Collaborative timeline: Dunes of the Desert

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

  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 18: The southern continent during the 8 th century

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Now let us look at the southern continent of the Old World during the eighth century. The Tamazigh area is preserving its subroman Berber culture, with gradually various realms consolidating their hold over the highland regions of the Atlas, and even extending their rule northwards into the coastal plains. The regions of Duđana and Bisdakena were the only ones outside of Berber hold, and swore fealty to the Rhomaic emperor; the area acted as a southern prolongation of the isle of Sicily; the regions of Numidia remained however outside of Rhomaic control throughout the entire century. Formerly united as tribal confederation of Queen Kahina to halt the advancements of the Banu Hilal, the Aures confederacy managed to conquer their hold in Tibwitana and Fazana - the refugees being dispersed paradoxically into the Rhomaic held exarchate in Tafirca and to the kingdom of Warsenis.Its chiefs now proclaimed themselves as the heirs of the old kingdom of Numidia, for they controlled much of the eastern Tamazgha(1). Its western neighbour was the kingdom of Warsenis - which extended into the Chilemath (2) basin. This kingdom controlled much of the Kešreš region (Mauritania Ceasarensis), while Sitifensis (Išfeši) became part of Numidia. In contrast to its eastern and western neighbours, though, this kingdom was far more "barbaric", that is, less influenced by Rome. Further west was lay the kingdom of Altava (3), which was declining. Yet Altava adopted Catholicism in the 720s, not long before its conquest by the Moors (Mauri), a tribal confederation of West Atlas Berbers, who were pushing eastwards along the Atlas due to unification movements in Tiźtana - most notably, the rise of the Barghawata confederacy in the areas to the southwest of the former Limes (4). The Barghawata were notable for reforming the traditional Berber religion and taking up Jewish, Donatist and Catholic influences. Those they took from the Mawrtaňan kingdom, whose establishment is tied to a certain Julian, Count of Išeftu. He managed to unify the Latin-speakers in the region and extended to the area of place called Rabat in an alternate history (5).

    All in all, the Latin speaking world adopted Catholicism, while Donatism prevails among most of the Berber states (with exception of Barghatawa).

    The coastal region of Tibwitana has had a shift in culture and language - the urban areas preserved their Latinate speach, yet the hinterlands were settled by mostly Berbers from the inlands, from the encroaching Sahara; yet there were still some Banu Hilal Arabs, though most of them settled in the lowlands of Warsenis or in Tafirka. The easternmost parts of the Tibwitana were home to a Semitic peoples, the Chanani, a living testimony to the long-passed Carthaginian empire, speaking a Punic tongue.

    Other Banu Hilal returned to Egypt, which had become a stable monarchy under the Yaqubid dynasty. While Coptic remained the everyday tongue of most of the populace, occassionaly one could here Arabic spoken in Middle Egypt or the eastern parts of Lower Egypt by descendants of the the original Misraim Arabs. In Fustat, Arabic was written with Coptic letters. Apart from Arabs, Egypt hosted a large number of Greeks and Jews, while the military was strengthened by Berber and Armenian mercenaries as well.

    Further upstream the Nile river were two Miaphysite Nubian kingdoms - Makuria and Dongola ; to their east on the coasts of the Red Sea dwellt the Blemmyes and the Beja. These tribes have for long been resisting attempts to accept Christendom, for their rituals were akin to those of Egypt in the days of the pharaohs, yet little by little they began to accept the Messiah, at least in the harbour towns. And while some of their chieftains did accept baptism, in secret they maintained their pagan idols. As one moved further south, the cultural influence of Egypt waned, until one reached an impassable marshland inhabited by the Fur people; to the east of the upper Nile basin arose the Ethiopian highland. In its northern part lay the empire of Axum (6), extending its political influence to the other side of the Red Sea, into Himyar, and culturally even furthern northwards, to Mecca and Yathrib, where it once more met with Syrian influence from the north. In the mid 8th century, Himyar would break free once more, and Himyar would become a Christian kingdom of the Miaphysite creed.

    South of the Sahara lay the Sahel, a first hospitable place to settle for many travellers across the Sahara. The trans-saharan trade-routes maintained contact between the Mediterranean coast and the Niger river valley, and ocassionally Donatist priest would travel along with the merchants. However it was thanks to the Touaregs that Christianity arrived in the Sahel , yet for it to make a deep inroad, ome must wait a couple of centuries

    (1) Maghreb
    (2) Original Latin name, moder Chelif river
    (3) in eastern Morrocco and westernmost Algeria
    (4) Much of west-central Morrocco
    (5) That is, OTL
    (6) Covering Eritrea, Djibouti and the northern parts of Ethiopia
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  2. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    My question now is : does anyone have a knowledge of the distribution of Gnostic denominations, as where which group was present?
    Jing0ist_Peasant likes this.
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 19: Middle East, the Birthplace of world religions

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The 8th century in the Fertile Crescent saw both processes of consolidation a fragmentation. To the southwest, in the Holy Land named so by the Christians, for that was the area where the Messaiah lived, Kemet has established a foothold in Gaza, and its control extended to the neighboring coastal plain.

    The Ebionite kingdom of Jerusalem was conquered in the early 8th century by Ghassanids in Syria; and the Banu Judham nobility fled across the Jordan river to the oasis cities of Tayma and Tabouk, where they maintained their faith and customs. The suzerainty of the Ghassanids was a welcome step for the Miaphysites, yet a large number of Jews quit Palestine and settled either in Kemet or in the Hejaz (others settled in Mesopotamia). By the year 800, there were more Samaritans in the area than Jews.

    In linguistic terms, the various communities living side-by-side developped their very own dialects, descended from common western Aramaic - the well known written varieties are Christian Palestinian Aramaic , Jewish Palestinian Aramaic and Samaritan Aramaic, in Gaza, the local Aramaic language was full of Greek, Coptic and to a lesser extent even Arabic loanwords, passed from the Misri Arabic of Fustat as well as from the Bedawi dialect spoken in the Sinai desert.

    In Oultrejordain, or Arabia Petraea, the ancient kingdom of Nabatea, the Arabic and Aramaic dialects of the area, merged together, spreading the tongue also to the urban inhabitants, who previously spoke a Hellenic tongue; the area had become incorporated into the Ghassanid Kingdom, where the ruling elite was Arabic, yet used Syriac in liturgy. This diglossia prevailed also in Oultrejordain, where the populace was mostly Monophysite, with Melkites living in urban communities (1). Furthermore, in the Oultrejordain took refuge believers of Ebionitism, but also other Gnostic or parajudaic sects, who had been tolerated by the Banu Judham, but feared of persecution from the Ghassanids.

    The Oultrajordain and Judea at this profit from their position, being on the major caravan routes between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and the caravans travelled on the frankincense route to Himyar and even further to India; for such trade, sea travel was used more often, and most often were used the ports near the Gulf of Aqaba.

    The Ghassanid kingdom however experienced major setbacks and losses - after Constantine V. of the Rhomaic empire regained Antioch and environs (2), Edessa and Cilicia, it was attacked by Armenians who took Amida, and Adiabene (3), which took the lower Osroene and the Euphrates valley (4). This domino effect continued, for the cities on the Phoenician coast, previously tributary to Damascus, asserted full independence.

    The most importation were Tyre, Sidon, Berytos and Tripoli (whose hinterland extended far inland), in the south, also Acre became a selfgoverning county. For the most part, these cities were independent oligarchic republics, interested in profit and trade; the valleys provided them with cedar wood, and they were left mostly independent. The city of Beirut had shifted before from Latin to Greek, yet now once more it shifted its languge to Aramaic. That language developed a specific variety on the Phoenician coast, sometimes called Medieval Maronite Aramaic, for its speakers were mostly Maronites, a Christian sect named after Mar Maron; they recognized the authority of neither patriarch but their own, who claimed to be the Patriarch of Antioch, yet he dwellt in Bkerke in one of the valleys of the Lebanon mountains.
    Yet in Phoenicia dwellt also Melkites, most importantly in the area between Tripoli and Beirout, but they have adopted the local Aramaic variety for their daily use.

    The Ghassanid kingdom was thus reserved to Judea, Oultrejordain, Auranitis (5), the Beqaa valley, Aram- Damascus and the Middle Orontes. Even the oasis-city of Palmyra reaserted its independence. Similarly, the Kurds of the Kurdish mountain at Afrin asserted independence, and Aleppo becomes a city state untio itselfThe rump state was a Semitic Christian one, and the ruling elite were preserving their own Arabic idioms, while preserving Aramaic as language of state administration. The border between the two languages can be seen as the border between the bedouin and the sedentary populations, pushed a little further in the direction of the latter - thus the entire Iturea, including the Auranitis and Trachonitis took up Arabic, and Aramaic retreated to the eastern foothills of the Antilebanon mountains, so that the city of Damascus and its environs were the last Aramophone cities on the border... and linguistic border from there continued from there roughly along the road that leads to the city of Emessa (6) and from there the straightest way to reach the bend of the Euphrates. The Arabic rule have Coelo-Syrian Aramaic a strong mark. The language was cultivated chiefly in Damascus, where many historians, churchmen and poets used the Damascene variety to write down the facts or their thoughts

    As for religious landscape, the region was predominantly Miaphysite, yet the Syriac Orthodox Church was weaker in the Middle and Upper Orontes valley, which were dominated by the Melkites, that is Orthodox Christians.

    Further east lay the already mentioned kingdom of Adiabene, which built many fortifications and castles in this period. Adiabene conquers Edessa from the Rhomaic empire in the last decade of the century, a place considered by many to be the cradle of the Church of the East. The Adiabene continues in campaigns against the Kurdish tribes of the Zagros, to secured most of the Tigris watershed. Its southern border was not far from the gates of Qtespon.

    The kingdom of Adiabene however did not care only for military power. Within its borders were the universities of Nisibis, of Edessa, and of Harran , gathering many scholars and translators, who translated the works of Greek classics, of scientists and philosophers, to Syriac. This was so to rival the Academy of Gundeshapur which lay in the neighbouring Sawad.
    Many new monasteries have been founded during this period; not only becoming places of meditation, but also of research and transcription. Amongst some of the better known scholars were Marutha of Tagrit and Youhanan bar Penkaye.
    (Mar Ellia monastery)

    As mentioned previously the kingdom of Adiabene, which renamed itself to kingdom of Assyria in the later 8th century, trying to continue the tradition (and being a good- sounding name, for Adiabene was known to most people as a mere satrapy, yet Assyrians once forged one of the greatest empires covering the entire Fertile Crescent) was a multireligious realm, and after conquering large parts of the middle Euphrates valley, the ratio between Nestorians and Miaphysites was almost 1 : 1. The western regions are mostly Miaphysite, as well as the city of Tagrit. Else, the entire Tigris valley was predominantly Nestorian
    The surrounding highlander tribes are being Christianised, and new churches were built in the mid-eight century in most of the Kurdish villages, yet the more remote tribes stuck to their tribal faiths

    Further downstream lay the Kingdom of Sawad, where the authority of the kings was gradually decreasing. The feudal nobles eventually became the true rulers of their lands; and in the eastern province of Khuzestan or Maishan, there was the Academy of Gundeshapur, one of the greatest hospitals in the world, which was the center of medical research. The best known were Masawai and the Bakhtishtu family, a dynasty of high skilled physicians. A number of Sabian scholars (Thabit ben Khura) have resettled to the more tolerant Sawad to avoid religious persecution on the basis of their nonchristian religion.

    For Sawad until the 780s were a rather tolerant realm, and while the dominant Nestorian Christians would be the majority, other religions have been present in the area.
    Manicheans had their religious head, the Kahna (Syriac word for leader) seated in Qtespon, and the Manicheans would compete with Nestorians in proselytizing along the Silk Road.
    The Manicheans dwellt mainly in the south of the ancient area of Veh Kavad (7); after the beginning of the persecution in the 780s, some would move to Persia, others flee to the Arabian desert and to Hormuz. The Patriarch himself was allowed to remain, but most of the followers outside of the capital province were targetted by the local landlords; in Qtespon the mayor declared that no Manicheans are allowed to settle.
    The Jews of Sawad remain a rather secretive people, and are forbidden to hold arable land outside the province west of Qtespon (8).

