TRANTOR — The capital of the First Galactic Empire - Under Cleon I, it had its “twilight glow.” To all appearances, it was then at its peak. Its land surface of 200 million square kilometers was entirely domed (except for the Imperial Palace area) and underlaid with an endless city that extended beneath the continental shelves. The population was 40 billion and although the signs were plentiful (and clearly visible in hindsight) that there were gathering problems, those who lived on Trantor undoubtedly found it still the Eternal World of legend and did not expect it would ever...It is almost never pictured as a world seen from space. It has long since captured the general mind of humanity as a world of the interior, and the image is that of the human hive that existed under the domes. Yet there was an exterior as well and there are holographs that still remain that were taken from space and show varying degrees of detail (see Figures 14 and 15). Note that the surface of the domes, the interface of the vast city and the overlying atmosphere, a surface referred to in its time as 'Upperside is...At the beginning of the thirteenth millenium, this tendency reached it's climax. As the centre of the Imperial Government fro unbroken hundreds of generations and located, as it was, in the central regions of the Galaxy among the most densely populated and industrially advanced worlds of the system, it could scarcely help being the densest and richest clot of humanity the Race had ever seen. Its urbanization, progressing steadily, had finally reached the ultimate. All the land surface of Trantor, 75,000,000 square miles in extent, was a single city. The population, at its height, was well in excess of forty billions. This enormous population was devoted almost entirely to the administrative necessities of Empire, and found themselves to be few for the complications of the task. (It is to be remembered that the impossibility of proper administration of the Galactic Empire under the uninspired leadership of the later Emperors was a considerable factor in the Fall.) Daily, fleets of ships in the tens of thousands brought the produce of twenty agricultural worlds to the dinner tables of Trantor...Its dependence upon the outer worlds for food, and indeed, for all necessities of life, made Trantor increasingly vulnerable to conquest by siege. In the last millennium of the Empire, the monotonously numerous policy made Emperor after Emperor conscious of this, and Imperial policy became little more than the protection of Trantor's delicate jugular vein...By the middle of the Interregnum, Trantor was a shadow. In the midst of the colossal ruins, there lived a small community of farmers. (Prelude to Foundation, Foundation, Second Foundation)...
Trantor is a fictional world in the Foundation Universe (comprised of the Robot, Galactic Empire, and Foundation series) by Isaac Asimov.
|This article, Trantor, contains spoilers. Be forewarned, plot and/or ending details follow.
Trantor has a very long history first as the throne of the Kingdom of Trantor and later as the administrative center of the galaxy.
Although the books don't mention the exact date of the founding of the empire they often speak of 20,000 years before as the best estimate for pre-imperial times. During this time the known galaxy was split into many kingdoms which lived in a feudal system (similar to that of the Kingdom of Anacreon after the founding of First and Second Foundations). One of the kingdoms was the Kingdom of Trantor, the head of which was Trantor itself.
The earliest appearance of Trantor in Asimov's Future History is a time when the Trantorian Empire (not yet the Galactic Empire) controls half of the Galaxy while the other half is divided into countless smaller states, each comprising a single stellar system or a few systems. By definition, in each of these small states the Trantorian Ambassador is a person of considerable importance and power, and the future in which Trantor would engulf the entire Galaxy is already clearly foreshadowed.
Once the Galactic Empire was founded the capital became Trantor for several reasons.
- Trantor was as close to the center of the galaxy as a planet can be
- In fact, all distances from "core" are marked from Trantor
- Trantor was already an important place as the capital of a power kingdom
Trantor then became the most powerful planet in the galaxy with quotes like "All roads lead to Trantor, and that is where all stars end" showing its general importance that lasted for over 20 millennia.
- As the time passed, the people of Trantor became more specialized only in the control of the Galactic Empire.This is one of the cause of it's fall. Another one is the dependence of other planets for alimentation.
Fall of the Empire
The fall of the empire was first noted by Eto Demerzel, the Emperor Cleon's First Minister. However, like any sudden deterioration, the Empire was in its golden age during the period that Eto Demerzal noted this. The Empire, specifically on Trantor with its population of over 40 billion, was becoming too administrative and was beginning to ignore the upkeep of itself. First the crime rate shot up, then various infrastructure began to fail, and the Empire fell.
Second Foundation's Role
During the fall of the Empire the Second Foundation was founded by Wanda Seldon through Hari Seldon. These mental scientists were kept secret and set up their base of operation in the Imperial Library.
The Sack of Trantor
A couple of centuries after the fall of the Empire, Trantor was finally attacked and destroyed by several different warring kingdoms. Only the Imperial Sector was spared through the Second Foundation's actions. The only native Trantorians, known to themselves as Hamish-folk, began an agrarian society among the ruins of Skyscrapers.
At the time of the Stettinan War Trantor was known as a agricultural planet exporting high quality animal fodder and grains.
Trantor is an entirely domed world with the exception of the Imperial Sector. Reminiscent of the Caves of Steel on Old Earth much of Trantor is placed underground in order to support the billions of residents. In fact most of Trantor's food supplies is shipped to Trantor by its neighboring 25 worlds. Trantor is comprised of 800+ different sectors each of which is like its own world their cultures differ so greatly.
Sectors and Districts
These sectors/districts are divided for administrative purposes and because of different cultures. Trantor had over 800, averaging 50,000,000 people each, in 240,000 km² (90,000 miles²), about the size of Kansas. The known sectors are:
- Billibotton district
- Dahl district
- Ery district
- Imperial district
- Mandanov district
- Millimary district
- Mycogen district
- North Damiano district
- Streeling district
- Wye district
- Ziggoreth district