| Holy Mountain Republic of Athos|
γνῶθι σεαυτόν (Know Thyself)
| National Anthem|
: O Athos, Thou Art the Highest Place in the World
|Capital City||Οὐρανόπολις (Ouranopoulis)|
|Official Language(s)||Athosian Greek|
|Established||12/14/2006, National Resurrection 06/04/2009|
Arctic Byzantine Alliance
|Statistics as of Date when your stats were updated|
|Total population||2,007 (As of 06.13.09)|
|# 1,128 civilians|
|Nation Strength||993.702 (As of 06.13.09)|
The Holy Mountain Republic of Athos (commonly referred to as Athos, or the Holy Mountain, Agion Oros in Greek; formerly the Federal Democracy of the Holy Mountain of Athos) is a member of the Arctic Byzantine Alliance, a sovereign state, see of His Holiness Patriarch Ioannis V and center of Orthodox Christian spirituality.
The Athos state lies on a mountainous peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. Lush forests, rivers and beaches display an intricate expression of natural beauty and, moreover, provide ample opportunities for agriculture and fishing industries.
Monasteries present on AthosEdit
Athos is a devoutly Orthodox Christian land and primarily monastic in population. Each of the twenty monasteries present on Athos form small communities and act as sovereign, self-governing "states" within the Republic. Various sketes or small monastic communities are attached to these lager monasteries. The multi-national representation in these monasteries is a microcosm of the cosmopolitan ethos of the Republic.
- Great Lavra (Μεγίστη Λαύρα, Megísti Lávra)
- Vatopedi (Βατοπέδι or Βατοπαίδι)
- Iviron (Ιβήρων; ივერთა მონასტერი, iverta monasteri) - built by Georgians
- Hilandar (Χιλανδαρίου, Chilandariou; Хиландар) - Serbian
- Dionysiou (Διονυσίου)
- Koutloumousiou (Κουτλουμούσι)
- Pantokrator (Παντοκράτορος, Pantokratoros)
- Xiropotamou (Ξηροποτάμου)
- Zografou (Ζωγράφου; Зограф) - Bulgarian
- Dochiariou (Δοχειαρίου)
- Karakalou (Καρακάλλου)
- Filotheou (Φιλοθέου)
- Simonos Petra (Σίμωνος Πέτρα or Σιμωνόπετρα)
- Saint Paul's (Αγίου Παύλου, Agiou Pavlou)
- Stavronikita (Σταυρονικήτα)
- Xenophontos (Ξενοφώντος)
- Osiou Grigoriou (Οσίου Γρηγορίου)
- Esfigmenou (Εσφιγμένου)
- Saint Panteleimon's (Αγίου Παντελεήμονος, Agiou Panteleimonos; Пантелеймонов; or Ρωσικό, Rossikon) - Russian
- Konstamonitou (Κωνσταμονίτου)
Human settlements on the peninsula where the present Athosian Republic (Chalkidiki) resides have been recorded in ancient Athosian lore, mythology, and oral tradition since the 10th century BCE. Athos currently boasts a collection of ancient cave paintings and carvings which primarily consist of animal and natural images.
Vairous cults in the ancient world were drawn to the natural splendor of Athos, and many established their religious centers on the peninsula. Numerous ruins of abandoned temples and shrines remain scattered across the landscape as a testament to Athos' rich religious heritage.
Orthodox Christianity came to Athos with the introduction of eremitic and coenobitic monks. The date is not certain when monasticism first arrived in Athos, but most scholars believe it appeared on the peninsula as early as the 7th-8th century CE. However, most Athosians today do not consider their heritage to emerge from this period but rather later in the 15th century CE, when the Muslim Ottoman Empire sacked Constantinople, the imperial capital of the Byzantine Empire. The subsequent persecution and discrimination impressed upon the Orthodox Christian minority encouraged monks and laity to flee to the natural protection Athos offered. The influx of immigrants swelled the population to the size of a small nation. Ever since, Athos has enjoyed the reputation as the center of Orthodox Christian spirituality and culture. Many fellow Orthodox believers from the northern Paparian lands also arrived in Athos under the reign of Patriarch Ignatius III (1950–2001).