    The dominant vernacular language thus becomes Babilian Aramaic, while Syriac continues to be used as an official, a liturgical and literary language. The Mandeans and Jews continue to use Mandaic Aramaic and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic respectively, also in their literary forms. The presence of a Manichean dialect is known , for the liturgical literature remained in classical Syriac
    (1) In the same places where we can see Orthodox Christians today, plus their wider environs
    (2) OTL Principality of Antioch at its greatest extent
    (3) Centered around Niniveh, OTL Mosul
    (4) That is, the entire Euphrates valley of Syria - Raqqa, Deir ez Zor, Hasakeh and eastern parts of the Aleppo governorate(s)
    (5) Hawran
    (6) Homs
    (7) the southern island between the lower Tigris and Euphrates
    (8) Anbar province
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 20: The Caucasus, Persia and Sogdia in the 8th century

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    At the southern edges of the mighty Caucasus, in the areas populated by the Karvelian peoples, the Kingdom of Abkhazia managed to unify the western coastal plains – the realm was predominantly ethnically Kartvelian, yet the tongue there spoken was mainly Mingrelian, quite divergent from the Kartlian variety spoken in the Kura valley further eastwards. There, in the kingdom of Kartli, now free from Persian influences, another variety of Georgian was being cultivated.

    To the south of Georgia lies the Armenian highland, a mountainous country, which has assumed independence as a kingdom in the past century; it took advantage of the decline of the Ghassanid kingdom in Syria by conquering the city of Amuda and its environs. Yet ruling over a mountainous country is not an easy task, and the regions of Vaspurakan (centered around the city of Van upon the eponymous lake), Syunik and Artsakh assumed independence.

    While the Armenians were staunch supporters of the Armenian Apostolic Church in most part, one most not forget to mention the fate of the Paulicians. Those started off as an unorthodox religious movement (or sect) in the Armenian-populated eastern borderlands of the Rhomaic empire. When in 745 Gegnaesius, the former leader of the sect dies, the movement is divided into two parties led by Zacharias and Joseph. The latter attracted a larger number of followers, as well as former Iconoclasts Joseph was succeded by Baanies in 775, while Zacharias was followed by Sergius, who reformed the religion and attracted many new followers, so that the sect spread quickly throughout the highlands of eastern Anatolia. The Rhomaic empire and Armenian kings are looking towards this movement with suspicion, yet no true persecution can be witnessed during the course of the 8th century.

    The natural continuation of the Armenian highland towards the east were the Zagros mountains and the northwestern parts of the Iranian plateau. This area had been known in the antiquity under the name Media. After the collapse of the Sassanid empire, the area reasserted its independence. Any notion of central authority in the mountainous areas collpased, as Kurdish and Luri tribal chiefdoms asserted their own authority: and the remaining part of Media, in the flatter parts of the country remained a distinct polity. Hamadan as such accepted a large part of Manichean refugees from Sawad (the remaining Zorastrians from the 7th century either converted to Manicheism, to Christianity or quit to Mihranid Persia already). Zurvanism as such was losing ground due to its rather pessimistic and fatalistic nature. Thus Manicheism gains a new base of support in the urban centers of Media, much to the discontnet of Nestorian clergy. Manicheism gained the higher ground in the region due its cultural proximity – after all, Manicheism developped within the borders of the Sassanid Empire and Mani knew well both content of Zoroastrism and Christendom as well.

    The Kurdish peoples living in the western Zagros were continuing their migrations further westwards, into the borderland area between Assyria and Armenia. Living as nomadic herdsmen, they would colonize the high-elevated areas, which were unused by the Aramaic-speaking population. Outside the borders of Assyria, they stuck to their own beliefs, yet within the borders of the kingdom, they were undergoing a process of Christianisation.

    Other northwestern Iranic peoples dwellt on the coastal plains of the Caspian Sea. The peoples of Gilan and Mazandaran were very reluctant to give up their independence- and they maintained it throughout the entire century. They were ruled by the Bavandids, who supplanted the previous Dabuyids.

    Further westwards lay Aghbania, in the lower Araks and Kura rivers. The native Aghbanians were becoming more and more ingrained by Armenian culture . The Aghbanian language, of Eastern Caucasian provienience adopted many Armenian loanwords, despite being an independent kingdom. The coastal regions, however spoke an Iranian language called Tat, and the Zurvanite heresy of Zoroastrism spread to this area from Media , replacing original Zoroastrism.

    The majority of Iranian plateau was however unified under the banners of the Mihranid Persia, which had been protected from the Oghuz kingdom of Khorasan by the Dasht-e-Lut. The Mihranids set on a series of campaigns to restore the glory of Eranshahr – subduing the Baloch peoples in the 730s, conquering Sistan in the 740s before turning their attention to the northeast, to conquer Khorasan.

    The realm of Khorasan, ruled by the Nestorian Oghuz Turks benefitted greatly from the Silk Road trade. The incoming Turks, Syriac missionaries altered the local Parthian language to such extent, that the Khorasani language was far too distant from standard Persian, while a good-trained ear would understand Old Parthian as well. Nevertheless, many people of Khorasan proper listened to Manichean missionaries as well : the two religions supplanted the original Zoroastrism in the region to a great degree.

    Yet in the 770s, Parthia was conquered by the Mihranids, and most of the Christians from there were expelled. Manicheans were tolerated, Zoroastrianism was encouraged. Old Parthian once more was sponsored.

    While Segestan in the lower Helmand valley was conquerred by the Persians, Zabulistan further upstream remains unconquered. While a small degree of Buddhism got entrenched in the area, the ancestors of the Pashtuns continued to practiced a variety of Hinduism called Zunism. The area became also a missionary field of West Syriac Missionaries, loyal to the Syriac Orthodox Church (also known as Jabite) in Zaranj and Aprah

    Kabulistan continues to be ruled by a mysterious Turkic dynastic called the Shahis, descended either from the Hunic or Xiongnu conquerors, while its populace practices Buddhism

    The mountainous areas in the Hindukush mountains continue to be ruled from Bamyan, despite the fact that the people adopted Buddhism, and is home to imposant monuments


    The upper Oxus valley, region previously known as Bactria, became to be known as Tokharistan. While being closely related to Sogdian further northwest , the differing cultural influences were pulling the peoples apart. The area maintained a more provincial character in comparison to the thriving Sogdia : and ultimately its valleys assumed independence , and thus the area was divided into petty Buddhist principalities of Badaxšan, Khutal, Khubadiyan and Saghaniyan, while the parts of south of the Oxus remained united under the Tokharistan.

    Sogdia, in the valleys of the middle Oxus and Zaravšan rivers prospered greatly, and Sogdia conquered also the neighbouring oasis-valley of Farghana further east. Sogdian became the primary language of both Nestorian and Manichean religions in the East, and generally becoming the lingua franca of the Silk Road. Sogdia influence spread further east, into the Tarim Basin, for it were Sogdian missionaries, which converted the Uyghur Khaganate to Manicheism in the late 8th century.
    Manicheism in the area spread a little faster than Christianity, and Samarqand became a major center of Manicheism to such an extent that the highest ranking cleric of the Manichean in Samarqand openly questioned the authority of the Archegos (Kahna ) in Qtēspōn. Believing that their brethren further west were too lax, the far stricter Manicheans of Central Asia became known as the Denawar, from the Iranic word for believer.

    The duplicate presence of Nestorian and Manichean religions, along with Zoroastrianism, resulted in the trio being known as the "three Persian religions" . By the late 8th century, three out of ten of the Sogdian population practised Manichaeism, around a quarter were Nestorian Christians. An additional fifteen percent clung stubbornly to Zorastrism - the remainder being mostly Buddhists, with some Jewish presence as well

    However, unlike much of western Europe, the Sogdian state was not organized in a feudal manner, but rather the subordinate cities were ruled by a merchant oligarchy.
    In the lower Oxus lay a kingdom of Khwarezm, ruled by the Afrighid dynasty. Speaking an eastern Iranian language akin to Sogdian, they used the Sogdian script to write down their language. Their capital was at the city of Kath, and they practiced Zorastrianism until the 770s, when they were converted by Manichean missionaries from the neighbouring realm of Sogdia​
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  5. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    What are your ideas on the alternate Charlemagne and development in a surviving Visigothic Spain?
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 21 : Northern Eurasia

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The eastern steppe, roughly north of the Great Wall of China, and extending westwards as far as the Dzungar basin (1), was dominated by the Uyghur Khaganate. The area of this entity was largely synonymous to that of the ancient Xiongnu and the previous eastern Gokturk khaganate. The latter came to an end in 745, when the Uyghurs killed its last khagan and sent his head to the court of the Tang dynasty in China (2).

    Bayankhur khan ascended the throne a few years later, and embarked on a series of campaigns to bring the nomadic peoples of the eastern steppe under his rule. Having friendly relations with the Tang, he encouraged trade, using the profits to build the cities of Ordu-Baliq and Bai-Baliq.

    Assisting the Tang emperor against the An Lushan rebellion was very profitable for the uyghurs, for seizing a great ammount of silk. This was not only seized during the sieges of Changan and Luoyang, but also as a payoff from the Tang emperor.

    The year 762 became a landmark year for the Uyghur khaganate, for this year the khagan Tengri Bogu officially adopted Manichaeism as the state religion of the country. Culturally, despite living in close proximity of China, the culture was muh more influenced by the region of Sogida than by its southern neighbour. Even the very script used in the Khagante : The Orkhon script and the Uyghur script are thought to be descendants of the Sogdian abjad.

    At the western border of the Uyghur khaganate were the lands of the Basmyls – frequently in rebellion against the Uyghurs. The Basmyls have by the end of the 8th century adopted Nestorian Christianity.

    The central steppes, bound by the foothills of the Altai in the east, the Caspian Sea to the west , the Tengri mountains (3) and the Jaxartes basin to the south and the Siberian taiga to the north, remain in a rather disunited state of affairs, yet dominated by Turkic clans.

    The Zhetysu, or Semirechie region lies between the lake Balkash and the Tengri mountains, being a little more protected region. The area had been ruled by the Turgesh in the early 8th century until the 766. The Turgesh were remnants of a larger Duolu clan, thought to have been linguistically Oghur Turks and they had been Manichean faithful.

    In 766 the Zhetysu area was seized by the Karluks, another Turkic tribe. The incoming people remained Tengri pagan, yet within their realm, there were sizeable populations of Manichean (Turgesh and Yagma) and Nestorian (Chigils) faithful.

    As for the remaining parts of the central steppe, the lower Jaxartes was held by the so-called Kangar union in the first half of the 8th century. Their origin is unknown, and may have been identical with the Pechenegs, who are known to have occupied the area in the second half of the century. They are thought to have spoken an Oghur language (4). The areas north of the Jaxartes basin , however, were populated by the Kimek clans, who had by this time been manicheized (5). The Kimek language belonged to a different branch of the Turkic languages, known as the Kipchak branch

    The areas between the Caspian and the Aral Sea were held by the Oghuz, as for some returned to the Steppe after losin Parthia to the Mihranids. Of course not called as such at this point, but for our readers´reference.

    Further northwards, there is a nrrow corridor between the northern edge of the Caspian Sea and the southern end of the Ural mountains, and here, the central steppe region ends and here begins the region of the western steppes.

    The area is found north of the Pontic (Black) and Caspian Seas, forming the southern part of eastern Europe, and technically being synonymous to the area known to Greeks as Scythia during the antiquity. Since then, it was also culturally influence by Greeks, who had founded colonies on the entirety of the north Pontic coast.

    Historians had been speculating on why all major migrations along the steppe occurred from east to west, and not the other way round, and why the western steppe appeared to be on the recieving end of the horde invasions. One of the answers may the differences in the surrounding environments. Should the eastern steppe face population pressures, the only meaningful target to invade would have been China, yet should this fail due to the unity of China, the surplus populations would continue westwards, as moving into Siberia was not attractive. The western steppe offfers a variety of weaker targets for invasion : the lower Danube, Pannonia, Shirvan, Ruthenia, to name just a few. The tribes at the westernmost edges were exposed to a strong pressure to civlize themselves, or face campaigns of settled neighbours to conform.

    The principal core areas of settlement appear on the lower Idhel river – around the city of Atil (5), in Crimea and at the confluence of the Kama river and the middle Idhel river. The whole western steppes were dominated at this period by the Khazar khaganate, originally restricted to an area between the Caucasus, the lower Don, the lower Idhel and the Caspian and Pontic sea in the first half of the 7th century; yet by the mid-eighth century it had come to extend its rule as far west as the Dniepr, as far east as the sea of Aral, and northwards to the confluence of the Kama and Idhel; the Volgaic Boulghars beyond the two rivers were tributaries of the Khazars by the year 800. The khanate has vassalized much of the western coast of the Caspian Sea : their major cities were located in the northern parts of the Caspian coast, Semender and Balanjar, and they controlled also the city of Derbent. They vassalized the area even further south to the Apsheron peninsula untile the Kura-Araxes estuary (6)

    As for the ethnic composition of the Khanate, one must presume that the area was rather multiethnic. The northern slopes of the Caucasus were home to a variety of tribes. The better known were the Alans, living along the Terek, of the east Iranian stock. Their western neighbours were the Circassians, to the southeast, the southern part of the area known as Dagestan was inhabited by a great variety of tribes and peoples. These were however consolidated into a kingdom of Sarir, which embaced the Miaphysite brand of Christianity from Aghbania further south.

