Doge Theon of Sinope
16 April 1889
25 December 1928 (aged 39)|
Theon Rallis (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1928) was the 178th Doge of Sinope from 1915 to his death in 1928. He was the youngest ever elected Doge of Sinope. His assassination on 25 December 1928 caused the stop of negotiation process between Calibria and Sinope over Kariko. Him and his wife, Marianna Stavros, contributed to the rise of their populist political ideology called Theonism.
Theon was born like all the children of the main branch of the Rallis family, in Lindos, Sinope. Raised in this aristocratic family with his brothers and sisters, he soon showed an interest in politics making him a potential family candidate for the Council of Ten and possibly the position of Doge.
Creation of Theonism
In his 1915 Manifesto, Theon was arguing that the national rebirth of Sinope, as opposed to the perceived decline of the Republic at the time, should include strong action to tackle poverty and should seek to build working class support. His ideas had the support of a majority of the population who were seeking better social conditions and a more socially responsible government. This was opposed by the conservative oligarchs, as well as by some important popular figures who preferred an ordered authoritarian regime to the radical and disruptive program proposed by Theon's populism.
With a mixed approval from the Council of Ten but a strong approval by the population, Theon was elected Doge in 1915 after the death of Doge Sotion.
Years in power
Facing difficult economic times in the world, Theon oversaw one of the largest infrastructure improvement campaigns in Sinopian history, leading to the construction of dams, roads, railroads, and other civil works. Wages were slightly lower in the mid to late 1920s compared with wages during the Belle Époque, while the cost of living increased by 15 per cent.
Theon's government sponsored architecture on an immense scale. Old Braavos was made a priority, because it was slowly sinking. Infrastructure and Transport Minister Sibylla Katsaros led the Braavos Foundations Project. It focused on the development of engineering and new architecture technologies to face several issues in the Sinopian capital. An undisclosed number of reinforced concrete pillars to reach the solid rocky soil beneath Old Braavos, under the original wooden piles which penetrated a softer layer of sand and mud until they reach a much harder layer of compressed clay. After geological studies by the Ministry, it was determined that a more rocky soil, dating back to pre-ice age Sinope, was under this layer of clay. The new reinforced concrete pillars were set on this soil, ensuring Old Braavos a much needed stability and resistance.
The Theon administration implemented the National Healthcare Policy of Sinope which established a universal healthcare system for the Republic. He defended vigorously the newly implemented universal health care and regional development programs as means of making society more just. He also implemented many procedural reforms, political process and government run more efficiently, significantly expanded the size and role of the Doge's office, and substantially expanded the welfare state, with the establishment of new programmes, and significant improvements in existing ones, with welfare payments to the aged, the young, and the underprivileged greatly expanded.
Throughout his years in power, Doge Theon always favored the establishment of peaceful and co-operative relations between Sinope and Calibria, while resolving Kariko's dispute between the two powers. The negotiations started in 1927 to end abruptly with Doge Theon's assassination in 1928.
On Sunday, 28 June 1928, at approximately 11:45 am, Doge Theon was killed in Braavos by Antonius Varinius, 19 at the time, a member of Young Calibria and one of a group of assassins organized by the Imperial Front. The event led to a chain of events that eventually triggered a wide anti-Calibrian sentiment in the Sinopian population and the end of negotiations between Calibria and Sinope about Kariko.
Theon remains well regarded by many Sinopians. However, the passage of time has only slightly softened the strong antipathy he inspired among his opponents. Theon's charisma and confidence as Doge, and his championing of the Sinopian identity are often cited as reasons for his popularity. His strong personality, contempt for his opponents and distaste for compromise on many issues have made him, as historian Sotiris Zabat puts it, "one of the most admired and most disliked of all Sinopian Doges."
Theon's wife, Marianna Stavros, was instrumental as a symbol of social justice to the population during Theon's years in power. Their marriage in 1913 was one of the most prestigious in the aristocratic oligarch history of Sinope.
Doge Theon was portrayed in a number of movies by various actors.