The Society of the Fergiartuya

III. The society of the first Fergiartan Kingdom

The folk tale "L‚ris atte hettan sottre Lussnasha" (recorded in the second century b.M. for the first time) tells the story of king L‚ris, who is led into a silver city by a stag he is hunting. Here he meets seven beautiful women at a fountain from which flow silver moonbeams. They ask him to choose the most beautiful of them with a sceptre made from ivory. In the following each of the seven women take him on a short journey, in which he is supposed to get to know them and where he makes many adventures and discoveries. Poor king L‚ris is so impressed by each of the women that he does not want to prefer one of them. As he finally has finished his seven journeys and is to go ahead with his choice, he simply shatters the sceptre and promises to marry each of the seven women. The moon, whose daughters the women are, finally saves the king from his embarassing situation and arbitrates the objections which his daughters make in the aftermath. In the end it is said succinctly that king L‚ris returns to his throne with his seven wives "and was as great a king as could be found under the beams of the moon".

Later this tale has often been read as the founding legend of the first Fergiartan kingdom. Sometimes even the seven cities were mentioned, which were supposed to have been under the protection of each one of the seven daughters of the moon. Of the best-known names only three are mentioned however, viz. Viargaka, Hakrivarg and Ketorimis. And there is only one of the daughters of the moon whose name points to the system of the seven temples of Hakrivarg. Her name is Launna and this name was braught into connection with the love goddess Lonna. But it could just as well indicate a "folk goddess" Lunna (of the root lus- or lus-, the people).

Indeed, the urban development of the Senimarga in the fourth century b.M., as the first kingdom is called later, will have been still at the initial stage.  Test excavations in Viargaka up till now could only produce stone remains of buildings from the third century. Before that, buildings from the date of origin of the first kingdom will have been primarily made from wood or mud. One of the scribes, whom king UspŻdi invited into the land since 280 b.M., Mokhephůsos from Pangora, has left us an interesting description of the city Viargaka in his memoires. He had probably arrived in the Senimarga in the year 275 b.M. and was employed as manager of the royal correspondence. In this function he worked at first for five years before he advanced to the position of second director of the chancellery. This post he held for another six years, before he returned to his hometown for reasons of age. There he composed his "Memories of the Foreign Parts".

In relation to the time of origin of the Senimarga, his memoires are especially important for inferences. He reports here, that

only few buildings of the capital [...] [were made] from stone. Streets were utterly unknown. Chariots and other vehicles, men and animals, simply searched their way between the houses and mud huts. Refuse littered the free ground, sometimes chickens ran between your legs, so that you had to take care not to fall.

Overall Mokhephůsos depicts more a larger village, which was grouped around the palace core. But it has to be said that his report comes from a time, where the kingdom was yet no century old. Therefore we can assume, on the one hand, that many settlements in the starting phase of the kingdom had a temporary character. And that at places, where a permanent settlement formed, the houses were at first more a kind of short-lived buildings. Mopkhephůsos further recounts that 'as I was told, the royal city was not yet fifty years old.' Unfortunately the man from Pangora did only seldom penetrate beyond he city border of Viargaka during his time in the Senimarga. So we have  only few informations of other cities by him. Due to him we at least know that there were only farmsteads in the area around the capital. 

If we have no news about other cities and areas from his reports, the Memoires at least paint the picture of an aspiring and dynamic people. In the eleven years of his acrivities among the royal chancellery

[...] the city developed splendidly after all. Shortly before my arrival the king had begun to develop the area around the palace. From fundaments west of the palace a simple, but noble temple to the highest of the local gods, Erma [Eramma], arose in only two years of building activity. Before the gates of the palace, which then was but a simple, rectangular building with a wooden roof, a place was built from quarrystone, over which swaggered the warriors of the king. In the third year of my activities as manager of the correspondence, the king had some of the wooden houses torn down to make place for a paved street, which at first led only some distance past the palace. Without lamentation the inhabitants simply rebuilt their houses some distance further by the roadside. Besides, I must say that the people here are very industrious. Permanently new men and women moved into the city and built their huts and houses wheresoever they found a place. Those who could afford it, used fundaments from stone and raised their mud walls between wooden poles. But there were still enough residents who only lived in tents; simple rectangular structures with strips of wool and a moderately high, tapering roof.Many of them remained in the city only for the winter and in summer returned to the country with their herds. Even if trade was not much developed yet, the newcomers still provided an enrichment by using their products from wool and hides as bartering goods. Money was largely unknown to the people of this time, even if the king let coins be made from his treasure and be circulated.
As simple the houses, as unassuming were the people with their clothing. The men wore simply cut trousers from linen or wool with wide legs and simple long-armed shirts. The warriors bound their trousers below with clasps so that they were not hindered in battle or while driving their chariots. The women mostly wore one-piece dresses with a simple, rectangular neckline. Embroidered collars only rich women could afford. Instead the women often held together their long hair with dyed woollen cloths. [...]
When I left the kingdom, many of these traits were still in evidence. Still, the city had changed considerably. [...]

