You know, I expected a massacre when Philip landed in Italy in lieu of his massive army but the Romans performed quite admirably and showed incredible martial skill that definitely surprised Philip. Even though Rome fell to the Argeads, they robbed them of something very important to their Empire: a strong successor with Alexander. With Philip III dead the crown prince will become King, but he is obviously not a good king for the Empire judging from the posts. Over time I can definitely see Antigonos or Ptolemaios attempt to overthrow Philip IV in some kind of civil war, ending the menace that was the Argeads for the peoples of the Western Med.

But really, who won this war? Carthage. Of course.
They got off scot free with Philip III's death, Rome is devastated, and the Saunitai, the Greeks, and the Rasna cannot realistically contest them economically or militarily in the Western Med.

Honestly, I can see Eshumhalos conquering Sicily quite easily in the aftermath while maintaining trade contacts with the Saunitai and the Rasna, leaving him with Iberia, Sardinia, Corsica, the Balearic Islands, and etc. as lands open for colonization.

As Jupiter failed the Romans in their time of need, Ba'al Hammon has blessed the Carthaginians with endless possibilities and opportunities.
 
Makes me wonder that if Carthage or a successor culture has an equivalent to Virgil, their version of the "Aeneid" would have Aeneas marry Dido as opposed to leaving her.
Welp. That went a lot quicker than I thought it would.

This has got to have been quite the wake-up call for Carthage.

Carthage now has no competitor in the Western Med, plus they got a lot of experience in this war, especially fighting among the doomed Romans. I wonder if any survivors will make their way to Carthage.
 
The Romans did quite well, considering what they were up against. OTL they struggled somewhat against Pyrrhus, but here they face an enemy who has much more manpower and resources than Pyrrhus ever had while the Romans themselves were not as strong as they were OTL. Large parts of Italy have been devastated and despite Rome's destruction the coming years won't be peaceful for the Italians.

Regarding the Argead succession: Philip IV is the new Great King, and obviously he isn't very capable but the various satraps his father put in place are still there and so is the chiliarch Karanos, so if Philip doesn't interfere too much and lets the adults rule the empire perhaps he'll manage to last for some time. If civil war does ensue there might be some satrapies who would prefer independence, although that'll only be possible if things really spiral out of control.

Regarding Carthage: they are still at war with the Argead Empire, so a renewed offensive on Sicily is certainly possible.
 
Roma delenda est! But, the Great King of Asia paid for it with the death of his favoured son, and possibly his own if his illness was something he caught due to refusing Rome's surrender in lieu of sacking that city.

The Romans struck into Saunitis in April 293, and not without good reason: the Saunitai combined with Alexander’s forces were a daunting foe, and Bovianum was not far away from the borders of Latium. 30000 men under the consul Publius Decius Mus marched into the highlands, torching Saunitai villages and ravaging the land. Gavius Vettius, meddix [1] of the Pentri, reacted by marching out against them, although Alexander had advised him to await the Argead assault on Campania. Several weeks of skirmishing followed and it was near Aesernia, a town not far from Bovianum located near the Volturnus river, that the armies faced off. The Saunitai-Argead force was somewhat larger but was hampered by the division of its command between Vettius and Alexander, who did not get along and squabbled over which strategy to employ against the Romans. Battle ensued when the Saunitai and some Macedonian contingents moved to block the Romans from crossing the Volturnus at a shallow part of the river, several hours of heavy fighting followed on the riverbanks. After several assaults it seemed as if the Romans would relent and slowly pulled back from the river, after which the Saunitai gave chase. As they surged forth they were suddenly struck in the flank by a Roman force hidden in nearby woods, then the Romans they were chasing turned around and charged the Saunitai, who had walked into a trap. Surrounded they were slaughtered almost to the man, Gavius Vettius among them. Alexander had in the meantime regrouped some remaining Saunitai and his own forces and attempted to retreat back to Bovianum but the Romans were quickly upon them. Hoping to buy his forces some time he led his cavalry into the Roman flank. Perhaps it could have worked, were it not for Alexander’s death: his horse threw him off after it was hit by a Roman javelin. Paralysed the prince was quickly killed by the advancing Roman infantry, and as news of his death spread among the Macedonians they once again started to retreat. With panic and confusion gripping the Argead and Saunitai ranks they were quickly overwhelmed by the renewed Roman offensive. Aesernia so it turned out was a great victory for the Romans.

