(Medieval Stasis) Stretching Iron-to-Medieval Age Tech for... 5000 years?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Dolan, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. fraa Jad Well-Known Member

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    Without gunpowder, there is no Ottoman Empire and subsequently no interruption of trade -- therefore no trying to sail around the south of Africa to get to India.
     
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  2. fraa Jad Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it will be thousands of years, though, maybe one thousand at the most? These things are very hard to speculate about, but I'm sure someone with a good knowledge of chemistry could give some input.
     
  3. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Except we replaced airships with planes that were constantly bigger and faster until about now. Similarly with trains steam was phased out just as HSR was introduced, but HSR speeds haven't increased much since the 70s.
     
  4. fraa Jad Well-Known Member

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    I know that by HSR you mean high speed rail, but do not assume that all your readers will.

    EDIT: actually that's the first time I've seen that acronym. These kinds of trains were called Shinkansen when I first heard about them in the '90s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  5. Modern Imperialism Well-Known Member

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    Rome still breaks in two. Both Empires become stagnant like China and go through similar cycles like China.

    The Eastern Roman Empire eventually becomes completely Greek dominated and recreates Alexander empire. Germanic people move more east then otl.

    That could maybe do it.
     
  6. Modern Imperialism Well-Known Member

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    Fallout might actually be a good look at what would have happened if we stuck to that technology. That technology can be much more self destructive if used improperly. Fallout is overtop and fictional example. Super Mutants or none of that would exist but the resource shortage and nuclear war part maybe.
     
  7. Modern Imperialism Well-Known Member

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    Airship is technology that I always thought could get refined more and made into more commercial use. For example, carrying large loads of resources then planes would or using them for short flights. Flying in those would be more like a train then a crowded plane
     
  8. tus3 Well-Known Member

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    Now I wonder, could iron working be invented before agriculture by some sedentary hunter-gatherers?
    If so that seems like a good way to get a 5000-years long 'iron age'.
     
  9. Dolan Lookin fer Gooby

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    The Central Asian and Western Steppe Nomads did have arguably better iron and steel-making techniques compared to the Sedentary People during the Classical Age Era. They could field fully armored Cataphracts long before being fully armored was common in BOTH China and Diadochi-Era Mediterranian Polities. But yeah, come Roman Empire and post Wang Mang Han Reform, and they started copying the Steppe Techniques as their own.

    Maybe it could be done much earlier?
     
  10. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

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    You don't necessarily need wars to shake things up for innovation to occur. The Black Death certainly shook up Europe after all. Other natural disasters like the Little Ice Age or lengthy droughts can do the same without causing warfare.

    Possibly. There is an old tradition of copper working in the Pacific Northwest (where the natives were indeed sedentary hunter-gatherers) that seems to have reached its peak complexity amongst the Tlingit, Haida, and some other BC coastal peoples. They'd heat native copper in a fire and work it into what they wanted. They also did the same thing with iron but it was very rare pre-contact and came on ships which drifted in from Asia and from sporadic trade with the Inuit/Yupik across the Bering Strait with Siberian groups who had iron. An early account describes one group killing a few Europeans and taking apart their boat for iron. There's also descriptions from the late 18th century of the Haida and Tlingit being very picky about which copper and iron goods they wanted from Europeans which suggests they knew exactly what it was and what they wanted from it.

    So based on this I think all you need is a tradition of smelting copper to emerge there somehow and that area would be a fantastic candidate to jump straight into an Iron Age without inventing agriculture. But this does presume iron working being done elsewhere first. However, complex and sedentary hunter-gatherer societies have occurred in several times and places in history and the leap from copper smelting to iron smelting might not be too inconceivable. You also obviously need copper ore, native copper, and iron ore laying around in the same place.
     
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  11. fraa Jad Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean the original Fallout games by Black Isle (as in Fallout 1 and Fallout 2), or after Bethesda Studios took over the franchise? Most fans of the original series do not consider anything made after acquisition of the intelecual property canonical. I'm very familiar with the original two games (not with Wasteland, though, but the remake looks good), but I don't know anything about the new games.

    Nothing against Bethesda, BTW, the Elder Scrolls games were OK up to and including Morrowind.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  12. stevej713 Well-Known Member

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    Not to get off-topic, but 95+% of people who have played a "Fallout" title have not played the original 2 Fallout games, so the opinions of this tiny group of "fans" doesn't mean much.

    As I've said before, I think industrialization was caused by a mix of advances in labor, finance, and agriculture. The fact that Europe spent centuries in fierce competition among small states accelerated these advances. It should be noted that despite the high view many have towards the Roman Empire compared to the Middle Ages, there were very few technological advancements in the classical Roman Empire's 1000+ years of existence. Most of the Empire's achievements came from the availability of millions of slaves. Medieval Europe, however, largely abolished slavery and saw a huge advancement in the development of bridges, watermills, and windmills, not to mention architecture, scholarship, seafaring, etc. Therefore, keeping a large empire around would probably do a good job of stifling development and industrialization, maybe indefinitely.
     
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  13. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Most of the conquest was done without gunpowder weapons; the Spanish in Mexico held as their main advantage their iron/steel swords, horses and, of course, disease.
     
  14. dandan_noodles Well-Known Member

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    It would be a mistake to underrate the importance of guns for the conquest; arquebuses were pretty useful for picking off Aztec captains at some distance, and gunpowder weapons on the brigantines were crucial in the siege of Tenochtitlan.
     
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  15. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if Crossbows and the like could make up the difference.
     
  16. Shurik Now with 38.5% more oogy!

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    Depends on what map you're using
    How much would preventing the European adoption of Arabic Numerals keep things down?
    The Church maintaining an iron grip on ensuring Roman Numerals remain in use would have huge impacts on the development of mathematics. And with it... accounting, science, industry... An inability to perform complex mathematics should have a huge impact on significantly slowing down the development of Europe.
     
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  17. Jürgen Well-Known Member

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    It would slow things down, but not significant so, the problem is that there’s no way to keep the Europeans from adopting them short of the Indians never developing them. Both Arabs and Europeans saw the obvious potential in these new numerals. Fundamental there’s no way to stop Europeans from adopting any good new idea which enters the Muslim World. The Papalcy can fight it all they want, it will be adopted.
     
  18. Shurik Now with 38.5% more oogy!

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    Depends on what map you're using
    The mechanism to prevent it's adoption would probably have to be more complicated, granted.
    I was merely thinking of something that would seriously impede the development of European science in its infancy; and attacking the very foundation of mathematics through the continued use of Roman numerals seemed the best option.

    Now HOW to prevent the adoption of Indian numerals... that becomes a harder question.
     
  19. fraa Jad Well-Known Member

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    Mate, I don't know anyone who has played one of the new games personally, at least that I know of, and no one has mentioned them in personal conversation. I don't care if they're good or not, it's just that when Bethesda bought the property I stopped caring about what they will do with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  20. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    How did this thread turn into a discussion about a boring RPG franchise?