The Society of the Fergiartuya

IV. The Society of the Marimarga

In the middle of the second century before Meyapotina, two Fergiartan settlements developed at the 
"Strait of Ghormas" (which seperates the Western from the Eastern Southsea). The  locations of these settlement traces lie so far apart that one cannot assume a connection between the two settlements. At which time the Fergiartuya invaded this region could not be determined yet. But generally a century is the assumed timespan, so that the Fergiartan tribes settling here should either be related to those Fergiartuya, who lived west of the Isles of the Magicians, or rather descended from tribes who had made a "detour" over the Ahipassni. Of the linguistic structures no help for a decision of this question can be expected, since the first known names stem from the first century after Meyapotina. But these are for the most part handed down in the form of the standard language, since the notation sets in not before the second century after Meyapotina.

The two settlements existed about fifty years till they were destroyed around 100 b.M. The excavation results deliver the image of a predominantly agrarian society which was concentrated around urban centres. Both settlements will have been no exception, since the rise of the Marimarga started already around the time of Meyapotina's rule. A kingdom like that of Hvelibėya does not arise over night, after all. Due to what reasons the two settlements eventually declined and perished is not clear. But it is well possible that either a second Fergiartan settlement wave arrived or that the decline is already connected to distortions among the resident Fergiartan population. Also the fact that the centre of the Marimarga lay further west indicates this.

Even if the  rise of the realm began not before 75 a.M. with the expansion to the North under Hvelibėya, the other findings from the Marimarga indicate an origin of the kingdom in the time between 50 b.M. and 25 a.M. And even if the first Fergiartan settlers predominantly settled down near the sea (as the two settlement findings indicate), the core area of the Marimarga lay further inland than the two settlements. Naturally agrarian structures developed here also, but in contrast to the Senimarga an important stratum of
noble big landownsers developed in the Marimarga, which shaped the fortunes and development of the realm. But also in contrast to the first traces of settlement in these territories, the core area at first lacked urban structures. Apparently the Fergiartan power  in this area arose through the subjugation of indigenous tribes, which had to help the conquerors with the cultivation of large farmsteads. But from the later development we can also deduce that there were bigger differences within the Fergiartan tribes here than in the West. Thus, during the time of Hvelibėya, there existed a class of peasants and tenants who performed their daily task in dependence of the big landowners. While the landowners were at the same time warriors, who in the early period stood out by their use of the light chariots, the dependent farmers provided a lightly armed infantry, equipped with bows and spears. The serfs were at first completely forbidden the use of weapons.

Bigger settlements could not survive under these circumstances in the beginning, even if offside the land occupied by the large land holdings, there were smaller villages with peasants who cultivated their small fields in part collaboratively. In part these villages existed far off the core area of the Marimarga. But it was not before the Fergiartuya advanced to the North under the leadership of Hvelibėya, that urban centres could develop out of the settlements of other tribes. Yet there were also Fergiartan settlements beyond the core area, such as the later Havarôla, which was settled since about the time of Meyapotina.

Also the trade seems to have been little developed in the core area. After all, the big landowners with their dependent tenants had little use for trade goods. Only bronze seems to have been imported in larger amounts. In the year 25 b.M. a guild of ore- and iron-merchants appears for the first time in the sources; it  is assumed to go back to the period just mentioned. Whether the first merchants were inlanders or foreigners is not known.  Craft was more important here, which would come into question as an alternative foremost for small farmers with little land holdings. An agrarian society can produce the most things in life on its own, so that basic abilities are already present, on which specialised crafts can develop. In the course of the extension of the kingdom new knowledge was added from the outside.

Why a king could exist beside the big landowners remains unclear. Apparently the Loinnu could assert themselves on the basis of their own possessions and the power of tradition. Moreover, with Hvelibėya a charismatic and military versed king seems to have entered the top position of his people, whom the nobles followed willingly. There is not much known about the exact circumstances of the expansion, since the early history of the conquered territories outside the Fergiartan sphere  is only little researched. The  phenomenon of large land holdings is also found outside of the core area, in any case. Younger sons, not entitled to herit, seem to have found new lands here. There also seem to have been few traditional connections between the individual branches of the families, all of which may also be due to the subsequent development and the bad state of the source material before 100/125 a.M. In contrast to the core area, there was a greater mixing with the subjugated people in the northern areas of the Marimarga. In this way the pecularities of the indigenous population will also have found entry into the habits of the conquerors, as ahows for instance the survival of the "fire dance" (Hurka).

From 75 a.M. the already mentioned Hvelibėya started the expansion of the realm to the North. Hvelibėya had come to power at the age of twenty five and had succeeded in only five years to swear the big-landowning nobles to his expansion politics. This was surely made easier for him by the fact that no serious superpower stood against the Fergiartuya in the immediate vicinity. Still it is by no means a small achievement, to win over a class of self-sufficient lords for a common aim. In this respect Hvelibėya can be compared toMeyapotina, although all he had to do was pick up the debris of a disintegrating empire.

