Support your Local Satrap!

This timeline is a reboot/revival of my previous one, Paint your Chariot with Pride. It was not my intention for that to fall into disrepair, but essentially my university studies got too intense and I lost the time that I would have used maintaining the timeline.

Now that my degree is completed, I have a lot more time on my hands, along with a bit more learnin'.

Everything in the previous timeline is still current for this one, though a couple of things will be fleshed out in much more detail.

For those who did not read the previous thread, or would like a catchup, here's a summary!

Our Story So Far

Alexander III of Macedon died four years later than in OTL, during the conquest of Arabia. Succession Wars raged on as in our timeline, but Alexander's firstborn Alexander IV managed to survive and claim his throne. He establishes the Argead dynasty at the head of an Empire stretching between Anatolia and Western India. His son, Alexander V, recovers Macedon, and reforms the Empire to make it more efficient.

The next Emperor, Phillip IV, is a good soldier but fails to check the growth of cliques within the Empire. His son is monstrous, and is assassinated just before news of Phillip IV's death reaches the Empire. A relative, Amyntas, becomes the new Emperor. But his own son sparks a civil war that ends in a new Alexander (VI) becoming Emperor, who moves the Empire in a far more religious direction. The Empire's story is up to the year 224 BC.

The combined strength of the Argeads, Macedonians and Epirotes repels the 280 BC raid of Brennos, which in OTL swept through Macedon and Hellas. Instead, a few years later, these Gauls raid Italy. This causes the Romans of TTL to concentrate on Northern Italy, and to begin intermixing with the other peoples of Italy a little earlier.

The Punic Wars occur, for slightly different reasons. Rome only captures Sardinia and Sicily as a consequence of the First. The Barcids conquer a large Empire in Spain, before leading an attack on Rome as in OTL. This war is possibly more devastating to Rome than the OTL Punic War, and cements the Valerii gens and the Corvi branch as a family of note.

The Romans occupy Carthaginian territory in North Africa without destroying the city, along with Corsica and the East Coast of Spain. The Roman story is up to the year 199 BC.

In addition to the Argeads and Romans, the Epirote state is lead by a dynasty founded by Leonnatus and has become immensely strong. The Greek states of Hellas are unified in a loose coalition, which is still unstable but has survived in various forms for almost a century. They are considered to be under the protection of the Argeads.

In reaction to the Roman presence up north, certain cultures have begun emulating their style of warfare. In particular, the Averni confederation in Gaul have established a semi professionalised army, which has driven processes towards a more centralised state.

An additional factor is the expedition of a minor Argead into India, during the civil war.

How this timeline will be structured

A problem I ran into last time is that I didn't properly plan how the updates would link to one another. This time I'm trying something a little different. I will post a 'world' map for a given date, and then actually list the titles of the updates that will go up to the date of the map.

I hope people enjoy.


State of the World 199 BC


Schedule to 199 BC

  1. Alexander Indikos
  2. The Birth of the Alexander Cult
  3. Resurgam! Part 4
  4. The Centralisation of Gaul
  5. A Line in Numantia
I really should have put a key, well I'll just give you one now instead.

From West to East-

The Pinks are various Iberian groups in the wake of Carthage's collapse.
The blue in Iberia is a Carthaginian rump state lead by Hanno.
The blue in the south of Spain and around Gadir is a Phoenician splinter state.

The lightest green are small Gaulish/continental Celtic tribes, the other Green shades are for large confederations like the Aedui, Belgae, Averni and Aquitani.

The pale yellow are small, independent Greek poleis.

The two reds north of Rome are the Kingdom of Noricum and a group of Veneti allied to Rome.

The orange in Sicily is the territory of Syrakuse.

The dark Green in the Balkans is Leonnatid Epirus.

The pale orange in Greece is the 'League of Persian Remembrabce', essentially a confederation of Greek poleis.

The dark purple is the Argead Empire, whilst the pale pinks in the Caucasus and Margiana/Arachosia are rebellious vassals.

