|Official language||Neo-Aramaic (official), English (administrative)|
|Largest cities||Beth Sanaar, Merdin, Bani Yas|
|Number of citizens||8|
|Number of active citizens||0 (Nation Inactive, Kefr Zeh annexed to Babkha)|
|Date founded||December 2nd 2005|
|Current leader||His Holiness Michaelos-Sfeir I|
|Map versions||8.0.1 - 11.6|
The Zatriarchate of Matbaa (mɑːtbɑː) was an Assyrian-themed micronation founded by Maximos on December 2nd 2005. Its theme was originally a general satire of theocratic nations hence the name 'Zatriarch' as opposed to 'Patriarch' but later retained these early idiosyncrasies as it developed an Assyrian culture throughout its existence. Matbaa was one of the few stable nations throughout the MCS-GSO split and pursued an isolationist foreign policy which made it many enemies, most famously Woodstania and Babkha. The nation occupied land on Cibola and Tapfer after it left the CIS, dying after Matbaa was split into two separate nations under the reign of Zatriarch Mikaelos-Sfeir in 2007.
Foundation and CIS era
- Dissatisfied with the CIS
- Leaving the CIS, friends with Middle Korea
- Sep makes Matbaa great CIS offer, Maximillideus refuses
- Hazukyeo Doctrine and Colonisation of Tapfer
- Co-operation with New Britannia
- Circum-Reynor War (Matbaa's first war)
- Taylor Bay War (foundation of Z.C Vichika)
- Armen Sourenian becomes Grand Vizier
Age of Conflict
- War of the Broken Pottery
- War of Matbaic Liberation (foundation of Z.C South Apollonia)
- Maximillideus abdicates, Sfeir VII becomes Zatriarch
Matbaic Split and Decline
- Sfeir VII abdicates, Ostatheos III becomes Zatriarch
- Brief annexation by the Holy Christian Empire by Ostatheos in Map series 11.7
- Ostatheos ousted and Michaleos-Sfeir I becomes Zatriarch
- Split into Ecumenical Synody and Zatriarchate
- Death of both Matbaic nations and Kefr Zeh briefly declared independent illegally by Hieu
- Kefr Zeh annexed to Babkha as the Ostan of Matbaa, shortly after renamed the Ostan-i-Kfarzeh
The Matbaic National Khanaushia (Aramaic: ܟܟܢܢܐܘܫܝܗ) was the highest legislative body in the entire nation. The Khanaushia comprised of government officials and ministers, and was presided over by the Zatriarch and Grand Vizier. There was no post of speaker, as every minister in the Khanaushia, as well as the Zatriarch and Grand Vizier, could propose legislation which was then debated and voted on. Amendments to legislation were also conducted in the Khanaushia. Because the Zatriarchate was a theocracy, its leader, the Zatriarch, was not appointed by the Khanaushia but by the Ecumenical Synod. This thus gave the Church a strong hold over government in the nation and ensured that the government coincides with the Clergy's interests. Although he was not an absoloute ruler, the Zatriarch could dismiss any minister except the Grand Vizier but only if he had the consent of the Matbaic Orthodox Ecumenical Synod. The Khanaushia members could overrule a decision by a two-thirds majority vote. As leader of the faith and henceforth carrying out the wishes of the Ecumenical Synod, the Zatriarch maintained divine right in ruling the nation and could veto legislation if it was not in keeping with church wishes.
The Grand Vizier was responsible for acting as a mediator between the church element of the Khanaushia, the Zatriarch, and the State Element, the Ministers. The Grand Vizier also had a seat in the synod to ensure that both government bodies (the Khanaushia and Synod) had a say in legislation and the running of the nation.
Matbaa's Metropolitan territories lay primarily on the continent of Cibola, and were bordered by Alexandria and Monovia. These provinces- Turoyo, Rashid, Nazarain, Kasdim, Jihangak, Turoyo, and Vinshalar, were the economic and political heart of the nation and straddled the Cibolan continent from its western to eastern seabord. Early Matbaic expansionism and colonialism gradually allowed it to take the island of Maraguo as its province of Jbeil, and the northern half of Mar Sara as its province of Suryo. Further to the east, the defection of numerous nations on Tapfer to the GSO mapping organisation left the western half of Tapfer free for Matbaic colonisation and the Zatriarchal Colony of Kefr Zeh was founded with its capital at Ma'amo. This also allowed Matbaa to annex the small Gotzborger Royal Colony of Ansbach which was directly annexed to Jihangak province. The Matbaic colonisation of Tapfer caused disputes with Alexandria who deliberately extended their territories on the continent in such a manner as to prevent future Matbaic inland expansions of its Kefr Zeh colony. In May 2006 Alexandria and Matbaa also disputed a region Matbaa knew as Bait Nahrain, along the North-Eastern coast of the inner Cibolan Sea, which Alexandria expanded into, preventing Matbaa from expanding to the North-West. Other territorial disputes included Stormark's island of Hovgarden off the Eastern coast of Matbaa.
