Levantine Creep is a series of related social phenomenon and theories, both related to the expansion of Urcea and the general spread of Levantine influence. The first, more common "Levantine Creep" is a conspiracy theory narrative in Caphirian discourse to describe an alleged conspiracy that Urcea and its allies aim to harm, weaken or annihilate the societal system of Caphiria by “building a ring of colonies and concession states to ensnare Caphirian interests”. The perpetrators of the conspiracy are alleged to be mentiens latius (false Latins), itself stemming from another historical conspiracy. While the theory of the Levantine Creep is predominant in Caphiria, it has been slowly spread throughout Sarpedon as a result of the growth of Caphirian influence on the continent. The second "Levantine Creep" describes an observed expansion of Levantines into Punth, beginning with Burgundian interests in the south and growing with Urcean interests in the north. "Levantine Creep" in this context also refers to a social phenomenon within Urcea of the so-called "inexorable draw of the land of opportunity" of New Yustona and Punth in general, leading to widespread interest in migration eastward.
The origin of the Caphirian concept dates back to the mid 17th century, during the War of Urlazio where the coastal strip of the island of Urlazio was taken under Urcean control as a way to create a buffer between the two countries. This, as well as Urcean support for Veltorine independence in the late 18th century, contributed to a negative perception of Urcean interests and would spark several centuries of animosity between Caphiria and Urcea.
History of "Caphirian" Levantine Creep
The Caphirian theory of Levantine Creep began between 1625-1634, during the War of Urlazio. As a result of this conflict, Urcea took a beachhead on Urlazio in an effort to prevent Caphirian expansion into the Holy Levantine Empire. This war is generally agreed to be the genesis of the concept of “Levantine Creep”.
In 1782, Urcea intervened in the Veltorine War of Independence against Caphiria, committing forces from the Holy Levantine Empire on Sarpedon for the first time in history. As a consequence of Urcean support, the House de Weluta was rewarded with the Kingdom of Dorhaven following the conclusion of hostilities. Dorhaven induced a brief "Urcean Scare" in Caphiria which dramatically enhanced the conspiratorial and what some have called "paranoid" nature of the Levantine Creep theory. Dorhaven served as a "forward operating base" to guarantee the independence of Veltorina against Caphirian reconquest. It was during this period that Caphirians began to include the Crusades, as part of the theory to show a long history of what was referred to as "Levantine meddling".
In 1798, various Levantine powers established the Legatation of Ankivara in Reçêpistan. Caphirian hawks became alarmed at the speed at which Levantine influence crossed the width of Sarpedon, increasing paranoia. Later, in 1826, Burgundie seized the island of Port de Vent and was able to withstand a Kiravian attempt to disestablish the Burgundian presence in the Kindreds Sea. In Caphiria, this was interpreted as a broader plan between Burgundie and Urcea to encircle and destroy Caphiria.
Urcea's focus on the Caroline Wars in the 18th and 19th century decreased fears of an imminent Urcean invasion somewhat despite the Urcean acquisition of Nolis in 1860, but the Caphirian theory of Levantine Creep entered its modern form during the Occidental Cold War, when it became the official state rationale for the nation's geopolitical opposition to Urcea. With the Assumption Accords and end of the Cold War, many have surmised that the "Creep" phenomenon in Caphirian society has entered into decline.