Because the other one went over 100 pages. This is a thread to post ideas, timelines, maps, and all manner of discussion about alternate history topics. It'd be cool if people made NESes out of some of these too. Here's some jargon that people commonly use here: PoD - Point of Departure...from the original timeline. Where things changed, basically. ATL - Alternate Timeline. OTL - Our Timeline, the real world. TTL - This Timeline, usually referring to whatever ATL you're talking about at the time. ASB - Alien Space Bats, basically meaning "stuff that seems pretty implausible". Here are links to the previous threads: Amenhotep's Original Thread The Redux The Third Thread The Fourth Thread And, to get things started off, here's the final installment of a timeline I started last fall. Here are the last few installments: The PoD The Escalation, or Fun with Diadochi The Second Big War, or Pyrrhus of Epirus Goes Nuts Spoiler Titanomachia, Final Part, Scene 1 : Live and Let Die. The wheel in the sky keeps on turning, I dont know where Ill be tomorrow. -Wheel in the Sky, Journey Though the twin engines of destruction, Pyrrhos of Epeiros and Ptolemaios Keraunos, were both dead as of 278, the war they had started still embroiled the eastern Mesogeios. Fragments of their empires were under new rulers, generals who decided to take matters into their own hands, especially given the lack of a central authority. Hieron, the general that Pyrrhos had set over his Megale Hellenic possessions, took the opportunity to declare himself independent and to form a federation of south Italian poleis, with himself as elected strategos. Several of Ptolemaios marshals, especially in Asia Mikra, also declared their possessions states unto themselves. They only added to the chaos. Despite the great victory Antiochos had won at the pass of Thermopylai, cementing his leadership of the Korinthian koinon, there were still thousands of Gallic warriors at large; one force of Keltoi was in Thraike, besieging the polis of Byzantion (which nominally owed Antiochos its allegiance), and another was still pillaging Paionia and the northern lands. Romani still were beating at the gates in southern Italia, having driven the last of Hierons garrisons from Campania and northern Apulia. The Semites in the west were renewing their attack on Kyrenaia, and then there was the ever-present menace of the Persike basileus, Aristotelis, who, though busy elsewhere, could intervene decisively for either side, either to snap up Antigonid possessions while they were still weak, or to crush the Ptolemaic forces that still remained opposing Antigonos Gonatas in that theater. Of the most immediate import was Hellas itself and the Gallic menace. Antiochos may have secured the southern poleis, and reestablished the league that Makedonia had headed since the time of Philippos and Alexandros, but his core territories around Pella were still under threat. Marching north with an army comprised primarily of his remaining Makedonian phalangitai, though with not insignificant contingents from his allies, Antiochos brought the other group of barbarians, under one Bolgios, to battle at Klitai and forced them to retire northwards, at least for now. He then split his forces. A subordinate general, one Sosthenes, was ordered to take a naval contingent, primarily composed of the combined fleet of the allies, as well as a small ground force, to relieve Byzantion and the Propontic poleis. Antiochos himself had something more insidious in mind. Epeiros had been in anarchy since the death of Pyrrhos the year before, with three rival claimants to the throne fighting incessantly among themselves, one of whom was a son of Pyrrhos, Pyrrichos. Antiochos elected to back one of Pyrrichos enemies, Alexandros III, and debouched from the Pindos with 20,000 men as autumn approached; following a sharp engagement at Nekromanteion, Pyrrichos was defeated and executed, and the country was pacified by early the next year. But Alexandros III did not sit on the throne of the Molossians by that time; Antiochos did. Having quietly had his erstwhile puppet assassinated, he had reduced Epeiros to the state of a province of Makedonia, imposing a strong garrison and adding the title of Molossian ruler onto his already copious other ones. The near-universal dislike with which Pyrrhos and his memory were viewed made this step guaranteed to be quietly approved by the other powers. Hieron, in southern Italia, made a squeak of protest, but his opinion didnt really matter. Having gathered adherents of Pyrrhos to himself, and relying on his new Megale Hellenic koinon, his main goal was to protect himself from the Romani; self-preservation