(As-of-yet-unnamed) Gothic Empire TL

Woo i'm finally making a TL post on this forum, woo

If anyone has been paying particularly close attention to the r/ImaginaryMaps discord server over the last few months, you might (might) have noticed that I've been posting very sporadically about some "unnamed Gothic Empire timeline". This is me finally deciding to get it out of just being a thing on my harddrive and actually start posting it somewhere. It is also the first time in quite a long time that I've started working on a timeline not as a fun, care-free distraction from previous AH projects, but as an actual full project in and of itself, which means that I've put a lot more effort into making mostly sure that the lore actually makes sense and isn't ASB. I've made a couple of simple maps and some nice graphics which I'll be posting here now, and of course anything expansions to the timeline will also be posted here (assuming I don't forget). Anyhow, let's get to it.


PoD: Theodoric I 'the Great', King of the Ostrogoths, doesn't die of dysentery in 526 AD, and in stead lives nine more years to the age of 80. His daughter Ostrogotho lives for forty more years, to the age of 76.

We begin in 523 AD. A year in which two major events were unfolding in the Germanic Mediterranean world. First, the king of the Vandals and Alans in Africa, Thrasamund, has just died and been succeeded by his cousin Hilderic. Thrasamund had been a close ally of Theodoric I of the Ostrogoths due to the marriage with the latter's sister, Amalfrida. Despite this, Thrasamund had also been a proponent of easing tensions between the Catholic-Orthodox Church in Constantinople and the churches under Gothic and Vandal rule, which were predominantly inspired by the teachings of heteroousianism and nontrinitarianism of the prespyter and priest Arius of Ptolemais. Hilderic - despite being a genuine Arianist himself - continued this trend; he invited a Catholic bishop to take office in Carthage, and many Vandals began moving away from Arianism. This was all an attempt to break the power of the Arianist Vandal-Gothic nobility and move the Kingdom of the Vandals closer to the Roman Empire, and away from Theodoric's realm. Amalfrida, the aforementioned sister of Theodoric and widow of the late king Thrasamund, was infuriated by this, and led a rebellion against Hilderic, which failed, resulting in her imprisonment. Theodoric responded to this by launching an invasion of Hilderic's realm in 526 AD, which ended three years later with the execution of Hilderic and the coronation of Amalfrida's son Theodahad, the step-son of the former king Thrasamund, as King of the Vandals and Alans, and the re-establishment of Arianist hegemony in Africa. This obviously soured relations between the Roman Empire under the emperor Justin and Theodoric, who was still nominally a subject of the emperor.

The other major event that unfolded in 523 AD was the invasion by the sons of the late Frankish king Clovis I of the Kingdom of the Burgundians under king Sigismund, another close ally of Theodoric through his marriage to Theodoric's daughterr Ostrogotho. Clovis' four sons - Chlodomer, Childebert, Chlothar and Theuderic - managed to capture and execute Sigismund in 524, briefly gaining control of the entire Kingdom of the Burgundians, before Sigismund's brother, Godomar II, managed to rally and retake the kingdom. Ostrogotho, now widowed, married Godomar II, who converted back to Arianism after Sigismund had convinced him to abandon it, to once again ensure the alliance between him and Theodoric.

Theodoric also had close ties to the Kingdom of the Visigoths in Hispania; another of his three daughters, Theodegotha, had been married to the Visigothic king Alaric II until his death at the hands of Clovis I in the battle of Vouillé in the summer of 507 AD. Alaric's death threw the kingdom into chaos, causing Aquitania to fall from Gothic hands, and resulting in the rise of his illegitimate eldest son Gesalec to the throne. Gesalec's reign collapsed when the Burgundians raided Narbonne, his capital, in 511. He fled to Barcelona, where her remained until being deposed by an army led by Theodoric's sword-bearer Theudis, who also drove the Franks out of southern Aquitania. Gesalec then fled to Thrasamund of the Vandals, who quickly expelled him due to the Vandal alliance with Theodoric, and then to the Visigoth-populated Aquitania, before returning to Barcelona in 513 AD, where he was captured and executed.
When Theodoric deposed Gesalec, he installed the legitimate nine year-old son of Alaric II, Amalaric, on the throne. Amalaric was Theodoric's grandson, and Theodoric would rule Hispania as part of his united Gothic realm during the minority of king Amalaric, which ended in 521, after which the latter continued to rule as a functional vassal of Theodoric.

