Moonlight in a Jar: An Al-Andalus Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Planet of Hats, Aug 21, 2016.

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  1. Planet of Hats Chartreuse Smoking Mirror Donor

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    Don't make me move the capital to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
     
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  2. markus meecham Marxism-Leninism-Bricksquad thought Banned

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    To be fair, the city had a name that was slightly easier to prnoounce before the victorians came britishing up the whole place.
     
  3. agisXIV Digital Hoplite

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    As a Northumbrian I take offence...

    York was until the Norman Conquest almost in equal importance as a capital of Anglo-Saxon England surely?
     
  4. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    You welsh? Slightly easier to prounce it still sounds like your chocking on food. English makes it actually possible to read and prounce.

    *Calls your bluff* actually thats in Wales not angland. Moreover you get tired of typing very quickly.
     
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  5. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    Damn @Planet of Hats gives some attention to northern england now all the welsh, and northerners come out of their caves thinking it is their turn.:cool:
     
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  6. Planet of Hats Chartreuse Smoking Mirror Donor

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    The simple answer here is that Grimsby is something of a new capital. It is not as large as London but has developed in importance as a port, a northern trade centre and a place where Danish, Norwegian and Swedish traders come to trade. London is still larger and has a distinct culture.

    Grimsby got to be the capital in part because, as he did in life, Sweyn Forkbeard set up his seat at Gainsborough. However, his descendants moved the seat up the Trent and up to the Humber-mouth. Grimsby was chosen in part because it's close to the coast, well-positioned to accept ships from Scandinavia, well-defended by surrounding marshes and still connected to the Danelaw, specifically the Five Boroughs to the south and York to the north. The city's developed different than it did IRL, though even by the OTL 12th century it was an important fishing port. But the defensive and trade positioning played an important part for the Anglo-Danish kings early on: London had the disadvantage of having fewer Danish allies holding property around it and fewer people of Scandinavian stock in general among the populace. Basically the Danish-descended kings put their capital closer to their power centre, where they'd be less likely to get dragged out into the street by the potentially hostile locals.
     
  7. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    Didn't stop the normans, the north was the rebelious part of england the normans jept having to crush those regions.
     
  8. Planet of Hats Chartreuse Smoking Mirror Donor

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    It's a bit of a different situation because in this case, the Anglo-Danish parts of England are least likely to rebel given the circumstances of the Danish takeover: Sweyn's conquest followed an alleged widespread pogrom against Anglo-Danes on the call of Ethelred the Unready. If anything, it's the south that was more likely to push back against the Danes in this timeline.

    Basically there was no need for the Sweynings to butcher their way across the north because the north is their ethnic power base.
     
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  9. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    Btw is it canon that sweden rules scania?
     
  10. Planet of Hats Chartreuse Smoking Mirror Donor

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    No, Denmark does. The map doesn't reflect it because I am dumb and forgot about it.

    Turns out that one sometimes misses these things when trying to re-border the entire world.
     
  11. Dan Yampton Well-Known Member

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    Cyprus and the greek Despot certainly are still to be reckoned with...
     
  12. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    when it comes to hadiths being challenged, when Sahih al-Bukhari gets challenged by Andalusian scholars arguably this has to be the point Andalusian islam has to separate from sunni islam. It will have massive ramifications especially for woman, if this one falls there is little religious argument left to stop female equality, with it no longer being followed and early islamic ideas such daughters having equal amount of inheritance (fatimah) we can see a progress in woman roles and rights. This also effects religious roles as woman can become caliphs then and with the shia still focusing on fatimah we can see them with other factions pushing for woman, Moreover @Planet of Hats has shown female concubines are wielding immense power, will likely push for this route.
     
  13. Planet of Hats Chartreuse Smoking Mirror Donor

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    The real fun will be figuring out how many Caliph claimants there are around the world.
     
  14. Dan Yampton Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. Its cool to see Al andulas still has expansion in mind. Possible eventually settlement and rebuilding of constantinople? I know right now it has a bad reputation, but maybe a renaissance where it will get some glory back? ;)
     
  15. Dan Yampton Well-Known Member

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    Also, are Mamluks in Rum more hellenized that the ottomans?
     
  16. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Depends really on how stable are the lands surrounding the former imperial capital. So long as the lower Balkans and western Anatolia remain roiling, so long shall the plague linger and decimate Constantinople again and again.
     
