Collaborative timeline: Dunes of the Desert, a Timeline without Islam

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Tomislav Addai, Dec 8, 2018.

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  1. Goldensilver81 Well-Known Member

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    question when do you plan to stop 20th century?
     
  2. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    Indeed ideally we shall reach present day.
     
  3. Albrecht Physicalist Transhumanist Banned

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    Good. Well done.
     
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  4. Blacklister3000 Libertarian of sorts

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    I will help out as I have always done, my comrade.
     
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  5. Threadmarks: Miscenlanous:Churches of the Coptic Communion

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    The Oriental Orthodox, or Miaphysite (sometimes called also Monophysite by their Chalcedonian opponents) are in many ways a negation of Nestorianism. Not merely in the the Christological doctrine (with the Oriental Orthodox claiming that the human nature of Christ practically dissolved in the divine), but also in terms of canonical jurisdiction. In contrast to the unified Church of the East, the Miaphysite communion is a fellowship of separate national churches, led by the Coptic Pope, who is however a primus inter pares.

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    The Oriental Orthodox tradition is strong in the Middle East, especially among the speakers of Afro-Asiatic languages. The most senior is of course the Coptic Orthodox Church based in Kashromi, Egypt. Under its jurisdiction is basically the entire Nile Valley, with Coptic being the main liturgical language, but Geez and Nubian have also been elevated to the languages of liturgy in Ethiopia and Nubia respectively. Ethiopia´s position within the organization of the church is rather specific, with Ethiopian demands to be granted full autocephaly. To make matters even more interesting, the Coptic Church also claims the Somali coast as its own canonical territory, due it being on the African continent.
    The Coptic Orthodox Church has a very strong monastic tradition, and has also quite a few elements derived from Jewish tradition.
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    The Syriac Orthodox Church, also known sometimes as the Jacobite Church, is the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in terms of geographic extent. Originally formed as a parallel institution to the Melkite Patriarchate of Antioch, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs are now based in Damascus. The liturgical language of the Church is classical Syriac. However, relations with the Church of the East (Nestorianism) are openly hostile (1). Throughout the centuries, it has created two autocephalous bodies: the Maphrianate of the East (blue), based in Tagrit, to encompass Mesopotamia, Persia and Central Asia; and the Maphrianate of the South to encompass the lands of Yemen and Himyar, Hijaz and the Somali coast. Both the regions of Hejaz and Najd are disputed between Damascus and the southern Maphrians; due to the political weakening of the Syriac Orthodox Church (being ruled by Nestorian Seljuqs), it appears that the Yemen Maphrianate has now the upper hand in the bargaining. Moreover, the populace speaks Arabic, not Aramaic in the areas.
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    Armenian Apostolic Church was one of the first national churches to gain autocephaly, and is very specifiically tied to Armenian national identity. The Church has to deal with the heresy of Paulicianism, but also with a growing number of converts to Rhomaic Orthodoxy, especially in the areas controlled by the Rhomaic Empire.
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    Etchmiadzin, the seat of the Catholikos of Armenia

    Detatched from it is the Church of Aghbania, covering the lower Kura and Araxes valleys, plus the Steppe lands north of the Caucasus, between the Pontic and the Caspian Seas

    (1) Perhaps a parallel to the Sunni-Shia relations?
     
  6. Albrecht Physicalist Transhumanist Banned

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    Do the Turks still expand?
     
  7. Goldensilver81 Well-Known Member

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    good update i like the detailed explination
     
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  8. legumes Member

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    Really liking things so far.
    One question though. From the main lack of Islam there's also no Dome of the Rock built on the temple mount. So what is built on the ruins of the second temple? A church? Or even an eventual effort to rebuild a third temple?
     
  9. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    The Seljuks are in control of Iran and the Levant as well . Most probably not going to penetrate into Anatolia
     
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  10. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    Most probably there should be a Church, which is currently held by Nestorians
     
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  11. Blacklister3000 Libertarian of sorts

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    We won't be discussing the Americas or Oceania, I believe, until the 1400s, or if possible we could just begin now. The New World is relatively unaffected by this POD until the age of exploration. Is there an earlier age of exploration?
     
