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Science and Invention 200 - 630


"Bour mithiniens": The Great Centraliser : Carel Atlanicerex I, 511 - 526

THE REORGANISATION OF THE EMPIRE

Bust of Atlanicerex I

Atlanicerex proved to be a very different Emperor to his predecessors; he was a strong-willed, assiduous, efficient and upright man, eager to safeguard the Empire, improve its administration, and improve the lot of its inhabitants. He wanted in particular to streamline the administration itself, and by centralising it as much as possible, to fund various paternalistically-minded improvements for the peoples of the Empire from his savings - in such areas as education, transport, public buildings and housing.

He quickly carried out a thorough purge of the corrupt officials who had found their way to the top under the previous regimes, dismissing several Governors and Controllers, some of whom were sent for trial, and subsequently (quite legally) exiled, dismissed, demoted or, in a couple of cases, executed. He had the backing in the early years of the Council, the Court of Ethics and most of the Controllers. His overall aim hereafter, which he gradually carried out over a period of years, was to abolish the posts of Military and Civil Governor, while increasing the powers and numbers of Controllers to run the Empire centrally. In future Army commanders would report to the (central) College of Grand Generals and Admirals directly, not via the Provincial Military Governors. Overall he intended to increase the number and size of Regions, and abolish Provinces completely.

By 522 he had created several new Controllers (for Military Affairs, Building Construction, and Law and Order), moved the capital formally to Cennatlantis, and started to abolish Civil Governorships as posts became vacant. He introduced major military cutbacks, getting rid of 2 1/2 Armies and transferring money saved to the coffers of the new Controllers. In 514 he introduced the first real Empire-wide police force, run centrally of course. He also reorganised the tax-system, making it more progressive, with the tax-rate more closely related to income or land holdings.

He oversaw the building of new Government offices, as well as Universities in Giezuat and Meisting (the Empire had several by now), began the fortifying of the largest cities, including Atlantis and Cennatlantis, and set up a mechanical semaphore for the Army which criss-crossed the whole Empire. He also added statues of Atlaniphon II to those of Atlaniphon I in Miolrel and Atlantis.

FOREIGN POLICY

For the first decade of the reign of Atlanicerex, interest abroad centered on the "Southern Question". Although himself opposed to further imperialist adventures, Atlanicerex found himself drawn into continued fighting in this area. He set up a Military Border south of Razira as a protection against the incursions of raiders, and also agreed to the foundation of more Atlantean colonies in the south. A desultory war against Kharadar developed after 514, which, before its ending in 517 did at least distract it from the new colonies being founded to the south.

THE ARTS OF THE ROMANTIC ERA

The period from Thildo to Atlanicerex (roughly 470-530) is recognised as the "Silver Age" of Atlantean art, in contrast to the earlier period of the three Atlaniphons (360-470 approx.), which was very definitely the "Golden Age". More specifically, this period is generally known as the "Romantic" period, again in contrast to the earlier "Classical" period. These particular titles were not used by Atlantean historians of art, but seem very appropriate because of the similarities with the corresponding periods of art in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of Western culture.

We have seen above how Gildasso was a precursor of the Romantic artists, especially in his experimentation with the Total Works of Art. In our period, musicians and dramatists drew ever closer in their collaboration to produce these works, and by 510 Total Works of Art consisted of a mixture of drama, dance, mime, music and songs, with a decreasing proportion of purely spoken prose. Music became the predominant art in these cases, and spoken dialogue became the lyrics to the music, and increasingly often in verse.

Landscape was also a vital feature, and gradually whole surrounding worlds of specially created scenes and gardens had to be built up for each play. Artists grew ever more demanding in their needs, and after 500, one Work of Art might be set in several different created landscapes, each with its own "architecture" or scenery. Thus Total Works of Art came to be artistic pilgrimages for the faithful lasting several days. These art forms became extremely elitist, and gradually lost the interest of the masses, who could neither afford to participate in them , nor understand their esoteric meaning. Indeed art was becoming very subjective, or "romantic", its subject range much wider and more extreme than ever before. Whereas in the earlier period, the artist depended upon an enlightened patron, now he might or might not be commissioned, but in any case worked on his own terms, and was beholden to nobody except his own artistic talent.