As I predicted, Phillip's preferred successor is now dead, apparently due to having to work with a local ally with too high an opinion of himself.

In a carefully planned campaign Antigonos now launched a new assault on Eshmunhalos’ positions around Syracuse, meeting him in battle near Akrai, just west of Syracuse. Eshmunhalos had the slight advantage in numbers, commanding 40000 men in comparison to Antigonos’ 30000. When battle was joined after some days of skirmishing early in May 272 the Carthaginians seemed to carry the day, their numerically superior heavy infantry (mostly Greeks and Libyans) drove back the Argead left and centre while at the same time Eshmunhalos’ Numidians drove back Antigonos’ light cavalry. Yet Antigonos kept his head cool, his right flank managed to hold firm against the onslaught while the advance of the Carthaginians opened up a hole in their lines. Commanding his heavy cavalry, a mix of Macedonians, Thessalians, Medes and Persians he dashed through, falling upon the Carthaginian rear. Panic broke out among Eshmunhalos’ men and the retreating Macedonian troops rallied again, pushing the Libyans and Greeks back. A large part of the Carthaginian force was surrounded and destroyed, and only half of those who had marched out returned to their camp near Syracuse several days later. It was then that the Syracusan garrison, which maintained contact with Antigonos, sallied out while Antigonos marched in from the west, trapping the remaining Carthaginians. Victory was total, Carthaginian siege equipment and many talents of gold and silver were captured, as were 22000 surviving Carthaginians and their mercenaries who were all shipped off to the slave markets. Eshmunhalos was one of the few survivors, together with some bodyguards he rode back across Sicily to Lilybaion. By now most other Sicilian cities had once again offered their subjugation to Philip, and the situation on the island had thus returned to what it was before the war.

A grandson of Alexander, a superb military commander able to defeat larger formations deployed by a technological peer and ruthless enough to essentially conquer Sicily via a terror campaign. Yeah, Philip IV needs to watch his back and refrain from fucking up too much.

After two hours of fighting the Greeks broke and started falling back, the Roman troops pouring through the hole in the Argead line. Had they been professional troops perhaps they had used this opportunity to reform and strike the Argead formation in the rear, but being relatively inexperienced levies they marched straight ahead, perhaps hoping to plunder the Argead camp [4]. Philip, who had not joined the fight and instead was riding behind his lines, shouting encouragements and making sure he was present at hard pressed sections of the phalanx, ordered his reserves to advance and repel the Roman breakthrough. To the Romans, who thought victory was in their grasp, the advance of the elephants must have been a profound shock. Never before had they seen such beasts, the psychological effect must have been immense. As they tore into the Roman formation, trampling unfortunate Romans while from the howdah on the elephants' backs they were showered with javelins, panic started to spread among the legions. In the meantime Philip himself rallied the Greeks, urging them onward, which seems to have worked for not long afterwards the Romans were pushed back again.

Surprised the Romans did so well. Not at all surprised they were surprised by the elephants.

The Senate of Rome offered peace and submission, but by now Philip would not accept. He had to set an example.

And thus, it's curtains for Rome. However, this was a costly war for the Argeads. I can see some of the more outlying areas rebel soon, with a botched response perhaps setting the stage for a civil war.
 
You know, it was only the advanced intellect of Philip II, Alexander, and Philip III that held India to the Empire. I could see that Poros character rebelling against this new weaker king. Egypt ain't gonna stay submitted for long after that. Heck, if Rome had been subjugated rather than destroyed they'd have become the second city of Carthage's Empire in a few years.
 
The Latins have are no longer of the Romans, and a lot of men were lost to this war. Should there still be survivors around, I bet that Praeneste is the best place for them. I wonder if they'll expand into former Roman territory. The roads should still be functional, so it could be taken over.

Veii might be a problem too. Who knows.
 
You know, it was only the advanced intellect of Philip II, Alexander, and Philip III that held India to the Empire. I could see that Poros character rebelling against this new weaker king. Egypt ain't gonna stay submitted for long after that. Heck, if Rome had been subjugated rather than destroyed they'd have become the second city of Carthage's Empire in a few years.
That's definitely true. It's the perfect opportunity for regions like Parthia, Bactria, or India to break away from the Argead Empire if they war against one another in a few decades. The Indian satrapy is especially primed to dominate politics on the subcontinent in my opinion since Philip III razed much of the region during his last campaign.

