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Alternate History Thread II...

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Xen, Sep 25, 2005.

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  1. North King

    North King blech

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    OOC: Just to jolt this back to life.

    The year was 1414 AD, and storm clouds were stirring over Europe.

    The church, usually the bulwark of the continent, was divided, not just into the usual Catholic and Orthodox, but into four separate factions. The ever-present Patriarch in Constantinople, of course, but three instead of the usual one opposed him. The Western Schism was in full swing, and there seemed no way to reconcile the three (!) Popes.

    Finally, frustrated by this religious clashing, and aware for one of the few times in the history his title, Emperor Sigismund realized that the first word in his title was “Holy”, and took it upon himself to reconcile the religions and focus on more important things. Like burning that heretic, Hus.

    Hence, on November 16, 1414, a large group of churchmongers met to decide what to do with the popes springing up left and right, and how to reconcile them. It was then that Sigismund made the most important act in perhaps all of the next century, or even beyond, that defined not only how the Council would proceed, but how the history of Europe would proceed as a whole.

    He contemplated how many people regarded him as a secular ruler more than a religious ruler. He also contemplated how he regarded himself in the same way. He also, in a fit of divination, recognized that if he were to hang around, so would all the other secular rulers, and that they would demand concessions, clogging the way for badly needed reform. He decided, in short, to leave the popes and bishops to their own devices and to keep the nobles in check.

    No matter why he decided to, it was that he did that made all the difference.

    The religious leaders started well enough, but without the constant presence and suggestions and pressure of the Emperor, while they were stopped from any secular fights, they soon had broken into something resembling war in the council halls, with followers of each pope declaring the illegitimacy of the others.

    Meanwhile, without the promise of safe conduct that Sigismund himself might have issued, Jan Hus immediately resisted the notion of traveling to Constance. The religious decree was far more hostile than any secular one; it demanded him to come to Constance to face trial for heresy. Hence, Hus stayed in Bohemia, and his teachings grew more and more acceptance.

    With the church in deadlock, the council fell apart in late 1415, nothing accomplished, all three popes at odds, the Holy Roman Emperor’s experiment failed. The people began to lose faith in the Catholic church... They couldn’t even agree on a single pope, why should they be trusted for more important matters? And Hus’ teachings of finding the truth in Christianity by finding it in yourself, the denial of the authority of the popes to dictate your life, and his support of the sensible side of the now infamous controversy over indulgences towards the church.

    Then on December 25, Christmas day, all hell broke loose. The decree of the King of Bohemia on this day was, for all intents and purposes, rebellion against the church:

    “It is the view of the new clergy of Bohemia and the king of the same that... in light of the inexcusable excesses committed by members of the clergy in the Holy Roman Empire... that the Papacy, fractured as it is, cannot control the clergy in these excesses. Thus, it is our decision to endorse the teachings of Jan Hus; and to allow free preaching thereof in the entirety of Bohemia. Furthermore, those who might attempt to reinstate the old clergy of Bohemia shall be resisted... by all means available to the crown of said nation.”

    Suddenly, to people all over Europe, it didn’t seem quite as heretical to be a... heretic.
     
  2. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Interesting, but there are some problems here. Namely, the King of Bohemia (and the former Holy Roman Emperor!) Wenceslas was a) weak, b) indecisive and c) in spite of early verbal support for Hus, ignored him when he was burned. Indeed, Wenceslas seemed to love ignoring things. That was how he lost the Holy Roman Empire...

    And incidentally, if we kill Wenceslas off in hope to replace him, the most logical successor is... Sigismund.

    I guess that Wenceslas, who was losing power to a royal council anyway, could be swayed by the pro-reform majority to make that decree. But, there won't be too much of a difference from OTL in that regard, albeit the Hussites will have more semblance of legality. Perhaps after Wenceslas dies, a regency appears that eventually evolves into a Swiss-like republic/confederation?

    Now, about Hus. IMHO his survival will help start an early Reformation, and will keep the Hussites together, so they might weather the storm.

    Then there are some interesting things in Poland... With a more legitimate Hussite rebellion, pro-Hussite Wladyslaw II is likely to openly embrace it. Lithuania? Most Lithuanians were still pagan at the time, so they could be converted to the particular Hussite Christianity...

    ...and one last thing, nomenclature. They probably wouldn't be called Hussites, so perhaps Reformists? Evangelists? Bicommunionists? (Communists? :p )
     
  3. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    OOC: A repost of mein Kadesh althist, as it isn't yet finished. Also a new part included.

    IC:

    Picture to yourself, a rocky humid land, with small villages and impressive fortified sandstone cities. An unnavigable river streams as far as an eye could see.

    A great fortified city stands on that river; and behind its mound, there is an army.

