Let us now wind back five years before the Battle of Atropatene, to the year 315 of the Parsian calendar….
Notes under the cut:
Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that I’ve added a map to the site, complete with RL references.* Honestly, I have no idea what Bashur’s real life equivalent is, so as I did with Kharlan (which honestly I am still tempted to switch to Qarlan), I’ve just been using a random transliteration that looks nice. To further confuse things, Bashur is written as バシュル (ba-shu-ru) in the text/chapter headings, but バスル (ba-su-ru) on the map. Typo? WHO KNOWS. (eta: yes, apparently a typo according to author’s notes in the second volume)
* I’ve also added the royal family tree of Pars, but be warned that there are spoilers if you don’t know who Hirmez (Hirmes/Hirumes/Hermes) Hormuz Hirmiz is.
Maryam is the other tricky choice that I haven’t bothered explaining before but might as well take the opportunity to now. It’s written as マルヤム (Ma-ru-ya-mu), and most other translations have just transliterated it directly. I chose Maryam because it’s the Persian name for the biblical figures Mary and Miriam, and the country is located in the general direction of the historical kingdom/Roman province Lydia, which lent its name to St. Lydia during the region’s conversion to Christianity. I’m pretty sure I’m on the right track with this, but not totally confident the way I am with the other names.
(It also occurs to me now that Lusitania is more or less the Byzantine Empire, which probably should have been obvious — but the haphazard naming theme and apparent anachronisms were throwing me off. Perhaps not, as it turns out — actual model according to author’s notes is a combination of the Crusaders and the Spanish conquistadors.)
As for the actual update — I’d like to note first of all that Narses was a common historical name.
Sahrdaran (シャフルダーラーン) is translated in-text as 諸侯, which in English is usually awkwardly translated as “dukes/princes” but originally referred to the reigning warlords of the Chinese Zhou dynasty (who were, at least in theory, ultimately still subject to the high king). Sahrdaran irl seems to have referred to landowning nobles. How this differs from the satraps (the better known term in English) is not quite clear to me — at a wild guess sahrdaran refers to the social class as a whole while satrap is the actual position/title — but governor just seems to me the best way of translating the term concisely for now. If the term satrap shows up as well later on, then I’ll reconsider. (eta: this has since been corrected to shahrdaran)
And, dipir, which is translated basically as scribe/secretary, is actually theorized irl and implied in-text to have been a pretty high-ranking position, not the lowly official/administrative grunt that the term “secretary” tends to connote nowadays, so I added some slight clarification to the wording in English. (eta: this has since been corrected to dibir, see glossary)
The other terms that show up in this update are pretty straightforward, but feel free to ask for any clarifications.