Thoulpas (491-560) was the archetypal, and greatest, of these artists. He was the writer, composer and landscape-artist, all at the same time, of his works, and tremendously influential. He it was, too, who first introduced Art "Festivals" covering several days and several different landscapes. His most notable Total Works of Art were on the Downfall of the Old gods, and on the lives of Siphirixo and Yeasor. He was the first influential writer to make use of the first person ("I") in his writings, rejecting the Classical insistence of always replacing it with the third person. In his later years he inaugurated the trend to symbolic dramas, and his last plays were quite "hermetic" (i.e. enigmatic), to use a critical term beloved of the later Romantic artists. His final, colossal work - part realistic, part symbolic, and part national epic- , and never finished, was set in the Helvran Empire, and depicted the decline and fall of Manralia to the Helvrans and the subsequent clash between Helvris and Atlantis.

A bronze statue of the Romantic era, c 490

THE APPROACH TO CIVIL WAR

By the early 520s, Atlanicerex had made many enemies - the Army, especially in the South, where he stopped all fighting, and thinned out the units; some of the Council; and the rulers of Atlantis (town), which was rapidly becoming superseded by Cennatlantis. Some of the Civil Governors did not want to see their posts abolished, and those of Th. Thiss, Manralia and Naokeltan´eh (supported by the Military Governors) objected very vociferously when their posts were abolished in 522-3. The Army grew restless when Atlanicerex ordered border withdrawals in the south in 523. Then in 524 he accused the Military and Civil Governors of Yall. Thiss. and Manralia (now retired) of "conspiring against the Throne." The latter was soon afterwards arrested and executed for treason, but the others refused to return to Cennatlantis for trial. The local Army commanders refused to arrest them, and so a small loyal force was sent into Yall. Thiss. - and was defeated. Thus began the "Great Civil War", as it became known. It was to lead to the death of Atlanicerex, the end of all his reforms, and the growth of a much more despotic and right-wing style of government over the next 60 years, which was in turn to result in a far greater civil war, the republic and the end of the Second Empire.

 

3. " Iurgeso Ybuaitabbeyu": "The Coming of the Barbarians", 524 - 585

The Civil War and Invasion : 524 - 544

THE GREAT CIVIL WAR: "BOURBE SAICREHEI": 524 - 526

The two sides which participated in the Great Civil War were, on the one hand, the so-called "Reformers", that is the main Atlantean Army led by Carel Atlanicerex with, initially, the support of most of the Provinces of the Empire. If the Emperor won, his Empire would become much more centralised, uniform and cosmopolitan. His enemies consisted of a heterogeneous group of Governors from a number of southern Provinces, the "Conservatives", who wished to preserve their own positions and maintain the customs of individual peoples and areas within the Empire; and a number of Army units in these Provinces, who resented the cutbacks being forced on them by Atlanicerex.

At the start of the war in 524, the rebels consisted of some 9 Armies and the Governors of the Provinces of Th. Thiss, Manralia, Yall Thiss and Razira. They were opposed, nominally, by the overwhelming might of the Atlantean state, 20 Armies in all. There were other forces in the most northern Provinces (Marossan, Naokeltan´eh, Nunkeltan´eh and Yc´el Atlantis), which were initially not involved and hedged their bets as to whom they should support.

The initial rebel commander was one of the Army commanders of the three Armies from Manralia, and he defeated the first incursion by loyalist troops into Yall Thiss. He built up his forces gradually, pressing into Meistay´eh, and late in 524 advanced on Cennatlantis. At the same time, the Helvran fleet had come over to the rebels, giving them command of the Helveng´o. This enabled them to pretend to threaten an invasion of Numidis, drawing off Imperialist forces from the Chalcr´eh area. As a result, the Imperialists in Cennatlantis were defeated in the first battle of Cennatlantis, and the capital was taken. But the main Imperial force was biding its time in the Crolden Mountains. It linked up with the Armies earlier sent westwards to defend Numidis, and early in 525 advanced south-west on Cennatlantis. By a clever manoeuvre, it routed the weaker rebel army at the First Battle of Snattarona. (For a map and detailed commentary, see the section on the "Army of the Second Empire" below). The rebel commander was killed, and the rebels retreated back into Helvris.

Meanwhile, Atlanicerex ordered Armies in Marossan and Naokeltan´eh to march south to Atlantis. This outraged Atlantis, and the Military Governor of Marossan refused and threw his lot in with the rebels. He was soon joined by the Armies of Naokeltan´eh, Nunkeltan´eh and Yc´el Atlantis (5 Armies). The Emperor himself now marched west on Atlantis with 7 Armies from Chalcr´eh. Another Imperial force of 5 Armies started to besiege the first rebel army in the city of Helvris (the second siege of Helvris). One of the military leaders in this rebel force now declared himself Emperor. But reinforcements arrived from Th. Thiss with another Imperial claimant, who quickly killed the first one in Helvris.

