The Count of Years Commentary: 10    [ Text ]

The conquest of the Plain

Quite a few names come up in this section; if it becomes difficult to keep track of them all, see the lists of kings at the end of the Commentary.

Cayenas changes hands

Timeline: -318, two years after the conquest of Tevarē.

According to tradition the city of Aure Arrasex was founded in -313.

The pride of Itīrante

Timeline: Itīrante's apotheosis occurred in -318.

Names: Xrātibrexos = 'valorous arm'.

Atheism (bisnūmias, 'without-god-ness') had very different connotations for the Cuzeians. Cuzei was the most advanced human nation, and the source of its difference was its belief in Iáinos; only the iliū had more knowledge and power, and they were the source of Cuzeian belief. In this context atheism seemed either foolish or psychopathic. Indeed, a Lord of Cuzei could be prosecuted by the King's Council for atheism-- as Beretos's lord was, though falsely. Only centuries later, in the late Silver Age, would there be atheistic philosophies (and the social tolerance for them to be left alone).

Irīrante taunts the Knowers because Iáinos does not immediately strike him down and rescue them. For the Knowers this must have been frustrating (as well as dangerous), since they never claimed this sort of influence over Iáinos. Following the iliū, they taught that Iáinos was not like a pagan god, distributing magic and favors to his supplicants. He had after all allowed Amnās and the ktuvoks to make war against the iliū eight times; it was part of his Dream to allow freedom of action to evil.

The fall of Itīrante

Timeline: Itīrante divided his realm in -310; Cayenas fell to the Caďinorians in -300; Dācuas was established in -290.


Manimedas 'powerful son'; Murgemedas 'stone son'.

Mûstibliciu = 'having many horses'. Dācuas is of uncertain meaning.

The story of Itīrante and his sons, ending in utter defeat and the occupation of their lands by Little Cuzeians and Caďinorians, is of course a cautionary tale against pride and rebellion against Iáinos. No doubt the story is accurate enough (the center of Eretald, where Cuzeian and Caďinorian and Meťaiun met, was the most subject to cultural mixing of the sort that horrified the orthodox Cuzeians), but it's worth remembering that we're reading the account written by Itīrante's enemies.

The Cazinorō who occupied the duchy of Cayenas were technically the Kaino; their language, Kahinisa, was a sister to Caďinor. They are important here only as agents of divine retribution, but they went on to greater glory, capturing the remaining portion of Davūr, up to the ocean, around -250, and retaining it for two centuries. They were the first Central state, and retained the urbanization and administrative machinery of the Meťaiun/Cuzeian state (and conducted their diplomatic affairs in Cuêzi). Meanwhile the Caďinorians themselves turned the middle Cayenas (Svetla) into a patchwork of tiny, powerless towns.

The fall of Davūr impelled many Metailō to flee, founding the kingdom of Davrio on the island of Kebri.

The conquest of Nayas

Timeline: Nayas fell in -277.


Raviecadas = 'just commander'

Samocêlas = 'bright sword'

Xrāticūnas = 'valorous deed'

Ambecālu = 'with grace', an example of a name formed from an intrumental. The word for prophet, numīcuras ('god-messenger'), is the same as the word for a pagan priest.

Xarinen = Meť. Gharinen 'lucky young man'

Rêstirōpas = 'last fruit'; supposedly the field contained the last fruit trees before one reached the great grasslands of the south.

Lanetio = 'thinker'.

The sizes of the armies are lower than those given for the initial invasion-- which makes sense; this is a war for the conquest of a single city, when Cuzei had already been settled for a few generations; while the initial invasion was an entire migration of peoples.

The battle of Rêstirōpas is perhaps the closest the Cuzeians came to a humiliating defeat. On the left, their cavalry was heavily outnumbered, and since Xarinen's army seems to have marched a bit rightward, the spearmen were outnumbered and outflanked.

They were saved by the actions on the right: Lanetio chased away Xarinen's cavalry (which he outnumbered), while Xrātibrexos quickly wheeled his troops around to face left, and then marched them straight across the field to mop up the Metailō.

