Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Another Catalan-Occitan Imagi-Nation


For those specially interested in this 'Eveuropean' area and, having already accepted alternate / 'what-if?' History, then 'original' political geography (Poictesme), are willing to go one step beyond (would it be madness?), adding a limited geographical alteration.


abdul666 said...

This merry fictitious country was created by French writer Pierre Louys as the setting of his 'uplifting' novel Les Aventures du Roi Pausole (1901).

Many "original" features of Monte-Cristo, notably the Constitution ('-art.1 : Do no harm to your fellow man, -art.2 : This fairly understood, live as you wish.'), the casual nudity of the youth, the ruler's 366 (because of leap years) wives... actually came from Tryphême.

In the 'Emperor vs Elector' timeline, chronology has to be reversed. Sharing many characteristics (neutral, peaceful 'sea, sex and sun -and feasts' Mediterranean countries wishing only to be ignored by more bellicose nations and powerful neighbors) the Presipality and Trypheme enjoyed privileged relationships. Though an absolute monarchy, relaxed and tolerant as it might be, was always less 'progressive' than our 'quasi-republic'.

When in late August 1792 -like Atlantis, Ys and Lyonnesse before it- Monte-Cristo sank under the sea waves (fortunately not overnight, in its case), for obvious reasons this purely local catastrophe passed unnoticed. Most of the refugees naturally sought and found asylum in friendly Trypheme, and the Monte-Cristan culture and idiosyncrasies flourished again there.

Trypheme knew its highest days during the Belle Epoque then, fittingly indeed, in turn was flooded and disappeared in late August 1914. Another totally ignored cataclysm, so much the more as, if happy peoples have no history, happy countries have no geography; that's why Trypheme was untraceable on contemporary maps, with all due respects to geographers.

Exiled Tryphemites carried something of the Monte-Cristan culture and 'women's lib' (equality, actually) in Paris (and elsewhere) during the Annees Folles but times soon became gloomy.
Then, our 'Peace and Love and Music' ethos survived underground, and greatly influenced the worldwide 'winds of change' of the late "Sixties.

freecloud said...

That's all very well, but what does the Ordonnace flag look like :)

Nicely done though....

BTW, what is it with French Imagi-Nations sinking? Leigh Fermour's St Jaccques also sank (but of course, it blew up first)

abdul666 said...

When, at the end of the Wars of Religions, François des Entommeures founded genial 'Born again Monte-Cristo' he wanted it to be an idyllic 'retirement garden' where the 'war dogs' of his Compagnie Noire and their camp followers could forget 'the World's Pain' (and how they had contributed to it). With this aim in view, he took much inspiration from the Abbaye de Thélème as described by Rabelais. For more 'philosophical / political' aspects he was guided mainly by Hypatia of Alexandria and William of Ockham -and by his hostility to several of Machiavelli's positions.

abdul666 said...

"BTW, what is it with French Imagi-Nations sinking?"
An old tradition dating from Pluto -hem, sorry, *Plato*, and not restricted to France! Moralists and religious peoples assimilate their fate to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, but I suspect that actually such places were *too perfect* for our world: like Tanelorn, Utopias by definition cannot stay for long at the same place...

"That's all very well, but what does the Ordonnance flag look like?"
'Regimental' Ordonnance flags? Not very Trypheme-like, though of course in harsh times some mobilization has to take place?
As for the Country / 'King's Colours' banner, I suspect that it would be quite similar to the Botticelli-inspired ones of Vorlund in Pangaea.

abdul666 said...

Heraldry and Flags of Tryphesme [18th C. spelling :) by analogy with Poictesme]
No description given in the 1901 report.

