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A Shift in the Wind in 47 BC

A Classical history timeline posted by Christopher Brielman on the Old Board on November 4, 2003. Archived here.

Original version

POD is a literal version of the butterfly effect (mainly for poetic reasons). A butterfly happens to emerge from its cocoon a few minutes earlier than in our timeline. It flaps its wings and flies off, a few minutes earlier than in our timeline. A few year later, this seemingly insignifigant event has altered the wind on a certain day. That day? March 27, 47 BC. The place? Alexandria, Egypt. This is the day that Julius Caesar order Ptolemy's fleet to be burnt on the Nile. The resulting fire spread to the docks, then to the warehouse, and finaly, to the Museum (more of a University than a Museum in the modern sense) of Alexandria, or, at least, the Museum's Library (which is, ironically enough, more well known than the Museum of which is was a part). 400,00 Scrolls were said to have been lost to the flames. So, we change the wind, and the Library is saved (along with the warehouses and docks, but those don't really matter as much, though they were supposedly full of scrolls, ready for export). We'll assume that things don't change alot to begin with. Caesar continues as he would normally, though maybe he tours the Library. He still gets assassinated on the Ides of March, 44 BC and Octavian still forms the Principate. However, this is where things start to get different.

Also, the timeline, so far, is detailed in some places, and general in others. This is just because its still in the early stages of development, and I didn't want to get bogged down unti I've got a good feel for where things are going. Oh, and if anyone knows where I could find info on how long it would take Rome to conquer some of these areas, please tell. Right now, I'm just listing the dates when the campaigns are considered finished. Anyway, here we go:

AD 6- Publius Quinctilius Varus, requests that he be sent to govern Egypt, with its great Library, instead of backwards Germania. Augustus sends the appropriatly named Germanicus Julius Caesar (nephew of Tiberius) to take care of Germania. NOTE: There was also a revolt that happened OTL in Pannonia. We'll just avoid that revolt, to make things a littler easier for Rome.

AD 14- Though the natives have given him trouble especially in the south (Bohemia), Germanicus has been able to thoroughly pacify Germania Magna, and solidifies the Albis (Elbe) river frontier. He then goes on to pacify the region between the Albis and Viadrus (Oder) rivers.

AD 22- Germania to the Viadrus is mostly secured. Germanicus returns to Rome to become Caesar, after Tiberius dies of some disease. He does, however, leave the legions in the area under competant leadership.

AD 44- Germanicus completes his Dacian campaign, securing the region up to the Tyras (Dniester) river.

AD 49- Germanicus dies. Goes down as one of the most popular Emperors for conquering a heck of alot (more than Caesar, actually).

AD 52- Hero (Heron) of Alexandria invents the aeolipile, a simple steam jet engine (not neccesarily when it happen OTL). Notices a waterwheel one day, and wonders if his invention could be put to a similar purpose. Though he will never create a practical steam engine, others will continue his work.

NOTE: I've seen varying dates on when he lived, from the first century BC to the first century AD.

AD 54- Hero develops the overshot waterwheel, a result from his experiments with waterwheels and steam engines.

AD 63- Area between Viadrus and Vistula (Vistula) rivers secured. Decision made that the Vistula and Tyras rivers make pretty good boundries, and Rome shouldn't bother expanding any further (in that direction, at least).

AD 71- Southern Brittania is conquered.

AD 78- Caledonia is pacified.

AD 80- Hibernia is secured.

AD 98- Gan Ying, a Serican (Chinese, just took the Latin name for them, and Anglicized it) envoy, reaches Rome. Some exchanges of information and such occur over the following years, and Rome decides to let the Sericans in on their upcoming invasion of Parthia. They offer some support, to get rid of the “middle-man” of Parthia, who kept much of the gold Rome paid for Chinese goods to itself.

AD 104- Mesopotamia conquered. Parthians start suing for peace. Rome doesn't listen.

AD 109- Wheelbarrows start seeing use in the empire.