The blue in Egypt is indeed Ptolemaic Egypt.

And finally, the rouge around Bactria/India is the Empire of Alexander Indikos, of which little has been said so far.
The Anabasis of Alexander Indikos

Chapter 2: Thundering Zeus

It is after the capture of Indrasprastha by Alexander that he begins to more clearly establish himself in the historical record. His capture of the city seems to have been a watershed moment in the campaign. Buddhist texts that mention King Ikhsandra almost always introduce him immediately after this point, and as the 'Liberator' of the city. It is extremely difficult to reconstruct accurate historical narratives from Buddhist philosophy, but it seems that the Buddhist populations of North-Western India flocked to him. What we can more confidently assert is that he actively sought to promote this imagery; coins minted in Bactria during the anabasis contain the very first mention of the Buddha in Greek.


His initial force seems to have been composed of some Macedonian klerarchs 1, with Sogdianan cavalry and heavier kataphractoi. During the monsoon season, we are told that Alexander spent more than a little time conducting alliances with local lords, chiefs, and dynasts. With Bactrian gold and jewels, he smoothed his way into a semblance of control over the hinterland of his new territories and not just captured cities. However, despite his barbarian origins Alexander might also have represented stability, and his tendency to accomodate Buddhist and Indian customs meant that this was a King-in-waiting who could be dealt with.

Upon the monsoon's end, Alexander set forth with a much larger force than he had commanded previously. He would need it; the Mauryan Empire still existed around its core of Magadha, and commanded considerable forces. He was met by such an army as he crossed the Ganges towards the important centre of Mathura. Our major ancient source, the ancient geographer Bathyklos, is damaged in this section and can provide no insight into the battle. Buddhist texts are as difficult to parse as ever, so all we can state for certain is that the result was a long-won victory for Alexander. The city of Mathura capitulated without siege afterwards, and a Macedonian garrison was planted.

It was now 224 BC, and the expedition had been going on for almost a year. However, the most important prize remained untouched- the Mauryan capital of Pataliputra. The city also needed to be reached as soon as possible. The situation in the former Mauryan territories was extremely volatile, and Alexander had destabilised the weak rump of the Empire even further. The march to Pataliputra was grueling, and skirmishes with Mauryan troops are referenced by Bathyklos. However, the situation exploded just before Alexander reached the city; a coup was launched by several important magistrates and generals. Alexander thus found Pataliputra already despoiled.

He would have been dismayed to hear the apparent news that the entire Mauryan royal family had been murdered in the coup, as a royal marriage would have been vital for his political legitimacy. The siege of the city is one of the most politically confusing in ancient history; if we are to believe the ancient sources, it came to a matter of individual towers and bastions siding for Alexander or for the military junta. Given how a foreign invasion tends to unify soldiers against a common foe, it signals just how low morale in the Mauryan army was after recent events.

In the event, the walls were breached with a large ramp constructed in traditional Hellenistic style. Alexander was unusually brutal with the leaders of his opposition, all ancient sources testify to his execution of the various generals and magistrates that had fought against him. In terms of realpolitik, it of course meant that he could replace these positions with his own handpicked Greeks. Alexander was also met with a stroke of luck; there were several Mauryan family members still living, including several who were related to him; there had been several Argead-Mauryan marriages of alliance. The most senior female member of the dynasty left alive was Chandramani, and upon his marriage with her Alexander Indikos took his final step; he declared himself King of India, and declared independence from the Seleucid Empire.


Much work was left to complete; he had subdued the North of India between the Indus and the Ganges, but everything below the Sathura mountain range remained under the control of local dynasts and kings. He was also confronted with another problem; the 'Eastern territories' of the Mauryan Empire had been won under the auspices of Pyrrhus of Epirus, a figure that had been long forgotten in the Mediterranean. However, not only were his descendants living in these territories, but they and Indo-Epirotes were the hereditary rulers of this land. Clearly Alexander was unable to escape unruly Greeks, even at the ends of the earth.