Theodoric chose to appoint as heir his grandson Athalaric, son of his youngest daughter Amalaswintha and a Gothic noble and Roman consul from Hispania named Huneric, allegedly descended from the same Amal dynasty as Theodoric. Athalaric forced Amalaric to adopt the title Princeps Hispaniae, Prince of Hispania, rather than the previous Rex Hispaniae, ensuring the unity of the Gothic realm.

By the end of his reign in 535 AD, Theodoric had, through diplomacy and warfare, managed to forge a united Gothic state that streched from the Atlantic to the Danube and, vassals included, from beyond the Italian Alps to the Atlas Mountains of North Africa.

Theodoric.png

The four realms of Theodoric's domain:
(Visigothic) Kingdom of Hispania (pink)
(Ostrogothic) Kingdom of Italy (lilac)
Kingdom of the Burgundians (red)
Kingdom of the Vandals and Alans (brown)​





TL;DR Theodoric the Great manages to swindle and fight his prodigeny on to every Germanic throne in the Mediterranean world and makes a bunch of correct decisions to ensure that his empire remains united after his death.

Disclaimer: Do suggest names for this timeline if you have any. The folder on my HDD has had the preliminary working title "Gothia Aeterna" since I started but I fuckin' hate that, so it'd be cool if anyone could come up with something. I suck at titles.
 
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So I've actually worked out the first ~300 years of alternate history for this timeline, until 815 AD (and some stuff beyond). Here's a graphic I posted about a week ago in the IM discord: the succession of Frankish, Ostrogothic, Visigothic, Vandal and Burgundian kings (and emperors) from Clovis I, Valamir, Alaric II, Huneric and Gundobad respectively. It's a bit messy.

Frankish & Gothic kinsg.png
 
Timeline's also got muslims, of course. This is the one part that goes a bit beyond 815 AD as I've included the Muslim Civil War and subsequent schisms within both of the two "official" branches (at least the two that have Imams), Sunni (which is closer to OTL Shia) and Ulami (which is basically OTL Ibadism). The major change here, which I'm chalking up to butterflies, is that Ali is pretty unanimously named the Successor to the Messenger of God after the death of Muhammed; there are still the Ridda Wars and two minor schism of the so-called "Dissenters" (see OTL Khawarij but less extreme, mostly), but there isn't the break between a group who thought he should be the first succesor and a group who thought Abu Bakr or whoever should.

The major absolute difference between OTL Islamic theology and Sunni theology ITTL is about leadership. Sunnis here (mostly, Sahiris excluded, who have ideas similar to OTL Shia ideas of 'the occultation') believe that there should always be a single leader of the community, the Imam, who functions as the successor to Muhammed (note: the title "Caliph", while a part of the Imam's full title, is not generally used very often, and is usually reserved by Sunnis (and Ghaybahis) for Ali, who has "Caliph" ("Ali the Successor") as a traditional epithet. This is obviously unlike OTL ideas in Sunnism about the Caliph and Caliphate, or Shia ideas of the Imam and Imamate.

Of note is also that the majority of Sunnis (Ghalibia'is, those that believe Fa'iz was the legitimate successor to Ali III) believe that the Imam should be more of a spiritual and religious leader than a worldly ruler. This mostly comes from the fact that the Imam's worldly power waned after Ali (II) al-Sajjad as the Sultans took up the role of administering the empire ostensibly on his behalf, and that Iskanderiyya, the most powerful of these Sultanates, which largely won the civil war, had chosen Fa'iz to be their Imam, and obviously didn't want him to suddenly start ruling in his own right above the authority of the Sultan.

As mentioned in the initial post I'm quite bad at naming things, so if anyone has better names for some of the branches feel free to suggest them. The Fa'iz faction should be something like "the Majority-ists", but I speak zero Arabic and Google Translate isn't that good.