Although this story establishes that the ruling class of Nayas was the Inibeigō, the Cuzeians of the Isrēica always treated it as belonging to the Little Cuzeians-- seen in general as poorer, more barbaric, less orthodox, as well as in some way subservient to the Eleitan state. Still, this story at least gives a heroic role to their founder Xrātibrexos.

Thought the Nayōrē never produced much literature, we do have some histories and legends which tell their side of the story. They considered the Eleitans to be arrogant and unwarlike. Their account of this battle is a good deal less schematic, mostly consisting of accounts of individual combats, focussing on the Xrātibrexigō. The name of Lanetio is not even mentioned, though Samocêlas gets a death scene with a fine dying speech.

The sharing of wheat

Timeline: The famine began in -272.

Names: Vexilerias 'clear seeing'

The liver was the seat of compassion, which is why Vexilerias is touched there.

It's easy to forget that Western individualism is by no means universal or instinctual. Cuzeian society was communal in organization; everyone had duties to their family, their village, their House; and for the most part it simply made no sense to think about making one's own way in the world. As the economy grew more complex and specialized, however, new elements were not communal. So, for instance, the wheat crop was always planted and harvested communally, but when Cuzeians started to grow lemons, it was by the initiative of individuals or families who kept the proceeds for themselves.

As with many stories of beginnings, this one is a little too neat to be entirely accepted. Communal wheat farming didn't begin with Lanetio; his innovation was to establish central granaries. The story can also be seen as the Cuzeians ceasing to see themselves as pastoralists: though retaining their importance as a cavalry, the Lords now had responsibility for organizing agriculture in their aurē.

The formation of Cuzei

Timeline: Ravixuo ascended in -274, and died in -253. The union took place in -250.


Ravixuo 'just eye'; Amīsia 'joy'; Ravicêlas 'just sword'

Oleniōre 'jewel beauty'; Gūrexivio 'lion claw'; Têllêisomâ 'lovely dream'

Ximāuro is of uncertain meaning.

Xrātimedas 'valorous son'.

Celōusio 'swordsman'.

Mitanocoros = 'southern port'; Mēsē Camminex = 'fields of the Camminas'

The northern version is of course from CLE; the southern version is CAA. Since such discrepancies are relatively rare, CLE and CAA are generally taken to be based on an earlier source, written or oral, now lost. Either each city's Knowers wrote their own account of the union, or one of them replaced the lost source's account with a local account.

CAA's account centers on the young duchess, Oleniōre. Ravicêlas's advice to the duchess is pure Cuzeian realpolitik-- the main duty of a dynasty is to perpetuate itself, and Ravixuo (and he) had failed in this. Nonetheless, it was an opportunity to establish a larger kingdom, one which would dominate the Cuzeian world. Xrātimedas is rather too clear that he regarded the potential union as a takeover.

CLE's account concentrates on the northern duke, Ximāuro; Oleniōre here seems to have little choice but to be bowled over by his splendor and accept his suit, and no rival is mentioned. On the other hand, CLE is more honest about why exactly Ravixuo had no legitimate sons.

CAA speaks of knowing Eīledan, not Iáinos. The duchies did not differ in theology, but in emphasis. In effect Iáinos stood for the entire divinity in the north, and received prayers and credit for earthly affairs; in the south it was Eīledan.

The leadership of a lineage or a House was always, in theory, hereditary, though a lord had the right to choose which of his sons would inherit. If he had no sons, he could name one of his nephews as heir. After that the great men of the lineage would decide who would inherit. (If the lineage held a duchy or kingdom, as here, this could be taken as an opportunity for the lords to impose their own choice, or even to choose a new dynasty.)

Celōusio, though out of luck as an aspirant to his father's throne, had a fine career as an epic hero; he's said to have defeated a dragon, tangled with a nation of warrior women (the eguendeā), and helped the elcari defeat an invasion of múrtani, among other great deeds. He's the only epic hero to be mentioned in the Count of Years.

