The bureaucracy of Gehennum is very simple by our standards, but can still seem exasperating to a Gehennese.

In the Archaic Period most states have very simple bureaucracies, with magistrates in charge of various things each within the powers of one man, and each with at most an official secretary to assist him in his work. Policy is co-ordinated by a Gerusia or by such chief magistrates as an anakrites, an hierarkh, and a polemarkh. In the larger imperial states (see Bethan, Samariopolis, Thekla, league, and hegemony) the magistrates form a hierarchy, and each will be assisted by a secretary and perhaps a number of scribes. Some public records are kept, especially citizenship rolls and tax records.

In the Classical Period the government of the empire is conducted by the central bureaucracy in Thekla with the assistance of branches in all episkopies. The magistrates form a tangled hierarchy (see episkopos, [[khrysofylaxion]]], krites, tagmarkh) and each is prone to be assisted by an official secretary, some assistant secretaries, and a swarm of scribes. Record is kept of every official act and decision and its reason, and also of births and marriages, land sales, and deaths. Copies are kept of every request sent in, every writ issued, every reply returned, and every report submitted to higher authority. There are no indexes to the archives, and everything depends absolutely on things being properly filed.

By the Decadent Period the tradition of responsible government is moribund, and magistrates are more arbitrary and summary in their actions. The floods of reports have dwindled, the records are more carelessly kept, but the assistant secretaries and scribes have assumed the decision-making role in routine cases, and have become a lot more imperious in manner. As far as the man in the street is concerned, they have become the government of Gehennum.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.