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Science and Invention 200 - 630

Ruthopheax as seen by his contemporaries

Ruthopheax is quite an elusive figure for the historian to pin down. Above all he was a master of projecting himself to the world at large exactly as he wanted to appear. He manufactured his own image, and Atlanteans of the Third Empire and afterwards believed this image was the real man. Much remains hidden about what actually went on in the 630s and 640s, and Ruthopheax was happy that it should be so. However we know now, and some Atlanteans of the Fourth Empire and later (i.e. after 790) came to learn, that there was another, far darker side to Ruthopheax as politician and Emperor. The extracts from Atlantean historians given below will show the differences between the two images, as well as describe the atmosphere of the period around 629, when the Imperialists finally overthrew the last Republicans.

The first passage was written by Ruthopheax's official chronicler in the later 630s, and was later included in the standard lives of the Emperor. It paints a heroic and unblemished picture of the Emperor, who appears far-sighted and detached, and glosses over the actions he took against the defeated Republicans.

Louron thus managed to be the first commander to reach the outskirts of the great city of Atlantis itself. High walls surrounded the town, manned by the last forces left to the Republican usurpers. Louron had no doubts about how to deal with this seeming obstacle, and, as he had done so often before, lined up all his artillery. In a matter of only two days, a great breach had been blown in the wall, and he was able to launch his soldiers through it on the third day. Thus he gained entrance inside the city walls, but his army still had a hard fight ahead of it, to force its way down to the sea and the centre of the city.

The enemy did indeed resist furiously at first, and at this point the Army came up again against the devilish inventions of the Republican inventor, Bueccan. This inventor of steam-powered engines misguidedly gave his services to the Republicans, and from his home town of Tilrase had overseen the construction of many such engines, which could carry soldiers and arms rapidly and securely about the battlefield and against our soldiers. These had caused some dismay and casualties at first, but our fearless men soon got used to them and learned how to deal with them. Now in Atlantis the remaining engines were thrown against us, commanded again by Bueccan, who had fled to Atlantis when our Army took Tilrase. But the engines all either broke down or roamed aimlessly around until our men were able to shoot their drivers. Bueccan himself was captured, and Louron decided that it would be best to set an example and ordered his execution - and also of other Republicans who were believed to have driven these machines. (This passage was omitted from histories published after 650, as Ruthopheax wanted to erase the knowledge of such inventions from everyone's memory.) Louron quite rightly believed these machines, and all such inventions, to be devilish and unsuitable for the Empire he was to found a year or so later.

In due course our soldiers defeated the enemy, and approached the centre of the city. Unfortunately the delay had given the Republican leaders time to prepare their escape, and they, abandoning their army and citizens, crept away on to boats and off to the "Atlano Mandeng´o" (island of Atlantis).

As an example of the original Atlantean, I give the following sentence in Atlantean before continuing with the translation : Scatisan scilondur rouhun, Louron can urgathe runan ar silil til aggix, zuen cianan enuyu daithehettu thisaggeyu eathe thehaxa mentan til ruheso dituilluyan cerexayu Carel III.

At that time, Louron himself, riding his horse, went up the hill inside the walls, on which the first city temple had been built back in the reign of the unfortunate Emperor Carel III. Here too had been the great statue to Atlaniphon II, put up by Emperor Atlanicerex. The temple was a ruin, and the statue had vanished, having been destroyed by the Republicans. Our leader, his cloak billowing behind him, sat motionless on his horse on top of the hill, silhouetted against the horizon by the setting sun. He gazed around him, looking mournfully at the temple ruins, and then at the city which lay at his feet, and finally at the ships fleeing across the waters, carrying the cowardly Republican leaders. He beckoned to two of his staff to join him, and spoke to them, as I have been informed:

"This is truly the greatest day of my life. Within a few hours, or a day at most, the city of Atlantis will be ours, and the hateful blight of Republicanism will be eradicated from the Empire. I am humbled by the honour that General Treckol has granted me to be able to capture this last refuge of the enemy. I want to help him to rebuild our Empire under its old values. But above all we must purge and cleanse places like this of all the taints of that pernicious Republicanism, which they have adopted for the past 40 years."

As Louron prophesied, the last enemy soldiers surrendered within a day or two. Due to the treachery of the navy, we were unable to intercept the Republican leaders, who escaped finally to Yc´el Atlantis. Louron later found out those Republican leaders who had remained in hiding in Atlantis, put them on trial and saw that they received suitable sentences. After that, he left the city, and went to join his commander, General Treckol in the rear.

The second extract was written in secret and never published. It was found as a manuscript by an historian around 785, and later similar narratives were uncovered. These seem to show that Louron, even before he was Emperor, and also throughout the 630s and 640s, acted with extreme brutality and cruelty towards anyone who was a Republican, or who even had the misfortune to have lived in a Republican city before 628.

Louron was furious that the Republican leaders had mostly escaped his vengeance in Atlantis by fleeing away across the seas. He cursed the navy for its treachery, then, even before the fighting in the city had finished, ordered every person remaining who had had any sort of authority under the old regime to be dragged forth and made ready to stand trial.

It proved difficult to find these people, and more difficult to ascertain who had been active in the former government, and who were just ordinary citizens. Louron, though, was growing ever more angry as he toured the ancient city and saw the deprivations which the Republicans had carried out there - the Imperial Palace partly destroyed, and partly turned into an arsenal, nearly all the statues of Emperors destroyed, the temples turned into offices, the nobles' houses given to ordinary citizens, etc. He showed these things to his army, deliberately to build up its hatred against the Republicans.

He ordered the leaders to be executed forthwith, now, without any trial, and in public, in the same place and same way as the Republicans had in the past executed our leaders, above all Emperor Crehonerex. They were not just beheaded, though, but savagely beaten and burned to death tied to stakes. Others were also executed, many just ordinary soldiers, who happened to have been taken prisoner.

Then Louron announced that he intended to purge this city by evicting up to a quarter of its inhabitants. This he did, forcing them out into the countryside, scattering them about, and leaving them to make their own shelters. When General Treckol heard about this, he was angered, and ordered Louron to stop any further reprisals. Louron reluctantly obeyed for the time, but after the assassination of Treckol, which some claimed Louron himself was behind, he resumed all these activities again. Indeed matters grew much worse for the inhabitants of the towns of the old Republic, for Louron now inflicted on all the large towns in this area, the same punishments he had already carried out on Atlantis city. One of his favourite sayings was: "Cities are the source of all evils. Good comes only from the country, whose representative in the Squire." Worse still - he established a secret army within an army, and whenever he evicted citizens from these towns, which he did from at intervals over and over again, rather than just settling them elsewhere in the countryside, thousands were taken off and secretly killed...

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