The united kingdom

Timeline: The submission of Xrātimedas took place in -240.


Āneyinos = 'one people'.

Sistebrexos = 'fast arm'; Xōlicêlas 'thunder sword'.

Lūvenūmio = 'loves divinity'

The power of the new kingdom of Cuzei is cemented by a military victory, which leads to a de jure overlordship over all of the entire Cuzeian and Little Cuzeian states.

The Little Cuzeians did worship Iáinos, so it seems a bit redundant that their young chief was sent to Eleisa to come to know him. However, it was felt that Little Cuzeians could always stand to improve their religious understanding.

It's no accident that Ximāuro demands horses as tribute. The best horses have always come from the Barbarian Plain, and within Eretald, from the southernmost states bordering it. Iron weapons, at this time, were only made by the elcari; it isn't likely that many Nayorē had them, but for this very reason Ximāuro asks for them.

The foundation of Munxeas

The Cuzeians are more than a thousand years off: Munxeas (the Cuêzi name for Munkhâsh) was established around -1360. Munkhâsh was founded in Demóshimor (the human territory between the two ktuvok habitats in eastern Ereláe), and later expanded south into Tyellakh. It began expanding into the Shkónoro valley (Sarnáe) about the time of the Eastern expansion, which may account for the perception in Eretald that they were a new thing.

The Cuzeian and Caďinorian invasion drove quite a few Metailō into Sarnáe, where by 1 Z.E. they pushed Munkhash back almost to the Dagêsh range, the eastern boundary of Sarnáe. These Metailō are the ancestors of today's Monkhayu; the Cuzeians called them the Xavigō, and did not realize that they had not always lived in Sarnáe (nor that they were related to the Metailō).

At the time CAA and CLE were written, then, the Munkhâshi were a fairly remote threat, and the Xavigō in between were strong. Later editors of the Count of Years, knowing that Munkhâsh would invade Eretald and besiege Eleisa (455-458), greatly added to the foreshadowing in this section, adding a long vaunt in which Amnās vows not only to resist but to destroy Cuzei (and an answering promise from Eīledan that he would protect it).

The invention of writing

Timeline: Traditionally, Orūlerelo's expedition took place in -204.


Orūlerelo = 'hoped for (child)'

Ulōnedelo = 'given by Ulōne'

Edôndas = 'meanderer'; V. Edon.

Dageta = Meť. 'northern house', V. Dažda.

Siluon and Ūxotillê are opaque.

Crinu (from Meť.) is a pithy-stemmed reed similar to papyrus, used by the Cuzeians to make paper (crindas).

Bāxemanis = 'skillful hand'.

Unlike any other ancient human script on Almea, Cuzeian writing never passed through an ideographic or logographic stage. Whether or not this story is true in detail, the Cuzeians certainly got the idea of alphabetic writing from the iliū.

We do possess some very early manuscripts which show, as the text describes, multiple acrophonic graphemes for the same sound. Some writers liked the decorative effect, but increasing stylization made the pictures hard to recognize. Some variants survived for quite some time, or in outlying regions; this is probably why the Caďinorians of Araunicoros, when they started to write their alphabet, found K (for cīllā 'hair') as an alternative for C (from goêlu 'wheat'), and could adapt the first for their /q/ sound, the second for /k/.

CAA and CLE are written in a pre-Golden Age orthography which did not yet distinguish vowel qualities, or even voiced and unvoiced consonants (which is why the text speaks of 10 rather than 15 consonants). These distinctions were all added by Anacūlato, presumably following the Knowers' oral tradition. (In a few cases, later editors decided he was wrong, and I've followed the consensus. E.g. Anacūlato spelled the name of the iliu king Ecēlito as Egēlito.)

Then what happened?

These are the last stories in either manuscript, though CLE lists the subsequent kings down to Enalādas (ascended -107); see the table below.

