Collaborative timeline: Dunes of the Desert

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

  1. Richard Drummond Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2019
  2. Food-Oh_Koon Member

    Apr 4, 2019
    Great timeline so far. Hope to see more of it
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 29: The Amorian dynasty

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The reign of Nicephoros saw a repopulation of Greece by Anatolian Greeks. His aim was to strengthen the revenues of the Empire, by taxing also the clergy.

    During his reign, a series of campaigns led to victories against the Ghassanids, forcing them to pay tribute.

    A decade of chaos followed, and several claimants to the imperial throne arose, yet none could solidify his position for a stable period until Michael II of the Amorian dynasty was proclaimed emperor in 820.
    Michael II tried to win over the poor by reducing taxation ; yet his Judeo-Christian roots did not win him much support among the Orthodox clergy.

    In 829 he was succeeded by Theophilos, who waged war against the Ghassanids, resulting in conquering the middle Orontes valley by 837, giving Antioch a safe hinterland

    This was followed by commencing a new war with Bulgaria. Bulgaria in this time was to be understood as corresponding to the Lower Moesia and Dacia. In the wars, a newly unified Serbia was deployed as Rhomaic proxies. The war ended with status quo ante.

    Michael III reigned from 842-to 867. His reign saw a conflict with the Paulicians. The Paulicians were a Gnostic-Christian Armenian-speaking sect, based in Eastern Anatolia. They have founded a principality around the city of Tephrike.

    The warfare with the Paulicians palgued a greater part of Anatolia; meanwhile the Empire was fighting Bulgaria in the north, for the Bulgarians sought to seize Zagora (northeastern Thrace) and Mesembria.

    One must however not forget to mention one last deed. Perhaps the most important deed of the Amorian dynasty. The Christianisation of the Slavs..
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 30: Cyril and Methodius

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The evangelization of the Slavs was a deed which greatly changed the cultural landscape of eastern Europe. At the time, Slavs were a collection of tribes, stretching from the banks of the Aegean up north to the Taigas .A small number were living under the rule of the Rhomaic Empire, but the Slavs have at this point dominated Bulgaria and Serbia, as well as Croatia and Moravia... an emerging realm on the middle Danube, seeking to become an independent country and exit the Frankish sphere of influence.

    Christianity had already taken root among the Slovaks, who had been at first taught by Irish missionaries, yet the clergy were by niw mostly German.
    The kung, Rastislav, wished to put an end to German domination in church, and sought to establish a church organization not subordinate to that of Bavaria. However, the Pope was under strong German influence, and thus the Slovak king looked eastwards. Orthodoxy by this time was rather familiar with the phenomenon of national churches, despite them bieng frowned upon.

    Rastislav asked the Emperor for a bishop, who would bring the word of God to the Slovak nation in their own tongue. This task was given to two brothers : Constantine and Methodius, who had previously been sent to Khazaria. Stemming from Thessalonike, a bilingual Greek and Slavic city, these two lads were proficient in vernacular Slavic. By this time, the Slavic tongues have not diverged very far, and thus Slavic spoken in Macedonia was intelligible to Slovaks on the middle Danube.

    The two brothers at first created an alphabet for the Slavs, and then translated the whole New Testament into Slavic. With this, they would travel northwards, to the Slovak realm of Moravia, and the Slavic principality in Pannonia.

    Before their departure, Methodius is consacrated as Metropolitan for the the realm of "Morabes". This would enable him to consecrate new priests from local Slavic aristocracy.

    Moravia thus allies itself to the Rhomaic Empire. In a similar manner, Bulgaria, extending as far west as the Tisa river, seeks alliance with East Francia.

    After a coup d'etat in Moravia, Rastislav is deposed and Svätopluk becomes king. He turns his foreign policy towards Francia, and prefers Latin to Slavonic liturgy.

    Methodius sought to proclaim Gorazd as his successor, yet he lacked the organization talents of his teacher. The Latinate clergy had gained the higher ground rapidly, and expelled Slavonic clergy, who flee to other countries, such as Bulgaria, Poland and Croatia.

    It was Bulgaria, in its capital, Pliska, where most of the Slavonic clergy found shelter. There, they redisigned the Slavonic alphabet, which they named Cyrillic, in honour of Saint Cyrillius.

