A New Empire: Judea

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by The Empire of AltHistory, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. The Empire of AltHistory The Lover of History

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    A New Empire: Judea

    By The Empire of AltHistory

    "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing"

    -God's promise to Abraham

    The above quote therefore provided was used by the Emperors and people of the Judean Empire to justify the existence of their magnificent, vast, and sprawling empire. The Empire of all Judea was the largest and most powerful nation on Earth at the height of its power and glory. The empire consisted of many millions of square miles, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It consisted of vast portions of southern and central Europe, North and central Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of eastern Asia. Judea extended her jurisdiction and authority over many millions of subjects, having no rival to challenge her. A policy of religious toleration, a highly centralized government with efficiently organized provinces, a well-developed road system across the entire empire, a prosperous and strong economy, and a professional and large military all assisted Judea's position as a great power. The empire had arisen from a small kingdom in the Holy Land to the largest nation on Earth. This timeline will detail on how that process happened, and how it was driven by ambitious kings, and later emperors and empresses, who drove mercilessly towards their goal.

    The history of the Empire of all Judea begins with the Jewish Revolt of 69 AD..........

    Link to Map of the Empire at the height of its power: http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/8629/thejudeanempireasheight.png
     
  2. The Empire of AltHistory The Lover of History

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    The Rise of the Kingdom of Judea

    The Rise of the Kingdom of Judea

    The origins of the Judean Empire, as described above, lay in the Judean revolt of 69 AD that liberated Judea from Roman rule and established the Kingdom of Judea, the direct predecessor state of the Empire of Judea. Judea had been under Roman domination and rule for a century. In 63 BCE, the Roman general Pompey, known for his defeat of King Mithraides VI of Pontus, intervened in a civil war in Judea and placed the area under Roman domination. The Judean king Herod the Great (reigned 37-4 BC) had ruled as a client king of the Roman Emperor Augustus (reigned 27 BC-AD 14). After his death, much of Judea was incorporated directly into the Roman Empire as the Judea Province, while other parts became domains of Herod's sons, who still remained clients of the Romans.

    The peoples of Judea, including the Jews, the Samaritans, and a growing sect called the Christians grew bitter of the Roman domination and rule, yearning for independence and a restoration of the unified monarchy of biblical Kings David and Solomon. The Romans had forced them to worship Roman gods, had levied extensive taxes, and maintained a large garrison in Judea. These drove the population to the breaking point. One man in particular, named Simon Bar-Giora, despised the Romans. He was ambitious, intelligent, and determined, with the qualities of a great leader. Starting in January 68, Bar-Giora secretly gathered thousands of Jews, Samaritans, and Christians, organizing them into one effective resistance movement. After a year of extensive planning and preparation, the movement revolted in January 69 AD. At the time of their revolt, Rome was experiencing serious military and political issues, known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Four different men, in succession of each-other, were proclaimed emperor and then were deposed after struggling to maintain power. This assisted Bar-Giora and his movement immensely.

    Promptly, the rebellion grew, from 40,000 adherents to 80,000 adherents to eventually nearly 300,000 adherents. It had the support of over ninety-five percent of the population of Judea. Bar-Giora and his troops, who were well-organized and determined, used successful guerrilla methods and unique tactics in their drive. By August 69 AD, most of Judea had fallen to them. By this time, however, the Year of the Four Emperors came to a end, when the fourth of the men, Vespasian, was proclaimed emperor by the Roman Senate. Vespasian had been a general, renowned for his determination and ruthlessness. He had participated in the 43 AD Roman invasion of Britain. The Judean rebellion thus had a formidable opponent to overcome.