came first. A general of no small skill, but far more pragmatic than his former sovereign, he immediately put out peace feelers to the Romani, which were summarily rejected by the Senate. For 277, Manius Curius Dentatus, the old Samnite War hero, had been elected to the consulship, along with Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges. Dentatus immediately marched south and besieged Grumentum in central Lucania. Hieron could not muster the numbers to oppose him, and was forced to fall back towards the coast. Here the true strength of the Romani military system shone through: while the Hellenes had the variety of soldiers to fight them and beat them on all sorts of terrain, the Romani could raise lots of troops quickly. It did not help Hieron that he was drawing on the same territories that had poured out their blood and treasure for Agathokles and Pyrrhos in the preceding decades. He was increasingly forced to rely on mercenaries, an act which embittered the poleis of his league against him and induced him to seek new opportunities. What he found was the situation in Sikilia. Admetos successor as the darling of the Qarthadastim senate, a Maharbal, was placed in charge of a large fleet and expeditionary force and ordered to reclaim the lost territories in Sikilia from Pyrrhos son Demetrios. Already one invasion attempt had been repulsed by the man who now claimed his fathers mantle as basileus of the Sikeliotes, but Maharbal was a fresh commander, whose mettle had been tested both as a subordinate of Admetos in Kyrenaia and against the Massylian tribes. With 40,000 men, he landed at Lazara in 277 and quickly marched north, besieging Lilibeo and drawing Demetrios, with an equivalent number in his army, into an attempt to relieve the siege. The Qarthadastim drew off, and engaged Demetrios at the Hypsas River. Here, the Sikilian army had not the same advantages that Pyrrhos had held in Africa years before. Demetrios, though a competent general, was not the equal of his father. Too, the Qarthadastim had a unit of elephants to back them up, as well as the highest quality aanatim pikemen and dorkim heavy infantry. Combined with the elite kdoshim, who once more made an appearance, it was enough to shatter the levies that comprised Demetrios army, and only the intervention of the fine Syrakousan cavalry prevented total annihilation, holding open a path for the remnants of the Sikeliot army to withdraw back to the east. With the victory at the Hypsas, the formerly Qarthadastim region of Elimya returned to the fold, and even some towns east of the Halykos defected, anxious to escape the tyranny of Demetrios. Akragas remained until Hellenic control, however, and became the obvious target for the next campaign season. Hieron smelt an opportunity to the south, and he rapidly capitalized upon it. Absconding with much of his leagues treasury and a part of their fleet, he took advantage of the lack of loyalty the mercenaries that comprised his army had to the Megale Hellenic poleis and moved to Sikilia in 276. Betrayed and divided, the Tarantinoi and their allies did not stand a chance against the Romani; what field army they could muster was broken at Genusia, and that year the consul that succeeded Dentatus, Q. Aemilius Papus, began construction of siege works around Taras itself. Having successfully ruined the Megale Hellenic cause, Hieron set to work on Sikilia. Demetrios, facing a serious manpower shortage, was forced to accept Hieron as a strategos autokrator, ceding much power to him, and with this authority, amalgamating his mercenaries with the native Sikilian troops, Hieron won a victory over Maharbals subordinate at Akragas in 275, forcing the Qarthadastim back behind the Krimissos. The window of security this bought him allowed internal machinations. Demetrios was essentially Hierons puppet as it was, but during the year Maharbal ended up taking to rearm with more men from Africa, Hieron extended his tentacles of political support throughout the key cities of Hellenic Sikilia, aided by his ethnicity as an islander and his position at the head of the only effective army on the island. Back east, the Ptolemaic kingdom was running into problems. Ptolemaios II had left an heir, of the same name, who was crowned, aged seven in 277, at Alexandria under the regency of Sosibios, a Makedonian expatriate nobleman who had been of some importance in the courts of the newly crowned Ptolemaios IIIs predecessors. Having secured his regency through no small amount of vicious intrigue at court, Sosibios was an undesirable choice for some of the field generals, especially the commander in Syria and Assyria, Stephanos