    Meanwhile, Bulgarians had adopted Latin Rite Christianity. This was challenged by Michael III., who beat Bulgaria in war, and imposed the Greek Rite upon them as part of the peace settlement. Khagan Boris adopts in honour of the Emperor, the name Michael.

    Thus, Rhomaic cultural influence spreads among the Slavic peoples...
  5. HerodotosofBerlin Active Member

    Jan 15, 2019
    I dont think that Thesalonika was a bilingual city
  6. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Sorry for my mistake. The city itself was.Greek-speaking; the Slavs would inhabit the countryside
    Gabingston and HerodotosofBerlin like this.
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 31: Partitions of Francia

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    By the early 9th century, Francia remains the dominant power of Western Europe. With the passing of Charlemagne, and the Frankish gavelkind succession, resulting in division of the realm among all sons, a process of fragmentation is about to begin.

    The first succession proved to be relatively simple, for Louis the Pious was the only surviving son of Charlemagne; meanwhile Bernard had become king of Italy. Louis the Pious has in Ordination Imperii divided the realm among his three sons, with Lothar being promised the imperial heirloom, Pepin Aquitaine and Louis the German Bavaria with its marches.

    Bernard however felt left out, and rebelled; the war ended briefly with his death.

    Having sensed the opportunity and a weakening of the Empire after the firm grip of Charlemagne, the neighbouring peoples, many of whom had been tributaries, had revolted. In the northeast, the pagan peoples of on the Baltic coasts revolted: an alliance of Danes, and Slavic Sorbs and Odobrites united against the Frankish yoke. Further south, they were joined by Croats, wishing to conquer Slavonia. In Italy, Spoleto stopped paying tribute.

    The succession after the death of Louis the Pious was resolved by the Treaty of Verdun. Francia was divided into three, which became known as West Francia, Middle Francia and East Francia.

    West Francia consisted of Aquitaine, Neustria and Lower Burgundy, as well as Septimania. The gross majority of the populace would speak a Gallo-Romance dialect, while in the Massif Central, a few would still cling on to their Arverne Celtic idiom.

    Eastern Francia consisted of the tribal duchies of Saxony, Upper Francia, Bavaria and Alamannia (with Rhaetia), as well as all the eastern marches and Thuringia. The dominant tongue was known as Theodisk, that is, a dialect continuum of Continental West Germanic. In the Alpine valleys, one could still find pockets of Latinate speakers, but Germanic was the prevalent language.

    And then there was Middle Francia. It consisted of Lombardy, Tuscany and Friuli in Italy, of Upper Burgundy and Provence, of Alsatia; of Frisia and western Austrasia, that is, Babant, Toxandria and Ripuaria. Unlike the other two, Middle Francia lacked geographic and ethnic unity, for it contained places as different as the marshes of Frisia and the Appenine forests; its population spoke by majority Romance but also Germanic. A country in this shape was only temporary; either would it extend its borders to achieve a more viable perimeter, or it would break apart.

    Such a fate happened upon the death of Lothar in 855. With the treaty of Prum, Louis II of Italy receives, well Italy. Provence and Lower Burgundy were inherited by Charles of Provence, while all the rest goes to Lothair II, which would become known as Lotharingia.

    After the death of Charles of Provence, the majority of his realm passes to Italy; smaller parts to Lotharingia.

    A treaty of Meerssen following the death of Lothar II effectively divided his realm between Western and Eastern Francia; thus the number of successor states being reduced to three; ultimately however, by 880, the kingdoms of Arelate and Upper Burgundy were restored.

    Thus, the Carolingian empire falls apart, divided into West Francia, East Francia, Lombardy, Arelate and Burgundy
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 32: Tamazgha and Hispania

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The Hispanic peninsula was by the early ninth century culturally closer to the Barbary coast. The larger part of the peninsula was united as the Kingdom of Hispania; to the north there was a handful of petty kingdoms in Galicia, Asturia, Gothia, Navarre, and the so-called Hispanic March.
    Hispania, deprived of contacts across the Pyrennees by hostile realms would focus southwards as major ports would be along the Mediterranean, mainly Valentia and Cartagena, but also cities in Bética. Overall, trade would flow across the Mediterranean.
    As for Hispanic society, the royal authority was gradually weakening throughout the course of the century. The kingdom was relatively large, and communication was difficult. The power of nobles had increased dramatically, and villages would be relatively far apart in the Meseta.

