Oikos (Commune)

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The Oikos (plural: oikoi) is a commune, comprising of ten households, in the mainland Euran provinces of Constancia, including the former Raspurid satrapies, which are the lowest administrative tier of the Imperial State and form a basic economic building block of the Euran economy.

In the oikos economy many forms of production, as well as distribution, were controlled directly, at the behest of the provincial government, by appointed headmen known individually to their communities as the Kyrios ("lord"). Control over production was ensured by the concentration of the means of production (land, tools, and other assorted equipment) in the hands of the kyrioi rather than the individual producers.

Womenn's labour in such enterprises as cloth making contributed greatly to the local economy, particularly in the regions isolated from the main east (Nivardom) to west (Aqaba) trade routes. Women also contributed to social reproduction through their role in child rearing, food preparation, and household tasks, which were concentrated and centralised into the main structure of the oikos - the fortified barn-hall.

Work groups in the oikos were structured hierarchically, male and female, young and old, free and unfree, for repetative tasks whose composition, structure, and schedules were decided by the Kyrios. The Kyrioi in turn formed the connective tissue between the oikoi and the expanded bureaucracy implemented by the Permanent Standing Council for the purpose of improved record keeping and resource redistribution.

In rural regions where hyperinflation had robbed the nominal currency of any meaning, physical tokens of stamped tin or lead were issued to represent quantities of particular goods, with each shape representing a specific standardised amount for a particular product. The exchange of these tokens, and the entitlement to access to a specified amount of a specific product, came to form a substitute currency and a medium through which barter economics could be conducted both individually and at scale. Tokens, being stamped and distributed by provincial governors, tended only to be distributed and redeemable within their province of origin.

Separate to these tokens were the rations distributed to corvée labourers, often in disposable bevel-rimmed bowls of fired clay, usually comprising of a fish meal and millet pottage supplemented by a pint of the opium-laced millet beer known as Blood of the Bassarid. Corvée labourers, along with helots - captured Iterans and Androphagi impressed into Constancian service as prisoners of war, were frequently allocated to oikoi estates to carry out labour intensive tasks, such as the excavation of contaminated top soil, the manufacture of mud bricks, the construction of retaining walls for putative future gardens, and the repair or extension of irrigation tunnels. This disposable labour force would need to be fed and housed by the host oikos for the duration of their service but would not count towards the assessed contributions of the oikos in terms of labour or taxation.