World Without West

Speaking of that, does anybody have advice or suggestions for what to do with India? It's the last major part of Eurasia I haven't covered yet.
 
Speaking of that, does anybody have advice or suggestions for what to do with India? It's the last major part of Eurasia I haven't covered yet.

Well India could have gone any number of ways. I'm personally a fan of several major nations being major players in India. I like India being made up of many large states that can all project regional power but usually aren't usually great powers of the world.

Having India be homogenous is a modern idea stemming from the fact that India is now one nation, which it never really as anywhere near in the past so I think that's out of the question.

Maybe have it be eventually separated by spheres of influence by neighboring powers? Or have on kingdom overcome the rest and set itself up as a great power within India itself?

I would have to do more research to give anything solid. These are just basic ideas.

I do like the idea of India potentially remaining as a major religious center in Asia (maybe ending up with more influence in the Middle East if the Abrahamic Religions are weaker or outright gone).
 
We could be seeing an even more Persian inspired India than we have in OTL. Since Persia is so dominant, they could exert more force onto the subcontinent and have some of the states around the Indus firmly in their sphere of influence.
 
Speaking of that, does anybody have advice or suggestions for what to do with India? It's the last major part of Eurasia I haven't covered yet.

Why don't you think about uniting North India under Magadha? They were pretty much the dominant state in the Gangetic Plains at the time around your POD. A state endowed with fertile lands, large number of iron mines, a substantial population base and wide ranging trade relations leading to the accumulation of great wealth ; all these factors play an important role in their being able to dominate North India by virtue of them being able to field large and well equipped armies and maintaining such armies quite easily.

All these factors led to the OTL dominance of Magadha under the Nanda dynasty (and even before them for a century at least) and later on under the Mauryan Empire over the entirety of India.

You could have some conquest loving Kings ascending the throne of Magadha (not that the OTL ones were any less) subduing the adjacent Mahajanapadas like Saket, Kosala early on and gaining an earlier ascendancy over North India and in time mustering enough strength to challenge the Persian hegemony over the Indus states.
 
This is an edited version of a post of a few months ago:

8. The Heart of the World Shatters (ca. 200 – 111 BS)

Halfway through the 2nd century BS, the fragility of the Achaemenid Empire was obvious to everyone. Every year saw a rebellion somewhere, most often in Egypt, where the sense of national pride was very strong. The traditional Egyptian religion assumed a revolutionary connotation; the hieroglyphic names of Atum and Horus were scribbled on the walls of the Persian barracks. In 131 BS [264 BC], a Pharaoh, Merenatem [“beloved by Atum”], was proclaimed by the rebels, only to be crucified as traitor less than two years later.

In spite of his illustrious name, Daryavahush [Darius] IV [1] was commonly considered a weak ruler, who allowed the Saka (Scythian) barbarians to pillage the eastern reaches of the Empire and had failed to produce a son. Even the success against Merenatem's rebels were mostly credited to the Mede general Uvashtra [Cyaxares], who had defeated them in a strenuous battle on the Pelusion Channel. Daryavahush's eldest daughter, Parmiya [Parmys], had married the Satrap of Parthia Artavazhda [Artabazus], and if the emperor's wishes were to be respected, Persia would have to prepare itself for its first empress. Persian women were held in sufficient regard that an empress could be not entirely unthinkable, but it was still an event without precedent.

This was not accepted by everyone – much less by Vidarna [Hydarnes], Daryavahush's younger brother, who had many supporters in the nobility. However, he was only a few years younger than Daryavahush, and after his death his son would have a weak claim against Parmiya' faction. A bitter dispute arose in the court over whether to send Uvashtra to fight in the east (as Vidarna preferred) or having him keep Egypt subdued (as ordered by Daryavahush). When the Saka pillaged Balkh [Bactra] in 126 BS [259 BC], Vidarna felt vindicated, and openly attacked his brother's decision to be succeeded by Parmiya.

In 124 BS [257 BC], Daryavahush IV died. A persistent rumor held that Vidarna had him poisoned to claim the throne before the court could be persuaded in Parmiya's favor. Of course, Artavazhda supported this rumor and held that his wife should be proclaimed empress. The court split in two, fighting with words and then with weapons for almost a year.