    However, Hispania was also home to a number of important cities. Hispania was more urbanized, than, for example Francia. For example, Valentia, Cartagena, Ispal, Gadiz and Corduba. Not to forget the royal capital, Toletu.
    The cities of Hispania were one of the places, where Roman lore was preserved. They also had a sizeable Jewish minority, which adopted a variant of the local language, which they would call Ladino, but outsiders called it Sephardic, as was the name of the whole community. (1)

    Forther northwards, in the hilly belt from Galicia to the place where the Pyrennees descend into the Mediterranean, was another universe. The people would inhabit smaller villages not that far apart. The hillmen would not throw away all their tribal bonds just yet. This area would gravitate more northwards to Francia across the Pyrenees; for there they would receive a guarantee of their independence.

    The Hispanic march was bound between the Pyrennees and the Ebro river; it was a collection of counties ruled from the city of Tolosa. These areas were populated by Basques in the west, Romanized Basque speakers (2), ancient Iberian in Cerdania, and Taraconese (3)

    As for Tamazgha one can witness a process of political consolidation. The city of Carthage a reassumed its ancient role as the center of trade. The exarchs of Carthage, who also wileded control over Sicily and southern Italy have wage a series of wars upon Numidia to reclaim the coastal areas : Tibwitana and Kabylia, which becomes a duchy with a Berber Duke. Carthage becomes a major trading hub in the central Mediterranean, controlling commerce along the entire Tamazgfhan coast and as well as in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

    South of the Pillars of Heracles (4), the Kingdom of Mawrtaňa as doing good. Contact across the the Strait was common, and the people of Tizi and Išeftu knew more about Isbala (5) and Gades than those in Toletu or Cartagena. However, the decline of royal authority in Hispania meant that the threat from the north was not that large; and therefore the Mawrtaňan kings could concentrate on pushing their borders westwards, that is, conquering the former kingdom of Altava, now held by the Mauri. This would move their boerders to Fortuzibni (6) by 845.

    Thus by the mid-9th century, we can see a strong Exarchate of Africa controlling the coast from Lebtimana to Kabyle; a growing Mawrtaňan kingdom consolidating the western Tamazgha and a series of Berber kingdoms:
    • Warsenis controlling the central part of Tamazgha, known as Kešreš , and remains Donatist
    • Numida , now controlling inland Numidia and Išfeši
    • Fazan independent yet again
    One must not forgt the Barghawata realm, which is developping to the southwest of Mawrtaňa. the Barghawata were neither Catholic, nor Donatist, but created their own monotheistic religion, which they spread with their southward conquests along the Atlantic Coast (7)

    On the Saharan side of the Atlas Mountains, lay he chiefdom of Sijilmassa. They profited greatly from the Trans-Saharan caravan trade, extending control to the desert oasies of Tamentit and Taghaza
    This meant also a spread of Donatism into the region, to places like Araouane, Timbuktu, Tadmekka and Oualata.

    (1) Without the antagonism between Al-Andalus and the Reconquista states, Spanish culture would be less shaped by religious zealotry; and any reconquista will likely fail.
    (2) The origin of Aragonese language
    (3) ATL Catalan
    (4) Strait of Gibraltar
    (5) Seville
    (6) Portus Divini, modern Mers el Kébir
    (7) To OTL Western Sahara
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  9. marcus antonios Lord of war

    Sep 15, 2015
    can i also write?
  10. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Sure. I would be more than happy :)
    marcus antonios likes this.
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 33: Beyond the Sahara

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    To the south of the vast Saharan Desert lies a strip of land called the Sahel, from the estuary of the Senegal river to the bend of the Niger, then to Lake Tchad until the Red Sea. It was in this region, where the first inner African civilizations arose.

    By the ninth century, there were already a handful of states merging in the western Sahel: there was the Takrur on the northern banks of the lower Senegal river, a Sanhaja chiefdom in Audaghost, then further eastwards the emrging kingdom of Wagadou (called incorrectly Ghana, although that was only the title of its ruler). Further, on the bend of the Niger, was the city-state of Gao. Ultimately, on the banks of Lake Tchad, there was the emergent Kanem kingdom.

