Underlooked Medieval/Arabic/Byzantine PODs?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Achaemenid Rome, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. Achaemenid Rome Iron Age City-State

    Aug 24, 2016
    What are some underrated points of divergence from 476 AD to 1176 AD, especially regarding the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates, or the various phases of the Byzantine Empire?
    Crying likes this.
  2. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

    Jul 23, 2016
    21st Century A.D.
    Best one I can think of is iconoclasm not ending, and instead becoming the official 'rule' for Orthodoxy.

    - BNC
  3. Rdffigueira A citizen of the Southern Hemisphere

    Nov 14, 2014
    Rio de Janeiro/BR
    Well, there's the successful Muslim siege of Constantinople PoD (either the 674 one or the 717 one). I've seen some discussions, but never a full-fledged TL that explores a Muslim conquest of Constantinople in early 8th Century.

    Would the Byzantine administration survive as a rump state in the Balkans (considering that at the time they were on the lowest territorial presence possible)? Would the Bulgarians or another Balkanic power exploit the power vaccuum? Would the Caliphate itself blob wholly into Europe and from there create a sphere of influence that allows for an Islamic conversion of the Slavic peoples? How would this affect Christian Europe? At the time the Franks were in a period of relative stagnation, and the Lombards were expanding in Italy, while the Visigoths are still "intact" in Iberia. The butterflies arising from this episode might be huge, even if somehow another post-Byzantine Christian power in the Balkans retakes Constantinople from the crumbling Caliphate.

    On Byzantium's side, I'm interested in seeing a "Manziket victory" scenario from 1071 onwards. Even if this probably butterflies away the ascension of the Komnenoi. This possibly butterflies away the very existence of a Turkish nation in Asia Minor, and affects the 1st Crusade. Of course, there might be a Papal-sponsored-drive of Latin Christianity towards the Neat East, but it probably won't be like OTL Crusades. Anyways, butterflying away the Angeloi and the 4th Crusade also ensures a longer-lived Byzantium.
  4. hasdrubal barca Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    I did attempt this but didn't finish:
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  5. Rdffigueira A citizen of the Southern Hemisphere

    Nov 14, 2014
    Rio de Janeiro/BR
    I didn't see this one last year! I thought I've had seen some aborted TL around this concept from some old thread by Google search. Anyways, the "No Islam" scenario is fairly more popular in this forum, so it might be interesting to see the very opposite one ("No Byzantium") :biggrin:
  6. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    1.) The Zanj rebellion and the fall of the Abbasid period. Other than my tl I find this to be one of the least explored areas of history on this tl compared to how important the turn of events were. The tl I have is still ongoing, but time constraints are stopping me from moving at a rapid pace. Regardless, the era is extremely important to world and Islamic history, yet is barely spoken on, within this site except by me.

    Within the above subject is:

    Zanj Rebellion, most bloody war in Iraq's history since the fall of Assyria. The rape of Basra and depopulation of the most fertile land in Iraq led to a greatly weakened Iraq by the 1200s.

    Anarchy of Samarra, the power struggle of the Abbasid court between soldiers of factions. Quite a bit of political intrigue.

    The rise of Ya'qub bin Laith al-Saffarid, the first "free" Iran in a sense and culminated in the great Abbasid and Zanj victory against the upstart Saffarids.

    The rise of the Saljuks, and the physical representation of Turkish dominance.

    The Qarmatian invasion, the destruction of the Kaaba and the rise of a millenial Shi'i cult.

    The Khawarij revolt of Ninewah, the depopulation of Hulwan and the battle of Mosul, as Arab Khawarij attempted to wrest power from the Mu'tazilite Abbasids, all over a police murder (interesting in light of today, huh).

    The short lived independent Tulunid dynasty of Egypt, who knows what they could do.

    The powerful Buyids of Iran. Still another example of limitless potential.

    The state of Batihah, the anarchic home of criminals and thugs. Holding out within the swamp, a pirate like kingdom of fugitives, many veterans from the Zanj wars, created a powerful and feared state in the swamps of Southern Iraq.

    Etc, the list goes on.

    In terms of others:

    A Khazar movement continues its gains during the zenith of the Umayyad-Khazar wars and forms an alliance with Byzantium, perhaps Byzantium takes back both Anatolia and Syria and the Khazars capture land from Georgia to Mosul, Abbasid-Khazar-Byzantine war?

    A scenario I have always wanted was a Gupta-Umayyad war, it would be climatic and would be interesting to see in what ways the Umayyad adjust to such a colossal for. Perhaps, a serious Byzantine-Umayyad truce or Proto alliance?

    A Umayyad victory in the Khazar-Umayyad wars. This could postpone their fall for decades and interestingly, I say, give the Byzantines a better chance.

    I have never seen an Umayyad tl. Perhaps I will do one at some point.

    Al-Andalus is the most covered and saturated Islamic subject ever, stay away from it!

    A tl on the Hashashin or other such Shi'i movements.

    The Saljuk-Fatimid conflict is rarely covered.
    The extremely under covered early Islamic period of the Murji'ah, Shi'i and Khawarij. Imagine a tl starting with the arrival of the preacher, Ibn Sabah, during the reign of Uthman and going into the conflict between Ali and Muawiyah then in to the battle of Jami'jan between the caliphate and an alliance of Murji'ah, Shi'i and Khawarij revolutionary.