    The majority populace, however spoke a Turkic language of the Oghur stock : apart from the Khazar people themselves, there were also Sabir, remnants of Huns and Boulghars and others as well. In the northern areas, for example, there were also Uralic peoples: the Mordva people.

    As for the religious breakdown, the nobility and royalty of the Khazar khaganate adopted Judaism, which penetrated also among the Alans and peoples of the Volga basin. Zoroastrianism maintained a presence in the Apsheron peninsula and Derbent, while Armenian merchants have built churches in the urban centers of the realm.

    The Magyars, originally a Finno-Ugric tribe of the same stock as the Yugric peoples of the Ob river basin are thought to have been the southernmost tribe in this grouping, and moved into the steppe, which drove them far westwards from their original homeland. By the mid 8th century, they quit their homeland near the Kuban river in the borders of Khazaria to move westwards to Levedia , between the lower Dniepr and the Dniestr. They were joined by a group of other Khazar rebels, who entered into historiography as the Kabars.

    The Magyars moving westwards resulted in the East-Slavic population of the Prut and Dniester valleys to fortify their settlements. Many of them had by now accepted the authority of Bulgar khagan, ruling over much of the lower Danube areas. The northwestern borders of Bulgaria were thus the Carpathian mountains. The areas beyond the Carpathinas, the Pannonian Sarpatia and ancienty Dacia, remained, at least nominally ruled by the Avars. (7).

    As for Crimea, the southern coastal stripe remains settled by Greeks, sujugated to the Rhomaic empire: the rest of the peninsula, populated mostly by Crimean Goths, had to accept Khazar suzerainty, yet they adopted a lot of cultural influences from the neighbouring Ponitc colonies, and as such they can be found fully within the Rhomaic cultural sphere.

    Outside of the area controlled by the Khazars remained the Bashkirs, a people found to the west of the southern reaches of the Urals, neighbouring the Volga Boulgharia to the west.

    As for the taiga, the area north of the steppe, the sources for those areas are scarce. The north European taiga continued to be populated by Uralic language speakers, as well as the Ob river valley. A rough division can be seen between the Baltic Finnic peoples in the region of Gulf of Finland, the lakes etc., the Finno-Volgaic peoples, mainly the Mordvinians and the Cheremis, as well as other peoples, such as Muromians, Mescherans and the Merya, and the Finno-Permic peoples west of the northern Ural.

    The Samoyedic peoples were inhabiting the Ob river basin, east of the Urals. A large part of the Yenissey basin was populated by the Ket and their relatives. As for the eastern parts of Siberia, they remain populated by hunter-gatherer or reindeer hearding Paleo-Siberian peoples, such as Yukaghir of the Lena basin, or the Chukchi further east.

    The areas between the upper reaches of the Ob river and the Tuva are thought to have been the homeland of the Turkic Kyrgyz people. Other Turkic peoples, such as the Kurikans (8) lived in the areas northwest of the lake Baikal. To the east of the mentioned lake dwelt the ancestors of the Evenks

    (1) N As happenned in OTL

    (2) Original Turkic name , literally meaning Heavenly mountains. OTL Tianshan

    (3) The Oghur branch of the Turkish languages has come to dominate the western steppes in the early Middle Ages. In OTL, the only surviving language of this group is that of the Chuvash.

    (4) Adopted manicheism.

    (5) Near Astrakhan

    (6) Contrary to OTL, the passage through Lezgistan did remain a free escape road for any displaced western steppe tribe to the Shirvan

    (7) The Carpathian basin will be dealt with in another update

    (8) Ancestors of OTL Yakut
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 22: Europa Barbarica: Slavs, Vikings and Balts

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The vast expanses from the Elbe river to the Dnieper, and from the Haemus mountains (1) to the Dwina. Geographically, they can be divided into Eastern, Western and Southern branches.

    The southern branch populated the Balkan peninsula and has been living in close proximity of the Rhomaic empire. Originally displacing the Romanized and Hellenized inhabitants of the lowland regions of Thrace, Moesia and Dalmatia, as well as Macedonia, after the Rhomaic empire sought to reclaim the lost lands in Thrace and Macedonia, many returned northwards. In particular, the Slavic tribes living in the Pindus mountians : the Zagorcenians, the Dregovites and the Belzetians were either pushed northwards (the case of the first ones), resettled to Anatolia (Dregovites) or integrated into the empire (Belzetians).

    Tribal chiefdoms were developping into duchies and kingdoms in the western Balkans, in the regions of Duklia (2), Rascia and Narentia (3). In the lands of the former Roman province of Lower Moesia, the lowlands were populated by Branichevci (west of the Morava) and further westwards , between the Sava, the Bosna and the Adriatic, was the Duchy of Croatia.

    As for the Lower Danube basin, that is the former Roman province of Lower Moesia, and the plains north of the Danube to the Southern Carpathian mountains, the area had become part of the Bulgar Khanate. The existence of such a state had to be acknowledged by Constantijnople already in 680s. The Bulgars are thougfht to have been a Turkci nomadic population of the Oghur branch, and ruled over a mostly Slavic, but also Vlach population. (The ethnogenesis of the Vlachs will be described later in the text). The local Slavic population, known as the Seven Slavic tribes, accepted their rule, and were resettled more towards the mountainous border areas to guards them, while the Turkic conquerors themselves would have dwellt in the region of Dobrudia, establishing their capital at Pliska, originally being a fortified nomadic encampment.

    While originally extending as far eastwards as the lower Dnieper, the Bulgar empire lost its lands in the east, and the new border was established along the lower Dniester and then along the upper Prut. From there, its borders copied the Carpathian ridges, which divided the Bulgar khanate from the sphere of influence of the Avar Khaganate, centereed on the middle Danube.

    On the borders of the former Roman provicnes of Upper and Lower Moesia, in region of the Iron Gates, a gorge of the Danube between the Southern and Moesian Carpathians lies a hilly and mountainous area, which was later populated by refugees from Dacia Traiana after the Roamn retreat from the region. The area, together with the Upper Morava valley around the city of Naissus (4), is thought to a refuge for Daco-Roman (and Thraco-Roman) speakers in an otherwise Slavic speaking environment. There, they retreated to the mountains and adopted a trashumance shepherding lifestyle. Some of these peoples accepted the offers of the Rhomaic emperors and settled in the newly reconquered regions of Upper Macedonia (mainly around Lychnis), and in the Pindus mountains. Others became borderguards of the Bulgarian empire along the Oltenian Carpathians.

    The remnants of the Illyrians have survived in the mountainous regions of the southwestern Balkans. For Rhomaic historians, they are known as Arnautians, and live in the mountainous areas of Epirus Nova (5), and in some parts of Dardania (6). The Rhomaic emperors have allowed them to resettle parts of northwestern Macedonia, namely around Scubi (7).

    As for the Illyro-Romance speakers, who formed the other branch of the Eastenr Romance language, even in Roman times, there was a differentiation between the Dalmatian and Pannonian (and Norican) varieties.

    The population of Dalmatia was either squeezed to the coasts, where they preserved the Dalmatian language and urban culture, or as was the case of the hinterland population, had to adopt a transhumance shepherding lifestyle in the Dinaric mountains.

    The Pannonian Romance speakers living under the suzerainty of the Avar Khaganate were cnetered on the western end of the Lake Balaton, and a few other urban centers. They were needed and demanded as artisans of the steppe people, one can say using modern terms, that the area they dwellt in was the industrial core of the Avar Khaganate

    Ultimately, it may be possible that a Noric language did survive; yet the area was thinly populated in Roman times, and in case of invasion, the Latinate peoples could move to Italy; Noric Latinate seems to have survived in upper Carinthia and East Tyrol.

    Regarding the Avar Khaganate, the realm was in steep decline during the later 8th century. Evidence suggests, that by this time, the Avars were almost fully assimilated into their Slavic neighbours, taking up their language, yet retaining their own nomadic steppe way of life. It were the campaigns of Charlemagne, that severely weakened the Khaganate; in such a way that a few years later they had been far too vulnerable to remain unattacked by the neighbouring Bulgars.

    To the north of the Avar Khaganate emerged multiple tribal confederations of the West Slavic peoples: notably Bohemia, Moravia and Nitra, the last populated by early Slovaks. The areas between the Elbe and the Oder were tributary to Charlemagne, and were populated by the Slavic tribes of Odobrites, Veleti, Hevelians and Sorbs. Further east were the Lechitic peoples of Pommerania, Silesia, and the tribes of Polanes, Masovians, Vislans and so forth.

    The ethnic border between the West Slavic and East Slavic peoples was around Belovezh Forest and roughly of the river Bug. As for the east Slavs, they had expanded northwards from their homeland, to populate the entirety of the central and upper Dniepr basins, and even further to the upper reaches of the western Dvina river. They were divided into many tribes: Tiverians, Bushanes, Severians, Drevlyans, Dregovitians, Radimisches, Polotses, Viatiches, Kriviches and Ilmenians.

    The eastern Slavs had displaced Baltic tribes from the upper Dniepr basin and encountered Volga Finns to their northeast. Around lake Ilmen, they encountered the Norse.

    The Norse originated from Scandinavia; the north Germanic societies by this time were experiencing a state-building process. The greatest of their realms was the tribal confederation of the Danes, encompassing the Jutish Peninsula, the Scandia and all island inbetween, and then it extended northwards until the fjord of Oslo.

    In the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula, in the land of fjords, were the Norwegians, while in the eastern parts of Scandinavia, in a forested woodland and lakeland, there were two emerging realms, that of the Gaets and that of the Swedes. The areas of Scandinavia were getting more and more crowded, and the younger sons were now looking for new places to settle. The many fjords and bays of Norway provided natural harbours, and thus the society began developping seafaring to trade, but also to raid, foreign lands.

    The peoples of Scandinavia used their own script, called runic, or Futhark script. It has been suggested, that it originated from the early Italic scripts, such as those emplyoed by the Etruscans; yet such a connection would possibly require evidence of it being used by also West Germanic tribes.

    However, by this time, much of Scandinavia,especially the areas north of the Bergen-Uppsala, remain still settled by the Sami people, speaking a highly divergent Uralic language (theoretized to have supplanted an earlier strong substrate).

    As for the Baltic peoples living on the southeastern shores of the eponymous sea, there is little information of them available. The Baltic languages used to extend even further east, even to the Upper Dniepr basin, yet they were displaced by the advancing East Slavs. Stronger tribla chiefdoms appear among the Prussians and the Curonians; the Lithuanians appear to rule over the over the upper Nemunas river basin.

    (1) Balkan mountians of Bulgaria, also known as the Stara Planina

    (2) Montenegro

    (3) At the Neretva estuary; corresponding to Makarska riviera and Mostar region

    (4) Otl Niš, Serbia

    (5) Modern Albania

    (6) Roughly Kosovo, Methia and adjacent regions

    (7) Skopje​
    Lisowczycy and Gabingston like this.
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 23: Charlemagne, Francia, Hispania and Italia

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017

    After the death of king Wittiza in 710, the kingdom of the Visigoths faced a succession crisis. There appeared numerous claimants to the throne, among them was Roderic, who secured Lusitania and Carpetania (1), and Aquila ruling over Septimania and Tarraconense. The tribal chiefs and petty nobility took over the northern regions, such as Gallaecia and Asturias ; Bética supports yet another claimant to the royal throne. This third claimant was either murdered or died of natural causes; his domains were taken over by the forces of Roderic.

    The civil war ended in 719 with the status quo, with the Ebro valley and Septimania officially confirmed to belong to Aquila, and the rest supposedly belonging to Roderic (Thus a kingdom of Iberia is established in the Ebro basin). The areas north of the upper reaches of the Ebro river, as well as the higher reaches of the Pyrennean valleys, hower broke free from any Visigothic rule, and the duchy of Pamplona assumed independence. Similarly, the Cantabri, the Astures and the Gallaecians established their own small realms.

    Pelayo, or Pelagius an exiled Visigothic noble, managed to unify the Cantabric and Asturian tribes. Allied with the dukes of Gallaecia, the two have amnaged to push their borders as far south as the Duero river. Meanwhile, the duke of Tierra del Campos (2) proclaimed himself independent of Roderic and Hispania.

