The citadel is a characteristic feature of the Gehennese city. It is a fortified hilltop, island, or promontory, originally built to be a stronghold for the city in war or for refuge from pirates.

By the Archaic Period it is usual for entire cities to be enclosed in strong fortifications, in which case the citadel forms a redoubt in the wall or, less commonly, a great central keep. Although still the key to the city, the citadel is not seen as a place of refuge for the people, for the city stands or falls with its walls. If they fall, the Aotos may make a final stand in the citadel, but for the majority the issue is already decided.

The citadel may contain the palace of the monarch (if there is a monarch), the barracks of the Sacred Band, the council-houses of the boule and gerusia, the temples of the daimon and heroes of the city , the public treasury, the meeting-place of the high court, or whatever public buildings do not require convenient access for the public.

In the Classical Period most citadels are possessions of the emperor, and are garrisoned by the imperial army, but a few are occupied by dynastai, who own them by feudal privilege. The citadels of the capital cities of episkopies are the official residences of the epislopoi. In some cases the emperor passed over the obvious candidate to be capital of an episkopy because he did not own its citadel, and promoted some smaller and worse-placed city.

In the Decadent Period the citadel is still the seat of government, but because it is controlled by troops of the tagmarkh, the episkopos and his followers sometimes prefer to live and work in the city or in castles in the countryside.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.