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Erythrean Thebes

New Thebes

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Motto: Πάντα ἅ, άντόμαι τῷ τυράννῷ


Location



Population: 889,000,000
-Density: 274.8/sq mi


Capital: New Thebes


Official Language: Aeolic Greek



National Languages: Greek (various), {xx}


Demonym: Theban

Government
- King: Ισάνδρος Καταρχονίδες


Legislature: η μεγάλη βουλή


Establishment: founded
Date: March 12, 336 BC


Land Area: 12,351,872 milesē
13,566,283 kmē
Water %: 8.1


GDP (nominal): $18.6 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita: $31,831


Human Development Index: .835


Currency: drachma


Calling code: +867


Internet TLD: .th

Erythrean Thebes (Greek: Θήβαι Επί τῆς Ἐρύθρας), literally Thebes on the Erythraean, usually known simply as New Thebes or Thebes, is a confederacy of states located in Southern Valthropia. The country is renowned for its natural beauty and vast natural resources, and is one of the largest economic and military powers on the continent.

Originally a city in Greece, Thebes was destroyed by Alexander the Great as part of his wars against the Greek cities. It was refounded in the aftermath by survivors who fled Greece to rebuild their home. After centuries of growth and expansion, the unitary democratic government was replaced in 781 by a monarchy under the Κατάρχονιδ Dynasty, which dynasty reigned uninterrupted over the realm until defeated in 1669 by a revolutionary movement of merchants, intelligensia, local elites, and their followers, known as the αυταρχομενοι, the "self-rulers".

Today New Thebes is a powerhouse largely by virtue of its size. It's unique form of semi-anarchic decentralized government, "τῶτάρχεσθαι", is remarkably stable but confusing to outsiders. Beneath the national level, large political, military, and economic associations possess a hybridized independence from the national government and pursue independent objectives within a framework established by the central government. As a result, national level politics tend to be ambivalent, or they correspond to the shared goals of the leading political, military, and economic entities.

History

Prehistory
One of the only genuine primary sources for the earliest period between the destruction of Thebes and the establishment of the new city, the Thebiad, converted into writing sometime just after the establishment of the Good Laws in 302 BC, attributed divine guidance to the escape from Greece. Apollo appeared to Castor, son of the Theban tyrant Prothytes and warned him of the Macedonian victory which would come at the Battle of Thebes. Castor dismissed the advice but at the Battle of Chaeronea he was struck upside the head by an arrow and knocked from his horse. Soon after Apollo appeared to him again in a dream and told him why he had been saved from death. He was told to take as many of his people as he could and amass a fleet to escape Greece. Soon when he had gathered a large following he took to the ships and an arrow flew across the sky pointing him to the place he ultimately discovered as New Thebes.

Early Republican Period (c. 330 BCE - 140 CE)
The Thebans are the largest out of a collection of tribes; they lived in a city whereas their immediate neighbors dwelt in semi-nomadic camps. This city Thebes itself was initially akin to a giant camp of simple wooden dwellings on an open coastal plain, but in nearly five centuries it became a burgeoning metropolis of 300,000 with remarkable monuments beating at the heart of a vibrant fusion between Hellenic and native society. Thebes transformed its immediate neighbors who soon were sedentary and then eventually built city complexes of their own. Hellenic culture immediately exerted a powerful influence and through this period cultural and religious expression gradually assumed Hellenic form although preserving many apparent lineages of previous native doctrines. Thebes itself, becoming overpopulated, eventually began founding colonies in the neighboring highlands valley regions which were protected by a network of forts, and being the heart of a vibrant religious and cultural society the City increasingly held an exceptional place as the lofty summit in law, politics, economics, and religion. Outside of the City art, science, and culture went through a long and vibrant period and proliferated into a rich tradition. The end of the period is signaled by the finished transformation to a new metropolitan society which is especially engrossed in a political culture dominated by the concept of service on the contested frontier zone between Thebes' colonies and the Angileroi tribes.