Alexander had laid the foundations of an Indo-Greek Empire, now it was his task to construct the house. He himself was of extremely mixed heritage; Macedonian, Illyrian and Persian blood all flowed in his veins. Despite his clear use of Buddhist rhetoric and imagery in his first anabasis, there was thus some anxiety as to what identity this new state would take. It would be in the latter part of 223 BC that India would see the shape of things to come.

1- Macedonian military settlers.
The Anabasis of Alexander Indikos

Chapter 2: Thundering Zeus (Cont'd)

The Mauryan Empire had encompassed all corners of India. But with his resources, Alexander was unable to emulate this feat. Rather than over-extend himself, he sought to compromise. The Eastern Territories under the Indo-Illyrians were placed under tributary status, but otherwise remained autonomous. Despite the fact that it was not his territory to give, Alexander granted the rising Satavahana dynasty all land between the Krishna river and the Nilgiri hills. A treaty of alliance was signed between himself and the Cholas, who controlled the southernmost tip of India and the island of Taprobane 1. The ancient kingdom of Kalinga was resurrected, and was patronised by Alexander, now stretching from coast to coast. Thus was the division of India between the five Kingdoms reached. Many of the divisions were quite arbitrary- in particular, Kalinga was in control of many territories that it had never had any interest in. In the long term, these divisions were untenable, but they bought Alexander time and space to conduct his Empire-building.


The eastern parts of Arachosia had become densely settled by Greeks in the early years of the Argead Empire. Alexander now transplanted several of these colonies into India; Taxila, Bucephela, Nikaia and Alexandria on the Indus already had substantial Greek populations. His new settlers were moved into important capitals like Mathura, Ujjain and Pataliputra, along with several new towns along the Indus and the Ganges The wealth of Bactria flowed into India in order to fund this work. Militarily, he incorporated the remnants of the Mauryan army around a core of Macedonian phalangites, and settled Sogdianan cavalrymen in the prime grazing grounds of India. He also installed Greek governors across many of his territories.

His reign was certainly that of a Greek monarch in many respects, but there was a Buddhist twist that made him a Hellenistic ruler like no other at the time. His coinage minted in India was based on the Indian standard, and square, rather than the rounded coinage minted in Bactria. He continued to utilise the Buddha on his coins, whilst also including traditional Greek divinities such as Artemis, Hermes, Poseidon, and Zeus. In particular, Zeus Brontios- Thundering Zeus. The early Hellenistic layers of Indian cities are hard to distinguish because the prevailing style continued to be Indian. Greek ceramics and coinage are the primary means of dating these particular layers.

This period of consolidation did not go unchallenged. Not all of the Mauryan army had submitted to him, and some continued to harass the countryside. These were defeated by 216 BC, when Alexander's coins include a Dharma wheel as a sign of unity. In addition, the newly appointed Greek satrap of the Indus attempted to rebel in 214 BC, but the rebellion was crushed by the royal army and a new satrap was installed.

With gold, men, and hard work, Alexander had created strong control over the north of India. This had taken ten years, and a great deal of patience; the sheer size of India meant that it was almost unwieldy to control. The work was not yet completed, and the situation with his 'allied' kingdoms likely to become volatile. The reckoning with the Argead dynasty was also due at a future date. But with these ten years and the birth of two sons, the stage was set for Alexander to found a new line of Indian kings.

1- Greek name for Sri Lanka

Sand and Spice- An Introduction to Hellenistic Arabia

Arabia was the last conquest of Alexander the Great of Macedon, and the site of his death. But it was not the lesser part of the Hellenistic world. The Arabian cities profited immensely from the trade between India and Egypt, and their spices found their way into all corners of the Hellenistic world. However, Arabia's major source of interest for historians has generally been its status as the birthplace of Alexander worship. This is indeed a vital aspect of the Middle Hellenistic Period, but my interest lies in its cities and culture intermix with the peoples who came there in Alexander's wake.