As noted, Cuzei absorbed Sūās in 104; this is considered the beginning of its Golden Age. For its subsequent history, see the Historical Atlas. In the Land of Babblers, whose story begins in 287, is an important glimpse into Golden Age politics, especially the Cuzeian failure to anticipate the Munkhâshi threat.

For more on the Cuzeian religion, see Almean Belief Systems; and on the Cuêzi language, see the (upcoming) grammar.

Lists of kings and dukes

These are provided for reference. Many of the dates come from the Count of Years itself; I've removed them from the main text, where they are awkward and impede the narrative. Others are supplied from other ancient sources.

Kings of the iliū

1. Iriand (till the end of the 2nd war); wife Alāna

2. Ambretāu (till the end of the 4th war); wife Urisama

3. Anāos (till sometime after the creation of men)

4. Soromo (till the end of the 6th war); wife Atāunē

5. Ecēlito (till the middle of the 7th war)

6. Uxrâssos (till late in the 8th war)

7. Omontāsio

--nine iliu kings--

17. Rāviciu (till ~ 210); wife Ridinari

18. Sīluon; wife Ūxotillê; taught writing to the Cuzeians

The Inibeigō

Name born   Noteworthy events died (age)
1 Inibē -416 Duke of Metayu (and Ocayami), -375 (at 41) -360 (56)
2a Îcemēgro -385 Duke of Metayu -360 (at 25); murdered later that year -360 (25)
2b Îcecêlos -383 Duke of Araunicoros (in rebellion v. Îcemēgro), -360 -302 (81)
2c Itīrante -380 Duke of Metayu -360 (at 20); conquered Cayenas, rebelled against Iáinos, -318; divides duchy with sons, -310; killed by sons, -307 (at 73) -307 (73)
3a Manimedas
son of 2c
-349 ruler of Araunicoros and Comex, -310 ;co-duke of Dunōmeyū, -307 -290 (killed)
3b Murgemedas
son of 2c
-347 ruler of Cantiego and Colsindas, -310; co-duke of Dunōmeyū, -307; Loses Cayenas to the Caďinorians, -300 -290 (killed)
The Îcecêligō (sons of Îcecêlos) remained in power in part of Metayu; their line ended in the civil war.

The Xrātibrexigō, those loyal to Iáinos during the atheism of Itīrante, claimed descent from Îcemēgro (the only theologically safe son of Inibē). This is somewhat unlikely (if Îcemēgro had a son the politics of the -380s would have gone differently), but they were certainly part of Inibē's clan.
Name born   Noteworthy events died (age)
1 Xrātibrexos rebelled against Itīrante, -318; given lands in Eleisa and Tevarē, -310 -277
2 Xrāticūnas duke of Nayas, -277 -248
3 Xrātimedas duke of Nayas, -248; incites Nimoicū to rebel v. Ximāuro, -246; defeated by Ximāuro, becomes vassal, -243 -212
4 Xrāticipato duke of Nayas, -212

The Lēiviorē

Name born   Noteworthy events died (age)
1 Lēivio -410 helped conquer Metayu, -375 (at 35); Ruler of Cantiego, -360; Duke of Cayenas (Cantiego, Colsindas, Osuripoli), -355 -339 (71)
2 Līxiruitas -386 duke of Cayenas, -339 (at 47); conquered NoxosDuke of Tevarē, -320 (at 66); dispossessed from Cayenas, -318 -315 (71)
3 Līxielâsas -361 duke of Tevarē, -315 (at 46); founded Aure Arrasex, -313 -307 (54)
4 Raviecadas -334 duke of Tevarē, -307 (at 27) -274 (60)
5 Ravixuo -253 duke of Tevarē, -274 (at 30) -253 (51)
6 Oleniōre -272 duchess of Tevarē, -253 (at 19); marries Ximāuro, -250 (at 22) -210 (62)

