by Max Barry

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by The Freehold of The Land of the Ephyral. . 438 reads.

Ephyra | Culture Wiki


Social structure

Main Article: Social class in Ephyra

Ephyral society is centred on the family, an economic and juridical unit encompassing more than merely the biological members, and perhaps more accurately termed as the family-household. This family entity - mirroring wider society - is purely patriarchal, and ruled over by the eldest male of agnatic descent known as the familial father. Ephyral law and ancestral custom empower him over his dependants to various degrees; primarily his children and grandchildren through the male line over which he has legal possession, but also customary authority over his sisters, wife, and daughters-in-law - the latter two freed from his power due to a demand of obedience to their own familial father. These distinct family entities are minute reflections of the Ephyral state itself, with the familial father enforcing the social mores and duties of his family members, as well as holding the role of public representative and priest of the family.

These many families in Ephyra are connected to form the basis of society through a complex network of relationships formed by consent and mutual participation. This often manifests in the metalegal and purely customary patron-client structure, where a citizen man in the role of a patron acts as a sponsor or benefactor to his clients, aiding in political candidacy, arranging marriages, giving loans, or influencing business. In return, the clients owe their patron a moral duty of support for their own candidacy for political office, and be available to be summoned as needed for whatever the patron requires. These relationships are not one-to-one, and a client may have multiple patrons, whilst a patron may himself be a client to a wealthier and higher status individual. The aforementioned arranged marriages further cement families via the forming of a household, and the creation of children with the blood of both families. Adoption of adult males as heirs is often accompanied by the marriage of the newly adopted son to one of his adopted sisters. All of these, in addition to a simple alliance of friendship or kinship, are what form the Ephyral society from these self-sufficient collectives.

In class, citizenship in Ephyra exists in many tiers and sub-tiers. Full Ephyral citizens hold the most paramount rights and duties of any legal resident; and exist in two primary orders. The first order are the freeborn landholders; adult citizen males who possess property of a valuation eligible to grant them the right to vote. Greater property may unlock political candidacy. These are the men around whom the Ephyral republic is oriented as a freehold; a government of the freeborn landholding citizenry, whose physical stake in the country itself entitles them to a voice in where it shall head. The second order include citizens who for any and every reason do not possess the franchise, including males without sufficient property; males of infamous character or profession; males who haven't reached majority; males who haven't completed military service; as well as all women and girls, who whilst protected by law as citizens have no place in the public political sphere.

A secondary division of the citizens are the patriciates against the commoners; the former being the agnatic descendants of the militiamen who aided in the creation of the Freehold and the overthrow of the old oligarchy. Patriciates belong to the senatorial class by default, though must still meet minimum property thresholds, and are otherwise afforded customary respect as a blood and property based aristocracy.

Those without Ephyral citizenship at all typically belong to one of several distinctions; typically federates, allied citizens, or aliens. Federates are the citizens of the self-governing non-sovereign members of the de facto confederacy led by Ephyra. Allied citizens refers to a status granted by the Ephyral state to the citizens of a sovereign foreign power recognised as an ally of the Freehold. Aliens refers to any non-citizen of Ephyra from a sovereign foreign power without any such treaty or friendship. In addition to this category are slaves, who lack legal personhood as well as citizenship and exist as the legal property of a freeborn or freed individual.

Finally, the Freehold is Seliocentric, with something of a marked ethnic bias towards anyone of Selian blood. This is not a be-all end-all factor, yet still vital to being Selian in full, which requires a commonality of blood, language, customs, and gods. Though citizens of non-Selian ethnic heritage may well adhere to the final three, their lack of the first is what distinguishes them from citizens of Selian birth. This however does not render them inferior in the eyes of their Selian Ephyral peers to those Selians who lack citizenship as federates, or worse are perceived to be barbarised by their abandonment of language, customs, and gods. The Seliocentrism is not a manifestation of an objective racial supremacy, and no aversion exists against marriages between Selians and non-Selians of appropriate rank. Stereotype and prejudice exist amongst the citizenry against the foreigner on the basis of culture, but it is accepted that proper Selianisation can make of them a few worthy of the citizen's prestige.


Main Article: Clothing in Ephyra

The customary and common clothing of Ephyra is often categorised by three words; long, loose, and light. It traces its use to a revival of richer classical-style clothing during the Neoclassical period of the Selian Renaissance starting from the 13th century, and thus was not exclusive to Ephyra. For both sexes, the tunic is the primary article worn. For men, this typically cuts at around the knee and is a sewn garment. Longer tunics for men are used for ceremonial purposes. For women, tunics extend to the ankle or even covering half of the foot, and tend to have more form variety including sewn tunics, as well as those that are folded, draped, and pinned into place, with options for sleeves or sleeveless, an open side, or full enclosure of the body. The origin of this is likely the utilitarian focus on the men's tunic to accommodate physical labour, whilst the more comfort-focused tunic of women allows greater diversity of form.

Secondary garments for insulation are typically just the layering of existing ones for men, and most men will own several 'undertunics' of little to no decoration or colouring that they can wear their more visible tunic over to provide warmth. Layering for women typically involves combining different tunic types, such as the sleeved 'eastern' tunic under a peplos or a stola-style dress.

Both sexes also utilise cloaks when out of doors, although this is something more common amongst women. The most important of these cloaks belongs to men however, and is modelled off of the ancient Roman toga. Considered the cloak of a citizen man, non-citizens are prohibited from wearing it under the law forbidden impersonation of a citizen, despite the fact most citizens do not utilise them daily. Female cloaks are large and versatile in the style of the ancient palla or himation, can be worn across the body and arranged to form a veil atop the head - a symbol of modesty and virtue. In the home, men and women both typically wear a single tunic atop undergarments. These undergarments resemble modern western underwear, with boxer-shorts type articles for men, and panties for women. The bra is not common in Ephyra, with women instead wearing a 'breast-band', a length of fabric tied at the back to support and cover the breasts.

Sandals are common footwear for both men and women, with men also utilising foot-enclosing wear like boots and other proper shoes. It is typical to go barefoot in the home, and removing one's footwear when entering another's house is an expected courtesy. The clothing of children is typically a smaller reflection of adult clothing, although girls are just as likely to wear knee-length tunics as ankle-length when considering outside play, before adopting longer tunics when growing into womanhood.

Clothing is the physical display of status in Ephyra and for citizens should reflect virtues. A man clothed in his toga is fully identifiable as a citizen, and will wear his on all important festivals and days of the year. A few opt to wear theirs daily, but the impractical nature of the garment can be a hindrance. It is however the symbol of his rights and protections as a citizen, and is what distinguishes him from those without the right to wear it. For women, clothing is an opportunity to display their modesty and chastity, highly competitive sexual virtues that emphasise their purity and moral fortitude, as well as reflecting upon the perception of their menfolk. In full ensemble, only her hands, face, and feet may be visible under several layers, not all of which are designed to cover the same parts of the body. There is no stigma for bare arms however, nor an uncovered head for marriageable young women or within the home, and at home women dress far more casually - often in a single, thin tunic, though if receiving unexpected guests will typically wrap their body in their himation for concealment.


Main Article: Dining in Ephyra



Main Article: Education in Ephyra



Main Article: Arts in Ephyra



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Main Article: Religion in Ephyra


Philosophy, values, and ethics
Main Article: Values and ethics of Ephyra


Marriage and concubinage

Main Article: Marriage in Ephyra



Main Article: Sexuality in Ephyra


Homosexuality in Ephyra


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Main Article: Entertainment in Ephyra


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