Excerpt from Chapter 2: Cities of Hellenistic Arabia

The cities of Arabia are where the divide between Ptolemaic and Argead control becomes the most obvious. Alexandria-in-Arabia 2 was the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt, and was a heady mixture of peoples. Its port was the largest in the Red Sea, and had the largest market in Arabia. Merchants from across the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea came here. In addition to the commercial headiness, a large palace was constructed here for the governor. The port also minted coinage, utilising an obverse portrait of the senior magistrate and a reverse image of a gazelle.

By contrast, the largest Argead port in Arabia was at Dareia 3 and it was mostly used as a military base. The excellent natural harbour there made it a key military location for the Argead's Indian ocean fleet. Trade was conducted from this port was well, and it was of not inconsiderable riches. But the richest city in Argead Arabia was Sosor
4, which was inland. Its wealth came from its long-standing trade connections to Mesopotamia, the heart of the Argead Empire. By contrast to the diverse merchantile nature of Alexandria in Arabia, these Argead cities seem to have had deliberately transplanted populations of Greeks and Persians installed there.

Excerpt from Chapter 3: Religion in Hellenistic Arabia

Arabia is most famous in antiquity for being the site of Alexander the Great's tomb. This was also coupled with deliberate policies of Ptolemy and his successors. Ptolemaic Egypt was the first Hellenistic state to begin portraying Alexander as the son of Zeus-Ammon, with ram's horns. The coinage circulated widely through Western Arabia, as Ptolemy's kingdom was a closed-off system where only Ptolemaic issues could be used as legal tender. This gave rise to an environment in which Alexander was treated as a God. We must also look, however, to the Argead Empire; the growth of the Alexander cult exploded once it reached Mesopotamia. A combination of this and the Argead family's status as descendants of Alexander then motivated the Ptolemaic monarchs to make an official Alexander Cult.

The majority of Arabic adherents to the new henotheistic faith were accordingly in Ptolemaic territory. He was accomodated into the traditional pantheon of the Sayhad peoples, and was specifically associated with rams. In the Argead territories, more traditional deities reigned, but the goddess Anahita was highly celebrated as an interpretation of traditional Arabian moon deities. This is likely due to the presence of Persian communities in the Argead colonies. In both Argead and Ptolemaic Arabia we then see the emergence of syncretic deities, combinations of separate but similar divinities. For example, Anahita-Almuqa-Artemis, and Apollo-Shams. The Argeads in particular also patronised native Arabian temples, often rebuilding temples with opulence. To compete, the Ptolemies did the same, especially at Makkah where Alexander the Great's tomb lay. In all of these various ways, Arabia is thus illustrative of many elements of religious fusion, especially the way this occured during the Hellenistic era.

2- OTL Aden
3- OTL Muscat
Alexander Indikos' Indian Empire

The divisions of Alexander's own Imperial territories are similar to the satrapies of the Achaemenid and Argead Empire, but with more numerous subdivisions. The names are meant to reflect functional Greek naming of them; thus 'Mesopotamia' is literally between the Ganges and Indus, and 'Erimos' contains the majority of the Thar Desert.


I guess I felt too embarassed about showing my face in the old thread again... in addition, there are a few things I wanted to revise once I've got a few updates under my belt.

@ Rainbow Sparkle- The timeline is about the descendants of Alexander, but is also dealing with several other ancient states that have had butterflies start to effect them. So at this point, there are narratives about the Argead Empire, Gaul, the Barcids, Rome and Alexander Indikos founding an Indo-Greek Empire.
The Birth of the Alexander Cult



Many rulers in the ancient world either claimed divinity, or had it claimed for them following their death. The apotheosis of Alexander III by itself was not, therefore, unusual. His achievements as a mortal were the stuff of legend, and the achievements of his dynasty only further magnified this. It might even seem natural that such a larger-than-life figure be worshipped in his wake. So what was it that transformed a typical ruler cult into one of the ancient world's first evangelical faiths?

