Asimov
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The Periphery refers to the outer rims of the Galactic Empire, including planets such as Anacreon and Santanni. Imperial control is weakest in the Periphery, as planet governors there frequently possess their own fleets. Santanni revolts during Forward the Foundation. About 50 years after the First Foundation is established on Terminus, the emperor granted the Periphery autonomy. This effectually removed them completely from Imperial control, making the dissolution of the Empire far more apparent than it had been before. As time passed, more and more fringe worlds of the Galactic Empire were chipped away by the barbarian kingdoms of the Periphery.

Two centuries after the establishment of the First Foundation, even more of the Periphery had degenerated into barbarian kingdoms, and the Empire only controlled the inner third of the galaxy - but this inner third was always its core power-base, controlling three-quarters of the entire galaxy's wealth and population. As a result, many in the inner provinces still openly derided the suggestion that the Empire was in a "decline" at all.

The technical term for the specific part of the Periphery on the far opposite side of the galaxy's disk from Terminus was the "Opposing Periphery".

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