The COAT-OF-ARMS certainly displays the gold and gules quasi-universal in the 'Gran Lemouzi' area (and part of Provence), most likely in their most common disposition, as alternated vertical stripes.
On the other hand given the location and culture of the Country, the Botticelli image of Venus rising from the waves would be a most appropriate charge; 'proper' (in natural colors) and in front of a seashell to isolate her from the field (like the mermaid in the lower guidon: thanks, David, for this great design!).
Overall, a simple 'Spanish' shield (square on top and round at the bottom) with Venus in front of a *white* seashell over a field gold 6 pales gules. According to local tradition, the motto (if any) appears on the shield itself, and the coat-of-arms shows no crest. The royal crown is of the Aragonese type; no mantling but yellow and gold 'leaves' borders [though purpure grapes can be added :)] and the coat-of-arms includes the Great Chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece (the ruling dynasty claims to descend from the Dukes of Burgundy; remember that in this part of Europe women and illegitimate children inherit arms and titles).

abdul666 said...

How could this heraldry be translated on FLAGS?
State's, King's
* The simplest solution would be to have the full coat-of-arms on a white field (maybe with gold 'leaves' edging the banner for the King's own?.
* Then the field could instead (as a reference to the sea) be vair-en-pointe or potent-en-pointe, with bleu celeste instead of azure for greater visibility of the coat-of-arms.
*Another possibility could be to have merely the 'content' of the shield filling the whole flag.

Military (regulars) For the only 'military' outfit mentioned, the Garde Royale / Garda Reiala (French is the official tongue, but local Occitan is commonly used), remember that the Companies of the French Household Cavalry and Gendarmerie had detailed paintings on their standards. The standard of the local Garde Royale can be designed in the same way, with the center of this image as the 'painting' (filling most of the standard), and a *far narrower* 'frame' of gold on red.
(Like the French Mousquetaires the Gardes are functionally dragoons, and 'outdoors' wear buckled bottines; if granted a casaque it would be golden yellow with a red croix Cathare; red coat, golden yellow facings, red smallclothes)

As for the flags of the militia / volunteer units (if any; in peace time probably no more than a small core of Guet Bourgeois in the city and Francs-Escopetiers in the rural parishes), following a 'spontaneous' design somehow not dissimilar to many 'Insurgent flag' patterns, they would display the 13 vertical stripes (7 yellow, 6 red) of the 'national colors', with mottos and often a charge -snake, scorpion, boar, group of bees, wolf's head, human skull, skeleton with scythe, heart pierced by a dagger, hand holding a dagger... - added (painted) in black. Mottos could be in French or Occitan, translating as 'Liberty or Death', 'Hail Death!', 'To Victory Forever' , 'Die, Carrions', 'No Mercy', 'Piss off', 'F*ck off', and the like...

abdul666 said...

Regarding flags:
- the 'simple' white flag is the 'State' banner, to fly over official buildings, and is used as the stern ensign at sea;

- its embroidered version is the King's personal banner: a cavalry standard sized one is carried by a junior officer of the Gardes positioned on the right of the King and one step behind Him every time He leaves the Palace building (generally to go no further than the lovely park surrounding the jewel of Neo-Byzantine architecture, e.g. to dispense justice under a tree or from one of the mini-'temple' of white marble); a far larger version flies above the place where the sovereign is residing -always the Palace so far for the current one- or (theoretically!) at the mainmast of a ship He embarked.

- the one with a sky blue & white field is the mainmast ensign of any ship from Trypheme, civilian or military.

- the flag with the Kingdom coat-of-arms over a gold and red field is the 'civic' banner any citizen can fly, and the foremast jack at sea.

Regarding the uniform of the Gardes, it is of an old-fashioned cut (including a large, befeathered tricorne -yellow cockade with the central 'knot' red). As mentioned, the yellow casaque bears the Kingdom coat-of-arms over a red croix Cathare, and some additional 'metallic' embroideries: in order to contrast upon the yellow cloth, the 'metal' of the unit has to be silver.

abdul666 said...

TRYPHEME: Regarding the paramilitary forces and militia:
- in France, as a reference:
. -Police: since they became 'free communes during the Middle Ages *towns* had their own professional police, the Guet ('Watch') -yet for obvious reasons under royal control in Paris. Completed with the part-time 'burgher companies' of volunteers from the upper classes (those having rich houses, shops and warehouses to protect).
The military Marechaussee was in charge of the *rural areas* (mainly of securing the roads).