Mokhephůsos relates only few details of the social ordering in the Senimarga. Moreover, he seems to paint the somewhat idealized picture of a rural and frugal society. But as a manager of the correspondence he had often to do with the messengers which the king sent into the land, to communicate with the tribal leaders and the nobles. To record the reports of these illiterate men at first constituted the greater part of the "correspondence". We still have transscripts and citations of some of these documents; but only insofar, as they seemed important in relation to legal texts or decisions to the chroniclers of later times. Judging from this, the power of the king was not yet very  pronounced in the beginning. Beside the king the council of the heads of the families, "HenÍta", which met every few years in Viargaka, was the most important body and the king was mainly responsible for war-campaings and disputes. Beyond that, the tribal leaders and the elders had the power of decisison in the country. When the heads of the families convened within the HenÍta, disputes between tribes were discussed and - if possible - arbitrated. How many members there were in the council of the heads of the families, cannot be assessed, especially since not all of them were present each time. There were no laws in the early phase of the kingdom. These arose only with the establishment of the chancellery and the writing down of the decisions. There seems also to have been no taxation at this time. The king himself was first and foremost a tribal leader.  The funds of the king first of all fed from the wealth of his own family and secondly from dues the king  collected from the families of his own tribe.  

Unfortunately we have  no information, how the tribal leader of the ErdulÓnu got to be ruler of the three (big) tribes of the Senimarga. However, the determination of the three tribes is not without problems. Normally this estimation is based on the distribution of settlements at the time of Meyapotina. But we can assume that this estimation is correct, if we consult the written sources of the chancellery and the frequency with which the names of the tribes occur. If we leave settlement shifts aside, we can record the following distribution: Hence the ErdulÓnu lived in the area between the land bridge in the North, around Viargaka and up to the northern Southsea in the West, approximately up to Hakrivarg. The DivasŻni inhabited the area between the land bridge and the Egarsa. The third tribe, the Gusalante, occupied a territory between the two other tribes in the North and expanded southward approximately up to the line Ketorimis - RemayÍka. They also were constitutive for the expansion of the emperial border in this area. Overall the colonization of the Senimarga up to the second century seems to have proceeded rather peacefully. At least Mokhephůsos reports no battles whatsoever.

At least the seizure of power of the Loinna of the ErdulÓnu seems to have entailed no direct subjugation of the other two tribes. But it is also not known, whether for example an election - perhaps through a council of the tribal leaders and the elders - heaved the Loinna of the ErdulÓnu onto the throne. Therefore scholars assume that the prince of the central tribe took the essential role for defence (organisation, coordination and strategy) of the settlement area and the tribes by way of an implicit agreement - presumably because of his capabilities of leadership. From this starting point he acquired further competences in the course of the historical and socio-political development of the tribes.

At the top of the hierarchy (leaving princes and family heads aside) will have stood the warriors, who mostly (at least in the early days) also were farmers and cattle breeders; followed by the sedentary farmers and on the lower end - or at least in the peripherie - the itinerant nomadic herdsmen.That is not to say that these families took the last place in esteem, the more so as they could gain prestige and wealth by the size of their herds; rather, due to their  nomadism they were but  little tangible to a largely sedentary population. Over time, while the sedentary population grew more and more organised, they would have become gradually more suspect to these Fergiartuya.  Still, a minor percentage of the Fergiartuya stayed commited to nomadism, as the steadily re-ocurring attempts at a legal recordal of these families, the so-called Linttru ("wayfarers"), show. As seems to follow from the report of Mokhephůsos, the nomads repaired to the city for the winter, in order to barter the natural products, generated and fabricated during their peregrination, for city products. Inventories of the chancellery sometimes list wool, sheep and other products of the nomads, which came into the possession of the Loinna by levies of the city population and/or the members of the tribe. Moreover, we even get the impression that in the beginning (at least as far as we know from the chancellery) the stop of the nomads in the city of the prince was permitted without signs of disapproval. Indeed, sometimes the nomads were encouraged to take products from the city on their travels. Perhaps this was an attempt to broaden the catchment area of the city for trade in a cheap manner. Sometimes the nomads carried along directives of the prince or they were accompanied by a messenger of the king. This way, the messenger was protected from attacks and the nomads could adapt to the idea of a king. Later on a practice developed where trade caravans shared a part of the trail of the nomads. With the development and expansion of an independant trade and a merchant class, the regular visits of the nomads were at best seen as a temporary enrichment of the urban supply, and at worst as a nuisance. Already during the heyday of the Senimarga decrees from the capital are known which tried to encourage the arriving nomads to settle in the outer limits of the city. Later on, local markets developed here, where the trade with the nomads took place. But with the development of the urban and rural economy, their products will have been no longer appropriate to the grown quality needs of the urban citizens. In times of need, their visits - even if times of drought affected them in a similar way as the sedentary agrarian population - were quite welcome. But - especially in later times - it were rather the smaller towns that could profit from their visits.