Atlantis city itself now fully supported the rebels, and the Atlantean fleet also revolted after a brief battle with the rebel Giezuat navy in the Helveng´o. Atlanicerex, marching on Atlantis, encountered the rebellious troops from the northern Provinces on the river Bore, and despite their superiority in numbers, failed to overcome them in the battle of Yzuephe. The rebel force besieged in Helvris was now evacuated by sea and relanded in Numidis, where it was built up to 6 Armies, its leader professing allegiance to the Atlantis rebels. It marched north, stormed Ugholtis and occupied the Lillerunix hills. The imperialist force outside Helvris returned to Cennatlantis to deal with a rebellion by 2 Armies in Nunchalcr´eh. Half of it promptly changed sides and joined the rebels. The Emperor, surrounded now on all sides by disaffection and revolt, started off eastwards through Atlantid´eh, but was overtaken by the rebels. At the battle of Yalgor his troops were defeated, and he was killed.

After this all the remaining Imperialist troops surrendered or rebelled. Siphon Crehonerex, from Marossan declared himself the new Emperor early in 526, but had first to deal with some rival claimants. These included the leader of the Armies from Nunchalcr´eh and also the commander of the force from Th. Thiss. A battle finished the first group, and a surreptitious assassination saw to the second one.

Siphon Crehonerex I, 526 - 544

THE CHANGE OF DIRECTION FOR THE LATER SECOND EMPIRE

 

Crehonerex, the final victor in the Civil War, was very much a traditionalist and a believer in the rightness of the old ways of Atlantis. But in one way he heralds a change in the government of Atlantis, because he brought to it the conservatism and plain talking of a soldier, as well as the tendency of the military to authoritarianism, and the giving of orders which would be obeyed without demur. Up to now the Emperors, even the more wayward ones who followed Atlaniphon III, belonged to a liberal elite, who ruled the empire with a kind of benevolent autocracy, while, amongst their own class, professed beliefs which only a minority of their subjects would have shared. That is to say, they were interested, usually, in the most modern ideas of art and literature (the Total Works of Art, for example), in the latest theories and ideas of philosophers, while paying lip-service to the religion and myths of traditional Atlantean religion and mythology, even when they personally were very sceptical or agnostic about it all. At the same time they recognised the need to outwardly profess and practice all the traditional state rituals for the sake of their more credulous subjects, as well as to provide these subjects with as comfortable and happy a life as possible.

Over the next 40 or more years this was all to change; Emperors and their circles, while still of course representative of a small elite, became conservative and more reactionary. They no longer interested themselves in up-to-date art or writings or philosophy; they became more willing to enforce traditional Atlantean values down the throats of all their subjects; and they sought to save money by drastically cutting back expenditure on benefits for the citizens of the Empire, such as education, social benefits and the ability to rise up the social scale by advancing their careers. The result of this was that gradually the population of the Empire split up, and became less of a homogenous whole. Lower classes turned against middle classes or upper classes; traditionally religious beliefs were opposed by new religions or by agnosticism and atheism; and liberal, or even extreme left-wing ideas were set up against traditional Atlantean values, which were themselves to be split between moderate and extremist points of view. And finally, reflecting this gradual breakdown of social cohesion, art diverged into separate paths - elitist or "hermetic", advanced, "middle-of-the-road , and extreme, "back to the past" traditionalism.

The phrase which heads the section of the history -"The Coming of the Barbarians"- was written by the great playwright, Thoulpas, in a poem, around 550. It is double-edged, referring most obviously to the attacks and incursions of the barbarians on the northern parts of the Empire in this period. But it is also intended to contrast the "barbaric", or "unAtlantean" government of the Emperors after Atlanicerex, full of harsh conservatism, with the enlightened, liberal and cosmopolitan attitude of the fifth century rulers.

