No Arab invasions: How do Byzantium and Persia develop?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Fabius Maximus, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    I notice that these nations did not convert to Christianity.
     
  2. longsword14 Communism: This time, we willl get it right!

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    It was full of Muslims well before Babur.
     
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  3. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    But the Christians didn't necessarily cooperate. Look at the the 4th Crusade. OR any of the other times Latin Christians wrecked the Byzantines.
     
  4. Pellaeon Well-Known Member

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    No but my point is Christianity had and still has an innate urge to expand, to bring new souls into the flock. It was and is a missionary religion, the same is true for Islam.

    I don't deny Persia would have resisted Christianization for a long time but slowly surely as the sun rises in the east it would have been Christianized. Perhaps it would have taken five hundred years or a thousand but I believe it would have happened.
     
  5. Aqua817 The Means of Production

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    I think Zoroastrianism will become basically just the "Persian Religion," overall not really spreading or growing, but not shrinking either. There would be Christian breakaways, but eventually it would stabilize.

    IMO, you'd need to keep Nestorius in the Chalcedonian Church for Persia to go Christian. Nestorianism is far more than "that weird, boring, dying religion in CKII that opens the way for incest." At it's height, the Church of the East had followers from Anatolia to as faraway as China or even Japan, places the Chalcedonian and Coptic Churches only heard about in vague rumor. Keep it in the main Chalcedonian Church and all those little groups will have backing from people who actually have money to help them.
     
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  6. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    Why would it be Christianized if India and China were not?
     
  7. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    A couple crusades is selling it a bit short. You’ve got the initial wave of Jihad, when the armies of the Rashidun and Ummayad Caliphates explictly were tryng to topple Rome, as was prophesized. You’ve got the Reconquista, which was on par with the Crusades, you’ve got the 9 numbered crusades, (minus 2-3 depending on how you want to count), you’ve got the anti-Ottoman crusades, and the Ottoman wars into Europe.

    I’m not saying its all Christianity and Islam were doing, but it was a big part. Further, in areas where there was overlap (muslims ruling christians or vice versa) the ruled were not exactly encouraged to spread their faith.

    At the end of the day, if you’re looking at the overall spread of Abrahamic religion, Islam and Christianity were working at cross purposes.

    Certainly. Of course, in a world where the Byzantines are able to restore the bulk of the Empire (or even just retain Italy), there will be far fewer such problems. In fact, these sorts of problems could arise in a Nestorian Persia scenario, but that already presupposes further spread of Christianity.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  8. Xenophonte Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat.

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    Because the Christianization or at least its spread first and mainly in Mesopotamia and in Media and the own Persia was a process that, in OTL, already had begun and was ongoing when happened the Arab/Muslim expansion.

    Second by the geographical proximity at a Christian Empire for not mention that a great part of the Persians king's foreign subjects were Christians and at least some (thousands, guess) of the 'ethnic' Persians it's probably that would be Christians...

    By not to mention the commercial links between both regions (and beyond) and their populations... links that historically helped in the spread of the ideas...

    Notwithstanding, it wasn't meant that the Persian Empire must to become in Christian... only that there were great chances that could have happened or at least was very probably that the Christianism (but almost sure that a different 'variant' that the Melkite) if the Persian Empire achieve to survive would become in one of the main religious forces within the Empire subjects (officially) behind, guessed, from the Zoroastrianism...


    Of course, another 'scenario' would if the Empire had broken and/or was partially conquest by the Byzantines or fully conquest by some steppe tribes... which in this ATL... I guessed the it's very probably that would be Christians.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  9. The Professor Pontif of the Guild

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    I think what a lot of the "Persia will christianise" crowd forget is that the islamisation of Persia was a longterm state sponsored event by a then monocreed Islam whose head was also head of the state. Christianity on the other hand at that time was multicreed with the head of state separate from the head of any of the churches. Basically it makes any longterm sponsoring much harder to maintain.
     