High Republican Period (150 - 520 CE)
This era was defined by a cultural shift caused by transformations in the channels of political and charismatic authority. The rise of the military victory cult in the City created a new tradition in ritual and ceremony which gave the central place in the societal system to a procession of publicly-appointed military commanders. Selected by the governing assemblies of the City they would return from campaigns on the frontier to political power back home. These men further increased in power as they began using their commissions from the people to elaborate the frontier defenses, conduct diplomacy and politics with the Angileroi tribes, and establish military-industrial resources answerable to them. Theban warrior culture and the new knightly class flourish into a rich cultural tradition. For Thebes neighbors it was a point of departure between a few prominent large clans or confederacies which were to remain with some distinct political power versus the larger majority who became dependent municipalities of the City, accepting patronage from the City in exchange for giving up taxation.

Late Republican Period (585 - 781 CE)
The shift from High to Late Republican period was a series of legalistic reforms which, among other things, enhanced Thebes nominal status vis-a-vis its many allied, dependent, and confederate partners. These centralizing changes were mainly to increase military strength against the Ethmylians and their allied Angilleroi raiders who at times had managed as much as to sack Thurfsania the outer colony and the Thebans' largest fortified center. But the centralizing government increasing its procurative power put a wave of new larger armies into the field which soon recaptured the lost outposts and began to turn the allegiance of many hostile tribes, switching the balance of power back towards Thebes. In the last two and a half decades of this era, the several campaigns of Hagias Katarkonides against the Ethmylians capped his rise to power as the unquestioned master of the Theban world and crowned king as the first King of the Thebes.

Early Royal Period (781 - 970 CE)
The early royal period was defined by moralizing currents in art, literature, and religion supported by the repressive regime in power consisting of the King and his powerbase in the armies. This made the king an unfeasible target for the political powers in the City itself who anyway aligned with the monarchy to increase the prestige of the City, protect her liberties, and maintain her dominant position over the region. The state kept a heavy hand in religion, culture, and ceremony. The size of the army increased and a larger more sophisticated administration developed for procuring soldiers and material while new more obligatory channels of military service formed between the King and subjects. Still it was not enough to prevent the leading Ethmylian cities from regaining their independence by the close of the period. These early kings had to use persuasion and dealmaking to keep the state of agreement with their nominal subject peoples, and their show of concern for patronage and civic spending was at times lavish.


Mosaic Depicting an
11th Century Usurper
Middle Royal Period (1021 - 1240 CE)
The middle period was defined by long periods of extended warfare against borderland enemies and against usurpers and rogue generals spawning in the military establishments built to defend the frontier. None of these rebels were ultimately successful but they drove the monarchy to identify even further with the City and elevate their symbolic status as protector and military victor. At times dipping into disaster, as for example after the crushing defeat of King Cleanassar by [xxx] armies in northern Angilleria in 1089, the monarchy remained entrenched in the bustling City of Thebes and the limited opportunism of Thebes' rivals repeatedly allowed the Theban kings time and space to recover from setbacks on the field. At the end of this period the long reign of Argilas Katarkonides returned mastery of the whole region to Thebes once again and his dynastic alliance to Anamander the Archon of Thurfsanna and to the Ethmylian princesses of Charbonna and Molina gave him a strong position across the whole empire which he used vigorously to begin building a unified state.

High Royal Period (1240 - 1584 CE)
The beginning of what historians call the 'High' royal period was most of all an extended stretch of good governance in the hands of a succession of kings. Whereas kings of the middle period usually left the throne to their sons, the founding monarchs of the High period maintained the image of larger and more egalitarian families and they would carefully designate the succession to competent relatives or talented in-laws, in this way ensuring that the path of the succession followed the contours of real political power. In later centuries the monarchy was again secured enough to endure with good fortune a return to linear kings. Its power and position became entrenched as the talented monarchs used the huge resources they had amassed to create patronage networks linking the satellite states to the crown, which in turn enjoyed dominant power as the hybridized ruler/master-patron of the City of Thebes itself. These kings were patrons of the arts and sciences like most before them, but enjoyed especial fame for the wide-reach and long-lasting success of their initiatives aided immensely by the imposition of one peaceful government over the whole region. These institutions in turn produced talented men immersed in academic ideas and beholden to the state, driving the monarchy's attempts at constructing a unified administrative apparatus.

