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Alternate Thyatian Senate

by Simone Neri

The description of how the Senate is formed given in DotE is rather disappointing and inconsistent with itself. It says:

Each city (pop. 15,000 or more) elects two Senators; each duke or count ruling a dominion choses one Senator; each alliance of ten or more towns (pop. 1,000 or more) not belonging to a dominion elects one Senator. Typically, there are around two hundred Senators at any given time; this number grows and shrinks ad the Empire does, as dominions change, as cities change in population.

So, in AC 1000, the Thyatian Senate would have:

20 Senators for cities: Beitung, Hattias, Kerendas, Newkirk, Port Lucinius, Raven Scarp, Redstone Castle, Retebius, Tel Akbir, Thyatis City.
18 Senators for dominions (assuming that also archdukes send one Senator): Actius, Furmenglaive, Halathius, Hattias, Kantrium, Kendach, Kerendas, Lucinius, Machetos, Mositius, Ochalea, Pearl Islands, Retebius, Tel Akbir, Terentias, Thyatis, Vyalia, Westrourke.
11 Senators for alliances of towns: Unknown, but one could optimistically assume that one such alliance be present for the Hinterlands, two each for Meridiona and Septentriona, two for West Portage, three for Redstone, and one for the Northern Territories of Dawn.

For a total of about 50 Senators. Under this system it's clear that you can't possibly have a 200-members Senate, as DotE says; and the most ridicolous thing of it is that Baronies aren't represented in the Senate at all... (only counts and dukes send a representative, alliances of cities only send one if they don't belong to a dominion).

For those that could be interested in an alternate Senate, in my campaign, I assume that the Empire's population is divided into a series of electoral "regions" (like the electoral "tribes" of ancient Rome). Each region elects two Senators. On average, each region includes about 30,000 urban citizens, or 75,000 rural ones; but the Empire's territory is subdivided into regions so as to ensure preminence of cities over countryside, and of metropolitan area over oversea lands (i.e. oversea regions on average include more population than metropolitan ones).
For example, Thyatis City alone is subdivided into 14 regions (thus sending 28 Senators), the Duchy of Thyatis in additional 6 regions, just like the County of Hattias and the Duchy of Kerendas. Ochales has 11 rural regions, the Pearl Islands 6 and the whole Thyatian Isle of Dawn 16 (cities not included). All in all, there are 140 metropolitan Senators and 104 "oversea" ones.

Within each electoral region, citizens are registered into one of six classes, depending on their wealth (both in movables and properties), as follows:

First Class: Over 500,000 lucins
Second Class: 350.001-500.000 lucins
Third Class: 150.001-350.000 lucins
Fourth Class: 50.001-150.000 lucins
Fifth Class: 10.001-50.000 lucins
Sixth Class: 10.000 lucins or less

Each class have one vote, which is determined according to the majority of the votes given by its members. For example, in the Actius Region there are five First Class citizens; three of them vote for candidate Valerius Priscianus, while two for Gordianus Acynavarius; thus the First Class' vote goes to Valerius Priscianus.
Obviously, the last two classes tend to include the great bulk of the population: this gives much more relative power to the middle- and merchant classes, and most of all to great landowners (imagine that there could be regions where only ONE First Class citizen is present... ).

Citizens belonging to the Sixth Class, slaves and landed nobility - those holding a title of Baron/Landed Knight or higher - don't have the right to participate in elections for the Senate.

Besides elected Senators, one Senator is sent by each Count, Duke or Archduke (in AC 1000 there are 18 such Senators); moreover, some powerful patrician families have an hereditary seat in the Senate (I have 32 such Senators - some could belong to the same family that holds a dominion, thus sending two Senators).

In total, "my" Senate has nearly 300 members (one could reduce them to about 200 as in DotE by playing with the number of electoral regions).

A citizen may submit his candidature for a Senate seat only is he has done at least a total of six years of service in local or imperial administration (city councils, bureaucracy, ministries, etc.), or in the army. Senators sent by landed nobles and patrician families must still fulfill this requirement. A candidate may submit his candidature in whatever region he prefers (even more than one), in any area of the Empire; if elected in more than one, he must choose the region he'll represent in the Senate, and the other(s) go to second-runner(s).

An elected Senator stays in office for six years, then elections are called again in the region that elected him. Typically, each year one sixth of the Senate is re-elected, with elections taken into one-sixth of the Empire's electoral regions. Senator chosen by landed nobles and patrician families stay in office as long as their patrons wish.

A Senator can't combine the office of Senator with that of Governor-General of a Province or Minister: if he's ever given one of those two latter duties, he must resign his senatorial seat, and elections are called again in the region that elected him (or his patrons send a substitute if he was chosen by landed nobility or a patrician family). A Senator can be Prefect of a Legion (see Helenites Osteropolus in DDA1 and 2).