With their chariots the Fergiartuya were military superior to their neighbours. And so their triumphal march led them in a short time up to the great river Diskęsa, which originates in the Maqáran mountain massif and flows into the Southsea north of Ganira. Also in the Southwest, Hvelibėya could expand his emnpire up to one of the early settlement areas. Here they will also have come upon Fergiartan inhabitants. As can be deduced from the (admittedly only later developed) chronicles and from the time of the Fergiartan Empire, Hvelibėya named a kind of duke for the conquered territories, who took over the military and administrative management for the ruler. These governors, the so-called Patėsha, were later on integrated into the imperial council of the Fergiartan Empire, having the rank of a Saranna. In the Marimarga, this principle was also kept during later conquests. These governors maintained a small army responsible for police and representative, as well as military tasks. Even during the war of succession (180 - 193 a.M.) these troops were surprisingly never used against the rulers of the Marimarga. This was on the one hand due to the fact that the office of the Patîsha was not hereditary, even if the ruler of the Marimarga often considered the heir for succession. On the other hand, the strength of the troop was strictly limited, even if there were differences according to the individual areas. But these provincial forces were immensely important for the Loinna of the Marimarga in times of war, as the conflict with the Iaxenioi since 150 a.M. shows. On the one hand, they could keep an enemy occupied so long, till the warriors of the realm were mobilised. On the other, with their experience and practised tactics they formed the core of the kingdom's army.

On their conquest, the Fergiartuya also came upon urban centres, which they subsequently expanded. These cities were also an attraction for those Fergiartuya who found no suitable livelihood among the ruling noble class in the core area of the kingdom. Although the mobility of the serfs was limited, the cities of the North (and later on the West) were a promising alternative for those small farmers and tenants, who were no match for the demands respectively the competition of their lords. As members of a conquering people they could at least hope to be able to make a new life in the cities. Particularly in the early period, people with skill and prudence had great chances in the cities. Craftsmen were always in demand, and in the extended settlement area there existed also greater possibilities for trade than in the agrarian core area. Still with time some urban centres developed here also.

In the North the cities competed with the likewise existing noble big landowners. Of course these were not willing to simply give up their prvileges and their power. They endeavoured with the best of their abilities to impede the migration of their workers to the cities and tried to suppress the supply of the cities with grain and meat. As an answer, small agrarian enterprises sprung up around the cities, which were in part cultivated by the inhabitants of the city, in part by immigrating peasants and tenants from the South. Military measures against the cities, however, were stopped by the troops of the governors. Even if nobles also were governors, they held their post only on further notice. In order to encourage them to a neutral stance, the Loinna conceded them certain privileges. A law from the time of the Fergiartan Empire confirms fiscal benefits 'as the Loinna of the Marimarga grants them from time immemorial.' The Patėshu were also conceded certain privileges for the trade with the cities. Thus for instance, they had a "right of first purchase" on luxury goods; i.e. when new luxury goods were offered on the market of a city, the governor was allowed to inspect the goods as the first person and to make his choice. This was nota bene a right conceded by the Loinna. As is understandable, the cities also tried to win over the governor by the granting of privileges. Gradually the fights for predominance will have subsided, so that both sides could survive. The developing trade had some advantages for the landowners too, after all, who were able to dictate the prices on the markets of the cities with their foodstuff. In particular as the population grew around the end of the first century, the cities could no longer cover the demand for grain and meat on their own. On the agrarian sector the  landowners could even extend their predominance, therefore. 

Far from the cities the big landowners continued their policy of oppression of the native population. The subjugated rural population was largely made to serfs when a noble Fergiartu built his manor and made his livelihood within the conquered territory. There were still indigenous farmers, who could preserve their independence. In no way was the land divided among the conquerors in a regular manner; but nobody could prevent a noble from taking the land of an indigenous inhabitant; unless he, in turn, was able to hold his own by force of arms. In part this also depended on the location of a farmstead and in part on its size. In the cities parts of the subjugated population could also get by. The immigration of serfs, however, was prevented legally.

If the expansion to the North was indebted to the population growth in the core areas, the expansion to the West under the Egripates was the clear attempt of the rulers to enlarge their own power. If one formerly had stolen the land of the indigenous population, now one "only" subjected them to one's own power. Or at least almost, because now there were also such among the warriors who wanted to make their living in the conquered foreign parts. But in the West the percentage of the indigenous population among the property-owning classes was considerably higher than in the rest of the Marimarga - also on the country. And although here also Fergiartan land holdings developed , which were comparable to those in the East, the class of the big landowners was smaller in proportion. Instead there was a bigger share of independent small farms and villages in the West. In contrast to the East, a head tax was foisted on the subjugated people, from which was paid  the upkeep of the rule. The conquered cities, on the other hand, were put on a par with those in the East, but they had to bear a higher tax load. In part this led to the development of a migration of the population to the East.