The factors behind this are many, and complex. The Near East was both the cradle of civilization, and the cradle of Empires; by the time of Alexander's death, it had already seen the birth pangs and death throes of countless states. Long term trends in social structures and state governance had been developing here for hundreds of years before Macedon's birth as a kingdom. But whilst it is often tempting to draw on purely structural factors, we should not forget that the needs and actions of individual rulers also drove the development of the Alexander cult. If nothing else, the Alexander Cult began as the glorification of the ego.

Over centuries, it had many patrons, as well as opponents. It would eventually give birth to a rash of internationalist, syncretic, evangelical faiths across the Mediterranean and beyond. But all of this lay in its future when it began as something more akin to a typical ruler cult, if there is such a thing. The earliest evidence of Cultic practice attached to Alexander do not suggest anything out of the ordinary. If nothing else, the archaeological evidence suggests we should be ignoring the narratives of chroniclers who suggest that 'divine inspiration' was there from the very beginning. To really understand the emergence of the Cult onto the international stage, we must look at its evolution over the long term.

Extract from Chapter 3: The Middle Argead Period

We have examined the genesis of the Cult in the aftermath of Alexander's death, and its early nurseries in Ptolemaic Arabia and Mesopotamia. The next important period in the Cult's history was its adoption by the Argead Empire as the chief religion of state. The figure responsible for this was the Emperor Alexander VI. It is impossible to look at this without also looking at the civil war that led to his elevation to the throne. This war proved that satrapal dynasties could potentially command loyalty equal to that of the Emperor, and the longest standing dynasties of the Empire often had significant power. Whilst the power of this dynasties was being systematically broken up by Alexander VI, the Cult is also introduced. Several neutered dynasties seem to have been able to get into the Cult's priesthood as a consolation prize, but the Cult seems to have been an attempt to cult out the middle man and induce loyalty to the Emperor directly.

There were age-old methods of trying to do just that, mostly involving imposing monuments and architecture. This had not been neglected by the previous Argeads. But Alexander sought to tie the peoples of the Empire to himself spiritually, and to the Argead dynasty. It was a new thread on the web of carrots and sticks pushing the disparate peoples of the Argead Empire together. The Cult was still in its earliest syncretic phases, and can still be generally associated with other incursions of Greek religion into non-Greek cultures. But its new status, national-level priesthood, and direct integration into the apparatus of state, all signalled the next phase in the Cult's evolution. Alexander VI is therefore one of the most important figures in the Cult's history, despite never showing anything more than a pragmatic devotion to it. He is also important because the Cult was now directly tied to the Argead Empire, not the Ptolemaic Kingdom.

[FONT=Aparajita, sans-serif]Ancient Religious Movements in the Hellenistic World*
[FONT=Aparajita, sans-serif]*This was originally a supplement in the last thread, found here. With another several months of studying, I've found that many details were poor or badly researched, so I'm revising the update for this rebooted timeline.


'Traditional' Religions
The Hellenistic world encompassed many ancient religions, reflecting the older model equating religious practice with ethnic affiliation. The Greeks continued to practice many of their ancient traditions. The Hellenic League saw many of the syncretic religions of the 'East' as leading towards incorporation into the Argead Empire, and actively resisted their influence. By the end of the era, the Greeks of Hellas proper retained many of their religious tradition. This was also true of the Italiote Greeks, Sicilians, and other Greeks in the Western Mediterranean.

Many non-Greeks of the Hellenistic world also maintained their belief systems. However, here syncretic practices also tended to be common due to the elite status of Greek culture in these territories. If any one group maintained their religion stubbornly, it would be said to be the Egyptians; it was not a difficult matter for the Greek influences to be absorbed. At first. Over time, even Egypt's traditions came to be transformed. It would be easy to say that in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Hellenistic era represents the decline of traditional religions on the civic level

Syncretic Religions
Syncretic intrusions into non-Greek religions have already been referenced. The exact results of these religious fusions varied depending on the area and the cultures involved, but some general trends throughout the period can be observed. The Greek Gods that translated most easily into other belief systems were Zeus, Artemis, Apollo and Herakles. Artemis-Anahita was a common syncretic deity in this period, as was Zeus-Bel, Zeus-Ahura Mazda, and Melkart-Herakles. These syncretic deities are most commonly found in the Argead Empire through this period, but some are also found in North Africa, Rome, Central Asia, and Gaul. Gaul is an unusual example, however, as it was never a Hellenistic area. But it reflects the prestige of Greek religion and culture that it came to be seen as elite across the world.