From the 15th century until recently, the Holy Mountain remained a loose confederation of twenty monastic communities. In November 2006, the Athosian Patriarch Ioannis IV met with the Synodia of the Holy Mountain and agreed that, to prevent strife and concord, a consolidated state should be established. On December 14, 2006, the Federal Democracy of the Holy Mountain of Athos (FDHMA) was created to oversee the political, economic and socio-cultural life of the area. Patriarch Ioannis IV and his cabinent assumed the first (and last) administration of religious and political control in the FDHMA.
Events during the Aeon of Patriarch Ioannis IV Edit
2007 January Rain Storm
In January 2007, Athos experienced a torrential rain storm. Suffering from a terrible drought, several months long, in the outlying Goyima Highlands of Athos, monsoon-like rains stampeded across Athosian coasts on January 16 killing 10 people in Sophronos and another 5 in Thessalonika. Floods and poor architectural housing were partly to blame for these unfortunate casualties. This has been the worst recorded natural disaster in Athos, since its initial Independence on December 4, 2006. Funerals for the dead were held in the National Cathedral on Sunday, January 21 for the 15 lost, with HH Patriarch Ioannis IV presiding.
On January 18, 2007 at 1:27 AM, the Athosian government sanctioned the Patriarch's wishes to engage in warfare with the nation known as Defcon Six. Already a few days into the war, Athosian citizens have questioned whether or not HH Patriarch Ioannis rationally thought out the premise for which he initiated this excursion (He insisted that there was a socio-economic incongruency between the two nations; numerous representatives have remained weary of such a move, although still support HH's best wishes). This has been a primarily Athosian motive; ambiguous decrees were received from HM King Olaf of Royal Scandinavia and the Honorable Governor Zoopoios of Paparia, although critics of the operation suggest that there was little information and time alloted to the two magistrates to consider whether or not to fully support HH's wishes. But, as the leading anthropological scholar Yorgo Ziakis from Aristotle University in Esphigmenou points out, there is enough evidence to suggest that the two magistrates were fully aware of such an excursion and their ambiguous decisions rest solely upon their responsibility.
Battle of the Little Kontakia
This was the first battle, and decisive victory, for the Athosian army. Defcon Six was attacked by Patriarch Ioannis IV, whereupon he lost 138 soldiers and 0 tanks. In turn, D.S. killed 61 soldiers and 1 tanks of HH. HH's forces razed 0.826 miles of Defcon land, stole 0.000 technology, and destroyed 3.179 infrastructure. HH's forces looted $473.05 and gained $0.00 in abandoned equipment. In the end the battle was a Defeat for the Defcon nation.
Battle of the Great Kontakia
Defcon Six was attacked by Patriarch Ioannis IV. Defcon lost 153 soldiers and 0 tanks. In turn, HH lost 77 soldiers and 3 tanks. However, HH gained the upper hand and HH's forces razed 0.793 miles of land, stole 0.000 technology, and destroyed 3.292 infrastructure. They then looted a significant amount, totaling to $2,029.61, gained $0.00 in abandoned equipment. In the end the battle was a Defeat for the Defcon nation and a victory for Athos.
March of the Preobrazhenie
This battle soon followed up the second attack of the Great Kontakia. Defcon Six lost 153 soldiers and 0 tanks. In turn, HH lost 77 soldiers and 3 tanks. HH's forces razed 0.793 miles of land, stole 0.000 technology, and destroyed 3.292 infrastructure. The forces of Athos looted $2,029.61 from Defcon and gained $0.00 in abandoned equipment. In the end the battle was a victory for Athos.
Free speech is a principle of the Athosian state, however this does not account for the cultural reactions towards certain choice-phrases. Furthermore, the Athosian government gives whatever is necessary to help others out in times of crisis, even it means hurting its own economy. And above all, in seeking a binding trade relationship, Athos will not make deals with another country that has a poor history of inhuman treatment of its citizens.