AD 119- Parthian Empire conquered.

AD 164- The tyranical Emperor Domitian (just to use the name) dies. His chosen heir is no more likable than him. The Senate chooses their own replacement. The Praetorian guard chooses another. Some generals with a decent army also decide to have a go for it. The Roman Empire crumbles, much as Alexanders did almost five centuries prior. When the dust settles, the empire has split into several factions. Historians would later dub these “Successor Principates” as the:

  • Gallic (Gaul, Hispania, Brittanic Isles)
  • Pannonian (Illyricum, Pannonia, Dalmatia)
  • Thracian (Thracia and Dacia, usually Greece as well)
  • Anatolian (Anatolia, Syria, Armenia)
  • Parthian (north-eastern former Parthian Empire)
  • Persian (south-western former Parthian Empire, more Hellenized and Romanized than Parthians)

Also, at this time, Egypt and Judea break free, though neither ever tries to expand. This similar attitude becomes the basis for an defensive alliance.

Italia and North Africa change hands several times during the constant wars.

The rest of the European empire is basicly abandoned (much like OTL's Britain) to help fight the civil wars. Barbarians move in to this area, of course.

The Chinese are, of course, annoyed with this disruption in their trade, but they have their own problems to tend to (if they didn't we'll make some up for them)

AD 223- The Second Republic is formed, comprising of most of Italia, which was sick of being conquered and reconquered by generals aiming for prestige. It far more egalitarian than the orginal Republic, mainly to keep the people on their side.

AD 229- Plague sweeps through war-torn Italia. Particularly devastates both the Gallic and Pannonian invading armies. A group of Christians receives notice for tending to the sick (part of their evangalizing). Christianity is officially tolerated after they take care of the family of Marcus Claudius, a prominant leader of the new republic, on the condition that they always pray to their God to protect the State.

AD 232- Marcus Claudius dies in battle. Part of his will donates much of his wealth to the Christian community, on the condition that they use to help the sick. This is generally held to be the beginning of the Order of St. Tiberius.

AD 234- Philip of Alexandria, a Christian, develops a working steam engine. However, it is destroyed by the Egyptians, who are at the time, persecuting Christians. Philip flees to Rome. He shows his plans for a steamship to the Senate. They see its potential use and approve funds for the construction of a steamship.

AD 235- The first steamship of the Republic Navy is completed. Trial runs along the Tiber prove successful, and more are built.

AD 237- The new fleet proves its worth in rushing reinforcements to lift the seige of Mediolanum.

AD 242- Philip builds a working locomotive. The Senate approves construction of a railway between Rome and

Revised version

4 BC- Publius Quinctilius Varus, Legatus of Syria, takes a trip down to Alexandria. While touring the Nile, he falls off his ship and drowns.

AD 6- Tiberius Claudius Nero, along with his nephew, Germanicus Julius Caesar, is sent to pacify Germania Magna and conquer the Marcomanni of Bohemia. An anonymous Pannonian gets into a drunken arguement over some literature and dies in the ensuing fistfight. (cheap, huh? still, we can say this avoids the revolt)

AD 14- Germania Magna is pacified and the Albis river frontier is secured. The Marcomanni to the south are defeated and their wealth is transported back to Rome, along with Tiberius, who returns to the Eternal City to become the next Emperor. Germanicus is left in command of the legions in Germania and assigned the task of crushing the Marcomanni's Quadi allies (I don't know if they were allies in OTL, but it seems reasonable, in the face of Roman “preemptive defense”).

AD 22- Germanicus has not only defeated the Quadi, he has also secured the area to the north, along the Viadrus river. However, before he can continue further, he must return to Rome to become Emperor, following Tiberius' death due to illness.

AD 34- Herod Agrippa becomes king of Judea (which didn't actually include Judea, go figure), with Germanicus' approval. Herod stays in the good graces of Germanicus and later emperors, allowing Judea a level of autonomy.

