Hadrian's Consolidation - reboot

I thought Greeks knew of magnetism already? Hence that whole story about a shepherd with the iron toed boot and a chunk of Magnetite. Looking at it on the wiki, Thales of Miletus is credited with first describing magnetism in 6the century BC. Yet here it seems as if the Greco-Roman world is only now realizing the process, a mistake perhaps?
 

Hecatee

Donor
I thought Greeks knew of magnetism already? Hence that whole story about a shepherd with the iron toed boot and a chunk of Magnetite. Looking at it on the wiki, Thales of Miletus is credited with first describing magnetism in 6the century BC. Yet here it seems as if the Greco-Roman world is only now realizing the process, a mistake perhaps?
Well indeed archaic Greece had some knowledge of the phenomenon, but a lot has been lost in time : we are now in the 3rd century AD, almost a millenium after Thales, and a rediscovery will certainly lead some pedantic guys to say "it's what the ancient knew" but will also be taken in a much more practical way : hello compass !

Sosistes is also a natural philosopher, not a classical philosopher, working more hands on than in the writtings of the ancient : following the work of Ptolemy he tries not to use books from the time when the three aspects of philosophy were mixed up.

Also note that it is only part of the work Sosistes is doing : he started working on stone and their properties, following the work done by the glassworker whom Marcus Aurelius met some decades earlier
 
He’d shown the stone’s strange effects to his colleagues during a meeting organized by the provincial praefectus machinatorum, and it had left his colleagues as baffled as he was, although many said this discovery would be a great boon for a sailor at sea far from the coast, because it would help him steer his course. At that many had approved, and the praefectus machinatorum was said to have dispatched a note to the Academia Practica.
And the Romans make an even more important advance than magnetism - the scientific conference and the sharing and distribution of information.
 
With all these advancements I wonder how long it will be before someone wants to build a suez Canal to project even more power into the Indian ocean and Arabia.

I also wonder if the Romand can cross the Atlantic in time to see the Maya and Teotihuacan at their height.
 
With all these advancements I wonder how long it will be before someone wants to build a suez Canal to project even more power into the Indian ocean and Arabia.

I also wonder if the Romand can cross the Atlantic in time to see the Maya and Teotihuacan at their height.
Don't they already sort of have one? Thought I remember there being an update where they were re-dredging the Canal of the Pharaohs, which did the same job but just connected the Nile to the Red Sea instead of the Mediterranean.
 

Hecatee

Donor
With all these advancements I wonder how long it will be before someone wants to build a suez Canal to project even more power into the Indian ocean and Arabia.
Don't they already sort of have one? Thought I remember there being an update where they were re-dredging the Canal of the Pharaohs, which did the same job but just connected the Nile to the Red Sea instead of the Mediterranean.
In short : what Mplustwerk said :)

I also wonder if the Romand can cross the Atlantic in time to see the Maya and Teotihuacan at their height.
In short : yes, but that's not right now. In somewhat longer : Theotihuacan fell from around the 6th century onward if I recall properly, while the Mayan classical age starts around the same date. I do expect roman contact with the new world to happen in either the 4th or 5th century : Theotihuacan would be at the height of its power, the Mayan not quite there yet but going to... Although roman sicknesses and technologies may well butterfly the classical mayan period and precipitate the fall of Theotihuacan...
 
Don't they already sort of have one? Thought I remember there being an update where they were re-dredging the Canal of the Pharaohs, which did the same job but just connected the Nile to the Red Sea instead of the Mediterranean.
Well it wasn't awfully deep and wasn't meant for ocean going ships. Also a direct canal would have the benefit of protecting Egypt from any Eastern Threats.

I do expect roman contact with the new world to happen in either the 4th or 5th century
Well given you are making large steamships and such I don't think it would be long before someone tries to find china from the Atlantic side or at the Very least circumnavigate Africa and getting blown to Brazil.
 
Don't they already sort of have one? Thought I remember there being an update where they were re-dredging the Canal of the Pharaohs, which did the same job but just connected the Nile to the Red Sea instead of the Mediterranean.
Yes. However, just because there already is an old, limited canal doesn't mean that there is no possible use for a new, improved one.

The old canal represents a detour up the Nile, is limited in size, and probably also by season. So it is going to hit its limits pretty fast once trade begins to expand. Traders would have to change to riverine transport craft and load everything back onto separate ocean-going ships at the other side, adding to costs and wastage.
 

Hecatee

Donor
Well it wasn't awfully deep and wasn't meant for ocean going ships. Also a direct canal would have the benefit of protecting Egypt from any Eastern Threats.