Deterioration of the Federal Democratic Athosian State Edit
Numerable factors may be attributed to the ultimate demise of the FDHMA. While the beginnings of the unified Athosian state appeared secure, marked with many advancements in technology, infrastrucuture, land gain, and military victories, the FDHMA's ambitious trend would in the end prove destructive.
Politically, the FDHMA maintained a tentative relationship with other non-Arctic Byzantine Alliance (ABA) nations under Patriarch Ioannis IV. Athos had previously engaged in three major wars over a period of 5 months, and while the subsequent victories resonated vibratly with the public's patriotism, many were concerned with the question of a new impending war. In consultation with other premier nations of the ABA, Patriarch Ioannis IV, confident of his previous victories, decided to mobilze the troops against a certain nation whose idenity had been lost in the war.
Not much is certain of the details of the war, since the aggressor whom Athos encountered virtually annihilated most of the population (a census taken prior to the war estimated about 3,000 Athosians), its settlements, libraries and government archives. It is certain that Patriarch Ioannis IV was killed in the incident, as his place of residence was leveled by a kind of incendiary device. It is also known that a small contingent of Athosians were able to flee into Mt. Athos, allowing them to later descend the mountain and return to reconstruct most of the levelled settlements. Their accounts of the war, albeit with major inconsistencies between them, is contemporary Athos' only hope to recapture past tragedies.
The National Resurrection and Establishment of The Holy Mountain Republic of Athos Edit
Government, Society, and Culture Edit
Definition of Government and Foreign Relations Edit
An Anthology of Athosian Political and International Thought
Compiled by Representatives of HH Patriarch Ioannis IV of the Athosian Orthodox Church
The apparent Orthodox Christian morals that guide our nation’s social and political orientation is by no means degraded in any way, shape or form in the diplomatic conclusions as reached by our esteemed leaders. Athos, with its roots as a monastic community, was a nation founded upon explicitly Orthodox Christian moral codes (as taught by the wise sages and fathers of the Church) and will continue to be as long as the faith is upheld among the masses. However, it would harm the very center of the Holy Gospel to not consider those populations that are not of the Orthodox Christian majority and thought, who have been welcomed into the lands of Athos throughout the centuries. Therefore, we the undersigned would like to use the example of the treatment of Athosian minorities to outline how we perceive, with the blessings of His Holiness Patriarch Ioannis IV, political and international thought – in light of recent events.
As noted before, Athos began initially as a purely Orthodox Christian monastic nation – fleeing from the upheavals and religious persecutions in the Ottomo-Safavid Sultanate. Through the monastic community’s tribulations in the Ottomo-Safavid Sultanate, having experienced the second-rate Dhimma class, they brought with them a renewed understanding of the Holy Gospel and Tradition, in how we should construct a community. The one principle they found that this community should rely on is: love, and purely love.
This naturally worked in the beginning, with a community of one interest and one phronema. The challenge came when a group of indigenous Paparian monks (of Athosian jurisdiction), from the frozen, barren yet pious land of Paparia, moved to the Holy City of Pantokratora, kindly invited by His Holiness the Patriarch Ioannis. Unluckily for them, this met with some resistance on the part of the locals (whose nation's literacy rate is, like Paparia's at the time standing at 20%), or rather discomfort, to the idea of incorporating these fellow monastic – who, as befits a different culture, brought with them strange culinary habits and language of their own – into the Athosian social makeup. This was because of the hundreds of years spent in isolation as a sovereign Orthodox monastic republic. But those descendants of the monks who lived in the Dhimma realized that this time would be a perfect example to exercise the principle our forefathers understood. The Paparians were welcomed with warm greetings by the majority of monasteries – yet there swiftly emerged a considerable party of Athosian monks who dissented from the idea of assimilating a separate ethnic, and religious, group into the Athosian milieu.
