Re: Guerilla Warfare in Sartar and Prax

From: Neil Smith (
Date: Fri 30 Jan 1998 - 18:50:00 EET

Just a quick note on this subject. BBC Radio 4 did a series on the
Romans in Britain a while back, and they described how the Romans kept
the peace when they first invaded Britain.

The basic pre-Roman Celtic setup had a very definate class system: the
rulers were all one family and had all the wealth, power, and luxury,
while the peasants were poor and kept poor by swinging taxes. The
classes were static: the rulers remained rulers, while the peasants
remained peasants.

When the Romans came along, they defeated and deposed the chief by
military or diplomatic means, got his surrender, and then promptly
offered him his old job back! This was on condition that the chief kept
the peace and paid his taxes to the Romans. In return, the Romans
agreed to send forces into the chief's lands, when invited, to help put
down any uprisings, defeat bandits, etc.

The result was that the clan remained ruled by the same people as
before, so the peasants couldn't object to any new rulers; and the chief
kept the Romans sweet because he knew that the Romans could
depose him again any time they wanted to.

This seems applicable to the Sartarite situation. The clans are
basically ruled by an elite (although notionally anyone can become a
chieftan, I'm sure that there is only a small group of candidates, all
of whom are related to the current chief), and the current chief can
keep the peace with the threat that any trouble will cause the Lunars to
install their own military governors, who are not Orlanthi and will
therefore make a complete mess of everything.

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Neil Smith email:
CISMG, Cranfield University, phone: +44 1793 785900
RMCS, Shrivenham, Swindon, SN6 8LA, UK fax: +44 1793 782753
   Q: How many Prolog programmers does it take to change a light bulb?
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