Anemurionios, and his efforts to bring the garrisons in Asia Mikra under tighter control to salvage something from the wreck of Keraunos empire were not met with approval from the garrison commanders themselves, who enjoyed their relative independence and mostly went their own way, save for Pamphylia under Stasioikos Soknopaiou Nesou. Refusing to compromise with Anemurionios, fearing that it would weaken his position at court to bring such a powerful military figure into partnership instead of submission, Sosibios instead declared him an outcast and a traitor, and commissioned a loyal general, Bithys Taucheiraios, to apprehend him, arming him with the few of the klerouchoi phalangitai that remained in the country, as well as a sizable section of the remaining machimoi levy. With those men, some 15,000 the literal bottom of the barrel, for Sosibios government was bankrupt and all men of military age (and then some) of the appropriate classes had been called up, Taucheiraios marched into Ioudaia along the way recruiting some infantrymen from among the rather queer and insular people that lived there and then northwards into Syria to bring Anemurionios to heel. The renegade general had word of this, of course, and elected to switch sides instead of being caught in the middle. At Doura, late in 277, Antigonos Gonatas and Anemurionios came to terms. The erstwhile Ptolemaic general entered Antigonid service with his force of klerouchoi phalangitai and some of the best remaining Ptolemaic cavalry, with the promise of settlement for his veterans upon conclusion of the Syrian War. Anemurionios machimoi, which were essentially useless now, were mostly paroled, though some were liquidated. With the united armies under the command of Antigonos II, the few remaining Ptolemaic garrisons in Syria capitulated; Antigoneia was recaptured early in 276, as was its port of Demetria-in-Pieria. While Antigonos faced off against Taucheiraios in Syria making sure that his newfound ally couldnt choose the opportune moment to desert him again Anemurionios cleared out Kilikia and, in conjunction with the Antigonid general Hippolochos, began the pacification of Asia Mikra. Stasioikos in his Pamphylian fastness was avoided, being particularly difficult to dig out, but Kappadokia and Phrygia were fair game, and during 276 and 275 the Antigonid armies campaigned there with great success, smashing many of the weak and divided Ptolemaic garrisons and reestablishing the former Antigonid control. This push coincided with a rare combined effort by the Makedonians and the Antigonoi to beat off the Gallic bogeymen. Leotarios, the main leader of the horde of Keltoi that was operating in the Propontis (some sixty thousand strong), had had some success against the less numerous force under Sosthenes that had been sent to defend against him; after having badgered the hapless Euxine polis of Kallatis to provide a flotilla in support, the Keltoi successfully seized Byzantion in 277 and sacked it, taking control of the Chrysokeras and the excellent harbor it afforded. The following year, Leotarios made an attack on the fortified Thraikike Chersonesos, and was narrowly repelled by Sosthenes at the home city of the Eumenidai, Kardia. This attack forced a meeting between Sosthenes and Anemurionios, who had arrived in Mysia recently; a plan was hatched to drive the Keltoi out of Europe and destroy them. Leotarios was, in 275, pressured heavily in Thraike by Sosthenes, who (with reinforcements from Makedonia) made a descent upon Leotarios nominal allies at Kallatis and reincorporated them into Antiochos realm. Electing to cross the straits to look for a different future in Asia Mikra, the Keltoi beat off a fleet under Hippolochos that had been instructed not to make too much of a fight of the issue, and landed near Kyzikos, where they were suddenly trapped by the Antigonoi on land and the united allied fleet at sea. What ensued was a ferocious battle, in which the sheer élan of the Keltoi and brilliant skill at close-quarters combat actually allowed them to rupture Anemurionios syntagma, though with horrifying losses; this unexpected success was followed up by a veritable flood of Gallic soldiers towards the gap, and Anemurionios cavalry was not sufficient to slay them all. All told, some ten thousand Keltoi escaped the trap at Kyzikos and fled northeast. Their story will be reexamined somewhat later. By 275 most of the contestants in the wars Pyrrhos and Ptolemaios II had started were exhausted. Ptolemaic finances and manpower were at a nadir, but their Qarthadastim opponents (who had to all intents and purposes ceased to make an issue of Kyrenaia, due to the focus on