    As for Iberia, after the Frankish conquest of Narbonensis, the kingdom was moreless confined to the Ebro valley (3) and the Balearic islands. Attempts to conquer parts of coastal Cartaginensis, around Valentia, proved to be a disaster, and by the later half of the 8th century, the valleys assumed independence (notable is the Cerdanya, a valley in the high Pyrennees still using a variety of the Old Iberian language; the valleys further west still spoke Basque). Ultimately, the kingdom was divided into the upper Iberia (around Caesaraugusta) and lower Iberia, around Tarracco (4).

    By 770s, the kings of Hispania, attempting to unify the peninsula, decided for a conquest of the Ebro basin. The threatened countrs and dukes would seek support to the north.

    In 768 Charles succeeded, together with his brother Carloman, who was to retire to die three years later, his father Pippin as the king of the Franks.

    After marrying and subsequently repudiating Desiderata, the daughter of the Lombard king, she turned to her father. The Lombard king, Desiderius, was once more in a state of war with the Holy See. The young Frankish king took the side of the Holy Father and attacked the Lomnard kingdom. The garrison of Pavia surrendered, and Charles had himself crowned with the Iron crown of Lombardy. The extent of the donations of Peppin was confirmed. Tuscany was also incorporated into the Frankish empire, and Spoleto as well. Benevento however, was in open rebellion, yet after defeating them, they once more reasserted their independence in 787.

    His focus was now set towards the south, more precisely to the Pyrennees. The western end of the mountains were home to the people who the Romans never fully subdued, and called Vascones. The area had been attached to Aquitaine, which was now ruled by his loyal followers. Thus by 778, Charles invaded the area around Pamplona, which has been formally independent for almost a century, factually since the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Further eastwards, the duchies and counties of the Ebro basin were defending themselves against Hispania. Charlemagne was not to allow for a Visigothic border on the Pyrennees, and preferred to keep the area a buffer. Before Charlemagne could have arrived to the warzone, the cities of Tarracco and Caesaraugusta had been conquered. Nevertheless, he has managed to turn the course of the war in the unfavour of Hispania, which now had to accpet the border along the Ebro river.

    The longest campaigns were against the Saxons, a Germanic people between the Rhine and the Elbe (divided into Westphalia, Eastphalia, Angria and Nordalbingia). (5). To the southeast, he submitted Bavaria, and set up bordermarches on its eastern peripheries.

    In Pannonia, the Avars had established their rule, yset their hold over the Carpathian basin was weakenned. The Franks launched a campaign agianst them, aided by neighbouring Slavs (who had broken off of Avar rule under the Frankish merchant Samo)After twice conquering their capital fortress, the Avar khagan surrendered and became baptised uder the name Abraham. The area west of the Danube were integrated into the Frankish realm

    In the year 800, Bulgaria attacks the remnants of the Avar khaganate; the Avars were allowed to settle within the borders of Francia in close proximity of Vienna. By the year 800, Charlemagnes empire extended from the Ebro to the Elbe, from Hamburg to Spoleto, and from Normandy to Sirmia. This was recognized by his coronation as Emperorin the year 800AD. Despite the Pope claimed to crown the righful ruler of the SPQR, claiming that there was a fictional continuity (empress Irene of the Rhomaic Empire not being recoqgnized), the real feat was that by this, two lines of imperial continuity were presnet: one in the west and one in the east.

    Culture-wise, the legacy of Charlemagne would influence much of medieval western Europe, which by this time becomes a separate civilizational entity called Francia, based on both Roman and Germanic influences.

    In religious matters, at during the reign of Charlemagne, in the Council of Aachen it was agreed that the Holy Spirit stemmed from both the Father and Son (a view seen heretical in the East). This view was quite widespread in the West, yet such a move was a step further to breaching the unity of the Chalcedonian faith.

    During this time, a unique font called the Carolingian minuscule develops, by combining the Roman half-uncial script with elements taken from the Insular scripts of the British isles. The efforts in this time were set to make a standard of culture and knowledge thoughout the realm; and it has been ordered that each monastery and churhc have one copy of the Vulgate Bible; and Alcuin, who was the chief of the Carolingian scholars establishes the notion of seven liberal arts; that is of the trivium and quadrivium, and standardizes the curicullum.

    As from the linguistic point of view, the empire is divided linguistically. While Latin remains the language of the educated, the contemporary documents speak of „theodisk language“ and „lingua rustica romana“ , which by this means the Germanic and Romance varieties within the borders of the Empire.

    The Romance languages had by this time developped into separate branches in Iberia, Gallia and Italia, as well as Pannonia; thus one can speak of an Ibero-Romance, Gallo-Romance, Italo-Romance and Illyro-Romance branch; the existence of a separate Visigothic state in southern Gaul and even previous division of Gaul into Viennensis and Galliae have resulted into the development of Neustrian language (langue d´oil) in the north and Aquitan/Occitan language in the south; furthermore Burgundian kingdom developped its own variety along the Upper and Middle Rhone as well. Areas of contact between Occitan and Baque result in emergence of a Gascon variety as well.

    In Italy, the Rimini- La Spezia line divides Italian varieties from Annonarian Romance languages. The former have more in common with eastern Romance, the latter belong to the western Romance family. Annonarian Italian can be further subdivided into Padanian or Cisalpine(6), and rhaetic.

    The Padanian language is further differentiated between Lombard (extending throughout the area) (7), Romagnan (in the areas formerly ruled by the Rhomaic empire) and smaller regional varieties such as Ligurian or Venetia.

    Rhaetic, or Rhaeto Romance is used to denote the latinate language of the central Alps, in the uppermost Rhine valley, upper Adige valley adjacent areas. The area was exposed to Ostrogothic and Lombard influences yet to a smaller extent than Padania.

    As for Italian varieties, already the dialect of Tuscan is divergent from the rest. Further south, the dialects in the duchies of Spoleto and Benevento begin to differentiate from Mediano (In Latium and Marche) and the Latin dialects of the Rhomaic held lands.

    In the Iberian peninsula, one can see observe specific dialects of Bética, Galecia and Tarraconsis (in the Ebro valley). Significant Gothic influence remains over the varieties on the Duero valley.

    The continental west Germanic languages are diverging into the Rhine Frankish, Alamannian, Bavarian, Thuringian, Saxon and Frisian varieties. Langobardic, being also a West Germanic language, survives in Miland and Pavia, and the last speakers of Ostrogothic appear to survive in the region of Ravenna. The Visigothic language still survives in Tierra del Campo.

    As for the Gaulish language, it survives known as the Arvern in the Massif Central. Celtic Asturian and Cantabrian varietis survive in the mountains even by the year 800. The celtic language of Galicia, however, remains only in the inaccessible northwestern part of the area. Other linguistic leics survive in the Pyrennees: mainly the Basque language and the Ceretan language in Cerdany, possibly the last relict of Old Iberian.

    (1) Roughly equivalent to New Castille

    (2) Partly in Old Castille and Leon

    (3) That means, Catalonia and Aragón.

    (4) Roughly Catalonia

    (5) The campaigns continued in the same way as OTL

    (6) Called Gallo-Romance in modern OTL

    (7) The most commonly spread variety, incorporating Langobardic superstratum​
  9. Threadmarks: Chapter 24: Albion, Hibernia and Caledonia

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The British Isles during the 8th century see a gradual consolidation of power and crystalisation of emergent cultural entities.

    The lowland areas of ancient Britannia had by now been almost completelly conquered by the Anglo-Saxons, a West Germanic peoples, who organized themselves into a series of seven kingdoms, known as the Heptarchy. Among them were Sussex, Kent, and Essex in the southeast, then East Anglia in the land of the Iceni, Wessex in the south, and Mercia in the midlands and Northumbria in the northern regions, extending as far north as Lothian.

    Anglo-Saxons however had troubled relations with their Celtic neighbours: the kings of Wessex have attempted to subjugate the lands known to them as West Waelas, known by their inhabitants as Dumnonia: a peninsula in the southwestern parts of the island, at whose end is the region of Cornwall, rich with tin deposits. Further northwards, the kings of Mercia were locked in constant warfare with the Cymry, whom they called the Welsh; most notably with the kingdom of Powys. To protect themsleves, they have built a border fortification, which became known as Offa´s Dyke.

    Originally, the Anglo-Saxons were a pagan folk, bringing their Germanic faith as well as their language with them. On British soil, they, however gradually began to listen to Christian missionaries from the previous celtic and Romance populations.

    The areas of the southeast (East Anglia, Wessex, Kent) were subject to Franklish cultural influence, and thus accepted the Frankish variety of Christendom, with its allegiance to the Roman Curia. However, other realms, such as Mercia or Northumbria, and peculiarly, also Sussex would accept Christianity from the Irish missionaries, who at that time were practising quite a different version of Chrisitianity as that practised in Rome. Regional variations had developped in the isles due to a loss of contact with Rome, and major differences could have been found regarding the date of Easter.

    The Latinate element was still surviving in pockets such as Verulamium (1), and in the southeastern marches of the kingdom of Powys, on the left bank of the lower Severn River.

    As for the Brythonic peoples speaking a Celtic tongue, they came to dominate the „highland zone“of the former Roman province: in the peninsula of Dumnonia, a petty kingdom emerges including the counties of Devon and Cornwall.

    Further north, across the Bristol Bay, the Cymry are organized in a hanful of realms, such as Gwent in the south, Dyfed in the southwest, Powys in the center and east and Gwynedd in the north. The Welsh did take in a substantial ammount of Latinate refugees, yet those have by the end of the century mostly assimilated and took up the local Welsh language. By this time Wales remained a largely rural country, with larger settlements built around hillforts

    Throughout the eighth century, there thrived yet another linguistically Brythonic cultural region in the northern parts of Britain. By the end of the eigth century, the Hen Ogledd (2) had been reduced to the regions of Galloway and Cumbria. These areas spoke Cumbric a language much related to Welsh, and politically, by the end of the century, it was organized into the kingdom of Strathclyde. The region of Rheged had been a petty kingdom, which was later annexed by Northumbria, yet later it was retaken by Strathclyde.

    Further west, across the Irish Sea, was the island known to the Romans as Hibernia, and by its inhabitants as Éire. The island remains largely rural, with no greater urban centers; smaller ringforts and hillforts however begin to emerge as local centers of power.

    Politically, Ireland has been traditionally organized into petty kingdoms called fifth (cóiceda): Connaugth, Munster, Leinster, Meath and Ulster. Such an arrangement was mostly respected, yet in the northern parts, Ulster, the region became fragmented, with Aileach in the western part and Airgialla in the southern part of Ulster effectively becoming independent.

    By this time it was fully Christianized, and the credit is attributed to Saint Patrick. Owing to an isolation from continental Europe, and after most of Britannia were overrun by the heathen Anglo-Saxons, contact with Gaul and Rome became scarce. Roman attention was also more preoccupied with the Iberian Peninsula and dealing with the Donatist heresy in North Africa, thus allowing for an Irish Christian tradition to develop independently.
    Monasticism became one of the defining features of Celtic Christianity: the influence of the monasteries was so great, that in the 8th century, some of them even waged war one upon another. More frequently, however, the abbots would be more reasonable, and put the energy to better uses, such as establishing missions in Caledonia across the northern Channel or founding new monasteries in Continental Europe.

    It was actually Irish hermits, who by during the eighth century, have colonized the islands of the North Atlantic: such as the Shetlands, the Faroes and Iceland. Whether the early Irish have reached the banks of Greenland during the eighth century is unknown, but they left no clear evidence of their presence.

    Across the North Channel lies the land known to the Roamns as Caledonia. An error which is often made, is that we view Scotland and Ireland as distinct entities, yet the narrowest parts between the Mull of Kintyre and the Torr Head is only 21 kilometres across, and the extensive coastline on the Scottitish side with many islands and bays thus forms a single unity with Ulster. This connection was used by the early Scots, a Goidelic people from northern Ireland, when they moved across the North Channel, establishing the Kingdom of Dal Riada. This area included the western coast of Scotland, an while Dunadd is thought to have been the capital, far more famous is the monastery and bishopric of Iona, which became the first bishopric for the Scottish people.

    The areas of Scotland facing the North Sea, have been traditionally populated by the Picts. Their origin is uncertain, though most scholars agree that they spoke a language aking to that of other Brythonic speakers, yet some claim that they were a last remnant of the pre-Celtic inhabitants of the British Isles. The Picts appear to have been evangelized by Irish missionaries, such as Columba, and their realm is known as Fortriu. Despite its relatively large extent on historical maps, one must not forget that a large part of the area formally held by the Picts appears to be in the Grampian mountaisn, and major Pictish settlements would be located in the more hospitable coastal regions.