On the other hand there were also cases where these nomads became sedentary themselves. As long as they settled in the lesser developed territories, this was quite welcomed by the already sedentary population. The administrative recordal of the newly-settled took between a few months and a generation. Thus, for example, the first establishment of contacts between the Satisanzia and the Fergiartu proper was already made shortly before the death of Meyapotina, when the recording tours of royal clerks, which began at this time, encountered a settlement of newly sedentary nomad families at the border between the Egarsa and the Ahipassni. These families told about tribes which seemd to speak a dialect similar to the standard language. It was not until the year 30 a.M. that the next bigger contact took place between these ethnic groups in the battle of KatraknÍta (KatrÍta).

In contrast to the lesser settled territories, sometimes conflicts broke out between the newly-sedentary or land-seeking and those families, which already settled longer. In the year 145 b.M.  for instance, five male inhabitants of a village were executed in Ketorimis, who had attacked a newly-settled family and killed five of seven farm dwellers as well as devastated house and farm. The two survivors, mother and daughter, both of which had been left raped, were allocated a domicile in the city by the temple.

But the administration did not always decide in favour of the weaker, only just arrived, party. A law from the year 120 b.M. tried - even if probably not always successfully -  to award the decisison in such cases to uninvolved judges: "If a crime is done to a family, which was migrant in earlier times and which is now settled for at least one harvest time, by people, who are at least resident in this area for one generation and who are known to the nearest authorities or the prince, so shall a judge from the next town deal with the case and speak a just verdict. If this is not possible, the prince of the territory shall decide. Scribes are to record the judgement in both cases." And an addendum from the time of Satisanzia adds: "This judgement is to be sent as a transcription to the chancellery; for the record or for control."

In the cities, the social structure will by nature have  developed differently. Although agrarian structures - at least in the surrounding areas and on the city borders - can be found here also, with growing wealth trade and craft developed. During the time Mokhephůsos reports about, manual activities seem to have been done mainly by the families themselves. Whether the building of the temple or the streets respectively the shaping of the palace-forecourt was done by independent ErdulÓnian worksmen or by foreign ones, cannot by decided from the sources. We simply do not know, whether the manual and architectural knowledge of the Fergiartan tribes was already sufficient then, to build the temple of Eramma, which was to our knowledge renovated not before the second century after Meyapotina, or the forecourt of the palace (for whose completion at least advanced possibilities and abilities of surveying were needed). The question, who built the palace, remains also unclear. We can at least assume with some certitude that an experienced master builder of another culture (from the Isles of the Magicians for instance) will have presided over a troop of ErdulÓnian artisans; especially since the engagement and import of a whole well-rehearsed team would have caused more trouble. According to our source, the first school of architecture, which was founded by a "foreigner", developed not until 225 b.M. Unfortunately we know neither the name of the master builder nor have we any written sources; the chancellery recorded the begin of his activities only through the allocation of a building near the city centre.