Sikilia) and the Antigonoi were as badly or worse off. Antigonos II, for his part, had reestablished control over most of his old realm, but bits and pieces were falling away, such as Pontos, which was in virtual anarchy; Pamphylia, which was the haunt of the well-fortified Ptolemaic general Stasioikos; and Gerrha, formerly his last refuge, which had threatened revolt and was demanding autonomy. The successful capture of the Phoenikian ports was poor consolation, since trade in the Eastern Mesogeios was seriously down as a result of the constant warring and the piracy that the various participants were engaging in. Even the Romani were beginning to feel the strain, in their long, drawn-out campaign against the Megale Hellenic poleis; Taras proved difficult to reduce, especially as it received supplies from Hieron and Demetrios of Syrakousai, and was still holding out in 275 despite the best efforts of the Romani besiegers. Qarthadasts last bid for control of Sikilia too had failed, especially after the advent of Hieron, and they were confined to Elimya in the western section of the island, though the able Maharbal was able to parry any further Hellenic thrusts beyond the Krimissos. The winter and early spring of 274 saw some of the conflicts ended. Qarthadast agreed with Demetrios (read: Hieron) to conclude the fighting and resume the border of the Krimissos, and Antiochos recognized the conquests the Rhodoi had made in the Aigion while he had been busy with the Keltoi and Epeiros, that is to say, many of the Kyklades, including Delos itself, Naxo, and Samos. Chios and Lesbos were still under Makedonian control, though, as were Andros and Euboia. Antiochos still retained leadership of the Korinthian koine, as well as key garrisons within Boiotia, Attika, and Achaia, including the Akrokorinthos, Peiraieos, and Elis. But like two punch-drunk boxers, the Antigonoi and Ptolemaioi fought on, with virtually no motivation than to recover the lands the other had taken. And in 274, Sosibios regime got a lucky break. Antigonos Gonatas had returned to Mesopotamia, to set affairs in order there and to grant Gerrhaia autonomy; in his absence, the general Asphalion was placed in charge of the Syrian army. A few skirmishes near Kapharnaum between Asphalion and Taucheiraios were inconclusive, but Asphalions men soon began to talk of mutiny, over the decreased pay and terrible conditions, especially since many of them were long-service veterans who had been fighting since the Keraunos stormed across the border ten years prior. Asphalion was unwilling to risk his army in a decisive battle, and so was stuck with a revolt on his hands. Taucheiraios, whose army was not much less restive, sensed advantage, and struck; the few troops that remained loyal to Asphalion were cut down at the ensuing Battle of Kapharnaum, and most of the rest of the Antigonid army dispersed. Asphalion himself was cut down in the confusion. In the sequel, Taucheiraios stormed the Phoenikian ports, and laid siege to Damaskos. Antigonos was essentially forced to come to terms after this disaster, and in 273 signed a peace agreement that ceded Pamphylia and Karia to the Ptolemaioi, though prewar borders remained everywhere else. The fall of Taras and the extension of Roman control to the remainder of Apulia that same year signified the end of real fighting in Italia as well; the seizure of Kroton and Sybaris by Hierons forces ensured that, at least for now, Brettia would remain out of Romani hands. What remains is a sketch of the Hellenic world for the next few years, another lull in the great series of wars that had wracked the Mesogeios. First comes the republic of the Romani, which had made its entrance onto the world stage with their involvement in the Pyrrhic segment of the Syrian War. The conquest of half of Megale Hellas did not sate the new Roman desire for territory, but instead spurred it onward. Brettia was the obvious target, and though formal peace with the Sikilian kingdom had been agreed upon and a boundary marked at the Laus River, a sort of proxy political war ensued, with Roman-backed candidates campaigning for public office in the semi-independent Italic poleis that Hierons army had nominally conquered. At this point it is difficult to discern a particular desire on the Roman part for war, especially since, at an opportune moment to abrogate the treaty with the Sikilians (due to political unrest; see below), the Romani docilely renewed the agreement. Roman colonies were established within Apulia, at Brentesion (renamed Brundisium) and throughout Lucania, especially on the border with Hellenic territory. The great Via Appia was also extended to