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. Yama951 Well-Known Member

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    If that were to happen, I can imagine an offshoot faith that tries to unite all of the Abrahamic faiths into one religion or call itself a purer form of it, sort of like the Baha'i OTL which uses Greek as a unifying language with writing scripts of the three faiths used.
     
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  2. HShafs Well-Known Member

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    Greek will certainly end up being written in Arabic script.

    Every language in an Islamic land ended up adopting Arabic script. From Persian to Fulani to Malay and even Uyghur. Greek shouldn't be any different.

    The introduction of Latin scripts in some places was only a result of colonialism and European global hegemony.
     
  3. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic timeline!

    Pardon me, but could you please do a list of the nations with the largest populations?

    Also what about that Kingdom that rules south and southwest India? You didnt mention how they're doing
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  4. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    There is an Ajami script for Greek that's bouncing around parts Anatolian at the moment that's become popular among Anatolian Greek conversos. Much like how Andalusian conversos wrote Romance in the Arabic script, so is the case among Greeks who have converted. Arabic - albeit laced with loanwords from Greek and other regional languages - is the language of state, but individual groups still have their own languages, and the historic prominence and longevity of Greek are ensuring that it's likely to stick around.

    There's a dialect of Greek that tends to crop up a lot among Greek conversos, particularly among the children of conversos who are educated in Arabic and pick up Greek second. The dialect has a bit in common with the Istanbul dialect of Greek in that it's picked up ç through contact with the Turks, along with accumulating Arabic loanwords like mashallah. The dark L also sometimes shows up. This dialect is sometimes referred to as Romaika and is entirely written in an Ajami script.

    Commonmly-spoken Arabic in Ar-Rumaniyah tends to experience imala, much like Andalusian Arabic - e.g. "a" tends to be raised to "ê" as it is in North Levantine varieties of Arabic. This tends to creep into Romaika, since for most speakers of it, an Anatolian dialect of Arabic is the language they hear in public and from their educators. You may see someone who speaks this dialect of Greek say they're taking a trip to "Êtheniei" or "Ênkireh" when they're actually planning to go to Athens or Ancyra.
     
  5. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    There was a Big Crash in the early 1200s due to the Great Plague, from which the population is only now beginning to return to its pre-Plague baseline.

    By far the most populous nation is Wu China, with roughly 150 million people living there, give or take a ten million person bloc here or there. In Europe, the Bataids rack up about 20 millionish people, maybe? The split of Francia puts about 8 million in France and 4.5 in Provencia, on top of about 8 in Germany, 8 or 9ish in Italy and roughly the same in Al-Andalus.
     
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  6. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    Ajami Greek would have some precedent-- Jalaleddin Rumi and his son Sultan Walid both lived in the Sultanate of Rum, and while trying to recruit for their Sufi tariqa they actually penned some verses of Cappadocian Greek in an Arabic script. Sultan Walid wrote a lot more (he was born and raised in Rum), and some of his poems are hilariously apologetic about not being very good at Greek even if he is, at least as far as Anatolian Greek conventions go, not that bad. Though there are some scholars who suggest this humility is manufactured-- "I'm not very good at Greek, so why don't you learn Persian and then I can tell you all about Sufism," or something like that.

    But while it may end up being the most visible script in Anatolia, I don't think it would "win out" and displace the Greek alphabet entirely.

    Not necessarily. Although this rule is near universal there is one exception in the Indonesian islands. The Javanese, Sundanese, and Makassarese all seem to have kept their pre-Islamic scripts and used them in royal chronicles and other texts well into the early 1800s, while Arabic was restricted to explicitly religious texts. Both ended up displaced by Latin, but neither had entirely displaced the other before then (which probably actually just made it easier for Latin to gain predominance).

    My personal guess for why this happened is 1) the Javanese and friends had an existing tradition of writing, and 2) the conversion of Java took place by evangelism and then conquest of indigenous actors by indigenous actors, not conquest from outside. The question of what script becomes a society's main secular script seems to depend heavily (though not overwhelmingly) on the writing commissioned by chanceries and bureaucracies, because whatever script they choose to work in will be the one that educated men seeking a job will have to learn whether they want to or not-- and then popular literature will bear the impact of that. The conquests of India (both waves, the Ghaznavid/Ghorid and Mughal) featured a wholesale replacement of royal courts by a new elite of Afghans/Turks, and the institutions of administration saw a rapid influx of Persians-- the pressure to use an Arabic script is doubly strong. And so, in Punjab even the Sikhs used it in secular/governance functions even after they invented Gurmukhi for the specific purpose of avoiding Persian, and even after they became the local elite themselves. Gurmukhi didn't break out of being a "religious script" until a generation after independence. By contrast, it seems like the courts before and after conversion in Java were composed of the same people, if that makes any sense, but with a different faith. So there'd be no en masse shift of state preference to a different script, meaning the only partisans for mass Arabic adoption are religious institutions, at which point the script is likely to simply be perceived as a religious script that is "too good" for everyday purposes. Of course this doesn't explain Malaysia's preference for Jawi, but there it seems like some outlying states actually had a heavy Arab influence (the founder of Sulu was an Arab adventurer, Brunei invited a sayyid to be its third sultan) so I still think I'm right.