    However, their resistance was well-organized, determined, and energetic. For the next six years, the Roman army struggled to root out the Judean resistance movement, but were unsuccessful. Both Vespasian and Titus, his son, (who he appointed as general of campaigns against the rebellion) failed to destroy the resistance. By the end of 76 AD, most of Judea was still in the hands of the rebels. Finally, in February 77 AD, the Romans sued for peace and signed the Treaty of Caeseara with Bar-Giora, which recognized the complete independence of the Kingdom of Judea. Most of the population of Judea was jubilant. Bar-Giora was proclaimed the first King of Judea as Simon I. Thus he was the first of the Gioran Dynasty, who would consolidate Judea in her first decades of existence and insure stability.
    [​IMG]
    On the map above, Judea, as it was upon independence from Rome, is shaded in gray. Real-life boundaries of nations in the modern world are maintained, so as to describe how the nation eventually expands.
     
  3. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Cool, I wonder how Christianity evolves ITTL (maybe closer to its semitic cultural roots like Islam)
     
  4. The Empire of AltHistory The Lover of History

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    The Reign of Simon I the Beloved

    The Reign of Simon I the Beloved

    In 77 AD, upon the signing of the Treaty of Caeseara which granted independence to Judea, Simon Bar-Giora, the leader of the rebellion, was acclaimed Simon I, King of Judea (reigned 77-96 AD). The new king would spend his reign consolidating Judea's independence and insuring her security. Simon was a much beloved and loved ruler amongst the Judean population. He immediately took measures that wiped away traces of the Roman "oppression" over Judea. Simon adopted Judaism as the state religion of Judea (this will be maintained until the reign of Antigous I the Great (r. 110-140 AD). The king also proclaimed a official policy of toleration for Christianity, restored the privileges of the office of High Priest of Judea, and abolished slavery (believing it to be a evil practice against the name of the Lord). Simon rebuilt the Temple of Jerusalem, built a massive royal palace in the center of the city, and began work on a massive irrigation system throughout Judea (to be completed by Antigous the Great).

    Simon also moved to secure Judea's boundaries. In 84 AD, the King began construction on a series of military fortresses at Gaza, Caeseara, Jerusalem, Masada, Jericho, and other sites, which improved the security of Judea. He also reorganized the armies of the former resistance movement into the Judean Army, basing tactics, discipline, and organization off those of the Roman Army. By the time of his death, the Judean Army consisted of 60,000 infantry, 20,000 horsemen, and 1,000 chariots.

    Simon I died in January 96 AD, after a reign of 29 years. He was succeeded to the throne by his son, Herod I (r. 96-110 AD) who would strengthen Judea's economy.
     
  5. Blackfox5 Well-Known Member

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    I just love how this one sentence hand waves away the utter implausibility that the Romans of this era could not have won. At the very least, the Romans would consider it a temporary setback and come back 30 years later.
     
  6. Barbarossa Rotbart Well-Known Member

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    The solution is quite simple. The romans always won if they met their enemies in a battle, but if their enemies used a different strategy (e.g. Battle of the Teutoburg Forest) they always lost.
     
  7. LSCatilina Cultural Untermensch

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    For the sake of the argument, no.
    There's many battle with foes using a different strategy where crushed, simply by the number and by sucessful waves of attack.
    At the contrary, the greatest romans deafets occured against ennemis using romano/hellenistics tactics
     
  8. ckflange1 Well-Known Member

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    One word. Cannae:D
     
  9. ckflange1 Well-Known Member

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    I can't wait to find out how the empire got past the Sahara
     
  10. MarshalBraginsky Banned

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    Would a Judean Empire butterfly the Khazarian Empire altogether, or would they be subdued? I could imagine Judean kings gaining control of the Caucasus, or even come into blows with Germanic tribes and Slavic principalities. Assuming that this Judean Empire survives.
     
  11. ckflange1 Well-Known Member

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    I could always imagine a judean empire dominating mesopatamia and the middle east but it'll be interesting to see it go further
     
  12. MarshalBraginsky Banned

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    Would it also have an effect on the rise of Islam and Christianity?
     
  13. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    Ignoring that the Jews were incapable of working among themselves, let alone the implausibility of their being able to join with the Samaritans AND the Christians, such unity would result in, at best, a second rank power facing off against the empire which had crushed nations with vastly larger populations and resources.

    The Romans would have been quite capable in rooting out any resistance by using their typical ruthless efficiency and the ability of such a limited population actually being able to hold most of the territory from the Romans...no.
     