    The realm of Gao was inhabited by Songhai people; a people unrelated to most of its neighbours, for they speak a tongue belonging to the Nilo-Saharan family, unlike the Niger-Congo tongues common in that region. The Songhai were actually the fist Subsaharan peoples to establish contact with the Mediterranean via the Tuaregs.

    The Tuaregs were desert tribesmen of the Sahara, closely related to the Berber peoples of Tamazgha. They arrived to the Sahara from the Tafilaft region, around Sijilmassa. For most of their neighbours, the Sahara was a hostile environment. A Rhomaic geographer wrote, while after interviewing a Tuareg in Numidia:

    " The people of Carthage live on the coast of a great sea. They are at home on the coast; they build ships and go from port to port. A Numidian shepherd would be lost on the sea, but the Carthaginian sailor knows the sea well. For us, the Sahara is the sea. Its dunes are its waves, its oasis are its islands. The caravans are our ships, and we can navigate on the desert the same way as the mariner navigates on the sea"

    The Tuaregs were thus the protectors of the entire Saharan trade; and they would go from oasis to oasis, from coast to coast bringing goods, but also ideas. The introduction of Christianity had already begun in the eighth century, and there was already an Archdiocese of Gao belonging to the Donatist Church. The majority of the churchgoers would have been ethnic Tuareg and/or Berber merchants settled in the city and its environs, and liturgy was done in Berber.

    However, by the early ninth century, the king of the city had become interested in the religion of the desert-dwellers. By this time, also quite a few of the townsfolk also got baptized. He asked the archbishop, why it was, that they still conduct their prayers in foreign tongue. He said "I may well become a Christian, but for this, I need to know what it means, what is taught at church " Thus the king of Gao ordered a translation of Scripture, of the liturgical books to Songhaic, so that his people would understand the message of Christianity.

    The Songhai language would thus become written with a variant of the Tifinagh script, an abjad used by the Berbers of Tamazgha.

    The Christianity that arrived to Gao was a rather simple religion: Pray twice a day, go to Church on Sundays and follow the Commandments. Thats it. It did not require a complete submission in all spheres, yet it stood in stark opposition to the animist religion of the forefathers.

    Further upstream of the Niger river stood the kingdom of Wagadou, also known as Ghana. The realm of Wagadou was inhabited by the Soninke people, belonging to the Mande family inhabitting the upper Niger basin.
    The Soninke were farmers and pastoralists and their capital was to be found at Koumbi Saleh (1). Their location favoured commerce, for in their proximity lay the gold fields of the upper Senegal, as well as the salt deposits in the desert. The Wagadou realm thus soon came to dominate commerce: pouring slaves, gold, copper, salt, ivory and leather northwards in exchange for finished goods. The Ghana king was thought to have been the richest man on earth due to his gold.

    At the mouth of the Senegal river, on its northern banks, lay the realm of Takrur. The realm was populated mainly by the Serer people, a people related to the Wolof further south. Another group populating these lands were the Fula. It has been speculated, that the formation of the state may have been caused by a powerful Berber tribe...

    The western portions of the Sahara, west of the major trade routes, are now populated by the Bafour people, indigenous to the desert area north of the Senegal river. They were thought to have been of „Black African“ descent.

    The upper Senegal valley as well has been a home to a series of emerging tribal chiefdoms.

    Now moving eastwards to the basin of lake Tchad we encounter the Kanem realm. This was founded by the Kanembu people migrating from the Tibesti mountains, subject to desertification, to the more fertile lake region, where they displaced the native Sao civilization city-states.

    The Kanem peoples were a nomadic horse-people, and they had few towns. They were connected to the Transsharan trade route via Bilma into Fazan. A major commodity in this trade were slaves, which were raided and captured in the regions further south. The second most important article, which was exported from Kanem, was ivory.

    The contact with the Fazan resulted in baptism of a few Kanem nobles, but the gross majority of the populace would remain pagan.