The administration of the Empire suffered greatly. Both Vidarna and Parmiya considered themselves the legitimate ruler, and issued contradictory orders; each general and civil servant had to choose whom to obey. The political chaos only made the threat of rebellions and incursions worse, and the army called for the restoration of order. General Uvashtra marched with his men on Persepolis and declared himself acting emperor.

At this point, the Empire was in full civil war. Many outer satrapies grew more autonomous and there was a significant emigration from the cities. Meanwhile, the Saka nomads could now afford to control whole cities, as the Persian armies were turned on each other. When Parmiya's army pushed his forces west of the Euphrates, Vidarna retreated into Armenia, where his enemies were not able to pursue him. As Persepolis was taken back, Uvashtra fled to Thebes, the capital of Greater Ionia, which was by now so heavily persianized that it cheered a general famed for suppressing rebellions.

The main contenders were now based on highlands where they were safe from invasions – Vidarna in Armenia, Parmiya in eastern Persia – and bloodshed was concentrated on the plains of Mesopotamia. Since war was fought for the control of this territory, deliberate devastation did not occur, but sieges and accidental damage had a terribly destructive impact on lowland cities such as Babylon and Susa. In at least one case, a river bank was broken to flood the passage of an army.

Another Pharaoh arose in Memphis, and by taking the name Merenatem II he acknowledged the executed rebel as legitimate. His victory in a naval battle near Tyre forced Vidarna to accept it, as he couldn't afford to lose any more soldiers while he was still fighting Parmiya. Uvashtra attempted to send another fleet after him, but by sheer bad luck the fleet was heavily damaged by a storm. The war continued fruitlessly for many years, as the various leaders were reduced to defend their portions of Empire.

Only in 111 BS [244 BC] the exhausted leaders met to sign the Peace of Ecbatana, in which they acknowledged each other as rulers of successor states. The Achaemenid Empire was over. Parmiya kept the largest and richest state, comprising the Iranian plateau and Mesopotamia as far west as the upper Euphrates, bud she had to renounce the title of empress: instead she would be queen of Parthia. To Vidarna went the west, with Armenia and most of Anatolia, as well as the eastern coast of the Mediterranean.

The young Merenatem II was of course accepted as ruler of Egypt, sharing with Vidarna the control of Pelusion Channel. In an effort of restoration of Egyptian culture, he took Memphis as his capital – now known once again as Men-Nefer, the “enduring and beautiful”. Uvashtra was allowed to keep Greater Ionia, which meant both Greece and the Aegean coast of Anatolia; he ruled as a charismatic strongman that eventually became the beginning of a monarchic dynasty. The Saka leader Khotan would seat in Balkh as the king of Turan, and would became the founder of the Gorbat dynasty.

The fall of the Achaemenid Empire had a huge impact on Persian culture. In fact, at this point it's not possible any more to speak of a unified Persian culture, but only of a number of cultures increasingly influenced by their neighbors. Turan was radically transformed, turning into a nomad empire, while Egypt sought to purge as much of the Persian influence as possible (failing, as we'll see). Ionia would fall into the Egyptian sphere; Armenia regressed to a more rural condition, and developed its own unique culture, with a strongly religious component. Parthia would stay most faithful to Persian tradition, considering itself for centuries the rightful successor of the empire.


[1] I'm calling Persian characters with their Old Persian name, giving the Greek version between brackets.

640px-NAMABG-Colored_Alexander_Sarcophagus_1_retouched.JPG

In the next installment: Egypt profits from its newfound freedom.
 
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Oh, the monolithic juggernaut of Achaemenid Persia has fallen apart under its own weight. Has any Indian States managed to grab some territory or simply changed the hegemony of Persepolis for the Turan Shah? And what effects have taken place on the Silk Road by the splitting apart of Persia? Does this 'Parthia' have a stranglehold on trade through the Silk Road as well as the maritime routes still?

And yes dear author what do you think of my ideas about India? You could always think of it at least and come to a better alternative.
 
Has any Indian States managed to grab some territory or simply changed the hegemony of Persepolis for the Turan Shah? And what effects have taken place on the Silk Road by the splitting apart of Persia? Does this 'Parthia' have a stranglehold on trade through the Silk Road as well as the maritime routes still?

