Khoklem spreading out on northern shore of the Kemu. Appearance of Sahhindar.
The hero Gahete is the first man to land on uninhabited island of Khokarsa. On succeeding trips, brings his tribe, the Fish-Eagle Totem. Their chief priestess dedicates a sacred oak grove high on a volcano, Khowot (Voice of Kho). Khokarsa (the Tree of the Hill of Kho) gives its name to the island. Painted fire- or sun-hardened pottery used.
Other tribes have also landed elsewhere on the island. First beer from millet and sorghum made. Priestesses develop an early pictographic writing. Village of Khokarsa becomes the first walled area in the world. Potter’s wheel invented. Trephining of skull to relieve chronic headaches introduced.
Large stone-block temple to Kho built on plateau by the sacred oak grove. King Nanla seizes the town of Miklemres, the gateway to the tin, copper, and salt mines in the Saasares mountains (the present Ahaggar and Tibesti). Mead-making becomes a major industry, controlled by the chief priestess, Nanwot. Alkaline-glazed pottery. Ox-drawn wagons.
Chief priestess, Awineth, establishes a chronology, starting from completion of temple to Kho fifty years before. (A.T. stands here for After Temple.) Wine from grapes first made.
The priestess-bard Hala composes the first epic poem, The Song of Gahete, based on folk songs. Painting and sculpture are more lifelike but still stiff.
The sundial and the processing of olives invented. First temple-tomb (for Awineth) built. (The kings at this time were still being sacrificed at the end of a nine-year reign. They were buried under large mounds of earth on top of which was set a bird-headed monolith. Heroes and heroines—that is, extraordinary men and women—were buried under mounds with a pointed monolith on top.)
King Ruwodeth of Khokarsa crushes the revolt in Miklemres. First appearance of the Klemsaasa, a tall people speaking an unknown language, in the mountains north of Miklemres. Lead-glazed pottery.
Expeditionary fleet led by King Khonan founds the port of Siwudawa in the country of the Klemsuh. This marks the beginning of a long series of campaigns against the Klemsuh of the rural areas. Lost-wax process for casting bronze invented.
Port villages of Towina and Bawaku flourishing. The “oikos” system of settling the coast frontier is founded. (Bands of adventurous men and women build little wooden forts along the coast and dig in. These were led by men of the hero category whose residences later became small palaces and who ruled large estates. They founded the leading families of these areas, and many of the “oikos” became thriving towns in time.) By this time all six cities if the island have become powerful trade centers. Population of the city of Khokarsa: 15,000. Dythbeth, Saqaba, Kaarquth, Asema, and Kunesu have populations of from eight to ten thousand. Glass invented. Salt-glazed pottery and porcelain.
Barter is still the basis of economy. Gold and silver first extensively mined in the northern mountains. From their villages in the Saasares, the Klemsaasa raid outlying districts of Miklemres. They incorporate their patriarchal sun god with Kho’s son, Resu. Hourglass using sand invented.
The genius Awines born in Dythbeth.
By the age of thirty-five, Awines has invented a syllabary, founded the science of linguistics, created a theory of atomism (much like Lucretius’), discovered the circulation of blood, formulated an elementary algebra, and invented wooden printing blocks, catapults, Greek fire, the water clock, the magnifying glass and a solar calendar.
Awines is exiled to Bawaku because his syllabary and calendar are considered sacrilegious. Bawaku revolts and defeats the Khokarsan fleet with Awines’ catapults and Greek fire.
Awines is killed while trying to fly with artificial wings from a mountain.
Keth of Kenesu reports discovery of the strait of the southern sea. Apparently, however, others had preceded him. The port village of Mukha becomes a city due to salt mines discovered near it.
The Klemsaasa, having adopted agriculture, have become more numerous. They seize and control for a decade some tin and copper mines and require tribute from some outlying provinces of Miklemres. First mint established with coining of electrum.
Under King Madymin of Khokarsa, Bawaku is retaken, its citizens are massacred, and it is resettled with colonists from Khokarsa. A group of Bawakans, led by the hero Anesem, escape and found the first City of Pirates, Mikawauru. (In Khokarsan, mi means city, and kawauru means both crocodile and pirate.) This was on the fjord coast northwest of the strait into the southern sea (still little known at this time). First silver and gold coins. First recording of use of brass.