With time specialised craft enterprises will have developed, who accepted and effected private and official building contracts. For the capital, the first official order for a family of craftsmen was recorded by the chancellery for the year 210 b.M. This concerned the construction of a market hall in the city centre. The development of handicraft can therefore be estimated historically for the time between 280 and 200 b.M. To what extent Fergiartan architects and master builders were involved in this development, is hard to decide. But the school of architecture, founded in 225, will have given a big boost to this development. Anyway, the construction of the temple of Ketorimis was already headed by a Fergiartan master builder by the name of PatistŻya. In documents from the first century b.M. several specialsed crafts (craftsman = Manttra) are already named: Moju (smiths), Dematriu (masons), LÓnelu (lumberjacks), Yottru (carpenters), MengÍtru (potters), Skotalu (shoemakers and tanners), Tossalu (bakers), GesyÍtru and Netre (dressmakers and seamstresses), Imporkalu (dyers), GevÍtru and Grattene (weavers of wool and linen), as well as Lutre (laundresses). In which way and if these craftsmen were organised, can only be determined for the time between 79 b.M. and the accession to the throne of Meyapotina. Apparently the crisis of the first kingdom promoted the development of guilds. In the starting time mostly the concepts Sammuntat (community) and Lisiza (a group formed by an agreement) are used. The more common concept SayosÍte (guilds, singular: SayosÍta) is not attested until the Satisanzia; these are groups of craftsmen who have their own charter. Apart from them there are still Lisiza, but in contrast to the guilds these associations had no access restrictions, although they were not necessarily more accessible due to their personal nature. They were more a kind of communities of purpose, which for instance shared a common market or met for  price agreements, etc. They were therefore often found among traders. So an important characteristic was the personal acquaintance among members. The SayosÍta, in contrast, regulated not only the access, but also other areas like education, advancement, marriages, care of widows and orphans in cases of death, yes, even the  arrangement of burials was organised. But the SayosÍte were limited to the city, while there were quite some Lisiza, who had members in the country, for instance in the long-distance trading between the Satisanzia and the surrounding territories. Also in foreign countries, for instance on the isles of the Magicians, Lisiza had their members. Members of the Lisiza of craftsmen were exclusively masters. The guilds were generally governed by a council of elders or a board of chosen masters.

Since we have only reports from the Senimarga, we cannot trace how the guild system spread to the other tribes. Since the guild system of Satisanzia naturally followed from that of the Senimarga,  we can for instance not say, inhowfar the Fergiartu proper at the bay of ValyÍkana already had organisations of craftsmen before their entry into the empire. Less than that we know from the early time of the Marimarga. It is not before the year 175 a.M. that we have a first hint on an institution comparable to the LisÓza from this kingdom. 
This comes in the form of a letter of a merchant in the city of Ganira at the Isles of the magicians, who apparently had encountered a merchant from the Marimarga. If and to what extent this kingdom was known in Satisanzia cannot be said with any certainty. However, the letter states that: "I talked to the man from the East Coast in the local traders language. In the process he told me of an association to which he belonged and which had sent him to Ganira. Since he couldn't think of the local expression, he used a word which sounded like our lisenni. I ask myself, whether I have not misheard him." With the expansion of the empire these concepts were adopted too. 

Between the time of Mokhephůsos' report and the testimony from Ganira mentioned above, trade had boomed. When we hear by 150 b.M., in the first testimony about the Fergiartuya, which we have from the Cities of Darkness, about a man called EgrŻna (Egaruwuna), that he has traded cloth from the Senimarga in QuariyŠna the third year in a row, it seems that there already had developed a flourishing trade in the hundred and thirty years since Mokhephůsos. When we then think about the seven temples of  Hakrivarg, which are built starting 165 b.M., then the urban system will also have developed strongly. Both developments must have taken place together , because a purely agrarian society has little interest in trade. Although one could object that the circumstance, that a trader had to travel as far as QuariyŠna to sell his wares, argues against this thesis, but then again the question arises, who was to produce the cloth which EgrŻna traded in QuaiyŠna, if not the cities with their trade?

But we have only few written sources about the trade and its extent from the time between 250 and 150 b.M. This may have to do with the unsufficient reach of the central power in Viargaka, but there are also weighty objections against such a thesis. The development of the capital, for instance,  was also financed by the royal income from trade taxes; this at least is reported by a law which was written down in the chancellery at around 135 b.M. It is said, amongst other things: "Therefore the cities, whose streets are kept free from bandits and loitering riff-raff by the warriors of the Loinna, shall cede a certain part of their yields from trade to the Loinna, namely according to the rate determined by the HenÍta."

Apparently warriors of the king patrolled some distance along the streets on which the  trade proceeeded, in order to protect the traders from bandits and highwaymen. For this the king got a levy which was fixed by the council of elders. In a certain way we can speak of a trade profits tax, but one which the king could not fix at will. Futhermore, the heads of the families will have had a better overview over the actual trade within their territories than the Loinna or the chancellery. That  is the reason, why we have only records from the chancellery that indicate the  money flowing into the treasury, rather than  the actual trade volume. Furthermore the chancellery records the development of the long-distance trading in the years between 170 and 150 b.M., although we cannot determine when this development began. Everything recorded by the chancellery only indicates the point in time when a development, which might have lasted a longer time, is being detected by the scribes. Still, the fact that it is recorded at this or this time, points to certain developments within a certain period. The emergence of the name Egaruwuna in QuaiyŠna at the end of the period also confirms this asumption. 

