Dark Crescent Rising - A timeline of the Mande Empire

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Ibn Chaldun, Oct 21, 2018.

Loading...
  1. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Common people wont learn it indeed, i absolutely agree. Wording was terrible sorry. But the ruling classes will and the adminstration will use the arabic language especially as there is great written script for it ( what does not exist for native languages). My plan currently is to build up Sankhore and have the influential families send their male children there. There they are confronted with Religion, Sciences (as far as their intellect allows it) and well.. introduced into the Arabic script.

    I would argue that the Mande languages clearly stay important (where they live)


    TLDR: > Arabic rises to a higher prominencec in Secular use, especially in government matters.
    > I should double check my posts :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    kaiidth likes this.
  2. Sceonn Peace at a Bargain Price

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    I see, but how long until Arabic Script is adopted to write other languages?
     
  3. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    This could happen, especially in an environment that favors innovation.

    However - iOTL im only aware of two "major" scripts emerging from the Mande languages, the Vai script and the Nko alphabet (Links are wiki). Both seemed to have emerged rather late though. So i dont think it would an automatic development
     
    kaiidth and markus meecham like this.
  4. Sceonn Peace at a Bargain Price

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2014
    Yes, they were developed in response to French as sustained major contact with the world at large emerged, a more influential Arabic Script would elicit a similar response earlier. The Djeli esp. would be strong supporters of such.
     
    Ibn Chaldun likes this.
  5. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Great input. Im sure we will make this happen :)

    Also clearly there might develop a strong Arabic dialect, if the language comes into wider use. We might get as far as a Creole Arabic...
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    kaiidth likes this.
  6. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    well won't mali isolation caused Sufism here to start to develop on different and how do you plan on developing mali coastal regions like they were in the dying days of the Mali empire with the Portugal to side step soghina control of the trans-Saharan trade. Also why would arabic devolp as the lanauge for the elites why wouldn't they devolp there own?
     
    kaiidth likes this.
  7. kaiidth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Location:
    Germany
    A really fantastic start and fascinating story.
     
  8. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Couple of notes: Mali is not isolated like the new world for example. There is frequent trade and travel through the Sahara. This way ideas are brought in and out, especially as Mukhtar already laid the foundation for an influential madrasah in Timbuktu.
    Also Sufism can not be seen an organized branch of Islam. Speaking of an organized "Sufi denomination" comparable to Sunni/Shia/Ibadi, please apologize my bluntness, makes absolutely no sense. Clearly we will see a new influential Tariqa being founded though, and this Tariqa will of course diverge from other orders. They will still stay Sunni Muslims of Maliki juresprudence though.

    Regarding coastal development : You keep asking questions whose answers would be massive spoilers haha. Not gonna comment on that that one.

    Thanks for the kind words and the likes :)
     
  9. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    don't know if you noticed but in the table of contents, it says there a fourth update when you click on it nothing happens?
     
  10. Roger II Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    Asōrestān
    Adopting scripts to use for x language that was originally used for y language is a pretty common thing; see the numerous latin-based scripts from small or regional languages or for vernaculars, Arabic for Turkish/Persian/Malay(and for some West African languages), the use of Cyrillic for Mongolian and other languages. I could very easily see a kind of Chancery Mandinke written in Arabic
     
    Some Bloke likes this.
  11. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Sorry about the delay.
    Ive been quite busy recently and the Chapter I had already written was pretty sub-standard honestly.

    Yes, this clearly is an option, but im gotta double check if its possible to write Manding in Arabic without major adjustments. For the moment, im gonna stick with the use of Arabic for government purposes because of the muli-ethnic character of the realm.


    Regarding the question by @Wolttaire where i got the idea from, Mali always was one of my favorites since I heard about the legend of Abubakari - and well. Sub-Saharan Africa does not get a lot of love on this board ;)


    Gonna publish an updated version of chapter 4 today.