  12. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    Vinland already exists as a thing, and contact is thus beginning the the region of the Maritimes. Given Luso-Norman exploration, they may soon reach the Capverds and the Azores; yet I doubt they will reach America just now.
     
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 71: Tungusic Tribes, Taiga and Monks in Mongolia

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    Let us return back to our timeline. We shall begin as we did before, commencing in northeastern Asia.

    The previous rulers of northern China, the Liao, were overthrown by another people, called the Jurchens, who have set up their own dynasty in northern China. The Liao were exiled westwards by a joint operation of the Jurchen, a Tungusic people from Manchuria, and the forces of the Song dynasty of China. They lived a sedentary agricultural lifestyle, and used to organized under chiefs, the most powerful held the title Beile.(1) Authority was not transferred from father to son, but rather was transferred to the most capable relative
    upload_2019-11-9_10-25-46.png
    The collapse of the Liao resulted in Jin (green) becoming their geopolitical heirs; and the various Mongol clans asserted independence
    The Han Chinese, living within the borders of the former Liao empire, greatly resisted any incorporation into the Song state; rather they favoured cooperation with the new conquerors, the Jurchens. The Jin dynasty expanded its borders southwards, to include large parts of the great Chinese Plain.

    Around three million people, that is half of the original Jurchen population, migrated south, mixing in with the 30 million Han subjects within the borders of the Jin realm. The core areas of the Jin state were in the basin of the Yellow River; the basin of the Yangtse on the otherhand was the core area of the rival Song Dynasty.

    The Jurchens had vanquished their opponents by superior military tactics. In their early years, it was mainly due to effective heavy cavalry; after consolidating their rule over much of northern China, they welcomed in their ranks many Song and Liao soldiers, and started building also an early artillery department: using cannons, grenades, rockets and gunpowder. To defend the northern borders, the Jin repaired and built new sections of the Great Wall of China.
    upload_2019-11-9_10-24-9.jpeg
    Great Wall of China
    While the ethnic groups at first were very different, the superiority of Chinese culture soon resulted in assimilation of the relatively small number of southward migrating Jurchen. Nevertheless, the Jurchen invented their own script, which was based upon the Khitan script used by the Liao, and some works of the Chinese classics were translated into Jurchen.

    In terms of religion, Buddhism apparently expanded rapidly, especially among the Jurchens in Manchuria (smaller Tungusic clans however retained their own and earlier tribal beliefs). Among the Han, the dominant belief system was Taoism.

    Further inland, we have the eastern Steppe. The individual clans and tribes have managed to to reassert their independence after the previous period of Liao rule.

    Among the different Mongolic clans and tribes of the plateau, we can see four major contenders: the Khamag in the northeast (2), the Tatars in the southeast, the Khereits in the south and the Naimans in the west. Smaller clans include the Onguts, the Merkits, the Buryats and the Tuvans, all living in northern forest-steppe border zone.

    Nestorian Chrisitianty becomes more ingrained among the southern Mongolian tribes, the Naimans and the Kereits, as well as well as among the Ongut. The Christianization of these tribes means also the establishment of a network of monasteries; with Assyrian monks setting up libraries and schools and hospitals as well as churches. In the proximity of these monasteries, perhaps the earliest permanent villages were established, as the yurts would not have moved for at first a couple of years, and then their inhabitants decide to build them more comfortable.

    Eventually, the Metropolitan recognizes that the Eastern Steppe offers a great potential for preaching, and Keraites are elevated to the seat of a metropolitan province, and the Naimans and the Onguts receive their own bishops.