    Two scouts returned to their king, who was with that army. They brought good news; the enemy fell for their trap. They tricked them, and managed to escape. The king is furious; his subjects are thinking of their hides rather then of HIS greatness! Their escape might hint the enemy off!

    Charioteers! Quickly, to battle! Before the Egyptians realize what happened, we must strike!

    History will never be the same again...

    ---

    It is the 13th century BC, in Syria. Syria is still divided into city states, weak ones, that traditionally were a battlefield between three empires...

    To the north, the Land of Hatti, the land of great warriors, who are made particularily interesting by the fact that they spoke a "Nesite" langauge. Though in the past, Great Kings of Hatti shared their power with an elective "pankus", this tradition gradually ceased to be. Now, the kings ruled supreme.

    To the south, Egypt, a land that scarcely needs any introduction, a land of the Pharaohs... and their slaves. Arrogant, Egyptians nonetheless have good reasons for it; for none is a state that is stronger then Egypt. So far.

    To the east, Mitanni, a great Mesopatamian empire, and a one that was for long the ruler of Syria. It was gradually pushed back, but the Mitanni remained a significant regional power until...

    ...1360, when the Mitanni united Egypt and Hatti against themselves. In a series of battles, the Mitanni were crushed; Hittites sacked the capital, Wassukkani, and dynastic strife ensued with the death of the last Mitanni king. Eventually, Hittites fully took over Mitanni; this wasn't a long-term conquest, as eventually most of Mitanni lands were lost to the Assyrians, but the Hittittes didn't want them all that much. They gained what they did want - hegemony in Northern Syria.

    Thus now, with Mitanni gone, it was Hatti vs. Egypt, one on one. However, without allies, neither side seemed to be stronger then the other, so stalemate ensued in Syria. Both sides incited rebels against each other, Egyptians tried to win Assyrians over to their side... but the situation remained unconclusive.

    Then, a new, energetic dynasty rose to power in Egypt - the 19th dynasty. Ramses I didn't reign long, but his son Seti did, and he started campaigns into Syria, fighting Muwatallis of Hatti; the results, again, were rather inconclusive, but the order was temporarily settled on the Orontes river.

    Orontes river, on whose side stood the city of Kadesh, the city that constantly switched hands. Independant, Mitanni, Hittite, Egyptian, Hittite again... It was only natural that one of the greatest battles of the ancient world, between Muwatallis' Hittites and Ramses II's Egyptians should take place at that city, in 1275 BC.

    The Hittites used classical disinformation; they had "defectors" inform Ramses II that the Hittites were amassing at Aleppo, whilst they really were at Kadesh. Elated, the Pharaoh hurried to besiege Kadesh before the Hittites come. Just before the battle, the "defectors" - really Hittite spies - separated from the army and made way for Kadesh; by the time the Egyptians noticed their absence, it was too late. Re and Amon divisions were routed; Muwatallis, nervous before the battle, encouraged his forces to finish off the Egyptians before plundering, and Ramses, surrounded, was cut down. Hitittes won a crushing victory; they followed it up by defeating the Egyptian Canaanite mercenaries that came too late and by plunging headfirst towards Meggido.

    What ensued in Egypt could only be described as chaos. Khaemweset I rose to power, but it was a very shaky rule, for the southern provinces rose in arms, and so did all of the Asian holdings. Libyans raided as far as Pi-Ramesse. And the Hittites exploited all this chaos well. The desert chieftains in all of Egyptian Asian holdings were only too happy to join them; the cities, such as Byblos, were not as enthusiastic about it, but upon a guarantee of their comparative autonomy, they were swayed as well. Hittite factual control was now extended as far as Gallilea; and further south, vassal states arose. Muwatallis was allegedly planning a conquest of Egypt itself when he suddenly died, to be succeeded by Mursilis III. Mursilis proved a weak ruler, and civil disorder under his rule allowed Egypt to recover. Nonetheless, the Hittites managed to fight off Assyrians in the east whilst the western border was quite "calm" - that is to say, Lycians and Thracian-Phrygian tribes had better things to do, fighting on the Trojan side in the ongoing Trojan War; Lycians in particular distinguished themselves, saving Troy from certain destruction at Greek hands (actual reasons for the draw in the Trojan War are butterfly effect plus the generally-weaker state of Greece caused by more long-term disruption of Levantine trade and by the stronger Hittites forcing would-be Phrygian Thracians to concentrate more on fighting Greeks; that said, one might also note that if we assume the "Ahhiyawans" mentioned in Hittite texts are indeed Achaens, a stronger Hittite Empire is liable to assist Trojans against this state that is perceived as strong and potentially-hostile).