    The region of Guinea, inhabitted by the Niger-Congo peoples, was organized into tribal chiefdoms; on can notice the Hausa living notheastwards of the middle Niger, the Yorubas west and and the Igbo east of the Niger Delta; and the Bantu peoples have by now come to dominate the majority of the southern half of the continent, before being stopped by the impenetrable areas of the Congo rainforest, which gave refuge to the Pygmy peoples, and the hostile inhospitable Kalahari and the Drakensberg, protecting the remnant of the Khoisan in region of the Cape and the Namib desert.

    (1)In southeastern Mauretania

    Attached Files:

  12. HerodotosofBerlin Active Member

    Jan 15, 2019
    Nice update
    Tomislav Addai likes this.
  13. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Thank you very much...It always inspires you when you receive some good feedback.
    HerodotosofBerlin likes this.
  14. Richard Drummond Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2019
    West Africa is seeing some change now. Will be interesting to see the long term effects.
  15. Threadmarks: Chapter 34: The Nile basin

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    In the early 9th century, Yuqubid Egypt was on the offensive. Not only has it conquerred the Palestiniant coast from Gaza all the way to Mount Carmel, but also they have managed to vassalize the newly emerged Kingdom of Israel.
    Egypt ruled by an Arab dynasty would naturally orient itself towards the Erythrean (or Red) Sea, as the easern Mediterranean itself has been turned into a Rhomaic lake.

    Egypt sought to gain control over the trade with India, which has conducted through the Straits of Bab-el Mandeb. Egyptians would therefore seek to expand into the Hejaz, or more particularly the Hijazi coast, known also as Tihamah. That was demonstrated by a campaign which captured the coastal city of Jedda in the 830s.

    As some of our followers may have seen, Egypt is not labelled as having a feudal society, but is labelled as having a „Hierocratic“ society; that means that besides the King, the two most important institutions in the country are the Church and the bureaucracy.
    The Coptic Church has by the first hal of the ninth century become the most important institution in the country, owning vast swathes of agricultural land in the Nile valley and the Delta. Given the strong place of the Church in the Egyptian state, religious minorities viewed as heretic (meaning mostly Gnostics) would be openly persecuted, while in the cities of Cairo , Alexandria or Damietta, you could get a more of a multicultural feel. Alexandria and Damietta, as well as some coastal settlements in the western part of the Delta would still host a Melkite community, known as the Alexandrian Greeks. Mizraim (Egyptian) Jews could be found in the cities of Alexandria and Cairo.

    By the mid-ninth century the Arab vernacular would disappear from the streets of the cities in Egypt, as they would have been largely assimilated into the Coptic populace. The only exception of this would be the region Bani Suef.

    As mentionned further uptext, Gnostic communities would be exposed to persecution in this period. Surviving at least until 800AD, there would have been Sethians in the Upper Egypt in places like Nag Hammadi, and the Basilideans of the central Nile Delta. It appears that around two-thirds of the Sethians would accept Coptic Christianity, while the remaing third would be dispersed, heading to places outside of Egyptian dominance: to the Kharga oasis and then to the Tebou mountains; Nile-upstream into the Nubian lands or into the Beja coast.

    The Basilideans would see their numbers dwindle and retreat into the marshy environment, careful not to be spotted by their Christian neighbours; however some of them would migrate into Mesopotamia, where they appear to integrate easily into the Mandean community.

    Devoid of its feudal organization, Egypt would employ a significant number of Armenian and Nubian soldiers as mercenaries, who would have settled in their distinct neighbourhoods; other foriegn mercenaries would include Berber and Arab tribesmen as well.

    However, the Egyptian realm ran into a crisis by the mid 840s. In 844, the King died childless, and two of his nephews contested the throne.

    Boutros was the son of the kings elder sister and was supported more openly by the townsfolk; Shenouti was the son of the kings younger brother and supported in the Upper Egypt.While the bureaucracy supported Boutros, Shenouti was favoured by the Church. One statement by the Coptic Pope would pathe Shenouti the path to the coronation cermony... or not?

    For there was a general called Vahram of Alexandria, son of an Armenia father and a Melkite mother, who participated in the Palestinian campaign an had great popularity among the soldiers, especially the Armenian and partially also the Berber and Arab troops. After Boutros was assassinated, Vahram earned the sympathy of the townsfolk; winning Lower and Central Egypt, as well as Cyrenaica, which also formed part of the realm. Shenouti would continue to rule Upper Egypt until 849, with his realm gradually shrinking, as Vahram knew that Shenouti would have been cut off, and forced to depend on Nubians...