  17. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    You have to first get before you can rebuild it and all the options to get there are options from the Oregon trail.
    A. Take sicily, that will annoy the italians unless andalusia has constant armed force there and navy in shouting range it will always be a valuable target but very powrful prize and possession for andalusia.
    B. Take malta, disrupts trade and is very vulnerable.
    C. Take tunis, thats puts us in conflict with the harabids as they overthrow the fatimids they must have some good rulers, moreover loyal to the abbasid caliphate, they have legitimate casus bali to take the emirate, if they are close.
     
  18. Threadmarks: ACT VI Part I: Al-Hasan's Restoration and the Taqadoum

    Planet of Hats Chartreuse Smoking Mirror Donor

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    Look, how the word of the Prophet travels even to the ends of the earth! For once it was believed that it had reached the edge of all things, upon the cliffs of the Al-Gharb of the most western place. And it found from there new ears to reach. And it found a river of gold. And the word was so strong that it crossed the earth itself and found the places unknown and forgotten. Look, how the truth of God shines through the world like a light that cannot be missed!

    - Ibn Al-Ishbuni, 15th century


    I keep looking to the east and marvelling at the fact that I have lost sight of the palm laid by the Entrant all those years ago.

    - Al-Mustakshif, 14th century


    ~


    ACT VI

    "P A L M . O F . T H E . W E S T"


    ~


    Excerpt: Al-Andalus in the Precrossing Period - Gharsiya Jalaleddine, Academia Metropress, AD 1996


    12
    TAQADOUM
    Reconstitution of a Broken Post-Revolt Al-Andalus


    To look at the Andalusi Revolt in isolation is to open it up to simplistic interpretations. In modern historiography, the Revolt is the emergence of Andalusi people as a ruling power. In its time, it was either the rejection of the Rule of Slaves in favour of the Caliph empowering his people directly, or a churlish shu'ubi revolt which usurped the rightful powers of the Caliph. But in context, it's something else.

    Al-Hasan ibn Hizam - the charismatic leader of the revolt - came to power in need of patching up a fractured Al-Andalus. The largely saqlab functionaries in the far west of the Al-Gharb and in Barshiluna continued to resist his authority, while the power centre of Saraqusta, still ruled by the saqlabi 'Amr ibn Ghalib, refused to acknowledge Al-Hasan as hajib. But he was far from the only leader in his time with patch-up work to do: The passage of the Great Plague would cause social upheaval across Europe and Asia, particularly in Italy and Germany. In that respect, the Andalusi Revolt can be seen as a manifestation of the vast wave of social change kicked into motion over the next century by the Plague, driven by the decimation of existing religious authorities and a labour shortage-fueled rise of peasants and commoners into ownership of land and property.

    The same social mobility-driven turmoil which underlied the Andalusi Revolt, however, can also explain how Al-Hasan and his successors hung on. It is entirely likely that a successful shu'ubi coup would have been impossible before the Plague, not only because the Plague delivered greater military and economic power to Andalusis, but because the Plague acted as a hard reset for aspects of the economy which needed reformation.

    The Plague effectively completed the transition of Al-Andalus from a frontier cash-crop economy to a diversified production economy which also dealt in cash crops. Big-money agriculture remained important to the economy, with olive oil, pomegranates, citrus crops, indigo and sugar, particularly sugar from the Juzur al-Kaledat, all bringing in significant cash as international trade began to flow once again.[1] But the expansion of farming in the west and central regions of Al-Andalus had enabled Andalusis to feed themselves with locally-grown staple crops, increasingly including rice in the southern, well-watered areas. With the Plague causing some land to be abandoned, it increasingly found use as grazing land for sheep and cows.

    The ample supply of water and generous winds also provided labour solutions. Al-Andalus was already a land of waterwheels, but the technology expanded in the 13th century, and evidence survives of the introduction of water-powered trip hammers, used not only in farming but in metallurgy. Metal goods appear in the archaeological record in greater numbers and quality, and Andalusian armour of the period is both more common and of higher quality than in periods before the 13th century. While the first forge driven by a water mill appeared in Al-Andalus a century before,[2] the use of water power to fuel forges became much more widespread following the Plague, joining the first Andalusian blast furnaces, though the Kipchaks of the Black Olesh and the Eastern Slavic world appear to have gained this technology earlier.[3] These technologies not only opened up greater access to better-quality domestic metalworking, they enabled cheaper, faster and better production of things like helmets, crossbows, swords and spears, enabling Al-Andalus to maintain a larger and better-equipped military.