As for Rome, I'm not sure if Carthage even wants that city. It's more likely that the Rasna or the Saunitai will absorb what remains of Rome in the aftermath.

Regarding Carthage: they are still at war with the Argead Empire, so a renewed offensive on Sicily is certainly possible.
But how effective would that be when the Argead navy was damaged during the last war?

It would most likely take weeks or even months to organize a new fleet against Carthage in an effort to preserve Argead control over Sicily, but I doubt they will be as organized or as effective in engaging the Carthaginians as they were under Philip III. I doubt they will be successful in retaking Sicily for those reasons alone.
 
It would most likely take weeks or even months to organize a new fleet against Carthage in an effort to preserve Argead control over Sicily, but I doubt they will be as organized or as effective in engaging the Carthaginians as they were under Philip III. I doubt they will be successful in retaking Sicily for those reasons alone.
Apologies, I should have worded it better. I meant a Carthaginian offensive on Sicily. Despite the naval victory at Eknomos the Carthaginians don't control much beyond Lilybaion at the moment.
 
Apologies, I should have worded it better. I meant a Carthaginian offensive on Sicily. Despite the naval victory at Eknomos the Carthaginians don't control much beyond Lilybaion at the moment.
Yeah, that's more likely (in fact they'd probably be extremely successful in retaking Sicily assuming nothing bad happens to Eshumhalos and the current govt.), but I wonder what will happen to Magna Graecia in the aftermath of this war. The Saunitai are likely to take them over if Argead control over the region evaporates, but I don't see them falling without a fight to the death.
 
I wonder what will happen to Magna Graecia in the aftermath of this war. The Saunitai are likely to take them over if Argead control over the region evaporates, but I don't see them falling without a fight to the death.
If Argead control of the west falters the Samnites/Saunitai are in a prime position to enforce their will on Southern Italy, but that would only happen if there isn't anything more pressing happening, and since Italy is still in for some rather interesting years that's far from guaranteed. Like OTL there is also Epiros just across the Adriatic to consider.
 
34. A Troubled Reign
34. A Troubled Reign

He was impatient and forceful, and even while King was not above arguing with his courtiers. He was quick to anger but could at times be kind and thoughtful. He was generous, but only to those who flattered him. Above all he was fickle: he often changed his opinion or disposition on subjects and people, he was prone to agreeing with the last person he spoke to, which, to the detriment of the empire, made him easy to manipulate.

- Excerpt about Philip IV from The lives of the Great Kings of Asia by Hermocles of Brentesion

The sudden death of Philip III, a healthy man with no known history of illness, has always been regarded as suspect. Later authors often put the blame on his son and successor, Philip IV, who could not wait to ascend the throne and thus killed his father. This seems somewhat unlikely, Philip IV was not much of a schemer and hated the ceremonial and administrative tasks that were expected of him, he neglected them while regent of Macedonia but could not do so while king. Besides his son there were no obvious benefactors of his death, which probably means that the death was a natural one, it is not unheard of in antiquity that someone seemingly healthy passes away after a short illness.

Philip III was still in Pella when he died, so his body was embalmed there and laid to rest at his tomb at Aigai. Extensive funeral games were held under supervision of the new Great King Philip IV, who was acclaimed as king by the assembled army. He sailed from Macedonia to Syria in June 271, where he landed at Nikatoris and then travelled onwards to Babylon, where he made an triumphant entrance in August 271. The celebration lasted several weeks, the new Great King spent lavishly to make sure his entrance into the city would be remembered, he dispensed many gifts to nobles and dignitaries and spent much of his time inebriated. While in Babylon he would spend most of his time in the Palace of Nebuchadnezzar, caring little for the drudgeries of government he did not often attend to meetings of the synedrion [1] nor did he like presiding over court cases or settling disputes. In true Macedonian fashion he spend most of his time hunting and drinking, leaving the actual governing to his deputies, the most powerful being the Great King’s uncle, the chiliarch Karanos.