EDIT: Also of note, this is just a list of imams, i.e leaders of the community. This is not a list of islamic denominations as a whole, as just like in OTL early Islam is incredibly messy and full of different theologies and philosophies that all fall under the same broad denomination. This ain't Christianity where every slight difference in beliefs causes a massive schism and an entirely new Church,

Anyway, here's the diagram:

Imams; 632-850+.png

EDIT #2: I forgot to add this to the legend but the little upside-down crosses next to some names signify the same as the ones in the Frankish & Gothic Kings diagram: red is death in combat, black is assassination, green is abdication
 
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We've got Goths too, of course. They've got an Empire and everything. Whole point of the TL, that.

History; 535-786.png

Some text:

#1, 535: Read the introduction at the top of this thread for this one, it's basically the same lore.

#2, 589: Theodemir II was third of the three great kings of the early 'Gothic kingdom period'. His father, king Athalaric I, fought a great Franco-Roman invasion (with mixed results), expelled the heretical Papacy from the city of Rome and codified the teachings of St. Arius into the Sirmian Creed of the Occidental Orthodox Church at the Second Council of Sirmium in 559 AD. Theodemir II, great-grandson of Theodoric and named for his great-grandfather's father, took the throne in 588 and immediately entered a flurry of action, pushing the Avar horde beyond the Danube, albeit relinquishing Pannonia in the process, ending a short war over Burgundy with the Frankish king Guntram, and most importantly instating what is known as the Theodemirian Reform, a massive overhaul of the administration of the kingdom modelled on the reforms of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The kingdoms of the Visigoths, Ostrogoths and Burgundians, all of which had Theodemir as their head, would be dissolved into the Kingdom of the Goths and Romans (note: the title 'King of Goths and Romans,' Rex Gothorum Romanorumque, had been in use since Theodoric), which was henceforth administered through a two-level system of governance, with six large divisions called Diocese, each with their own set of smaller divisions called Prefectures. While the official "Gothic Empire" doesn't appear until much later, this reform can be seen as the beginning of that period, as it was here where the feudal kingdoms of the Germanic peoples were (mostly) abolished and replaced with a far more unitary and explicitly Imperial system.

#3, 627: Theodemir II's Kingdom of Goths and Romans would barely outlast the man himself. A palace coup in Gallaecia would be the instigating factor in yet another great war between the Romans and Goths. Theodemir and the Roman emperor Theodosius III faced off twice on the battlefield: first in the battle of Aquilea, in which the Goths were victorious, and soon thereafter in the disastrous battle of Emona, where the Gothic forces wandered into a Roman trap, resulting in the death of Theodemir, a massive boost to Roman momentum, and the coronation of Theodemir's son Witiges in Ravenna. This disastrous defeat in 622 resulted in the proclamation by the Dux Hispaniae, Witteric, of himself as Emperor of the Goths, rallying an army and gaining the support of the Dux Septimannia and the Prefect of Rome. Witteric led his forces to Ravenna, where the young king Witiges was besieged and, after smashing into and routing the Roman occupiers, a brief and chaotic inter-Gothic battle would take place in which scores of soldiers ostensibly loyal to the Kingdom would defect to Witteric, and in which Witteric would eventually personally kill Witiges in combat. Witteric would go on to capture the Roman general Heraclius the Younger at Sirmium and invade Roman territory while his ally, the Duke of Septimannia, led an expedition against the Vandal rebel Gunthamund II, who had proclaimed himself Emperor of the Vandals in the style of Witteric.
The Roman Balkans were already exhausted from Avar and Slavic raiding, and after the Battle of Sirmium the Roman forces were in disarray. In 633, the year that the Arab conquests began, Witteric would lay siege to the great Constantinople, a siege which he ended the following year as Goths in stead set about raiding and sacking the provinces. The war ended in 635 with a treaty which forced the Romans to recognise the Gothic ruler as equivalent to the Roman augustus or Persian shahanshah. That same year, the Romans would suffer yet another crushing defeat, this time at the hands of the muslim Khalid ibn Walid, at Yarmouk.

