Hadrian's Consolidation - reboot

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Hecatee, May 16, 2016.

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  1. Neko Tamo Well-Known Member

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    I am aware that China pretty much only wanted precious metals in trade for their goods, but do you know why that was?

    Seems off that luxuries only Westerners could provide (or had a near monopoly on) like coffee, chocolate, tobacco, sugar, amber and later spices were not in high demand in China. Did their strict isolationism just prevent them becoming popular and needed?
     
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  2. dissatisfieduser Well-Known Member

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    China’s isolationism, at least the iteration of it which seems to colour the discussion here, was a mixture of xenophobia and proto-nationalism that came as a result of the Mongol domination. Any and all archaeological evidence of foreign goods and coinage in China before the Yuan/Ming/Qing usually coincides with China’s golden ages, where it exerted hegemony over the Central Asia. My argument is that there is little evidence supporting institutional isolationism in China before the Yuan and the lack of foreign goods in China could be explained as the danger of international trade. Before the modern era, China’s trade with the rest of the world meant passing through one of two major choke points: the Gansu corridor and the Straits of Malacca, the former was constantly besieged by nomads and the latter plagued by pirates.
     
  3. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    In this timeline China imports :

    - Roman painted glasses
    - Roman perfumes inside some of said glass
    - Roman tyrian purple dye
    - Turtle scales (of African varieties)
    - Some precious woods (ebony, ...)
    - Some spices and rare incenses

    But it is not enough to pay for all the silk the Romans are bringing back each time.
     
  4. HanEmpire Delicious

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    Just wait until Rome gets a taste for tea.
     
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  5. vandevere vonhooligan

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    Romans and Caffeine? A very potent combination!
     
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  6. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Well they already have coffee thanks to the Jewish Red Sea traders from the Persian Gulf...
     
  7. Timmy811 Member

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    The situation as it is now is that those spices are being imported into the Roman Empire in exchange for hard currency.

    If those cities are conquered, any spices traded within the Empire keeps that gold and silver that would have previously left the country, inside of it. Furthermore, the spices they'd be exporting to the East would be paid for by merchants from those countries with currency or in goods of equivalent value. So the hard currency within the Empire increases.
     
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  8. Timmy811 Member

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    Rome should have access to a great deal of amber now. Would China have access to it's own deposits? It would seem to be a material that could potentially interest them.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Persepolis, Parthian kingdom, october 247

    Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Persepolis, Parthian kingdom, october 247

    Vahram I, son of Ardeshir II, shahanshah, looked at his assembled generals. The master of the Parthian Empire had only gained the throne the year before, after the natural death of his father and the close of a 16 years rule. Beside the usual small lords’ revolt, quickly crushed, none had challenged his rule : the fact he had no brother alive had helped maintaining the peace.

    Persepolis had been restored as the imperial capital by his father, the mostly abandoned city gaining a new splendor in a bid to confirm the legitimacy of the dynasty by anchoring it to the memory of the great kings of olden times.

    This meant that the meeting took place in the new Apadna, built on the remains of the old one burned by the greek conqueror Alexander. The great hall of audiences had been rebuilt in the style of the old one, using the existing remains as a guide.

    Sculptures had been restored where necessary, new columns carved out of stone, gilt and wooden elements added where appropriate to make it one of the most impressive building of the known world, a wonder not even the Romans had in their Palatium.

    All over the empire the work done in Persepolis had inspired a return to the art of olden times. Many monuments had been restored, other had been erected in the olden style at the same time as the population boomed, as if some wanted to compensate the depopulation which had happened during the time of troubles.

    At the heart of the Apadna building building, the throne of Vahram was the center of all attentions. And today Vahram’s attention was focused on his commander’s Horzid’s words…

    “Yes we can. With the limited goals we have set, and keeping a to a prudent strategy that prevents any overextension and ensure timely concentration of force against isolated components of the Romans’ forces, I’m confident that we can force the return of Mesopotamia to us. But to achieve this we must take great care not to lose ourselves in the mountains of the North, and we have to insure the swiftness of our armies or their communication networks will let them coordinate a quick response. Our goal must be the destruction of two legions with their auxiliaries, or they will be able to crush us : the IV Scythica at Ctésiphon and the VI Ferrata at Bosra must be destroyed at all cost or our armies will shatter ! But the large contingent of Scythians we have managed to recruit should balance their cavalry’s power and allow us to triumph over them, Ahura Mazda willing.”