    Eventually, the Hittites gained another great leader - in 1252, Telepinus II the Great rose to power. By then, Khaemwese managed to restore some semblance of order in Egypt; but it was not enough to become a threat to the Hittites yet. Indeed, Telepinus cast his eyes in a different direction - to the east. Ever since the Mitanni fell, Hanigalbat, the Hittite province there, fell under Assyrian control, but eventually regained independance and begun regaining power. The Hittites traditionally encouraged this; they found a buffer state against Assyria useful. But the Assyrians were still firmly on the rise, and they felt that Hanigalbat was theirs by right. An opportunity appeared when Shalmaneser, whilst campaigning in Urartu, was sneak-attacked by Hanigalbatians, who cut him off from water supplies. His Assyrians managed to fight their way out of this predicament, though, and soon carried the war to Hanigalbat. Hittites were at first taken by surprise as Hanigalbat was crushed and subdued; then again, perhaps Telepinus wanted Hanigalbat out of the way just as well. Persuading the Babylonians that Shalmaneser was a grave threat, the Hittites soon entered the war, defeating the Assyrians at Harran; Shalmaneser tried to fight on, but he was pushed back on both "fronts", and eventually Assyria was partitioned between the victorious powers. That was in 1249. But soon, problems about how it should be divided arose, and Telepinus now started a war with Babylon. Babylonians at that time were also preoccupied with the Elamites, so they proved easier prey for the great Hittite hordes. In 1247, Hittites had conquered Babylon yet again; Elamites, meanwhile, extended their rule as far west as Ur.

    It is unclear whether Telepinus intended to attack Elam as well, as the Egyptians soon gained his attention. Whilst he was in the east, they incited a major Canaanite rebellion; however, one of the conspirators, a Hebrew chieftain, gave up the secret of the rebellion to Telepinus; Hebrews still had a grudge with Egypt, and with the other Canaanites too. So Telepinus did manage to despatch a small army to defeat the rebellion whilst he was preoccupied; but it was not enough, for Egyptians decided to send their own army in as well. Hittites were defeated at Gaza, and so Telepinus had to put any more Mesopatamian ambitions on hold. Instead, he pursued war with Egypt. Egyptians since then managed to reform their army, adopting the Hittite three-man chariot. In a close-ran battle at Har Megiddo, however, the Egyptians still were defeated, and Telepinus pressed forward into Egypt. Khaemwese organized a defiant resistance, but it was no use, and by 1240 Egypt, apart from the breakaway southern provinces, was subdued. Telepinus now ruled the largest Hittite Empire ever; it was most unfortunate that he died soon after.

    No, the Hittite Empire didn't fall apart immediately, though it was weakened by the rebellions and lost several periphereal holdings, especially in western Anatolia. The Empire held on to life until 1228, when Telepinus III passed away. Egypt and Assyria quickly regained independance; Phrygians captured a northwestern chunk of Anatolia; and all this scarcely mattered, for soon the entire map of the western Middle East was to be rewritten. Rewritten by the Sea Peoples.

    ---

    In the late 13th century BC, the world was changing. The world was moving. And as the barbarian tribes overwhelmed much of the civilized world, chaos ensued and darkness fell. The Sea Peoples ravaged and colonized the Mediterranean; the Dorians overran Greece; the Medes invaded Middle East from Central Asia, whilst the Aramaeans burst out of the Arabian Desert. Elamites, who achieved a brief hegemony in Mesopatamia, were caught between those two forces and overran.

    But gradually, the world that has gone mad calmed down again, and things settled down. 900 BC is a nice, round date (not as round as 1000, perhaps, but I have my reasons); let us look on what the known world has turned into by then, from west to east.

    Bronze Age has spread by this time to much of Europe, and indeed to vast other parts of Eurasia. The various Celtic tribes were really not much different from that other world, where the Battle at Kadesh resulted in a draw. But their neighbours in the south were increasingly different. The Iberian civilization in Tartessos was fairly similar to OTL... but Italy was already quite changed. Put simply; there were no "Tyrrhenians". In a different world, those Tyrrhenians would have been better known as Etruscans; but due to different history of the Sea Peoples, the "Tyrrhenians" - or, rather, the Teresians, from Teresh, settled, along with some of the Shekelesh, in the region of Sicily and North Africa, in the latter on the northeastern coast. A rudimentary Bronze Age civilization was slow to develop, but as more and more Greek and Phoenicean merchants came... As for Italy, it was still populated by... Italics, such as Umbrians. A notable exception were the Messapians in the southeast.

    (I know that the proposal that Etruscans are indeed some of the Sea Peoples is not universally accepted; nonetheless, I am inclined to agree with that version. As for Etruscans settling in Carthage, a combination of butterfly effect and the generally more "southern" orientation for the Sea Peoples; see below. Incidentally, the Sardinians, or the Sherden, in this world settled elsewhere as well. Ligurians still inhabit Corsica-Sardinia as a result.)