Turan won't have much respect for the freedom of the Indian states, and for now their situation won't be very different. Parthia is badly damaged and impoverished by the war, and presumably will have trouble controlling piracy on the trade routes; these might shift north in favor of the Sarmatian empire, if possible.

And yes dear author what do you think of my ideas about India?

I like them, I'll try to incorporate them in my work. For now, Magadha is growing into the Nanda Empire, as in OTL; the Indus region is still fragmented.
 
Is the Sarmatian Empire a monolithic entity or a hegemony of one powerful state?

Good to see that you liked my ideas however crude they may be. And basically the Nandas were considered as usurpers from the Shishunaga dynasty. Moreover the Nandas were not considered to be 'Kshatriyas' but 'Shudras' as Mahapadma Nanda was the illegitimate son of the Mahanandi(the last ruler of the Shishunaga dynasty) through a Shudra woman.

Their being Shudra was being resented by the populace at large as people couldn't tolerate a member of the lower class to suddenly become their ruler. Also the wealth hoarding habit, by extracting oppressive taxes from the populace, of the Nanda rulers was another reason for this resentment . Dhana Nanda was rumored to have hidden about 80 Mana of gold in a secret location in the bed of the Ganges. Also rampant corruption in the administration proved another cause for the population's anger. Chandragupta Maurya mainly exploited the resentment present to overthrow Dhana Nanda (also finally the corruption prevalent led to the downfall of the Nandas).

And the main thing is that the Nandas took power in 365 BC before them the Shishunagas took over from the Brihadratha dynasty in 413 BC who took over from the Haryankas in mid 6th century BC and who were rebels against the Pradyota dynasty of Avanti( roughly the present day Western half of Madhya Pradesh state, which at that time had annexed Magadha around 790 BC) , and they succeeded in taking power in early 7th century BC.

Obviously you will research about it in depth but though better to share whatever little I knew.
 
The world in 232 BC, or 99 BS, at the greatest development of the Ivory Road.
(Yes, for now the development of India is as OTL. I'm assuming that nothing changes unless it's directly influenced from the PoD. However, with the recent establishment of Turan, things are going to change soon).

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Is the Sarmatian Empire a monolithic entity or a hegemony of one powerful state?

The Sarmatian Empire, despite the name, is far from monolithic: each tribe is largely self-governing, though all are kept together by common culture, written language and trade. They appoint representatives that seat in a council in Tanais to regulate disputes among tribes and decide common policy, such as distribution of pastures and warfare against external enemies. No tribe is overwhelmingly stronger than the others. Thanks for the information!

EDIT: Mauryan Empire replaced with Nanda Empire (see posts below for details).
 

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9. The Rebirth of Kemet (111 BS – ca. 180 AS)

Merenatem II was an ambitious man. He dreamed to restore the empire of Ramses II under his own XXVIII dynasty. The first step was to rebuild the culture of his ancestors. At Men-Nefer he order the construction of many monuments about his victory; his colossal statue at the Temple of Ptah and the vast bas-relief depicting the naval battle of Tyre are the most noteworthy. Art historians have noticed that his portraits are markedly more naturalistic compared to the highly stylized art before the Persian conquest.

The greatest asset of Egypt – now Kemet, the “black land” made fertile by floods and surrounded by the “red land” of the desert – was as always the Nile. Since the Nile Valley had been spared from the worst destruction, and remained highly productive farming land, Kemet was able to export great amounts of grain both to Parthia (as Mesopotamia had been badly damaged by the war) and to Qart-Hadasht (as Sicily was still largely controlled by Reburrus).

After having secured the independence of Kemet at the Peace of Ecbatana, Merenatem went on to secure its borders. The desert provided enough protection in the west, crossed only by the Imazigh caravans. At north and east, Armenia and Parthia weren't in the conditions to expand their territory. Therefore, the only possible threat was at the south: the Kingdom of Kush on the middle Nile.

Kush had a long story of interaction with Egypt; once a province of the Ramessid empire, it had produced a dynasty of pharaohs after the power of Memphis had dwindled. The times of union had left a distinct mark on Kushite culture: they built pyramids, worshiped Sekhmet and Ra, and gave the title of Pharaoh to the kings in Medewi. [1]

Since then, the age of the war chariots that won at Qadesh had long passed: Merenatem had to organize an army of massed infantry as seen in Persia and China. Iron had replaced bronze as the metal of choice for weapons, and new breeds of horses more suitable for riding had appeared. With all his devotion to traditional Kemetic culture, Merenatem wasn't blind to technological advancement. He organized a modern army, buying great amounts of iron from Qart-Hadasht, and crossed into Kush. He found relatively little resistance: Medewi fell in 95 BS [228 BC].