    Nubia was by this time divided into two realms, known by their names as Dotawo, and Alwa; to outsiders ,they were known as Makuria and Alodia. The Nubian region has always been an appendix to Egypt ever since the times of the Pharaohs, and Nubian culture would be greatly influenced by what was happenning downstream.

    Although Nubia belonged to the Coptic Orthodox Church , for some reason Greek was used as a liturgical language; Nubian has been written in Coptic letters.

    Makuria was situated further north, and had previously conquered the relam of Naatio or Migitin Goul , lying between it and Egypt. Makuria had regular contact with Egypt, and its society was organized in something what resembles to a feudal system, with some sort of aristocracy over there.

    Alodia on the other hand lay further upstream ,and contact with Egypt was scarcer. Its tribal society was gradually adapting to become a little more organized.

    Further west are the Fur people, residing the Darfur region. They are coming into contact with Nubia and Kanem due to caravan routes passing through their territory, connecting Lake Tchad to Nubia. East of the Nubian region are the Beja, organized in a chiefdom, and still practicing the Old Egyptian religion, although a Coptic bishopric has already been established in Suakin, and hopes to extend the Coptic religion (and dominance) over the people.

    As for Vahram, he sought to diminish the power of the clergy ,mainly by giving city rights to urban communities. In his reign, he welcommed some 100 000 Greek settlers, who would install themselves on the Mediterranean coast. Vahram sought to turn Egypts southeastern orientation to a northwestern one; opening the country towards the Mediterranean. He would plant forests in the newly acquired lands of western Palestine, from which there would be wood to build a reasonable navy for the realm.

    So far, we have ommitted the region of Cyrenaica, yet there is not much to speak of – the area remains populated by Cyrenaic-Greek speaking people on the coasts, the desert hinterlands populated by Berber tribesmen.
  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 35: The Red Sea Basin and the Horn of Africa

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    When looking at the history of the Erythrean or Red Sea basin, one must not make the mistake of seeing the water as a divide, a barrier that would alienate those on the Ethiopian and on the Arabian coast. It was actually more the contrary: a highway for communication and trade, which would bring peoples together and see an exchange of products and ideas, forming a cultural unity.

    In some alternate scenarios, where the Arabian peninsula itself, as well as neighbouring parts of the world be unified into a distinctly monotheistic theocratic empire (1), that might have been the case, but as of right now, the notion of “North Africa” as a cultural area is pretty-much non-existent, for Mawritain has more in common with Hispania, and Egypt is culturally much closer to the Nubian nations, to Ethiopia and even Yemen.

    The western parts of the Arab Peninsula could be geographically and culturally divided into four regions by now:

    · Midian (and Nabatia)

    · Timamah

    · Hejaz

    · Asir and Jizan.

    The lands of Midian were organized into competing city states around oases such as Tamyam and Tabouk, and had become a refuge for the Ebionitic Church. The Ebionites, a Judeo-Christian group had found refuge once more to the southeast of Israel. However despite a rather progressive spread of the Ebionitic Church during the 8th century, by the 9th century, one can observe a general decline of the Ebionites. This was caused by increased contact and exposure to more influential centers of civilization, following Monophysite Christianity.

    It began with the Egyptian conquest of several cities on the Timamah coast, such as Jedda; it was followed by Himyaritic unification of the southern parts of Arabia, during the second half of the 9th century, when Himyar conquers the regions to its north as far as Mecca, and exchanging the Ebionitic form for Miaphysite once more. Himyar also secured its eastern border, conquering the realms of Hadhramawt, leaving solely the region of Dhofar independent. Himyar had by this time greatly profited from incense trade, and its geographic position, lying on the main trade route between Egypt and the Indian coast in Kerala.

    From Himyar, Miaphysite Christianity would spread into its conquered territories, and Ebionitism and Rahmanism were supressed; a large number would indeed accept the Miaphysite Christianity, yet others would rather convert to Judaism, which was tolerated, or emigrate to the unified Emirate of Hejaz….

    Wait, when did that happen? Well by the end of the 8th century, there were two rival city-states, Khaybar and Mecca, right? And we said Mecca got conquered by Himyar, right?

