|Unification of Selucia|
Proclamation of the Republic of Argona
| Republic of Argona
|| Patrimonium Sancti Michaelis|
| Dictator Iulianus Capraeus
Summus Praefectus Victor Sabaudius
Consul Sextus Fontilius
| Arch-Patriarch Thomas II|
The Unification of Selucia (Selucian Unificatio Seluciae) was the political and military process of creating a single state on the Selucian Archipelago, replacing the countless city states that had dominated the region since Antiquity. The unification resulted in the creation of the Selucian Empire, which soon after its establishment proceeded to create one of the largest colonial empires in Terran history.
Following the fall of the Qedarite Empire in 22 CE, Selucia was left divided into a large number of city-states and petty kingdoms that often vied for dominance over the archipelago. The system lasted through the Renascentia, when the power of the city-states increased significantly, but owing to their constant conflicts and the religious tensions between Hosianism and Paganism none of the polities on the islands was strong enough to accomplish unification. During the Renascentia Selucian writers such as Titus Tullius Coleus looked back to the perceived heroism of ancient times, when Selucia was united against foreign powers. It was also during the Renascentia that the various republican city-states were gradually brought under the rule of powerful families, establishing hereditary monarchies that would come to dominate the islands in early modern times.
In the late 18th century nationalist ideas began to gain momentum, supported by the growing middle class dissatisfied with feudalism, monarchy, and the disunity of the nation. Building upon the values of the Renascentia, early Selucian nationalists envisioned a single unified Selucian nation-state governed under Republican principles. Nationalist writers of the 18th century began publishing works in a modernized form of Classical Selucian, breaking from the archaic tendencies of Selucian writing during the Renascentia by tackling modern themes in an otherwise artificial standardized language, thus laying the foundations of Modern Standard Selucian as the single language of the Selucian nation.
Those in favour of unification also faced opposition from the Papacy and the Holy Apostolic Hosian Church of Terra, which feared that giving up power in the region could mean the persecution of Selucian Hosians. This led to a close association between Selucian Paganism and Selucian Nationalism, the latter of which saw the Hosian faith as an allogenous element and the main obstacle to unification.
Proclamation of Argonan Republic
One of the largest monarchic polities on the islands was the Principality of Argona, founded in the 13th century in the aftermath of the Sadarian Crusade and ruled by a feudal aristocracy originating from Artania. The rising middle class of Argona was increasingly dissatisfied with the autocratic rule of the Principality, and numerous liberal and nationalist secret societies were formed aiming to overthrow the Principality. In 1799, after the execution of a number of secret society members, a rebellion started throughout the Principality. The whole city fought throughout the streets, raising barricades, firing from windows and roofs, and urging the rural population to join them. By October the Prince was forced to abdicate, and a provisional government was formed presided by a Dictator, Iulianus Capraeus. Under Capraeus Argona was proclaimed a Republic (Res Publica Argonensis) and the Dictator was granted unlimited emergency powers; feudal privileges were ended, a unified civil code was introduced, and Church land was secularized and redistributed to the peasants, prompting opposition from the Church and the other Selucian states.
Wars of Unification
Considering their rule threatened, the other states on the archipelago declared war on the Argonan Republic with the intent of restoring the Argonan throne. Led by the Papacy, the anti-revolutionary armies experienced a number of successes in their invasion of Argona, as the latter's army was severely disorganized as a result of the revolution. The tide of battle was turned after Argona introduced mass conscription in 1801, allowing them to levy hundreds of thousands of men and thus deploy more of its manpower than the other states could. By 1805 Argona was on the offensive, and within a year all of West Shadar was under Argonan occupation. Pro-Argonan and republican uprisings in the other states were instrumental in the success of Argona; moreover, large landowners were guaranteed that they would retain their properties in a unified Selucia, while the peasants were led to believe that a policy of land redistribution would be implemented, which however never materialized.
Fall of Auroria
With most of the archipelago under Argonan control, the only remaning opponent of Argona remained the Papacy, which governed Auroria, the largest and most powerful state on the islands. Announcing its intention of conquering Auroria and proclaiming it the capital of the new Selucian nation-state, Dictator Capraeus suggested that the Arch-Patriarch allow the Argonan army to enter Auroria peacefully while guaranteeing the preservation of a number of privileges for the Church. Arch-Patriarch Thomas II however declined, and the invasion of Auroria was initiated. By 1811 the city fell to Argonan armies and in August of that year the Selucian Republic was proclaimed. Iulianus Capraeus relinquished his dictatorial powers, and Sextus Fontilius, the general in charge of the invasion of Auroria, was elected one of the first two Consuls of united Selucia.
End and Aftermath
The Treaty of Capitulation between Auroria and Argona guaranteed a set of rights to the Hosians, including religious tolerance and fair treatment in return for their surrender and capitulation. However a Hosian uprising in 1815 caused the Pagan side to consider that the Hosians had violated the Treaty, which gave them a justification for revoking its provisions. A series of laws were passed gradually restricting the rights of Hosians, by ordering the destruction of Hosian scriptures and places of worship, forbidding Hosians from assembling for worship, removing their judicial protection, and ordering the arrest and imprisonment of all bishops and priests. The persecution culminated in the Horatian Law (Lex Horatia de Hosiis) of 1818, that ordered all persons, men, women, and children, to gather in a public space and offer a collective sacrifice. If they refused, they were to be executed. These persecutions led to the almost complete elimination of the Holy Apostolic Hosian clergy, including the Papacy (the last Arch-Patriarch was executed in 1819), driving Hosianism underground. Deprived of the central leadership of the Church and believing Apostolic Succession and the See of St. Michael to have been brought to an end by the persecutions, the branches of the Church outside Selucia became independent national churches, thus putting an end to the Holy Apostolic Hosian Church of Terra.
Simultaneously with the persecution of Hosianism, the religious policy of reunified Selucia also focused on creating a unified form of Selucian Paganism. An official pantheon was recognized, formed of 27 gods that included both pan-Selucian divinities and prominent local deities, and the College of Pontiffs was established as the governing body of the religion. Religious scriptures were standardized and a uniform system of worship was adopted for the entire nation. At the same time, Pagan practices that fell outside the scope of the official state cult were suppressed; mystery cults in particular were outlawed and persecuted, due to their perceived foreign character and accusations of immorality. These acts transformed the Religio from a heterogeneous ethnic faith into the national Selucian religion and the official faith of the reunified Republic.
Unification resulted in the creation of modern Selucia. The Selucian nation-state remained the dominant form of government on the islands almost continuously since 1811. The process of creating the Selucian nation-state was not however complete with the fall of Auroria. The peasants, dissatisfied with the lack of land redistribution, revolted numerous times during the early years of the Republic, and economic inequality persisted for many years, in spite of the official abolition of feudal privileges. Religiously, the aparent triumph of Paganism in 1819 was only temporary, as Hosian belief persisted underground for centuries, and in 2385, after a previous legalization of Hosianism, the first Selucian Pope was elected after a four hundred year Dark Age, leading to the subsequent resurgence of Hosianism as the Selucian Patriarchal Church. Linguistically, the islands remained divided, in spite of the best efforts of the government to persuade the population to adopt Modern Standard Selucian as the nation's single language. Today all Selucians speak their local dialect in day-to-day communication, while Modern Standard Selucian remains the language of official communication, journalism, business, or education. In spite of these deep divisions persisting to this day, Selucia has rarely since experienced political disunity; the nation founded in 1811 proved to be a long-lasting and successful project of nation-building.