Late Royal Period (1550 - 1680 CE)
Initially the late royal period was an apogee of Theban power and a golden age heralding a new civilization. As the administrative institutions expanded and civil service became more sophisticated, unprecedented investments in governance and leadership began to mobilize greater resources toward emerging trends such as the creation and consolidation of guilds and class societies (especially in the cities); the rise of contracts, wages and wage work, and banking science; the development of roads, dams, aqueducts, and commercial security; new and greater temples and monuments as well as state-recognized confraternities and benefit societies with mixed cultural-philanthropic objectives; and especially the state-assisted organization of rural communities into agrarian collectives linked to the urban centers by roadways and supported by imperially-built mills, forges, and other production resources. At the same time the crown was more powerful than ever and pursued an active foreign policy clashing with rivals and neighbors for control of sea-lanes, profitable trade centers, and political prestige. At the dawn of the 17th Century, however, the king Anastasios II was committed to a difficult war in [xxx], needing revenue, and moreover was a reactionary thinker with a despotic imagination. In 1629 he declared that the crown would take 10% of the produce from the mills and refineries in the local communities since the state had technically ordained these facilities for public use. Many of these centers had been built by the residents themselves however (albeit with state support), and the exaction soon generated worsening acts of resistance from the peasants.

The peasant resistance was strengthened, unified, and given clear ideological form by trends toward increased literacy and sophistication in rural villages, caused in part by the linkages of a unified state, which created 'national' conversations and widespread news, and by acts of patronage from successful scholars and students munifying their native towns with schools and academies after successful careers in the civil service. Through these channels, many peasants adhered in some way to the scholastic doctrines of the networked urban academies, the dominant school of which in the later period was παντελῶρχεσθαι or "absolute self-ruling". Developed from a novel theory of natural philosophy first created by the sage Rhesos of Kodlephen (1321 - 1394), παντελῶρχεσθαι was an overarching term used to describe an ideal, rational distribution of rights and obligations between persons in society. Following the teachings of this new school, peasant communities began to separate their local councils from royal authority and make new laws for themselves which administered their property under total local control. Meanwhile Anastasios also attempted to increase exactions from the cities. In July 1636 the head of the Royal Academy in Thebes denounced his measures at length and the king imprisoned him and began to repress the academies and civil societies in response. The king's replacement master of the philosophy school, Cephalos Laodocou, imposed a totalitarian regime that required all teachers and students to swear oaths of loyalty to the monarchy and to right-minded dogma. Several academies attempted to break away with varying success; Amibia (1639), Hutholmannan (1642), achieved partial independence through the strength of their political masters, others were repressed by the crown. Soon in 1647 he sent armies to occupy the major cities of Ethmylia which were repudiating royal supremacy over their city councils.

Between 1647 and 1669 the monarchy attempting to enforce its hegemonic position fought openly against an enemy alliance at first comprised of the great Ethmylian city-states and a league of rebellious peasant communities, and eventually including the City of Thebes itself and several of its colonies. In 1663 Anastasios died and the crown passed to his son Theron. At this point the monarchy was in dire straits with one army almost destroyed in Ethmylia and the other under King Anastasios' leadership had been ineffectively chasing rebels in the countryside. Theron reorganized the army and changed strategy; leaving behind forts advanced against the core territories of the peasants, the King retook the army to the City, and after threatening to put Thebes under siege he occupied it and then went with the fleet overseas to attack the city of Molina by sea - taking it by storm he invested it and marched inland, encountering and defeating the Ethmylians in a tepid battle. They retreated further inland seeking reinforcements while Theron turned and advanced southwest through the northern country of Anglyria, collecting the surrender of many chiefs as he went and defeating another enemy army under Cimmodos of the Tertelli. Bolstered by additional forces Theron turned again and marched back north, clashing with a combined army of Ethmylians and Theban peasants in a legendary battle at Dwentheir where the enemy alliance held the field against Theron's crack troops. Appearing before the rebel army the King then agreed at last to surrender the cause and accept the supreme authority of the Great Council to govern the whole commonwealth.

