1. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    Imperium: A suitable word or not?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ice Queen, Jun 3, 2011.

    I'm unsure of whether my fictional country's government would qualify as such or not. I know the word: 'Imperium' is latin for 'power' so I think it's suitable but I'd like to know for sure D:

    *The country's government is situated in the capital city of the country; called Alexandria.
    *The country is governed, not by a King or an Emperor; but a group of people called The Counsel (incidentally can I use Counsel instead of Council?- I mean, they're called that because they give counsel to the people, but they are a council; like a group of people who make the descisions. Is this a terrible pun or am I just confused?!?)

    In any case; my main character is a Commanding Officer in the Alexandrian Army- she refers to it as the Imperial Alexandrian Army- and says she serves the Imperium. (basically she serves the power)

    Correct use of Imperium, or no?

    (Also, this is a Fantasy not historical or anything; err... I'm using the name Alexandria because I'm lame and I think it's beautiful- plus I'm giving it a great big library which WILL NOT be burned down by religious nutcases... :'C)
     
  2. WastelandSurvivor
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    WastelandSurvivor Member

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    Well...I think that's the correct use of the word, but I think most people would use the word "empire" instead.
     
  3. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    You're right, of course. Imperium isn't too common a word. But Empire always makes me think of Emperor which isn't what holds sway in Alexandria. Also, I have no idea why but I really like the feel of the word 'Imperium' - kind of gives me a feeling of something covert and underhand going on, as well as being kind of ominous... (not that Empire doesn't do the same... I always think of Japan for some reason upon hearing that... O_O)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds good to me... and 'authentic' enough, i should think...

    just google the word and you'll see...
     
  5. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Imperium in latin had a clear significance: it meant "militay power", the Imperator was the man who held the power on all the army, therefore much like a Generalissimo than an Emperor. As a matter of fact the first roman emperors didn't call themselves "imperator" but "princeps", prince, in the sense of "primus inter pares", or first man among peers (the senators and consuls), but when the Empire started to decline, it was the Army (or the Armies) that declared the Emperor, not the Senate anymore. I think it happened since the 2nd century.

    As you can see, the political situation that you describe in your book is pretty similar to the early Roman Empire at the time of the Gens Julia,just you mixed up the Senators with the Counsels (actually the Senate in the Republic was formed by ex counsels, whose mandate lasted one year, and there were two counsels at the same time to avoid the situation that generated int eh first century BC, one men (the imperator, Caesar, Pompeus, or Augustus) taking all the power. The spartans had a similar political organization with two kings.

    P.S. Herbert in Dune used the word "Imperium", but in the standard sense of Empire. Many political analysts refers to the USA and past USSR as example of "Imperium" in the sense that they didn't have an Emperor but they were imperialist states based on military and economical power on lesser nations.
     
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  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Reminds me of "The Company" in Prison Break. God, did I hate that element of the show. Everything else I loved, but I hated hearing about "The Company". It was tacky.
    You at least have an excuse, though.

    Now, if this council actually governs the people, don't call them counsellors or The Counsel. It just looks like you spelled it incorrectly.
    It also makes it seem less Imperial and more like a Republic if they're a council.

    I don't really know what else I could say. I do not suggest calling them "The Counsel".

    Now, an Imperium is a state of absolute power. It's more like a dictatorship. There are plenty of choices for a suitable word, though, so good luck.
     
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  7. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone :D They're really helpful.

    @ cruciFICTION- yeah I did think it sounded rather iffy, so I'll probably change it to make it more suitable; heck maybe an absolute power might even work better. Alexandria is a very military city (hence the MC being a Commander) so it might actually fit better if I use a General or something as the power holder and maybe give him a few councellors as advisors...

    @ StrangerWithNoName; your post was extremely detailed and helpful! It makes a lot more sense now that you've explained it; so thank you. Now I have a much better understandingof the term.
     
  8. AvihooI
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    AvihooI Member

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    Well, the Imperium wasn't used to refer to the Roman Empire. Rather it referred to authority within the Empire that was granted (or physically held) by people of high status. You could argue that in Roman Empire (as in contrast with Roman Republic) times, the Emperor would hold Imperium over the whole of the Empire.

    The most famous of fiction worlds that use "Imperium" to refer to an Empire would probably be Warhammer 40k. So it's technically correct - but the reasoning behind it is that there is indeed an eternal Emperor who holds all that Imperium.

    You should use the word "Imperium" relative to something/someone else. In your fiction, I'd probably use "the Imperium of Alexandria" or "the Imperium of the Counsels".

    As for 'Counsel', that'd be a person who gives advice. A 'Council' would be a body of people who advise. In order to work it out, I'd might refer to this government body as "The Counsels" - pluralizing it.

    Cheers, I hope that helped.
     
