Basileus Rank/Title in Getninia | World Anvil


The title of Basileus (feminine: Basilea) is a now defunct title used to describe the monarch and protector of all Aeillan peoples. Established with the overthrow of the Ilosi Republic in the late Forging Era. During the Imperial Period, the Basileus held varying levels of clout and political power. After the Feloran Invasions, the Succession War, and the breakup of the Empire, the title itself became politically defunct, but took on a mythical quality to many in the feuding Successor States.


A Basileus was almost always chosen by their direct predecessor. Most often this was done by adoption with an existing Basileus taking up a particularly noteworthy citizen as their own child; tutoring them and preparing them for rule. Starting in the late High Imperial, and increasingly throughout the Late Imperial periods, the idea of a hereditary monarchy became increasingly entrenched, and it was most often the eldest son (or eldest daughter if no sons were of appropriate age) that was selected to be heir to the throne regardless of their actual ability.


The Basileus was initially considered to be the first citizen of the Empire, and as such was meant to be a "man of the people". They were often expected to bring benefit to the commons, often through grain doles, and also were in their public appearances lacking in pomp and ceremony . Towards the end of the Imperial period this notion became de-emphasized as the Basileus was distanced from the common people. The Basileus was consistently expected however, to be a protector of the realm, and defender of the faith.


As the Imperial Period continued, the Basileus took on more and more responsibilities. Initially a part of the traditional senatorial system, the Basileus eventually become an autocrat. Shortly before the Feloran Invasions, when the responsibilities of the Basileus were at their most demanding, the Basileus was responsible for the appointment of top level civil servants, the military governors (Exarchs) of each province, the command of the Imperial House Guards, as well as the Hetairoi. They also served a religious function often being officiants of a number of religious ceremonies, such as the establishment of new temples, and certain festivals, particularly in the capital.


The Basileus generally benefitted from control of one of the wealthiest and most powerful states in Galisea. They took residence freely in the Imperial Palace at Apepsos, and could take from the Imperial treasury a small percentage as their purse. In the High Imperial period, they also recieved the backing of the Senatorially raised Athanatoi, however, after a number of assassinations in the Late Imperial, this was replaced by an additional purse for the raising and support of House Guards. A Basileus, for most of the Imperial period was largely immune to most laws.

Accoutrements & Equipment

The Basileus received as badges of office, an Imperial Diadem, and Imperial Scepter, and an unusually thin, sharp blade. All of these were said to be relics from the Yulani Period, and enchanted with powerful magics. Additionally, the Basileus was allowed, expected even to commission a suit of custom, high quality armor for their use on the battlefield.

Grounds for Removal/Dismissal

Legally only the demonstrable proof that the Basileus had gone insane was considered cause for removal, and in practice the Basileus was in power for as long as they lived once enthroned, with a handful of voluntary abdications during the High Imperial. More often than not, removal of a Basileus was conducted via assassination.


Due to a growing political instability in the Ilosi Republic, an ambitious General M. Argentius Aquilarius staged a coup against the Senate that came to fruition in 461 EF. Argentius Aqualiarius, having seized control overthrew the Proconsul of the Republic, and established a new, Imperial order, being enthroned as the first Basileus of the Aeillan Empire. Initially this was seen as a semantic difference with the state bureaucracy underneath largely remaining unchanged, and the Basileus functionally taking the role of first among equals in the Empire.   During most of the High Imperial, political processes, and the power of the Basileus remained relatively stable. As there was little in the way of dysfunction in the civil service, the relationship between the Senate, the Basileus, and the Army remained relatively stable and cordial. Towards the end of the High Imperial however, a serious of ambitious Basilei, mostly of the Laskarid dynasty slowly accumulated more and more power under the banner of the monarchy. While initially not a significant problem, this accumulation of power, and indeed responsibility resulted in political crises as the economy of the Empire began to go into decline.   The political upheavals of the Late Imperial did initially resulted in a weakened monarchy, particularly as nobody could remain enthroned for enough time to perform necessary reforms to the government. Instead, power flowed into the hands of the military, and regional governors who capitalized on the growing weakness of the central government. Even as this reduction of real power occurred, the office of Basileus assumed more and more responsibilities and powers, and grew in distance from the common peoples. The fifty years crisis, and concerns about the expansion of the Feloran Empire into Galisea resulted in the Basilea Sx. Hadriana Rauros seizing power from her Uncle in an interior coup, and embarking on a series of drastic emergency reforms that greatly expanded power for the monarchy, reorganized the provinces and overhauled and regionalized military commands.   The Feloran Invasion, and the twenty years of on and off wars against the Feloran Empire saw the breakup of centralized authority as the Empire frequently lost contact with a number of its more distant provinces, and control of much of its central and eastern coastal territories. The emphasis on local military governance allowed the Aeillan Empire to oust the Felorans, though the war itself killed off most of the Rauros family, and left the Empire itself greatly weakened. When Alexios III Rauros died, he left no heirs, and the Empire plunged into succession crisis and civil war, leading to the breakup of the Empire after 3 years of constant war.  With the breakup of the Empire, the office Basileus has functionally become defunct, and though attempts were made to reunify the Empire in the five centuries since, none have yet succeeded.

Cultural Significance

The office of Basileus is one that bears enormous cultural clout even as the Empire that backed it has long since broke into feuding states. Though there are no true Basilea left in Aeilla, the notion that an ambitious and successful ruler could reunify the Aeillan peoples under a single banner is an idea of mythic proportions, and some small religious and political movements have been formed around such a myth.
Nobility, Hereditary
Functionally Defunct
461 EF
Form of Address
His/Her/Their/Your Majesty
Equates to
Source of Authority
Initially, the Imperial Senate, later the Gods of the Pandroi faith
Related Locations
Related Organizations