Whether the traders had already organized in LisÓzu at this time cannot be ascertained. The sources can verify this development only from 100 b.M. onwards. Furthermore, the creation of such forms of organization would make sense only, when the long-distance trading had already developed to some extent. Assuming that there were initially few pioneers, who had the courage to take over the trade over long distances, instead of simply reselling their goods, then initially they will have taken care of a standardization of their trade voyages themselves. After all, the far markets wanted to be developed first, before a regular far-distance trade became a possibility at all. Only when enough traders had realized that the long-distance trading was profitable, they will also have started to make agreements among themselves.

In relation to the trade with local markets in the kingdom, guild-like associations will have developed some time earlier. Especially high-profit markets and trade goods (be it luxury items or goods contested due to their quality and/or volume), which brought about a higher concentration of traders, will have promoted organisations like these. The time of crisis of the kingdom only yielded a greater density of guilds (especially on the craft market).

We don't know much about the social standing of the traders. The same holds true for the craftsmen. Generally their social standing will have grown by time, especially in the cities, since the agrarian population came only seldom into contact with them, respectively since they dealt with manual tasks themselves. In the Senimarga, trade will still have taken place mainly within the cities. The development of important markets in the country later on was advanced particularly by the construction of the Grand Imperial Highway since the year 55 b.M. We also should not underestimate the role of the nomads, the Linttru, who brought goods from the cities to the country on their treks after spending the winter in the city. Since they were not tied to already fixed trade routes, they could bring their purchased goods into those areas not already reached by the traders.  To what extent they further bartered the goods for agrarian products, however, cannot be deduced from this.

Since we are lacking explicit sources of most of the individual areas of the empire, it is hard to estimate, when the role of warriors and farmers in the Senimarga started to differentiate. In the first place, this will have depended on the individual settlement area. In areas with a lower density, the farmers could concentrate on farming and were probably only seldom used as warriors. Since the development of the Senimarga progressed rather peacefully, they had to defend their farmsteads only rarely. With closer proximity to the settlement, where the prince lived, the farmers will also have been requested by him to perform duty as warriors. A division will likely have emerged only with the increasing duration of settlement. We know from the chancellery that the Loinna of the ErdulÓnu had a personal guard, as the "swaggering" warriors of Mokhephůsos also document. This palace guard recruited its members from farmers living near Viargaka, which had to serve at the palace following a rota of about two month. Its strength will not have exceeded two hundred warriors in peacetime.

There is not much known about the rise of individual families during the early period; for instance, we have no written documents, whether and which families could acquire the lands of others, thus achieving the status of big landowners or similar, which could then with growing wealth afford to live a pure life as warriors. Surely bad harvests contributed to such concentrations of landholding. Martial activities between the great tribes are not known before the time of crisis of the Senimarga. Still, there certainly seem to have been some fights for land- or farm property, as already the law about fights between old and newly-sedentary Fergiartuya shows. The chancellery tried to transform such conflicts into negotiations between the princees respectively within the HenÍta, as several writs from the time between 125 and 95 show. With the onset of the disputes over the throne, the military strength of the involved parties was then more in demand, as if attempts at mediation could have achieved anything.

The size of a farmyard, especially on the rural countryside, depended on the size of the families who cultivated it. From later writs of the chancellery (the first time around 120 b.M.) that concerned itself with hereditary disputes, we know that there certainly were families who looked after the cultivation of larger farmsteads - especially in areas of a lower population density. We know from excavations that there were also types of villages, where residential buildings were grouped around big working areas (sheds, barns and silos), and where the fields surrounded the such-formed settlement. This kind of settlement seems to have been especially common among the northern ErdulÓnu. Other settlements in turn are simple conglomerations of farmsteads with arable land. In times of peace there was little need to take away the land of others. In the early period, princes and families with a great offspring could still afford to cultivate as much land, as the personal strength and wealth allowed.