    Greece gradually settled down and came out of the Dark Age at this time. Trade, and steady colonization (of westernmost Anatolia, primarily - Cyprus was divided between the Phoeniceans and the Kizutians), took place.

    Egypt just came out of the Third Intermediate Period (approx. 1180-920 BC), during which it was ruled by the Peleset and other Sea People tribes. The Peleset were gradually assimilated by the Egyptians, and, much like the Hyksos, brought some new things with themselves - most importantly, naval tradition, that allowed the strenghthening of Red Sea and Mediterranean trade. However, the Peleset still were foreigners, and as such faced growing amounts of rebellions; eventually, Amenptah overthrew them and founded the 22nd Dynasty, which immediately begun southwards expansion.

    Anatolia was at the time a patchwork of states. In the northwest, Troy was an increasingly powerful empire, extending into southeastern Thrace as well. Albeit the Trojan rulers were at least quarter-Phrygian, as a legacy of a "conquest" (according to the legend, Trojans had a civil war and invited a Phrygian warlord to rule if he were to a) bring order and b) beat up the OTHER Phrygians roaming around; evidently, that Phrygian, called Gordus, did both), the Phrygians interbred with the Trojans and were effectively assimilated. Semi-tribal states of Kaska and Mysia appeared on Anatolia's Black Sea coast. Luwians in Western Anatolia were hemmed in between the Neohittites and the Greeks. As for the former... "Neohittites" were essentially the same old Hittites, with a minor infusion of Phrygian and Lydian blood and ideas, not to mention badly shaken by the collapse of the Hittite Empire. Neohittite states existed in Central and Southern Anatolia, and in Syria; it was in Southern Anatolia where the strongest of those states was beginning to rise to prominence, Kizus. Shielded by other Neohittite states, Kizus grew rich from commerce, and a cultural renaissance begun as well. Colonies were built in northern Cyprus. And already, expansion into Syria begun.

    In the Levant, between the Neohittites and Egypt, the Phoenicean city states coexisted with the moderately-strong kingdom of Canaan, founded by Dhanel I in 943 from Canaanite city states and tribes. Canaan was a rich land, and as such was threatened by Egypt and the Neohittites. Dhanel fought back these invaders, and further consolidate Canaan's trade network.

    In Mesopatamia, two empires were engaged in intermittent warfare: Urartu, which stretched from Ararat to Palmyra and Assyria (Assyria Proper, that is) and Chaldean Elam (the cultural heir to the Elamite Empire), in Southern Mesopatamia, Elam, and certain nearby desert regions.

    To the east from the two, the Medean tribes increasingly gained strenght and coherence... their time was drawing increasingly near.
     
  4. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Towards 650 BC, knowledge of iron working spread widely, from Subsaharan Africa to the Eurasian Steppe, from Hibernia to China. The world by then was seemingly "established", as empires and lesser states consolidated their previous gains. How little did they know of the major changes that were drawing near...

    Ahem. Regardless, life went on. Tartessos was rising in importance as a trade center, and also begun slowly consolidating hold of southern Iberian and northern Mauritan coasts. Italic tribes continued to exist in disunity, occasionally allying with each other to drive off Celts or Messapians. Teresians begun establishing an urban civilization...

    But all that became rather irrelevant in the last two centuries - for Greece was filled with energy and was increasingly overpopulated, and so Greeks begun colonizing Sicily and indeed Teresian lands. After coming into conflict, Greek colonists, rallying around a semi-legendary figure called Demetrios, destroyed much of the aforementioned Teresian urban civilization (admittedly, Berber nomads and internal strife had more to do with it, but the downfall of the Teresians was mostly brought about by disastrous defeats at the hands of Demetrios). Demetrios promptly died soon after, but the most important thing was achieved, and Greeks gradually settled Sicily and Teresia (OTL Tunisia). They also caused havoc in southeastern Italy, slightly later; their colonists got along fine with the Italics (profitable trade), but ran into trouble with Messapians, whom they defeated and forced to migrate westwards; this further disrupted the situation in Italy, but eventually, the Samnite-led Italic League formed and defeated Messapians in the south and Celts in the north. Tartessos was affected by the Greeks in a different way; the appearence of Greek trade outposts in Sardinia and southeastern Iberia further strenghthened the mercantile kingdom.

    Meanwhile, what has transpired in Greece itself? Well... life went on (didn't I say that before?). Cities were built, they became states, cultural flourishing was beginning... Politically, the newly-democratic polis of Corinth was increasingly besieged by the tyrannies of Argos and Athens. Sparta in the far south was still recovering from the disastrous war with Argos, but it scarcely had any prospects, being surrounded by Argive allies and puppets.