1st Commonwealth (1669 - 1793 CE)
The era of the 1st Commonwealth comprised the period from the surrender of King Theron to the rise of the Theban Royal Navy and the onset of the [xx], and it is sometimes considered as the golden age of Thebes. In part this because of the relative political concord of the major polities, compared to previous ages of the monarchy, as they gave up most conflict with one another and instead laid forward-thinking diplomatic foundations to retain and improve their integrated infrastructure, society, and economy. The institution of decentralized direct democracy gave witness to many diverse experiments in self-rule; in general, and increasingly in imitation of prominent successes, government gravitated toward a direct assembly of the whole constituency organized by constitution delegating its powers to subcommittees and elected officers. However, the 'great powers' of the Confederacy - Thebes, the leading cartel of Ethmylian cities, and military aristocrats of the progonoi and Anglyroi - maintained control of the armies in the hands of their heads of state and developed authoritarian power structures which preserved military hierarchies. Throughout the 18th Century the economy grew dramatically in size responding to an explosion in overseas trade, after a pair of turbulent agricultural revolts (1676-1684 and 1698-1706) caused by explosive population growth acting on agricultural prices. During this era Theban science, engineering, art, philosophy, and literature experienced rapid growth; the scientific method achieved dominance through the rise of empiricism, an intellectual movement arguably epitomized by the revolutionary discovery of gravity by the legendary natural scientist Amadonner (1671-1744), which discovery led to the Amadondrian School of natural science assuming a fundamental principle of universal energy based on motion, mass, and catabolism or 'energy reactions', later divided into chemical, gravitational, and elemental reactions - the prevailing theory of universal mechanics in Thebes until the mid-20th century. The rise of Amadondrianism led to many influential attempts to apply scientific principles to religion; in parallel, theories of a divine or natural law became the prevailing ideology in politics and justice, encouraging a synthesis of fundamental assumptions across politics, law, science, and religion. By the latter half of the 18th Century this universal ideology had consolidated, celebrating itself as the completion of παντελῶρχεσθαι's ambition to describe an ideal system of values both realistic and rational.

The Katarkonid Supremacy (1793 - 1832 CE)
The intellectual and cultural achievements of the 18th Century often overshadowed political and military developments; nevertheless, the rise of the Theban Royal Navy was one of the primary narratives of the First Commonwealth. King Theron imagined the Navy as Thebes' next frontier after losing absolute power over the Commonwealth - a unique and invaluable service which would preserve an exceptional place for Thebes. A combination of good leadership, a series of population bubbles at the end of the 17th Century, and prestigious early victories buoyed the strength and reputation of the Royal Navy; the economic and mercantile growth enabled by Thebes naval might encouraged the Great Council to continually entrust more resources to the project. This development resulted in an over 40 year period known as the Katarkonid Supremacy, during which the Theban King Nalor the Great was sufficiently powerful such that he could accomplish almost anything he wished in the Great Council.

2nd Commonwealth (1827 - 1942 CE)
The start of the 2nd Commonwealth is variously dated but it is typically placed at the Great Council of 1827, when a consortium of industrialists addressed the assembly and won their support for a new infrastructure project planning to connect Thebes to Ethmylia by rail - eventually to become a grand scheme to link all the major cities of the Commonwealth and many of their outerlying regions via a network of canals and railroads. The significance of the event was not only its symbolism as the beginning of industrialization in Thebes, but also as the beginning of more than a century in which private enterprise revolutionized the economy and enjoyed the largely acquiescent support of government. This era was marked by rapid growth as well as social turmoil, and appears in history as a long and eclectic period during which many political, cultural, and artistic movements rose, fell, vanished, see-sawed back and forth, and came into conflict with one another. The shift in cultural affairs was facilitated by the rapid increase of the 'middle-class' as well as an entirely new concept of such a thing, born out of the economic hopes of industrialization and increasingly complex professional services. This population of 'sophisticated' consumers became a major part of the explosive multiplicity of cultural genres and styles that flourished through art and literature during this period. Ironically it was less visibly transformative for the sciences, which already held a specially-enshrined place in Theban society and maintained it into the 2nd Commonwealth, frequently seen navigating newfound relationships with political and economic authorities increasingly interested in exploiting scientific advancements for economic or military gain. In general, led by the Royal Academy, the university networks attempted successfully to trumpet the 'exceptionalism' of science and learning and to style their new commercial ties as but one particular aspect of their services.