THE PRIVATE LIFE OF THE EMPEROR

As a person, Crehonerex had the ability, particularly in his younger days, of making friends. After the frightening experiences of the Ughan War, he retreated much more into himself, and became a more isolated, suspicious and mistrustful person. This was reflected too in his increasingly cruel behaviour to the women in his life, a cruelty which sometimes tipped over into sadism. At the time of coming to the throne, he was 46 years old, married but with numerous mistresses. He produced six legitimate sons (apart from at least one illegitimate one) from a total of three wives altogether, each wife following from the divorce of the previous one. He remained quite open about his mistresses, who he sometimes shared with his brothers and nephews, and in so doing rather shocked many of his subjects. This was because an increasing belief in strict moral behaviour was growing up in the Empire, at least since the turn of the century. Later there grew up an ever deeper rift between the upper classes ( and also the more advanced members of the artistic community), on the one hand, who became more and more lax in their moral and sexual behaviour, and, on the one hand, the middle and lower classes, who were increasingly influenced by religious extremists, who insisted on strict moral behaviour in life, and less individualistic and more responsible attitudes amongst artists. Crehonerex set his face against the centralisation of Atlanicerex, and gave more power to the Military, and Civil Governors of the Provinces, at the expense of the central Controllers. He instituted drastic economies in the running of the state, and as foreign problems multiplied, especially after the Third Ughan War, he directed more imperial funds towards the army and military fortifications, and away from traditional areas such as education, local transport, housing and poor relief in the Provinces. Money for these had to be found from Provincial taxes, if at all, and increasingly over the years, such money was not found at all.

THE THIRD UGHAN WAR AND THE END OF THE REIGN

The Third Ughan War was the chief military event of the reign, and it proved to be a very chastening experience for Crehonerex and the whole Atlantean Army. The war had been brewing for years, as the Ughans, under their Zuka (Emperor), Yrultyrik, were burning to revenge themselves on the Atlanteans, after their defeat in the Second War a century earlier. The war began with a series of major defeats for Atlantis, which had sat on its laurels for too long. Indeed it had adopted a military strategy which involved spreading out defensive forces over a wide area, and relying on the initiative of quite low-grade officers. When the Ughansĺ Ysughas (Army) attacked across the river Gestes on a wide front in August of 536, they almost annihilated the dispersed Atlantean armies east of the river. The Ughans pressed on westwards, and by the end of the year were just east of the Dravidos and the Crolden Hills.

 

Sunset over the river Gestes

Sunset over the Cugh Teceg and the river Gestes

 

Ughan successes continued for the first part of 537. Most Atlantean forts left isolated on the west bank of the Gestes were now captured, and a counter-attack by two Atlantean Armies is defeated at the battle of Bratatinnu. But the Ughans found it impossible to advance further westwards in the face of the forts of Dravidos, Dravizzi and Atlandravizzi and Giestisso. The Atlanteans concentrated and built up their forces behind these fortifications, drawing on Armies from many other Provinces. In 538, Atlantis regained the initiative, because the Ughans suffered heavy casualties from their unsuccessful attacks on the Atlantean forts, which they could not easily replace. In July 538, the Atlanteans beat the Ughans at the First Battle of Giestisso, and relieved Atlandravizzi. Their greatest success came in August, when they moved south and south-west from Dravidos and cut off the Ughan armies east of Dravizzi. After this they were able to chase the enemy right back to the river Gestes, and early in 539 they forced a crossing at Tuellplas. The Ughans now quickly sued for peace, which was finally agreed by July, returning both sides to the status quo ante bellum.

After the war, Crehonerex became much more despotic and tyrannical, venting his wrath particularly on the personnel of the army, who, he considered, had let him down so badly against the Ughans. He undertook more military expeditions (continuations of ones he had begun before 536), against Kharadar in the south, and founding more colonies around Siphiya. Both proved abortive, as in 544 the Emperor died after a short illness.

 

Reaction and Tyranny : Crehonerex II and Thildo II, 544 - 563

CARON CREHONEREX II, 544 - 556

THE REBELLION OF TUONDO

Before his death, Crehonerex I favoured his eldest son, Caron, as his successor, although this was not formally declared. The succession was not necessarily hereditary at this period, but depended as always on the will of the previous Emperor. It is not therefore surprising that there was discontent amongst Crehonerex I's numerous children, and one of these, Tuondo, undertook a brief rebellion within days of Caron's accession, claiming his father chose him, not Carel, as his heir. Caron very quickly and ruthlessly nipped this revolt in the bud, arresting all the main conspirators, most of whom he executed. He imprisoned Tuondo, who was later murdered in prison, after weeks of ill-treatment. Tuondo was later to be regarded as a potential liberal, who, if he had succeeded to the throne, might have saved the Empire from the coming decades of repression, revolution and chaos. He was also mythologised by playwrights of later years as an artist in his own right, for which there is actually very little evidence.