    Egypt was on the march, conquering Canaan and Cush (but failing to conquer Cyreneica; that was taken by the Kizians). Apart from that, Egyptian trade posts were also established as far as Adulis in Africa and Muza in Arabia. The former was especially important, as trade with the rising kingdom of Geray (OTL Axum). Similarily, in Arabia a loose state of Zafar emerged, but trade with it wasn't quite as profitable yet.

    Greek colonies in Ionia were constantly threatened by the Trojans, who in fact, whilst ruled by Paris II (r. 715-677), got as impolite as to rout the Greek allied army at Assus and to subdue Greek lands in Asia Minor as far south as Ephesus. Trojans also expanded eastwards, conquering all of Bythinia and some more chunks, thus eventually taking over much of the western third of Anatolia apart from some of the coastal (Greek) regions and from the extreme southwestern Anatolia. Luwian tribes lived there, and were gradually pushed down into mediocrity by their neighbours.

    Mysians briefly conquered the Kaskas, northcentral, northeastern Anatolia and Hatussas in circa 800 BC; afterwards, their empire crumbled into Mysianic statelets. But the really important consequence of all this was the fatal weakening of the northern Neohittite states. Labarnas III of Kizus (r. 798-775) used this well, uniting the south Anatolian Neohittite states with just one battle, at Tuvanuva, preceded and followed up with much intrigue. Labarnas then brought war to the Phoeniceans...

    The aforementioned Phoeniceans were, at the time, increasingly expansionist and even captured the Kizian city of Lewwkaya, in Cyprus. Phoenicea was little more then an alliance of city-states, nominally headed by Tyre. To the east from Phoenicea, the semi-Neohittite (more like Aramean) state of Dimashqa was fairly powerful, stretching from Carchemish to Urusalim. Labarnas managed to win over the Dimashqans as allies, promising them sovereignity over mainland Phoenicea (sans Tyre) and a favorable settlement of the territorial disputes in northern Syria.

    Phoeniceans were not very good on the land, but they had a formidable fleet; much of that fleet's advantages were annuled by the proverbial amounts of mis-coordination between the fleets of different cities. Thus, the Phoenicean navy was exterminated within two months in a series of decisive battles; Lewwkaya was reclaimed with bloodshed; the rest of Cyprus was liberated soon after as well. Dimashqans besieged the Phoenicean cities, Labarnas III personally led a seaborne assault on Tyre; within a year, the proud land of the Phoeniceans was subdued, and though with the destruction of the Dimashqan Empire by Urartians and civil strife two decades later most Phoenicean cities (apart from Tyre, naturally) regained their independance, they were crippled by this experience and gradually subdued by the Kizians, albeit remaining semi-autonomous.

    Briefly before that, the Dimashqans, together with Egypt, partitioned Canaan; with the fall of Dimashqa itself, formerly-Dimashqan northern Canaan was absorbed by the Egyptians as well.

    Urartu was temporarily the predominant power in the Fertile Crescent, from Lake Galilee to the Zagros Mountains, but by 650 BC it fell into civil war, with Babylonia, Elam, Carchemish (western Mesopatamia, northeastern Syria) and Kadesh (the rest of inland Syria) seceding. In the meantime, Armenian and Scythian barbarians struck from the north, looting the imperial capital - Tushpa.

    That was the known civilized world as of 650 BC. It was a year earlier, in 651 BC, that slightly to the east from this known world a person known as Xaraortes came to power in Ecbatana, uniting the nearby Medean tribes under his rule after some six years of intense warfare...

    ---

    It was in early 12th Century BC that the Iranians from Central Asia settled down to the east from the Fertile Crescent and Elam. Iranians could be divided into Medians and Persians. The latter were latecomers to Iran, and thus were different from the Medians, who gradually changed under cultural influence. But the Medians, for all the foreign influences, still were a nation of warriors, and had great numbers. All they needed was a leader.

    Xaraortes was that leader. Born in, as believed, 673 BC, he was a fairly insignificant Median nobleman. But his personal charisma, combined with overpopulation and lust for adventures widespread amongst the Medians, allowed him to gather a large army of followers and to persuade several Median "kings" and chieftains to ally with him. He started his campaign to unify the Medians in 655 BC. It was not easy; he was opposed by Teorxes, king of Ecbatana, who managed to ally with Persians and Cimmerians, as well as with some lesser Median tribes. He faced an early defeat at Bisitun, but afterwards regrouped, adopted several military reforms and acquired mercenaries and siege engines. Ecbatana was taken in 651 BC.

    With scarcely a break, Xaraortes, having been declared the padishah of Medes, expelled Cimmerians, Teorxes' allies from the north, and took the war to the Persians. They resisted bravely, but were cut down and by 648 BC most Iranian tribes were united.