    So in the early 9th century, Yathrib would conquer its neighbours to the northwest in Tabouk and Tayma, and integrate these lands into their kingdom based in Yathrib (2)

    Further inland is the plateau region of al-Yamamah. As mentioned in the previous update, the sheikhs and emirs would have already been Christian, yet their tribesmen would have at best heard of al-Masih (3). This was changed when a Syriac archdiocese was established in Jaww al-Yamamah in the mid-ninth century, aiming to establish Christendom among the Beduin populace.

    This was true for most tribes in the interior of the Peninsula, yet the Banu Tamim have embraced Manicheism.

    Manicheism remained deeply rooted also among the al-Abna, the Persian-descended population of Himyar, now integrated into the local populace, who would inhabit the coastal cities, and be an urban class of artisans, traders and merchants.

    As for Axum, also known as Ethiopia or Habesh, the realm remains rather stable during the ninth century (4). It would continue to control much of the northern Ethiopian Highland – the provinces of Gojjam, Begmender, Wello, Tigray, Asseb, as well as the entirety of the region known also as Eritrea. Axum would maintain control also over the Afar Triangle, a lowland, but arid area surrounding Djibouti.

    In its close vicinity, Axum would witness the emergence of Zeila, a coastal Somali city-state, founded most probably under Himyarite influence (although, due to excavations of early Manichean temples, it has become now thought that it was indeed founded by al-Abna merchants). Zeila had the oldest Manichean temples in the entire Horn of Africa region.

    Zeila, however, wasn’t the sole coastal city in the region of the Horn of Africa. The entire peninsula had been populated by a Cushitic people known as the the Somalis, who have had trade contact with the ancient Egyptians, as well as the Romans.

    The southern coast of the Gulf of Aden was home to numerous local city states, west to east: Malao, Mundus, and Mosylon.

    On the coast of the Indian Ocean, there were several other states, Tave, Oponi, Sarapion (5) and Nikon. The last two would have colonies established by the Himyaritic kingdom as trade depots; with small colonies of Manichean Abna in Nikon and Miaphysites in Sarapion.

    However, the majority of the Horn of Africa remained organized into clan societies, and the Somalians would continue to practise their ancestral religion, known as Waaq, which is the name of God among the Cushitic peoples; it was a rather Monotheistic religious system.

    Off the tip of the Horn of Africa is an island called Socotra, or natively Suqutra. Geographers would fail to agree, whether the island belongs to the Asian or African continent; its inhabitants were totally ignorant of the dispute, and would rather take advantage of their position as possibly the last supply station on the route to India. The Suqutri emirate would not only use the trade to develop their very own island, but they would establish merchant colonies on the northern Somali coast, especially in Mosylon , which was the easternmost of the cities there, and on the Hadhrami coast,in Mahra and Dhofar in the late ninth century.

    (1) The Rashidun, Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates

    (2) Medina.

    (3) Arabic for Christ

    (4) In contrast to OTL, where the coastal-centred state weakens due to hostile Caliphate next-door, and needs to retreat inlands

    (5) At the site of OTL Mogadisho
  17. Threadmarks: Chapter 36: Iranian Intermezzo 2.0 and the Mazouni revolution

    Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    The Mihranids dominating the Persian area would witness the rise of a major rival in their very own domain. In the neighbouring realm of Khorasan, centerred around the cities of Merv and Herat, howevera new dynasty arose. The Kouroshids (1) , named by their founder Kourosh of Abivard, would taikeover the realm of Khorasan in the 820s. During the next two decades, Kourosh would wage war upon Mihranid Persia and conquer practically the eastern half of their empire. Kourosh would conquer not only Parthia, but also Segestan, Kerman and the southern foothills of the Elborz mountains as far as Rayy.

    After having defeated the Mihranids, Kourosh would head eastwards, subduing Khwarezm on the lower Oxus and the Tokhari lands on the upper Oxus. The city-states in the Middle Oxus acknowledged his suzerainty, and thus his realm would stretch from Ferghana to Ray, and from the Aral Sea to the Straits of Hormuz.

    This empire was far from being something, which could even distantly be called a nation-state. In it there were Nestorian Oghuz Turks and Manichean Khwarezmis, Zoroastrain Persians and Nestorian Khorasanis, Buddhist Tokharians and Zunist Balochis, Manichean Parthians and Buddhist peoples of the Hindukush...

