The Briscine Empire was an imperial successor state from 1458 until 1550. The term refers to the dynasty's founder, Briscio the Elder. However, the Briscine monarchs referred to their house as the House of Brisciovicho (with the suffix being derived from the Algeorgian patronymic marker -vich instead of the Sillenic -ino). The Briscines were the first of the Sillenic conquest dynasties. They also referred to themselves as the "Golden Dynasty", in reference to their mission to restore the past glory of the First Empire.
|Sillas under the Briscine dynasty|
|Capital||Vostovilla (until 1558)|
Sillas (1558 until disestablishment)
|Languages||Classical Sillenic, Vulgar Sillenic|
|Religion||Anystesseanism, Oriental Ulm, Neopaganism|
|Government||Oligarchic republic with an elective monarchy (de iure)|
Constitutional monarchy (de facto)
|Emperor||Briscio I (first)|
|Boris III (last)|
|Historical era||Late antiquity|
|•||Reconquest of Sillas||1558|
|•||Reign of Briscio II||1455–1480|
|•||Reign of Alessio as primus inter pares||1480–1496|
|•||Reign of Alessio as sole Emperor||1496–1504|
|•||Reign of Anastasia||1504–1519|
|•||Reign of Boris I, II, and III||1519–1558|
The dynasty was founded by Algeorgian warlord Briscio, whose name is the Sillenic approximation of the Algeorgian Brykis. His successor and son, Briscio II the Great, conquered Sillas Proper. Briscio II is also referred to by the appellation "the Just". Initially, the Briscines were considered a legitimate Sillenic dynasty. Briscine policies ushered a period of sustained but ultimately incomplete recovery known as the Briscine Renaissance. During this period, secular art and literature flourished. Upon his death, the empire was partitioned between his three sons, with Alessio, as the Viceroy of Sillas, being primus inter pares. Alessio would be the last competent Briscine monarch. Disatistfaction with the imposition of semifeudal institutions, and the news of a Ogahollean reconquest (seen as the successor of the Sillenic Empire's western half) undermined the Briscines' authority. In 1550, the last Briscine Emperor was killed by ethnic Aputian warlord Aisha, resulting in the dissolution of the Briscine Empire, which marked the end of Late Antiquity and the start of the Sillenic Dark Ages as well as the Triarchal Era.
Traditional historiography denounced the Briscine Empire as a dismal period in Sillenic history. This view has been propagated by both secular authorities and the Orthodox Church in the Dark Ages. Given reasons for the Briscine Empire's collapse were for the sex of their rulers, their "foreignness", and their late conversion to Anystesseanism. Modern views have been more favorable, as the Briscine Empire prevented the complete disintegration of the Sillenic nation.
Algeorgians were a people from the northern island of Algeorgia. Algeorgians were paganists, worshipping a large, long-lived bird referred to simply as the Dodo. The island of Algeorgia was subtropical, making it an ideal place to grow lucrative goods such as citrus and spices. It was thus one of the goal destinations of the Great Eastern Expedition sent by Bria the Great. Ancient Sillas and Algeorgia had knowledge of each other starting the 10th century, as Algeorgia sent a few hundred of its warriors to fight alongside its Qaryaati and Beraban allies in the Sillenic Wars (also called the Adrianic Wars). It was only until the conquests of the 12th century, did Sillas and Algeorgia had meaningful diplomatic ties.
Algeorgians were traditionally pacifists, a result of the island's abundance. Over the course of the first few centuries of the 2nd millenium, the island experienced a population boom. In 1000, Algeorgians numbered 200,000; just a century later, they numbered 700,000. The population would eventually peak at about 800,000 and eventually decline to 500,000. Land shortages led to widescale emigration, initially settling the Northern Isles, Northern Iria, and eventually the entirety of the Adzeian Basin - including Northern Beraba and parts of Qaryaat. By 1300, the Algeorgian diaspora numbered about 2-3 million. Most Algeorgians who settled outside of the Northern Isles were peaceful, urban laborers. Their refusal to convert from Dodoism, however, got them into trouble in both Hyoria and Sillas, which compelled their Algeorgian subjects to either convert to their state religions or pay exemption taxes. A minority of Algeorgians became sea nomads to evade these obligations, eeking out an independent existence and forming maritime communities based on subsistence fishing and whaling. As the Syresian Climatic Optimum (Syresian War Period) waned, population pressures throughout the Adzeian Basin led to sociopolitical instability. Many Algeorgians joined these maritime communities and engaged in piracy as traditional ways of living became unviable.