  10. trajen777 Member

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    I feel the Byzantium would :
    1. Stabilize over the next 15 years
    2. The reintroduction of the empire would rebuild their forces and economy.
    3. The not invaded areas (N Africa and Sicily ) would continue to generate needed capital for the restoration
    4. Heraclitus would be wield enormous prestige as the restorer of the the world.
    5. Constans was an brilliant emperor so there would be a continuation of good emperors
    6. Constantinus 4 was also a very good emperor so now you have an excellent run of emperors and stability for 60 years.
    7. Byz holds the east until really the challenge of the Mongols
    8.Possible expansion to the rest of Italy (in fact most likely integration of Italy to Alps ), since the controlled from Rome south, as well as Venice at the start point

    Persia
    1. Much greater challenge
    2. 25 years to regai full stability
    3. this gap in stability between Byz and Persia give the Byz a great head start
    4. after attaining stability then they really have the challenge of he Mongols
     
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  11. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    Thats a pretty generous butterfly net for the Byzantines.
     
  12. Practical Lobster scuttling across the floors of silent seas Donor

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    I think people seriously are overestimating how weakened Persia was at the end of the latest round of Roman-Sassanian wars. Obviously things didn't go particularly well historically, but the arrival of Islam was an exceptional moment in world history in many ways. Sassanian victories had seen many Byzantine provinces lost and those provinces were ones that traditionally were somewhat restive anyhow. The Sassanian monarchy under Khosrau Parvez was, I think, on the cusp of a sort of political revolution and I think this trend would persist even after his overthrow and defeat. Both sides were capable of fielding significant armies even after the war - and thus I don't buy into the argument that either side was "weakened" to the point of being crippled. I think both states were reaching the bottom of their manpower reserves, but such things would, after a generation or so, come back into balance. The Byzantine peace in 628 was one of exhaustion not true victory.

    I think a significant mistake though, is to assume that the Byzantine - Persian stalemate would continue indefinitely. Such moments of stasis generally don't last in world history. Imagining Roman or Sassanian dominance is equally unthinkable. Through it's entire history, even at its height, Rome never showed the interest or capacity to take and hold the Iranian plateau. Few westward conquerors ever did. Similarly, I doubt an Iranian-based state had the capacity to reconquer the Eastern Mediterranean. I don't think, post Seleukids, that such a thing is particularly plausible in the long run. That said, something, sooner or later, will throw off the balance.

    I think, with Late Antiquity or the early "dark ages" it's easy to say what won't happen. Hard to say what would. I think that's what makes this such a fertile group for althistory, especially when you're willing to not treat the remnants of Rome as something sacrosanct but as a state among others.
     
  13. trajen777 Member

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    Well Yes and no -- the way i look at it is
    1. No Muslim invasion
    2. You have a chain of 3 good to great emperors with Justinian 2 next (cant figure him out in this scenario if he would suck, be good, or great, he was very successful early and then was defeated). And perhaps Leo if not butterflied (another good emperor).
    3. so these emperors would easily stabilize the empire.
    4. The Italian theme had 5,000 men and although it could not reconquer areas of Italy still held Rome and South Italy, a non Muslim war would have allowed additional forces to be sent to Italy. A competent Byz emperor (you would have 3 maybe 5 in a row) would look for valuable land to reclaim. Italy is a natural option.
    5. The Balkan reconquest was done fairly easily (only parts because of the main focus on the Muslim eastern front) by Justinian 2.
    6. So with a crippled Persia, but stabilizing, in the east, and no Muslim invasion you would have a well trained elite army to be used in reconquest of the Balkans and Italy. The middle east and Egypt is less a conquest and more of a reintegration.
    With these added resources (a good relationship with the Franks), a wealthy N Africa, and a stable east (for next 30 years) Im trying to think of the next great challenge facing the Byz. You have the Turks, a resurgent Persia, and the Mongols. With the added resources of Syria, Egypt, N Africa, and Italy added to Byz you have a pretty healthy financial empire. Civil war would be the other great threat
     
  14. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    If assuming no changes three generations out isn’t generous when it comes to btterflies, I don’t know what is.
     
