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Shoukoku no Altair – 17

「花の一計」 (Hana no Ikkei)
“The Flower’s Plan”

It may have been quiet week for Altair once again, but as usual there was no lack of interesting material to eagerly mull over. Claims of legacy, forging of alliances, and firsthand lessons in the art of flirtation: I think we had it all. Hilarious to think Mahmut’s big weakness would be womanly charm, but hey, there’s a first time for everything. Literally.

Female charm aside, the two key developments this week were in the solidification of sides, with Balt-Rhein proclaiming empire and Fiore (i.e. Florence) going their own way. Both decisions may seem strange in the face of events (particularly Fiore’s), but both are quintessential elements in the growth of this conflict. Balt-Rhein’s claiming of Phoinike’s legacy for example is designed to legitimize its conquests and give it right to the land it now occupies. The empire may personally control the territory, but few (if anyone) actually recognizes their ownership of it as lawful—this is the crux of Balt-Rhein’s proclamation. By claiming to be neo-Phoinike, Balt-Rhein is morally asserting its right to its current and future conquests and calling out anyone who may disagree with them. To challenge Balt-Rhein now is to stand against the legacy of Phoinike, and for those whose history and culture was forged by the old Phoinikian empire, such a move is not easy to make. One need look no further than the Ottoman Empire claiming to be the inheritors of Rome or the importance of Napoleon being crowned emperor in Rome to see the effectiveness of the tactic. History, for better or worse, has power and those countries who can successfully wield it are on track to long lives.

What could potentially throw a wrench into Balt-Rhein’s ambitions, however, is Fiore and their proclamation of a third alliance. This bit really intrigued me because at its core it seems destined to fail. A motley collection city states with no military to speak of standing up to two great powers/alliances? Not the smartest thing to do at face value. What the lascivious Caterina is likely doing though is what Urado’s king initially did: play both sides against each other. By presenting a united front, Fiore forces both parties to deal with them together than individually, removing any potential for cities to be picked off one by one as with Scoglio. The alliance furthermore unites the cities around a singular objective (independence), ensuring any further Balt-Rhein incursions will be seen as an attack on all of them, and curtailing any Turkiye attempt to sidestep the more distrustful members. It’s a perfect balance of power scenario that will force both Balt-Rhein and Turkiye to cough up a hell of a lot more for alliance support, but it’s not foolproof. All Balt-Rhein has to do for example is steamroll through the area before it mobilizes, and poof goes those dreams of a third alliance. Much like the difficulties with Italy’s own unification (which this development is definitely based on), it will come down to where the majority of Balt-Rhein’s army is currently heading. You can bet Louis won’t let this alliance grow too strong if he can help it.

Before we get too the tasty battles though it’s back to negotiations as our little pasha must contend with rapidly changing geopolitical circumstances. It’s as good a bet as any who the new alliance with favour in the war to come, but I know for certain I’ll be mad if diplomacy through touchy feely doesn’t factor in again somehow. With so many pretty faces inhabiting Altair’s world, it would be a shame to keep them all working on the sidelines.

Pancakes Service Announcement: Apologies in advance boys and girls, but expect Altair’s post next week to be a couple day’s late as I’m away at a biomedical engineering conference next weekend for partying research purposes. Regular coverage will resume after, barring any unforeseen happenings :P

 

Preview

November 3, 2017 at 11:58 pm
19 comments »
  • November 4, 2017 at 12:46 amewok40k

    Coalitions of city-states have been amongst most powerful political entities of medieval Europe… Hanseatic league was first and foremost example.

    • November 4, 2017 at 7:02 amMistic

      True enough; yet the world of Altair is entering Renaissance times, and with them the power of those coalitions started diminishing.

      Whereas Italian alliances in the Middle Ages were capable of causing major trouble to the ever-divided Holy Roman Empire, they were easily steamrolled by French and Spanish armies from the 15th century onwards, as Machiavelli himself lamented. And while the Hanseatic League was an economic powerhouse at its zenith, the rise of Poland-Lithuania, Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia and Prussia dealt a deathblow to their interests.

      Times change. This Not!Italian city-states are still at a point where they could prove to keep being a major geopolitical party. But it’s also equally possible that they may be swallowed up by their neighbouring empires.

    • November 4, 2017 at 9:54 pmPancakes

      It depends on place and circumstance. The Hanseatic League never had any serious threat for example, being safely ensconced within the periphery of Holy Roman Empire and focused northwards against weaker opponents (at least initially). Mistic’s mention of the Italian city states are more what I had in mind, in theory quite powerful, but helpless once Spain, Austria, and France used them as a battleground.