During the 270’s Karanos’ power and influence in the Argead court grew steadily, with his brother often campaigning he was responsible for governing the Empire from Babylon. The bureaucracy was filled with his loyalists and he had spies at most of the satrapal courts. He was not much of a warrior, and preferred the chancelleries and courtrooms over the campaign tent and the battlefield. For the Macedonians his lack of martial prowess was a cause for mockery and contempt, which made Karanos a rather unpopular figure among many. He was married to Stateira, a daughter of Persian nobility, but the couple only had daughters. His eldest daughter Nikaia was married to Patroklos, the eldest son of Amyntor, who was Karanos’ most important ally among the Macedonian nobility. During Philip IV’s reign it was Karanos who, despite being disliked by many, ruled the Empire: the Great King often being too inebriated or simply disinterested to put effort into ruling his realm. And even if they clashed over something it was not unusual for Karanos’ to eventually emerge on top, as did happen when Antigonos returned from Italy in 270.

Antigonos and a large army were left behind by Philip III in Italy in order to oversee the recently subjugated lands and peoples. Philip’s return to Babylon was supposed to only be temporary, he wanted to return to Italy in the following year to settle matters definitively but he died before he even crossed over to Asia. Antigonos thus was in an unenviable position, his army was not large and with the sudden death of Philip many among the Italian tribes and communities saw their chance to overthrow the Macedonian yoke before it was established. There was relatively little unrest in the south, the Lucanians, Bruttians and Saunitai were not eager to rise up and mostly were satisfied with their current arrangements with the Argeads. The Saunitai especially, as consequence of the war they had seen their territory in Campania enlarged and thus had no reason to antagonize their benefactors. In Latium too uprisings were only sporadic, of all the regions of Italy it had suffered the most and it’s population was still shellshocked by the destruction of Rome. The recently reconstituted Latin League, which was tied to the Argeads in a similar arrangement as the Saunitai, thus held their head low and supplied Antigonos with food and fodder for the campaign. The greatest threat was further north, from the Rasna and the Celts. Despite having much of their lands ravaged by the Romans the Rasna were unwilling subjects at best and were eager to see the Macedonians leave. The various Celtic tribes of the Po Valley also worried about the aggressive new power that seemed to dominate much of Italy, and as Antigonos burned the fields of the Rasna and swept their militias of the field Celtic warriors streamed south across the Po, to stop his advance.

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Rasna warriors

Antigonos once again launched a campaign of terror against the enemies of the Argeads and it is during this campaign that men who feature across many of the wars of the coming decades like Mithranes, commander of the Median cavalry, Diomedes, Antigonos’ second-in-command, and Peukestas the Younger make their debut in the records. Cities that had not long ago been plundered by the Romans were now despoiled by the Argeads’ polyglot force. Tarchna fell to a quick assault, its male population was put to the sword while the rest was send east, to be dispersed among the cities of the Upper Satrapies. Shocked by the ferocity of the Argead assault other cities hesitated: Caisra (Caere), which initially managed to hold out against Antigonos, now opened its gates, as did Velzna and Clevsin. The cities Aritim (Arretium) and Felathri (Volaterrae) still decided to resist, aided in this decision by the presence of many Celtic troops. Most of the warbands that had travelled south were part of the Boii, a tribal confederacy who lived to the northeast of the Rasna and just south of the Po River, although there were also some warriors from the Insubres and Cenomani present. The Ligures too had sent some forces as did some of the Umbrians, and another notable contingent in this allied army consisted of Romans who had fled the destruction of their city. United in their opposition to Argead domination their army was perhaps 80000 strong, although since it lacked a central command it did not fight as a single army. It was near Felathri in November 271 that Antigonos and his army, 40000 strong, stood across the field from the 80000 strong allied Italian force.

Antigonos could have struck earlier, but supposedly he preferred facing his enemies at once instead of dealing with them piecemeal. His march to Felathri was thus deliberately slow, enabling his opponents to gather their forces. Perhaps he had heard that their leadership squabbled among themselves, Boii chieftains did not want to follow orders of Rasna magistrates and the Cenomani would not be commanded by some haughty Roman nobleman. When they were confronted by the Argead army they did thus not form a single force but rather several disparate ones. Antigonos did not charge in immediately, for several days the armies skirmished over the plains near Felathri. This gave the Italians a sense of security for they managed to easily repel Antigonos’ light troops, but it also made them somewhat careless. One evening, as the Boii and Cenomani were celebrating with copious amounts of wine and the Rasna too were in a festive mood Antigonos had formed up his army in its usual formation, the phalanx in the centre with supporting infantry and cavalry on the wings. They slept or waited throughout the night in formation and when the sun rose the next morning they advanced, catching their enemies completely by surprise. The Rasna, Romans and Umbrians still managed to form a line but were easily routed by the Argyraspides while the Celts and Ligurians were quickly overrun, caused by their own unpreparedness and by Antigonos’ deployment of elephants against them. Victory was, once again, total. It is in the aftermath of this battle that Antigonos epithet of ‘Kallinikos’ i.e. ‘Beautiful Victor’ is first mentioned.