    Now, what does this mean for the Greeks? Well, Converso Greek is already confirmed to be in Ajami, and this is a believable development-- but they're a minority as of now. The royal/military elite is mostly non-Greek holdovers from the Mamlakate so there's a point for Ajami Greek. The bureaucracy is probably heavily staffed with Persians who migrated in earlier, so there's another point. But as the flow of Persian bureaucrats is choked off by domestic demand in the Mezinids' new conquests and local Greeks start to be more trusted, the decline of Hellenic use may be stalled somewhat. Meanwhile, Hellenic competency will still be in demand-- much as the migration of Byzantine scholars to the west led to a proliferation of Greek texts and of students wanting to read them, similar pressures would be present in the Bataid realm as scholars seek to understand the texts and teachers that stayed behind (though there may not be many left, with Constantinople being devastated so thoroughly TTL. Maybe they're still around in Thessaloniki?). But then again, this didn't do Sanskrit a whole lot of good-- the Mughals simply translated the texts they wanted to read and now Sanskrit competence isn't needed anymore. But to counter that, I think the Muslims are likely to seek out Hellenic knowledge much more fervently than they did Indian knowledge-- the backbone of Islamic medicine is Greek, Pakistani traditional medicine is literally called Tibb-i Yunani (Ionian Medicine). So while the Mughals had a brief burst of Sanskrit-mania that petered out before it could reach the real hidden gems like the Arthasastra, the Bataids' push for fostering Greek-language scholarship might be more sustained, and you may see the script of Bataid medicine/science being not Ajami, but Hellenic (easier to represent Chinese scientific loanwords in an alphabet than an abjad/abugida, maybe?). And as royals lean more heavily on being successors to the Romans, I can see a tradition of Javanese-style royal chronicles in Hellenic. And while some may find this sacrilegious, the Bataids have a pet Caliph to explain why it isn't.

    So on the whole, the Hellenic script is probably going to give up a lot of ground, especially as the Muslim population grows, and after a certain point it may be the clear junior partner to Ajami (or would that be Atzamiká? Or Açamiká? Or Êçêmiká?). But the Christians will probably stick with Hellenic for as long as possible, and even Bataid Muslims have an incentive to learn it and the ability to defend their usage of it. So you'd probably have more script diversity than in Andalus-- instead of having Arab domination and native domination be divided by a domination of Saqaliba who have no connection to pre-Islamic scripts, the Bataids kinda skipped that step.

    There may also be regional differences in script proportions-- the Peloponnesus might near-universally use Hellenic, while East Anatolia is the reverse.

    Eleusinian-Twelver Gang? You know, given the Shi'i undercurrent among the Atropatene Turks (Turkish Alevism, the Qizilbash) that finally culminated in the Safavids I'm sure there's something you could do with Shiism in Greece. And then you'd just need some Greek claiming to be [insert End-Of-Days figure] and it's Baha'i time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  7. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, but how is the Seuna Kingdom doing (and how many people does it have)? Does it own the Tamil Kingdoms? I am asking since they have the same color.
     
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  8. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    So for the Bataid, I’m guessing eventually the Pechenegs are going to be absorbed into the Rumani (Greek) populace, albeit with Bataids and the elite appearing to remain separate.
    Will there be any influx of Persian/Arabic artisans, artists, or intellectuals into Anatolia? I could see the Bataids relying on Kurdish tribes to serve as some muscle in the times of rebellion or conflict.
    Since we’re on the topic of language and alphabet influence, I could see some Romance languages in Andalusia (the various dialects of Spanish and Portuguese) diverging even further from where they are now, keeping their roots but having a lot of Arabic influence (similar to Albanian with Turkish).
    I’m also curious as to what’s happening in Africa with all these Sufi missionaries running around.
     