. -Militia: existing since the Middle Ages, at first to take turns garrisoning fortified places and territorial defense. Recruited only from the 'people / Laborantes', the Tiers Etat at the rate of 1 militiaman for X 'hearths'. In towns many corporations were exempted (but contributed to the 'burgher companies' instead), so mainly impressed on *rural areas*. Inefficient and periodically reorganized, always tending either to become a 'dump' for shunned peoples or a 'social club' devoted to feasts (as for the 'burgher companies'). During the 18th C. a kind of more reliable 'elite' was organized (the Grenadiers Royaux).

. -Borders and shores guard, & customs patrols: mainly Compagnies Franches (generally depots of regiments disbanded at the previous peace) manning the fortifications, increased militia requirements and the 'private armies' of customs enforcers of the Ferme Generale.


abdul666 said...

TRYPHEME: Regarding the paramilitary forces and militia II:
- in Trypheme:
. -Police: with a tiny territory and a single city, a single militarized Corps, the Guet Royal, polices the Capital and has posts in the villages and blockhouses were major roads cross the border; Archers also turn to man by pair (supported by militiamen) vigies, lookouts on vantage high points dominating the border and the shoreline. Additionally the Guet maintains the customs patrols and acts as jailers as well as firemen.; at last it provides the cadres (≥ sergeant) for the militia.
The Guet consists of full time professionals and more numerous '1/3 time' volunteers. The professionals comprise a small core of Inquisiteurs (detectives) often operating in civilian dress and a bulk of Bleus (basic 'cops') always uniformed. The 'part time' volunteers in addition to their '1/3 time' as archers provide the cadre of the militia.


. -Militia: given Trypheme is stuck between two Major Powers most often than not at odds since Carlos I (for the last time during the WQA) and is on the same side of the Pyrenees as recently blooded by a cruel civil war Spain, the militia rate is as high as 1 man for 5 'hearths' (or 'fires' or 'smokes' in unofficial writings). Then the duties -partly balanced by a slight tax exemption- are limited: a weekly shooting competition, 1 twice-yearly 48h 'turn' in the vigies and a few 'surprise' mobilization exercises at parish level. Basic militiamen are not uniformed, receiving only a 'national' cockades (golden yellow with a blood red tape over the central knot). Their muskets are of diverse obsolete designs, though all able to receive a socket bayonet; yet those allocated to a given 'armory' are of a single type. Weapons, ammunition, leathers and even cockades are kept in the armory of the Guet post covering the parish.
From the basic militia a Piquet Soldé ('paid picket') is recruited on a voluntary basis. The Kingdom's budget allows for a ratio of 1/5, but whether this proportion is achieved everywhere is unknown. In exchange of almost total tax exemption (hence their other name of Affranchis) and a small daily fee when 'activated', the Soldés follow a twice monthly full day of drill and in peacetime are 'mobilized' by turns for a total of 30 days; in addition they act as voluntary firemen and are submitted to more frequent 'surprise' mobilization exercises, and at battalion level. Weapons (currently the musket is the Spanish .69in calibre), equipment, uniform (paid for by the State) and some ammunition are kept at home -most Soldés add a personal pistol and knife or dagger, also a small ax for those recruited in the countryside. By tradition the Soldés from the City are known as Gardiens Bourgeois, those from the countryside as Francs Escopetiers. To make sure that the men with the most intimate knowledge of local terrain join the Escopetiers, the Guet 'ignores' a 'reasonable' practice of poaching or smuggling.
During their 'mobilization' the Soldés receive additional training and support the Guet -to man the City's walls and gates and patrol its streets for the Bourgeois, to patrol their 'home' area of the countryside, border or shore for the Escopetiers.

abdul666 said...