    Having once more reorganized and strenghthened his armies, in 646 BC Xaraortes invaded the civil war-struck Fertile Crescent. Elam, Babylonia, Urartu, Carchemish, Kadesh... they all fell, being unable to unite effectively. Egyptians were at the time trying to restore their power in Syria, using the same situation as the Medians, but Xaraortes didn't like that, so he defeated them at Hazor (643 BC). The Egyptians were chased as far as Mount Sinai, where they were defeated again and forced to pay an one-time tribute and cede Canaan to the victorious Medians. Then Xaraortes defeated the Kyzians, building up a fleet, allying with Phoenicean insurgents who were promised autonomy and effectively expelling the Kyzians from Phoenicea, with minimal casualties given the difficult nature of the operations here. He also invaded southeastern Anatolia, but in the great battle at Mersin, albeit victorious, he took heavy casualties. For the recognition of his conquest of Phoenicea and an almost-nominal tribute, he agreed to leave Kyzus intact. Finally, he subjugated Armenians and Transcaucasian Scythians, moving the northern border to Caucasus. That was the western front.

    To the east and northeast from Medes, Scythian and other nomadic tribes menaced Medes, and frequently attacked it. Xaraortes' son, Cyaxerxes, fought back raids, but lacked his father's experience - and, admittedly, large armies - needed to put an end to this all. In 640-636 BC, in a difficult, nearly-fatal (Xaraortes thrice came close to death during it) campaign, Median reign was extended into southern Central Asia, as far as the Aral Sea and Jaxartes (modern Sur Darya) River. Fortresses were built, Scythians were taxed. But Xaraortes wasn't through with his eastern frontier yet. In 635 BC, already ill, he led a campaign to conquer Gandhara and indeed to make Thar Desert his eastern border. Now he could die happy.

    In 634 BC, he did. Xaraortes was succeeded by Cyaxerxes, who solidified his gains, defeated rebels and defeated an Egyptian-Kyzian coalition at, ironically, Kadesh. Median Empire's future was secure, immediate one anyway.
     
  5. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Oh, and I might have posted it before in the other thread, or I might have not, but regardless, here's a great althistory page:
    http://www.wolfram.demon.co.uk/alternate_history_top.html

    Monarchy World, Puritan World and Clive-Less World are the really good ones, the others are rather less realistic IMHO, though Wolfworld is quite a look (and a NES, as I tried to persuade tossi).
     
  6. Insane_Panda

    Insane_Panda Deity

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    Clive-less world! Bwa ha ha! Take that you imperialists! ;) :p
     
  7. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Did you read to the part when a French analogue of Clive appears? ;) Believe it or not, but I didn't quite expect that career for him at first...
     
  8. North King

    North King blech

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    Well, das, as it happens, I already have a good ten pages of timeline written out, so that's the goshdarned way it's going. Especially since I researched a crapload before I wrote that.
     
  9. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Well then, post it! Post it, damn you! :p
     
  10. Insane_Panda

    Insane_Panda Deity

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    Vive le...marechal? :(
     
  11. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    500 BC is the next round date that we must review. It was the end of the Ancient Age and the beginning of Classical Age, in the Mediterrnean region most specifically... but it also signified great changes in India, where first states arose, and in China (though we won't talk about it here yet), where the Springs and Autumns period was coming to an end, to be replaced by an even more unstable age - the Warring States period.

    Tartessos, profiting from its position of a middleman between the tin-rich British Isles and the Mediterranean world, and from its control of numerous mineral resources, became, under the reign of Arganthonios III (r. 557-502 BC), the greatest power of the Western Mediterranean. In a series of wars with Greek city-states, Tartessos solidified its control of North Africa west from Salda (OTL Saldae), of Corsican and Sardinian coasts and of the Greek city-states in eastern Iberia/southern Gaul, most notably Massila (which was fairly autonomous, albeit ofcourse subject to Tartessian rule).

    To the east from that, a mighty Greek empire arose, centered in Syracuse. It ruled lands from Croton and Argyripa in the north to Archia (OTL Carthage) in the south, and was formed to combat both the "eastern menace" (alternatingly, Corinth or Argos) and the "western menace" (Tartessos, what else?). Meanwhile, in Italy, Italic League turned more and more into a Samnite Empire, with capital in Pompeii. The northern Samnite border was in the southern Alps; the Gauls (and some Germannics) again and again raided northern Italy, causing it to become a heavily-fortified region. Also, separatism grew there.