#4, 679 (this is wrong on the image but I can't be bothered to fix it right now): Once Witteric had proclaimed himself as Gothic Emperor (variously titled Latin Imperator, Augustus, Romaic Autokrator, or Gothic Swesreiks, a direct translation of autokrator, and hauhistireiks, or 'highest ruler', or simply reiks, a return to the prechristian titulature of the Gothic peoples) and roundly defeated the Romans, his reign was rather uneventful. A war with the Franks led to the loss of Vasconia and the Auvergne towards the end of his reign was the most notable geopolitical event that occured after the end of the early wars. His successor, Witiges II, was a different story. Unlike Witteric relatively uneventful postbellum reign, Witiges' was short and entirely defined by war. He was crowned in 660. In Francia, Childebert's War was in full swing: Dagobert I of Austrasia, who also ruled Neustria and Burgundy, was fighting his brother Clovis II, who had established himself in Clermont in the Auvergne and gained authority of Aquitania. Clovis requested the aid of the Gothic Emperor in his war, and Witiges agreed. By 664 he had declared war on Dagobert and, after nearly sacking the Papal city of Tours in 667, Witiges stood at the walls of the Austrasian capital of Reims in 677. Nearly two years of siege later, Dagobert was killed in single combat with Witiges, concluding the war as the latter proclaimed the annexation of all occupied territories; roughly one half of all of Francia. This new territory lasted all of four months, as Witiges' health rapidly worsened due to wounds suffered during the fight against the Frankish king. This is considered the end of the "first Gothic imperial period".

#5, 753: The death of emperor Witiges II, the territorial administrative overextension caused by his conquests, and the coronation of his seven year-old son Hildibad began a period of rapid imperial collapse in the Gothic Empire. Prefects and dukes and lesser nobles and manor-lords asserted an autonomy that resulted in the Empire of the Goths being transformed into something more resembling a confederation with the emperor as its nominal head. Particularly of note were the Diocese of Italia and Hispania, which were by far the most powerful, the Diocese of Mauretania, where a native synthetic Berber-Vandal-Romance state and culture emerged, and the Diocese of Vandalia, which was turned into a tributary of the mighty Sahmid Sultanate in Alexandria under a local muslim ruler, the Emir of al-Andalus

#6, 786: Totila I 'the Great', alleged descendant of Theodoric the Great's sword-bearer Theudis, was a military mentor and close friend of the second of the do-nothing emperors, Theodoric II. He eventually managed to convince the childless Theodoric to announce an abdication of the imperial title, and appoint Totila as his successor, in a bid to restore the Empire to its former glory. When Totila ascended to the throne in Ravenna, the power-structure of Gothia quaked beneath him. And it was right to do so; he would rapidly begin a reform of the military and a proclamation of restored imperial power. A conspiracy of rebellious lords and nobles developed and was crushed as rapidly as it had emerged. By 762, Annonaria, Provence and Septimannia had been cowed, while North Africa was considered lost for good; wars with local nobles was one thing, risking a provocation of the Sahmids and potentially the entire Imamate was quite another. The dukes of Hispania and Italia remained. After a rather bloody confrontation between Gothic emperor and the Italian duke at Perugia resulting in the latter's imprisonment, the dux agreed to have his authority limited to the island of Sicily in return for his life and loyalty.
The last war was after Totila had launched a reform of the system of provincial administration established under Athalaric I two hundred years before: the Diocese were abolished, leaving only the single level of the Provincial Prefecture, to curtail the potential power of local governors. This resulted in the last remaining ruler of a Diocese, the Dux Hispaniae Reccared I having his position made legally void. This, rather obviously, did not please Reccared who, after yet another curtailed conspiracy against the emperor followed by an uprising and battle near Taracona, fled to Emerita and proclaimed himself King of Spania, or Rex Hispaniae. Totila would die pursuing the rebel king, in an ambush near the new capital, after having left his nephew Teias to rule the empire in his absence. Teias proclaimed the completion of what came to be known as the Gothic Wars of Imperial Restoration after interfereing in the War of Aquitanian/Merovingian Succession on the side of the Arnulfing king Pepin III, reacquiring the ancient Gothic capital of Tolosa.

(God, way too much text)
 
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Sounds like the emergence of a division between the religious and the secular in the Arab social structure.
The Sultan is still a position with a lot of overt religious connotations, being the servant of the Imam and such. Their authority is less secular than, say, the Roman emperor. So, not quite yet. The Sultanate system needs to be more fully divorced from the authority of the Imam first.
 
The Sultan is still a position with a lot of overt religious connotations, being the servant of the Imam and such. Their authority is less secular than, say, the Roman emperor. So, not quite yet. The Sultanate system needs to be more fully divorced from the authority of the Imam first.
Well, I am more worried about such things as, for example, the section on religious and secular law.
 
