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  • I am in the process of creating two new infoboxes for countries. We formerly never had a dedicated infobox for countries. Currently, all our country articles instead use "location" infoboxes. While countries are locations, the fields for the location infoboxes haven't really fit for countries. For example, there is a field for what country the place is located in, which is weird when the infobox is about the country itself.  There was a "ruling body" field mostly used to name the municipal government of a city, but people had long been using it instead to list the different forms of government of a country... which was confusing. Then there was the "date founded" field which was meant for the date a city was founded but instead has been used to give a long list of dates drawn from Wikipedia for when the county was reorganized.

    Wikipedia's approach

    Long story short, our articles on countries need their own dedicated infobox. But there's an additional complication. In Wikipedia, a page on the current regime of a country is merged with the page on that civilization itself for the entirety of its history in most cases. Hence, Greece is not just about the current Hellenic Republic but also "Greece" as an abstract concept of a continuous civilization, a continuous "country" from antiquity to now. Apart from this, there are individual pages on past Greek regimes leading up to it. The exception to this is when a "country" is clearly divided into two different regimes, as is the case between North and South Korea. Once upon a time, Wikipedia even had spearate articles for China the civilization, the Republic of China, and the People's Republic of China, but a heated debate over neutral point-of-view ultimately led to the merging of the last with the first under Wikipedia's Common Name policy.

    Merging of pages for a civilization and the current regime that currently represents it is a matter of convenience for readers in the real-world. However, I have come to think that it only creates more confusion in the context of our wiki which is not so anchored in the real-world, from the perspective of the present-day. When we talk about Egypt and Greece, we are usually talking about ancient Egypt and Greece not the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Hellenic Republic. We also had a confusing issue where our articles relating to Unity kept linking to France, an article written to be about the modern French Fifth Republic, whenever both the Kingdom of France and the French First Republic were brought up.

    Our approach

    Because of this, we had formerly decided that our country articles would be separate from all articles on particular regimes (e.g. Ottoman Empire, Song dynasty, Ptolemaic Kingdom, etc.), keeping even a page on the current government if needed separate, unlike Wikipedia. However, we still haven't fully implemented this change.

    To clarify how I am using the word country, country is a rather ambiguous term in political science and to my understanding, not at all technical, unlike state (whose definition is also debated but there are some commonly agreed upon criteria). While colloquially country is synonymous with sovereign state, not all countries need to be sovereign. Wales, England, and Scotland are conventionally regarded as countries, and technically even the individual states of the United States and Hong Kong are countries—any state with significant autonomy. At the same time, country is an informal word which I think we can use here to conveniently refer to the rather vague concept of a relatively continuous civilization without stressing over the particularities of whether it is a nation, empire, nation-state, sovereign state, current government, etc. In other words, I am going to be using country as a vague unit for the sake of convenience here. If you guys have any issues with that, I can switch to using civilization instead.

    I think that our "country" articles should lean towards being about the general civilization, so Greece, Japan, Egypt, China, etc. will all be about those civilizations. They also don't necessarily have to lead with defining them by their current state. In light of this, I have also created separate infoboxes for "country" and "regime". They might have a few fields which overlap, but they mostly have different parameters. For example, both of them have fields for the capital, but the country infobox will gives both the current capital and historical capitals since in some cases the latter is more relevant to Assassin's Creed works. The country infobox also has a field that gives the current state that represents it while also listing past states whereas the regime infobox concerns only that one particular government and lists its legislature, sovereign, military, etc.

    Since this is long overdue and our country pages are really a complete mess, I am going to go right ahead to implement these changes almost immediately, but if you guys have any suggestions to modify the infobox fields, reorganize them, or anything else, I can apply those changes as I work. :)

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    • I’m still of the opinion that we should try to use ethnic groups that are separate from national demonyms.

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    • Lacrossedeamon wrote:
      I’m still of the opinion that we should try to use ethnic groups that are separate from national demonyms.