  • November 4, 2017 at 1:29 amSmokex365

    Pancakes Service Announcement: Apologies in advance boys and girls, but expect Altair’s post next week to be a couple day’s late as I’m away at a biomedical engineering conference next weekend for partying research purposes. Regular coverage will resume after, barring any unforeseen happenings :P
    Do update us on the latest in catgirl research! -_-

    • November 4, 2017 at 9:54 pmPancakes

      Oh no worries it’s always at the forefront of my mind :P

  • November 4, 2017 at 7:18 amMistic

    One need look no further than the Ottoman Empire claiming to be the inheritors of Rome

    I’m pretty sure that was the direct inspiration. After all, it’s been pretty evident throughout the series that Balt-Rhein has been taking the role of the real-life Ottoman Empire in the geopolitics of this fictional world… which is pretty ironic, given that Turkiye is based on the Ottomans.

    Those parallelisms make watching Altair a jarring experience from time to time.

    I mean, it’s like watching a fictional retelling of the Revolutionary War in which the Kingdom of Not!Britain rises against the oppression and overtaxation imposed by the Republic of Not!America, or a story in Not!WWII in which Not!Poland invades Not!Germany.

    • November 4, 2017 at 10:02 pmPancakes

      Guaranteed it is, unless the author was using Muscovy or Napoleon as inspiration, but those claims don’t really mesh as well.

      I’m quite enjoying how willing the show is to twist the history though, it keeps things interesting while giving the perceptive enough hints to predict what is coming next.

  • November 4, 2017 at 9:59 amWorldwidedepp

    http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2017%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    Hispania now?

    I mean this “Cloth Crown” are some kind of Hispania thing

    • November 4, 2017 at 10:02 amWorldwidedepp

      http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2017%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

      On my first guess, would be France Noble or England one.. But as we know even at that time Females in “Male Cloths” are an no go.. But, if i would choose, then i go with France. They where a bit “open”…

    • November 4, 2017 at 10:08 amWorldwidedepp

      Why Hispania? This “Crown” around her Neck and Head, should work as an “halo”. an Queen from the heavens. This is her “Angel Halo”

      As you see, this is an religion symbol, and then Hispania and even Portugal was using God as excuse to expand their territories

      You could say, every country at that time with an Religion based on God, could use these metaphors

      But i bet you already know it from your old History lessons, right? Like the “Sun King” and such?…

      • November 4, 2017 at 10:05 pmDonto

        No religion has ever been explicitly refers to in the series, not the abrahamic religions or any religions. There’s only one reference to the religion in the series, which is the temple of the water gods.

      • November 5, 2017 at 1:40 amWorldwidedepp

        Good, then this Anime here use only the Cloths from that time (even the Pope), so i can live with that. Also my intention was more a bit of “History teaching”. How many knows around that time of their History? “Sun King”, “France Revolution”, “Napoleon”, “Robespierre” and so on.. Europa History have here an big influence. So they can not avoid it.. Or want the Anime always use “Genghis Khan” or “Peter the great” (That lost to an Pope) for all eternity?

        Greece are the Birth house of Democracy, but it was France that gave it the push in our Europe history

        and of course, Money talks like De Medici Trade Guilds and so on

      • November 5, 2017 at 1:50 amWorldwidedepp

        i meant “Karl the great” not “Peter”.. my bad

    • November 4, 2017 at 10:11 pmDonto

      In the manga, none of the wars shown has ever been waged in the name of religion, don’t know how the anime will go though

      • November 5, 2017 at 12:38 pmWarriorsHeart

        I don’t think the anime would use religion any time soon.

  • November 4, 2017 at 10:06 pmDonto

    Fiore is actually based on renaissance tuscany, at least in the manga it is and it’s also called Cuore not Fiore. The republic of florence will actually appear later in it’s actual name.

    • November 4, 2017 at 10:09 pmDonto

      Don’ know why they changed it from Cuore di Rumeliana to fiore or maybe it’s a fault in the subtitles. Then again with all the uneeded changes from the manga this is hardly surprising

    • November 5, 2017 at 12:29 amkittyraider

      The Region is called Cuore di Rumeliana (rewatch the episode, Suleyman spelled it by name while they’re riding to Arno). The City-State on the other hand, is indeed Fiore, modeled after the real-life Republic of Firenze

  • November 5, 2017 at 10:40 amtheirs

    Making a third faction while having no army, not really sure how that’s gonna work. Isn’t that slightly different from being neutral? They can hire mercenaries, though they risk being steam rolled by the Empire or bought off by the Tripartite. It does open the possibility of hiring the Mercenary group of a certain sultan. Can’t wait for next week!

    http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2017%20-%2027.jpg
    Who is she? There are a dozen or so in the opening, but I think the general and her are the only ones that has shown up.

    http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2017%20-%2021.jpg
    Shara needs to tease Mahmut some more so something like that doesn’t panic him. XD
    He needs some more fortitude so he can act like this:
    http://randomc.net/image/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair/Shoukoku%20no%20Altair%20-%2017%20-%2022.jpg

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