    In Greece Proper, these were uneasy times. In the great Diomedic War (584-567 BC), starting with a minor accident (some uppity Corinthian merchants misbehaved in Argos and got killed by the mob) and culminating in a series of epic land and naval battles around Corinth, Argos became the leading city-state of Greece, de facto unifying Greece under the rule of Diomedes the Great. Ofcourse, FORMALLY only the Peloponessian Peninsula was ruled by Argos (Sparta was destroyed altogether, both as a state and as a city); but actually, Argive "allies" as far north as the Cambunian mountains and Epirus (Epirus remained independant, defiant and ignored) were little more then glorified semi-autonomous cities. This also had the effect of Corinth's complete destruction (it was rebuilt soon after; too good a strategic position), and thus complete and acknowledged independance of Syracuse and other colonies. Athens and Thebes were left standing and relatively unharmed though, as mentioned, they didn't keep their independance. However, the greatest winner from this was Troy (an Argive ally), which now extended as far west as Mount Olympus and also consolidated Western Anatolia and many of the Aegean islands.

    With Diomedes' death in 541 BC, the Argive empire begun unraveling, losing Aetolia to rebels and Thessaly to their Byzantine "friends". However, King Simonides restored order south from there, crushing rebellions and conspiracies, and generally behaving like any other professional tyrant would in such a situation. It worked at first, but the people grew more and more restless...

    ...and in 526 BC, Simonides was attacked by assassins and killed in a nasty way. The empire tried to struggle on, but collapsed altogether, and with it, the traditional order. Democracies (some of which, especially in Argolis/Argus itself, were quickly replaced by tyrannies) were established in the independant states of Phocis, Boeotia, Attica (Euboea was captured by the Trojans, further consolidating their hold on the Aegean Sea), Achaea, Elis, Messenia, Laconia, Arcadia and Argolis. Greece, exhausted by wars and rebellions, would have to recover - but in the wake of the fall of the short-lived empire, as new ideas surged forth, Greece entered the Classical Age.

    Cyreneica experienced brief independance in 613-568 BC, but was overran by Libyan tribes soon after.

    Losing a series of wars with Medes, coming under raids of Libyans, Egypt effectively disintegrated in circa. 550 BC. Eventually, the Lower Egypt became a Median vassal, to be followed by Upper Egypt (two different states), whilst Nubia and Cush gained independance. However, Egyptian fleet with some of the royal family fled for Adulis, where a Neokhemi state arose. Adulis soon gained control of the southeastern part of the Red Sea, establishing outposts and vassalizing Geray and Zafar during the reign of Aphehotep I (r. 524-497 BC).

    Troy reached what was perhaps its apogee during the reign of Hector IV (r. 571-529 BC). Not only were the Thracian tribes crushed and Trojan reign extended all over the Aegean Sea and as far west as Olympus, but in Anatolia itself, the Trojans expanded, at Kyzian, Greek and Kaskan expense, as far east as River Halys and West Cilicia, effectively taking over nearly 3/4 of Anatolia. Finally, colonies were established in Tauria (OTL Crimea). This multiethnic empire was increasingly unstable though, even with Trojanization and coastal Trojan colonies.

    Kyzus declined during this time, losing colonies (Cyreneica and Cyprus) and some northern and western periphereal territories. The primary reasons were the increasing corruption of the rulers and buerocrats and the weakening in the occasional limited wars with Medes (especially the Gurgumite War, 543-541 BC, when the Kyzian fleet was destroyed at Orontes). Regardless, King Eherliyas I, who rose to power in a military coup of 507 BC, is very promising, inviting Greek military specialists to reform his army and centralizing power in spite of rebellions.

    Kaskan statelets east from Halys united into a single state in 534 BC, to stop Trojan expansion. Barely withstanding Trojan attacks in 520s and 510s BC, Kaska afterwards pledged feudal loyalty to Medes, becoming a vassal state.

    The monolith empire of Medes remained the hegemon of Middle East. However, the vast size and thus the decentralization of the empire was slowly, yet-unnoticeably, weakening its coherence. For now, however, the decentralization was bearing fruit - especially as Arab-style camelry (actually, those were ARAB mercenaries) was adopted, allowing further expansion in Arabia (OTL Dubai and Oman were conquered by Xaraortes III during 580s and 570s) and India (in a series of maritime and overland campaigns and wars with locals, Medians secured Kutch, Gujarat, Thar Desert and the city of Indraprastha). In India, Medians ran into major religious strife - Hinduism was in many ways similar to Iranian polytheism put on its head. Asuras (ahuras) were demons to the Hindus, whilst devas (daeves) were worshipped as gods, whilst it was the other way around in Medes. There were other "similarities" and similarities between the two religions, but that only made things worse - the similarity between religions is related directly to the amount of strife between them. Medians cruelly stamped out Hinduism and crushed rebellions, but this, combined with their expansion, resulted in certain developments in India itself...