    The period also coincides with a steady proliferation of windmills. While there are some archaeological sites suggestive of Persian-style vertical-axis mills in the regions around Denia, windmill construction from the 12th century onward largely took inspiration from Al-Andalus's experience with watermills, shifting to a model of horizontal-axis windmill more in line with those which would become prolific in Germany.

    The advances being made in Al-Andalus represent what some scholars refer to as the Taqadoum of the 600s.[4] Until the post-Plague period, much of the economy of Europe, including Al-Andalus, rested on a foundation left behind by the Roman Empire. The irrigation and infrastructure the Romans left behind had enabled the Muslim arrivals to dominate their northern neighbours economically, but the innovation and land reforms enabled by the post-Plague labour shortage drove new ideas, new inventions and perfections of old techniques. The infrastructure being built in this period substantially improved on the inherited Roman framework and led to a steady diversification of the economy, reducing the economic dominance of Córdoba itself. New centres of economic power emerged, and cities like Isbili, Batalyaws and Turtusha saw enormous prosperity in this period along with other smaller centres.

    The arrival of new faces also helped to fuel Al-Andalus's bounceback from the Andalusi Revolt. The rise of the Gurkhanate in the east proved deeply disruptive to the status quo, shattering the Great Turkmen Mamlakate and scattering many of its elites, and the overthrow of the Fatimids of Egypt further complicated matters. While commoners generally remained where they were, families of means often migrated to safer territory. Many of them ended up in Ifriqiya and the Maghreb, bringing innovative technological and cultural ideas to the Igiderid and Rezkid kingdoms, and the post-Plague period reflects these changes in a significant increase in farm productivity in the southern Mediterranean rim. But a number of these immigrants also arrived in Al-Andalus, representing the first significant infusion of new Arabity since the arrival of the Syrian junds hundreds of years prior. These immigrants generally settled in cities and contributed to the cultural flourishing which accompanied the post-Revolt age of prosperity, and they brought with them new ideas not only about farms and art, but about shipbuilding and mapmaking.

    The post-Plague trends were not limited to the Islamic world: Germany in particular became a land of windmills in the century following the Plague. Overall, the great setback of the Plague led to benefits for Al-Andalus, the Maghreb and Ifriqiya. But it also represented an opportunity for the north of Europe to level the playing field with the Latin south, coming at a time of continuing friction between the Germanized north and the Latinized south plus France.


    ~


    The actual details of Al-Hasan's campaigns against the rebels are difficult to dig up in close detail; contemporary histories of the period focus less on battles and more on the moralistic reactions of society's elites to the Andalusi Revolution. What is evident, however, is that Al-Musta'in's decision to invoke takfir on Fahr al-Din and acknowledge Al-Hasan as his agent in all things put the weight of spiritual and moral authority behind the revolutionaries. Al-Hasan spent the next decade tamping down rebellions by local landholders, most of them put into place by the Saqaliba, though Saraqusta would remain a holdout.

    Al-Hasan appears to have been content for the first while to let 'Amr, the lord of Saraqusta, exhaust his strength in various battles with King William III of Navarre. For the first dozen years of Al-Hasan's reign, 'Amr placed his own name in the khutbah following Al-Musta'in's in a bid to assert his own prerogative as the rightful representative of the Caliph. While lords in the northeast tended to pay lip service to him, for the most part, Al-Hasan's plodding campaigns in the west did the work of bringing smaller, less powerful lords back into service to his regime. Many of these campaigns were conducted under the leadership of Al-Hasan's chosen marshal, Muhammad ibn Hatim, and the Denian saqaliba.

    Wary of another situation in which over-reliance on a single element of the military could overthrow him, Al-Hasan began a new trend, that of supplementing the city militaries and new junds with a royal guard of black Sudanis.[5] By this point, increased stabilization in the east of Europe had reduced the flow of new saqaliba into the Mediterranean slave trade, and punitive duties were increasingly being applied as Genoa, Amalfi, Venice and the Kingdom of Apulia as Christian rulers cracked down on the trade in Christian slaves. But the Trans-Saharan Routes were as lively as ever, even moreso following the rise of the Mande Empire, and gold and slaves traveled north in large numbers. These slaves ended up throughout the Western Muslim world, appearing in Al-Andalus as domestic servants and eunuchs. But Al-Hasan also began purchasing these men to form a personal guard. These slaves, many of them pagans of Soninke, Mandinka and Fulani backgrounds, were educated as Muslims, given Muslim names and used as ghilman in Al-Hasan's personal pay.