All in all, the Senimarga seems to have been quite stable before the throne disputes, so that especially the development of the cities exalarated. The heyday of the kingdom between 150 and 100 b.M. can also especially be detected within the cities. While the
Battle of Salbar for the first time brought about again an expansion of the kingdom, the first literary works of the Fergiartuya developed among the scribes educated by the chancellery in the capital Viargaka, even if they were written in the language of foreigners, namely the Alatarian (language), which was widely distributed among the Isles of the Magicians (precisely because of the predominance of the city of Alataris). The so-called "Literature of the scribes" (Kettoiza Kevitrun) recorded several folk tales, in which ErdulÓnian cultural material will have dominated. These works were translated into the standard language not before the second century after Meyapotina.

Between 150 and 125 b.M. the construction of the seven temples took place in Hakrivarg. It is not quite sure, why the development of the great religious centre of the country occurred just here. But the chancellery records the donation of a large plot of land to the "priests from Ketormis" for the year 185 b.M., where the construction of a large temple had already taken place between 200 and ca. 195. In contrast to the early form of the temple, which had been composed of a square base and an upper part of square and conical top, the base of this temple was already more rectangular, even if furnished with only one upper part. The temple of Eramma in Hakrivarg, on the other hand, already was composed of a rectangular base cuboid, the fitted roof-like  transition piece and the three upper pieces of rectangle with chamfer and conical top. At the time of the Satisanzia, the colonnade with the gate was added. The other six temples were smaller, but followed the form of construction of the main temple. With time other residential buiildings, libraries, baths and other buldings were erected on the huge complex.


The capital was also developed between 150 and 100 b.M. The palace was expanded by bigger stables and barracks and the main building was furnished with a new roof and a big tower-annex. The forecourt of the palace was enclosed by a wall with a gate and the formerly unfortified market place was furnished with a pavement of quarry stone. In the centre a large market hall was erected, which was open after the Alatarian model and consisted of a colonnade on which was set an airy hall. On the other side of the palace was built an assembly hall for the council of princes, obviously constructed by the same master builder of the Isles of the Magicians, who was responsible for the market hall. In the beginning the interior fittings still seem to have been complemented by wooden tables and chairs; only later (probably in the second century a.M.), the marble table for the chancellery scribes and the throne superstructure of the king were added. The colonnade, which enclosed the assembly place in the somewhat lowered center, should already stem from the original master builder instead. About 75 b.M.  an escape door for the king was added; result of the throne disputes.

It was also during this time that the construction of stony houses was increasingly begun. Thus the growing wealth of some inhabitants became noticeable. While the houses during Mokhephůsos' time a hundred years before still were rectangular buildings with "a moderately high, tapering roof" like the tents, so now the main building started to be grouped around a central court. At one of the houses, which were close to the palace, a courtyard with wall and gate opened out to the street, with the rectangular house on the opposed longitudinal side. The court, encompassed by house and wall, measured about fifteen times ten meter.

The second house was bigger and flanked by a second, less high building; probably a stockroom for goods. It connected to a wall, which stretched some way out into the open, before it joined with the longitudinal and the traverse wall leading to the house. Here the gateway was in the traverse wall. The house itself was two-storeyed with a pitched roof. In the interior was an entrance hall stretching over both storeys, to which connected on the ground floor the dining room, the kitchen, a kind of day room and the chambers of the servants. As can be deduced from later buildings, on the upper floor were the sleeping rooms of the family, a library or a study as well as one or two other rooms for the storage of things, with rich people often also a kind of dressing room for the wife. In the beginning washing facilities seem to have been only rarely integrated into the house. Wastewater systems probably developed not before Meyapotina's ascension to the throne. But we have to note that this type of house can be documented more frequently only in later times. Furthermore we have to expect simple houses with only one storey and few rooms, built from wood or stone (or from the "mixed masonry", of which Mokhephůsos reports), or tents in the period of the late Senimarga. But it seems that efforts were made to ban tents from the city centre.

When the members of the HenÍta could not agree on a successor on the death of king GresavŻkya, the descent of the first kingdom began. At this time the power of the king had not yet developed so far, that the hereditary succession could completely assert itself against the elective monarchy. Even if the hereditary successor had often gained the sanction of the heads of the families in the past, this was in no way the rule. So why did the crisis happen just now?

