No I think you did well personally.

I had honestly figured it was going to happen for a while, especially when Bakenanhur was mentioned as the last of the 30th dynasty.
 
IMO you had foreshadowed just the right amount in chapter 19, any more would probably have been spoilerish.

Your timeline remains excellent btw, loving every update.
 
No I think you did well personally.

I had honestly figured it was going to happen for a while, especially when Bakenanhur was mentioned as the last of the 30th dynasty.

IMO you had foreshadowed just the right amount in chapter 19, any more would probably have been spoilerish.

Your timeline remains excellent btw, loving every update.
Thanks, I just wondered if the fall of Egypt was too much of a surprise.
Next update will probably be sometime next week.
 
Thanks, I just wondered if the fall of Egypt was too much of a surprise.
Next update will probably be sometime next week.
It did seem likely to happen, not a given but depending on the rulers or lack of them on both sides a opportunity is to be seized on. One needs to conquer new territory, to prove worthy of their father. Seems the question may be if this is a step to far for the Argead empire, will this be a bleeding ulcer like Spain was for Napoleon.
 
A question for readers: should I have done more to foreshadow the fall of Egypt?

Nah, it's fun to have a black swan event or two in the mix. History itself doesn't tend to do "foreshadowing" beyond the kinds of trends we can only perceive with the benefit of hindsight.

I do suspect Kush should have a role to play in the Egyptian struggle for eventual independence.... Kush was a powerful and sophisticated kingdom at this point; its magnates and kings in this period were making regular pilgrimages and donations to the temple of Isis at Philae, and Nubians had always been prominent in the cult of Hathor (going at least back to the Middle Kingdom). Whatever damage the 30th Dynasty did to the Kushite state and Egyptian-Nubian relations won't have undone the millennia of cultural kinship. I wonder if Carthage will also have an interest in fomenting unrest in Argead Egypt, if for no other reason to distract the Greeks from affairs in Sicily and Italy.
 
Interlude 1
Interlude

Itamun was tired. He had spend the day inspecting the granaries and herds belonging to the Temple of Thoth at Khmun, capital of the Hare-sepat, the fifteenth sepat of Upper Egypt. It was Epip, the second month of the season of Shemu, the harvest season, and Itamun had made sure that the harvest belonging to the Temple was accounted for: he had tallied the wheat, barley and heads of cattle. The month of Epip was the month that the pharaoh’s tax collectors made their rounds, collecting their dues. Soon they would also visit Khmun and the temple would render unto the pharaoh that which belongs to him.

As his boat moored near the riverside quay Itamun bid farewell to the oarsman, a Nubian who had long since worked for the temple, he gathered up his note-filled papyrus scrolls and went ashore. To a casual observer Khmun might not have appeared much different from other cities or towns of the Valley of the Nile, but those who looked a bit closer might have seen the scars of recent conflict. During the Season of Inundation the city had been a warzone, forces belonging to Nakhthorheb had assailed the city from the south. Pharaoh Psamtik came down from the north and evicted Nakhthorheb, but neither side showed much respect for the city or its inhabitants. The Temple was sacrosanct, it survived without being damaged or ransacked and had provided refuge to many. The granaries were not so lucky, much of what was stored from earlier harvests was stolen or requisitioned, and even the herds belonging to the Temple had lost over three quarters of their cattle. In the town itself buildings were destroyed, people had been killed or wounded and many had lost their possessions to theft or fire. In short, the last year had been a disaster for the city.

Itamun made his way towards to the Temple of Thoth, its magnificent limestone pylon towered over the flat-roofed mudbrick townhouses. But in the end even the Temple could not escape the ravages of civil war. Several months ago pharaoh Psamtik was defeated and killed by the Greeks and the Asiatics, and when that happened Nakhthorheb made another attempt at seizing the throne. He had not forgotten the resistance that Khmun had shown to him, he had the heri-tep of the sepat executed and replaced with a sycophant and he had demanded that the Temple hand over it’s gold and silver to him. As far as Itamun and the people of Khmun were concerned Nakhthorheb was nothing but a cruel tyrant.

Now Itamun neared the Temple, he could already faintly hear the screeching of the sacred ibises, when something caught his eye. As he walked past the marketplace he noticed that it was busier than usual, despite the heat of the time of the year. Perhaps there was a brawl that attracted attention in one of the more rowdy beer-houses or a merchant who sold his goods at a discount rate. But when he came closer there almost appeared to be some kind of panic, and many of the people genuinely appeared to be struck with terror. What on earth had happened?