      What are you referring to exactly? And I think this is the first time I've heard you bring this up. :0

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    • I think we had this discussion ages back dealing with ethnicity and nationality categories. But for example instead of Greek for ethnicity we could use Hellenes or Copts (since it originally was applied regardless of religion) instead of Egyptians.

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    • Yes I prefer to use distinct names for ethnicity and nationality as well. That is why if you look at the Vietnam and Japan infoboxes, I used Kinh instead of Vietnamese and Yamato instead of Japanese although this practice isn't as common. I wasn't aware (or forgot) that the Greek ethnicity could also be called Hellenes, but I will change it to that right away. I will refrain from changing Egyptian to Copt though because I fear that will cause confusion since Copt nowadays is almost always used to refer to the ethnoreligious group. Moreover, the ethnic field is meant to cover major ethnic groups throughout the civilization's history, not necessarily something rested in the modern demographics; I'm not confident that in the context of Ptolemaic Egypt, copt was used for ethnic Egyptians then. I don't know when the term first arose. As well, in modern times many Egyptian Muslims still identify as ethnically Egyptian not Arab but not as Copt.

      This example aside, I agree we should try to use a different name when one exists.

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    • According to Wikipedia's Coptic Identity and Egyptian pages it arose in Greco-Roman period to differentiate the native lower class from the foreign rulers. This was carried over during the Arabization of Egypt with Copts only becoming tied to those remaining Christian in the Mamluk period. I’d say considering Copts an ethnoreligious group would be the identity rested in modern demographics rather than just the ethnic connotations.

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    • It is, but the article also covers Egypt in all the thousands of years before the Greco-Roman period and also, as I said, many Egyptian Muslims still identify their ethnicity as Egyptian as far as I know, so I don't wish to cause any confusion. Truthfully, I am trying to be very careful about ethnic groups because I don't wish to offend anyone if a minority isn't listed or if a group is listed but in a way that they're unfamiliar with it or feel is inaccurate.

      Going off of that, what do you think about the limits we should place on listing ethnic groups? :( It's that same issue of balancing between Assassin's Creed sources and real-world sources. We could choose to limit ourselves to just the former, but I actually thought filling out this field with real-world sources is fine since it's very basic information. Otherwise, I would not be able to list "Han" for China or "Yamato" for Japan. Even so, this presents the problem of where to draw the line of listing minority groups since if we cannot list every group for some countries or it will cause a massive list. This is neverminding that nowadays, there are immigrants from places all around the world in every major country.

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    • It is definitely a delicate topic especially with how ethnic identity blends with or is superseded by national identity a lot (which I believe, with only the vaguest notions, is the case here). Maybe as a bullet point under Egyptians we can place Copts but I’m also okay with erring on the side of caution.

      As for real world info I’m okay with what you’ve done. Non AC sourced real world info about people and events should be minimized as those facts are more subject to change but broad cultural, societal, political, demographical, etc aspects of the civilization are not (at least since they retconned the Abstergo news wire).

      When drawing the line I think we should prioritize the demographics represented within the AC universe first. On that end I’d suggest adding Nubian to Egypt’s list since we have a good number of characters that are that ethnicity.

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    • I completely agree with all those points, so I didn't really have anything else to say. :P Nubians should also definitely be included in Egypt's list; they are mentioned in The Secret Crusade as well. Off the top of my head, I don't remember which characters in Origins are explicitly said to be Nubian though.

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    • Khensa and a few others from Desert Oath are explicitly mentioned. I can’t remember if Taharqa or Khaliset are described as such either in the game or the guide.

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    • I just wanted to update everyone what I'm doing so far. I'm going through every country page we have and updating the infobox, mostly filling all the fields. I'm wary that some of the formatting or extent of real-world information may not be ideal at the moment, but for the sake of efficiency, I am just completing the infoboxes first. I am also not really citing the information because it is taking way too long as it is. When I am done with this first step, I will go through all of them a second time to review what sort of formatting would be better and what content should be removed or otherwise modified. Finally, I will make sure that everything is properly cited.

      Of course, if anyone has any suggestions in the meantime, please feel free to provide them.

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    • A FANDOM user
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