His victory was followed by the quick submission of both Felathri and Aritim, and a subsequent campaign into the lands of the Boii, where he sacked their capital at Bononia in February 270, although most of the tribe had retreated behind the Po so they did not suffer many casualties. Afterwards Antigonos returned to Latium, marching through Umbria on his way back, ravaging and burning as he went. He arrived at Tusculum in May 270, having subjugated the Rasna and Umbrians once again and having repelled the Celts, leaving behind a garrison under a certain Athenodoros to make sure the Italians would remain loyal. Antigonos also ordered the Italiote League and the Saunitai to send troops. In the end it would of course not be enough to keep central Italy loyal to the Argeads, but by the time that would become an issue they had other things to worry about.

Antigonos returned to Babylon in September 270, where he personally met with the Great King. The two were well acquainted, they were cousins of the same age and had largely grown up together. Antigonos had been granted a triumphant entrance into Babylon and was showered with gifts and praise, but he desired more. From his cousin he requested the regency over Macedonia, and the Great King agreed that it was a suitable reward for his accomplishments in the west. Karanos however disagreed, for some unknown reason there already appeared to be some bad blood between Karanos and Antigonos, whom he was unwilling to grant such an important land. Instead Karanos granted Macedonia to his son-in-law Patroklos and only informed Philip after Patroklos was already on his way, greatly angering Antigonos. Philip was apparently unwilling to stand up to his uncle and instead granted the satrapy of Syria to Antigonos, who begrudgingly agreed.

Philip’s erratic nature becomes increasingly clear over the course of his reign, unduly offending both his subjects and close companions. Late in 270 he travelled to Phoenicia and Egypt to oversee the construction of the fleet that was to conquer Carthage, a project he inherited from his father. On his way there he visited several cities, including Edessa and Damascus. In Edessa a bronze statue of the king was set up in celebration of his arrival, but he considered this an offence and had it torn down and ordered the town’s notables massacred and it’s citizens were to pay a heavy indemnity. In Damascus a beautifully crafted golden statue was set up, the citizens having heard of the fate of Edessa probably hoped to avert undergoing the same. Apparently it worked, Philip thought the statue so beautiful that he exempted Damascus from taxes for the rest of his reign. Once in Egypt [2] he was crowned as pharaoh in a lavish ceremony at the Ipet-Mehu, and he also visited Alexandria. Rather than returning to Babylon afterwards he travelled to Upper Egypt, travelling up the Nile on a lavishly decorated barge. He visited many of the great monuments of the region, more like a tourist than a king, and supposedly he planned a campaign against Kush, although that would never materialize. At Ipetsut he ordered the construction of a new chapel and he seemingly enjoyed playing the part of pharaoh in various ceremonies.

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Coin of Philip IV

Early in 269 Philip returned to Syria, to oversee the final preparations for his campaign against Carthage. Despite his defeat at the hands of Antigonos Eshmunhalos had launched another attack on Sicily in 270, once again the island was devastated by armies marching across, plundering and burning as they went. A Syracusan aristocrat named Alkyoneus was in charge of the defence of the island and did well, blocking the Carthaginian advance at several points and keeping the eastern side of the island loyal to the Argeads. With the fleet nearing completion Philip now planned to march an army 100000 strong supported by 600 ships to Carthage via Egypt and the Libyan coast. Already troops were gathered in Syria when news from India reached the Great King. The client-ruler of Gandhara, the recently enthroned Suracaksas, had decided to seize his independence. The inept Indian satrap Eumenes was assassinated and various garrisons were put under siege. Suracaksas was an able and wise ruler, he offered some of the garrisons service in his army, which many Macedonians who had settled down in India accepted. Despite its population and wealth the Indian satrapies had been ignored ever since Philip III marched off to Italy, so it is not surprising that the neglected garrisons partially decided to join the revolt. Philip now had to march east or risk losing one of his richest satrapies.