It was then that he heard of the disaster that had befallen Egypt. The Ruler of Foreign Lands had crossed the sands of the Sinai, somehow captured the great fortresses on the edge of the Delta and had viciously sacked Per-Bast and Iunu. That useless tyrant Nakhthorheb had not even attempted to defend the country and was, justly in Itamun’s view, killed in the streets of Men-nefer over this betrayal. He heard of the horrors spread in the wake of the Asiatic army, of temples plundered, priestesses raped and cities burned. Apparently the Apis bull had been viciously butchered and served up to the Ruler of Foreign Lands and his generals. As the implications of what happened became apparent, that Egypt would once again languish under foreign rule, Itamun wondered how it could have come this far.

Somehow however, he already knew. Itamun came from a well-off family, his father was a cavalry officer from Gebtu, just north of Waset and his mother was originally from Khmun. His elder brother had joined the army but died fighting the Asiatics and he himself had, through his family connections, become a scribe and thus ended up in Khmun, his mother’s hometown. He knew the history of his country, as it was taught by the priests at the Temple of Min at Gebtu, where Itamun had been educated. Kheperkara and Senedjemibra had been great kings, who repelled the Asiatics and restored Egypt’s splendour, but afterwards the rulers had been neglectful of their duties. Khakaura had been overly warlike, and was too eager to compare himself to the greatest rulers of old, going as far as constructing himself a funerary monument on the west bank of Waset, when only the greatest of the old rulers had done so. Yet he was better than those who came after him. Sehetepkara had been a neglectful and indulgent ruler, feasting and drinking while the country atrophied and declined, giving away Phoenician cities for crates of wine, so the rumour went. His foolish sons had caused a civil war and opened the country to invasion. Was it really such a wonder then that Egypt was punished with death and destruction, if it’s rulers behaved in such a fashion? Itamun certainly did not think so.

Once the rulers of Egypt had upheld ma’at, the cosmic order, and the nation prospered. Yet the recent rulers had not done so, despite what their inscriptions might proclaim, and isfet, ma’at’s vile opposite, had seeped into Egypt, corrupting everything. To Itamun the new occupation was but a symptom of the disease, although a grave one, and something needed to be done if Egypt was ever to be an independent kingdom again. Now he was but a lowly temple scribe, but he had received praise from his superiors for his diligence and piety. Soon he would inherit his father’s extensive estates and he would be a wealthy man, perhaps then he could do something. As he watched the sun set over the Nile, Ra finishing his journey across the firmament and starting his descent into the Duat, Itamun’s thoughts were firmly on the future.

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The guy looks like a religious reformer in the making - one more steeped in tradition than Akhenaten, but a reformer nonetheless.
 
That's the exact quote, so I guess it was decently foreshadowed.
Okay, I misremembered that wrong. Funny, and I even looked up 'penultimative'...

But then this isn´t decent foreshadowing. After all, you have Psamtik V. as the last pharaoh. I´m okay to not let his brother count, with the war and him not properly crowned I guess
 
The guy looks like a religious reformer in the making - one more steeped in tradition than Akhenaten, but a reformer nonetheless.
He will have his ideas about how the country should be, but his primary concern isn't religion. He will live in an Egypt occupied and governed by Greeks and Persians, so it's far from certain he'll get the chance to implement or even express his views. However ideas can of course live beyond the people that think of them.

Nah, it's fun to have a black swan event or two in the mix. History itself doesn't tend to do "foreshadowing" beyond the kinds of trends we can only perceive with the benefit of hindsight.

I do suspect Kush should have a role to play in the Egyptian struggle for eventual independence.... Kush was a powerful and sophisticated kingdom at this point; its magnates and kings in this period were making regular pilgrimages and donations to the temple of Isis at Philae, and Nubians had always been prominent in the cult of Hathor (going at least back to the Middle Kingdom). Whatever damage the 30th Dynasty did to the Kushite state and Egyptian-Nubian relations won't have undone the millennia of cultural kinship. I wonder if Carthage will also have an interest in fomenting unrest in Argead Egypt, if for no other reason to distract the Greeks from affairs in Sicily and Italy.
Kush will certainly have a role to play in the coming conflict, and in the TL as a whole. It certainly won't spend most of it's time as an Egyptian province.
 