    Edit: Also changed formatting of previous chapters for easier reading.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    Aghstadian likes this.
  12. Threadmarks: 4. Times of War

    Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Chapter 4 —Times of War


    As the Army was shipping down the Bakoye[1], more and more petty chiefs saw its strength and decided to join ranks in order to prevent any later repercussion. Soon Oualis scouts returned and reported that Musa´s troops were marching up the same river - right at the royal army. Also they noted, that the army was not making extended use of boats only using some for supplies. The army of Musa itself they estimated around 50,000 men equally divided into freeman infantry and tribal levies, both armed with either bow or spear. Only around 750 cavalry were with them, mostly rebellious members of the Keita clan and other renegade nobles.

    They can not win” Ouali said to Mukhtar and Salif after hearing the news, “their troops are not organized, they are tired from marching and they have nothing to counter our cavalry”. “They will scatter like chicken” Salif agreed. To make the battle even more lopsided, he ordered his troops to rest on the western shore of the Bakoye behind a major fork [2]. Musa Keita probably knew where his opponents were, but no one knows why he marched straight for them. Some suggest that the army was really commanded by a group of tribal leaders from the west and Musa only was their puppet.

    So sometime in early 1312, the armies would finally meet on the shores of the Bakoye. A dried out plain, perfect for the deployment of horsemen.

    The Battle of the Shores.

    As Ouali had predicted, the battle had been as decisive as expected. His cavalry had made quick work of the unorganized rebel army.


    Battle_Senegal.PNG [3]


    This battle essentially ended the War. The claimant Musa was dead and so were essentially all of his rebellious relatives. On their horses they had made perfect targets for the Archers firing poisoned arrows during the battle. Following Ouali´s orders, everyone that surrendered was spared. As it was common in the Empire, their head was shaven and the troops taken into imperial service.


    Raiders from the East

    As the soldiers still celebrated, messengers from Timbuktu arrived. First, more and more Mossi had infiltrated the western Borders and their bands were assaulting caravans, burning down villages and abducting the inhabitants. The big cities like Gao or Timbuktu were still protected by their garrisons, but the smaller places were severely endangered. The major problem however was their style of warfare. They attacked in small bands, and were gone again before before Malian forces could get to place of the attack. There was no direct enemy to engage.

    And secondly, the Songhai in the Bend [4] were close to rebellion, supported by groups further from the East.

    As dawn broke, Ouali rode off with his cavalry heading for Timbuktu. The main army would split in two, one half under Salif and Mukhtar was to ship down the Bakoye to reestablish firm control of Tekrur, the other half and Musa´s former forces were to follow Ouali to the West by boat, travelling up the Bakoye and then down the Joliba[5].

    Situation in the Bend was grim. Both Mande settled here and local Songhai population had fallen victim to Mossi raids. Among local Songhai nobles there was a sentiment of rebellion, because the foreign rulers were not even able to protect their people.

    Ouali however still enjoyed a certain degree of respect among them. During his time as a Farin of Gao he had been just, merciful and impartial. So when he asked them for a meeting, they came.

    In this meeting he outlined the key difference between the Songhai – especially the Nobles – and the Mossi: While most of the first group had already converted Islam, the Mossi remained pagans. In times of crisis, he argued, Muslims were to stand together against the pagans. The leader of the Songhai, Sunni Ali Kolun, still wanted his own kingdom, but realized that he could not compete against the garrisons still present and the royal cavalry. Especially, as the presence of the mansa meant that more troops were to arrive soon.

    Until those troops arrived, the cavalry was numerous and mobile enough to keep peace, deter most Mossi raids (and put down local Songhai insurgencies). When the infantry finally arrived trough the Joliba [4], the Mossi had a problem. The Ouali they were about to face was way different than the Ouali the West had seen. Too long the Mossi chiefs had haunted the royal caravans. Trade was the fabric the empire was built on, and everyone endangering it would find no mercy. So he took his massed forces of a little above 60.000 infantry and close to 10.000 horsemen south into their territory. They were not a unified state, rather their kingdoms were squabbling among themselves. Split into two columns the Mande forces passed the borderlands and annihilated every village and every town they came across. Everything that moved was either killed or captured and enslaved. On some occasions local Mossi coalitions tried to make a stand. Fighting was fierce, but not even once they came close to being a danger. Ouali quickly figured out how to counter their cavalry with disciplined spear formations.