  9. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    And guess what they called the leader of The Company in Prison Break? ... The General... xD

    *Militant is the adjectival form of "military".
    *Counsellors/Councillors. A counsellor gives counsel. A councillor is in/on a council. See the way that works? C:

    Actually, that'd be a gerund (verb form used as a noun), not a person, since "Counsel" is a verb.
     
  10. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you use Imperium, all their enemies could call them Imps. :D
     
  11. AvihooI
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    AvihooI Member

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    Yeah, you're right. "Counsel" as a noun is the advice itself ("Counsellor" the advice giver). However, I've never heard of "Counsel" being used to refer to a body in a pragmatic sense.
     
  12. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    If you call it the Alexandria Dynasty, all their civilians could be called dynas, or alexynas. [Oops, this isn't a brainstorm forum; pardon me, I was distracted by that flashing thing in Ellipse's avatar....]
     
  13. Daggers
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    Daggers Member

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    I think the key thing here is to decide what kind of ruling Government you want in your world. You say these leaders "give counsel" but are they speaking for the best interests of the people or for the party in power? Is the Government elected? Is it democratic in any way?

    Food for thought, read up on "Hegemony".

    Perhaps you could provide us with an excerpt from your story which demonstrates the kind of relationship your fictional Government has with your fictional people?

    -Daggers
     
  14. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    Hm, intriguing! I did look it up and it has made me quite ponderous. Alright, Daggers- you asked for it! Now for a small explanation (I'll try to make it small, at least)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Okay, so there is a continent called Everein which is divided into three countries: (A), (B) & (C).
    The northern country; (A) is basically a tundra environment with harsh forests and populated by deadly beasts and "barbarians": LAWLESS & (C) is a sort of mediterranian-type climate in the south which shares a rough (and frequently argued over) border with (B)- Maybe a monarchy or religious-centred government?.

    (B) is roughly middle, with mountains in its north, prosperous ports etc. with its Capital city: Alexandria (the seat of power). (B) has done away with the outdated (in their opinion) concept of Monarchy centuries ago and is ruled over by a sort of council-type set up.

    Each Province of (B) gets a reprasentative in the Council: One for the Northwest, one for the Southwest, one for the East and one for the Centre (none from the north as the mountains are mostly uninhabited). There are also members representing major industries in the country: One for Military & Law (I see a problem here...), one for the Agriculture, one for Trade, one for Foreign Relations, One for The Librarians (i.e. the central pillar of intellectual knowledge) and lastly one for the Weavers (the magic-wielders). All members are voted in by their various provinces and fields.
    So there are 10 Council members, presided over by one Elder/Advisor- in total 11 members.

    As you may expect, there are a lot of in-fighting and bickering over where money should be spent and where it should be saved, not to mention the fact that many of the Council members will have their own agendas.

    Now who said this was better than Monarchy?!?

    Ahem. So, yes. This Council rules the country of (B) from their seat of power in Alexandria, the Capital City. They function as a ruler- they vote on motions and laws; passed by majority vote. (You can imagine all the sneaky back-stabbing and alliances and smear campaigns- lol. These goons will be so fun to write...)

    Oh gawd... That's a lot of text. Did I explain everything properly?!?! :C I hope this helps.
     
  15. Daggers
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    Daggers Member

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    You explained everything beautifully, thank you for that.

    You have a crystal clear picture of the way your nation is governed, so why not just make up your own name for it!

    One thing in particular actually sparked my interest in your description! You have grouped Military & Law into one, does that mean military IS law? :)

    -Daggers
     
  16. Ice Queen
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    Ice Queen Senior Member

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    Haha! Exactly, there lies the problem. I know I should have given the duty over to The Librarians D: However, the General Councilman seems to be the most enthusiastic in this area... (it also gives me an excuse to make the laws quite strict as well)

    One thing though; I realise that 11 council members is a lot- I had another thought this morning. What if I cut it down to 7 council members, and just give some of them two jobs: i.e. speaking for their own region; for example: General Arden, the councilman representing Military&Law would also represent the Central Province. :/ Is this giving individuals too much responsibility? I just think it would be harder to keep track of 11 characters in a council debate as opposed to 7: this way I could concentrate more on characterising them better...
     
  17. Daggers
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    Daggers Member

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    It's really going to come down to how comfortable you feel managing that many characters voices I think. 11 doesn't sound much more than 7 when you take into consideration the fact that these 11 people will really only be debating 2 or 3 conflicting points of view. So you could write out the debate, decide who's on what side of it and then it's just a case of assigning the appropriate dialogue to the appropriate characters depending on what they are arguing.

    Also there would undoubtedly be only 2 or 3 many speakers out of the group so the others would only really be chiming in now and then to give their cents and show they aren't useless...right?

    That's the way I would manage it anyway!

    -Daggers
     

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