Several factors have to be taken into consideration here. For one, there had been several bad harvests in the South between the years 85 and 82 b.M. Second, the heir to the throne Ragibrauvi was mentally a bit retarded. Nevertheless, especially the members of the northern families adhered to the tendency to stress the line of succession. Ragibrauvi was the eldest of GresavŻkya's three sons. The youngest, TreyosÍse, was not yet adult and had therefore to be ruled out. The middle one of the brothers, Salus, had only few followers on the other hand, because he was a bit of a loner. But he was extremely learned and would have been no bad successor. But the dilemma was that especially the military successful princes of the South preferred a nephew of the deceased monarch, the likewise military minded Hvidosasha. Yet his followers were the minority. The disputes, however, did not start with the death of GresavŻkya in the year 78 b.M., but already two years before, when the state of health of the old ruler began to deteriorate. After his death, the members of the HenÍta at first could not come to an agreement, but at least Ragibrauvi could lead the state affairs temporarily. With the help of his mother and of an uncle, Ragibrauvi could use the time to strengthen the support of his claim to the throne. Thus in 77 b.M. he enacted a law, which was supposed to sustain trade by errecting storage depots in the cities, where merchants could temporarily store their goods. But the means of the central power did not yet suffice at this time, so that the law met with little success. This measure still secured some sympathies for the successor. Also Ragibrauvi had the streets in the mainly by ErdulÓnu- populated cities extended. He nevertheless also looked after the southern territories, by having foodstuffs transported into the areas struck by the bad harvests.

While in particular the politically skilled uncle could strengthen Ragibrauvi's claim to the throne, Hvidosasha was much too hesitant. In actual fact he was not particularly eager to take over the power in the kingdom. 'He liked to hunt [...] and practised his skill of arms and with his chariot', as a chronicle from the third century a.M. knows. Even if the source material is quite poor, Hvidosasha seem to have done not much to bolster up his claim to the throne. In the already mentioned chronicle he represents something like a tragic hero, who, torn between the wishes of the southern princes and the demands of the family, whiles away his time with amusements and in no way realises, how the disaster brews above his head. In a passing comment the chancellery at least reports a great feast which Hvidosasha arranges on the occasion of his birthday. He is said to have  twenty lambs and calves be killed, much wine from the coastal region be served up and to have bestowed upon his cousin a 'brooch from the artist-smithy of RemayÍka'.

In 73 b.M. things come to a head: the enemies of Hvidosasha take action. As Hvidosasha once again rides on the hunt, some conspirators waylay him in the wood and kill him with an arrow from ambush. And although Ragibrauvi immediately distances himself from the deed, the damage is already done. When he is named Loinna in the next spring, the southern princes stay away from the coronation. And even if it does not come to war in the following period, all messengers of the king are sent back without having achieved anything. In the end eight princes secede from the kingdom, as the sources from the chancellery tell us. How powerful these "princes" were in detail, can just as little be seen from the sources as the question after the underlying rationality. What made these men princes and whom did they rule over? Where there really eight tribes? Where they family heads with a certain catchment area? We don't know. But through their appointment as Loinna in the course of the 
imperial reform by Meyapotina, they eventually got their sanction. Whether the territories conquered in the course of the imperial expansion between 175 and 150 b.M. were inhabited by smaller Fergiartan tribes or whether they migrated there only later on is unknown just as well. Also later these princes took their legitimation from Meyapotina; there are only few  testimonies of other origins. One Loinna of the third century from the tribe of the Gusalante derived his  honour also from the venerability of this tribe and his family in it, although this can neither be proved nor disproved. But this is furthermore an isolated case.

In the next thirty years (until ca. 40 b.M.) border skirmishes were fought time and again in the border regions between the northern and the southern Senimarga. Northern and southern troops engaged in small battles, farmsteads were attacked, livestock stolen and trade convois robbed. Now and then the North tried for negotiations, but the southern princes avoided an agreement.

However, there were definetly attempts at an inner development of the kingdom in the intact Senimarga. Ragibrauvi and his counselors for instance worked on the extension of the streets, the furtherance of trade but also at the military consolidation of the realm. Thus  from 65 a.M. on, the first fortified garrisons were set up in the big cities Viargaka, Ketorimis and KatraknÍta, where troops, levied in the surrounding areas of the cities and the cities themselves, were stationed for a cycle of two years. This did not mean the establishment of a professional soldiery, however. The garrisons merely served the training of a band of men proficient in the art of war, on whom one could resort in times of need. Yet the palace guard in Viargaka was enlarged and changed into a standing troop. This was financed on the one hand by the funds of the Loinna, on the other hand from 55 b.M. on by specially levied, moderate taxes.


With Ragibrauvi's death in the year 45 b.M. Salus became Loinna. Already a reflective man in his youth, more inclined to the acquisition of knowledge, Salus left the state affairs to his uncle and his mother. Both did quite a good job, but Salus was never really introduced to the state affairs. This was to prove problematic, because both regents tried to introduce important innovations to the constitution of the kingdom just at this time. It was tried at that time to especially improve the administration, in order to strengthen the structure of the realm. In the course of this they tried quite similar approaches, as were later on developed by 
Meyapotina.  But the time for them seemed not ripe yet. The fact that the regents tried a bit to push the HenÍta out of the power of decision, was also not really taken favourably by the heads of the families and the tribes.