    (1) St. Albans

    (2) Old North, in Welsh

    (3) Corresponding to Cumbria​
  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 25: Arabia and Himyar

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The Arabian Peninsula, that is, the areas south of the line connecting the Gulf of Aqaba and he estuary of the Euphrates and Tigris, has been so far left out from our updates for a considerable time. On this last update, before a general overview, we will discuss what has been going on in the peninsula up until the year 800.

    The region of Midian (1) had become once more the home of expulsed Judeo-Christian sects, called more generally the Ebionites, but included also Elcesaites, Nazarenes and other groupings. The oasis cities of Tayma and Tabuk were organized as city-states, competing for influence, and taking profit of the extensive caravan trade in the region.

    The Ebionitic Church, now exiled from Jerusalem grew, and gradually develops its own infrastructure and bishops. While at first limited to Oultrajordain, the historical Nabatea and Midian, they would send missionaries to Timamah and Hejaz and even to the regions of Hail.

    The region of Hejaz had become organized into two kingdoms: a Jewish one centerred around Yathrib, and encompassing the nearby oasis of Khaybar as well, and another kingdom further south, led by the Quraysh. The Quraysh by this time have greatly profitted from the caravan trade, and the rivalry between the two Hejazi kingdoms would continue throughout the entirety of the eighth century. However, both kingdoms remained under a cultural, while not necessarily political influence of Axum during the first half of the 8th century. Despite the fact that the Quraysh had adopted Monophysite Chrisitianity, ultimately the Axumite kings would prefer Yathrib to the Quraysh.

    However, due to the rise of Rahmanism, contact between Himyar and Mecca declined, and while the Kaaba, now converted to a cathedral, remained a Christian temple, with the detatchment of Yamna outside of the Coptic Church, Mecca was ultimately forgotten by them. The question around the canonical jurisdiction of the Hejaz and Najd was left ambiguous in 797.

    This was however taken advantage of by the nascent Ebionite Church, which sent its missionaries further south along the caravan routes of Hejaz; and most of the Meccans and people in neighbouring oases welcomed them, for they taught in their very own tongue, and not in Syriac nor Geez, and would use also Arabic to worship God.

    The regions of Jizan and Asir would by this time have been mostly Christianized, accepting Christianity from the region of Najran. Najran had become a center of Christian pilgrimage and Axumite power in the region. Political dependence on Axum was lost in the 770s, when the region became dominated by Himyar, which becomes the dominant power of South Arabia in this period

    As for the region called Yemen and Himyar, a new monotheistic religion had appeared in the area. Preached by Aswad Ansi, also known as Abhala bin K´ab (2), this new religion rose in the areas of Hadhramawt and soon spread into eastern Yemen and the ancient kingdoms of Saba and Qataban. It became known as Rahmanism, for Rahman (the Most Merciful) became a title of God.

    The events are recorded by Arethas of Hawran (3) in his Histories of Arabias:
    The people of Arabia Felix, of the ancient kingdoms of Himyar, Saba, Main, Qataban and Hadhramawt were amongst the most zealous worshippers of the Lord, and their strict manners, were known to many, and it is not by chance that the Laws of the Himyarites (4), a utopic text spread among the Rhomans. While the description of the society in the text was not such, the zeal in Himyar was such that it became known as far as Constantinople”

    The embracement of Rahmanism came hand-in-hand with antagonism to Axumite power projection. However by the late 8th century, Rahmanism began losing momentum again, due to Himyarite influence. The Himyarites soon became the hegemon in South Arabia, and found themselves being the leader of the anti-axumite movement. With Himyarite preachers speaking practically the same tongue as the Qatabanis and Sabians (5). In the region of Yemna, however, there were many adherents of Judaism, and also a considerable portion of people of Persian origin. These were called al-Abna (6). These people were among the strongest opponents of Rahmanism. However the Persians in Yamna had, by most part, converted to Manicheism by this time

    But it happened, that the Devil, seeing the zeal of the people in Himyar and Arabia Felix, sent a false prophet, who perverted the teachings of Jesus and the Laws of Moses and in the lands of Arabia Felix, the heresy called Rahmanism spread hastily. The false prophet claimed to receive visions from angels, and claimed that all statues of saints, and any depiction of God was as such idolatrous, and the worship of the God, known as Rahman (the Most Merciful) was done solely in words” Arethas of Hawran.

    As for the Himyarites, they remained loyal to Christianity, and have led numerous delegations to Cairo, Alexandria and Damascus, on allowing for an episcopal hierarchy independent of Axumite influence. For Himyar broke free from Axum in the mid-eigth century, and was aspiring to secure this status. The Himyarite churchmen and monks pointed out, that that there exists a Syriac Orthodox Church, an Armenian Orthodox Church, a Coptic Orthodox Church, and thus so far, the basis has been on nationality. Also, they argued, that there is considerable geographic distance from Himyar to Egypt.

    At the court of the Himyarite kings, the Geez Bible has been translated into the Himyarite language, using South Arabian script. This had been done to do away with the symbols of Axumite suzerainty, and to make the churches more accessible to the ordinary people.

    The pleas of the Himyarite kings were listened to in Damascus, and when the previous archbishop of Himyar and Najran died, the Patriach of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Quriaqos of Tagrit, has accepted their requests

    Arethas of Hawran writes: “Thus it was in the seven hundredth ninety-seventh year after the birth of the Lord that the venerable Patriarch of Antioch and Damascus, Quriaqos from Tagrit had listened to the pleas of the people of Himyar and decided to name a Maphrian for the lands of Yamna and Himyar. For the Himyarites, fervent Christians complained that Ethiopians continued to oppress them: thus Jibril became the first Maphrian of the lands of Yamna, Himyar and roundabout.”

    While many chronicles cite the Limits of the Five Patriarchates, claiming that the See of Jerusalem had authority over Arabia; and the borders of the Coptic jurisdiction are in the Red Sea; thus that it was upon the Syriac Orthodox Church to administer the lands of Yamna. More arbitrary reasons could be caused by the decline of the Ghassanid kingdom, which seeked for allies, and after losing to the Rhomans, established an alliance with Himyar. Moreover, the Syriac Orthodox Church tried to prevent the rise of a third center of Monophysite Christianity on both sides of the Bab-el-Mandab, diminishing their own positions. The Syriac Orthodox missionary field in the east was blocked by the Church of the East.

    To the south of Yamna lies the island of Socotra (Suqutra), which has been Christian since the mid-1st century, evangelized by the shipwrecked aposte Thomas on his mission to India. The people of the island have since then listened to the authority of the Catholicos in Qtespon.

    The region of Hadhramawt, which was the source of Rahmanism, was now undergoing a process of disintegration, for during the 740s, until then unfied realm along the coasts got fractured to a disputed succession, and several smaller statelets appeared. This faith extended as far as Dhofar.

    In the land of Mazoun, Persian influence had waned, yet memory of Zoroastrism had been retained. However, orthodox Zoroastrism has been replaced by Mazdakism among many, and Manicheism for the smaller part. Nestorianism had also become influential in the region, and there was diocese of the Church of the East based in Sohar.

    The eastern coast of Arabia along the Persian Gulf was known as Beth Qatriye. Throughout the seventh and eigth centuries, the population along the coasts were adherents of the Church of the East, and memorable amongst them was Saint Isaac of Nineveh, who originally stemmed from that region and became a well known saint in the Church of the East. The area technically became an appendix of Sawad, and the most educated from its region would go to Qtēspōn to study. Aramaic has largely replaced the local Arabic dialect in the urban and coastal regions. Beth Qatriye was among the first place to accept Manichean refugees from Sawad: and they would have preached amongst al-Abna, and many fire temples were converted into Manichean palces of worship.
    Jubail Church, one of the oldest Churches in the Peninsula

    As for the interior of the Peninsula, the plateau called al-Yamamah, or Najd, the area remains tribal. While the Banu Abs claimed that they have received a Prophet called Khalid possibly in the 4th century, the neighbouring tribes failed to acknowledge him. While some of the tribes of Najd remained polytheists, the pagan Arab religion was disappearing by the eigth century even in the most remote parts of the Peninsula. The Tayy, Taghlib and Banu Hanifa had accepted Monophysite Christianity from Syria; the Banu Tamim were thought to have embraced Zoroastrism, yet later adopting Manicheism, for a large number of Manicheans who were exiled from Sawad fled southwards, into Arabia.

    However, the adoption of Christianity by the aforementioned tribes was largely superficial. Arethas of Hawran wrote: “The tribes of Yamamah in the innermost parts of Arabia have accepted the joyful message of Christ. At least their emirs and sheikhs did, and they would travel to Damascus or Tadmur to accept baptism; yet most of their tribesmen stuck to their pagan practices, worshipping the idols of Kahl, Athtar and Lah” This would mean that there were no domestic bishops in the area, and that there was a general lack of priests among the Bedouins of the area.
    A castle in the northern parts of the Peninsula

    As for the languages spoken on the peninsula, all of them were Semitic. In the regions of Yamna and Hadhramawt, the South Semitic prevailed. They were divided into two branches: a western one called Sayhadic, represented by Himyaritic language (7), and an eastern one spoken along the southern shores of the peninsula from Mahra to Dhofar, as well as on the island of Suqutra.

    The Arabs are ethnically divided into Adnanites (living in the northern and western parts) and Qahtanites (clans which emigrated from Yamna). Linguistically, the central Semitic language is distinguished into the varieties of Hijaz, Azd (8), Hudayl (9) and Yamamah. As mentioned, the peoples of Beth Qatriye have by most part adopted Aramaic, yet features of the Arabic substratum could very well seen in their language. The language spoken in Mazoun appears to be of Arabic stock as well, but highly divergent, due to a Southeastern Arabic substratum and Persian superstratum.

    As for the Abna, or Persians of the Arab peninsula, most of them have by the 8th century shifted to the local tongue of the area; their presence however can be seen in many Persian loanwords used in the area. While not maintaining their original Zoroastrian faith outside Himyar, the Persians would nevertheless practise an Iranian faith, mostly the Manicheism or Mazdakism.In the societies of the coastal regions, the descendants of the Persians would enjoy a higher social status, and would engage mostly in commerce or as artisans.

    The writing systems used in the area varied from region to region: in Beth Qatriye, it would be the Syriac script; in Mazoun, most common was the Persian script, yet neither the Syriac script wasn’t uncommon. Along the coast of the Indian Ocean and in Himyar and Asir and Jizan, the South Arabian script would be used. In Midian and Hejaz, the Arabic abjad was used for the most part; and possibly also in Yamamah, but written records in the area are scarce from that period

    (1) Roughly corresponding to Tabouk province in Saudi Arabia

    (2) A real historical figure, who lived in the mid-7th century

    (3) Arethas of Hawran is a fictional historian, writing his History of the Arabias in the early 9th century on the Ghassanid court. The chronicle is written in Syriac script, written in Arabic.

    (4) The Laws of the Himyarites resemble a rather strict society, similar to sharia law.

    (5) The varieties spoken gby the peoples were at the border of compúrehensibility. Yet a trained preacher could easily overcome these differences

    (6) Literally “the sons”, of Persian soldiers and Arabic women

    (7) The classification of Himyaritic in OTL is a matter of debate. Due to geographic proximity, I decided that Himyaritic shall belong to this branch of languages.

    (8) Arabic, non-Persian influenced hinterlands of Oman

    (9) The region of and around Najran

    Note: This is the last chapter before the 800AD overview. @Gian , you can now start doing the political and cultural basemaps. As for the religious one, I think I may have forgotten to mention Gnostic groups still prevalent in the Middle East

  11. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    I believe the "Collaborative timeline" in the beginning of the title are rather unrelated to the way this has appeared. Anyhow, I am now working on an 800AD overview, regarding Judaism, Christianity and Gnosticism.
    The previous 700AD map appears to contain several inaccuracies, though
    Gabingston and AnonymousSauce like this.
  12. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    What is done accurately, is the Maghreb, Nile valley, Fertile Crescent, Greater Iran and Western Europe incl. British isles. I attempted also to map the steppe hordes, but India nor Arabia arent touched, as neither is Scandinavia nor Russia upload_2019-1-28_11-23-57.png
    Gabingston likes this.
  13. Threadmarks: Overview: Religion in 800AD

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    · ܐ Abrahamic religion

    View attachment 436130

    The Abrahamic family of religions includes four major branches by the year 800: Judaism, Rahmanism, Christianity and Gnosticism.
    As for Judaism itself, there appears to be a diversity of movements within it, which were present by the end of the 8th century. Some of these are difficult to classify, such as Hellenistic Judaism, which, by most part was subsumed by Christianity, or the Hayhanot, a form of Judaic religion practiced by the Beta Israel community in Semien.