Still, the dominant cultural concept of Paneteloharchesthai solidified during this period into an increasingly clear 'upper stratum' of co-operating authorities between the political, economic, religious, and cultural elites. Ironically, during this period the phenomenon actually began to create mythical beliefs in the eternity, divine legitimacy, and perfectness of the 'Theban state' because of the almost absolute agreement of all the authority figures in the Commonwealth and their agreement to use it to support one another. However the image of unity was at times deeply misleading, as the negative aspects of industrialization brought political authorities into conflict with one another, into conflict with avaricious economic elites, and the mass of the people into conflict with both. There were continuous fluctuations in the channels of political affiliation between Thebes and the other polities of the Commonwealth which gradually trended toward a situation of essentially proportionate power distribution across the commonwealth. Thebes, for which so much of the history of the Commonwealth had consisted of struggling to retain supremacy, gradually assented to relax its special political status and became of essentially equal status as the other Commonwealth cities. The City (as the capital of the Theban Kingdom) continued to de facto lead the Commonwealth because of its substantial commercial, industrial, military, and intellectual might. However, it increasingly lead in the role of an influencer and a consumer in the network of states. Economic and especially industrial production however developed disproportionately in the resource-rich mountain-river valleys of Anglyria and river-forest regions of Ethmylia and the Ancestor Thebans. The history of industrialization in Thebes which occurred during this period is energetic like the other developments of the time but tumultuous in comparison. The vast ruling ideology of the Commonwealth was challenged to tackle the real problems of organizing economic production around a democratic labor force. In the 1st Commonwealth an initially uneasy stagnation in organizing success had been finally overcome using constitutional agreements, typically establishing officers and committees with various enumerated powers; often there would also be certain populist controls acting as emergency appeals to direct democracy. This system which had originally been a compromise ultimately displayed great adaptability even hundreds of years later in the 2nd Commonwealth.

However, generalized differences in organizing principle eventually appeared along cultural lines. In Ethmylia and the regions of Anglyria under their influence, organization generally approached to the problems as more straightforwardly resource-allocation and labor division issues, with respective innovations in small-group specialization, communication/voting optimizations, etc., in a generally peaceful process of conscious innovation. In regions under the umbrella of Theban influence, however, and especially its religious sphere, political self-organization was notably different and subject typically to partisanships sustained by the influence of patronage and honor network powerbrokers who monopolized traditionally-motivated authorities. However they also drew, to an even larger extent, on charismatic authority derived from the Theban cultural institution of rhetoric, holding a semi-sacred status. Rhetoric, with religious undertones and deep traditional status, flourished as a form of formalized deliberative oratory used to analyze the political and practical challenges facing the assembly, and providing the script for competing elites to contextualize their struggles for power, including the struggles which took place within individual teams of workers. One consequence of this uniquely Theban approach was not to extensively develop syndicalist checks-and-balances and horizontal administration, widely used in various capacities in Ethmylia, in lieu of using direct free-form debate and voice voting in large assembly at popular demand, and otherwise relying on expedited challenges of government outlined by constitution. Their deep structural differences notwithstanding, the self-governing democracy system of Panteloharchesthai encountered essentially similar obstacles of worker's rights vs profit-motive considerations everywhere in the Commonwealth, most of all in the most dangerous industries for example mining and railroad construction. Councils ran into similar public welfare crises at the municipal, rural, and national levels as well, especially because of the severe challenges of urbanizing/modernizing communities. Thebes itself was transformed by modernity, becoming a metropolis of three million by the advent of the 20th Century, but it suffered especially painful bouts of turmoil in doing so. The economic elite rose to answer the crises, but whereas in Ethmylia they oftentimes were pressured and lost their claims to 'supremacy' through status as 'founders' of cities and industry, in Thebes and its affiliated regions of the Commonwealth economic power was savvy and preserved its tacit control of the assemblies through large charismatic gestures of patronage and by co opting labor organization. By the end of the period, the Commonwealth had collectively industrialized, but its fundamental cultural and social divisions had clearly appeared in the very different ways the states approached to the demands of capitalism.