Persian/Iranian Empire; House of Sasan, of course.
Things were going really well for these guys for a while, until the Tang decided they weren't.
History; Iran; 590-1051.png

A stronger Roman Empire, resulting from not having to manage the grueling quagmire that was the Gothic and Lombard Wars of OTL, paradoxically results in a more successful Sassanids. Justinian had more forces to send against Khosrow I's two-front war in the Lazic War. Specifically, a force was sent to relieve that Siege of Edessa, rather than it being left to relieve itself as OTL, but that force was defeated, resulting in a collapse of morale in the city. The subsequent fall of the fortress at Dara to Khosrow's forces results in the Iranians annexing all lands east of the Euphrates in 554. The subsequent 30-year truce holds for 40 years, at which point the Romans spur an uprising in Persian Armenia, which is effectively engaged by the Mihranid general Bahram Chobin, who suffers a minor defeat only to be dismissed by Hormizd IV and replaced by Pherocanes, who finishes the job.
That dismissal didn't sit well with Bahram, who starts his own uprising in 595 and has Hormizd executed in 601, proclaiming himself as the Shahanshah of the restored Persian Empire with the royal name Arsaces the 51st. Bahrams rule is secured after initially being narrowly defeated by the combined forces of Khosrow II and the Roman empire at Edessa, followed by him in turn encircling and crushing the latter outside of Ctesiphon with the aid of his allies arriving from the north, the Shah of Arran and King of Kartli. The Mihranid/Neo-Arsacid/Neo-Persian Empire lasts until Bahram's death in 616, afterwhich it fell into civil war between his sons Shapur and Noshrad, followed by Khosrow III (grandson of Khosrow I) restoring the Sassanid Empire with the help of Persian nobles in 619.
The continued existence of the Lakhmid Kingdom and the relative peace in the empire as compared to OTL (hasn't been constantly at war with the Romans) results in the Persians being able to effectively counter the Arab invasions, in both Mesopotamia and Yemen.

And this is where the Tang decided that thing shouldn't go well for the Sassanids anymore. Conflict over the Central Asian trade-cities of the Silk Road led to first a major defeat of Sassanid forces at the hands of the Tang Empire followed by a total imperial collapse as the Seven Great Houses of Iran - one of which, the House of Mihran, had also been responsible for Bahram Chobin - rose up in revolt against their Persian overlords, broadly supported by the Tang. Shahanshah Shapur V managed to reassert control of much territory and forced the Parthian Shahs of Arran, Adurbadagan (Azerbaijan), Nahavand and Spahan back into subjugation, but the empire would never return to its former glory.

There's also a little hint of a Nineveh-based, Syriac, Church-of-the-East-ist Mesopotamian Empire at the end there, but that'll have to wait for another time.
 
And now, the big one. The world in 815 AD, including a (partial) religious map and descriptions on some things I haven't touched on yet. This one's been posted in the Map Thread (XX) as well.
815 finished.png
 
I suspect the Anxi 'protectorate' isn't that Chinese at the upper ranks by this point. :p
Never really was! The Tang had a thing for mostly using non-Han/non-Chinese generals - at least until that policy disastrously backfired with the An Lushan Rebellion. The generals of Anxi are Turks and Sogdians (or some mixture of the two, like An Lushan himself probably was).
 
One of the things I find interesting about this timeline is the fact that the Arab Caliphate (or Imamate here), Byzantines, and Sassanids (though they might not be long for this world) all exist at the same time
 
The Great Sahmid Sultanate of Alexandria: Protector of the Imam and Scourge of the Mediterranean

The Sultanate of Alexandria, as with many of the pre-Fitna Sultanates, has its roots in the earliest Islamic history outside of the Hijaz. The Sahabi general Amr ibn al-As had been one of the leaders of the conquest of Egypt in 639-641, and was its first governor. As others vied for control of this wealthiest province, Amr made sure to appoint members of his own tribe, the Banu Sahm, to important offices in the newly created Egyptian province, and with his in 664 and the ascent of his son Abd Allah, Sahmid control of Alexandria and beyond was solidified. Abd Allah I was the first local muslims ruler to use the epithet sulthaht al-imam, or Power of the Imam, which paved the way for the establishment of the Sultan system with the death of Imam Husayn in 676 AD.