Matbaa's conflicts in the Taylor Bay War and War of Matbaic Liberation respectively afforded it two more Zatriarchal Colonies- Z.C South Apollonia with its capital at Rowena (formerly part of Lovely) and Z.C Vichika, a small inlet on one of the Taylor Bay islands bordering Nova England and claimed by Kampong. Z.C Vichika was eventually returned to the Kampongese government by Matbaa as a gesture of goodwill.
The Matbaic split effectively reduced the territory of the Zatriarchate to the capital, Matbaa City whilst the Ecumenical Synody of Matbaa took over the rest of the Zatriarchate's territories. After Matbaa's removal from the MCS map in map series 11.6, many former Matbaic cities on Jbeil such as Deir-ul-Seyde and Kerkboran retained their Matbaic names under the Maraguo Vrystaat's rule, and Suryo was annexed by Antica to become Antican Suryo, an Assyrian-themed province of the Republic. Alexandria took over all of Matbaa's Cibolan territories, the only Matbaic name remaining being Khania (from the city of Khania Wardo in Rashid Province), and Kefr Zeh eventually was renamed Kfarzeh and became an Ostan of Babkha on the continent of Eura.
Culture & Religion
Matbaa's unusual cultural theme was perhaps its most interesting feature and some micronationalists remarked that they learnt about Assyrian culture through their participation in the Zatriarchate. Even more remarkable was that only one Matbaic citizen was ever actually ethnically Assyrian- the cultural simulation was a learning curve for most Matbaics. Nonetheless Matbaa legally recognised the Assyrian genocide and actively commemorated it, adopted a modified version of the Assyrian national anthem, and required that all its citizens take usernames in Neo-Aramaic.
The implementation of Aramaic culture was overseen by the Aramaic Institute, which also provided documents on Ancient Assyria and ensured that citizens had enough knowledge of Assyrian culture to actively participate in Matbaic cultural life. More specifically, Matbaa's culture was Syriac rather than Assyrian or Chaldean (though all fall under the ethnolinguistic group of 'Neo-Aramaic'), based on the Turoyo speaking Assyrian Christians of Syria and Turkey. In general Matbaic culture, as it was not founded originally as an Assyrian nation and only adopted these cultural traits later, was something of a mix of all Middle-Eastern cultures. Armenian was widely spoken and a programme of Armenian Cultural development was initiated by Grand Vizier Armen Sourenian, and there was also a large Sephardic Jewish population in Matbaa. Interest in Ancient Assyria also rose towards the end of Matbaa's life. Generally, this subject had been avoided as part of a concerted effort to remind people that Assyrians still existed as a macronational ethnic group, but Matbaa later proudly adopted this new ancient Assyrian identity, even going so far as to design a new national flag displaying the ancient Assyrian deity Ashur. Matbaics also began to take an interest in the Aramaic language, with the nation's official motto being Marth Assur D'Mikras (Mother Assyria of Micras). Babkha used this new-found interest in ancient Assyria to mock Matbaa, citing the Battle of Nineveh of 612 BC in which Persia annexed Neo-Assyria, as proof of Babkhan superiority over Matbaa.
In general Matbaa's cultural focus was its strength and also its weakness. Over its history Matbaa's culture made it stand out from other micronations but also put many prospective citizens off, feeling its culture too complex and making them unable to participate.
Matbaic Orthodox Church
The Matbaic Orthodox Church (officially the Matbaic Orthodox Assyrian Jacobite Church of Micras) was the national and established Church of the Matbaic state and theologically was Monophysite Eastern Orthodox, though throughout its history occasionally shifted between the Nestorian and Syriac Orthodox Churches in terms of ideology. Whether the actual theology of the Church was realistic is entirely another matter as very few of its leaders were macronationally practicing Christians, or indeed Christians at all (save for a certain C. McQueeny, macronationally a Priest-in-training who took the name Philoxenos Shaya Iwas whilst in Matbaa). The Church gradually became less and less serious as time went on and was generally part of the larger Assyrian cultural aspect of Matbaa rather than a meaningful institution in its own right. It did however wield enormous political power as in many respects, Church and State were one. It was resentment of this power which may have led to the Matbaic split into two states shortly before the nation's death. Aside from its obvious cultural and political functions the Matbaic Orthodox Church also served a military function, with its many ancient walled monasteries serving as fortresses and its more zealous monks being recruited into the military. The Christian character of the nation also greatly aided the creation of the White Knight Guard crusading order.
The Church's territory was divided into four dioceses- Tavalourian, Kasdim, Turoyo, and Suryo. The Cathedrals of these Dioceses were the Cathedral of El Hadra (Merdin, Turoyo), Cathedral of Mar Tavalourian (Matbaa City, Tavalourian Diocese), and the Cathedral of Mar Samaan (Beth Sanaar, Kasdim). A great deal of cultural work was put into the creation of Matbaic monasteries and cathedrals and in many cases they were modelled after macronational Orthodox churches, which were greatly appreciated by Matbaa's founders due to their beautiful architecture and mosaics. Many were also dedicated to fictional Matbaic saints whose life stories were written about by Matbaic citizens such as St. Izlo.