Most of the forces gathered in Syria would stay there however, under command of it’s satrap Antigonos, who had in the meantime set up a lavish court at Nikatoris. 20000 elite troops, among them the Argyraspidai and Athanatoi (Immortals) would march east alongside their king, who would pick up additional reinforcements in Iran and further east. He was joined by Amyntor, who was supposed to actually command the army, and his by his brother Ptolemaios. The Great King initially also wanted his 12-year old son and heir Alexander to join him on campaign, but he was talked out of this by his advisors. In anticipation of his expected victory in India Philip adopted the epithet of ‘Neos Dionysos’ and despite his poor military track record it seems Philip was confident of victory. He also wasn’t in much of a hurry, instead of marching immediately to India Philip made a detour to Bactria where he gathered additional troops. In Bactra he ordered the execution of the satrap Alexander, a grandson of Perdikkas, for his perceived incompetence. In his stead Philip appointed his brother Ptolemaios to be the new satrap, a rare good decision by the Great King for Ptolemaios had shown himself to be a able and just ruler while governing Elymais. Just before departing Bactra another incident took place, there had been some kind of argument between Philip and Amyntor over the strategy of the coming campaign, and it ended with the Great King ordering Amyntor to be detained in Bactra. He would decide his fate later, while at the same time he send the order for the execution of his sons Patroklos and Hephaistion back to Babylon, where thankfully for Amyntor Karanos ignored it. In March 268 Philip crossed the Hindu Kush with his army, over which he now exercised sole command. Several skirmishes in the Kabul Valley seemed to have convinced Philip that he was indeed an invincible commander, he was fully confident of victory when he descended from the Khyber Pass and marched on Taxila itself.

Near Taxila, April 268

Abjit could not see far, the whirling formations of cavalry threw up clouds of dust which obfuscated his view. He was not a warrior, he was not a kshatriya, instead he had always worked the land not far from Taksashila itself. However the new raja needed all the men he could muster to repel the Yavana and Parashika who came to reassert their dominion over the land. He had been handed a bow and a bundle of arrows, he had no armour but he stood behind several lines of equally inexperienced men with shields and spears.

He had seen the ruler himself, standing in his chariot underneath his parasol, accompanied by heavily armed warriors and many elephants. Now however they were nowhere to be seen, the entire front line of the Gandharan army consisted of levied troops with minimal experience, the mercenaries and elite troops were all kept back. Suddenly he heard the whinnying of horses and he watched as the cavalry of the Kamboja, lured into service by the raja with promises of gold and independence, came flying past them in full retreat. Apparently someone had gotten the better of them.

Then suddenly the sound of the pounding of hooves became even louder, and through the cloud of dust he could see the Yavana cavalry storming their position. For a moment he froze in fear, but he shook it off and drew his bow, his hands still shaking. ‘Nike!’ he heard, and the Yavana were quickly upon them. Some of the men in front of him lost their nerve and ran, but were struck in the back by the Yavana lances. Abjit managed to somehow hold firm, he aimed at the rider that was now in front of him, he let loose the arrow and narrowly missed his head, the arrow whizzling past the now enraged Yavana. Abjit stepped back and attempted to flee, the entire line was now collapsing, but he stumbled and fell. As he lay immobilized in the dirt he faintly heard the elephants, louder and louder, perhaps the raja had now committed his elites? Suddenly there was a searing and intense pain at the back of his head, and then he felt nothing anymore, another casualty among the many that day.

He never knew that the arrow he fired hit the rider behind the one he was aiming for.

He never knew that by sheer luck the arrow managed to hit just below the ridge of his helmet, severing one of his arteries and causing massive loss of blood.

He never knew he killed the Great King of Asia.

Aftermath

The Battle of Taxila was one of monumental importance, which was already well understood at the time. For Suracaksas it cemented his claim as an independent ruler, and near the battlefield he commissioned a rock inscription, where in impeccable Sanskrit he proclaimed his kingship and his right to rule. Further west the news was received with shock, and quickly Alexander IV was enthroned in Babylon to ensure continuity. The boy was still young however, and incapable of ruling, but luckily there was someone experienced enough to serve as his regent. When news reached Antigonos in Nikatoris that Karanos had declared himself regent he ordered the army to be assembled, and in the Macedonian fashion they declared Antigonos to be the rightful regent, and not long afterwards they crossed the Euphrates, and headed towards Babylon.