    When the mansa personally left command by the end of 1313 many Mossi groups had fled far to the east to evade the Mansa´s bloody wrath. Those who were foolish enough to stay would soon follow their brethren into slavery. Some accounts suggest that as much as a quarter of the Mossi population would be lost in the upcoming years.


    Securing the West
    As Mukhtar and Salif arrived in Tekrur, there was little to do except mopping up a few local rebel strongholds left, assuming control over a few major villages and searching the fugitive Musa. The latter was rather easy though. Soon after they arrived in the region, most of Musa´s remaining officers approached the army and handed Salif – the official commander – a blood soaked bag. Inside, there was Musa´s severed head. The men knew everything was lost and tried to save their life, Salif realized. Unfortunately for the officers, he was a soldier through and through and despised nothing more than disloyalty: Salif ordered them to be executed for treason. With these officers the last influential members of the Keita clan had died. The campaign went swift and in the summer of 1313 the Army took the last settlement.

    In the aftermath of the rebellion many of the army´s soldiers where settled in Tekrur, both to strengthen the royal influence and to promote Islam in the majority pagan province. Mukhtar also decided to send some of his best students there in order to help with the conversion of the locals. All these steps led to a closer oversight of the region by the mansa.


    With the provinces directly under the control of Ouali and his slaves, he and Mukhtar finally could implement all their reforms.




    ---

    [1] Senegal River, gonna use Manding names from now on when appropiate.

    Also - anyone got a definte souce, if raft-like structures or anything like that were used for transportation of horses in West Africa? I read something into that direction, but not a good source to confirm it. While the use of quite large dugout canoes is widely known for troop transport, i just cant imagine massive quantities of horses being transported that way - especailly considering how narrow they are.

    For the sake of this story i just assume they rode along the rivers, since I can´t confirm any other method of transportation.

    [2] Around the town of Bakel IoTL

    [3] Military tactics & strategies isn´t my strong side.
    [4]Niger Bend
    [5] Niger River. Again in Manding


     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  13. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    how do you plan solve the religious differences between the country and the cities
     
  14. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    In OTL the Malian Implementation of Islam already was rather tolerant, almost syncretical at times. In TTL this characteristics will emerge even stronger through the soon to be established Sufi Order following the guidelines of Mukhtar.

    However - paganism inside the realm will decline faster than in OTL.
    Next chapter will be on the reforms and the chapter after that on how said reform change the realm. This chapter will subsequently have a major section dedicated to the religion issue.
     
    Wolttaire likes this.
  15. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    What about how the entire economy is devoted to slave and is there Achilles heal of there empire and is there anyway for them to stabilize there rivers so they are more stable and aren’t seasonal
     
  16. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Rivers issue would be ASB imo. As long as they only use dugouts it shouldn’t be that much of an issue (Maybe on the upper quarter of the Sénégal, that might even fall dry completely)

    Slaves so far are - economically speaking - not an archilles heel so far. Also I assume you overvalue the extent of slavery in Mali at the time.
    It is already diverging a little ITTL, especially the rise of the Sofa happened a little earlier than IOTL.
    However - continuing slaving culture will develop many downsides in the future, but slavery was pretty standard in this time and place and a abolist society in this situation would also be borderline ASB to me.

    Well and I’m putting the slaves into relevant positions on purpose honestly...
     
    Aghstadian and Orisha91 like this.
  17. Orisha91 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    The Inner Niger Delta floods and drains too dramatically over the seasons to be worth trying to tame and then maintain.
     
  18. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    what kind of feudalism will form in mali?
     
  19. Ibn Chaldun Commander of the Bolivian Navy

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2018
    Especially with 13th century technology. While the Macina region is indded quite wild, it is on the other hand also pivotal to the agricultural output of the region. This topic will be featured shortly in the next chapter.


    Well... Obviously we will see some kind of iqta. While there are clear similarities to feudalism i would not use that word as there are a lot of key differences.
     
    Orisha91 and markus meecham like this.
  20. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    What about the sengal river and Gambia river are they stable or much more seasonal like the niger

    iqta so should we see a different form from the rest of the Islamic world and especially because of the massive slave economy they have, exc, exc or will it be more alike then I think
     
Loading...