In contrast to the expansion to the North, the extension of the kingdom towards the West constituted an expansion policy of almost sixty years, pursued by several rulers. The conquest happened in waves, sometimes even under peaceful conditions. That can at least be deduced from a report originating in Alataris, which deals with the admission of a city called Padęra (Padeira),  that originally belonged to the catchment area of Alataris. This city concluded a treaty with the Loinna of the Marimarga in the year 122 a.M., which offered an entry to the kingdom for the granting of certain trade privileges and tax reductions. There were some independent cities at the eastern edge of the Alatarian dominion, which succeeded in eluding the direct rule of Alataris for generations. Although they paid taxes to the predominant force of the Isles of the Magicians, they were ruled autonomously; mainly by city councils.

Since the two powers, Alataris and the Marimarga, were no direct contrahents at this period, the loss of influence in Padęra was accepted by Alataris.

Since the expansion happened only gradually, there was always enough time in between to integrate the conquered territories into the existing structures. As was done in the North, Patėshu were created in the West, which were the extended arm of the ruler. In contrast to the rather administrative power of the ruler in the Senimarga and in Satisanzia, the Loinnu of the Egripates tried to extend their own property and with it their own power. Thus by and by single districts of the conquered territories were taken over by them. On the thus-formed "crown land" (Lunnęta), large farmsteads were built, which were cultivated by tenants for the Loinna. These were mostly peasants, who, for agreeing to work as tenants on the land of the Loinna, were granted permission by him to divert a portion of the produced harvest etc. for their own needs. Generally several peasant cultivated such a farm with their families, but there were also smaller enterprises, which were only looked after by a single peasant including his family. A list from the third century a.M. records a total of one hundred and five farms on crown land. But there was also crown land of such an extension that two or three farmsteads found room on it. In this way about fifteen percent of the dominion belonged to the Loinna of the Marimarga.

Of course the temptation of the farmers to put away more than the alloted share of the income of the farmsteads was great. For control the king sent an official once a year, who inspected the farmsteads. In order to prevent attempts at bribery, the officials, who were given the controlling task, changed. If a farmer generated less than the farmstead could supply, he was replaced by the Loinna. In part he was also made financially responsible. All these measures saw to it, that the wealth and the power of the Loinna grew. The gain obtained on the crown land was invested into infrastructure and a standing army, which developed since 136 a.M., consisting of young nobles, professional warriors and volunteers. The money was also used for the construction of fortresses and the axpansion of the capital city Havarôla.

Beside the conquests, the Egripates also worked at the inner strengthening of the kingdom. Thus a highway was built in the North, which led from Havarôla all across the realm and later ended in Ganira. Further on the rulers endevaoured to build a fleet and to promote the maritime trade with the Isles of the Magicians and the southern "neighbours", the Khalcydian Empire. A brisk exchange of goods developed especially between Sollęna and Ghormas. From the Khalcydian Empire came particularly silk and spices, whereas the Marimarga exported grain and jewellery especially. Paper and wool came from the Isles of the Magicians in exchange for grain and meat.

By the promotion of the cities, the kingdom developed beside the military also the economic powers. In particular trade developed positively between 110 and 140 a.M. Fergiartan merchants from the Marimarga already opened branches on the Isles of the Magicians, as the trade from Satisanzia only discovered the market. We have already spoken of the meeting of two traders from the two realms in another chapter. Excavations could discover several houses of Fergiartan merchants. Apparently there already existed something like trading houses or merchant associations, who sent their members to the isles. Beside the big landowners, the cities also exerted their influence on the politics of the kingdom through the guilds and their economic power.  In contrast to Satisanzia, there existed no state council in the Marimarga. Instead the Loinna had an advisory board where beside the nobles also the cities were represented. This council gained a greater influence on the policy of the kingdom not before the war of succession between 180 and 193 a.M. Nonetheless, thanks to their standing army and their economic power because of the crown land, the rulers of the Marimarga remained more independent than even the Parsha of the empire.