    In general, the trend of Sudani slaves supplementing saqaliba dates from this period. The introduction of these groups not only enabled the Andalusis to move potentially hostile saqaliba out of key positions, they would leave two important legacies. The first is genetic: Many modern Andalusis with darker complexions descend from slaves from the Sudan. The second is cultural, and one of the most immediate was the stories and traditions they brought with them - including the idea of the River of Gold, an idea so influential it would drive ambitious Andalusis to world-shaking feats.

    In the immediate term, however, Al-Hasan seems to have focused on rebuilding the economy following the Revolt. He launched a broad program of infrastructure-building, constructing new mosques and public squares throughout not just the southern core of Al-Andalus, but the central and western areas. Most notable was his restoration of the road networks and the construction of new bridges in the Algarve, enabling farmers in these areas to more easily move their goods to market.

    Beyond this, however, Al-Hasan moved in 1253 to intervene in the ongoing civil war in the Kingdom of Santiago. He sent a summons to King Geofredo III, bidding him to come to Cordoba to meet both himself and Al-Musta'in. There, Al-Hasan apparently embraced the Christian monarch, sat down to a feast with him, and offered him his aid in stamping out the troublesome rebellion of Bermudo, the so-called Hidden King of Leon. But that aid was conditional upon Geofredo agreeing to the old arrangement from the time of the late Umayyad rule: Namely, that the northern kingdom would be required to pay an annual tribute.

    Insulted by the offer, Geofredo returned home and redoubled his efforts to bring Bermudo to heel. But he found himself facing border raids that summer as Al-Hasan sent an army led by his son, Jafar, to attack the border towns of the Duero valley, which had been settled by Normandos following the conquest. While these Normando forts generally held, the raids forced Geofredo to commit men to his southern border and split his forces, and Jafar's army consisted mostly of mounted Berbers capable of eluding the more heavily-armoured Normandos.

    Ultimately, after Al-Hasan encircled and defeated a Normando army before going on to sack Rueda, Geofredo eventually capitulated and agreed to pay a certain quantity of gold to Córdoba each year. Al-Hasan promptly redirected Jafar northward, sending the Berbers home in favour of an army of Andalusis better suited to fighting in the Asturian mountains. The move backfired in one sense: Jafar, his eldest son, was killed in a battle with rebel forces, and the rebellion continued at a low ebb for several more years. But in truth Andalusian involvement was minimal after that and mostly consisted of leaving the Santiagonians alone so long as they got their money.

    The move cost Al-Hasan a son. But it achieved what he wanted it to: It took one threat off his border and allowed him to swing his attention to 'Amr and William.


    [1] At this point, the Canaries have gradually been converted into sugar plantations.
    [2] Also true in life.
    [3] Blast furnace technology began to arrive from China over the past 40 years or so, following the Way of Saint Sergius. As such, it diffused to Russia first and is only just beginning to see use in some other areas, like Andalusia and Anatolia. You can thank the Naimans and the Black Olesh for that, by the way.
    [4] The Progress of the 1200s. The year 1200 AD corresponds to the year 596 in the Islamic reckoning.
    [5] Not Sudan the country - rather, the bilad as-sudan, or "land of the blacks," speaking specifically to the sub-Saharan river band. Yes, that's a historic, term. Yes, we're talking about the trade in African slaves. Unfortunately, the slave trade's one of those things that's just part of this setting.

     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  19. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    How is Saraqusta, so powerful to hold out against a native Andalusia?
     
  20. Planet of Hats Chartreuse Smoking Mirror Donor

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    Because it's an important military outpost and there's traditionally been a big army posted there. That army is mostly Saqaliba loyal to 'Amr.

    Pretty much think of how outlying Roman generals used to be able to claim power because they controlled a legion. Saraqusta is very unlikely to win here, but they're credible enough to stand alone because 'Amr has guys.
     
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