A great earthquake and tidal wave. The Klemsaasa seize the city of Miklemres. Towina, Bawaku, Dythbeth, and Kaarquth revolt successfully. Aboriginal population of Siwudawa revolts, massacres Khokarsan troops and merchants, and establishes independent state.
The Mikawuru are driven from their stronghold by the Klemqaba. Led by Wethna, they cross the Kemu and found Wethna on its eastern shore. Use of perspective in art begins to spread.
A Bawaku expedition under the hero Nankar travels the length of the Bohikly (the Niger River) and brings back from West Africa the red protein berry mowometh* and the ebony, African mahogany, and okra trees. These begin to spread rapidly around the Kemu. First biremes built. First contact with the Negroes of the west by the hero Agadon of Towina. King K’opwam of Khokarsa retakes Dythbeth and Kaarquth.
The first great plague. (Smallpox, previously unknown, was probably brought in by black captives.) A quarter of the population of the island and of the cities of Towina and Bawaku die. A few years later, smallpox ravages all the population of the other areas.
A chief of the Klemsaasa leads them and an army of Miklemres allies to Khokarsa and seizes the city. He marries its sole surviving priestess and ascends the throne. He adopts the Khokarsan name of Minruth; assimilation of the Klemsaasa begins. Those left in the mountains become known as the Klemklakor (Bear people).
Minruth I completes the conquest of all the cities of the island and Towina and Bawaku. He refuses to honor the age-old custom of sacrifice of the king after nine years of rule and institutes custom of sacrificing a substitute. The Klemsaasa pantheon is entirely incorporated into the Khokarsan. Resu, the sun god, is proclaimed to be the equal of Kho. Nevertheless, in practice, most of the people for a long time regard Resu as secondary to Kho. This year marks the beginning of the long struggle between the priestesses and the priests. Old lunar calendar is abandoned and Awines’ solar calendar is adopted. New one has twelve months of three ten-day weeks each, with five festival days at end of year. Year starts on the vernal equinox.
Syllabary of Awines adopted. Governmental postal system, based on that of the temples, is adopted. First copper coins stamped.
First trireme built. Coastal highway of stone blocks begun from Miklemres east and west. The hero Kethna circumnavigates the southern sea. This was originally called the Kemuketh but later became known as the Kemuwopar (Sea of Opar).
The city of Kethna founded. This will eventually control the strait and be a source of trouble to Khokarsa.
The priestess-heroine Lupoeth discovers gold-, silver-, and diamond-bearing clay at site of Opar and founds a mining village. Depiction of deities as human-headed in art and sculpture spreads from Khokarsa.
First Negro slaves brought into Opar.
A second Mikawuru (City of Pirates) founded on northwest shores of the Kemuketh. These settlers were not from Wethna, which had become respectable, but were criminals and political refugees from all over the northern sea.
Colonists from Mikawuru establish a stronghold on east coast of the Kemuwopar. It grows in later years into a city called Sakawuru.
The city of Opar completed in all its grandeur. The port of Wentisuh founded by colonists from Siwudawa.
The climate is warmer and drier. The ice sheets in the Saasares are dwindling. A great plague and a series of earthquakes usher in another Time of Troubles. Revolts of tributary states and falling apart of the empire. K’opwam II murders his wife in attempt to impose patriarchy and flees to Miklemres during the uprising that follows. He is captured and sacrificed at the great temple. For a hundred years the chief priestesses of Khokarsa have husbands who are denied the kingship. Many temples of Resu torn down or converted to temples of Kho. Human sacrifice, except in times of great tribulation, is abandoned. This custom spreads throughout the two seas, except at Sakawuru.
Beginning of the numatenu (heroes of the broadsword), a warlike class similar to the samurai. By custom, only the members of the numatenu are allowed to use the slightly curved, blunt-ended broadsword lately introduced, but this is not strictly observed.
The Klemqaba take Bawaku and massacre its citizens.
A combined Klemqaba and Towina fleet attacks Dythbeth. A numatenu, Toenuseth, consort of Dythbeth’s chief priestess, destroys the fleet. His wife makes him the king, and he sets out on the conquest of the island of Khokarsa.
Toenuseth conquers Saqaba and Kaarquth. The city of Towina, now an enemy of the Klemqaba, drives the Klemqaba from Bawaku with the aid of revolting Bawakans.
Toenuseth killed by a spear thrown by the chief priestess of Khokarsa during the siege of that city. This is considered a judgment of Kho, and it discourages the idea of the kingship for some years.