    The decentralization and feudalization of Medes also allowed succesful defense of Transcaucasian and Central Asian holdings from nomads, primarily Scythians.

    In India, refugees fleeing from the Median armies caused some instability in the forming states, but actually, combined with the Median threat, only sped up the creation of Hindu states. By 500 BC, Avanti, Bhoja, Pancala, Magadha and Kalinga emerged as the predominant states; the former three, along with other northwestern Indian states, were highly theocratic and intolerant (these were the three states that, in 509 BC, barely defeated Median hordes at the Chambal, and whose population partially consisted of refugees fleeing from Median religious persecution); Magadha and Kalinga were slightly better in that regard, especially the latter, which was far away from the Median border. Jainist and Buddhist heresies were stomped out ruthlessly outside of Kalinga, where the former barely lingered on as a minor sect; the latter didn't survive at all.
     
  12. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Fagles' translation of the Iliad called the Akhaians/Danaans Argives as well, so this is funny:

    :lol: And we get democracies anyway! What happened to Aegina? She had a powerful navy for awhile.
     
  13. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Times change, and so do alliances. As for democracies, well, they're different here - firstly, there is a legacy of an united empire, a fear of something like that happening again (so any Delian Leagues are unlikely, at least any time soon), and generally there is less states, but they are larger. Aegina was the last to fall to the Trojans, who were aided by the Argives.
     
  14. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    Quite good so far. The divergences are rather nice, especially in Greece. Should have some pretty interesting effects as time goes on. Should be interesting to see what happens when the Median Empire breaks up and the Mediterranean starts to ascend.

    I'm also happy to report the rules are coming along. Slowly.
     
  15. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    The Median Empire's fate, as I planned it, will not exactly be the same as the Persian one. Still, in the next part it will suffer quite a lot.

    Incidentally, nobody seems to care much about Buddha who was ruthlessly slayed by a Hindu "inquisition". That's one of the ways I'm going to change China... that and trade, and butterfly effect. I already do have some things in mind for it that alex will not neccessarily like... then again, it all depends on his opinions about Legalism.
     
  16. Hellfury

    Hellfury Prince

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    Here is something i drew up while bored...

    The year is 1900, the PoD isnt too obscure.
     

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  17. Kal'thzar

    Kal'thzar Deity

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    tell me, i don't want to investigate :(
     
  18. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Does it have something to do with Napoleon? The suspicion that I have is that he didn't invade Egypt, consequently avoided an Abdoukir (but still got a Trafalgar and thus lost) but didn't sell Louisiana fast enough, so it got captured by the British in part, and became a battleground between USA and Britain, Britain eventually pulling out but propping up local (native? Cajun? French? British Dominion?) states north from New Orleans.

    Not sure how that explains Germany, though. Possibly Napoleon also managed to keep up the fight for longer with Britain distracted, and further devastated Prussia until being pushed out? And after that, Austria emerged as the predominant player in Southern Germany?
     
  19. Hellfury

    Hellfury Prince

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    Its not Napoleon, I put the date at 1773, Britain gives the colonies dominion status so can continue to tax the colonists, thus averting the war of Independance.

    As a consiqence of this, the Napoleonic War ended earlier as the British did not have to worry about the USA and had a larger army. The French territories in NA were taken with ease by the British and the majority was given to (pro-British) Indian tribes with the Britain keeping the delta and the land to the east of the Mississippi

    In Germany, Prussia failed to unite the German state as it gained less power during the Napoleonic war than in OTL. Austria succeded in uniting the southern states and the Rheinland, but not the prodestant north, some states there formed a smallr nation, the Hanseatic Confederation, and coloniesed parts of Africa. Wealth from the Rhein allowed Austria to keep control of the Balkans andthe Austro-Hungarian Empire is more stable than in OTL.

    Italy unified but does not control Venice, Mexico controls California but often comes to blows with neighbouring Texas (Independant Republic). Britain and its 6 dominions (Australia, British Colombia, Canada, New England, New Zealand and South Africa) control over 1/4 of the world's surface and rule the seas. The far east is compareable to OTL with the Japanese growing in strength and China on its way to instablity.
     
  20. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Actually, the Napoleonic Wars did more harm for the Prussians rather then good... I guess that, however, Prussia could have used the resources saved to gamble for German predominance, but be jumped upon by a coalition of nations. That will also explain the Russian control of Congress Poland (the Third Partition had OTL's Congress Poland divided between Austria and Prussia; here, perhaps, Austria gave its bit to Russia in exchange for intervention against Prussia, and Russians then took the other part from Prussia).

    One can also ask whether, without the American Revolutionary War, there would be a revolution in France at all... Though I guess that it could be delayed or something, or perhaps result in more of a (more equal then in OTL) civil war which the Royalists still lose.
     
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