Challenge: Pagan ERE, Christian WRE.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by NAF, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. NAF Active Member

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    The POD can be whenever.

    I'm up for really any scenario, even borderline ridiculous ones, so long as they are at least minutely possible.
     
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  2. Albert.Nik Well-Known Member

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    Possibly ASB?
     
  3. NAF Active Member

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    ASB seems like such a strong term, no? I'd like to think there's at least one collection of events in which this could be achieved.
     
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  4. Albert.Nik Well-Known Member

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    The division of ERE and WRE had happened at a time when they were strongly Christian already. So only some kind of Apostate Emperors like Julian who wants to revive Paganism of Europe and ME,Judaism and other Monotheistic cults can do it. But see,if ERE half is conquered by a Pagan power from the East(highly unlikely) it would no longer be ERE. We don't call Arabs,Persians and Turks or even for that matter Ostrogothic and Visigothic rulers as Romans,could we? Georgians and Armenian conquest would be Christian again and perhaps more hardline Christian rulers they would be. Zoroastrian Persians are neither Pagan nor Roman so they are out of this AHC. Scythians,etc would probably convert to Christianity like the Slavs and so would Celts and Germanic settlers and invaders. So on the borderline to ASB as even emperors like Julian would be killed or deposed if they tried to move away too much from Christianity or try to take out Christianity as a whole.
     
  5. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    Only way how this can happen is Roman Civil War between Christians and Pagans in 4th century and Roman Empire is divided between Christian and Paganic empires. But not sure how plausible this is.
     
  6. SpaceRome Well-Known Member

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    This is, while not ASB, extremely unlikely - with a later POD you can't make the east pagan, and with an earlier one you can't make the west christian. This is because Christianity spread from east to west - if you butterfly away christian Jerusalem, Thessaloniki and Alexandria than you can't get a christian Rome, Carthage and Lyon.

    A reverse challange - a pagan west and christian east - is much more plausible, IMO. all you need is a large anti-christian popular movement in the first century (which would require some revitalization of pagan religion and philosophy) pandering to roman fears of 'the mysterious & dangerous east', and a christian claiment to the purple. A civil war will ensue, and the empire will split along religious and cultural grounds - a latin-punic pagan west and egyptian-greek christian east. However, some sort of reform or transition is required for a pagan west to keep being pagan - maybe transforming into something more akin to hinduism or embrace the monotheistic (but pagan) cults like mithras or sol invictus.
     
  7. darthfanta Offline

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    A Pagan Arabia somehow unites and conquers the ERE?
     
  8. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    In that point ERE was too strongly christianised that it just would convert to paganism. And I doubt that Arabs can even do that.
     
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  9. Albert.Nik Well-Known Member

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    Pagan Arabs were too disunited until the advent of Islam so that is not a possibility.
     
  10. Albert.Nik Well-Known Member

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    Can we first make the definition of Pagan clear before moving forward?
     
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  11. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    I think that it means Greek/Roman Polytheism here.
     
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  12. NAF Active Member

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    Correct.
     
  13. Danifa94 Advocatus rei publicae

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    As others have said before, this challenge is extremely difficult because the origin and centre of Christianity itself is in the East (The Holy Land, the First Churches, Four Patriarchs of the Pentarchy) so while you can get a WRE/ERE division (as a result of Diocletian´s reform, The Crisis of the Third Century or even the division of power between Octavian and Mark Anthony) without it implying that is too late in time to stop Christianity, you cant get a world where Christianity fails in the East, without it failing too in the more traditional, pagan West. A Christian West and Pagan East will be probably a temporal thing, based only in Cuius regio, eius religio, so the East will be considered pagan or the West christian because of the Emperor´s religion, not the real religious situation. The easiest way that I can imagine to get this is an early conversion of Constantine The Great when he was only the ruler of the West, and Licinius remains pagan but friendly because Constantine is protected by his own Edict of Milan, Edict that was co-authored by Licinius himself. The problem is that Constantine will try to reunify the Empire at any moment, and Licinius will try to maintain the Tetrarchy model by dividing his power by setting a Caesar, so his ERE would not be an ERE in the classic sense. Other possibilities are:

    *Procopius, (Julian´s Cousin) is succesful in overthrowing Valens, surviving Valentinian I, gets a deal with Gratian and continues the policies of The Apostate. (However we dont know much about Procopius or the faith that he professed so is difficult to say how much plausibility this idea has).

    *There is a Christian usurper in the West during Julian´s reign, that him (or a pagan succesor) are forced to get a deal with because the East is too occupied with the Sassanids to fight ANOTHER Civil War. (However, this will be only an armistice. Until Theodosius or Zeno, by fiction or fact, that phrase from The Romance of The Three Kingdoms applies:The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. (Of course, in Rome, long doesnt apply as much as in China).

    *Constans survives and remains emperor of the West, meanwhile Julian the Apostate remains the Caesar and heir of Constantius II. That way, the West remains Christian while the East is under The Apostate. (More stable than the previous option, but again, it is not a guarantee of peace).
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  14. Superninja76 Well-Known Member

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    WRE never goes down, sassanid-roman war isn't butterflied, east loses?
     
  15. Danifa94 Advocatus rei publicae

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    Lamentably, if that happens, the ERE will not exist anymore, because it will be conquered by the persians, who are Zoroastrians, not pagans.
    And even if the ERE survives in the Balkans or as a Sassanid puppet, by that time the Empire is so christian that there isnt a reason for it to became pagan, or enough pagan people with power to do something and interested in doing so. You will need to go the same way that Crusader Kings II does with their restauration of Hellenism: It´s the result of the Emperor´s insanity.
     
  16. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    We just need to keep changing rulers. So the population can go from Christian > Zoroastians > Pagan. We need the Pagans to come from somewhere, so how about some of them holding out in the Balkans and one of the pagan minorites ends up founding a dynasty that restores the ERE?
     
  17. Danifa94 Advocatus rei publicae

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    Could work, in an Empire of Nicea or Reconquista style. However, I think that, while it will be epic, that pagan resistance must have a great leadership or literal Divine help from the Olympians to not only survive, but thrive if we start using the ERE of Heraclius as a base. The pagans are too weak by then. Of course, you can use any of the other roman-sassanid wars (truly a tradition) to get the ERE defeated and humillated, when it wasnt that christianized. Another change that could help is the Roman State maintaining a non active anti-pagan policy. That is, letting them be, but not financing them, not authorizing new temples or recognizing their titles, until they accept social pressure and disappear naturally. This relative toleration ended with Theodosius, Gratian and Valentinian II, who did a lot to destroy whatever remained of Paganism, especially Theodosius. Without the practical ban on Paganism, in public or private life, established by the "Theodosian Decrees", Paganism would still have an skeleton of a system to survive more years until an ERE´s defeat, and be able to survive that defeat. Also, it would make possible the survival of a pagan upper class, influential and educated, that could serve as the core of a restoration of paganism. (As late as the reign of Theodosius, there were petitions to the Emperor made by pagan senators, asking for the restoration of the Altar of Victory in Rome, and according to Paulinus of Milan in his Life of Ambrose, the usurper Eugenius(392-394) restored the Altar during his rule.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018