The chief priestess of the city of Khokarsa institutes the Great Games (later known as the Great Games of Klakor, after the winner of the first games). These mark the return of the kingship. By the Law of Pwymnes, the victor of the Great Games becomes the husband of the chief priestess (if she accepts him) and is crowned king of Khokarsa. Any man is eligible to compete unless he is a slave, a neanderthaloid, or a Klemqaba. The Games occur when the old king has died or the chief priestess dies. However, the reigning king may keep his kingship if he can induce the dead wife’s daughter to marry him, or if she lacks daughters, the nearest relative to assume the priestess’s throne. Pwymnes, too old to bear children, retires after the hero Klakor wins the Games, and he marries her daughter, Hiindar (meaning Gray Eyes). It must be kept in mind that the king governed only military, naval, and engineering areas. The queen controlled the judicial courts, the law-making, currency, religion, taxation, and commerce. It had, however, long been recognized that men were responsible for the impregnation of women, that Kho or her sons and daughters (gods and goddesses) were not the agents of fertility of women (except that they might cause a man or a woman to be sterile). That men caused pregnancy was the main argument of the priests of Resu for the superiority of Resu and for the dominance of males in society. Officially, the fact was ignored, and it took a long time for the idea to be accepted in rural areas. Work on the Great Tower of Kho and Resu begun by Klakor.
Klakor completes the reconquest of the island of Khokarsa. Kwamim, the greatest of the epic poets, born in Miklemres. At the age of twenty-eight, she will create the Pwamwotkethna, or Song of Kethna. This is based on the wanderings of Kethna and the founding of his city but is historically inaccurate. The songs of much earlier heroes and heroines are incorporated in it, making them contemporaneous with Kethna, and much mythological matter is embodied. The language is based on that of the city of Khokarsa, but Kwamim borrows words from other dialects and even coins new words.
Fleet of Miklemres destroyed by Klakor, and Miklemres capitulates. This event marks the beginning of the conquest of the queendom of the coastal Kemu.
Opar conquered by Sakawuru pirates under Gokasis. They control the precious metal and jewel trade. Plumbing invented and installed in the palace of Khokarsa.
Klakor’s herald, the bard Roteka, arrives in Opar to demand surrender. His head is sent back to Klakor, arriving there in 1159 A.T. But Klakor has died.
Kethna seized by allied Oparians and pirates of Mikawuru and Sakawuru.
Gokasis proclaims himself king of kings of the Kemuwopar after taking Wethna. The first Khokarsan expedition against the alliance destroyed outside the Strait of Keth. Awodon, the Praxiteles of Khokarsa, born. Owalu, Qethruth, and Mukha become major Khokarsan cities. The poetess Kwamim, a guest at the court of Wentisuh, is taken prisoner and carried to Opar.
The hero Rimasweth, leading a Khokarsan expedition, strikes Kethna from overland and, leaving a holding force, bypasses Wentisuh, and Sakawuru and raids Opar. He slays Gokasis (son of the first Gokasis) in hand-to-hand combat, massacres the citizens, and takes Kwamim. His fleet is caught at the Strait of Keth and destroyed, but he and Kwamim, with three numatenu, escape.
Kwamim first sings the Pwamwotrimasweth, the Song of Rimasweth. This is the second-greatest epic of Khokarsa (some critics consider it the greatest). It is the first to sing of living heroes. The barbarian Klemklakor are numerous enough to require large punitive expeditions.
Awodon begins work on his masterpiece, Kho and Her Children, a frieze of sixty-four figures along the marble base of the Great Tower of Kho and Resu. A fourth expedition levels Kethna and Wentisuh but is destroyed in the Battle of the Bay of Opar.
Siege of Opar begins. Mikawauru and Sakawuru blockaded but resist storming. Expeditions sent out to West Africa, the Mediterranean, and Nile Valley. (But none return.)
Opar taken. Spectacles invented.
Sakawuru taken, its citizens executed, and a ship sent out to arrange for colonists from Khokarsa to repeople it. Mikawuru resists successfully.