  14. Darth_Kiryan The N├║menorean Sith

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    Well, this is just weird.....
    Still trying to grasp the Romans losing in Judea. I'm kinda shocked that Vespasian did become Emperor, and still held the title after the Jews were given independence.
    This is probably going to be the strangest wank that i have ever com across on this website.
     
  15. franz ferdinand president of Absurdistan

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    Sorry, dude. This just seems like a Judaism wank to me. I cannot think of one instance where a province of the Roman Empire at the height of it's power managed to claim and defend it's independence. You didn't even get into the specifics of how the Judeans managed such a feat. Another thing is that i find it hard to believe a small Levantine state would have access to an army of 80,000 soldiers. I know i'm being harsh, but I love the idea of this timeline; it's very original and creative. Just work on the plausibility and flesh it out a bit.
     
  16. DanMcCollum Well-Known Member

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    i have to agree man. Its not even so much that judea manages to gain its indepedence, which is unlikely but at least somewhat possible given the right circumstances. Its that you then have them go on to eclipse the Romans. And that, right there, is just not going to happen.
    If you do want to do something with an Empire of Judea you should go back much further. Maybe stop the split that happened between North and South Israel in the years after Solomon, and have them exploit the power vacuum of the region.
    An Israeli Empire in early Antiquity would be fascinating, and have some very large ramifications for the world at large!
     
  17. MarshalBraginsky Banned

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    That PoD would be better started after Solomon's death. If Rehoboam wasn't tactless towards the other ten northern tribes in terms of economic matters, or even if Solomon had made the economical situation easier for the ten northern tribes, the United Kingdom of Israel would have remained united.

    There were some religious factors too, but I'm not sure how.
     
  18. LSCatilina Cultural Untermensch

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    I must precise that any POD based on Bible have to be considered as semi-ASB, at best. For Solomon, by exemple, the difference between the great biblical kingdom with international influence and the real little chiefdom under the egyptian-phenician influence is huge.
     
  19. DanMcCollum Well-Known Member

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    Well, the period is certainly a bit ... murky at best. I think calling any TL based on the Bible to be ASB to be going way too far. However, any author wanting to write a timeline in that era is going to have to have an understanding of the archeological record, as well as when the specific texts of the Bible were written, and be able to creatively reconcile the two.
    Its certainly not impossible, but it is a bit difficult. Personally, i'd love to try my hand at it someday, but I'd need to do much more reading on the period. My bibical knoweldge is pretty much restricted to the Early Christian period.
     
  20. LSCatilina Cultural Untermensch

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    Ok, just some notes.

    1)Bible was written around 500 B.C, when the supposed events took place around 950 B.C, it's the same time between that the discovery of Americas and the XX. It's like having a Cold War historian talking about a period that he knew only by oral tradition, and maybe some short texts. He will fill the blanks consciously or unconsciously, by reflecting his own worries about Red Menace or US Imperialism on Colombus and Caraïbs.
    2)Not only there are not any proof of the existance of a dividic kingdom, but the actual archeologic and historic studies proof there are not. In fact, more and more ruins or archeologic sites first attributed to David and Solomon are attributed to more recent periods (the assyrian or persian-influenced one)
    3)The whole Bible is a literature, poetic and religious book. Every thing within, every word was chosen not to record history, but to show the superiority and the domination of a supernatural being. Furthermore, the hebrew text have incorpored several
    4)As the region was vital for the Middle-East (wood, commercial roads, water, agriculture, etc.) we would know by other sources than the hebrew one if a hebrew state would have existed on all Syria-Palestina. But the mesopotamian and egyptians archives, at least what we have found, are mute on this (except some traces as, "we have recieved tribute from [random city]" and "we have crushed [random tribe]"). The hebrew always formed or chiefdom and then states always under the influence of actually powerful empires (egyptian-hittites-assyrians-babylonians-persians-hellenistic-roman). You have no way to create a super-empire of Hebrews with a local chiefdom whom the power was limited to what their "protector" wanted.