By this time Merenatem II was over 70 years old. He would succumb to a lung disease a few years later. He was followed by his son, Sekhemre [“might of Ra”], whose crown bore the double wadjet (snake) of the Kushite kings. With the south pacified under a viceroy appointed among the noblemen, he prepared to carry on his father's work in the east.

To accomplish that, he chose to bring the Pelusion Channel under entirely Kemetic control. He attempted to buy it from Vidarna's heirs with the gold gained from Qart-Hadasht and extracted from Kushite mines; when that failed, he resorted to bribe the government of Nabataea, a small Arab kingdom that bordered both Kemet and Armenia. The young kingdom of Armenia was not in good shape, and if a war broke out it would have to face Nabataea having a direct access to the Cananean cities. The king Arshama [Arsames] eventually accepted to bequeath the Channel to Kemet in exchange for islands on the Ionian coast seized by Merenatem during the war, allowing access to the Carthaginian trade net, and a rich compensation in gold, ivory and slaves.

Ironically, the channel created by the Persian occupiers at Pelusion (now Per-Amun) was now one of the major factors in the ascent of Kemet. With Cyprus, Saba and Punt turned into tributaries by the middle 1st century BS, it gave Kemet the almost monopoly of trade routes between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Carthaginian sailors, shipbuilders and naval engineers were routinely employed in all major Kemetic harbors.

The kingdom of Sekhemre is considered the golden age of the new Kemetic Empire; his successors never entirely lived up to him and his father. In the following centuries, they would be both worshiped as gods in a number of temples, most importantly at Hut-Waret [Avaris], Merenatem II's natal city. Kemetic culture, of course, was never completely restored to what it was before Persia.

The last pulse of Kemetic expansion occurred in the middle of the century, under Sekhemre III. Kemet and a resurgent Armenia had fought a brief war over the control of the harbors of Cyprus, which had resulted in Armenian troops preemptively invading Nabataea and replacing its government with Arshama's grandson. While the war had been mainly naval until then, at that point Kemet sent the bulk of its army beyond the Per-Amun Channel, into Canaan.

The Kemetic army swept northward over Canaan, but it was defeated by the Armenian one at the battles of Megiddo and Bethabara. Even the son of Sekhemre III was slain at the river Yarden [Jordan]. The Kemetic army also pushed into western Nabataea, but the campaign was abandoned due to dwindling supplies with the eastern half of the kingdom surviving as a satellite state of Armenia, under the surprisingly lasting Arshamid dynasty. It was 31 BS [164 BC].

By that time, the war had been fought for well over nine years, and both nations were tired. Maybe it could have gone on for much longer under Sekhemre III, driven by pride and by revenge for his son's death, if he hadn't died at 56 that year. The regent queen, Ankhesenmat [“life of Maat”], was more willing to compromise. She accepted a joint Armenian-Kemetic control of Cyprus, and economic privileges for Armenian ships crossing the Per-Amun Channel. However, the conquered land in Canaan south of Bethabara would be annexed to the Kemetic Empire.

The figure of the Pharaoh as god-king, identified with Amun-Ra, wasn't taken very seriously by most subject. While in the Kemetic core the worship of Merenatem II and Sekhemre I was popular, the later kings abandoned many of the divine honors, and the people of Kush and Canaan mostly regarded the Pharaoh just as king and high priest. The custom of marrying their own sister was largely abandoned, in favor of marrying noblewomen from the outer provinces. Curiously, we find in Canaan depictions of Merenatem I crucified, turned into religious imagery.

As the influence of ancient Persia waned, and so the influence of Aramaic, the Coptic language affirmed itself as the language of trade, religion (the Kemetic religion became very popular in Ionia, with temples to Amun-Ra built in Athens, Pella and Thebes), and then high culture. Even today, most languages spoken in the eastern Mediterranean, from Lucanian in the west to Aleppine in the east, are essentially Coptic dialects; the main exceptions are Hebrew, Armenian and some West Turkic languages. Despite this, the Aramaic alphabet was still in use outside of sacred writing, and would eventually develop in the phonemic Anatolian script.


