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My Writings Selections from my Work Amazonia
.An Overview The Amazonian society is built on an amalgamation of exiled Amazons and a Scythian tribe pressured by other Scythians combining for mutual support with a Celtic tribe embattled against the Thracians. The success of the military alliance and their common values paved the way for a union of their peoples. It is an on-going, self-replicating society with an equilibrium that allows for a growing, vibrant population. By 900 BCE it comes to number about 250,000 people, spread through about 10 major towns and 250 villages with a scattering of farms, lumber and mining camps. The Amazonian nation lies very much in the area represented by present day Romania. It stretches from the mouths of the Danube, Westwards and to the North, centered around the Carpathian mountains. The plain to the north of the Danube is the most fertile region and the most densely settled. Much of the industry though is found in the mountain areas where rich bodies of ore and timber are to be found. The Amazonians welcome outsiders who come seeking freedom from persecution. New comers are expected to fully accept and join the society as they find it. This has helped maintain the rapid growth of the population as has the fertility of the land, the relative stability of the society and the promotion of health. The government consists of a constitutional monarchy with a senate voted in by the people and teaches self-sufficiency and respect for all. It demands responsibility from all it’s citizens with no legal privilege for any person to have rights over others. Birth control is widely practiced, assisted by grapile bark taken as tea. Handfasting is a form of long-term relationship practiced between two women and marriage is between two handfasted women and the man of their choice. Education is open and free to all with the state assuming responsibility. Until completion of military training no person is judged to be a citizen and on completion of the two year term the various professional provide further education within their specialties Money is a gold, silver and bronze based coinage, produced and distributed by the royal mint. The economy is predominantly capitalist with some essential welfare and infrastructure maintained by the state. Begging is a crime and the government will employ anyone without work in some capacity. Responsibility is the key to the law, all are held responsible for the consequences of their actions. Day to day government is in the hands of the Senate while during times of war and national disaster the royal family takes full and unquestioned responsibility. Responsibility for the moral state of the society is in the hands of the priesthood and legal profession. Judges and the priesthood are always married triples - the only professions that demand that condition. Unlike most it’s peer societies, slavery is not practiced or accepted. Service however is common but with clearly defined responsibilities on both sides and the ability to terminate on either side. Children are considered a blessing of Hera and both parents and society in general has a well-defined responsibility for their welfare. In turn children are brought up to accept responsibility for their actions and are held accountable for their deeds. Punishment is universally some form of corporal penalty administered by parents and teachers. The army is generally a small professional cadre with most of its’ effort spent on the two year training. It is supported in times of need by a militia that comprises every able-bodied man and woman of the nation. This militia is maintained at a state of readiness by regular attendance for training. Women are normally the archers of the army while men generally handle spears and swords, upper body strength being the decisive factor. The scouts and cavalry are open to both genders. Transportation, except in the towns is usually horse based, either pulling wagons or ridden. A lot of commerce flows along the Danube and its’ tributaries. Most trade with other nations is by ship through the Black Sea and the major trading partners are the Greek city states with some commerce into Anatolia and Asia by way of the Southern shore of the Black Sea.