I've had some time to write this weekend, so next update should be up tomorrow or Tuesday. The TL-format has changed a bit though: with the death of Alexander and the end of the 30th Dynasty I've decided to speed things along a bit. Updates will cover larger time periods, sometimes in less detail. This doesn't mean that I'll cover the entirety of Philip III's reign in the next update, but it'll feature a significant part of it.
 
30. The Chosen One of Ra
30. The Chosen One of Ra

The King of Upper and Lower Egypt Setepenra, the Son of Ra, Philip, Great King of all Foreign Lands, at command of the Gods His Majesty came to Egypt. Through his might he drove out the usurpers and restored ma’at, it was he who pacified the Two Lands. His Majesty proceeded to Memphis, he restored the priests to their temples and went to the House of Ptah South-of-his-Wall. His Majesty was purified and he made an offering of oxen, myrrh and all good things to his father Ptah. Upon hearing of His Majesty’s piety all the districts of Lower Egypt opened their gates to him, as did the districts of Upper Egypt. Amun-Ra, King of the Gods, placed His Majesty on the Throne of Horus to rule the Two Lands forever like Ra.

- Coronation inscription of Philip III at Ipet-Mehu

As he deplored what had happened in the land, he evoked the state of the East, with Asiatics roaming in their strength, frightening those about to harvest and seizing cattle from the plough, he said:

Stir, my heart,
Bewail this land, from which you have sprung!
When there is silence before evil,
And when what should be chided is feared,
Then the great man is overthrown in the land of your birth.
Tire not while this is before you,
Rise against what is before you!
Lo, the great no longer rule the land,
What was made has been unmade,
Ra should begin to recreate!
The land is quite perished, no remnant is left,
Not the black of a nail is spared from its fate.
Yet while the land suffers, none care for it,
None speak, none shed tears: ‘’How fares this land!”
The sun-disk, covered, shines not for people to see,
One cannot live when clouds conceal,
All are numb from lack of it.


- Prophecy of Neferti, lines 17 – 26 [1]

When Philip III and his army crossed the Sinai, seized the great fortresses that guarded the Delta and sacked the city of Per-Bast the shock paralyzed the Egyptians. A desperate attempt at repelling the Argead advance ended in disaster at Iunu, when Philip led his hetairoi into the Egyptian flanks all resistance melted away, after which the Great Temple of Ra was ransacked. The death of Nakhthorheb III in Memphis was the final nail in the coffin for the Thirtieth Dynasty. Had he lived perhaps he could have continued resisting the Argeads from Upper Egypt, but alas it was not to be.

When Philip appeared outside of Memphis he had already triumphed, and with the news of the brutal sack of the Temple of Ra and of Per-Bast in their mind the citizens of Egypt’s capital wisely chose not to resist. The entrance of the ‘Great King of all Foreign Lands’ into the ancient city was a triumphant one, he marched in at the head of his army, although it is doubtful that he was awaited by jubilant crowds. There must have been some curious onlookers though, and he was met by a group of high-ranking officials of the city and it’s temples. The new pharaoh then proceeded to the temple of Ptah, where in the manner of the pharaohs he made offerings to the god of craftsmen. He also paid homage to the Apis-bull, earthly manifestation of Ptah, and contrary to later Egyptian sources the sacred bull did not end up on the royal dinner table. It seems that Philip understood that if he wanted to make Egypt part of his empire he needed to act as a true pharaoh. In some respects this seems to have worked; there certainly wasn’t a shortage of Egyptians who had no qualms about working for the new ruler. Even the vizier of Lower Egypt, Senedjemibranakht, remained in place, although he now would serve underneath a royal-appointed Macedonian satrap.

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Philip and the Apis-bull

As Philip remained in Memphis, preparing for his forthcoming coronation at the Ipet-Mehu, his army fanned out over the Valley of the Nile. Troops went north into the Delta, where the home of the Thirtieth Dynasty, the city of Tjebnetjer, was looted, as was the palace at Hebyt. This was because of their association with the former rulers of the land for other Delta cities did not share it’s fate. The fall of the Thirtieth Dynasty also was the end of relevance for the city of Tjebnetjer, which no longer could profit from dynastic preference, and afterwards it became an unassuming provincial town, although the large temple of Anhur-Shu remained important. The towns and cities of the Delta quickly surrendered, with the Egyptian army mostly destroyed at Gezer or encamped at the fortresses in distant Nubia there was little reason to resist. It perhaps would have been different if Bakenanhur had not waged his campaigns against the Delta aristocracy, who had been pivotal in the resistance against the Achaemenids, but their power had been all but destroyed.