Well given you are making large steamships and such I don't think it would be long before someone tries to find china from the Atlantic side or at the Very least circumnavigate Africa and getting blown to Brazil.
True the Pharaohs' canals is not as good as it could be, but currently it still fits the needs. The steamships are in infancy, not really deep draft ships, if fact there are rather few deep draft ships in all of the Empire, a lot of trading is still going on on rather small sail ships or mixed sail and oar ships going to about fifthy mail ports with quays and doing the rest by beaching the ships or anchoring offshore and carrying the goods from ship to shore on small boats... Thehuge ships of the grain fleet remain an exception, and the steamships ITTL won't benefit from the millenia of harbour improvement work that existed in OTL due to the existance of large trade and warships. There is a whole infrastructure to build here !

As for the Americas, the Empire's location and early reliance on steam mean that I see the Romans discover northern america first, rather than the Caribean area, and then not that fast either. I mean, there were about a millenia of Atlantic trade following the fall of Rome before anyone went due West, and even if here the idea of a round Earth seems more logical, they also have a much better understanding of its size so they know there is little chance that nothing but sea separates them from China, paradoxically they would be sailing less into the unknown than Columbus.
 
Brivoluta, Gallia Belgica, april 247

Hecatee

Donor
Brivoluta, Gallia Belgica, april 247


Little ever happened in Brivoluta, so the arrival of a century of men from the praesidis forces was a surprise, although a welcome one. The local guards were not alone, bringing along a group of five brigands, two of them sporting bad wounds, that were part of a group which had preyed on those taking the road to Atuatuca Tungrorum and whose other members were now food for carrions. Not all the guards had come unscatted from the fight either, although their equipment made them less vulnerable than thieves wearing cloth and mismatched bits of armour.

The locals lined the road, looking at the small column as it stopped in the small square in front of the fanum where a small fountain provided fresh water. The prisoners were led to the water, and told to drink while the soldiers took some rest.

Suddenly there was a shout in the crowd : a mother had recognized her son. But instead of despair it was rage and hate that flew toward the cowed youth. Everyone now recognized him : young Dubnotalus had fled the village about ten moons before, taking his family’s small savings and a horse from a neighbor's field, he’d gone off for a live of adventure that would lead him to an early grave, either at the point of a sword if he was lucky or as a slave in a mine somewhere in Germany…

The village priest came out of his house followed by a slave carrying a small barrel of cervoise, the locally brewed ale, that he’d kept in the sanctuary’s reserve. Soon every men of the praesidis unit had a earthenware cup full of ale in his hand, but the officers made sure none had more than a cup. There was still walking to do before sundown, the prisoners would not reach Atuatuca Tungrorum by themselves…

During the pause the soldiers talked, some with local girls, others with other civilians, a few among themselves. Such were an optio and one of his men, nursing their cup while discussing the recent action.

“And have you seen that idiot trying to spike you with the head of a dismantled pilum ? as if it would have done anything except maybe grase you if it happened to fall on exposed skin !” “Indeed, it did nothing, on the other hand if it had had any weight it could have stuck into my shield, or maybe even go through some of my lorica hamata ?” “Well, you know, maybe you got a new weapon there… a heavy spike with some weight that you can throw… It would help us when we have to chase a suspect !” “Not a bad idea, yes, and certainly more practical than a spear, javelin or bow in a city… But we’d need to keep it small to carry beside our normal patrolling gear.” “You could make it small enough to carry a pair of them inside the back of your shield ?” “Yes, with a bag of caltrops to stop those guys on horse, or even some runners... “
 
A kind of plumbata : the bandits tried to throw a broken piece of pilum at them, and from there the discussion
Interesting they are talking about caltrops. Perhaps the Eastern legions have recognised the need given their exposure to Parthian remnants (or indeed Scythians).

Mind you they are going to need more integrated transport if the load on a legionary grows - to add 8 caltrops and say half a dozen plumbata is going to increase significantly their pack weight.

Any developments with integral artillery like Carroballista - they could double up as equipment wagons. Maybe even a development of the polybolos or even large Chinese repeating crossbows.
 

Hecatee

Donor
Interesting they are talking about caltrops. Perhaps the Eastern legions have recognised the need given their exposure to Parthian remnants (or indeed Scythians).

Mind you they are going to need more integrated transport if the load on a legionary grows - to add 8 caltrops and say half a dozen plumbata is going to increase significantly their pack weight.

Any developments with integral artillery like Carroballista - they could double up as equipment wagons. Maybe even a development of the polybolos or even large Chinese repeating crossbows.
Overall the artillery train of the artillery has grown considerably in the last few decades, so there is more possibilities for pack carrying by vehicules. But note that here we are speaking of an internal police force, mainly used in urban context or to control roadways and fight brigands, while the border units are mainly made of cavalry heavy auxiliary units and infantry + artillery heavy legions 4 time the size of auxiliary units (but with a lot more auxiliary units, so that there are more of them than there are of legionaries)
 
So an inversion of the comitatenses and limitanei formations? The heavy ones on the frontiers and the light ones for internal police duties?
 
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