Footnotes

  1. Council of the most eminent nobles and close companions of the ruler, assists the Great King in the government of the Empire. Consists mostly of Macedonians but there are also some Persians that are part of it, usually presided over by the chiliarch.
  2. In a future update we’ll get a closer look at Argead Egypt.
 
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It would seem the rare dynastic triple-tap has struck the Aegead Empire. Last update I wasn't sure, but I am willing to bet now that the enmity between Karanos and Antigonos leads to a civil war between the Asian and Greek/Macedonian portions of the empire. This also seems like a prime opportunity for Egypt to either break off or start stirring about that direction. Then there's Carthage, which looks well-placed to get their place in the sun ... but, given the current set of events befalling the Argeads, for how long?

Honestly, Italy looks really interesting at this point. Assuming Carthage doesn't sweep in gradually and incorporate the peninsula, the regional players are all small enough I can see any one or a number of them either creeping to dominance or simply eking out a successful niche. It would be quite interesting to see the Italiote League survive into the long term after Aegead control in Italy lapses, if not as a discrete entity than as an idea. Though that really goes with about all of the confederations in the region - it's quite rare to see a scenario where the non-Latin Italic peoples have a future.

Keeping my eyes peeled for the upcoming developments!
 
While I'm pleasantly surprised that Philip IV wasn't completely incompetent compared to his father, his untimely death at Taxila surely broke the camel's back when it comes to the Argead Empire's stability. Although there is a successor with Alexander IV, he is still young and open to influence among factions at the court. Considering the bitter rivalry between Antigonos and Karanos, civil war is very likely with the Argead Empire.

Carthage can seek to capitalize on this instability to get Sicily and then some, but probably not mainland Italy. I don't think they are willing to invade the Saunitai or even the Rasna since they're decently strong as opponents and Eshumhalos can look towards easier conquests in Sardinia, Corsica, and Iberia rather than squander relations with potential trade partners.

Italy is interesting because the absence of Rome as a strong power in the peninsula has allowed the Saunitai to drastically increase its presence in the region, especially with Campania firmly under their control. They're certainly strong contenders to be the dominant state in the region, perhaps the ones that could unify all of the Peninsula if given enough time, although we'll see if they can conquer the Latins, the Celts, or the Rasna. The rest of Magna Graecia will surely be the next target of the Saunitai in the mean time, especially if they lose Argead support during the subsequent Civil War, although Epirus could prove to be the greatest roadblock towards their ambitions there.

I can't wait to see where this world ends up in the upcoming decades. Everything in this alternate antiquity is just so interesting.
 
It would seem the rare dynastic triple-tap has struck the Aegead Empire. Last update I wasn't sure, but I am willing to bet now that the enmity between Karanos and Antigonos leads to a civil war between the Asian and Greek/Macedonian portions of the empire. This also seems like a prime opportunity for Egypt to either break off or start stirring about that direction. Then there's Carthage, which looks well-placed to get their place in the sun ... but, given the current set of events befalling the Argeads, for how long?

While I'm pleasantly surprised that Philip IV wasn't completely incompetent compared to his father, his untimely death at Taxila surely broke the camel's back when it comes to the Argead Empire's stability. Although there is a successor with Alexander IV, he is still young and open to influence among factions at the court. Considering the bitter rivalry between Antigonos and Karanos, civil war is very likely with the Argead Empire.
Considering how chaotic OTL Macedonian successions could be the Argeads have been quite lucky until well, now. The exact nature of the coming conflict, and where exactly the battle lines will be drawn, will become clear next update.

Egypt will indeed play an important part in the upcoming struggle. There are also other parts of the empire that would like to reasses their relationship with Babylon.

Regarding Philip IV: he was too lazy and alcoholic to really screw things up since he left the government to more capable men. Had he lived longer things might have ended up relatively well, but there's no chance for that now.

Regarding Italy: it really is a wildcard that I'm not entirely sure about myself. One thing to keep in mind is that there are still some Celtic tribes wandering who are searching for a new homeland.
 