The most notable example of this was a play of Thoulpas, written a few years after these events. It was unusual in that it dealt with almost contemporary matters, and was a genuine play, not a Total Work of Art : it was intended only for private performance. In it, Tuondo was praised to the detriment of Caron. Unfortunately the Emperor found out about it. He had already been annoyed by Thoulpas' poem, "The Coming of the Barbarians", already mentioned. This was the final straw, and in 554 he hounded Thoulpas and many of his artistic circle into exile in the west of Phonaria, outside the bounds of the Empire. Thoulpas' health broke down soon after, as he struggled to write his last great mythological Total Work of Art. For the last few years of his life, till he died in 560, he was a shadow of his former self, although he was permitted to return just inside the frontier of the Empire after 558. This persecution of a great artist was a forerunner of the even worse treatment that all artists other than those who completely toed the government line were to suffer in coming years, and especially after the 590s.

A REACTIONARY EMPEROR

Crehonerex was a harsh, conservative man, about whose personal life we know very little. He married once and had several children, but his relationship with his family, as with everyone else seems to have been fairly bleak. In 547 he reintroduced Class distinctions corresponding to income grades, and resurrected the old "aristocratic" Class 1, which had been defunct since the start of the Second Empire, as a sort of "living honour" for those of his Advisors and friends who pleased him. This involved the granting of privileges of the old hereditary Class 1 grade, plus a gift of money and land. He also continued his father's work in dismantling the socially supportive role of the state, in such areas as transport, housing and education. Controllers for each of these departments were abolished between 545 and 554, and if communities wished to spend money in these areas, then they had to find the money. General taxation was also increased to permit the maintenance of a larger army : all this led to real poverty and hardship in some places.

Crehonerex demonstrated his desire for authoritarian rule and non-accountability to anyone else by ignoring the Council's objections to his policies, refusing to attend its sessions and in 551 refused for a long time even to open its Spring session. He spent nearly all the year at Cennatlantis, only returning to Atlantis in April for three months or so.

THE THREAT OF THE BARBARIANS

Around the time of Crehonerex's accession, the threat to the frontiers of the Empire by the movement of uncivilised or barbarian tribes ("Ybuaitabbe"), latent for some years, now burst into reality. Large numbers of these peoples, travelling mostly on foot, had been beating against the borders of Ughr´eh since the 530s, and had soon taken over the Ughan Marches. It seems they were part of a general migration of tribes from east to west, which was to continue for nearly a century. The reason for this vast movement, which had no obvious goal or aim, is completely unknown, and must have lain hidden somewhere in the steppes way to the east of the Ughan borders. Having occupied the Ughan Marches, the tribes moved on to the Keltish Marches, and then fell against the borders of Atlantis in the Diefillen, in other words, the Province of Geskeltan´eh. By 549 the local Atlantean forces were seriously threatened, and soon after forced to abandon the whole of Geskeltan´eh. This left the Province of Nunchalcran´eh wide open to raids, and it was militarised in 552. Further raids were made even into Nunkeltan´eh after this time, but in fact this wave of nomads made no attempt to advance further into Atlantean territory, moving instead north-westwards round the Nundor mountains, in the lands of the North Kelts, making ultimately for the Eliossie and its "Puyefel" or Protectorate. At the same time, however, raids took place in the south, from the desert against Marossan, aided by the large and semi-civilized state of Kharadar, with which the Atlanteans had only recently patched up a peace.

 

THE IMPERIAL SUCCESSION AND THE END OF CREHONEREX II

Crehonerex had several children, of whom three were boys. Crehonerex, who was profoundly attracted by the traditional hereditary rights and honours, wanted to revert officially to imperial hereditary succession. However he wanted his youngest son, who was 23 in 556, rather than his eldest to succeed him. He managed to persuade his friends and Advisors to agree to this unorthodox type of hereditary succession. This greatly upset his eldest son, Thildo, who was 28, and a vicious and corrupt prince, whom Crehonerex rightly wished to prevent succeeding to the throne. Within three months of Crehonerex's announcement of his plans for the succession, he was dead. There seems little doubt that he was murdered by Thildo, after the latter had forced his father to change his will in favour of Thildo as his heir. Certainly Thildo was immediately able to produce a revised will in favour of himself, which was declared genuine by a number of influential witnesses. Later revelations (which emerged after the Revolution) claimed that Thildo had actually physically forced his father to sign and seal the revised will, and then killed him by suffocating him, and passing the death off as a heart attack. The story is totally in keeping with the ruthless character he revealed during his reign as Emperor.