Amazonia, the Land and the Society As described in the novels
Amazonian Life All citizens are free to choose how they live but most follow the traditional three-parent family of marriage between a man and two handfasted women. Handfasting is practiced between two women who choose to join themselves in a partnership for life. Marriage is between two handfasted women and the man they choose to share their life with. The man may accept or reject any offer of marriage depending on his own preferences. Handfasting and marriage are the rights of citizens and thus require completion of military training and is a legal contract that joins them as one in the eyes of the law. The handfasting ceremony involves the two women in the light of the moon pledging eternal love. The left palm of one is cut by the priestess of Hera while the right hand of the other is cut by the priestess of Shavaska. The palms are then placed together and the blood mixed. Marriage is between a handfasted couple and the man of their choice. And again is a legal contract. The marriage ceremony again involves the cutting of palms, for the women the other hand to that used for the handfasting ceremony and both palms of the man. The blood is mixed as before. The ceremony is performed at noon and presided over by the priest of Tarnis. Any child born without a father is judged to be without proper care and attention since a woman bearing a child “out of wedlock” is judged to be denying the child it’s rights to a full loving family. Since pregnancy is a deliberate act by ceasing the morning tea ritual to choose to have a child with out a family to support it is considered a social and moral disgrace and the mother loses all rights to care for the child. The child of such a birth must be allocated a father by law as it’s right and the courts will award such a child to a “deserving” family. The wives of the official father become its’ mothers. In law no matter the birth mother, the child is regarded as the equal responsibility of both women and the man in the family Most widowers (using the term for one or both surviving partners) will re-handfast or re-marry, especially if there are children. Divorce is open to all but the one leaving loses all rights to the family and its’ possessions. It is seldom known amongst the Amazons Physical infidelity is not considered a concern but failure to provide support, material and emotional, to the family is a grave sin and offense. Some other relationships do take place but, except for widowhood, it is expected that children ahould have two mothers and one father and anything less is a denial of a child’s rights to the love and nurturing of a full family Until military training all children are the responsibility of their families: adulthood and citizenship comes with completion of military training. Prior to military training girls often experiment with same sex relationships. During military training girls start their experimentation with relationships involving boys, either as pairs or singly.
Government At the head of government are the king and queens. The king is traditionally chosen by the priesthood based on the guidance of the Gods from those with the “blood of the Gods” in their veins. The king takes the crown for life. The queens are those whose suit the king accepts, in the same way as any man accepts a suit from a handfasted couple. The normal day to day running of the country is in the hands of the senate but the royal triple takes full responsibility during times of national emergency. All laws and measures passed by the senate can be subject to royal veto. A royal veto can only be overruled by popular vote in the four yearly elections but defeat of a royal veto requires the abdication of the reigning royals. The royal triple also appoints ambassadors and oversees relations with neighboring tribes and nations. Every fourth year members are elected to the senate. Those elected debate issues, determine the governance of the country and pass laws. They elect members as royal councilors who advise the royal triple and lead the senate in debates. The senate appoints a governor to run the taxation department The Year The Amazonian year is based on a week of five days, a month of six weeks with twelve months in the year. There is a week between years at mid-Winter which is a celebration of the blessings of the Gods and family. Every fourth year an extra day is added to this week which is used for voting by all citizens for senate representation and by guild members for guild committees. Amazonians are required by law to take one day every five as family and personal time. One week, excepting the holiday, is required for militia training each month. Education Education through to military age is free for all and paid for through taxation. The sexes are segregated and girls start and finish one year earlier reflecting physical and mental maturity. Schooling for girls is from 5th through 14th years, boys between 6th and 15th. Despite segregation, the curriculum is similar. From 5th through 10th years for girls and 6th through 11th year for boys, schooling is in smaller community locations within easy reach. At Age 11 for girls and 12 for boys attendance is at boarding schools. Every fifth day they return to their families, one week per month is vacation. Further Education is available to all after completion of military training. This is done through the various guilds such as medicine, military, law, science, education, builders and other artisans. This education is primarily career orientated. The cost of providing this education is furnished by the obligatory dues levied