3rd Commonwealth (1945 - present)
It is ambiguous when the 2nd Commonwealth ended and the 3rd Commonwealth began. The system of periodizing originated in 1945 when, at the end of the war with fascism, the victorious Great Council declared the new era of peace to be the inauguration of a "Third Commonwealth". At that time, academic history was just beginning to view the past 300 years since the Revolution as two different eras rather than a continuous expanse of time, recognizing the substantial shifts created by industrialization. The contemporary period, the Third Commonwealth, was novel on account of the Thebans' self-awareness of a 'new' era in history. As a consequence, the initial decades of this period were characterized by different shades of millennialism and a general invocation of Thebes' 'core' cultural and ideological values, attempting to reinvigorate and epitomize the ambitious intellectual, cultural, and social goals of the Revolution and παντελῶρχεσθαι. Meta-awareness of historical processes provoked profoundly new societal questions, and during the second half of the 20th Century, Theban society was often future-oriented and attempting to predict the world of tomorrow. A second scientific flowering occurred beginning in the 1960s with the rapid advancement of computer technology, promising to open up contemplation of the most intricate and secret aspects of the material world as well as streamlining essential processes of communication and problems-analysis perennially inherent in the system of direct democratic government. Unlike in past ages, however, scientific progress did not always excite the public imagination or achieve widespread interest, as it became increasingly technical and largely ceased to reveal anything about material reality which was 'important' to practical life issues. The divergence between intellectual and cultural threads of discourse was subtle but eventually had profound implications. Questions concerning the optimal order of society overtook the political discourse in the latter part of the 20th Century, but this time it was not so clear that there was a single 'national' outlook on these questions (even if such a thing had been illusory before). Moreover, it was clear by the closing decades of the 20th Century that economic growth was slowing down because of intrinsic elements of modernity. As a result, political narratives were not as often 'completed' as they had been in the past; advocacy for economic equality became perpetual efforts rather than targeted campaigns as before, and it seemed to be the case that society increasingly consumed its own income just by virtue of slowly expanding its existing self. This sense of 'incompleteness' or 'plurality' about political activism was greatly increased by the rising volume of media outlets, especially after the introduction of the internet, which exposed society to the viewpoint of virtually anyone whereas access to public speech had been a limited commodity in the technological past.

At the same time, new political issues were developing that were entirely unlikely previous ones. The most significant difference was that the onus of legitimate targets with respect to social and economic justice increasingly shifted to populations which did not have a strong representation in the public sphere of discourse. This was truest of the urban proletariat, a population which greatly expanded, especially in the City itself, but did not achieve a correspondingly louder and louder voice in the political rhetoric of mainstream society. However, in the culturally Theban sphere of the Commonwealth they became voting armies for the economic elites, who moved them through a combination of patronage and charismatic leadership, while traditional aspects of culture dissipated a great deal of unrest. Consumer culture exploded in the second half of the 20th Century and the introduction of advertising, television, etc. created the cultural concept of status through conspicuous consumption. On the other hand, the associations of skilled professionals achieved powerful influence and successfully defended their rights and benefits by organizing together. In the culturally Ethmylian sphere, the same pressure was not as pronounced, as the advantages of true syndicate-focused organization began to evidence themselves in a considerably more equal income distribution, however what pressures of inequality which did appear were addressed through a firm commitment to meritocratic advancement and by introducing additional layers of organization to create more officers and community leaders.

Politics and Government
Officially, 'Thebes' refers to the City of Thebes and the city is in league with its neighbors as a political hegemon or dominant partner through ties of alliance, treaty, subjugation, marriage, fealty, etc. In normal parlance Thebes also refers to the whole confederation of states. The foundations of the present-day confederacy were laid beginning over a thousand years ago when the system of alliances headed by the Theban Republic was seized by the Katarchonid Dynasty and ruled as an absolute monarchy for over one-thousand years. Politically, culturally, religiously, artistically, economically, the Katarchonid monarchy created shared standards and collective conversations that reached across the divides of conquest. By the time when the first τoυτάρχομενοι partisans began protesting the Mill Taxes in the 1630s, the cultures of the region had amalgamated under Hellenism and were part of a single society integrated by commercial and administrative linkages.

