Solomani



Human Major Race (Homo sapiens sapiens) that evolved on Terra from those members of Homo sapiens antiquus that the Ancients left behind when they spread Humaniti among the stars around -300,000.

A member of the Solomani movement (see below).

The term Solomani is often used interchangeably to refer either to members of the Solomani race (or, more palatably to some, to members of the human race of Solomani descent) or to members of the Solomani political movement. The bitter fighting along the Imperial rimward frontier with the Solomani separatists has tended to obscure (to many people on isolated worlds) the important role played by loyal Imperial citizens of Solomani descent; to the experienced traveller the evidence is ever-present and undeniable. See Solomani Confederation for the Government of the Solomani.

History of the Solomani people

Independently developed from the original human stock on Terra, the Solomani achieved space flight in -2555, before the founding of the Third Imperium. At that point the Vilani had enjoyed space flight for nearly 7,000 years, and had a star-spanning empire which had endured for millennia.

The Solomani contacted the Vilani (and not the reverse) less than 100 years after developing space flight, and less than a decade after their discovery of jump drive. War broke out almost immediately, and only the decadence and inefficient management of the Vilani Empire allowed the Terrans to hold out long enough to build up a sizeable space fleet and begin a wide scale counter-offensive. The final result was the triumph of the men of Earth over the old Vilani Empire and the establishment of the Rule of Man (aka Second Imperium). The drift toward disintegration was, however, already strongly rooted in the fabric of the old empire and its new governors were unable to overcome its inertia. The disorganization of the last period gave rise to the disparaging term Ramshackle Empire. Within four hundred years, the Rule of Man collapsed and a seventeen hundred year interregnum ensued. From that long night came the establishment of the Third Empire, today’s Imperium.

Although the Rule of Man was fairly brief in terms of galactic history, its span did allow the spread of the Solomani people throughout much of the region presently ruled by the Imperium, and established them almost universally in positions of wealth and authority. The Solomani came first as conquerors, then as administrators, and their establishment in positions of power lasted well past the end of the Rule of Man. Much of the current Imperial nobility consists of genetically true Solomani, with an especially high proportion of senior naval officers being from this group. All of the Emperors of the Imperium were, in so far as it can be established, pure genetic Solomani until the marriage of the Emperor Zhakirov to the Vilani noblewoman Antiama Shiishuginsa in 679.

Throughout much of the Imperium today, it is virtually impossible to distinguish Vilani from Solomani and in the middle classes, traditionally both geographically and socially mobile, the distinction has become meaningless as extensive intermarriage has blended the two. The tendency during the Rule of Man for wealthy Vilani to change their names to Solomani surnames has further rendered any wish to make fine genetic distinctions problematical. Only in the Solomani Rim, where many planetary populations have remained overwhelmingly Solomani in character throughout, and in the upper levels of society where individual geneologies are known with a fair degree of certainty, is there any possibility of making a meaningful distinction. Even between genetically pure Vilani and Solomani, the differences are slight.

History of the Solomani movement

The so-called Solomani Hypothesis gained wide-spread acceptance in modern times through its active advocacy by Magis Sergei haut-Devroe (64 to 141). In fact, the notion that Terra was man’s home world had been widely accepted during the Rule of Man for several reasons.

Prior to contact between the Vilani and the Solomani, numerous theories of man’s origins had been proposed, and each held varying degrees of sway in the different subject areas of the First Empire. Before spaceflight, Vilani development of the biological sciences had been painfully slow. Consider the difficulties: no animal on Vland has as close a relationship to a human as a human has to a lobster or even to an oak tree. This meant, among other things, that biology received little impetus from medical research: there were few human diseases (and no diseases with animal vectors); even surgery was largely freed from the danger of infection. In addition, there were no animals available for anatomical or biological experiments whose findings would have any validity for humans. Further, when a theory of evolution was finally developed on Vland, it was very difficult to fit humans into the scheme. The fossil evidence for the remainder of Vlandish life was telling, but theories of human evolution were forced to rely on farfetched lines of descent based on superficial similarities, and no theory of man’s descent was granted more than tentative acceptance. On the gross level of physical shape, and even in some internal structures, there were many similarities between humaniti and the rest of Vlandish life; after all, there are only a few ways to construct a heart or an eye. But on the cellular and molecular levels, it is clear that humans are unique; only the primitive state of Vlandish embryology, cytology, and molecular biology kept this fact partially hidden.

When the Vilani burst into the interstellar scene, the discovery of numerous interfertile human races, all equally alien to the rest of the life on their planets, and at the same time of many non-human sentients with clear relationships to lower animals on their planets, sparked a new (and correct) theory that humaniti had originated on a single homeworld and had been scattered across the galaxy by unknown agency. Some theorized a previous human galactic empire, but the discovery of numerous ruins of the Ancients seemed to point to them as the likely agents. The major remaining question was the identity of humaniti’s home planet. Many candidates were proposed, and all had their (generally chauvinistic) proponents, but the one generally accepted by scientists was Urunishu in the Antares Sector. Urunishu possessed a native human race and a large number of species obviously very similar biologically to humaniti, from rodents to baleen whales, including a number of primate species. Unfortunately, Urunishu was undergoing an ice age, and had suffered from intermittent glaciation for several million years, making paleontological research both difficult and, due to the scouring action of glacial flow, unlikely to retain many recent fossils. It was at this point that biological progress began to suffer from the general stagnation of scientific research that was an unfortunate outgrowth of the Consolidation Wars and the Pax Vilanica.

Contact with Terra and the subsequent Rule of Man widely spread the notion that Terra was the true homeworld, but following the collapse of the Second Empire many independent planets rejected the explanation, claiming that documentary evidence supporting Terra’s claim was largely fabricated as a political prop to a faltering government. Few scientists had actually been to Terra or had the knowledge to appreciate its claims, and no physical evidence existed off-world.