Moreover, monastic discipline came to be jeopardized. Athosian monks, normally celebrated for their ascetic virtue, would suddenly break their fast with the extremely tasty Paparian husky steak and a strong peculiarly tasting Paparian prytva (seaweed vodka).
These over-indulgent unruly monks protested heavily, to the point of setting on fire a considerable amount of the Paparian monastic settlement in Pantokratora. The reigning Patriarch at the time, His Holiness Patriarch Ignatius III, would not tolerate this debauchery and gave the dissenting monks a choice: to come to terms with the Paparians and exercise their Christian office of agape, or leave the country. Disgusted, these monks left. It is alleged, by Athosian historians at Philoptochos University in Sapharana, that these monks settled in Paparia and then gave a new impetus to the already vibrant Orthodox Christian presence there – with an indelible mark of prejudice against Paparian celtic culture, notwithstanding a warm welcome by the Paparian Royal Government and special courtesy treatment by His Majesty's Diplomatic Secretariat.
With a new minority and religious expression in Athos, the monasteries had to comprehend how to organize its political sphere to incorporate a tolerance for non-Orthodox beliefs, but maintain incomparable Orthodox Christian morals. The system that they transformed, to meet the needs of its day and future, is what is currently upheld. The Athosian National government would be divided into two spheres, state and church.
These would work together in a symphonia, without being mixed together or influenced against will with one another. The state would maintain a secularized role, in which it would facilitate economic, judicial, political, and social issues. When these issues crossed over into a question of ethics, morality, and faith the church would interject with an opinion, or recommendation. Within the “church” sphere would also be presented the minority opinion, by the Minority Delegate from X-social-group. Each individual in Athos, defined by his religious adherence, is given the opportunity to select from a variety of rulings that call for a religious opinion. These rulings would be defined by this or that religious group’s opinions. So say an Orthodox Christian questions the validity of practicing abortion. He would then be supplied with the opinion from the Church, and, if he wishes, an opinion from the minority group. He may then decide which opinion he would rather adhere to, although he must keep in mind that particularly with the Church, rejecting the opinion of the bishops warrants a spiritual reexamination and dilemma. Nevertheless, he has the choice. He has the choice to do “bad” or “good,” from whatever opinion he so chooses to define this from. The government is not relativist in this respect, but rather open to the very fact that the thoughts of humanity is not a monolith. The Church and certain minority groups do hold to particular absolute statements, and both engage in important dialogues/conventions with which apologetics and debates are held (these are known as Soupolouniki’s), which help to give guidance to a population inquiring to these positions and moral codes. By this, the opportunity of choice is given and maintains that no matter how terrible one side may see something, that “terrible” notion can still exist and engage in a fruitful discussion.
From the Church’s perspective, we believe that this opportunity is vital in maintaining Christian love, let alone basic human rights – something that every party in Athos is able to agree on. Altruism is a fundamental of the Church, and consequentially for a majority of representatives and laypeople which both help to shape our governmental policy.
Using the example of the Athosian Orthodox interaction with religious minorities, we are able to firmly pronounce our beliefs on the said topic. We cannot agree, then, with the current state of diplomacy and policy in the co-founders of the esteemed Arctic Byzantine Alliance, Paparia and Royal Scandinavia. Christian government is its own government, not of this world. It is a government that rules in the soul, in a Vasilea ton Theon, that fights continually with the forces that so hope to diminish the role of Christ in our lives. Temporally, the role of a Christian particularly within the scope of government is not to dictate its beliefs through violent means, but rather through kind dialogue and firm affirmation of creed and belief. It is only through our example that Christ is made known to this dark world. And it is that very point that needs to be kept in mind when formulating our governments and policy agendas with non-Orthodox nations and peoples.
From the Office of His Holiness,
His Grace Bishop Andrew His Grace Bishop Chrysostomos His Grace Bishop Ignatius His Grace Bishop Matthew His Grace Bishop Cyril His Grace Bishop Polycarp His Grace Bishop Theophilius His Grace Bishop Gregorios His Grace Bishop Demetrios His Grace Bishop Photios His Grace Bishop Basilios