[1] The Meroitic name of Meroe, capital of Kush from the 6th century BC.

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Sekhemre III leading his army along the lower Yarden.

In the next installment: a province of the empire rebels.
 
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I'm still having second thoughts on India. My plan, according to the map I posted, was to have the Maurya empire formed as OTL and survive at least as 200 BC or so; Ashoka would be killed in battle before his conversion in a failed western campaign, and the empire would be more focused on the eastern lands, never annexing the regions west of Gujarat. Turns out, though, that Chandragupta was quite involved with the Greek conquest of the Indus, so it might be unrealistic to have the Maurya arise without Macedonian influence. I'll probably have to edit the map.
Maybe, then, I could have Nanda survive and possibly expand south. On the other hand, if the Nanda were as disliked as Emperor of Greater India says, it could be just as unrealistic to have them rule for so long. Would another rebellion, if not outright fragmentation, be a better choice? Or could they find a way to be better accepted by their subjects? Maybe if Dhana Nanda were less greedy?
 
Restoring India's republics is how I would phrase what you called fragmentation. If you want a world dissimilar to our Western one, then no post-Alexandrine empires in India and yet another non-Greek civilization developing City republics (and not maritime ones like the Carthaginian) sounds cool.
 
I'm still having second thoughts on India. My plan, according to the map I posted, was to have the Maurya empire formed as OTL and survive at least as 200 BC or so; Ashoka would be killed in battle before his conversion in a failed western campaign, and the empire would be more focused on the eastern lands, never annexing the regions west of Gujarat. Turns out, though, that Chandragupta was quite involved with the Greek conquest of the Indus, so it might be unrealistic to have the Maurya arise without Macedonian influence. I'll probably have to edit the map.
Maybe, then, I could have Nanda survive and possibly expand south. On the other hand, if the Nanda were as disliked as Emperor of Greater India says, it could be just as unrealistic to have them rule for so long. Would another rebellion, if not outright fragmentation, be a better choice? Or could they find a way to be better accepted by their subjects? Maybe if Dhana Nanda were less greedy?

Yes Concavenator, Chandragupta mainly rose due to the grooming of Chanakya to create a ruler who would combat the Greeks which the Nandas had refused to(I know it seems a bit romanticized, but that's what is ancient history is full of) . And the rapid conquest of the Nanda Empire by Chandragupta inspite of the Nandas having a formidable army at their disposal shows the amount of resentment against them in the populace (you can't fight against rebels however powerful you maybe if your own subjects hate you).

And well you will find this too much of a stretch, but, it's true that the first serious Nanda Army to face off against Chandragupta was bought off by him by bribing the army's General, who then joined forces with Chandragupta(sounds straight out of a fantasy tale right? But it is true).
The armies had really no true loyalty to the Nanda state by then which was nothing more than a corruption infested state. Even if in OTL had Alexander fought against the Nandas he might at least have reached Mathura.

Now you may think that I am some kind of phobic to the Nandas, but what kind of state wouldn't even care to build even a proper network of Sarais (wayside inns) for travelers to rest inspite of having an overflowing treasury? Not even Pataliputra had good hospitals at that time.

And yes you are right that Chandragupta's rise was centered around Alexander's conquests. And TTL even if not him there could always be another to take his place as a rebel, rebelling for different reasons , but how successful the rebellion would be, is how you decide it to be.

If for the Nandas to reduce the oppressive taxes to increase their popularity, there's always the Shudra issue. After all nothing was more important than your social status in those days. The people dominated by the Brahmins would still find it offensive to say the least, to be ruled by a Shudra(Nandas were considered to be lowly barbers or something else (I'm not entirely sure) according to the caste system of the time).
 
... Let's try this, then. The Nanda dynasty survives longer. (I'm trying to keep a largish Indian empire surviving more or less up to 150-100 BC.) More benevolent emperors manage to improve its reputation enough to avoid large rebellions, and/or reinforce their control by enlisting a mercenary army from the neighbor kingdoms. Later, an invasion from the west occurs. The western kingdoms fall, the mercenary army mostly flees, and northern India is (briefly) united by the conquerors. (The south isn't, leading to a greater cultural divide between the northern and southern parts of India.) The conquering empire is overthrown a little later. A large part of the upper castes have died, and the surviving Nanda are seen as even more untrustworthy than before, which leads to the cities organizing into republics, as Salvador79 proposed. Could this work?
 