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Please note that I'll be travelling to Japan for two weeks starting this friday, so I won't be able to update on schedule. (this is also the reason why I could not update last week, I'm up to my neck in planning that trip, preparing my text for a conference in Dublin early december, making sure all is set at work to keep going on during my absence, reviewing my proofcopy of a short story I managed to get edited, and do about half a hundred other things in parallel...)
     
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  11. Joriz Castillo Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised the Parthians are actually gonna take back the lost provinces since nearly a century from then.

    Let's see how they fair against a vastly different and more advanced roman army.
     
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  12. TheHandsomeBrute Well-Known Member

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    This means that the Parthians have changed allot in there political ideology during their extreme troubles. They historically never viewed themselves as a successor to the Achaemenid Empire and was always badly remember during the Sassanids who viewed them just as much as an outsider as the Selecuids.
     
  13. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Well they have adopted a "let's get Persia great again !" mantra, after getting the eastern part of the empire safe again they turn their sight toward the west where they know important lands are being used by the romans to both keep them out of the roman empire and bypass Persia for a lot of trade, using the Gulf sea trade + river and caravan trade instead (or, for some goods, the red sea road)

    Yes, here they are called Sassanid but are not our OTL's Sassanids, look at the names of the kings, they are also different from OTL (although taken from the historical family names). They have a policy of "let's reunite the lands as they were at the greatest time" and had also to use a prestigious place for capital because otherwise they had none left that could unite... Old Parsa (Persepolis) fit the bill, and a conservative nostalgic policy fit their need for uniting the old land, it also helps because they have to deal with some strong Jewish dominated local centers of power and for them Old Persia is the nation that led them back from Babylon to Jerusalem, so it is good propaganda too. Think a bit Augustean "archaiasing" art to have a similar mechanism.
     
  14. Joriz Castillo Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. Neko Tamo Well-Known Member

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    I think the Persians will be in for a rude awakening, this might well be the last mistake they make. The Roman military is not that more advanced than before, they have better throwing weapons, more armor and the stirrups (which by now I am guessing the Persians do too so not much help). But the Empire has just grown economically by leaps and bounds and it is so much more stable. The Persians may well blitzkrieg their way through Mesopotamia, killing the two legions and wisely severing optical telegraph lines and sowing confusion, but the Empire will come back with more legions, and more, and more. It is like Japan fighting the US in WW2, it is highly unlikely to win in the long term.

    Btw what is the situation in the Caucasus Mts? Are the Armenians just holding everything or is there another state, Georgia maybe? I wonder when (not if) Armenia will be annexed, that is the Roman model anyway, build up an "allied" state then when they are sufficiently Romanized, annex. Plus the Caucasus mountains make for a great frontier of Rome (good luck invading over them when foritifed) at least for the mid term so there is a lot of strategic need to take that land and it is probably profitable land too.
     
  16. Praetor98 #TeamBlue

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    They should fortify that position.
     
  17. EmperorOfTheNorthSea Cnut? You haven't seen a REAL North Sea Empire

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    Maybe this will finally be the inspiration needed for an Emperor to emulate Alexander of old and conquer the east up until the Indus and Oxus...

    Scratch that, Jaxartes river would be better. After all we gotta include Alexandria Eschate in the party!
     
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  18. luis3007 History amateur

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    There is no fortifying to be feasibly done in Mesopotamia. You can lock the rivers as a supply route but the real mountains are in Persia, not Mesopotamia.

    OTOH unless the Romans have greatly improved their siege methods those same Persian mountains will protect the core of the Sassanids unless the Romans go all Alexander on them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  19. Hecatee Traveller of the pasts

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    Roman siege methods are currently the best in the world, with a late medieval level of techniques (exclusive gunpowder) and, more importantly, every legion has a cadre of engineers trained in siege techniques and has the legionaries often train in aspects of siege warfare, with a special emphasis on artillery (they use bolt throwers and TTL brachiae, ie trebuchets https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trébuchet) and, by now, have also developed mangoneaux (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangonneau), Chinese inspiration playing a role here alongside the local mechanical developements.
     
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  20. EmperorOfTheNorthSea Cnut? You haven't seen a REAL North Sea Empire

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    Or they could just build a wall parallel to the Zagros?
     
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