Over the 14th century, Algeorgians formed 10% of the population of Northeast Beraba, even forming a majority in coastal and urban areas. Algeorgians who settled in the territories of the First Sillenic Empire (especially Northeast Beraberia, later referred to as Augeorginia, and the parts of the Qaryaati Coast) developed a highly militaristic culture, with many even joining the Army. A prominent Algeorgian working within Sillenic ranks was Livaroto Kobliska, who rose to become the Grand Commandant from 1400–1415 under the reign of Empress Bophortina. Nevertheless, Algeorgians developed a reputation for their lawlessness and refusal to integrate themselves into wider society.
"Barbarian" peoples like Algeorgians, Aputians, Qaryaati Nomads, and Drakans proved to be instrumental in Sillas' collapse in the 15th century. The TBD Rebellion ravaged the Qaryaati Region, while Algeorgians were able to convince Sillenic generals to secede from the Sillenic metropole.
Brisho the Elder, born in 1399, deposed his superior Múnstera and became the Lord of Augeorginia in 1428. Brisho initially pledged his fealty to the ailing Luzonerian Dynasty, being visited by Empress Kheraldina in 1433, who formally-appointed him as Governor–General of Augeorgina and Lord of the Silleno-Algeorgians. However, upon hearing news of the Sack of Sillas in 1450, he rescinded his loyalty and took up the titleof King of Beraberia. Brisho the Elder took over the rest of the Beraberian Peninsula, subduing competing warlords by both might and diplomacy. His death in 1455 led to the throne passing to his eldest son, Brisho the Younger - otherwise known as Brisho II the Great.
Brisho II mounted a campaign to reconquer Sillas Proper, with the intention of relocating from Vostokvilla to Sillas City. In 1457, he captured the Makuku Region. In 1458, he made his entry into North-Central Sillas, and captured the city of Sillas without much fight the next year. The Ecumenical Matriarch crowned him Emperor Regnant of the Sillenes in an elaborate coronation event, thus leading the Bishopess of Ogaholle, asserting that the office is now vacant, to initiate the Split of the Orthodox Church. Despite conquering the core of the now-pitiful Sillenic Empire, he was unable to make any forrays into the northwest of Sillas Proper nor its south. He eventually made Governor–Generals of each the Ladies of their respective regions.
Initially, during the Classical era, there were five "estates" – legally-defined social groups. Unlike later systems, this was purely statistical and all groups had the same tax obligations: all paid about ~10% of their land value annually (either in bullion or goods in kind), and fulfilled corvée during the agricultural off-season (commutable to a head tax). The five estates administrative and martial nobility, the merchants, the artisans, the free peasants, and dependent peasants (initially people of this category were semi-serfs; later they were tenants).
By the Sillenistic era, there were four estates: the clergy, the scholar–gentry, merchants and artisans, and the peasantry. These could be grouped in a basic distinction between nobility (in which the clergy constitute the upper nobility, while the scholar–gentry, the lower) and commoners. Unlike the first system, all estates were equal in the law. However, they have different tax obliations: the first estate had none, the second and third were required to pay the land tax in bullion, while the fourth had the privilege of paying the land tax in either grain or bullion. In addition, the first and second estates received a government salary – though this was very low compared to the income they acquired through the rents.
The Antilenas under Brichio the Just continued to uphold the Sillenistic social system. His sons Domeatio and Pekorino, however, completely-revamped the structure of Sillenic society. The scholar–gentry were barred from occupying higher political offices, and while the central bureaucracy in the capital remained, it declined in importance. Lands from the scholar–gentry and the church were confiscated, ostensibly to convert into public land; outrage caused massive revolts.
The land value tax was raised to ~25%; all those who failed to pay this amount were reduced to serfdom. These people were referred to as the diliberes ("unfree") in the Domeatian Code of 158X – they were nevertheless popularly and discreetly referred to as "alípinos" ("chattel slaves") due to their heavy dependence on their masters. By 1600, about ~60% of the population were enslaved. While in theory, they were publicly-owned, in reality the government leased them to members of the martial nobility (that is, the Antileans) depending on the length of their service and their personal ties.