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  15. trajen777 Member

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    Dont see butterfly's for Hericulus (great emperor esp with no arab invasion) , then his kid Constans (Great emperor and son of Heric), then his kid Constantinus (Constans kid), then Justinian 2 (son of Constantinus kid who died in a couple of months). So not sure how obvious butterfly's happen here. Leo could absolutely be butterflied .

    Anyway this leaves lots of good emperors with a lot of years
     
  16. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    First of all Constans is the grand son of Heraclius, not son. Second, Muhammad conquered Mecca around the time of Constans' birth, in AD 630. This discussion implies no Muhammad, or, at minimum, a less successful one. In other words, the POD almost certainly would have to predate Constans' birth. Which means that, assuming the smallest possible butterflies flapping out of Arabia, there is a roughly 1-in-500 million chance of Constans being born. If he's conceived any time other than when he was, historically, the odds drop even further. Then, you have the fact that Constantine III and Heraclonas both died relatively early, which is not a guaranteed here. Now, assuming that everything goes as it did historically, you've even longer odds on Constantine IV being born (just assuming he's born the same year as historically - which is a huge assumption - you're talking somewhere in the ball park of 1-in-10 billion), and even longer odds on Justinian II being born.
     
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  17. Pellaeon Well-Known Member

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    What else apart from Islam could break the Roman-Sassanid stalemate? Were they destined to have their eternal dance for control of the near east and caucusus region or could something have upset the balance the way Islam did?
     
  18. Xenophonte Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non præstat.

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    There was another 'constant' factor and that there was a 'game-changer' one in the Persia/Iran History: the nomadic pression in their north and east borders and their constant needs to fight against the nomadic incursions.
     
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  19. trajen777 Member

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    Not sure i understand your mathematics (ha ha ). The way view butterflys is how the impact of A could effect b.
    Not sure

    So not sure i get the math. The way i look at butterflies are that if you change A those things impacted from it will result not in B but maybe c - d - e. I see A is having no or minimal impact on situations not in close proximity to B. Anyway i see the impact of Muhammad would only be a positive impact on Byz and Persia. so maybe some butterfly's on another ruler uniting the arab world etc, but without a major uniting force most unlikely.
    1. So good things for Byz and Persia with Muhammad gone
    2. Byz will do better in the reintegration (Her. prestige, etc)
    3. Persia will need more time to recover
    NO impact from BF:
    1. Heraclius Lives same life, prob longer with less stress. Is in Antioch and focused on the reintegration
    2. Some use of the Byz military troops in reinforceing Italy with a greater focus on Balkans
    3. OK her we might have a butterfly : Constantine II has tuberculosis and dies (same situation no impact from Muh not being more successful or not existing) , but Heraclonas with Martina could have ruled vs Constans II. The general Valentine marched in to install Constans II in the real world. Here would this happen. Martina was very unpopular because she was considered a Incestuous wife. It would come down to the prestige of Heraclius caring forward on his wishes. This could be a close call. I would make it 70 / 30 Constans II still becomes emperor.
    3. Constans II had a son Constantine IV who ruled for him while he went to Italy. Constans II first action was an invasion of Egypt, i see in this scenario he would prob do the same thing in the Balkans and Italy.
    4. Constans II would or could live longer in the TL (might be butterflied but cant see a logical sequence of events why this could happen)
    5. Constantine IV would take over but older (again prob of butter flied would be low )
    6. Justinian II was Constantine IV son. Again using the math it would all point favorable to history repeating itself
     
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  20. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

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    There is absolutely no reason to assume that any historical person born after the POD would exist, as a matter of course, for the simple fact that even if they were conceived the same night as historically, at the exact same time, the odds of any one sperm being the one to result in the child are low.
     
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