TRYPHEME: Regarding the paramilitary forces and militia III:
To prevent any degradation of its quality, the Militia is put under the control of the Guet: parishes not fulfilling their obligations, providing unsuitable recruits, allowing unjustified absences... are severely fined. In addition, militiamen of any type cannot rise above the rank of corporal: to reach higher rank they have to enlist in the Guet as '1/3 time volunteers'.

Churchmen are exempted, but must individually pay an additional volunteer for the Piquet Soldé. Nobility pays 'the blood tax' at a higher rate, each noble 'hearth' having to provide at least one recruit to the Gardes or the Guet -then generally as '1/3 time volunteer' (most families would prefer the prestigious if full-time Gardes, but the selection is on individual merit, not birth; reciprocally fitting volunteers from humble extraction receive an enlistment grant).

abdul666 said...

TRYPHEME: Regarding the paramilitary forces and militia IV: UNIFORMS

. Generalities: => the uniforms are of an old-fashion cut, say, WSS by the WAS, but by then with a few 'modern' features: at the knee the stockings pass under the breeches, not over; other ranks of the Guet wear coats with full turn-backs (officers of both Corps wear elegant, fashionable justaucorps); other ranks of the Piquet Soldé wear 'modern' gaiters (generally over 'Spanish' breeches closed below the knee by lacing rather than buttons, the 'traditional' peasant type here, for the Escopetiers).

=> Given the fair to hot weather, during most of the year clothes are made of linen or cotton rather than wool; during hot days men are allow to drop the great coat and appear in waistcoat (the Escopetiers often wearing their coat over the shoulder, Catalan miquelet fashion).

. Guet Royal: * dressed and equipped as Dragoons (full turnbacks), with a lot of additional buttonhole lace like the early British grenadiers. When in sedentary duty, patrolling the streets of the City (then routinely equipped only with a quaterstaff -an old-fashioned halberd and a lantern at night- a small copper horn, a pocket pistol and their sword) or embarked aboard a rented fisherman boat for sea customs duty, they are in stockings and low shoes.
* Entirely clad in sky blue (stockings included), hodden grey lining / facings; 'metal' = gold (brass button, yellow tape for other ranks). Blackened leathers, but the ammunition pouch of the 'full time professionals' is of red leather.
* Officers wear a gorget; Inquisiteurs are of commissioned officer rank, but their gorget is different: more pelta-like and bearing the 'sword and balance' of Justice below the 'All-seeing Eye' instead of the Cathar cross above military trophies and between crossed torches.

. Piquets Soldés: * very simple uniform (remember, all ranks above corporal are from the Guet and wear its uniform).
* Entirely clad in hodden grey, 'horizon blue' lining / facings; 'metal' = silver (tin button, white tape). 'Natural' leathers. The gaiters are of white wool or cotton for the Bourgeois, of whitened leather padded at the knee (often worn with espadrilles) for the Escopetiers.

abdul666 said...

TRYPHEME: Regarding the paramilitary forces and militia V: FLAGS:
* The cravate knotted below the spear / pike head is half (1 loop & 1 tail) yellow, half red; none for the general militia.

* Each Compagnie du Guet has a dragoon guidon, of the 'white field' type, but with on the upper poleward corner the number of the company in latin numerals on the obverse, crossed 'Greek' torches behind a red Cathar cross on the reverse; the field is sky blue on the obverse. Embroideries, fringes, pike head: gold; staff golden yellow.

* Piquets Soldés: infantry type, field = 13 vertical stripes (7 yellow, 6 red), with in the center a 'multispiked white sun / star' enclosing the 'Kingdom's coat-of-arms on the reverse, the coat-of-arms of their mobilization center (City of Chef-lieu small town) on the obverse. Blood red staff. Of course both the sergeant carrying it on the march and the junior officer carrying it in battle and parade belong to the '1/3 time' Guet.

* General militia: not regulated, see previous comment; can be carried by a popular local character even if he does not belong to the Guet.

abdul666 said...