Not all syncretic versions of these deities seem to have influenced local practice. What they mostly influenced was religious imagery; Greek portrayals of divinities became a kind of visual lingua franca in this period. Early archaeologists used this as evidence for extremely widespread Greek settlement across Asia in this period, a notion now known to be extremely flawed. In some cases, syncretic cults remained the minority throughout this period. They seem more prominent in the material record, however, as they were often given extensive patronage by Hellenistic states.

Evangelical Religions
The two major evangelical religions of the Hellenistic era are clearly Buddhism and the Alexander Cult. However, it is worth pointing out that the growth in Mediterranean evangelical cults began in the late Hellenistic era as well, so they will also be briefly discussed. Buddhism initially entered the Hellenistic world in the Indus reigions of the Argead Empire; by trade it spread to Bactria and to Arachosia. Over time it spread as far west as Parthia. The Alexander Cult is almost the stereotypical image of the Hellenistic era, despite only truly emerging in the late 3rd century BC. It became highly associated with the Argead state and also the Ptolemaic state. Its henotheistic tendencies allowed it to easily rub shoulders with many other belief systems, and it is difficult to find a corner of the Eastern Hellenistic world without signs of the Alexander Cult. In the West, however, the Cult was far less known. Even by the late Hellenistic era, the Western Mediterranean had still shown no interest in the religion itself.

What the Alexander cult inspired in the West, however, was its own brand of evangelical faiths. Outgrowths of Platonic thought began to be highly influential throughout Hellas, existing uneasily with traditional Greek beliefs. An internationalist version of Herakles emerged, along with Cybele. Generally the evangelic faiths of the West simply existed as modified versions of divinities that already had international currency, but their development along this path was accellerated by the large presence of the Alexander Cult. Despite its lack of adoption in the West, many artefacts associated with the Cult were transmitted via trade.

Altogether, the Hellenistic world was one of dizzying variation.

I'm curious if there will ever be a monolithic religion within the Argead Empire the way Christianity came to dominate the Roman Empire.

Also, question: what's going on with the Scythians? Just raiding the northern frontier, or are any of them Argead allied
The Scythians as a whole were a menace to many of the early Argead kings, often attempting to raid in the Central Asian satrapies of the Empire. At this point, they've recently been given a bloody nose when their last major incursion was beaten back. However, the Argeads have taken to finding other ways of keeping them back; some tribes are now allied to the Argeads, others have been hired wholesale as mercenaries. In this period, the northern frontier is not considered safe but it is considered pacified.
Resurgam! A History of the Roman Republic


The Shaping of Italy

By the early 190s BC, it was a good time to be a Roman. Rome now controlled the entirety of the Italian peninsula bar the region of Liguria, and all of the islands of the Western Mediterranean. It also held Africa and north-eastern Iberia as dependent territories. Rome was flooded with slaves and wealth as a result of their victory, and their most major international competitor was defeated. This presents a happy, pastoral picture of a victorious Rome. But the truth beneath the surface was completely the opposite; the Republic had come extremely close to losing the war at several points. Its once nigh-endless manpower had almost run dry. In addition, the Republic now governed territory belonging to a myriad of different cultures. These different groups had either been subjugated by Rome or brought to formal alliance, but they competed against one another for influence in the Senate. The drop in Rome’s manpower had forced it to take a lighter hand than it might have done eight decades ago, and it was entirely possible that the entire edifice of the Roman state would collapse from the strain.

