25 April 2018

Historie 103 and 104

Since I didn't do the Feb issue for Historie, here's a double release of Historie chapters, 103 and 104! With the would-be assassin's short introduction done, looks like the real fun is about to start with Olympias. It's gonna be painful waiting until June after this cliffhanger. Careful readers will note that the Eumenes' knife appears to be that of Eurydice's attendant.

Historie 103:   Mega
Historie 104:   Mega

21 April 2018

Some Thoughts About Empires and Emperors

Empire (noun): Government-rank requiring at least 1000 development
What does an empire and pornography have in common? They're both hard to define, yet we all think we know one when we see one. Games such as EU4 and CK2 offer extremely simplified definitions that an empire must be ruled by an emperor, and it must be at least thiiiis big, which draw from a conventional idea that an empire should mean "a sovereign government ruling over multiple political societies." But then you have the academics come and scoff at the imprecision of such a definition. For instance, where do we draw the line at distinguishing significant "political societies?" Does a single city that has its own political identity and community count? And what does "ruling over" mean? Does it refer to only 100% control or is it compatible with large local autonomy? If state A exercises economic but not political control over state B, is B a part of A's empire? If state A gives freedom to state B on running domestic affairs, but partially limits its decision-making in foreign affairs, is B a part of A's empire?

Meanwhile, in more sophisticated academic definitions of empire, the empire is defined simply to aid in categorization for modern-day scholars rather than taking into account how peoples in the past have historically understood the term. So I thought it would be fun to point out ways in which both "empires" and "emperors" have been understood historically in Europe and East Asia that might run counter to common definitions today. It's not a topic that gets a lot of attention in popular history, so hopefully I'll cover stuff you hadn't considered before.