from graduated members of the guild except in the case of the military, law and education where costs are met from general taxation revenues. Health and Medicine Health and medical knowledge is relatively advanced; the Amazonians have an understanding of sanitation and cleanliness as well as grounding in herbal medicines to treat various illnesses. There is a fairly high level of understanding of anatomy and basic surgery is practiced. Sterilization is done with a distillate of wood alcohol. Medicine like all professions is taught at guild schools by experts in their fields chosen by the guild committee. Payment for this is from guild funds but, more importantly, the recognition of expertise is considered an honor and, moreover, allows those chosen to charge higher fees. The guild committee is responsible for ensuring adequate health coverage throughout the realm. One of the most important aspects of their society is the form of birth control practiced. The morning ritual of drinking grapile bark tea by every man, woman and child has appeared to prevent either fertilization or the attachment of eggs to the walls of the uterus. Also it seems to somehow affected the normal XY chromosome behavior so that there is an incidental increase in the proportion of girls born into Amazonian families. This use of grapile tea is discontinued by both men and women in order to conceive children. That this deliberate act is necessary for conception means that there is no excuse for unwanted pregnancies. Infrastructure A system of roads and bridges is maintained between towns and villages and workers are paid out of taxation revenues. Towns and villages, depending on size get a grant for use for street, sewer and water supply maintenance. Harbors and landings are left to towns to build and maintain and fees are charged for this. A portion of the Military budget is used for defense structures Religion The Amazonian religion worships a triumvirate of divine beings. Shavaska, maiden: somewhat akin to the Artemis of the Greeks, is the goddess of the moon, water, war, the hunt and love Hera, mother; with the same name as used by the Greeks is the goddess of the Earth and its’ bounty, of medicine and fertility Tarnis, the father and brother: akin to Apollo of the Greeks, is the god of the sun, fire, industry and knowledge. Tarnis was born of Hera and fathered Shavaska upon Hera. Hera gave birth to the first man and Shavaska to the first woman. To this day Tarnis is regarded by both men and women as their spiritual father and Hera as the mother. Shavaska is the spiritual sister and lover to all Amazonians. The priesthood is a special guild that alone charges no fees with stipends and maintenance paid out of the religious portion of taxation. By law priests are always married triples, each member representing one of the Triune Godhead. When a married triple loses one of their number they are restricted to administrative tasks. It is strongly believed that that all three Gods’ representatives must be available for the spiritual care of the people. The Law Responsibility is the key to the law, all have responsibility from children to the king and queens and with responsibility comes authority. No one has a right to escape the consequences of their actions. There is no excuse based on diminished responsibility such as age, alcohol or mental illness. Parents are expected and required to teach their children responsibility and prevent their acting irresponsibly. Both parents and Children share punishment for any unlawful act of a child. Punishment is based on an eye for an eye and harm to another is termed abuse. Guilty verdicts of mental, emotional or physical abuse require forfeiture of citizenship as well as any further punishment merited Rape is an especially heinous case of abuse and requires castration of the perpetrator as well as any further punishment merited. However, false witness requires loss of citizenship as well as any further punishment merited depending on the gravity of the accusation. Slavery is treated as abuse. Stealing is another abuse and is graduated by the effect on the victim; stealing a loaf from a starving child is considered more serious than defrauding a rich merchant of a gold piece. Abuse resulting in death, physical or emotional maiming are all treated severely. Similar to the priesthood judges are paid from taxation income and are married triples sitting together in judgement. Enforcement is the responsibility of the judges with the ability to call upon the military at need. Taxation Taxation is accepted as a necessity; the basic tax is levied on land, accounting for fertility, timber and ore content as well as urban and industrial values. Imports are also taxed. There is a bureaucracy totally responsible for assessment and collection. Appeals are allowed through tribunals appointed by the government. Taxation pays for government, the priesthood, the military, the national infrastructure and welfare.  