    During the eleventh century, two more clans accept baptism: the Tuvans (technically a Turkic people) and the Oirats. The Tatars, living on the southeastern edge of the plateau, have been exposed to Buddhism; yet the Mongol clans viewed it as largely incompatible with their culture, especially as it is largely vegetarian and pacifist. Talk about that to a steppe nomad. Furthermore, Christians drink alcohol during mass.
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    While Buddhism spreads in Manchuria, Nestorian Christianity spreads throughout the southern parts of the Mongolian plateau
    However, folk Christianity as practiced in Mongolia was very different from Assyrian Christianity practiced in Mesopotamia. To standardize the faith and teach the Gospel, of course, monks established monasteries. But a standard church in the steppe would be a yurt church, moving around with the yurts of its parishioners as the seasons change.

    Many Christian symbols already had a meaning in Mongolian traditions, a base that the early missionaries could build on. For example the name Yesu means “nine” in Mongolian, a sacred number. The sign of the Cross also signifies the four directions of the compass. For many, Yesu was a powerful shaman and healer, and this aspect of his ministry was often put forwards.

    According to the letters of the Visitor of the Order of Mar Addai in for the province Beth Karayit “The understanding of the faith in Steppe is generally poor despite the very best efforts of our abbots and monks. The Naimans, the Keraits and the Onguts consider themselves to be Christian, yet their practice is generally barbaric, intertwined with their ancient shamanic traditions, and often led astray by the heresy of Manicheism. However, given proper preaching and effort, the word of the Lord can spread far and wide across the grasslands and steppes, as the Mongols found that the name of our Messiah also means the number nine, which they view as sacred, and they took great joy when hearing that we drink wine during liturgy. When I look at these people, tough and hardened by the freezing winters, they would make the best protectors (3) of our faith, should the need arise”.

    Ultimately, some elements of Christian worldview and religion appear to have gotten ingrained also into the mythology of the other tribes, without receiving baptism just yet.

    The peoples to the north of the steppe were collectively known to the Mongols as oin irged, meaning forest peoples. The tribes and clans living in the proximity of the steppe were indeed related to their southern cousins, mainly the Buryats; among the forest peoples were also the Tuvans, the Kyrgyz and the more distant Sakhas, forming the Siberian or northeastern branch of the Turkic family.

    The Sakha have settled as reindeer-herders in the Middle Lena basin (4); the speakers of the northern Tungusic languages – the Evenk and the Lamut- are located between the northern tip of Lake Baikal and the Sea of Okhotsk.
    upload_2019-11-9_10-27-48.png
    Society hasn't changed much, has it?
    Large swathes of Siberia east of the Yenisei are still inhabited by Paleosiberian hunter-gatherer tribes: the Yeniseians, of whom the most famous are the Ket, inhabit the are middle Yenisei basin as well as the Central Siberian Plateau up until they find the border with the Sakha; the area beyond the Verkhoyansk ridge, based around the Kolyma river basin is inhabited by the Yukaghirs.
    upload_2019-11-9_10-28-59.png
    No, the Yeniseians are not a northrn branch of the Mongolic languages
    Ultimately, the northeasternmost extremities of Asia, the peninsulas of Chukotka and Kamchatka are home to the Chukchi, the Koryaks and the Kamchadals, being still on Stone age technology.

    (1) Cognate with Turkish bey

    (2) Those who historically united Mongolia

    (3) Are we going to see the Mongols as the Vikings for Asia? The Normans of the Nestorian faith?

    (4) More or less in the region of Yakutsk.

    Note: Apart from the areas discussed, other regions depicted on the map have not yet been changed. Therefore, Central Asia and South China may be depicted inaccurately.
     

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  14. Blacklister3000 Libertarian of sorts

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    Chapter 71? What years?
     
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  15. Goldensilver81 Well-Known Member

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    What he said
     
  16. Blacklister3000 Libertarian of sorts

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    I meant label it as Chapter 71. Also are you from Slovakia?
     
