On the plus side, I’m feeling better today. And so, here’s today’s history post.
The League of Creusa
The emblem of the League of Creusa, one of the earliest uses of the image of an eagle to represent the Elven polity, subsequently adopted by the Elven Empire and its successors:
Following the landing of the refugees of the Archipelagic War led by Prince Adrastos and Princess Eos, the leader of each of the seven ships founded a settlement along the course of the Creusa River in Natalis. The settlement founded by Adrastos and Eos eventually grew into the city of Imperialis, the seat of the later Elven Empire that would rule over most of Realmgard. Though the major cities of the later Empire now existed in their earliest forms, it would be centuries until the consolidation of the Empire’s true political authority.
At this early stage, the seven initial Elven settlements entered into a loose confederation known as the League of Creusa after the river that connected the seven settlements. In practice, each of the seven was independent of the others, though each was sworn to the other six to assist in case of invasion from any of the neighbouring city-states that pre-dated the arrival of the Elves.
Though effective in the early generations, this loose arrangement ultimately proved insufficient in the face of rising hostility from the Elves’ Natalian neighbours. An assembly of the citizens of the seven Elven cities was convoked, leading to the acclamation of Timaeus the grandson of Adrastos and Eos (named in honour of Eos’ valiant brother) as the Imperator of the League of Creusa.
Though the modern word “Emperor” does indeed derive from the Elven “Imperator”, it should be noted that Timaeus was not made Emperor. In the ancient context, “Imperator” simply indicates the right to wield any authority (especially in terms of warfare) and carries no connotations of the regal power conveyed by the modern word “Emperor.”
It is, however, also worth noting that the later dynastic line of Emperors did claim descent from Timaeus and drew much of its claim to Imperial legitimacy from his acclamation as Imperator of the League of Creusa.
As Imperator, Timaeus was granted the authority to lead the military forces of all seven of the cities within the League of Creusa, though the cities remained nominally independent. Even so, the effective nature of the League as an alliance of seven independent states began to diminish in the face of ongoing consolidation and centralisation.
In following generations, the League was consolidated into a single polity with unified leadership. However, the legacy of the League’s origins as an alliance of seven continued to be felt in the election of a council of seven representatives which served as the basis for the later Imperial Senate.
This growing unification and consolidation of political power proved effective against the Elves’ Natalian rivals and the Elves won several decisive victories, leading to the first period of expansion of the Elven state.
By the time the League of Creusa was formally disbanded and replaced with the so-called Creusan Hegemony, the Elves had cemented their status as a regional power in Natalis, laying the foundation for the dominion of the later Empire over all of Natalias and ultimately the majority of the continent.
And there’s Day 2.
And if you missed it, here’s Day 1.
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