India was a lot like Greece in many ways, divided up into smallish states, religion being fluid and fuzzy to an extents, developing math and other arts, and even having their own Alexander the Great equivalent (Chandragupta Maurya). Perhaps keep India as several smallish states and amplify its Greek-esque characteristics.
 
... Let's try this, then. The Nanda dynasty survives longer. (I'm trying to keep a largish Indian empire surviving more or less up to 150-100 BC.) More benevolent emperors manage to improve its reputation enough to avoid large rebellions, and/or reinforce their control by enlisting a mercenary army from the neighbor kingdoms. Later, an invasion from the west occurs. The western kingdoms fall, the mercenary army mostly flees, and northern India is (briefly) united by the conquerors. (The south isn't, leading to a greater cultural divide between the northern and southern parts of India.) The conquering empire is overthrown a little later. A large part of the upper castes have died, and the surviving Nanda are seen as even more untrustworthy than before, which leads to the cities organizing into republics, as Salvador79 proposed. Could this work?

No problem for it to work. But does the Turanshah invade India in your plans? Surely possible. And the Turans begin repressing Hindus? Wow, thought that maybe they'd have become pretty tolerant towards Hinduism. And if you are desiring to replace the monarchy with republics they'd be oligarchic as was the norm of the time. Well I am not much of a speculator, but do you really think that the monarchy as an institution will be completely disregarded all of a sudden? Though its always a possibility.

Republics may not be that much of centrally powerful though. Such republics tended to have multiple centers of power like the government, merchant guilds(cause they hold the money) , religious institutions and the military. Moreover such guilds in nexus with the military most of the times can become the dictating power in the state. Republicanism, after all, wasn't that popular as it was in Greece.

I don't know how much useful you may find my opinion, but it is what it is.
 
... Let's try this, then. The Nanda dynasty survives longer. (I'm trying to keep a largish Indian empire surviving more or less up to 150-100 BC.) More benevolent emperors manage to improve its reputation enough to avoid large rebellions, and/or reinforce their control by enlisting a mercenary army from the neighbor kingdoms. Later, an invasion from the west occurs. The western kingdoms fall, the mercenary army mostly flees, and northern India is (briefly) united by the conquerors. (The south isn't, leading to a greater cultural divide between the northern and southern parts of India.) The conquering empire is overthrown a little later. A large part of the upper castes have died, and the surviving Nanda are seen as even more untrustworthy than before, which leads to the cities organizing into republics, as Salvador79 proposed. Could this work?
Emperor of Greater India has rightly emphasised the role of the guilds. Republicanisation does not have to be an ideological thing, it can be the de facto reality under a withering Nanda umbrella, too. The Kushans come, but they, too, will act differently without an Alexander in Central Asia, and they may well behave cooperatively towards such local structures. Their Central power will soon be history, too, but urban republics still endure. It's just about an India in whose politic philosophy the chakravartin is not so overly emphasised as IOTL. After all, th mahajanapada period is well remembered still at this point, and its political landscape was very varied with many republics. (of course not democratic ones in the modern sense, like everywhere in the classical world, but, the guilds again, "oligarchy", too, doesn't lool the same everywhere, either)
 
10. Children of One God (7 – 37 AS)

Canaan has never been a peaceful region. Being located at the crossroads between Libya, the European Subcontinent and the Iranian region, it founds itself surrounded by the powerful empires that grow out of the Nile, the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia, but unable to develop one itself. As a crucial hub for travel and commerce, both by land (between Kemet and Assyria) and by sea (between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea), its fate is to be forever disputed among its neighbors; it's war without end.

It goes without saying that Jews, having been allowed to return to their homeland under Achaemenid rule and to rebuild the Temple of Yahweh, felt less than thrilled to be once again subjects of Egypt, which they strongly associated with oppression and slavery. Although they retained freedom of religion, the sight of a temple to Osiris in the heart of Yerushalayim was loathsome to the most conservative elements; not to mention that the Pharaoh's claims to divinity, which had to be acknowledged at least formally by the local rulers, were considered outright blasphemous.