  17. Goldensilver81 Well-Known Member

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    No but i also meant labalted as chapter 71
     
  18. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    I am, yes. From the central part (most of the time in Bystrica )
    Threadmarked the page.
    Also perhaps not written anywhere but starting a 12th century tour of the world. Starting from the East, mainly because history is "cooked" over there (horde invasions)
     
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  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 72:Central Asia, Crossroad of Cultures

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

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    Continuing further westwards, we enter into Central Asia. The regions of Sogdia and surrounding areas had been held by the Karakhanids, a Karluk Turkic dynasty. The Karluk dynasty was overthrown in 1120s by the Liao (Khitan) exiles. By now, the Liao dynasty and the Khitans were largely sinicized, to such an extent, that the surrounding peoples thought of them as Chinese.

    The Khitans considered themselves to be a legitimate Chinese dynasty and have chosen metal as their dynastic element. The colour associated with metal in Chinese tradition is black, and the word for black in Turkic languages is “Qara”; hence they became known as the Qara-Khitai. The word Khitai, undar the term Cathay, has come to be a synonym for China in the western world.

    The area thus once more can be considered as a crossroad of cultures and religions. While the Middle-Eastern and Persian vector has been dominant throughout the previous centuries, the Indian vector and influence has presented itself in the form of the advent of Buddhism. Chinese influence had been scarce, save for the period of Tang rule over the region.
    upload_2019-11-12_13-51-47.png
    Spread of bureaucratic administration westwards
    The Qara-khitai have also brought with them the Chinese system of administration, replacing the previous Persian and nomadic systems. Their monarchs bore the title Gurkhan. The ruling elites practiced mostly Mahayana Buddhism, as did the Iranian- speaking Sakas in the eastern parts of the realm, in the Tarim Basin.

    As said the Kara-khitai ruled over a heterogenous population, mostly consisting of Karluk-sepaking to a lesser extent Oghuz speaking Turks, Uyghurs further east and Iranina-speaking Sakas and Sogdians.

    By the time of the 12th century, there were already flourishing urban centres in Central Asia, such as Balasagun, Kokkand, Hezhond (Samarkand), Chachi (Tashkent), Kashgar, Yarkent, Khotan or Almaliq. These cities were thus also to be found in areas more distant to existent civilizations.
    upload_2019-11-12_13-54-11.png
    Religion in Central Asia
    The vast majority of their subjects, however were Nestorian Christians, be they Sogdians or Turks. By the end of the 12th century, Manicheism appears to have almost completely vanished within the borders of the Karakhitay realm. The Khitans nevertheless brought a resurgence of Buddhism to the west.

    Despite giving way to Khitan and Chinese as languages of administration, Sogdian still remains an important language, mainly due to its use in Church, as a liturgical language (1). Also Uyghur remains in use as a written language.

    The Kara-khitans were also ruling over their tributary Uyghur kingdom of Qocho. The Buddhist element in the realm appears to have surpassed the former dominant Manichean element, although again we could argue that the two religions were more in a synthesis than in a hostile relationship (2).
    upload_2019-11-12_13-50-41.png
    Political map of Central Asia
    On the Upper Yenisey, we can encounter the Kirghyz, who have by now adopted Manicheism from their neighbours in the Kimek-Kipchak Confederation. That latter realm is however non-existent, as the vast grasslands of the central and western steppes have come to be dominated by the Cumans.

    The Cumans thus controlled an areas stretching from the mouth of the Danube to the sources of the Ob River. A large part of them are Tengriist pagans, those further east are mostly Nestorian (with many Tengri practices still ingrained).
    upload_2019-11-12_13-55-41.png
    Finally, languages of Central Asia
    (1) Resulting in more of a preservation of Sogdian rather than its decline in favour of Turkic as it happened historically.

    (2) I mean, in the west, the religions themselves claimed mutual exclusivity, as you could not be a Christian and Muslim simultaneously. In the East, especially with a syncretic religion such as Manicheism and a rather nontheistic religion such as Buddhism, both very similar, you could very well end up with the two just meddling into one. The change had also to do with the native Uyghur Toxoxian Manichean hierarchy just more-less collapsing in the wars
     
  20. Goldensilver81 Well-Known Member

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    i have opended a 12th century history book
     
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