TRYPHEME: Regarding the paramilitary forces and militia VI: MUSICIANS
* Uniforms
> Generalities: same uniform as soldiers, but on the coat all lacing -buttonhole lace, and some additional one (this last copied out on the waistcoat, at least on the sleeves)- uses the Kingdom's livery lace:
+:+:+:+: in red on yellow tape; for the Gardes the tape mixes silk and gold, the embroideries satin and cut pearls of garnet glass.

> Piquets Soldés: quite sober lacing.
> Guet: more lacing on sleeves, relatively modest false sleeves.
> Gardes: musicians have kept the primitive (17th C.) casaque, adorned with rather tremendous false sleeves.
The horses of the Guard musicians wear a rich harness of red leather and gold, their manes and tails tied with yellow and red silk ribbons. The horse of the kettledrummer wears yellow and red ostrich feathers (see helmet) "Egyptian fashion".

* Instruments
> Piquets Soldés: each company has a drummer and a 'fifer' -actually playing a flabiol and a 'right hand' galoubet set together. In the field the 'fifers' of Escopetiers carry a French fife (for the march, specially across villages) and a hunting horn (for signaling).

> Guet and Gardes (both functionally dragoons): each company has a cimbelaire playing drum on foot and trumpet when mounted and a sonaire playing faviol e galoubet on foot and sac de gemecs (bagpipe) when mounted.
In addition the Gardes and the 1st Company -double strength, without '1/3 time' or militia attached but reinforced with numerous Cadets (trainee officers); 8 musicians, regardless of the current 'footing' 4 as if on foot 4 as if mounted; barracks next to the King's Palace- of the Guet have a kettledrummer (playing nacaires when on foot) and a small band of 'oboeists' (each carrying a chirimia, a tible and a tenora) and half their number of players of sackbut.

abdul666 said...

Gardes: actually when the entire regiment (8 companies) parades as a body, to enrich the music, of the 8 sonaires only 4 play the instrument corresponding to the current 'footing' (faviol e galoubet on foot, bagpipe if mounted): two play the 'other' sonaire instrument (thus bagpipe on foot, faviol e galoubet if mounted) and 2 play the 'other' cimbelaire instrument (thus trumpet if on foot, drum if mounted).

Gardes and 1st coy of the Guet:
* each band has a major cimbelaire playing a huge (Renaissance type) drum with mallets on foot, a longer trompette à l'octave if mounted.
* For both the normal composition of the 'winds' is 4 shawns players, 1 bassoon player, 2 sackbut players, 1 hornist (small 'light infantry' cornet on foot, huge hunting horn if mounted).

Thus the total of the full band for the Gardes is 26 musicians, when mounted generally parading as: 1 triangle of kettledrummer between 2 drummers, 1 triangle of 'trumpeter major' between 2 sackbuts, 2 * 4 trumpets, 4 bagpipes, 2 fifers + 1 bassoon & 1 hornist.

abdul666 said...

Guards band: on foot the formation is more compact: generally (2 + 3*8) drum-major and nacaire drummer on the same line, 8 drummers, 2 fifers / 4 oboeists / 2 fifers, 1 trumpet / 1 sackbut / 1 bagpipe / hornist / bassoon/ 1 bagpipe / 1 sackbut / 1 trumpet.

abdul666 said...

One of the pavilions (this one copied on an original in the Reich Duchy of Beerstein) in the gardens facing the rear of the Palace.
Then, the Palace 'chapel', also in neo-Byzantine style.

abdul666 said...

When in Garde du Dedans 'in doors' guard or escort service (or when some escort outdoors the King on foot or in His carriage), the Gardes are in low shoes and red stockings (yellow for officers). Not that their shoes, as their bottines, have vermilion heels.
In such attire they don't carry their dragoon musket and bayonet, but in addition to their forte epee a long left-hand dagger, a 2-barrels pistol and a pole weapon: halberd (different for corporals), fauchard for sergeants, pertuisane for junior officers; all with the pole covered with scarlet velvet or silk with gold nails and abundant yellow (gold for officers) and red (proportion decreasing as rank increases) fringes below the blade. Theoretically the senior officer 'on foot duty' bears an espadon (two-hands sword with a 6 feet blade).