself a disciple of Leandamon.On the one hand he treated the history of the city Eald in connection with the history of the realm ("De urbe Ealda" and on the other he wrote a history of the Kyrian Wars ("De tribus bellis Kyriis",754) by order of emperor Kyros Myrddios', the founder of the Myrddian dynasty. Lygamon is the first historian since the separation of the realm in the year 714, and he is almost the only of the historiographs which sprang up like mushrooms in that time, who preserved a clear view of the real state of affairs. Especially in a time of decline -- at least in the east -- the mood of the historians is effusive with the praise of the past, while criticism is a scarce commodity.
List of philosophs and historiographs:
a) Philosophy and science:
Primos Sapientum (~182 - 251, real name unknown):
"The Building of the World" ("Aedificatio orbis terrae", around 215); "On the Nature of Gods and Men " ("De natura deiorum et humanorum", 247 -499)
Telaron II. (197 - 259, emperor of the Quersa-Dynasty):
"Lex Ealdum" (250 - 52)
Sublaron Ealdian (306 - 362):
"About Movement" ("Primum mobile", 358); "The Mechanics of Heaven" ("Mechanica Caeli", 360)
Timaron (511 - 592):
"Philosophy of the Fathers" ("Philosophia Patrorum Gentorum", 542); "Physics" ("Physicon, 545); "Of Animate and Inanimate Things" ("De animate et inanimate", 573)
Alon an Derana (516 - 566):
"Ethics" ("Ethicon", 545); "Moral and Duty" ("De moralia et officia", 552); "Comparisons" ("Comparationes", 562)
Aristanos an Regana (687 - 741):
"Philosophical Writings" ("Liber Philosophicos", 724)
Riathon (690 - 750):
"Elektreion" ("Elektreion", 732); "Chemics" ("Chemica", 741)
Dylon an Beban (691 - 756):
"The Movement of the Heavens" ("De motio Caeli", 732); "Polemic against the Ealdian School" ("Scriptum de controversia", 740)
Rytactus an Belana (260 - 315):
"History of Eald since the Days of Grynn" ("Historia ab diebus Grynni", 292 - 95)
Anonymous (facts of life unknown):
"The First Emperors" ("De imperatoribus primiis", ~340)
Myros an Palan (412 - 461):
"Gentiles of the Borian Dynasty" ("Gentiles Dynastorum Boriarum", since around 452); continued by Tylon an Palan (472 - 540)
Leandamon (574 - 632):
"History of the Fathers" ("Historia patrorum gentorum", 611); "History of the Empire" ("Historia Imperii", 630)
Syrmon Steralian (618 -691):
"Nyralian History" ("Historia Nyralica", 659)
Lygamon an Duros (682 - 751):
"History of the City and the Realm" ("De urbe Ealda", 712); "The Kyrian Wars" ("De tribus bellis Kyriis", 742)
Restanian (704 - 746):
"The Emperors of Eald" ("Imperatores Ealdae", 735); "Gentiles of the Septimes" ("Gentiles Dynastorum Septimi", 740); "History of the Ancients" ("Gentes Antiquorum", 743)
Sosaton Aranus (799 - 854; Historiograph of the time of the Ealdian-Aranian kingdom):
"The Origin of the Realm" ("Origo Regnum", 843 - 45)
Lestanon Trakeios (86 - 108 b.GF.):
"Sygon and the Three Sisters" ("Sygon et sorores tres", ~100)
Ruros Grusareios (189 - 246):
"Crytareion" (230); "Rurian Cycle of Tragedies" (six different parts ~230 - 241)
Theandamon (304 - 362):
"Selamon and Andraike" (350)
Dictus an Redanos (431 - 482):
"Myrox the Rygian" ("Myrox Rygicus", 465)
Apatus an Delanon (594 - 669):
"Lysatos and Aranaie" (652); "The Expulsion of Iulia" ("Expulsio Iuliae", 656)
Lagreion (647 - 750):
"The Unhappy Sisters" ("Miseria sororium", 735)
Rythan ra Susan (702 - 750):
"Marus an Paladon" (733); "Archimanos Parablata and the Unfavourable Hour" ("Archimanos Parablata ad horam adversam", 736); "Rhe Revenge of Lysistrata" ("Ultio Lysistratae", 742); "The Fisher's Son" ("Filius piscatoris";749)
Lestanon Trakeios (86 - 108):
"The Wanderer and the Three Lemurs" ("Viator et lemures tres", 103)
Lydron (104 - 181):
"Grynn and the Drunkard" ("Grynn et ebriosus", 134); "The Unhappy Fool" ("Stulta Misera", 145); "The Farmer and the Bull" ("Rusticus et taurus", 158)
Caesaron (206 - 242):
"Trial of Ashes" ("Iudicium Cinericium", 238); "Two Brothers" ("De fratribus duobus", 240); "The Pranks of Runataton" ("Fraudes Runatatonis", 241)
Apatus an Delanon (594 - 669):
"The fence" ("Saepes", 625); "The Farmer's Wedding" ("Nuptiae Rustici", 629); "The Transformation of the Ass" ("Mutatio Asini", 642); "The Frog" ("Rana", 658)
Emperor Narodos III. (706 - 756):
"Ragoras the Glutton" ("Ragoras Helluo", 731)
b) Epic Poets:
Nyron Trakeios (72 - 121):
"Grynn's Journeys" ("Itineres Grynnis", 119); Foundation of the City ("Fundamentum urbis", 120)
Nagorestos (218 - 278):
"Exidus of the Fathers" ("Demigratio patrorum", 256); "The Heroic Feats of the Arastos-Brothers" ("Gestae Arastici", 262)
Dictus an Redanos (431 - 482):
Arturus and Kuron" (469); "The Expedition of the Fourteen" ("Profectio Quattuordecim", 475)
Myrdanon (574 - 628):
"The Dying Ragoras" ("Ragoras Moriturus", 614)
c) Lyric Poets:
Agaton Olakoos (114 - 172):
"Festival Songs" ("Carmina Feriarum", 165)
Runamos (257 - 304)
Dobartes (520 - 572):
"Idylls" ("Bucolica", 555); "Hymns of the Sun" ("Carmina Solis", 569)
Aurelus an Poraga (586 - 656):
"Posaia" (624); "Thirteen Songs" ("Cantus Tredecim", 635)
Lygamon (671 - 721):
"Songs of the Ancients" ("Carmina Antiquorum", collection of songs, 715 -717)
Luiaron Noralian (702 - 759):
"Anecdotes" ("Memorabilia",748); "Idylls" ("Carmina bucolica", 758)
"Contemplations" ("Contemplationes", ~208)
Symaron (412 - 490):
"Letters from Myrddis" ("Epistulae ex Myrddiano", 469 - 472)
Rutus an Daruga (629 - 698):
"Rememberances of Happiness" ("Memoriae Felicitae", 696)
Lurastos ra Doban (728 - 801):
"Mixed Writings" ("Promiscua", 787 - 800)
Galdos Ratianus (731 - 766)
"Dialogues with the Emperor" ("Dialogi cum imperator", 756)