Military The Amazonians believe that their independence and freedom need be protected by a strong military. Every citizen must have undergone military training for two years and must undertake the obligatory militia training until age 45. Infirmity is the only exception granted. All youths, girls and boys undertake their training after completion of their schooling, the 15th and 16th years for girls and 16th and 17th for boys. Potential citizens from other lands must also undergo a two year training but more geared to their ages and circumstances. The Amazonian army consists of a small standing cadre of professionals who have undertaken further training through the military guild. These men and women are responsible to the state for all military training, acting under orders of judges and magistrates to enforce the law and for the protection of the state. They also form the nucleus of an expanded army if conditions merit the raising of the militias for campaigns. The basic organization army is based on a troop of ninety, composed of sixty archers and thirty foot. Each troop has three officers. There are three troops in a company with a commander and two captains. Three companies plus a company of scouts compose a regiment. There are three regiments commanded by a colonel and two other officers to make up a brigade. The foot is armed with spear and iron sword and a large rectangular shield. They wear bronze breastplate and greaves with overlapping bronze leaves over the kilt. The archers use a recurved composite bow and wear no armor. They also have the iron short swords for close combat and carry a small round shield. Mounted horse are also used as scouts and light cavalry. These carry a light lance, small recurved bow and iron short sword. Apart from these there are professional specialty units; staff, engineers, catapulters. Also the militia supply other specialty units; farriers, teamsters, cooks, etc. All specialty units are armed with the short iron sword, recurved bow and carry the round shield. Tactics used are generally based on maneuver and overwhelming archery with a shield wall used to keep an enemy at bay and only as a last resort is close combat used. The cavalry is used more to harass and distract an enemy and as scouts. Welfare The family structure is the primary supply of needs. No family would consider neglecting the welfare of all its’ members. For those few who have no family to care for them or any family temporarily without the means to support themselves the government will provide a limited stipend through the bureau of taxation. In the main there are ample employment opportunities in the towns or with the government for jobs in infrastructure maintenance. Business, Industry and the Economy The economy is based on free market supply and demand and, with a few exceptions in rural areas of barter, based on purchases using the national coinage as currency. Regulation of business is through the guilds. The guilds are held accountable before the law for the ethical behavior of members. Except for labor, no goods or services can be offered for sale unless by a guild member. A system of fees and prices is maintained through government regulation. It is illegal to exceed those prices but undercutting, however, is fairly common especially around taxation time. Guild members elect committees every four years on “voting day” to oversee all aspects of their trade; the grand committee enacts regulation, liases with the government and acts as the final say in disputes. Guilds are expected to ensure that their members’ goods and services are equally available to the whole population and their members meet minimum standards. Failure to do so is considered abuse and subject to legal recourse. Agriculture Agriculture is mainly centered on family farms. The main cereal crops are rye, wheat and oats while onions, cabbage, a form of lettuce, beans, peas, carrots and turnips are also extensively grown. Honey is used for sweetening and beekeeping is widely followed. Flax is grown for linen making. Vineyards are extensive, especially in the South and wine and beer are produced locally in small wineries and breweries. Some olive cultivation is found in the less harsh climate near the Black Sea but most oil is imported from Greece. Geese, ducks, doves, sheep, pigs and goats are raised, as is a cattle breed that is a cross between the Aurochs and the smaller beasts of Asia Minor. Horses are the normal beasts of burden and these are normally raised on ranches specializing in their breeding. The Amazonians have developed the plough into a tool of greater efficiency with a design to fully turn the earth and using a yoke to harness it to a pair of horses. However little else is mechanized and most work is labor intensive. Rotation of crops and pastureland is commonly practiced and, together with the more efficient plough, accounts for the greater fertility of the Amazonian farm. Clothing The tunic is the normal wear of Amazonians, both men and women. In some ways similar to the Greek chiton, it is a one piece covering with short sleeves and extending to just above the knees. The upper front is often buttoned and a belt worn at the waist. Kilts and singlets are also worn by both sexes. In colder weather, bracae or tight trousers with socks cover the legs and feet while a long sleeved undershirt is worn under the tunic. Sandals are the universal footwear except in snow when a form of mukluk is commonly added. The cloth used can be either wool or linen. The Greek himation, or woman’s over-garment, is not used but both men and women wear a wool lined jacket in colder weather.  Music Music forms a central part of Amazonian life. Instruments include various forms of drums, cymbals, harps, flutes and bagpipes. Bagpipes or “Gaidas” of several sorts are still common to Macedonia, Bulgaria, Rumania and Albania. The gaida flourishes in the region and has always maintained its active place culturally, to an extent not seen elsewhere except in Scotland. Music in Amazonia ranges from ceremonial for religious, military and royal occasions to public concerts and impromptu gatherings using one or more of the instruments. Singing is everywhere popular and the people love to break into song to help work go by easily or just to celebrate all aspects of life.