Amarr Roleplaying Background: Government structure
Lets see. (reposted from eve boards
I want to gain a common consensus of Amarr culture and governance.
I am going to present some of the basics and reasoning for my ideas.
The Amarr Empire is a Theocracy. (At one stage the "apostles" were in charge, and even now the emperor is linked in some way to "divinity". It was also brought to my attention that in an interview with Clover - he stated that part of the idea for the Amarr was from the Egyptian Pharonic states - pretty strong thoecracy there)
This means that "government" is religiously based.
This also means that "politics" and "religion" are very closely intertwined.
so - the Emperor is both the head of state, and the head of the Church. - but by tradition this position comes from among the "Holders" and the 5 Heir families. so the Holders also have a religious position as well. (to become a head of a church you would need to be part of that church, and an important role)
So, we have to have some kind of organisation that has both religious and "non religious" positions and reasons for them.
So - firstly, comparisons.
Yes, the Empire does indeed show similarities to the roman Empire informa and action, But the romans religion was not centralised, and also pantheistic. The Amarr Church is based upon and has grown from the "Universal Catholic Church" - which is a term already in used to refer to the combined Anglican, Roman and Orthodox churches.
(look at the timeline - the Amarr empire is derived from the "conformists" a group within the Church... so i would assume that there are some similarities in structure, if not beliefs to the real life churches)
So the Empire is somewhat like Europe in the middle ages, with its overarching Church involved in nearly every aspect of daily life (especially education, which is a perfect way to retain power) as well as the external threats and "crusades". There is also the Egyptian angle and Roman angle - with their "absolute" rulers, and their connection to divinity.
So how are the heirs, monumentally non-clerical (ex soldiers etc?) become Emperors, and why?
I propose the following. (open for discussion and comments please)
The Emerpor is the spiritual and legal ruler of the Amarr Empire. He is still bound by tradition and spiritual law though.
I would say that for the Clergy to govern, but not to be the ones elected for emperor, there must be a special place for the "Holders" For this i looked to current and historical positions in the church - and i found the protectors.. "Cardinal protector" and others, who were non-ordained members of the Church, and who had a very important role to play.
they were the money men
and in a time when vows of poverty were still important, and that priests were to devote their time to their followers (hence, no earning job - only the donations of the followers/provisions by the church) the Protectors were very important.
I transferred this into what we know about the Amarr so far, and came up with this...
the Holders are afforded this right and title and honour by virtue of being "protector" to a part of the Church.
hence, a commoner can be fabulously wealthy, but is still not a Holder until he "protects" part of the church.
this would be a very big deal - lots of ceremony and other things. But this would also be a reason for the 5 families to be so big - they "protect" a large region of the church (perhaps those regions named after them??)
So a Holder family would have certain church lands and people associated with them, and they would provide all the costs for the upkeep of this area.
sort of lke a charitable donation - but your social status depends on it, and there are a lot of priveliges associated - But of course, there are only so many churches/monasteries/diocese/etc in existance - so only so many Holders around...
hence also the big political desire to continue the reclaiming and the previous conquests... the people who conquered new lands would gain the right to set up new missions/parishes/churces etc - and hence this would allow them to enter the Holder class...
(sort of akin to Roman Governors of new provinces etc)
and - since the government is a theocracy (i am pretty sure)- only those in the Chapters (a body set up to administer a church/parish/etc) have any say in the running of that area.
a protector historically always had a major say in the Chapter councils, and there were a number of times the Pope had to step in and reduce the influence many Protectors were having on their Protectorates...
So - the Emeperor is the "protector of the faith" - a non-ordained member of the Chapter Amarr: the privy council. and hence is the one who controls the money and "owns" the lands upon which the Empire is built... very very important. And since in the Amarr traditions, he is chosen as the "best" in a series of rituals... so it sounds much like a "trial by..." from the old medieval church...
ie - God will support the one most
So while the Emperor is not Divinity - he is chosen by God (apparently) and is also one of those who supports a large section of the Church expenses out of his own pocket...
OK, and Clergy... how to people become part of the clergy?
my first thought was education... and here i came upon the Gnostics and their ideals.
The world is the handiwork of God, and so all investigation of knowledge of this world brings us closer to the thought of God.
follow this through in modern terms.. Knowwlege is Holy. Those best able to understand the Holy are those ordained to its service.
so i feel in amarr that "higher education" is indicative of a member of the Clergy - and a right to be part of government.
The way i picture it, knowledge associated with a science (the natural world or things directly involving its maipulation or laws) would be restricted to Clergy (or those going that way) SO things like Engineering, architecture, mathematics, physics, psychology, medicing etc are all "restricted" knowledge. (note i include psychology and medicine - which although are the study of man and his thoughts, one muct ask - is not man created by God? and as such, should not the knowledge of his workings bring one closer to the mind of God?)
Things like accounting, economics are the study of purely man-created things, and such are not restricted. (so business degrees are a.o.k.)
I see that basic education (say high-school equivalency) is given to all... Probably tought by priests appointed to the task).
apprenticeships and business "colleges" would probably fall outside of the juristiction of the Church, and would be run by workers collectives of Holder families.
any thing which requires a more "university level" education would require entry into the clergy first - hence studies in theology, and probably some time working for the Church (low level govt jobs - paper pushers etc) Only after this time, and after some kind of examination (inteligence and faith) would people be allowed to study this "restricted" knowledge.
I have a lot more notes, and thoughts on this matter - but i'll post this part first for comments.