Issue 18 Fictional States Summer 2005

The Empire of Atlantium

Robert Blackson



His Imperial Majesty George II, ruling over the Empire of Atlantium, has stated that nations whose identities are determined by their geographic boundaries or ethnic majority are gradually forcing themselves into a state of extinction. The Empire of Atlantium provides an alternative to the conventional terms of nationhood by offering a secular, democratic, republican monarchy that welcomes global, economic, and political union. To start fresh with a nondenominational foundation, the Empire of Atlantium's Acting Minister of Communications invented the Annus Novus Decimal Calendar System, which begins with the end of the last Ice Age. Each year in this calendar is divided into ten months that alternate between thirty-six and thirty-seven days in length. The names of each month and day are determined by Latin ordinal numbers. Latin is one of the two official languages of Atlantium (the other is English). His Imperial Majesty chose Latin because "it is relatively culturally neutral by virtue of the fact that it is no longer a 'living' language."1 The name Atlantium is derived from the Greek myth of Atalanta (just like Atlantic and Atlantis) and was chosen for its Roman heritage, from which the Empire has borrowed much of its state symbolism.

The Empire of Atlantium was founded on 3rd Decimus, 10500 (27 November 1981) by three optimistic Australian teenagers in the southern Sydney suburb of Narwee. By Sextarius 10521 (June 2002) the Empire had grown to accommodate over five hundred citizens in sixty countries. Atlantium supports numerous diplomatic representatives with Imperial legates in New Jersey, Pakistan, and Poland. Its capital in the central business district of Sydney is the world's smallest territorial state, measuring just sixty-one square meters. Regardless of this minimal territorial claim, Atlantium seeks to assert its legitimacy via the plurality of views embodied within its dispersed community of citizenship.

Unlike most other sovereign principalities and micro-nations, the Empire of Atlantium does not issue passports. Atlantium advocates the unrestricted movement of all peoples and therefore does not issue or recognize any form of restrictive travel documentation. "[A]nyone with the desire and motivation to forge their own destiny as a true citizen of the world is welcome to become a citizen of Atlantium."

  1. All quotes from www.atlantium.org.

Robert Blackson is the curator of the Reg Vardy Gallery at the University of Sunderland, UK. In 2004 he curated "We Could Have Invited Everyone," an exhibition researching the formation of independent principalities, micronations, and secret societies.

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