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The Dudebro king had a shorter reign than expected. The sons of Philip III do not have a good track record with surviving battles they were about to win. Hopefully Ptolemaios will not have to see if it's three for three in those terms.

Intriguing. So, it's not quite killing one another for the throne, but the descendants of Philip II are going to war to determine who gets to be Alexander IV's regent.
 
The sons of Philip III do not have a good track record with surviving battles they were about to win. Hopefully Ptolemaios will not have to see if it's three for three in those terms.
Neither Alexander or Philip IV were close to winning their battles. Alexander died during an attempt to stall the Roman advance and Philip IV was about to be outflanked by Suracaksas. Ptolemaios, I guess we'll have to see how he ends up, he'll have a pretty prominent role to play in the coming struggle.

Intriguing. So, it's not quite killing one another for the throne, but the descendants of Philip II are going to war to determine who gets to be Alexander IV's regent.
Yeah, that's more or less right, although there may be some complications to that down the line.
 
Italy is interesting because the absence of Rome as a strong power in the peninsula has allowed the Saunitai to drastically increase its presence in the region, especially with Campania firmly under their control. They're certainly strong contenders to be the dominant state in the region, perhaps the ones that could unify all of the Peninsula if given enough time, although we'll see if they can conquer the Latins, the Celts, or the Rasna. The rest of Magna Graecia will surely be the next target of the Saunitai in the mean time, especially if they lose Argead support during the subsequent Civil War, although Epirus could prove to be the greatest roadblock towards their ambitions there.
Agreed.

Only thing about the Etruscans is that they are right next to the Celts, who have already been settled there thanks to call for aid against Rome. Once word travels back north from their Southern kin to the North and the Argead garrisons are recalled, I think we're gonna see a deluge of tribes venturing into Northern Etruria and Umbria as well. This would cause Northerners to flee to the weakened south. Anyone's guess if it causes further instability in Northern Latium, which leads me to another point.

What will be really cool is the Praenisti, which I will admit to never hearing about, until this tl. They were apparently a serious competitor for Rome in the 4th century. I would think that they would have the greatest chance of picking up where Rome left off in terms of leading a Latin League any new Latin League. Of course, that depends on how much manpower they retained from the recent war and how many Romans they absorb...

As for the Samnites, I'm guessing they might go for another round with the Italiotes for Southern Italy or expand into the weakened Umbrians or Latium. The Epirotes I could see stepping in to support the Italiotes. Epirote support would be interesting, I bet that they want another war regardless anyway.

I think that would truly be interesting.
 
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Only thing about the Etruscans is that they are right next to the Celts, who have already been settled there thanks to call for aid against Rome. Once word travels back north from their Southern kin to the North and the Argead garrisons are recalled, I think we're gonna see a deluge of tribes venturing into Northern Etruria and Umbria as well. This would cause Northerners to flee to the weakened south. Anyone's guess if it causes further instability in Northern Latium, which leads me to another point.
A Celtic migration would be utterly devastating to the weakened Rasna if they spilled out from the Po Valley, although we'll see if that's going to end up being the death knell of the confederacy or if they emerge as a stronger political entity in the process.

Maybe an centralized Insubres state that dominates the north from Mediolanon emerges from the Celtic migration, but that's just wishful thinking.

What will be really cool is the Praenisti, which I will admit to never hearing about, until this tl. They were apparently a serious competitor for Rome in the 4th century. I would think that they would have the greatest chance of picking up where Rome left off in terms of leading a Latin League any new Latin League. Of course, that depends on how much manpower they retained from the recent war and how many Romans they absorb...
Very interesting point, as I also have never heard of them before. Roman migrants have been making their way to other towns in Latium, so they have a pretty high chance of filling in the vacuum that Rome left behind. The Latins don't have a lot of time to recover because the Saunitai could easily take over if the Latin League isn't ready to defend itself.

As for the Samnites, I'm guessing they might go for another round with the Italiotes for Southern Italy or expand into the weakened Umbrians or Latium. The Epirotes I could see stepping in to support the Italiotes. Epirote support would be interesting, I bet that they want another pre-emptively anyway.
While we could see the Saunitai invade the North like Umbria or Latium, it's probably inevitable that they will go for Magna Graecia at some point, which is why I think Epirote support is absolutely necessary for them if they want to have an adequate defense against the Saunitai or the Carthaginians.
 
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