Introduction and Raison d'etre
Μηδίζω! THE WORLD OF ACHAEMENID HELLAS
Welcome, one and all, to my newest alternate history concept! It's one that I've been circling around and avoiding for a little while now, but one that I've been brought back to time and time again; a successful (however you interpret that word) conquest of the Greek mainland by the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In addition, I work best when I have a cloud of projects to move between, and this one is very different from my last two alternate history ideas. In other words, if by chance you have read either of my other timelines and worry this signals their abandonment, it does not.
I'm far from the first person on the website to write a timeline about the Achaemenids successfully conquering Greece, that's been attempted multiple times before. But it's a concept that seems to beg for certain very cliched developments most times it's presented, and I'm very keen on demonstrating that there's a lot of interesting ideas to be explored in such a scenario that do not rely on such things. The Achaemenid state is also one that I'm closely familiar with on an academic level, and have a lot of access to primary source material for, so I don't feel like I'm going to fall into the trap of viewing the Achaemenids through the Greek lens.
That brings me on to the main conceits of the timeline. This is going to be like my earlier alternate history, and primarily presented through 'discovered' material. Some will be ancient material, particularly from faux-ancient historical works, but some of this material will also have 'commentary' from a later author in the timeline's universe which calls some of the actual stated narrative into question. Some will be direct historical commentary on the period in question by later authors. This means that some of the updates will be presenting matters in a way that is not actually 100% accurate to the 'real' events as they happened in this timeline, and this is entirely deliberate. So whilst I am not writing this timeline from a Hellenic perspective, a sizeable number of the updates will be! Others will not. There is also a third genre of material involved in the timeline, but I do not want to state what this is ahead of time. It will distinguish itself the moment it's presented.
There is another major conceit as well, which is regarding transliterations of Greek and also some of the translation- they will not be following the norms that the English language has developed around Greek history. This is partially to emphasise that this is not humans from our timeline speaking and discussing the history. But it's also a reminder that the English transliterations we use have a particular historical existence in their own right, and are not always the closest to the original Greek in form. The pattern will not be uniform, some demonyms or city names will be more like our own or even identical. Some Greek terms will remain untranslated, whereas other Greek terms will never be used.
My hope is that these elements will not interfere with this being enjoyable to read, and possibly even add to the experience. A controlled dislocation.
For those curious, Μηδίζω transliterates loosely as Medizo, and means 'I medize'.