Abd Allah was succeeded in 689 AD by his son Abd al-Rahman, who expanded the Sultanate westward in the First and Second Sahmid-Vandal Wars (722 & 735 to 737, respectively), the latter of which established the Emirate of al-Andalus (vandal --> berber wandalus --> arabic al-andalus), which reigned over the still-extant Diocese of Vandalia. It was also under the rule of Abd al-Rahman that a community of Mansuri Dissenters (Ulamiyya) became based in the Egyptian oases of al-Wahat, which would play a pivotal role in later Islamic history.

Generally speaking, territorial expansion of Muslim territory by military conquest was limited before the Fitna (Muslim Civil War, 820 to 835), the Sahmid-Vandal Wars being the only real exception. Minor changes in territorial control along the frontiers of the Imamate occured, such as around the border with the Nubians or the Romans. However, after the civil war, the Sultanate of Alexandria became far more ambitious...
Great Sahmid Sultanate of Iskanderiyya.png


The great Islamic schools of Alexandria had given rise to the first systematized tradition of dawah, or invitation - islamic missionary activity. The post-Fitna Sahmid Sultanate was the first muslim state to treat evangelisation as a political project of the state, the first to prioritise the conversion of non-muslims to islam. While there were significant spiritual motivations behind this change due to currents within the Alexandrine madrassas, the primary motivation was political: The Sahmid Sultan wanted to ensure that the branch of Islam that he followed and which served as the basis of his authority (the Sultan derived his power from the Imam, who had been installed by the Sahmids during the Fitna) was widespread, and the best way he found to grow his denomination was through the conversion of non-believers.

Furthermore, as Alexandria controlled many of the most important shipbuilding regions of the Mediterranean - notably Egypt and Vandalia - also rapidly became the dominant naval power in the Mediterranean after a series of naval conflicts with the Romans, and almost nowhere in the Mediterranean was safe from the coastal raids which flowed from Ifriqiya, Muritanya, Crete, Qubrus and Sardinia.

The Occultationists of Lebanon who murdered the ibrahimi imam Fadel in 831 grew only more bold in the decades that followed, comitting banditry and terrorism in the area around their mountain hideouts. The Jund Lubnan became increasingly militarized in this period to deal with the sect, to limited effect.

At the time of the map, the most recent war was against the Romans in southern Italy. The Romans had in the 860s and '70s established suzerainty over the principalities of Ofanto and Calabria, and annexed the city of Bari and the Apulian peninsula from the Goths. By 880 the Egyptians had responded by vassalising Sicily by promising to recognise the Duke under the title of King of Sicily alongside a significant payment in tribute, and also by blockading Palermo, Syracuse and Lilybaeum, threatening to launch a land invasion if he did not comply. In 889 the Romans became distracted by the resurgent Bulgar Kingdom under King Vladimir, allowing the Sultan to launch an invasion of southern Italy, establishing the Jund al-Juthia, or the Military District of Gothia. The war is ongoing as of 890, but at a stalemate, as the Egyptian forces are consolidating their gains and regrouping for another campaign, while the Romans are disordered and distracted.
 
The Great Sahmid Sultanate of Alexandria: Protector of the Imam and Scourge of the Mediterranean

The Sultanate of Alexandria, as with many of the pre-Fitna Sultanates, has its roots in the earliest Islamic history outside of the Hijaz. The Sahabi general Amr ibn al-As had been one of the leaders of the conquest of Egypt in 639-641, and was its first governor. As others vied for control of this wealthiest province, Amr made sure to appoint members of his own tribe, the Banu Sahm, to important offices in the newly created Egyptian province, and with his in 664 and the ascent of his son Abd Allah, Sahmid control of Alexandria and beyond was solidified. Abd Allah I was the first local muslims ruler to use the epithet sulthaht al-imam, or Power of the Imam, which paved the way for the establishment of the Sultan system with the death of Imam Husayn in 676 AD.