The Zatriarch as the spiritual head of the nation was always inaugurated in Mar Tavalourian Cathedral in the capital city and according to designs made by Matbaic citizens would have worn robes very similar to those of macronational Syriac Orthodox priests. Church architecture was very similar to that of Byzantine Greek Churches as well as influence from the ancient Syriac Churches of Turkey. As previously mentioned, although the term 'Zatriarch' was originally tongue-in-cheek it stuck; perhaps at odds with the otherwise quite academically obscure nature of simulating Assyrian culture. The Zatriarch was also the honourary abbot of the large Deir Azozyel Monastery in the north of the country. All in all the Church was a highly eclectic one and did not sit well with the move to simulate ancient Assyrian culture (including some aspects of ancient Assyrian religion) which became popular in Matbaa shortly before its split and subsequent decline. Some saw the changing of the national flag to include the Assyrian deity Ashur as an assault on the Christian nature of the Zatriarchate and were very opposed to it.
There were also obvious problems with the theocratic nature of the Zatriarchate as many citizens (leading Matbaic citizens were atheist, Protestant, and Jewish) felt awkward simulating a religiously intolerant government. However the theocratic aspect of Matbaa was very diluted and there was open freedom of religion in the nation- a more belligerent form Christian theocracy was in general restricted to Foreign Affairs at times when Matbaa needed an excuse for a casus belli or felt like competing in a game of 'simulate the worst form of autocracy' with its enemies in Babkha. The Church as an extension of Matbaic foreign policy actually proved quite useful and found Matbaa friends in the form of Paulovia (Greek Orthodox Christian), New Brittania and New England (Protestant Christian), and for a short while Attera (Jewish and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian). By the time of its death the Matbaic Orthodox Church had opened Churches in Houland (Modbury), Landingberg-Schonigreich (Villeauve), New Brittania (Bryden), Rambai (Labi), and Riponia (Ripon).
Despite successful participation in the Lovely War (resulting in Matbaa's Southern Apollonia Colony), Taylor Bay War (resulting in Matbaa's Vichika Colony) and Circum-Reynor War (and less successful participation in the War of the Broken Pottery), the Matbaic Zatriarchal Defence Forces never developed into a professional and well-organised armed force due to a lack of experience on the part of many Matbaics. Thanks to the enterprising work of Intercorp Engineering, however, Matbaa was able to patent two successful aeroplane models, the Dipou and Nemrou series, which were exported en masse to friendly micronations and were still being used by some micronations long after Matbaa's death, such as Ashkenatza in mid-2009. Matbaa's military prowess lay chiefly with small elite units such as the Black Janissaries and the Order of the White Knight Guard, a crusading order with airborne components consisting of twelve divisions each led by a Senechal. The First Senechal of the White Knight Guard was automatically the nation's Minister of Defence. After the Malleus Forge Act of 2007 the White Knight Guard took a much more active role in Matbaa's Internal Affairs, effectively functioning as state security and intelligence.
The Matbaic Chief-of-Staff was generally the Zatriarch himself, as most wars carried significant religious overtones, whilst subordinates in the chain of command took Arab and Turkish names for military positions (these modern words not existing in modern Assyrian terminology). These included terms such as 'Pasha' (General), 'Feriq' (Lieutenant General), and 'Arif' (Corporal). The Matbaic Naval Forces were generally the most impressive component of the Matbaic Military, as the Zatriarchate had significant overseas territories to defend as part of the Hazukyeo Doctrine, which saw Matbaa rapidly expand overseas from Cibola starting from October 2006. The navy's flagship was the ZMNS Azozyel II, and by April 2007 Matbaa maintained eleven destroyers and somewhat unrealistically, four aircraft carries, as well as a nuclear submarine, the ZMNS Nemrou. Perhaps Matbaa's biggest military loss was the ZMNS Meryem Ana, a technologically advanced Aircraft Carrier torpedoed by Grand Commonwealth forces in the Circum-Reynor War.
As with most other Micran nations of the time, Matbaa extensively used the MX2 (MicroExchange 2) banking system hosted by Aerlig for intermicronational transactions. However with the MX2 system being deleted and not replaced Matbaa searched for alternatives, at first using a post-based economy on its forum but then later installed its own phpBank which, though ideal for domestic trade, did not easily facilitate transactions overseas. By April 2006 the Matbaic Salar was slightly more valuable than the Gotzborg Thaler, Gotzborg being Matbaa's main trade partner. The nation's most active privately-owned companies were Kharvot (mining equipment and services), Infernacorp (heavy industry) and Intercorp (military hardware).