It was thus in Upper Egypt that resistance to the Argead takeover was at its strongest. Philip had sent Amyntor, the son of Hephaistion and Cynane (and thus Philip’s cousin), upstream to subjugate the lands between Memphis and the First Cataract. The regions close to Memphis, with cities such as Shedyt (Crocodilopolis) and Henen-nesut (Herakleopolis) capitulated without a fight, when the army went further upstream however they found cities less willing to comply. The city of Khent-Min for example had barred its gates and manned its walls, and it took Amyntor several weeks to reduce its walls, after which the town was mercilessly sacked. It was not long afterwards that ominous news reached Amyntor from Waset, Upper Egypt’s largest city and home of the Cult of Amun-Ra. The fall of the Thirtieth Dynasty had great repercussions for the Egyptian possessions in Nubia, where many of the garrisons were understrength due to the recent civil war. The Kushite client ruler, Aryamani, took this opportunity to declare his independence and to drive the Egyptians back beyond the cataracts. Napata was quickly reclaimed, and not long afterwards all Egyptian forces retreated from Nubia. At the Temple of Amun at Napata Aryamani set up a victory stela, claiming to have defeated the Egyptians, although the inscription is lacking in detail. It seems Aryamani struck a deal with the remaining Egyptian troops, allowing them to leave unharmed and even seems to have send troops along, as Amyntor mentions the presence of many Nubian mercenaries among the Egyptian army.

The Egyptian forces encamped at Waset, enabling the southern city to resist Amyntor’s advance. Several riverine battles are mentioned, and Amyntor’s advance halted to a crawl. It was one of Nakhthorheb III’s generals, a certain Pahory, who led the Egyptian troops. Pahory was an ambitious man, after defeating Amyntor in September 295 in a battle near Iunet (Dendera) he ordered the construction of a small shrine at Ipetsut, in thanksgiving for the victory over the invaders. There his name inscribed inside a royal cartouche, thus proclaiming Pahory’s kingship. Amyntor temporarily retreated to Sauty, but he had left behind several garrisons in Upper Egypt that Pahory ended up unable to dislodge. The would-be pharaoh was frustrated by this, but he decided to ignore the garrisons for the time being. He gathered his army and sailed north, leaving behind only a small force in Waset, bypassing the Argead garrisons and hoping to confront Amyntor in battle. For Pahory and those who desired to see an independent Egypt it was perhaps their best hope, driving away the Macedonians and Persians before they could settle their regime. It was near Hardai (Cynopolis) that Amyntor gave battle late in October, having received reinforcements from further downriver. While on the river the Egyptians managed to hold their own and even repel an Argead assault on land things went awry. Once again the Egyptian army was outclassed by the Argead cavalry, who wreaked havoc on the Egyptian flanks. Pahory was captured and executed, and with him died the hope of a quick liberation for Egypt.

By the time of the battle of Hardai Philip III had already left Egypt again. He had been crowned at the Ipet-Mehu late in August 295, coinciding with the Egyptian new year. He was crowned with the sekhemty [2] and proclaimed the rightful King of Upper and Lower Egypt, his throne name being Setepenra [3]. Philip did not linger in Egypt for long afterwards, the Great King was a busy man after all. He did tour several sites in the Delta, including the Temple of Neith at Sau, where he made an attempt at looking pious by making offerings and giving gifts. He also visited a site in the northwest where on the shores of the Mediterranean a new city was to arise, acting as a crucial link between the Mediterranean and the land of the Nile. Philip ordered that this new city was to be named after his father, it would be known as Alexandria. While travelling through Lower Egypt part of the Great King’s entourage was a group of scribes, who took account of local estates and reported those to the king. Many lands were confiscated by Philip, who divided them into royal estates and lands that were to be distributed to his veterans. Aiming to prevent further damage to his reputation in Egypt he mostly left the temple estates intact, and he also donated generously for the restoration of the Temple of Ra at Iunu, although the Egyptians would never forgive him for that sacrilege. One of Philip’s final acts in Egypt was finding a city named after his wife Arsinoe on the shores of the Red Sea, near the point where the Canal of the Pharaohs once flowed. Darius’ canal had long since been neglected, it’s restoration had not been a priority of the later Achaemenids or any of the 29th or 30th Dynasty rulers. Philip however saw possibilities for the canal, especially considering the target of his next campaign.