Abd Allah was succeeded in 689 AD by his son Abd al-Rahman, who expanded the Sultanate westward in the First and Second Sahmid-Vandal Wars (722 & 735 to 737, respectively), the latter of which established the Emirate of al-Andalus (vandal --> berber wandalus --> arabic al-andalus), which reigned over the still-extant Diocese of Vandalia. It was also under the rule of Abd al-Rahman that a community of Mansuri Dissenters (Ulamiyya) became based in the Egyptian oases of al-Wahat, which would play a pivotal role in later Islamic history.

Generally speaking, territorial expansion of Muslim territory by military conquest was limited before the Fitna (Muslim Civil War, 820 to 835), the Sahmid-Vandal Wars being the only real exception. Minor changes in territorial control along the frontiers of the Imamate occured, such as around the border with the Nubians or the Romans. However, after the civil war, the Sultanate of Alexandria became far more ambitious...
View attachment 679329

The great Islamic schools of Alexandria had given rise to the first systematized tradition of dawah, or invitation - islamic missionary activity. The post-Fitna Sahmid Sultanate was the first muslim state to treat evangelisation as a political project of the state, the first to prioritise the conversion of non-muslims to islam. While there were significant spiritual motivations behind this change due to currents within the Alexandrine madrassas, the primary motivation was political: The Sahmid Sultan wanted to ensure that the branch of Islam that he followed and which served as the basis of his authority (the Sultan derived his power from the Imam, who had been installed by the Sahmids during the Fitna) was widespread, and the best way he found to grow his denomination was through the conversion of non-believers.

Furthermore, as Alexandria controlled many of the most important shipbuilding regions of the Mediterranean - notably Egypt and Vandalia - also rapidly became the dominant naval power in the Mediterranean after a series of naval conflicts with the Romans, and almost nowhere in the Mediterranean was safe from the coastal raids which flowed from Ifriqiya, Muritanya, Crete, Qubrus and Sardinia.

The Occultationists of Lebanon who murdered the ibrahimi imam Fadel in 831 grew only more bold in the decades that followed, comitting banditry and terrorism in the area around their mountain hideouts. The Jund Lubnan became increasingly militarized in this period to deal with the sect, to limited effect.

At the time of the map, the most recent war was against the Romans in southern Italy. The Romans had in the 860s and '70s established suzerainty over the principalities of Ofanto and Calabria, and annexed the city of Bari and the Apulian peninsula from the Goths. By 880 the Egyptians had responded by vassalising Sicily by promising to recognise the Duke under the title of King of Sicily alongside a significant payment in tribute, and also by blockading Palermo, Syracuse and Lilybaeum, threatening to launch a land invasion if he did not comply. In 889 the Romans became distracted by the resurgent Bulgar Kingdom under King Vladimir, allowing the Sultan to launch an invasion of southern Italy, establishing the Jund al-Juthia, or the Military District of Gothia. The war is ongoing as of 890, but at a stalemate, as the Egyptian forces are consolidating their gains and regrouping for another campaign, while the Romans are disordered and distracted.
Vandals still lives in the Al-Andalus? It would be interesting to see Muslim German Nation)
 
Vandals still lives in the Al-Andalus? It would be interesting to see Muslim German Nation)
Vandals and Goths were Germanic, not German, like how modern Scandinavians are Germanic but not German.

Anyway, yes, although they've become more "Gothicized" than IOTL after having been under Gothic rule for at least a few centuries at this point. The ruling class in particular is not really Vandal in any real sense anymore other than the label, which was also fading away until the muslim conquest. The rural population is a mess of Vandalic, Gothic, Berber and African Romance, with some Arab and Egyptian populations immigrating recently. The "Vandal" population is still Christian, in the sense that Christians living in al-Andalus are called Vandals by the Sultanate, no matter what they may call themselves.
 
Anyway, yes, although they've become more "Gothicized" than IOTL after having been under Gothic rule for at least a few centuries at this point. The ruling class in particular is not really Vandal in any real sense anymore other than the label, which was also fading away until the muslim conquest. The rural population is a mess of Vandalic, Gothic, Berber and African Romance, with some Arab and Egyptian populations immigrating recently. The "Vandal" population is still Christian, in the sense that Christians living in al-Andalus are called Vandals by the Sultanate, no matter what they may call themselves.
It is worth considering that the Vandals in Africa were much more insignificant than the Visigoths and Suevi in Spain (there were actually more Alans in the Geyserich army than the Germans). So by that time the conquerors will dissolve among the locals.
 
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