But when in 40 b.M. at first the mother of Salus and 37 also his uncle died, the Loinna was not prepared to take over the conduct of state affairs. The HenÍta once again gained more influence, but without an integrating authority, without a leader pointing the way, disagreements broke out among the members of the council. The southern princes sensed their chance and now began to wage war against the central power in earnest. But - quite luckily for the North - this was not really a war of conquest. The southern princes also acted not together, rather each of them tried to enrich himself at the expense of their neighbours in the North. The fact that Salus could or would not fill out his role as  sovereign even in times of war, weakened the trust of the people in the central power even further: disputes within the HenÍta, threats by outer enemies and still the Loinna didn't react? The impotence of the central power led to a shift of the social framework. On the one hand the cities became more independent, their inhabitants closed ranks and especially the guild could form respectivley gain political authorities. On the other hand the stronger tried to enrich themselves at the expense of the weaker, families with enough able-bodied men could now afford to take away the land of others or at least to make them dependent on themselves. In an albeit limited scope, a kind of client system developed. A mightier landowner threatened a weaker one and instead of taking his land and murdering his family, he now left him land and life in exchange for an annual duty of money or natural produce. This Gasatraya-called system (from gasatra, client, debtor) existed especially in the area between the Egarsa and the coast of the Southsea. Normally the client had the full power of disposal over his property and his family, but could also pass it on to his heirs. But then all his offspring would be Gasatra of the Poti and had to pay their dues to him. In the North, where the territory was not that densely inhabited during this period, families lived far enough apart as if such a system could develop here.

When Salus died in 22 b.M. and his son Rasokapa came to power, the system had already become so fixed that a change was entirely out of debate. Although this Loinna was again able to conduct the government, he had enough to do to combat the aggressive southern princes, as if he could have taken much care of other things. At least he succeeded in ending the disputes within the HenÍta; and this also by military means. Four or five members got to feel the wrath of the ruler personally. Their land was distributed among their sons and sons-in-law, the men placed under palace arrest.

The political bodies developing within the cities were legitimised by the government ex post. And although deputies of the Loinna and partially of the Sarannu were put alongside them later on in the course of the Meyapotinian administrative reforms, their role in the provinces was secure since the late period of the first kingdom.

All in all Rasokapa's reign was merely a time of respite for the kingdom. Although the disputes in the throne council were arbitrated, the conflict coninued to simmer below the surface. The tribal princes also lost some of their influence within the tribes. In their direct catchment area, their authority counted furthermore unrestrained, but the more one got to the peripherie, the influence of local factors became greater. Particularly the agrarian structures changed. With the size of the estate grew the power. Only the North remained uninfluenced by this change; at least directly. Indirectly it was influenced by the civil war since 10 b.M. in so far as farmers, ousted from their property, looked for new arable lands in the northern plain, and more land was taken under the plow.

The marriage of Rasokapa with one of the daughters of the Loinna of the Gusalante remained childless and when Rasokapa died in 10 b.N., no successor to the throne was in sight. The ErdulÓnu also had no successor with his death, of course.  The disputes within the HenÍta from the time of Rasokapa's reign prevented that an agreement on a successor to the throne could be made. Still there were three pretenders: there was at first the prince of the Gusalante, the smallest of the three tribes. The rule of the ErdulÓnu was disputed by Rasokapa's friend NerÍka and the great-grandson of a former ruler, Gelisasha. The dividing line ran right through the middle of the tribe; a third, independent party rallied around one of the southern big landowners who profited by the Gasatraya. These four parties now began to wage war among themselves. And the southern princes also soon began to interfere. Individual cities tried to keep out of the civil war and thus became a new party against their will. Skirmishes and border fights developed. Attacks were the order of the day.

When from 8 b.M. on Meyapotina also began to interfere in the war, there was nobody who could have opposed him with a unified strategy. Because of this, his victory was pre-programmed in a certain way, since he was the only party in the civil war, who had a unitary strategy. And although it may be doubted that Meyapotina wanted to reach for the crown of the Senimarga at first, when he realised, that nobody could put up an organised resistance, his appetite for more will have been awakened. For the population of the Senimarga, however, the civil war was undoubtedly a great burden and the victory of Meyapotina will have been mostly greeted by it.