    The majority of Jewish populations, however belonged to the Rabbinical Judaism. They could have been found throughout the extent of the Roman Empire, differing by their geographic, and by now, also cultural affiliation into Ashkenazi (Francia), Sephardi (Hispania), Italkim (Italy), Romaniot (Rhomaic Empire), Mizraim (Egypt) and Bavlin (Mesopotamia). Furthermore, there were some Jewish tribes in Arabia as well (mostly in Hejaz, but also in Najd). A small community aslo exists in the ancestral lands (1)

    Rabbinnical Judaism emerged after the destruction of the Second Temple, and most of its practices could be traced to Pharisees: a definite separation with Christianity occured at the Council of Jamnia.

    Ideally, the religious head of the Jews would be the Sanhedrin and the High Priest. In the southern Levant, the institution of the Sanhedrin was revived by the Banu Judham, yet its influence was restricted only to religious affaris. Its chief was known as nasi. The authority of the Sanhedrin was extended to encompass the entirety of the Ghassanid kingdom after their conquest of Jerusalem, and also by extension it became a chief authority for the Jewish tribes of desert Arabia.

    Politically, and institutionally, the Jewry of Mesopotamia was answering to the Exilarch, who would reside in Nehardea. The Jews who lived outside the Levant and Mesopotoamia would depend onj their rabbis to interpret the Torah.

    The Jews of Yemen, were, however of the Saduccee denomination.

    Significant is also the Jewish settlement of Khazaria. However, it remains unknown whether there existed a structured hierarchy and organized religious life in the khaganate.

    The origins of the Karaite community are unknown: it may be possible, that they have already been present in Mesopotamia by this period.

    Rahmanism is a form of monotheism widespread in southern Arabia or Arabia Felix. While the origins of this religion are considerably old, perhaps dating to 3rd century AD, and emerged in the realm of Himyar. It is unknown whether this development came after exposure to Jewish influence or arose independently. Nevetheless, the religion spread across the entire region, before Himyar converted to Judaism and subsequently to Christianity. By the year 600, the religion had become relatively marginal in its area of origin, yet thev prophetical figure of Aswad Ansi has given the religion a new momentum.

    Rahmanism by 800AD: Rahmanism is relatively widespread across the entire south Arabain coast, from Mahra and Hadhramawt to Dhofar.

    The Rahmani temple is called the Mekhrem (mhrm). A veneralable person might appar with the title qeds (qds) before their name. The priests are called the lewet (lwt).

    · ܒ Christianity
    Christianity is perhaps the most widespread religion in the world in terms of geographic extent. Christendom as such is however split into a number of different branches, most of which view the others as heretics:
    View attachment 436131

    The prevailing communion in most of the Mediterranean, and Europe, is the Chalcedonian (2) communion. They view themselves, as the legal successors of the State Church of the Roman Empire.

    Due to the prevalent cultural differences, one can speak of a Latin branch, a Greek branch and a Melkite branch of the faith. The Latin branch is thus associated with the Western Mediterranean basin and the Romance languages, the Greek branch is a associated with the Greek language and with the regions of the Balkans and Anatolia; ultimately the Melkite branch is associated with the Hellenistic colonies surrounded by the Afro-Asiatic environment of Egypt and the Levant.

    However, the organizational structure of the Chalcedonian church is rather more complex than that, with a variety of autocephalous units and different liturgical rites.

    The differences among them arose mainly due to cultural differences: the Romans were more efficient, practical and better organizers: therefore, they cared more for the practical side of the worship; yet the more philosophically oriented Greeks would not only have more emphasis upon the beauty of the liturgy, but also they would engage in lengthy theological arguments and debates.

    View attachment 436132
    The appellations for the members of the hierarchy vary across the cultural lines – the hierarchy of the Latin tradition can be seen here:

    In the western world, any other jurisdiction between the Pope and the Archbishop would be considered an anomaly, and such bodies exist due to historical development. The only other Patriarchates existing.

    The Greek cultural sphere sees a different structural model (the two lowest levels of hierarchy apperar to be the same):

    View attachment 436133
    The title of the Catholicos has arrived from the Armenian Church, which was the first one to use it. It was later adopted to denote the Metropolitans of autonomous churches lying beyond the borders of the Rhomaic Empire; other regions territorially separated became headed by an Exarch.

    1. Patriarchate of Rome (with jurisdiction formally extending to include the entire territory of the Western Roman Empire, plus Germania and the British isles, factually it includes the entire Frankish Empire, Croatia, non-Rhomaic parts of Italy, plus Hispania and Maurtain.

    i. Latin rite: most widespread within the area. Uses Latin in liturgy

    1. Suburbican province of Rome

    2. Province of Benevento

    3. Province of Salerno

    4. Province of Florence

    5. Province of Ravenna

    6. Province of Spalato

    7. Province of Dioclea​

    ii. Ambrosian Rite: used inthe central parts of Lombardy. Uses Latin in liturgy

    1. Province of Milan​

    iii. Hispanic Rite: spread throughout Hispania; in Maurtain and partly in Languedoc. Uses early Hispanic in liturgy

    1. Province of Toletu

    2. Province of Braga

    3. Province of Lisabon

    4. Province of Valentia

    5. Province of Tarragona

    6. Province of Saragosa

    7. Province of Burgos

    8. Province of Pamplona

    9. Province of Santiago

    10. Province of Evora

    11. Province of Sevilla

    12. Province of Granada

    13. Province of Cordoba

    14. Province of Mérida

    15. Province of Išeftu​

    iv. Gallican Rite: used in the transalpine parts of the Frankish empire. Uses both Latin, the local Gallo-Romance dialects and thuidisk in liturgy

    1. Province of Lyon

    2. Province of Vienne

    3. Province of Arelate

    4. Province of Aix-en-Provence

    5. Province of Embrun

    6. Province of Narbonne

    7. Province of Auch

    8. Province of Bordeaux

    9. Province of Bourges

    10. Province of Tours

    11. Province of Dols (Aremorica)

    12. Province of Nouvemages /Rouen

    13. Province of Sens

    14. Province of Reims

    15. Province of Koln/ Cologne

    16. Province of Mainz/Mayence

    17. Province of Besancon

    18. Province of Tarentaise​

    19. Province of Canterbury​

    v. Aquilean Rite:

    1. Province of Salsburg​

    b. Patriarchate of Aquilea: originally a schismatic body, later the schism was mended

    i. Aquilean Rite: in Aquilea, Venetia and Istria. Uses Latin in liturgy

    1. Province of Aquilea​

    c. Celtic Church:

    i. Celtic Rite: used in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and parts of England (Mercia, Northumbria, Sussex). Uses Old Irish and Anglo-Saxon in liturgy

    1. Province of Armagh

    2. Province of Dublin

    3. Province of Cashiels

    4. Province of Tuam

    5. Province of Iona

    6. Province of York

    7. Province of Llandaff

    8. Province of Bath

    9. Province of Lincoln​

    d. Patriarchate of Carthage: this jurisdiction was established by the Rhomaic Empire to cover their African posessions. The existence of this jurisdiction is not recognized by Rome.

    i. Tafircan Rite: originating from the regions of and around Carthage, this liturgical tradition is also known as the Carthaginian Rite

    1. Province of Carthage

    2. Province of Ibargu

    3. Province of Tadmetu

    4. Province of Isfeš

    5. Province of Tibwita

    6. Province of Kustina​

    2. Patriarchate of Constantinople: theoretically it includes the entirety of Balkans, except the areas belonging to the Western Roman Empire, Anatolia north of the Taurus.

    i. Greek rite: most widespread, uses Koine Greek in liturgy

    1. Patriarchal Metropolitanate of Constantinople

    2. Metropolitanate of Thessalonica

    3. Metropolitanate of Larissa

    4. Metropolitanate of Corinth

    5. Metropolitanate of Dyrrhacium

    6. Metropolitanate of Hadrianopolis

    7. Metropolitanate of Heraclea

    8. Metropolitanate of Traianopolis

    9. Metropolitanate of Philippopolis

    10. Metropolitanate of Scupi

    11. Metropolitanate of Dacia and Moesia

    12. Metropolitanate of Gortyn

    13. Metropolitanate of Ephesus

    14. Metropolitanate of Sardes

    15. Metropolitanate of Aphrodisias

    16. Metropolitanate of Laodikia

    17. Metropolitanate of Amorium

    18. Metropolitanate of Side

    19. Metropolitanate of Antiochia in Pisidia

    20. Metropolitanate of Ikonium

    21. Metropolitanate of Tyana

    22. Metropolitanate of Caesarea in Cappadocia

    23. Metropolitanate of Melitene

    24. Metropolitanate of Trebizond

    25. Metropolitanate of Amasea

    26. Metropolitanate of Pompeiopolis

    27. Metropolitanate of Nicaea

    28. Metropolitanate of Syracuse

    29. Metropolitanate of Rherium

    30. Metropolitanate of Taranto​

    ii. Gothic Rite: Uses Biblical Gothic in liturgy

    1. Metropolitanate of Gothia and the Tauric Chersonesos​

    b. Catholicosate of Colchis (jurisdiction over Imereti and Abxasia)

    i. Lazic rite: used in Imereti and Abkhazia. Uses Mingrelia in liturgy.

    1. Metropolitanate of Phasis

    2. Metropolitanate of Dioscurias​

    3. Patriarchate of Alexandria (in theory: jurisdiction of over Egypt, Cyrenaica and the Nile valley. In practise: jurisdiction over Melkite/Alexandrian Greek communities in Kemet, and partially also Cyrenaic Greeks)

    i. Alexandrian Rite: used in some parishes further inland, and the city itself. Uses Coptic/ and or Koiné Greek

    1. Patriarchal province of Alexandria

    2. Metropolitanate of Thebais​

    ii. Greek Rite: used by Cyrenaic Greeks, and ethnic Greeks in Lower Egypt outside the city itself. Uses Koine Greek

    1. Metropolitanate of Cyrenaica

    2. Metropolitanate of Pelousion

    3. Metropolitanate of Neukratis​

    4. Patriarchate of Antioch (in theory: jurisdiction over the northern parts of Levant, that being area between the Taurus mts and the Auranitis mts., over Armenia and Kartli, and all lands further east.

    i. Greek rite: used by Melkite (3) Antiochian Greeks. Uses Koiné Greek

    1. Patriarchal province of Antioch

    2. Archdiocese of Seleukia in Isauria

    3. Archdiocese of Tarsus

    4. Archdiocese of Anazarbus

    5. Archdiocese of Beroia

    6. Archdiocese Laodicea ad mare​

    ii. Antiochene rite: used by Aramaic speaking population in the hinterlands of Syria. Uses West Syriac dialect

    1. Archdiocese of Hierapolis, Edessa and Ossroene

    2. Archdiocese Apamea

    3. Archdiocese of Emessa

    4. Archdiocese of Tyre​

    b. Catholicosate of Mtskheta: jurisdiction over the entire Kura river valley, by extension all Kartvelian land under the jurisdiction

    i. Georgian rite: used in Kartli, uses Old Georgian for liturgy.

    1. Metropolitan Province of Mtskheta

    2. Metropolitanate of Uplitsikhe

    3. Metropolitanate of Tsunda​

    c. Exarchate of Cyprus: autonomous jurisdiction over the eponymous island

    d. Catholicosate of Irenoupolis: jurisdiction over Mesopotamia and western Persia

    1. Archdiocese of Seleukeia

    2. Archdiocese of Susa

    3. Archdiocese Kirkuk​

    e. Catholicosate of Romagyris: jurisdiction over Chalcedonian communities in Central Asia.

    1. Archdiocese of Tashkent and Sogdiana

    2. Archdiocese of Merv

    3. Archdiocese of Bactria

    4. Archdiocese of Ferghana​

    5. Patriarchate of Jerusalem: in theory, it encompasses the entirety of the Holy Land on both sides of the Jordan River, Arabia and the Sinai.

    1. Patriarchal Archdiocese of Jerusalem

    2. Metropolitanate of Caesarea

    3. Metropolitanate of Scythopolis

    4. Metropolitanate of Nazareth

    5. Metropolitanate of Ptolemais/Acre

    6. Metropolitanate of Bostra

    7. Metropolitanate of Petra

    8. Metropolitanate of Neapolis (Nablus)

    9. Metropolitanate of Gaza​

    b. Exarchate of Sinai: encompasses the eponymous peninsula. The see is in St. Catherine´s monastery.