The earliest signs of rebellion had occurred before the conquest of Canaan was over, as acts of guerrilla supported by Armenia, critically weakening the Kemetic army just before the Battle of Bethabara. They continued for half a century of occupation with acts of sabotage and desecration of Kemetic idols. Around the time of Sarmuhene's birth, organized rebel societies began to appear, and wax tablets were used to spread messages that could easily be scraped away when guards would get near.

The rebellion of Yehuda ben Eleazar is one of the great forgotten epics of history. While his origins are shrouded in legend, he was said to be the son of a Yahwist shepherd. In late 7 AS [127 BC], approximately 30 years old, he was in Yerushalayim, performing the pilgrimage to the Great Temple as part of the holiday of Sukkot. According to Jewish legend, he found a priest of Nut tending to a sacred sow in the courtyard of the Temple, so he struck the priest and slew the sow. [1] The clamor grew into a riot, in which several Kemetic guards were killed.

Yahwist priests helped Yehudah flee from the city together with some who had helped him in the riot. Among them there were two brothers, Yohanan and Maharai, who would become his lieutenants during the rebellion. They gathered rebels from all the major cities of Canaan and grew into a makeshift army some 10,000 strong, headquartered on the Judaean hills.

The Kemetic army was powerful, well armed and well trained; however, the cavalry and the heavy infantry sent to deal with the rebellion were poorly suited to mountain combat. Yehudah exploited the ground to his advantage: he set ambushes on the lines that marched through canyons, and created choke points in the valleys to force cavalry units to pass in single line.

Over ten years of grueling warfare, Yehuda managed to beat back the Kemetic forces south of the Dead Sea, and established a Kingdom of Israel. This was by far the largest loss of land for the empire since the time of Merenatem. In 16 AS [118 BC], the High Priest Zedekiah anointed him Messiah; foreigners were killed or expelled – or allowed to convert and be circumcised. Since he was not of David's line, Yehudah couldn't lawfully be king, but he took that role in all but name. [2] Immensely popular, he took to administrating disputes with uncontested authority.

This victory couldn't last. Disputes soon arose, the lieutenants vying for political power and wealth while Yehudah became more concerned in enforcing strict Mosaic law. He's said to have lost divine favor when he forcibly converted Kemetic, Persian or Carthaginian residents, something that Jewish tradition frowned upon. Yohanan organized a counter-revolution that was quickly repressed with Maharai's collaboration; sentenced to stoning, he fled to the northern regions, while Maharai administered the kingdom. Meanwhile, the force that had been so effective in the mountain valleys revealed itself far less effective in defending a border.

In 37 AS [97 BC], Egyptian forces under the Pharaoh Ankhnefer II eventually managed to breach the walls of Yerushalayim, to find Yehuda slain by his own hand (or, as some believe, by Maharai, who planned to surrender the city but was killed by Kemetic soldiers the same day). The Pharaoh considered to raze the city, tear down the Temple and scatter the Jews throughout the Earth, but he decided otherwise. Nobody knows why; the oldest Kemetic document claims that he was moved to mercy by a Jewish concubine, and of course the kohanim still credit an act of Yahweh.

Paradoxically enough, Kemetic records show little or nothing of the original rebellion, and they never mention Yehuda by name, nor do they depict his face; yet, Ankhnefer's final victory was commemorated by steles and monuments, and celebrated with a garish festival in Men-Nefer that included the public execution of several prisoners. What we know of these events comes from Jewish and Persian sources.

Even though Israel never regained a lasting independence, Jewish culture is still very present in the area: not only in ethnically distinct pockets, but also as an influence on the dominant Kemetic culture. Some alimentary taboos in modern-day Kemet, for example, are recognizably Mosaic; Jewish music and poetry are amply enjoyed in the Coptic-speaking world, albeit under Kemetic names; and the long beards born in Hejaz are certainly not an Kemetic custom. It has been speculated that exposure to Jewish monotheism predisposed Kemet to accept Nyamism, thus playing a major role in the ascent of this religion.


[1] Nut, the Kemetic goddess of sky, was sometimes represented as a sow, whose piglet are the stars.

[2] The first part of Yehudah's rebellion is very loosely inspired to the Books of the Maccabees, deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament that describe a successful Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid dynasty.

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In the next installment: two great powers clash in Southeast Asia.
 
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