Present-day Thebes is a mixed system that functions through a hierarchical system of delegated and reserved powers. There is a supreme legislative-executive assembly, the Great Council, which was established under a constitution approved by all the members and is comprised of delegates from every member of the league, but in Thebes, there are no 'federal' agencies and instead decisions of the Great Council are observed by all the members individually or, if there is something to be executed, the Council appoints persons or constituents to do so and arranges any requisite funds and supplies. Legally, most of the constituent members of Thebes are in obligation to the King of Thebes, the hereditary leader of the Theban nation, and so by custom, enactments made in the Great Council are often technically entrusted to the Crown of Thebes for execution.

Constituent polities maintain their own governments. They have their own criterion for determining citizenship and they are fully competent to govern their own members. However most of them pay taxes to the Kingdom of Thebes in addition to any instance when money is requisitioned by the Council for a designated purpose. Through cooperation and coordination between themselves and in Council, the constituent members agree to divide their resources and maximize collective gain: in this way, for example, some members specialize in the national defense and maintain large standing armies, others rely on their partners for protection and maximize industry or technology, for example.

Since the Revolution of 1669, a system of direct-democratic deliberative government known as παντελῶρχεσθαι is the dominant paradigm in politics and government. The political principles of the system synthesize expectations of private property and community organization. One of the maxims used to describe the system explains that every person controls what they own, but the things that are owned by multiple people are shared through direct democracy. In this society assemblies are the primary political units and are formed by the constituents of each business, community, NGO, civil society, vocation, and so on. The members come together in legislative-executive assemblies based on constitutions to administrate the things which are collectively-owned by voting, debating, and delegating powers.

Defense
Most of the constituent states of Thebes maintain some military forces. However, a handful of leading polities have armies which are dramatically larger than most others and comprise the majority of the Theban armed forces. The Theban naval forces are their largest contingent and include the Theban Royal Navy, which is feared. The total land army of Thebes is large, notably in manpower terms, but only a small proportion of these forces are distinguished. Theban aerial forces are considered competent and the Theban Royal Air Force is technologically advanced.

Thebes is well-known for its mercenary culture. In addition to independent operations by the constituent states, there are very many mercenary outfits (enomotia) which contract overseas. 'Special interest' armed groups, anti-slaver and anti-piracy volunteer groups as well as other politically partisan paramilitaries, are a distinct branch of the Theban armies which operate through donations of money from wealthy backers or political patrons and through contracting. Through 'affiliate' armies like these, the potential Theban military strength is fairly large and well-experienced but it is diffuse and occupied, spread around the world and entangled in existing obligations.

Economy
The City of Thebes is a mercantile metropole and a major exporter. The City adheres to strict protectionism and tightly restricts foreign commerce to designated market zones. Some other major cities in the confederacy try to take advantage of this and are notable free ports. A robust shipping industry is protected by the confederacy's large naval forces.

Thebes stands out for its unusual coincidence of concentrated wealth and widespread public goods. Some economic activity which is not one-hundred percent rational is inherent in the system because of cultural influences. Although the tax and business system is conducive to unrestricted wealth, for example, there are nevertheless many public goods available because the Theban society puts a lot of weight on philanthropy and community investment. Resultingly, real income growth especially in outlying regions is somewhat low or even marginal but there is a considerable amount of resources available in the communities' public goods.

Some polities have formal welfare systems but social services are mixed between private payment and community funding. The highest-quality services are in the major cities but the outlying regions typically have modern health care through their own devices or by apprenticeships which distribute professionals in-training to the rural areas. Unemployment or disability benefits, etc, are not common but there is a cultural expectation to provide for vulnerable persons through the family, the neighborhood, etc. Nevertheless the stigma against unemployment is strong.