    The Miaphysite communion, also known as the Oriental Orthodox, are the second largest group of churches, which dominate the Afro-Asiatic region. Unlike the Chalcedonian communion, here the flock of the churches are mostly synononymous with the ethnic divisions:

    1. Coptic Church: Headed by the Coptic Pope, this church extends in theory to cover the entirety of the African continent

    i. Alexandrian Rite: liturgy in Coptic language, used also in Nubia

    1. Metropolitan Province of Rakote (Alexandria)

    2. Metropolitan Province of Peemoun (Pelusium)

    3. Metropolitan Province of Pemdje (Oxyrhynchus)

    4. Metropolitan Province of Assiout

    5. Metropolitan Province of Oun (Thebes)

    6. Metropolitan Province of Paraetonium

    7. Metropolitan Province of Cyrene

    8. Metropolitan Province of Berenike

    9. Metropolitan Province of Damanhour

    10. Metropolitan Province of Tanta

    11. Metropolitan Province of Tamiati (Damietta)

    12. Metropolitan Province of Paramoni

    13. Metropolitan Province of Athribis

    14. Metropolitan Province of Clysma

    15. Metropolitan Province of Memphis

    16. Metropolitan Province of Giza

    17. Metropolitan Province of Peioum (Fayyum)

    18. Metropolitan Province of Moni (Minya)

    19. Metropolitan Province of Shmoun (Hermoupolis Magna)

    20. Metropolitan Province of Samalout

    21. Metropolitan Province of Ebot (Abydos)

    22. Metropolitan Province of Akhmim

    23. Metropolitan Province of Syene (Aswan)

    24. Metropolitan Province of Wah Empsoy (Kharga Oasis)

    25. Metropolitan Province of Myos Hormos

    26. Metropolitan Province of Berenike

    27. Metropolitan Province of Faras in Migitin Goul (Nobatia)

    28. Metropolitan Province of Dongola in Dotawo (Makuria)

    29. Metropolitan Province of Soba in Alodia​

    ii. Geez Rite: liturgy in Geez language, used in Axum and the Ethiopian highlands

    1. Abounate of Axum​

    2. Syriac Church: headed by the Syriac Patriarch of Antioch, seated in Damascus. In theory, it has jurisdiction over the canonical territories of both Antioch and Jerusalem, with exception of Armenian lands.

    i. Antiochene (West Syriac Rite) uses West Syriac in liturgy.

    1. Province of Antiokia

    2. Province of Damascus

    3. Province of Aleppo

    4. Province of Apamea

    5. Province of Hawran

    6. Province of Jerusalem

    7. Province of Banias and Golan

    8. Province of Tarsus

    9. Province of Adana

    10. Province of Anazarbus

    11. Province of Melitene in Cappadocia

    12. Province of Samosata in Commagene

    13. Province of Germanikea in Commagene

    14. Province of Edessa in Osrhoene

    15. Province of Amid

    16. Province of Mardin

    17. Province of Qartmin in Turabdin

    18. Province of Makkah

    19. Province of Midian​

    b. Maphrianate of the East (to cover Mesopotamia and areas further eastwards)

    i. Antiochene (West Syriac Rite) uses West Syriac in liturgy

    1. Capital province of Tagrith

    2. Province of Arzun

    3. Province of Nisibis

    4. Province of Nineveh and Assyria

    5. Province of Shigar in Beth Arbaye

    6. Province of Lower Mesopotamia

    7. Province of Segestan

    8. Province of Abaskun in Gorgan

    9. Province of Adarbaidagan

    10. Province of Tabriz​

    c. Maphrianate of Yamna and Himyar (southern Arabia)

    i. Himyaritic rite (descended from Geez rite, uses Himyaritic as its liturgical language)

    1. See of Zafar

    2. Province of Aden

    3. Province of Najran

    4. Province of Hadhramawt

    5. Province of Sanaa​

    3. Armenian Church: headed by the Catholicos at Etchmiadzin.

    i. Armenian rite

    b. Patriarchate of Jerusalem

    4. Aghbanian Church: seated in Partav, the Church of Aghbania uses Aghbanian (4) as its liturgical language. Its canonical territory includes also the lands of Dagestan and the Caspian basin of Khazaria.

    As for the titles used among the Miaphysite clergymen, it is even more confusing: the Patriarch is the highest office in the Syriac Church, while the Armenian Church is headed by a Catholicos, and the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem is actually beneath the Catholicos. Similarly to the Armenians, also the Aghabanians use the title Catholicos. The Maphrian is a title used in the Syriac Orthodox Church analogous to the Greek term Exarch.

    Monotheletism developped as a sort of compromise between Chalcedonian and Miaphysite views: this Christological position however failed to attain greater support with the exception of Lebanon. Indeed, the Maronites (followers of John Maron) elected their own Patriarch for Antioch, while it was absent due to Ghassanid dominion. The Maronite hierarchy thus had appointed their own Patriarch for Antioch, a move that was not recognized neither by the Melkites nor the Greeks. However, it appears, that relations between the Maronites and Latins are improving. The majority of Maronite parishes are in Lebanon, also known as ancient Phoenicia.

    The Iconoclast movement did not estblish a separate hierarchy; they can be found within the jursidiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Iconoclasm should be viewed as movement within a part of the Chalcedonian communion (its opposite being Iconodulia), rather than as denomination in its own right.

    The Church of the East (also dubbed as Nestorian) by the Chalcedonian and Miaphysite churches, has become the prevailing denomination in the entirety of the Asian continent, that is, covering the area east of the Euphrates river. Unlike the previous denominations, the Church of the East is not organized in a decentralized / autocephalous manner (5): all dioceses are ultimately subordinate to the Catholicos/Patriarch of Qtespon. The only intermediary between a bishop and the Patriarch is an Archbishop.
    View attachment 436135

    The Nestorian Church spread quickly, and was divided into Interior and Exterior provinces. The interior provinces covered the heartland in Mesopotamia, while the exterior provinces were, for most part, localized beyond the Zagros Mountains:

    1. Interior provinces:

    a. Province of the Patriarch (Qtespon)

    b. ܒܝܬ ܗܘܙܝܐ Province of Beth Huzanye (ܒܝܬ ܠܦܛ Beth Lapat)

    c. ܢܨܝܒܝܢ Province of Nisibis (ܢܨܝܒܝܢ Nisibis)

    d. ܡܝܫܢ Province of Maishan (ܦܪܬ ܕܡܝܫܢ Prath d´Maishan)

    e. ܚܕܝܐܒ Province of Adiabene/Hadyab (ܐܲܪܒܝܠ Arbela)

    f. ܒܝܬܓܪܡܝ Province of Beth Garmai (ܟܪܟܐ ܕܒܝܬ ܣܠܘܟ Karka d´Beth Slokh)​

    2. Exterior provinces

    a. ܒܝܬ ܦܪܣܝܐ‎ Province of Beth Parsaye (Rev Ardašir)

    b. ܒܝܬ ܩܛܪܝܐ Province of Beth Qatraye (Mašmahiq)

    c. Province of Merv (Merv)

    d. Province of Hulwan (ܚܘܠܘܐܢ Hulwan)

    e. Province of Rai (Rai)

    f. Province of Dailam and Gilan (Beth Abe)

    g. Province of Samarqand (Samarand)

    h. Province of Beth Hindaye (Cranganore)

    i. Province of Beth Sinaye (Changan)

    j. Province of Beth Tuptaye

    k. Province of Damascus (Damascus)​

    Donatism is a branch of Christianity prevalent among the Berber populations of Northwest Africa. It functions in a rather decentralized state, with each Archdiocese being more or less independent, and subject to the authority of the Partiarch of Carthage in doctrinal issues only, and in other matters merely by name.

    The Donatist attitude to religion was rather strict, and practical. A Berber Chrisitan was required to pray twice during the day and visit the church on Sundays. Other than that, only observance of the Ten Coimmandemnets and religious holidays would be required.

    1. Patriarchate of Carthage

    a. Tafrican Rite

    i. Archdiocese of Carthage and Diudana

    ii. Archdiocese of Ibargu

    iii. Archdiocese of Taborka

    iv. Archdiocese of Tadmetu and Bisdakena

    v. Archdiocese of Caphsea

    vi. Archdiocese of Labsci

    b. Berber Rite

    i. Archdiocese of Kasantina

    ii. Archdiocese of Stif

    iii. Archdiocese of Cherchell

    iv. Archdiocese of Oea (Tripolis)

    v. Archdiocese of Ghadamis

    vi. Archdiocese of Sbitla (Sufetula)

    vii. Archdiocese of Kabylia

    viii. Archdiocese of Fechera (Vescera) and the Aures

    ix. Archdiocese of Hodna

    x. Archdiocese of Artawa

    xi. Archdiocese of Russadir

    xii. Archdiocese of Marzak in Fazzan

    xiii. Archdiocese of Wargla

    xiv. Archdiocese of Sijilmassa in Tafilaft

    xv. Archdiocese of Gao

    c. Punic Rite

    i. Archdiocese of Lepti

    ii. Archdiocese of Sirte

    Arianism is a rather obscure branch of Christianity by this time: previously quite widespread among the Germanic tribes of the Danube border, it has been subsumed by Chalcedonian Christianity form the most part in Hispania, Francia, Italy and Crimea, while the conquest of the Vandal Kingdom by the Rhomaic Empire is thought to have made an end to any Arianist presence in North Africa as well. Smaller groups may, however survive, especially in the more remote regions of Crimea or some oases in the Libyan Desert.

    The Ebionite Church has established a Church hierarchy by this period:

    1. Patriarchate of Jerusalem

    i. Diocese of Shekhem

    ii. Diocese of Hebron

    iii. Diocese of Masada

    iv. Diocese of Bethlehem

    b. Metropolitanate of Galilee (Caparnaum)

    i. Diocese of Xalloth

    ii. Diocese of Thella

    c. Metropolitanate of the Decapolis (Pella)

    i. Diocese of Gadara

    ii. Diocese of Gerasa

    iii. Diocese Machaurus

    d. Metropolitanate of Nabatea (Petra)

    i. Diocese of Madaba

    ii. Diocese of Bostra

    iii. Diocese of Adrou

    iv. Diocese of Elyat

    e. Metropolitanate of Midian (Dedan)

    i. Diocese of Tayma

    ii. Diocese of Tebouk

    iii. Diocese of Raunath Kome

    f. Metropolitanate of Hejaz (Makkah)

    i. Diocese of Timamah

    ii. Diocese of Yemen

    iii. Diocese of Desert Arabia

    · ܓ Gnosticism

    Gnosticism decribes a variety of beliefs, which share a common esoterical element. While a large number of these beliefs are derived from an allegorical interpretation of Chrisitianity, the Mesopotamian (or Persian, if you will) branch appears to take more inspiration from the prevalent Iranic religions, especially Zoroastrism.

    One can see the origins of Gnosticism in both the Late Greek, especially Middle Platonic philosophy, and Judeo-Christian religious tradition.There are alos strong influences from Buddhism. The key beliefs are:

    · The duality of matter (evil) and spirituality (good)

    · The Supreme God is unknowable, but there are lesser spirits called Aeons.

    · The material world was created by the Demiurge, not identical to God

    · There is no sin , only ignorance
    View attachment 436136

    The Roman branch appears to provide a Gnostic interpretation of Christianity; the Syro-Egyptian tradition in general does accept (parts of) the Old Testament, yet chose their own interpretation of the same thing. The Persian branch in general appears to be uite divergent from the Christian substratum, and takes much more inspiration from Zoroastrianism. Manicheism had become the most successful and widespread Gnostic branch, to such an extent that it became considered to be a religion in its own right: and while some scholars classify it as part of the Gnostic group, other consider it to be part of the Iranian religions.

    As for the geographic distribution of the Gnostic sects, sources are relatively scarce for us to be able to reconstruct the distribution of them by the late 8th century.

    The Valentinian denomination appears to be spread in some towns of the Tamazigh coast: elsewhere, it has become extinguished by the Chalcedonian Church.

    Marcionism, while originating in Italy, has become relatively widespread across Anatolia, especially in the northern parts: in places like Pontus and then in the Greek colonies on the far side of the Pontic Sea, in Khazaria and Bulgaria; however, an important Marcionist community appears to have been residing in Tabaristan and Khorasan (6). Marcionism appears to have been the polar opposite of Ebionitism, for Marcionites rejected all Jewsih influences, while the Ebionites were actually Jewsih Christians.