A hundred and twenty years of comparative peace, prosperity, and expansion of population. Awodon completes his great work at the age of seventy, dies two years later, and is buried in a hero’s tomb. Work on the Great Tower proceeds apace. Networks of stone roads built out from coastal cities along the shore and inland, and a network completed on the island of Khokarsa. Census in 1334 A.T. shows that population of the two seas is an estimated two million. (This was the peak.) The town of Rebha, built on piles in a shallow spot in the southeastern Kemu, becomes important in sea commerce. Border forts built to strengthen defense against Negroes of the Western Lands. Another unsuccessful expedition against the troublesome pirates of Mikawuru. The explorer Dythphida discovers that an arm of the Kemuwopar is about to cut through the middle-west mountains on the western shore. This portends the eventual drainage of the two seas, but this should not start until another estimated two or three hundred years have passed. The chief priestess of Khokarsa, Aquth, proclaims that this drainage can be averted only by a downgrading of Resu and a return to more conservative forms of religion. Minruth III considers building a gigantic dam, but since this will halt work on the Great Tower, he takes no action.
Opar half-destroyed by an earthquake, but rebuilding begins at once. The Whooping Plague first appears in Towina.
The plague has spread all over the empire. Crop failures and a deadly disease among the fish cause great famine. The Klemqaba devastate Bawaku but are themselves struck down by the plague. The city of Khokarsa is half-destroyed by an eruption of Khowot, and the citizens flee.
The population has been reduced to three-quarters of a million. The empire has fallen apart. The majority of the royalty has died. A numatenu from Opar, Riqako, marries the only surviving priestess able to bear children in the city of Khokarsa. He becomes Reskomureeskom, the king of kings, literally, the Great Fish-Eagle of the Fish-Eagles.
Heliqo discovers connection between malaria and mosquitoes.
The climate is getting warmer and drier. There is, however, still ice and snow in abundance on the peaks of the Saasares. The level of the Mediterranean has risen. Khokarsa is once again in the ascendancy. All states of the Kemu acknowledge its suzerainty, but in fact are semi-independent. Kethna sends tribute but acts as if it were independent. Though the population has increased, there are still some areas that have not recovered. The pirates of Mikawuru are giving more trouble, and there are pirate bases in the Kemu. There has been little progress in technology. Iron weapons and tools were introduced circa 1340 A.T., but since the main iron-ore deposits are deep inside the Saasares, it is expensive. Bronze weapons and tools are still much used.
Minruth IV wins the Great Games of Klakor, marries Demakwa, the chief priestess.
Bissin, inventor of a crude steam engine, is born.
The herculean and ill-fated Kwasin, Hadon’s cousin, is born in Dythbeth.
Demakwa dies. Minruth marries her cousin, Wimimwi, and so no Great Games are held.
Hadon of Opar born. His father, Kumin, is a crippled numatenu who has been reduced to sweeping the floors of a temple. His mother, Pheneth, is the daughter of an overseer of slaves, so Hadon has a poverty-stricken childhood, and his parents are of a low social class. Both parents are members of the Ant Totem. Awineth, daughter of Minruth and Wimimwi, born in temple of Kho on the slopes of Khowot. Electroplating of metal by means of a primitive battery is invented.
Kwasin, drunk, ravishes a priestess of Kho and kills some temple guards. He is exiled instead of being executed when the oracular priestess of the temple of Kho at Dythbeth (where the sacrilege took place) says he should be sent out of the land but permitted to return when Kho so decrees. He wanders off into the Western Lands carrying his great brassbound oak club.
Wimimwi dies. Awineth becomes the chief priestess. The Great Games are scheduled to be held within three years. (Enough time has to be given for all states to be notified, the preliminary Lesser Games held to choose three main contestants and their three substitutes from each state, and for the contestants to journey to the city of Khokarsa.) Minruth asks his daughter to marry him, but she refuses. Minruth (called the Mad behind his back) plans to keep the throne by hook or crook. Ruseth, a fisherman, invents the fore-and-aft sail.
Hadon becomes one of the winners of the Lesser Games in Opar.
The events of Hadon of Ancient Opar begin.
* Dioscoreophyllum cumminsi. A recently discovered red berry, native to West Africa. It’s three thousand times sweeter than sugar on a weight-for-weight basis. It is a protein, not a carbohydrate. See Signature magazine, March, 1973.
This chronology was originally published in Hadon of Ancient Opar by Philip José Farmer (DAW Books, 1974). All contents on this page are Copyright © 1974 by Philip José Farmer and Copyright © 2012 by The Philip J. Farmer Family Trust. All rights reserved.