The Calēsiōrē

Name born   Noteworthy events died (age)
1 Calēsias -405 helped conquer Metayu, -375; Ruler of Colsindas, -360; Conquered Alaldas, -355; Founder and Duke of Eleisa, -350 -330 (75)
2 Yeremizos -376 duke of Eleisa, -330 (at 46); took Vionnosindas, founded Norunayas, -320 -309 (67)
3 Samocêlas -347 duke of Eleisa, -309 (at 38) -277 (70)
4 Lanetio -316 duke of Eleisa, -277 (at 39); organized famine relief, -272 258 (58)
5 Ximāuro -282 duke of Eleisa, -257 (at 25); married Oleniōre, uniting the two duchies, -250 (at 32); called king of Cuzei after his defeat of Xrātimedas, -240 -206 (76)
6 Āneyinos -249 king of Cuzei, -206 (at 43); sent Orūlerelo to learn writing, -204 -190 (59)
7 Bāxemanis -222 king of Cuzei, -190 (at 32) -174 (48)
8 Nîterio -197 king of Cuzei, -174 (at 23) -128 (69)
9 Nūmibēge -169 king of Cuzei, -128 (at 41, nephew of 8) -107 (62)
10 Enalādas -145 king of Cuzei, -107 (at 38) -79 (66)
11 Feroicolê, -118 king of Cuzei, -79 (at 39); killed in war with Cazinorō -71 (47)
12 Cueporio -87 king of Cuzei, -71 (at 16) -65 (22)
Cueporio died of the plague, along with his two cousins, the next in line for the throne. This was seen as a sign of divine disfavor, and to succeed him the Lords chose his regent Nalerio-- of a rich Eleitan House which claimed descent from Calēsias. Nalerio continued to be called 'the regent' (esocadas), which became the name of his dynasty.

The Esocadi (to 108)

Name born   Noteworthy events died (age)
1 Nalerio -127 named regent for Cueporio, -71; king of Cuzei, -65 (at 62) -50 (77)
2 Udionelo -96 king of Cuzei, -50 (at 46) -33 (63)
3 Cāpinūmio -71 king of Cuzei, -33 (at 38) -13 (58)
4 Eruimed -47 king of Cuzei, -13 (at 34) -2 (45)
5 Gurēcipato -18 king of Cuzei, -2 (at 16, nephew of 4) 43 (61)
6 Zîtexravas 1 king of Cuzei, 43 (at 42) 72 (71)
7 Lôdicūnas 33 king of Cuzei, 72 (at 39); invaded Sūās to save it from Kaino, 95; incoroporated Sūās into Cuzei, 104 108 (75)

Cuzeian dynasties

name meaning ruled         kings remarks
1 Calēsiōre of Calēsias -350 - -65 12 The Dawn Age, starting with the union of Eleisa and Tevarē (-250).
2 Esocadi 'regents' -65 - 327 17 Absorbed Sūās, 104: start of Golden Age. Later rulers increasingly weak.
3 Mitano 'southern' 327 - 412 3 Claimed descent from Lēivio, and offered somewhat livelier leadership.
4 Obēgelo 'favored' 412 - 552 7 So named because it received assistance from the iliū during the seige of Eleisa. From 440, the Silver Age, dominated by the fight against Munkhâsh.
5 Nēromurga 'holy stone' 552 - 601 2 The late Silver Age.
6 Maroūsigo of Maroūsias 601 - 663 4 Inaugurated the Empire-- and the Decadent Age; founded by the usurping general Maroūsias.
7 -- 674 - 814 10 Emperors were chosen by the military. After 750, the south rebelled under its own general-emperor.
8 Sosillânu 'for the light' 814 - 885 4 Cuzei permanently divided; called Age of Perversity.
9 Alaldigō of Alaldas 885 - 931 3
10 Niōro 'beautiful' 931 - 967 2
11 Rûtexūnas
or Rêste
'good land' /'last' 967 - 1024 4 In 1024, with Caďinas already in control of the country, the last emperor Zeilisio IV died, and was not replaced.
Dynasties of minor states are not given; this is the canonical list of dynasties ruling from Eleisa.
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