    Kourosh himself was a Manichean, but he cared little for religious differences. He actually cared little for anything... except being remebered in the annals of history as a great conqueror, and this is what he aimed for.

    His treasury would be filled from profit gained by controlling a large potion of the Silk Road, from Ferghana to Rayy.

    His successor Dawud would continue his expansionist policy in conquerind Kabul, subduing the tribes of Makran, and dividing the realm into districts around the towns. No larger provinces were created in order to prevent any possible rebellion.

    However, this did not prevent the downfall of the dynasty in 870s. The Kouroshids were overthrown by lad from Segestan, called Radman, conquerred the Zunbil dynasty in Zabulistan. With the Kouroshid empire experiencing a succession crisis and war, Radman (2) took advantage of the chaos and managed to consolidste the power in the region around Zaranj and take over the southern parts of the Kouroshid empire. From there, he would expand eastwards, taking the claimants and pretenders of the Kouroshid throne one by one, until extablishing a border on the Oxus. To the west, in the 890s, his heir would manage to overthrow the Mihranids, thus uniting Iran once more.

    As for the western reaches of the Iranian plateau, the region of Media was integrated into the Bavundid dominion; the Bavundids have been ruling the lands between the southern Caspian shore and the Elborz mountains.

    The Zagros remains under the control of local Kurdish and Luri tribal chiefdoms; nothing changes much over there.

    So, if we are to look at the larger picture, the Iranian plateau once more has descended to the path of warlordism, and the defeat of the Mihranids means also the defeat of the idea of a continuation to Sassanid legacy. The Iranian intermezzo, 2.0 is here.

    As for the southern shore of the Persian Gulf, the Beth Qatriye region was conquered by Sawad under king Giwarkis in the mid-ninth century. This wasnt a surprise, for the region has already been an appendix of Mesopotamia for quite some time.

    But it is the region on the northeastern end of the Arab peninsula that interests us. The region of Mazoun has been populated by three religious communities: the Mazdakis, the Manicheans and the Nestorians (3). In 876, the Mazdakis overthrew the existing Satrap, and took power. At first the top Mazdaki clerics would consolidate power in their own hands, in order to change the political landscape to their image.

    The Mazdakis were a sect which could be described as proto-socialist (4), or egalitarian. Mazdak has been viewed in Persia as a heretic, an enemy of orthodox Zoroastrianism. The Mazdaki ideas have been added by Sunpadh, a Persian theologian from the Karenid House.

    While being concerned with cleanliness and purification, and avoiding unnecessary harm, however on the other side their morality would be in its result hedonistic, under the condition that it doesnt harm anyone. Therefore, Mazoun would soon have become a synonym to drunkedness and lust.

    The Mazdakis would go away with monarchical power altogether. They would establish a utopian egalitarian republic, and would take care of the poor by possibly the first system of an organized welfare state.

    (1) Somewhat inspired by the OTL Tahirid dynasty

    (2) Inspired by the founder of the Saffarid dynasty,

    (3) Perhaps Mazdakis as parallel to Ibadhis. And combining elements of Qarmatianism

    (4) Using OTL terminology; who knows what socialism would mean in this timeline?
  18. Tomislav Addai Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2017
    Writing a chapter on India, with 2,5 pages on Word already. How do you guys think my No Islam scenario would influence the development of the Indian Subcontinent?
  19. Jing0ist_Peasant Banned

    Oct 29, 2018
    To my understanding the Islamic invasions of India was the reason for the decline in Buddhism in India. The iconoclastic muslims basically destroyed all Buddhist Power structures and temples, priests etc. So if there are no Islamic invasion then Buddhism would probably remain dominent in north/east india especially bengal. Jainism would probably be in a healthier state too
    Btw really good timeline
  20. Timeline Junkie Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2018
    The Citadel, Oldtown

    While true, one has to account for the fact that modern Hinduism was most definitely influenced by its interactions with Buddhism and Jainism. Central Asia is going to remain fairly Buddhist. Buddhism might even spread westward into the Iranian Plateau. Afghanistan before its inhabitants embraced Islam followed Buddhism and Hinduism among other faiths.
    Gabingston and Tomislav Addai like this.