It was thus early in October 295 BCE that Philip III left Egypt. Considering the impact he had on the country it is surprisingly short, Cambyses for example spend much more time in his newly won satrapy. He appointed his father’s old companion Ptolemaios as satrap of Egypt, a job he could only leave up to someone he could trust absolutely. Ptolemaios would indeed end up an able ruler, who managed to avoid offending the population and made sure the country was run well. In January 294 Amyntor had reached Abu (Elephantine), the traditional southern boundary of Egypt, completing the conquest of the land. For now Nubia would be left alone. After the defeat at Hardai the cities of Upper-Egypt, including Waset, gave up their resistance. Amyntor’s troops were disciplined professionals, and it seems the occupation went rather smoothly. Some wealth was confiscated and send north, but no temples or tombs were plundered. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t any large changes to Upper-Egypt, for indeed there were quite some. Garrisons were installed at several cities, sometimes consisting of such distant peoples as Thracians, Medes and Bactrians. Most dramatic was the dismissal of the God’s Wife of Amun, Udjashu, from her post at Waset. She was a daughter of Nakhtnebef II and thus unacceptable to the Macedonians as head of the powerful cult. As one ancient office was removed, another one was revived, for Philip III ordered the reinstatement of the High Priesthood of Amun to serve as the head of the Cult of Amun-Ra. The aptly-named Amunnakht was appointed as High Priest, whose living quarters at Ipetsut were across the road from a newly-built riverside fortress which would house the garrison of Waset, ensuring his and his Cult’s loyalty.

For Egypt the Argead conquest was a great shock, for it’s people it must have seemed as a great disaster. Texts from the era lament the fate of their country, some openly declaring that the gods had abandoned them. To those who had lost everything in the invasion it must have seemed as some kind of divine punishment, temples had been looted and cities had been burned; isfet had seemingly triumphed over ma’at. And yet the new king attempted to appear authentically Egyptian, while at the same time divvying up their land and settling it with Greeks and Macedonians. Egyptian confidence was at a low, for a century they had kept the Asiatics at bay, but it seems by allowing the Greeks to take over Asia they had signed their own death warrant. And perhaps it could have happened, Greeks had settled in Egypt before any of them even thought of living besides the Euphrates, and if Argead rule lasted centuries instead of decades perhaps a truly hybridised culture would have emerged, changing Egypt forever. Yet that is not what happened. Egyptian culture, by virtue of both its antiquity and a sometimes surprising flexibility, managed to endure and prosper. Argead rule, like that of the Hyksos, the Assyrians, the Nubians and the Persians, would turn out to only be temporary.

Footnotes
  1. The translation I’ve used can be found in Miriam Lichtheim’s Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume I: The Old and Middle Kingdoms on page 141. The Prophecy of Neferti is a story set during the Fourth Dynasty at the court of Sneferu (father of Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid) wherein a wise man named Neferti prophesizes a coming period of disaster and disunity, but also the eventual reunification and new prosperity for Egypt. It was written during the early Twelfth Dynasty, and thus the prophesized chaos represents the First Intermediate Period. Neferti prophesizes that a king from the south named Ameny saves Egypt, likely a reference to Amenemhat I, the pharaoh who established the Twelfth Dynasty. It is thus quite possible that the prophecy is a propaganda piece on part of the ruling dynasty, retroactively legitimizing their rule.
  2. ‘The Two Powerful Ones’, the red-white dual crown of the pharaohs, also known as the pschent.
  3. Setepenra means ‘Chosen One of Ra’ and OTL it was the throne name of Alexander as pharaoh.
 
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I originally intended a much larger update, but some personal stuff got in the way. I wanted to at least post something, so I decided to split it up. Next part, concerning the next 20 years of Philip's reign should probably be up sometimes next week.
 