The one war the Romans waged in this period was the Syrakusan war. between 198-197 BC. The Italiote League had allied with the Romans as protection from Syrakuse and her allies in the toe of Italy, but the situation still escalated into war. Syrakuse was mighty indeed, and her allies were fierce. Rome’s power was still too weak to besiege Syrakuse herself, but with immense allied manpower Syrakuse’s allies in Bruttium were captured and had Roman colonies planted. Some cities received more favourable terms, but only if they had surrendered without a siege. Syrakuse was unable to directly intervene due to the operations of the Italiote League’s navy, and was forced to abandon her treaties of alliance with any city on Italy’s mainland in the peace treaty that followed. Syrakuse would be a pricking pain to Rome for a while yet to come, but devoid of her Greek allies the city was pacified for the time being.

Into this mix arises the figure of Publius Valerius Corvus. The Valerii gens had been gaining in influence ever since the famous victories of Marcus Valerius Corvus, and in particular the Corvae branch. This latest Corvus had become the figurehead of Roman victory in the Second Punic War, and deservedly so. His friendship and alliance with Publius Cornelius Scipio, his fellow wartime consul, helped to further his enormous political influence in the aftermath of the war. The Senate as a whole was extremely suspicious of this man, and perhaps rightly so. Given Rome’s issues, his solution was essentially to break the old Senate and to create a new one that could govern Rome’s new Empire. The laws and constitution of Rome were that of a city-state, and needed to be changed. Such a radical change could not be done overnight, and it wasn’t. Even with his military pedigree, Corvus spent almost a decade building enough political capital to complete his ambitious program, and introduced his reforms extremely slowly. The first reform was introduced by Scipio, and was the fixing of grain prices in Rome. The second was the creation of a commission to parcel out fallow land to ordinary Romans, and over time the remit extended to parcelling out land in the Po Valley. The third was the extension of Roman citizenship to large parts of Southern Italy; his original plan had implied that it would extended to every city between Venusia and the Po river, but even his political capital could not cover this outrage to Roman sensibilities.

His most important reform, however, was his sustained program to integrate pro-Roman families throughout Italy into Roman society. Their sons were taken in by himself, Scipio, and his prominent Roman supporters. They were tutored in Roman tradition, religion, law and morality. They were also married or adopted into various Roman families of good standing, though it’s wryly said by later authors that this took more gold to achieve than all of his other reforms combined. This program was only possible because of how short Rome was on manpower, and it did not go without incident. At least three attempts were made to prove that Corvus was committing crimes. However, the emerging professional jurists were either on his side or in his pocket. Rather than remember him exclusively as a wise reformer, we should remember that Corvus was also willing to spend his way to victory.

These reforms were only helped by the steady integration of the formerly separate Socii contingents into the Roman legions. The cavalry contingents of Roman legions became almost exclusively that of the Socii. The distinction between Hastatii and Principes was eliminated, and Velites were replaced with various Socii cohorts. Later on in the century, the Roman state would provide equipment for all but the Triarii, who remained as an elite distinction within the Roman army. The reliance on allied manpower and their integration into the legions had a necessary consequence; with the greater burden placed by the Roman state, the allies clamoured for more representation and access to the Roman citizen body. The need for manpower was vital enough that this began to happen in concert with Corvus and Scipio’s reforms, albeit slowly.

This period is the first in which the notion of ‘Italy’ first seems to have arisen, both in Rome itself and elsewhere. The Romans naturally saw themselves at the head of any such state, and the reforms of this period were not intended to change Rome’s dominant position over the peninsula. The line between the emerging Italian Federation and the Roman Republic is therefore hard to distinguish at certain points, especially as Roman citizens continued to hold disproportionate influence. The true emergence of Italy was yet to come, but the 190s BC was the period in which Rome and its allies were sent along this path. Struggle, civil-war, and chaos lay in store, but new bonds of solidarity, greater strength, and a new culture would be forged.
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