Due to the decreasing power of Alataris and the rise of the kings of Iaxenios, in the middle of the second century, the Egripates succeeded in expanding the western border of the kingdom up to the coastal region controlled by the Isles of the Magicians. The culmination of this advance was the conquest of the important seaportGanira in the year 155 a.M. Even if their regime there lasted at first only twenty five years, the Marimarga still profited by the cultural and economic influence of the city states. Due to the control of a major port, not only the maritime knowledge grew, but also trade experienced a big upswing. The resident shipwrights helped with the construction of a distinct merchant-, but also a military fleet. While formerly ships - and often also the sailors - had to be bought in addition expensively, now they could be built and manned autonomously. In contrast to the Khalcydian Empire, which really was more a land power, the Isles of the Magicians were more sea powers. We may not underestimate the gains in the skills of the alchemical-medicinal domain. On the Isles of the Magicians, the attempts at alchemical transformations had a long tradition. Beside the material aspects, the medicinal skills had also profited by the alchemical experiments. If the Marimarga formerly had to rely on journeying practitioners or - due to the weakness of Alataris - the services of defectors, now a number of interested Fergiartuya  turned to the study and the practise of the alchemical arts. The term "Isles of the Magicians", which is of Fergiartan origin ("Arkęne Meyalun"), also expresses the admiration of the general cultural advantage of the city states, which also covered the domain of alchemy. In the Marimarga in particular the medicinal aspects of alchemy developed a great importance; at the same time also the sanitary situation of Fergiartan cities in the Marimarga became better.

Also on the artistic field, expecially that of architecture and literature, a great influence came from the Isles of the Magicians. In the time between 150 and 250 a.M., the architecture of the city states became so important to that of the Marimarga, that a mix-architecture developed in which the Fergiartan element was less distinctive than in the North. In particular in the West of the Marimarga, many buildings in the style of the city states could be found. Also in the far Northeast situated capital Havarôla some buildings of this kind were built. Important elements of this architecture are columns, colonnades, archs and decorative elements like e.g. mosaics. The use of barrel vaults also became important for the Fergiartan side of architecture.

On the field of literature also, a surge in the interest for the own culture occurred by the contact with poems, epics and stage plays of the Isles of the Magicians. As in the North three centuries before, the transscription of old folk tales and myths as well as the use of traditional topics and motifs for one's own creations became important. Yet the absence of a proper script led to the circumstance that a foreign language and script had to be used for this purpose. Only the admission to the Fergiartan Empire and the use of the Fergiartan system of writing discovered by way of the conflict of Satisanzia with Iaxenios, a discrete expression in one's own language developed. And even if a major part of the early literature was translated into the Fergiartan, the use of the Alatarian remained also later on.

As the last of the rulers of the Egripates, Begauta III., died in the year 180 a.M., a war of succession broke out in the kingdom. The ambitious widow of the Loinna, Gesalina, tried to stay in power during the conflict with the council. While a part of the Patėshu and the noble big landowners arranged themselves with the widow, the other part rallied around the noble Dirkena from the family of the Belarmi. In particular the Western provinces favoured Dirkena, while the nobles of the core area and the North at least outwardly  kept faith with Gesalina -  and with her also with the family of the Egripates. In the following period military conflicts happened between the two sides. From this profited the king of Iaxenios initially, who reconquered Ganira in 181 and brought the coastal region under his control. In the course of inner conflicts the Marimarga relinquished control over this area rather fast. Anxious to extend their predominance against the other city states, the Iaxenioi themselves did not continue to use their advantage. The cultural and economic exchange between the two territories, however, continued. After the Fergiartuya lost Ganira, Padęra became for some time the most important port of the Marimarga.

The military conflict between the two sides led to different developments on the economic sector, which were due to differences in the population structure. In the West the indigenous population, which favoured Dirkena, got a greater weight on the power structures. Thus the post of at least one Patėsha was occupied by a noble of the local population. The cities, too, could extend their influence on the politics of the western part, which led to a lesser tax load. In the East the noble big landowners could strengthen their influence in the crown council.  Since especially their military loyalty  to the ruler's widow guaranteed her power, they organised behind five memebers of the advisory board, who functioned as their voice vis-ā-vis the ruler. Consequently an important party in the politics of the kingdom developed here. Since the supporters of Dirkena naturally absented themselves from the activities in the council during the conflict, after the begin of Dirkena's rule, they had a disadvantage contra the "old" parts of the realm. Yet they could compensate this by their economic advantage. The greater power of the land-owning nobles in the East was albeit accompanied by a certain underdevelopment of trade. Although the East had an advantage due to its structure on the agrarian sector, the West continued to catch up on this field also.

After the first military conflicts, where none of the two sides could win a deciding advantage, they arranged themselves with the situation. Yet Gesalina did little in the question of succession. Although in particular the big landowners  pressed for a marriage, and the unmarried nobles endeavoured to win the hand of Gesalina, the ruler did not act. Apparently only her own power had mattered to her. She and Begauta had had no children and at the age of fifty two it was questionable, whether Gesalina could give birth again. Maybe she was also infertile. Still an adoption could also have produced a successor; in the worst case her new husband and his family would have  succeeded. But when Gesalina died in 193 a.M., the opposition in the West disintegrated in the shortest time. Dirkena could move into the capital city in the same year and ascend to the throne.