Philip III does look to be a pretty competent ruler, ensuring that Egypt is run with a light touch while keeping things in order, although Ptolemy is a noteworthy contributor to Argead Egypt's success.

Meanwhile, I'm glad to see Nubia independent, although we all expected this to happen. It'll be the last bastion of Egyptian/Nubian culture for years to come against the Hellenistic power if they ever had ambitions to cross Upper Egypt.

As for the continuing endurance of Egyptian culture, it seems to hint that Argead control over Egypt is going to be fairly short (maybe 1 or 2 rulers) compared to the Ptolematic Kingdom, which could result in some interesting butterflies along the road once the Argead Empire declines and even splits apart. But that's for the future, and I'm curious to see how Philip III's reign is going to play out.
 
I got excited when I saw the name "Pahory" (it translates to something like "One of Horus"). That was short-lived!

Is TTL's Alexandria in the same spot as OTL's (the Egyptian town of *Rhakotis)? If so, one could imagine that fantastic natural harbor being put to good use and maintaining the city's significance until long past the Argeads are gone. Whether the Ptolemaios the satrap will the same resources and freedom to develop the city at a comparable pace to OTL's Ptolemaios the pharaoh is another matter.
 
Philip III does look to be a pretty competent ruler, ensuring that Egypt is run with a light touch while keeping things in order, although Ptolemy is a noteworthy contributor to Argead Egypt's success.
Philip was born after the establishment of the Argead Empire and has been raised with the idea that he would one day rule over a vast multiethnic realm, so he is quite well aware that his empire wouldn't survive if he offends too many of his subjects. He also hasn't ruled for very long yet, so there is still plenty of opportunity for him to screw up. And while his rule of Egypt is generally one with a light touch his conquest certainly wasn't, with especially the destruction of the Temple of Ra as something the Egyptians won't quickly forget or forgive.
Meanwhile, I'm glad to see Nubia independent, although we all expected this to happen. It'll be the last bastion of Egyptian/Nubian culture for years to come against the Hellenistic power if they ever had ambitions to cross Upper Egypt.
With the fall of Egypt Kushite independence was more or less a fait accompli, and Aryamani played his cards well by negotiating an Egyptian withdrawal. He will however need to avoid needlessly provoking the Argeads, while Philip III marching on Meroë is very unlikely they could still inflict damage, especially since Nubia probably needs some time to recover from the Egyptian occupation. On the other hand, if things go badly for the Argeads the Kushites might get the chance to expand their own kingdom, Thebes and Karnak are after all not that far from the cataracts. Also, while Nubian culture had many Egyptian influences and often is portrayed as some kind of carbon copy, it really had its own distinct culture.
As for the continuing endurance of Egyptian culture, it seems to hint that Argead control over Egypt is going to be fairly short (maybe 1 or 2 rulers) compared to the Ptolematic Kingdom, which could result in some interesting butterflies along the road once the Argead Empire declines and even splits apart. But that's for the future, and I'm curious to see how Philip III's reign is going to play out.
Argead rule will only last a couple decades, but it will leave it's mark on Egypt, although certainly not to the extent of OTL.
I got excited when I saw the name "Pahory" (it translates to something like "One of Horus"). That was short-lived!
Yes I know, in hindsight it would probably be a great name for a pharaoh. Thankfully there are quite a lot of Egyptian names from this era to choose from, especially in comparison to for example the Carthaginians.
Is TTL's Alexandria in the same spot as OTL's (the Egyptian town of *Rhakotis)? If so, one could imagine that fantastic natural harbor being put to good use and maintaining the city's significance until long past the Argeads are gone. Whether the Ptolemaios the satrap will the same resources and freedom to develop the city at a comparable pace to OTL's Ptolemaios the pharaoh is another matter.
Yes it is the same spot, it seemed quite natural to me that a city would arise on that spot, and since I could still name it Alexandria I thought why not? Trade with the rest of the Mediterranean will grow in importance even after the Argeads, so it won't be abandoned after the Argeads are gone, but perhaps the Egyptians will rename it. It certainly won't grow as fast as it did OTL, but it will still become a sizeable city in a relatively short period of time.
 
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That certainly was a swift fall.

I'd think that if the Argead realm does fall, it will do so to a civil war. At this point in time, an outside threat being absolutely devastating would require something like time-displaced Mongols arriving. Unless they grow really decadent?
 
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