THILDO II : "THE WORST EMPEROR ATLANTIS HAD EVER SUFFERED UNDER" : 556 - 563

Thildo II was a vicious, violent and corrupt man, called "the worst Emperor Atlantis had ever suffered under", by a great historian of the Third Empire. This may well be true as far as the First and Second Empires are concerned, but unfortunately worse rulers were to come in later years. By force of character, ruthlessness and the creation of a loyal military bodyguard of some 4000 men, Thildo was soon able to rule the Empire as an absolute tyrant. Within weeks of his accession, he arrested and executed or imprisoned dozens of Councillors who had dared to object to his seizure of the throne. (It was at this time that imprisonment, sometimes accompanied by torture in this reign, was first widely used for political prisoners). His two brothers were also quickly eliminated. Thildo thereupon proceeded to rule with a small group of like-minded Advisors, reducing the Controllers to mere functionaries, and ignoring the Council. After 558, in fact, the Council was deliberately not convened on several occasions, and in 559 it actually convened itself in the Autumn session. It was ignored by Thildo and forcibly broken up in November. After 560 it was never opened, and it was reduced to a few informal or secret sessions.

Thildo was madly extravagant with the Empire's finances. Just to glorify himself, he decided to build a vast new Palace away from those at Atlantis and Cennatlantis, and spend large sums on a fantastic, baroque edifice outside Gentis in the Province of Atlantid´eh. It was left unfinished at his death, but his next successor but one, Crehonerex III, tried to complete it in the 570s, albeit in a less extravagant style. Nevertheless this obsession with the work of the hated Thildo added to Crehonerex's personal unpopularity amongst Atlanteans.

THE REIGN OF TERROR

As a result of the first racial or ethnic town riots in Helvris, Atlantis and other places, Thildo increased the size of the Army units resident in these states. In 558 he centralised the police putting them under a new Imperial Controller, one of his closest friends. He also initiated annual meetings of Provincial Governors in Cennatlantis; this enabled him to keep an eye on them, and from time to time he would detain and imprison or execute some of them, or hold their families hostage when they returned to the Provinces. From 559 he forced them to circulate annually from Province to Province, again in order to prevent them from forming power bases. In 560 and after, the Army was encouraged to use fierce repression in some Provinces which were becoming restive, and Helvr´eh and Yc´el Atlantis were militarised. The actions of the Army caused increasing resentment, especially in Atlantis where conscription was imposed for the first time ever in 562.

The main foreign event of the reign was the invasion and occupation of the island, at first simply called "Trayanaxo mandeng´o", or "Southern island", but later, after 600, "Penedrin" (the name the inhabitants called the island) which lay some 350 miles west of Thoinix Thissaindix in 559. It had been known for some decades that this island existed, and its dimensions were known, at least approximately : viz. 300 miles north to south and 200 miles east to west; in addition there were two other smaller islands nearby, called Givour. Little was known of its inhabitants, who in fact had quite an advanced society of their own, and did not welcome the Atlanteans' taking them over. They were ruled by a king (duc), at this time called Tyhiru, and a Council, and, to judge from their language, were distantly related to the Quendeliens (Western Empire inhabitants). Thildo was extremely proud of the great sea expedition sent to invade the islands, but the conquest was difficult, and it took over a year before the islands were completely subdued, and the capital, Pyovin captured, but it resulted in a catastrophic casualty rate for the islanders. Indeed their numbers were so reduced by the invasion, and subsequent ill-treatment and disease, that in years to come, Atlantis had to send large numbers of colonists to the main island to prevent it becoming completely depopulated. The smaller islands were abandoned and left empty, although before the invasion, they had supported small populations.

PLOTS AND ASSASSINATIONS

A number of plots to get rid of the despotic Emperor were hatched during the reign. In addition, there were also a number of purely fabricated or imaginary conspiracies. They all involved civilian or military Governors, usually with other threatened members of the Government, such as Councillors. All these earlier plots were revealed and led to widespread executions. One plot involved the Governors of Nunchalcr´eh, and required a brief civil war to crush it.

Ultimately Thildo's overthrow was just a matter of time, and it was finally achieved in 563, when he was killed in a coup arranged by the "Alliance" - a group of local military units around Cennatlantis, plus some Councillors and two Governors.. They were sickened by Thildo's violence, and especially by his execution of some army commanders as a result of a previous coup.

To read the next part of this history, click on (5) 563 - 589

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