The Archaic State utilizes the first pole of sovereignty, the pole of conquest. Dumézil outlined the mythic origins of this pole, tracing it back to the figure of the magician-king. And, although Scott gives us a clear picture of the conquering king, he has only few remarks on the magic of the State. [[footnote: Scott's analysis of millenarian religious movements and their prophecy-driven exoduses are provocative, but insufficient when compared to substantial works in cultural anthropology on religious reactions to statecraft.]]
One thing is clear: the conquerer does not succeed by might alone. Mythology provides a clear entry point for considering the role of magic in sovereign conquest. Romulus, for example, twice risks defeat after founding Rome. To ensure success, Romlulus invokes Jupiter, and after each victory he founds a cult and erects temple in thanks to Jupiter (M-V, 53-4). But Romulus does not invoke Mars, as would be appropriate for a warrior-chief. Rather, it is Jupiter, the god of State, who brings Romulus victory in two particular aspects: Jupiter as divine protector of regnum by arms, and Jupiter the great magician that performs “a sovereign conjuring trick” to break the morale of the enemy (55). By combining these two specifications of Jupiter, we know that the Archaic State captures by arms and by magic.
“The Binder” is another name for this magician-king. And it is binding that specifies the connection between their use of arms and magic. War may be chaotic, but sovereign wars of conquest are not without rules. In fact, wars are waged to establish a specific set of obligations: a nexum of bonds and debts (98). In contrast to pacts, which are made between equal-and-willing parties, the bond is a knot tied with force. The power of bonds, then, comes from both arms and magic. The substance of those bonds is a shifting economy of the repayment for hostility, the cost of a life, or any other means to bind and subjugate (98, 99). But the bond is cast by a dazzling sovereign; for instance, the one-eyed gods who raise their spear, not to fight, but to paralyze the enemy with fright (129, 139-40, 143). And the stupor continues far past the battle as the sovereign uses his terrifying magic to convert the loser’s fright into a bond that divides the victorious from the conquered (155). It is through the sting of defeat that the magician-king marshals his forces; capturing the vanquished, appropriating their power from afar, and commanding them with his terrifying magic.