Brundisium, via Beneventum and Tarentum (the renamed Taras), as a critical segment of infrastructure; it was completed by 269. Romas project of colonial expansion within Italia, and incorporating the remainder of the territory into its network of socii, wherein the new allies were permitted to retain self-government, with the sole exceptions of the Roman levy of allied troops in war (alae and extraordinarii) and the Roman control over the foreign policy. What was surprising to many of the Hellenic inhabitants of Roman Apulia and Lucania was the lightness of the Roman terms. Actual annexations were relatively limited, and concretely amounted to the aforementioned Brundisium and coastal Lucania. Tarentum itself stayed independent, in part due to the pro-Roman aristocracy within the city that had aided in the final capture of the polis in 273. The relatively small formal additions to the ager Romanus played a key part in reducing tensions by the newly incorporated Hellenic poleis. Within Roma itself, social tensions had been greatly lessened by the lex Hortensia not long before the Pyrrhic war began, which had awarded the privilege of effective plebiscites to the plebeians; urbs Roma thus enjoyed some of the first quiet and prosperous times it had seen in some years. Peace and quiet within Roman territory proper which, by the way, stimulated a tremendous growth in peninsular trade, combined with the massive infrastructure benefits the Romani brought; the Samnite Wars and the Pyrrhic war shortly afterward had ruined commerce for nearly a century did not mean quiet for Roman armies, though. Though the Rasna, the Etruscan forerunners of Roma, had once held the Po valley, by 270 it was settled primarily by Gauls, specifically the tribes of the Boii and Insubres. The region around Bononia, Aemilia, was the major field of action in these years, in which Roman armies distinguished themselves in fighting against the Boii especially, culminating in the victorious Battle of the Renus River in 264, in which the consul Lucius Genucius Clepsina broke up a relieving force of Boii and thus secured control of Aemilia for Roma. Sporadic fighting continued, however, necessitating the placement of one of the two Roman consular armies in the north at all times. The successful incorporation of Brettia into the empire nominally ruled by Demetrios, son of Pyrrhos, sparked political infighting in Syrakousai, the effective capital. Mob violence wracked the city and necessitated an even greater increase in Hierons power, elevating him from condottiere to the effective ruler of the state. It was, in fact, Hieron who had been behind some of these riots, though, and when Demetrios finally had an epiphany in 271 Hieron turned on him, had him assassinated, and crowned himself basileus (the second Hieron to take the title in Syrakousai), renewing the treaties with Roma and Qarthadast in the process. A reign marked by such a vicious beginning soon improved, however. Hieron settled his mercenaries in katoikiai along the borders, refounding Chimera on the Sikilian northern shore in 269 around a military colony and settling troops in Kosentia as a bulwark against the Romani. The awarding of land to the mercenaries also reduced the fiscal burden on the state, and Syrakousai soon entered a period of relative prosperity, with significant artistic patronage by Hieron. Sikilia had always been known as a hotbed of radicalism and political intrigue, with some of the most vicious incidents in Hellenic history taking place there; Hierons rule brought a measure of political stability and calm the likes of which had not yet been seen, and his kingdom prospered for it. Even so, there was an unshakeable feeling of a calm before the storm in Syrakousai, for Roma and Qarthadast were both clearly enemies, kept from uniting against Hieron from fear that the other would benefit too much from the war; Qarthadast was wary of Roma acquiring a beachhead onto Sikilia, while the Romani were loathe to allow the Qarthadastim control of the entire island. Hieron thus cultivated relations with the Ptolemaic court in Alexandria, acquiring supporters among the court of Ptolemaios III to provide a ready ally in the south (though it was still unclear how willing the Ptolemaioi would be to fight an offensive war against Qarthadast, especially considering the results of the last one); the fleet was improved, and the army went through an expansion and reorganization. Indeed, it is largely due to the actions of Hieron that we find the development of a new class of warrior in the Hellenistic array. The Romani fought somewhat similar to a heavy version of the Hellenic thureophoroi, though with