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  9. Indicus Stuff

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    Bengali certainly hasn’t (though Pakistan tried). Nor has Javanese.

    The main advantage Greek alphabet has over all of those scripts replaced by an Arabic-derived one is that it’s extremely well associated with the Greek language.
     
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  10. jocay Ambiguously Brown

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    Out of curiosity, how different is the Andalusian Arabic dialect from say Levantine or Egyptian Arabic? Would you say it's difficult for an Andalusian peasant to speak with a counterpart in the other end of the Arab world?
     
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  11. HerodotosofBerlin Active Member

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    I hope that greek survises and thrives in anatolia as a unifying language
     
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  12. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    Oh man, I forgot Bengali. Yeah chalk another one up for the Indic scripts lmao. I recall reading that the Bengal Sultanate was a lot keener on supporting Bengali culture despite the usual foreignisms (Persian as language of law, etc), and we may expect similar things of the Romanophile Bataids I think.
     
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  13. Indicus Stuff

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    Speaking of Indic scripts, they use a dot to “convert” similar native sounds into a Perso-Arabic sounds to enable Perso-Arabic borrowings. If the Greek alphabet sees continued use, it may have a similar thing to allow borrowings.
     
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  14. Timeline Junkie Well-Known Member

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    That's actually a really cool idea. It will be really cool to see how the alphabet is used in modern-day MiaJ World.

    Perhaps some scholars instead will use the Hellenic alphabet and then mid-sentence switch into the Perso-Arabic abjad. This might not last long, but it might end up being a curious part of history. This has parallels with Japanese being written with kanji and hiragana and katakana. It's not practical or sustainable, but it would be interesting to see.
     
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  15. last admiral Nusantara Confederate Alliance founder, Monarchist

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    Oh god no. I can smell another Fitna-like conflict. It wont be long before someone going to call out these guy as heretic.
    Without causing translation error and lay down path to whatever theology conflict in the future, i hope.:coldsweat:
     
  16. snassni2 Well-Known Member

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    Very very different. OTL andalusian dialect is still spoken im northern morocco and it is already different to other moroccan dialects.
     
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  17. haider najib Well-Known Member

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    @Planet of Hats got a question in your early story the umayyads took wives/concubines from the northern christian states. Is this still happening since the normandos take over, new have normando princesses and now the new native dynasty princess been taken by andalusia as tribute. Since Del torro destruction of andalusia surely muslim rulers have tried to enforce this to mock his family. Or has it died out now?.

    BTW whats happened to greek fire has it been lost since the fall of Byzantium.
     
  18. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    It doesn't happen as often anymore. Often, the hajib will take wives who are related to various internal power groups, like the Saqaliba, the Black Guard, or powerful mercantile or landholding families. But the Normandos were somewhat more serious opponents than the earlier northern kingdoms and could resist that sort of thing better, largely because they brought new tech and administrative reforms that allowed Guillermo del Toro to nearly bring Andalusia to its knees but for the whims of fate.

    Greek fire has largely been lost. Even before the POD, Muslim navies were figuring out that they could adapt to avoid being hit by it, and that there are limits on how it can be deployed - e.g. only when it's calm and the wind's right, and only at short range.
     
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  19. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    Even if the Ummayads were taking wives from the Northern states, I got a feeling that pretty much we’ll begin seeing the slow intermingling of nobles from Northern Iberia with the rest of Andalusia slowly and surely. The same thing happened OTL in Andalusia but was mostly limited to the areas under Muslim control.
    Is Standard Arabic (the one that was spoken by the original Arab tribes in Arabia, still spoken in Andalusia by the elite? Or has it been gradually replaced by the Andalusian dialect. What are the differences between Andalusian Arabic and Moroccan Arabic anyway?
     
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  20. Timeline Junkie Well-Known Member

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    There's probably a situation with diglossia or even triglossia at this point. Andalusi Arabic is definitely the popular dialect in Andalusia, while Classical Arabic is still the official language/ language of the state and of scholarship. Moroccan Arabic as spoken the Berber vassals of Andalusia is probably somewhat distinct to an extent, but the urbanized elite probably want to sound like Andalusis. So dialect mixing is definitely a thing across the Hizamids' domains. Rural areas in Morocco probably have a lot more Berber-influence. Ultimately, the Andalusi dialect might have been lightly peppered with some Berber words here and there, but not in any significant way. Ask Planet of Hats just to make sure, but I'm assuming there is variation in the dialects spoken in the Kaledats and other oceanic possessions as well.
     
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