    The Nicolaitans, who were originally spread across proconsular Asia, that is Ionia puls Lydia, were by this time mostly extinguished, or assimilated into mainstream Orthodoxy.

    The Syro-Egyptian group appears to have survived into the 8th century as well.

    The Sethians were one of the main Syro-Egyptian gnostic denominations, which could have been found in parts of Upper Egypt, such as Nag Hammadi, and its splinter groups, like the Borborites in the Nile Delta (either extinguished, or merged with the Basilideans) and Archontics found in the mountains parts of Lesser Armenia, like the districts of Chorzane, Derzene and Darapalis.

    It may be possible that the Archontics may have influenced the rise of Paulicians in Armenia. While considered heretical, some claim that Paulicians are not Christians, but rather Gnostics.

    The Ophites, also known as Naassenes or Serpent Gnostics, were one of the two largest Gnostic denominations of the Syro-Egyptian tradition.

    The Sethites and Ophites were thus the principal Gnostic sects of the Middle East.

    The Samaritan Baptist sects appear to have taken influence from John the Baptist. The most widespread were the Basilideans of Lower Egypt and the Simonians in Syria and Anatolia.

    The Basilideans are known to have survive in isolated parts of the central Nile Delta.

    The Simonians were led by Simon Magus, and have combined Hellenism and Judaism: the sect appears to have been spread in places like the Golan and some parts of the Jordan valley; smaller communities could have been found throughout Syria and even in places like Anatolia.

    A major movement called the Bardaisanites were spread in northern Syria, particularly in the mountainous regions south of Antioch (7), furthermore in the Euphrates valley in place like Callinicus and Hierapolis (Manbij). While the movement may have spread into Armenia originally, it is thought that those communities assimilated into either Paulicians, or mainstream Armenian Church.

    As regarding organization, by the late 8th century, most of these sects had no more than 75 000 people each, and were in stark decline. Their believers would most likely retreat to more isolated locations, such as the marshy parts of the Nile Delta, the hilly parts of Golan and the uppermost poarts of the Orontes valley, in places, where the Chalcedonian or Miaphysite Church authorities are out of reach. Thus, the only major movements with a considerable number of followers were the Bardaisanites in Syria and the Paulicians in Armenia (8).

    The Mesopotamian (or should you wish, Persian) school of Gnsoticism covers two major branches: Mandeanism and Manicheism. Mandeanism appears to have taken influence from the Samaritan Baptist sects, as a large part of their ritual use running water. The Mandeans have settled the marshy regions of Lower Mesopotamia and adjacent regions o Khozestan, with their chief city in Shustar.

    · ܕ Manicheism

    Manicheism appears to have been the most organized and most successful Gnostic religion, and by the late 8th century had reached places so far apart as the Cyrenaica on the edge of the Sahara and the Uyghur Khaganate in eastern steppe.

    Originally, the family of Mani belong to the Elcesaites, a Gnostic sect and spliter group from the Ebionites. Mani was influenced by Baptist sects, Zoroastrianism, Bardaisanism, as well as Zoroastrism and Buddhism.

    Manicheism had been spread throughout the Roman Empire, yet after its formal conversion to Chrisitanity, Manicheism was suppressed; and practising Manicheism within the borders of the Rhomaic Empire was punishable by death.

    Manicheism was an organized religion, and it developed a church hierarchy (first is the term in Syriac, followed by the term in Parthian:
    View attachment 436137

    The Hearers were considered to be the laymen, while all the rest of the faithful were known as the Elect (Meshameshame/Ardawan), which means that they were the clergy. The seat of the Kahna or Yamag was Qtespon.

    There were significant communities of Manicheism in southern Sawad, in Media, but more importantly in Sogdia (Samarqand) and Khwarezm, which, along with the Uyghur khaganate had become the two countries with Manicheism as their state religion. From Sogdia, the Manichean faith spread also to two other Turkic peoples of the Central Steppe: the Turgesh and the Kimek.

    Mani himself wrote most of the texts in Syriac; yet that was of course not the sole liturgical language used by his later followers. Other liturgical languages used included Parthian, Sogdian and later Uyghur and Agnean. Parthian and Sogdian were the main languages of the Manichean Church, comparable to Koiné Greek and Latin in Chalcedonian Christianity.

    · ܗ Iranian Religions

    The term Iranian religions is used to denote the religions indigenous to the Iranian plateau. Most usually, it is used to describe Zoroastrianism and Manicheism, plus the various other movements that sprung out of Zoroastrianism.
    View attachment 436138

    After the fall of the Sassanid Empire, Mihranid Persia continued to practise orthodox Zorastrianism. However, the splinter movements of Zurvanism in the west, especially in Media and Mazdakism (possibly further eastwards, but also in the region of Mazoun) grew considerably.

    However, the Kurdish tribes in the mountains remained nevertheless unaffected by the religious reform of Zoroaster, and the more remote tribes and villages continued practising their own variants of the Old Iranian religion. This Kurdish religion became known as Yazdanism, and was alos influenced by Gnosticism and the ancient Mesopotamian religion as well.

    (1) This is true, because the Banu Judham were sympathetic towards Judaism.

    (2) The Chalcedonian communion includes both the Catholics, and the Orthodox.

    (3) Melkiite: term used to denote Chalcedonian faithful in places like Syria or Egypt, where Miaphysite faithful dominate

    (4) Also known as Old Udi

    (5) This model of organization can be seen today in the Roman Catholic Church

    (6) The existence of a Marcionite community in Khorasan is correspondent with OTL..

    (7) Roughly the same location as the Alawites today

    (8) The issue of Paulicians was discussed in the Iranian update. Area populated by Paulicians is correspondent with that populated by the Alevi…

  14. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Did Arabia, Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia. India and interior Africa remains untouched.
    Gabingston likes this.
  15. hitcho11 Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    San Miguel de Culiacán, Nueva España
    Hey man. I'm liking what you've done so far. I find the way you handled Persia, Arabia and Central Asia very interesting. If I had the talent I'd be glad to help and write something, but sadly, I'm very bad at it :/
  16. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    I'm glad to receive some feedback. Should anyone be interested in developing subsaharan Africa or India I would be more than happy, for I haven't the slightest clue what was going on over there..
  17. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The map is still WIP ; in the meantime I am open to new ideas regarding the 9th century. For now, I can see Francia dismembering as in OTL, and Assyria again divided into a Syriac Orthodox and Nestorian part, fro the two used to be generally hostile to each other inthe given timeframe
  18. Threadmarks: Overview: Civilization and society

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Until the map is finished (Europe btw is completed already), I shall discuss the civilizational patterns in the world at the turn of the 8th and 9th century.

    All major civilizations of the Old World developped between 20 and 40 degrees North, around major rivers: the Nile,the Euphrates and Tigris, the Indus and Ganges and finally the Huang He and Yangtze rivers. Thus emerged the earliest civilizations of old, of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China.

    It were indeed the interactions of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations which have shaped the very nature of both the Mediterranean basin and the Iranian plateau; and combined with local traditions, they have developed civilizational identities of their own.

    The Mediterranean basin, with the exception of Egypt and most of the Levant, had become united into the Greco-Roman civilization. The civilizational unity of this vast area, from the foothills of the Atlas as far as Iceland, where it was brought by Irish hermits, was the result of the centuries-long existence of the Roman Empire. This civilization has held together by twolingua francas: (Koinē) Greek and (Classical) Latin. Yet the cultural differences between the western latinate and eastern hellenic part were gradually becoming more pronounced. By the end of the 8th century, the dominant power of the Occidental sphere was Francia, competing with Hispania over leadership. In the east, the Rhomaic empire remains the overarching hegemon. Needless to mention, the Greco-Roman civilization is closely related to Chalcedonian Christendom.

    Egypt has for long been an independent, rather inward looking civilization, which would generally influence the regions further upstream of the Nile Valley; and along the Red Sea coast. Things remain so even after the adoption of Christianity: Nubia and Axum remain in the Egyptian sphere of civilization.

    The Oriental civilization appears to be the heir of the Mesopotamian civilization, and in religious terms, it can be connected to Zoroastrianism, Nestorianism, Manicheism and Gnosticism. The heritage of the Persian empire is particularly strong in this area, and the lingua francas of the region are Persian and Syriac Aramaic. Unlike the Greco-Roman, which is maritime civilization, or Egypt, which is a rvier-based civilization, the Oriental remains a land-based civilization, basically in the Iranian plateau.

    The Persians maintained some (limited ) contact with India, which was developing rather autonomously, yet the southern parts of India had ties with Egypt through the Red Sea trade.

    Throughout the Afro-Eurasian continents, the society was organized in a variety of ways. I now use the abstract CK2 notion of "governments" and change it slightly to describe how this alternate world would have worked and how the society was organized there.
    1. Tribal: Tribal organization prevails in most of the settled areas on the fringes of civilization; most of the tribally organized peoples would be pagans, and their realms would be based around hillforts and led by chieftains. Tribal areas would include by this time the entirety of the Baltic Sea basin, Scandinavia, the Uralic and East Slavic speaking area, extending into parts of Siberia as well.
    2. Nomadic: Nomadic pastoralism is dominant across the Eurasian Steppe. Taking advantage of empty land to feed their herds, and live in mobile yurts. Internal dynamics are between various clans.
    3. Caste: The caste system of India is thought to be a rather strict version of feudalism, closely connected to the Hindu religion. While the it is noblemean and monarchs who effectively rule the country, it is the priestly caste (brahmins) who hold the highest social respect
    4. Eranshahr: The social structure based on the principles of the ancient Sassanid Empire, now prevailing in Mihranid Persia and Media as well. Within this form of government, there is an absolute fusion church and state, and a state organized religion. The Eranshahr also used bureaucratic and feudal elements as well. The society is thus organized around castles and cities.
    5. Imperial: The Imperial government is that of the former Roman Empire, now present only in Rhomania. The government combines bureaucratic and feudal elements, yet unlike Eranshahr there remains a certain amount of division between church and state. While tge society is increasingly militarised and castles paky a significant role, urban centers remain nevertheless dominant.
    6. Bureaucracy: Bureaucratic governments rely on nonelected appointed officers who administer parts of their realm in the name of the sovereign and are appointed for a fixed amount of time, or can be replaced immediately.
    7. Feudal : The feudal system emerged in Western Europe in the aftermath of Germanic conquests. The land is distributed to heriditary noblemen who then provide troops and loyalty. Thus form of government dominates Francia and much of western Europe.
    8. Republic: The republican form of government is that where the ruler is elected amongst eligible members of the citizenry. In many cases, the republics have developed into a form of oligarchy, dominated by trade and plutocratic merchants. Such a government can be seen in the coastal cities of Phoenicia.
    9. Theocracy: The theocratic governments ruled by the clergy in the name of a religion are rather scarce. An exception can be found in ghe form of the Papacy in Italy. Variations of this government include also:
      1. Monastic: can be found in Iceland and the Faroes (the Papar). Here the land is ruled from monasteries by abbots, not by bishops.
      2. Holy Orders (not yet present)
    10. Hierocratic (hieros+aristocratic) The monarch relies on both the clergy and the bureaucracy to administer the realm. Militaristic nobility do not own any significant portion of land, and civic and military organization are strictly separated. Present in Egypt.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    Lisowczycy and Gabingston like this.
  19. Mike Louis The Last Boss

    Mar 16, 2005
    Honolulu, HI
    @Tomislav Addai What’s the political and military situation in the Ghassanid kingdom? I was thinking that with the Ghassanids being reduced to the southern Levant they could be vulnerable to overthrow by an internal rebellion. Said revolt could be led by a charismatic person who is of Jewish background and ideally of Davidic descent who is able to attract support from the various religious sects of the region. After driving out the Ghassanids he or she could set the foundation of a stable regime by pursuing a moderate hands off religious policy while making sure the political and military power stays in secular hands. The military of this new regime could consist of heavy cavalry and horse archers supported by heavy infantry. The government of this new regime would be semi feudal as a concession to the different sects of the Levant with both the monarchy and Sanhedrin serving as the central political institutions.
    AnonymousSauce and Gabingston like this.
  20. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Well the Ghassanids still rule over Jordan and much of southern Syria (Daraa, Quneitra, Suwaida, Damascus, Homs and Hama). In general they are in decay.
    The Holy Land thus being once more ruled by a pro-Jewish regime (previously there were the Ghatafanids and the Banu Judham? ) Not that unthinkable though.
    Gabingston likes this.