Demographics
Thebes is ethnically and racially diverse and incorporates multiple nations. The Greeks or Hellenes are a widespread group consisting of the Thebans, the primary subgroup which originated from the city of Thebes itself and settled a number of colonies, as well as other Hellenic or Hellenistic subgroups formed either from unsanctioned colonies of the Thebans or intermarriages with native groups. Altogether the Hellenes comprise about a quarter, 25 percent of the total population.

The Ethmyalites, or also Ethmylians, are the second major racial group in Thebes. Ethmylia was at one point an independent state which rivaled the Theban alliance for control of the ___ Highlands between the 6th and 12th Centuries of the common era. Before this it was a number of independent cities loosely leagued together by a shared religion. They represent about a quarter or approximately 25 percent of the total population.

The third major racial category in Thebes are the Progonoi ('Ancestors'), who were the inhabitants of the region surrounding the City of Thebes and assimilated into Hellenism between the 4th and 1st Centuries before the common era. This national group tends to identify strongly with the Theban Hellenism but has many subgroups based on tribal identities, with their own gods and cultural materials. They comprise 15 percent of the population.

The fourth major racial group in Thebes are the Angileri, an appellation derived from a 1st Century BCE confederacy of tribes native to the ___ Highlands who traded with the Theban allies. The Angileri are a diverse assemblage of tribal groups united by geography, lifestyle, certain cultural practices, and their political relationship to Thebes. They were Hellenized during the common era and were integrated politically during the monarchy as vassals of the Katarkonid Kings. They represent about 20 percent of the population.

The fifth major racial grouping in Thebes are the Sepcharians, their name derived from a transliteration of their native word for the mountainous desert region which they inhabit. The Sepcharians were a mercantile people that dwelt in cities sustained by oasis regions and mountain pastoralism. Their cities turned to Thebes first for protection and commerce in times as early as 100 AD and then as permanent allies after the end of the wars in 1156. They comprise 15 percent of the population.

The sixth major group in Thebes

Culture
Thebes is culturally diverse but has certain core characteristics shared everywhere. The 'dominant' culture of Hellenism ranges from the pristine society of the Thebans themselves to examples of syncretism in Ethmylia and Sepcharia. παντελῶρχεσθαι, as the philosophical system which pervades the constituent states, is itself exemplary of cultural assimilation in literature, thought, religion, and politics which occurred throughout the monarchial period between the 8th and 17th Centuries. This process is most complete in the upper-class and urban societies, whereas it appears more syncretic in rural and outlying regions.

Racism exists in the sense that racial groups are acknowledged and common conceptions exist as to what the different races are like, however racial supremacy is uncommon; the Thebans generally think that the best of all the races are equals on the same terms but sometimes differently expressed. Classism, however, is more prevalent and the stereotypical wastrel/uneducated/criminal 'lower-class' is stigmatized. However, this cultural concept ultimately splits what Marx would have called 'the proletariat'. The strength of the allegedly 'classist' cultural paradigm is strong, and so also in the eyes of the working classes themselves character traits such as cleanliness, deportment, controlled speech, diligence etc are prized and those who do not adhere to the same standards are ostracized. This system of values combined with the widespread institution of deliberative assembly and culturally-prescribed philanthropy so as to avoid most of the flashpoints of class conflict.

Theban culture is its own mix of individualism and anti-individualism. The Thebans generally believe that people must be self-sufficient and cannot be a burden to others, but abstract or group goals like the success of family, community, god, justice, etc, occupy much of the Thebans' rhetoric. People are behaviorally independent but normally they will appear hyper-vigilant of approval from either community or ideological feedback. This does not mean, however, that they are not proud or that they lack individual desires.

The Thebans are very artistic and spiritually inclined. Drama, poetry, music, and religious festival are commonplaces of life. Their world is shaped by deep religious traditions which propagate certain world views: role-based society, commonality of living things, fate, 'spheres' of life and human activity, human humility. However, the Thebans are very industrious. παντελῶρχεσθαι, especially the use of rhetoric in democratic deliberation, creates a culturally-enshrined place for charismatic leadership, perpetually driving at consensus on collective action. The system inevitably promotes excitement, assertiveness, boisterousness, and a negation of limits, encouraging people to try for fame and recognition by stepping up to group goals.

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