Iberian empire

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Sheliak Lawyer, May 18, 2017.

  1. Sheliak Lawyer Banned

    May 15, 2017
    So in pre-Roman times there were multiple groups of people that inhabited the Iberian peninsula.

    What would it take for any of those myriad groups to form an empire?
  2. President Benedict Arnold New Yorker

    Aug 24, 2016
    You would have to make it so neither Rome nor Carthage becomes the premiere power of the Mediterranean, which is tough.

    Had Carthage defeated Rome (which was possible in a fairly straightforward way) then, even in the most likely Carthage-Screw you could muster, would still result in their rulership over North Africa, the major islands of the Mediterranean, and Iberia.

    The best way would be to keep power in the east, with either Egypt, Persia, or a united Greece replacing them as great powers instead of Rome or Carthage.

    Even then, it would be challenging for one of these decentralized groups to be able to rise up and become an empire at all comparable to the ones that would be in the east.
  3. Red Orm Secretly Muad'Dib Banned

    Jun 18, 2016
    From what I know, Iberia's main barrier to unification and centralization is geography. Sure you have the Pyrenees to the north as a barrier, but then you have all sorts of high hills and literal mountains crisscrossing the country, watersheds that take days of marching through easy-ambush territory to cross, and a kind of polyglot mess of Iberian, Celtiberian, PIE, and Semitic speaking peoples. Any empire would have to either effectively wield somehow or at least loot/sack (easier) the Punic coastal cities, but the leaders of this time didn't really have the kind of civil structure that allowed them to amass large (well, """""large""""") armies for more than a few days without everything falling to hunger and infighting.

    Having a highly drilled, almost mechanical military (like the legions) and a sprawling, insidious bureaucracy (like Rome's) and a government that doesn't rely on regional clans/towns/factions for support (like the Republic, see where I'm getting at?) sure help against that geography though. I'm not saying it's impossible, but with weak outside influences not providing a boogeyman to unify behind, I don't see much happening in the long term, really. Sure, one super charismatic Gary Stu (it's happened in history plenty of times) can rise and forge an empire that outlives him by maybe a decade before collapsing. That could happen. But I don't know what else.
  4. Joao97 Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2016
    Here's one possible candidate:


    We could always hope he was succeeded by someone half as competent...
  5. Red Orm Secretly Muad'Dib Banned

    Jun 18, 2016
    Maybe, but that's not pre-Roman as the OP hints. Plus the Romans didn't have a lot else going on at that time. If we're gonna have a mid/late Republic PoD, then Quintus Sertorius is A+, I'd say. You have him on one end and Mithridates on the other, the Roman state bankrupt as fuck, civil strife still alive and well even after Sulla put his foot down, and Pompey and one or two other good commanders could easily die, making things much easier for Quintus Sertorius and his quasi-Roman Lusitanian state.
    Joao97 likes this.
  6. Joao97 Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2016
    The way I interpret it, the only requirement is that the Empire is formed by one of Iberia's pre-roman people. It doesn't specify the time period.

    Yeah, Sertorius is definetly a good candidate as well, but that would be more like a rome-in-exile than a truly Iberian Empire. Althought he seemed to be able to appeal to Lusitanian nationalism in some manner, Sertorius' policies actually sped up the romanisation of the Iberians peoples quite dramatically. I'm not sure of how much of their native culture could survive in that scenario.
    Red Orm likes this.
  7. Byzantion Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Forum Romanum, Suburra
    Maybe Setorius's attempt to secede succeeds , while Mithridates is more successful against Rome, which takes a major blow and spirals down into political chaos. The Romano-Iberian leadership tries to become a naval power over the course of the next years.