Haut-Devroe’s hypothesis, however, was based on numerous fragmentary surviving Second Empire texts clearly not of government origin, mostly scientific journals printed on Terra. Since the Imperium traces its legitimacy to the Second Empire, charges of Rule of Man political fabrication were in any event no longer held to be plausible, and the predominantly Solomani make-up of Imperial aristocracy added an additional boost to widespread acceptance. Additionally, haut-Devroe was able to marshal impressive archeological evidence that Urunishu had been the site of an extensive Ancient facility, the equivalent of a zoological park, which contained various Terran fauna and flora, thus ruling out the only other serious candidate for the Human home world. While creating academic interest, however, haut-Devroe’s arguments caused little true sensation, and no claims to Solomani racial superiority. When the region of Sol was reincorporated into the Imperium in 588, a small historical mission verified, to no one’s great surprise, haut-Devroe’s Solomani Hypothesis.

By the early 660’s, however, it began to appear that the fabric of the Imperium was unraveling. The previous five hundred years had witnessed a great expansion and thus taxed the ability of the central government to control the frontier. Simultaneously, the power of the various fringe rulers grew; the power of the Sector Dukes as more territory was added to the Imperial Realm, and that of the Admirals of the Marches in proportion to increases in naval and military assets. In 606, Grand Admiral Olav hault-Plankwell returned from the successful conclusion of the First Frontier War (589 to 604) with a fleet-in-being and seized the scepter, thus beginning a period of two decades in which a series of admirals, the so-called Emperors of the Flag, wrestled for control of the Imperium.

This period of bitter fighting saw the beginning of the Solomani Movement. In addition to causing a great deal of destruction, the period of the Civil War also caused tremendous social upheaval, and Vilani nobles and industrialists began offering a serious challenge within the Imperium to the entrenched Solomani economic and political structure. It was primarily a reaction to this challenge that the Solomani movement was born. In general terms, the adherents of the movement held that the pure Terran racial stock was somehow superior and best fit for ruling the Imperium. They based this primarily on the historical argument that the original Terran invasion, although vastly outnumbered, had succeeded in bringing down the rotten and corrupt First Empire. Radical adherents of the movement eventually came to renounce the Rule of Man as the legitimate source of power, claiming that its failure to govern well was due to the renunciation of the preeminence of Terra. (The Rule of Man was initiated by a decision by the Navy not to accept Earth government authority any longer; it began with the institution of a much broader representational base in the government. In the brief period between the Nth Interstellar War and the beginning of the Rule of Man, the defunct Vilani Empire had been ruled as a conquered territory of Terra, an arrangement which most political scientists agree was totally unworkable.)

Initially, the movement consisted of only a small number of genetically true Terrans, but as the troubles grew (and financial support multiplied) large numbers of essentially nostalgic and reactionary movements formed and the Solomani gained numerous supporters. The movement was at its height immediately after the Civil War (604 to 622) and completely dominated the inner circles of the court advisers to the Empress Arbellatra.

The assumption of the throne by Zhakirov in 666 marked a turning point for the movement. Zhakirov early made clear his rejection of the Solomani Movement’s basic positions and began bringing in advisers, first of Solomani descent but not in sympathy with the movement, and later Vilani nobles. Zhakirov’s final break with the movement came when he chose Antiama as his bride, thus guaranteeing an heir of mixed Vilani and Solomani stock, and banished the majority of his Solomani Movement advisers from court. To placate the more vocal of the Solomani spokesmen, the Solomani Autonomous Region (or the Solomani Sphere) was formed in 704. Effectively, the Imperium turned its back on its rimward fringes for nearly two centuries and allowed the region to develop independently. Trade continued; technological exchanges continued; even taxes continued. The major thrust of the Imperium, however, was to spinward.

In the mid-900’s, Empress Margaret turned her attention to the Solomani in response to appeals from several client-worlds within the sphere. The reports indicated that the Solomani were perhaps too overbearing in their own superiority. Authority was concentrated in a few highly placed, genetically true Terrans, with a general disregard for the basic equality of the races. Margaret II, by proclamation in 940, declared the Solomani Autonomous Region dissolved, and reintegrated it into the Imperium. The Solomani resisted. Initially, the Imperium resorted to diplomacy and bureaucracy to reabsorb scattered worlds into the Imperial mainstream. Ultimately, however, the worlds which had been added to the Sphere since 704 confronted the Imperium with their desire to remain both outside the Imperium and within the influence of Sol. The result was the Solomani Rim War (990 to 1002), an Imperial attempt by more forceful means to make the reintegration stick.

Exhausted, however, by the Third Frontier War (979 to 986), the Imperium was unable to complete the process. When in 1002 Imperial forces recaptured Terra after a long and costly ground and space campaign, both sides were willing to accept an armistice based on the status quo. No treaty was ever signed and the cease fire line has become the de facto border with occasional border incidents on a fairly regular basis since. A total of about 25% of the old Solomani Autonomous Region was reintegrated at the time of the cease fire.

Today in the Imperial area of the Solomani Rim, Solomani agitation is widespread, and wherever political freedom is tolerated there is generally at least one (and sometimes several rival) Solomani Parties. The Solomani Movement itself is fragmented, with hardliners adhering to a rigid belief in Solomani supremacy and sole fitness to rule the Imperium while more moderate forces work toward independence of the old Solomani Autonomous Region from the Imperium, presumably to join those worlds currently comprising the Solomani Sphere.

SEE: Traveller Wiki – Solomani

Solomani

Broken angels AndrewHead Kenari_Sanura