    All of these are serious heavy hitting Islamic topics of extreme importance, thus I do not feel it is unfeasible. I however would take simply more discussion on these topics, as likely no one, except myself would be willing to write on most of these (I could not write a tl on the Gupta without assistance and co-planning with a poster with considerable Indian history knowledge).
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  7. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    Fortunately for Christendom, until the 1100s ad I would not classify Islam as a religion that expanded outside of its borders. This is mainly due to the contradictions of Dawah vs Bayait.
  8. Red Orm Secretly Muad'Dib Banned

    Jun 18, 2016
    If Robert Guiscard had been able to successfully destroy the Byzantine Empire.

    If Georgios Maniakes had managed to succeed (and he was actually basically about to do so before he died) in seizing the Byzantine throne. He would have been able to reverse Zoe's degenerate (in a relative efficiency sense) rule and would have won for the military, pro-smallholder faction. In OTL the aristocratic/bureaucratic pro-latinfundia faction that eroded and ended up destroying the Byzantine military and even navy from AD 1025 onward.

    W-what? Wasn't the entire period from AD 622 to AD 750 just nonstop expansion?
  9. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    Militarily but not in terms of Dawah (missionary). This was because for a period of time, it was thought that one had to perform Bayait (allegiance) to the Caliph to be a Muslim, thus the situation where Islam before the 1200s did not expand beyond the borders of Islamic states.
  10. DanMcCollum P-WI

    May 29, 2011
    Wauwatosa, WI
    The Viking Siege of Constantinople

    No Jewish revolt against Heraclius (this could have some major impacts on the ethnic makeup of the region)

    Phocas doesn't overthrow Maurice

    Nika Riots overthrow Justinian

    The list goes on and on :)
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  11. Red Orm Secretly Muad'Dib Banned

    Jun 18, 2016
    Ah, you meant the religion! I see now. True. I've seen from a number of posts that you're quite the expert on this place and time. Do you think that, had the Arabs stayed in power all over the Islamic world, they would have begun a concerted effort to convert their subject peoples? Or would it have remained as it was in Umayyad times, with Arab supremacy at the fore?
  12. Planet of Hats Byzantoclast Donor

    May 10, 2016
    Rust Belt Canada
    Zoe manages to give Romanos a son, maybe?

    The other one I'm a sucker for is the Bulgars taking Constantinople in the 920s.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  13. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    What do you mean? It depends, the Abbasid did this during the Mihna (inquisition) but it was mainly targeted at other Muslim, spreading the Mu'Tazila sect of Islam.

    The Umayyad system could not sustain a Mihna ontop of their wars, so as you say, the Arab hegemony of the Umayyad would not make a concerted effort to convert people.

    However, the same effect would occur as otl. The way in which one converts people within Shar'i' is not necessarily through Dawah but through the law codes, the Muslim shames the Kuffar and his child converts or he converts out of shame, etc... This of course with the Arab migrations from Yemen, Hijaz and Najd and intermarriage (which is allowed for a Muslim man but no Muslim woman) will still lead to the Islamization of the Middle East.
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  14. Achaemenid Rome Iron Age City-State

    Aug 24, 2016
    Could the fall of Byzantium lead to a significant exodus of Greeks to the west and north, bringing Byzantine thought to the Germanic kingdoms, and the Khazars?

    Also, once the Umayyads fall, would Islamic Byzantium become a sort of Persia of the West in its distinct culture and language along with Arabic?
    Crying likes this.
  15. B-29_Bomber General Putnam, United States Space Command Banned

    Mar 10, 2015

    Or just give Basil II a surviving strong son.
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  16. Achaemenid Rome Iron Age City-State

    Aug 24, 2016
    Could they have become any more powerful? As is, the Seljuk realm appeared very successful for its decentralized, almost feudal nature.

    Also, do you think there would have been any way to save the Fatimids, or was their whole military structure doomed from the start?
  17. General_Finley Liberty Prime

    Sep 2, 2009
    Constantine IV's gout doesn't flair up before the Battle of Ongal so he doesn't leave the battle field which caused panic in his troops as they feared the Emperor had abandoned them to die. Victory at the Battle of Ongal either fractures the the Seven Slavic tribes making them much more manageable preventing the creation of the Bulgarian Empire before it could even form, or results in them pushing into the Pannonian Plain like the Magyars and menacing Central Europe rather than the Roman Empire. This likely butterflies away the circumstances that led to him him contracting dysentery five years later. Seeing as he was only 33 at the time of his death, he had the potential to rule for at least another decade if not two. This means no terror of Justinian (or at leas a very different one), no Twenty Years of Anarchy, and no rise of the Isaurians and their Iconoclastic ideology, i.e. it means preventing three of the worst things to happen to the Roman Empire since the fall of Egypt and Syria.
  18. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

    Dec 9, 2012
    Cibao Wilayet, Caliphate of Quisqueya
    Romanos II doesn't die at 21; instead his wife and possible assassin Theoohanes does.

    There you screw around with the rise of John Tzimikes and Nicephorus Phocas to the purple. I've always wanted to see what happens when either of these two great generals are more or less barred from entering the throne.
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  19. Spelf Habsburgs and Hot Dogs

    Oct 5, 2013
    Albany, New York
    I was under the impression that the fall of Egypt to the invading Arabs was a very touch-and-go affair capped off with inexplicable concessions by Greek commanders. Perhaps have the region hold for Islam being contained to the Arabia-Levant area. Alternatively, they could just savage the east more than IOTL.
  20. AlternateEagle Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2015
    Bunker in Proxima centauri B
    I know a great tl name for that!

    Achaemanid empire II: Sassanid bugaloo