swords as their primary weapon, not spears; Hieron decided that his armies needed a variant of the Roman hastati and principes, and thus created a corps of thorakitai, a variant on the thureophoroi that combined the traditional flexibility of those Aitolian-originating troops and the armor of the Romani infantry, as a intermediate step between the thureophoroi and the typical phalangitai. Two thousand of these soldiers were trained beginning in 270 and a variant of them was adopted by Antiochos in Pella, the Aitolioi, and the Antigonoi. While they still remained a small and relatively untested part of the Sikilian army, they along with the superb Syrakousan cavalry were Hierons ace in the hole. Antiochos I, titled Soter (Savior) for his great victory at Thermopylai over the invading Keltoi, continued to live and reign successfully in Pella. The incorporation of Epeiros into Makedonia went smoothly enough, save for the revolt of a Molossian pretender, one Neoptolemos II, who briefly captured Epidamnos and attempted to raise the country against Antiochos; he was put down with minimal fuss in 271. Antiochos himself worked to increase the integration of his allied Hellenic territories into Makedonian proper territory, with some success; Thessalia was obviously formally Makedonian, and soon enough Phokis joined it under a governor. Aitolia remained the most equal of Makedonias allies, but even it usually was cowed into toeing the line, and not once did the koine disagree with Pella during the reign of Antiochos. Antiochos policy of rearmament was financed by new mines that were delved at Pangaion and in Epeiros; once more the navy was built up to rival that of the Rhodoi, taking advantage of the Peiraieos, Lesbos, and Therma bases. In eastern Thraike, Antiochos picked up the pieces from the Gallic invasion of the last years; Byzantion was refounded as Antiocheia-in-Thraikia (often simply shortened to Antiocheia, or Antioch), and quickly grew to its old height with both an influx of Makedonian klerouchoi colonists and traders anxious to resume the old profitable Bosphorine trade. While refraining from demolishing Kallatis as Alexandros had done to Thebai, Antiochos did imprison many of the more rebellious members of the aristocracy of that city and move in a garrison. Antiochos relations with the Hellenic poleis under the aegis of the koinon Korinthon were complex. The Makedonian basileus was obviously preeminent, and to this end even coined similarly to Alexandros, for in his numismatic portraits, especially following the victory at Thermopylai, he donned the elephant-scalp, something that only that ruler and Antigonos Monophthalmos had done previously. On the other hand, there was a clear desire to portray the clearly subject relationship between Pella and its satellites as a partnership, and to this end Antiochos had refounded Thebai early in his reign, a sharp contrast with his predecessor as hegemon. The Fetters of Hellas Demetrias in south Thessalia, the Akrokorinthos, Peiraieos, Elis, Chalkis, and Thebai were occupied by Makedonian garrisons, but they were small, and sometimes incorporated local guards. And in virtually every aspect the poleis had independent self-governance, very similar to the Roman socii, with the exceptions being foreign policy was subjected to the hegemon Antiochos, a small levy of allied infantry (and usually a larger one of naval vessels) was expected, and some taxes were paid. (Tax duties, however, were usually not as much of a burden due to the fortuitous exploitation of the Pangaion mines, and those in Attika and Thebai.) But the poleis which were largely democratic, on the old Athenian model elected their own councils and initiated their own social programs, with scant interference from above. Fundamentally, Antiochos was uninterested in governing the poleis themselves, merely in harnessing their resources, so governors were not imposed (save over Phokis, which due to Thermopylai was deemed a critical strategic possession). And within these poleis new life came back to the forefront. Antiochos defeat of the Gallic bogeymen made a deep impression not merely on the willingness of the Hellenes to allow a hegemon to rule them, but on Hellenic art and cultural outlook as well. The attitude towards the barbaroi was changing, reflected in the art of the period, for no longer were the non-Hellenic people depicted as faceless monsters, but instead even heroic or poignant poses were allowed to barbarians, as perhaps best seen in the sculpture of Brennus on his Sword, depicting the chieftain himself (rumored to be the last of the Keltoi still standing at Thermopylai) committing suicide when all was lost.