AD 39- Herod Antipas attempts to seize the kingship of Judea from Agrippa. Germanicus has Antipas exiled to Marcomannia and adds the lands of Peraea and Galilee to the kingdom of Judea.

AD 44- Germanicus' campaign in Dacia is completed. The region up to the Tyras river falls under Roman control.

AD 49- Germanicus dies one of the most popular emperors. His conquests were the unrivaled, even by Julius Caesar himself. His successor is his younger brother Claudius Nero Germanicus, who had remained in Rome during much of Germanicus' campaigns. Claudius gives the lands of Judea and Samaria to his good friend, Herod Agrippa. This restores the totality of the Kingdom of Judea (as a client state, of course), which has remained intact to this day.

AD 52- Hero (Heron) of Alexandria invents the aeolipile, the first known steam engine. While perusing the Library of Alexandria, he reads some works on waterwheels and becomes convinced that his invention could be put to a similar use. Though he dies before succeeding, he lays the way for future generations.

AD 53- Herod Agrippa dies.

AD 56- Claudius completes his campaign against the barbarians (such as the Vandali, Burgundiones, and Rugii) between the Viadrus and Vistula rivers. Claudius decrees that Rome should not expand further in this direction.

AD 62- Claudius dies. While not as popular as his older brother, he was still respected (in the provinces, at least) for his management of the empire and widely regarded as a good ruler. His son, Tiberius Claudius Vandalius (OTL's Britannicus) becomes emperor.

AD 63- Construction of the Third Temple of Jerusalem is completed.

AD 67- Vandalius' only son dies. He will not have another son. It is known that he and his wife did not get along, and most historians agree that Vandalius was homosexual.

AD 72- Work completed on the Claudian Amphitheater, capable of holding 100,000 spectators.

AD 74- Vandalius conquers southern Britannia. Upon returning to Rome, the Senate offers him the title Britannicus. To their shock, he not only turns it down, but asks that they give the honor to the general Marcus Flavius Verus (who commanded the legions responsible for the conquest), who Vandalius adopts his son and heir. The Senate complies and the general becomes Marcus Flavius Verus Britannicus.

AD 79- Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying the towns of Pompeii and Herculanium. To make matters worse, Emperor Vandalius was visiting the area. To his credit, when the praetorian guard panicked and tried to run away, he ordered them to stay and help with the evacuation. Unfortunately, Vandalius died two days later. Britannicus becomes emperor.

AD 81- Britannicus resumes the campaigns in Britannia.

AD 83- The rest of Britannia conquered. Shortly after, a raiding party from Caledonia attacks a Roman outpost. Britannicus commences a new campaign.

AD 87- Caledonia is conquered. Britannicus establishes a few naval bases in Hibernia, to combat piracy and leaves his son, Manius Flavius Verus in command of the region.

AD 91- Manius begins a campaign against the Hiberians. He claims that they attacked one of the naval bases, though, most likely, he was looking for glory.

AD 95- The Hibernian campaigns are completed. Brittanicus has the Senate give his son the title “Hibernicus”

AD 96- Britannicus dies. Hibernicus becomes emperor. He creates much controversy by wearing pants, (perceived as feminine in ancient Rome) a habit he picked up while stationed in the far north. He becomes the butt of several jokes and, when criticized personally, he orders that the entire Senate must meet for one session, wearing pants. The criticism stops, though the incident sets the tone for further cold relations between Hibernicus and the Senate.

AD 98- Hibernicus, after treating the Senate with much contempt, is assassinated. He goes down in history for having the dubious distinction as being the first Roman emperor to be assassinated. Senator Decimus Viridius Aurelius is proclaimed emperor.

AD 99- Gan Ying, a Han envoy reaches Rome, after being stalled by the Parthians. The Romans are impressed by Gan Ying and his entourage, and are glad to finally meet the suppliers on the other end of the Silk Road.

AD 100- Gan Ying returns to his homeland, along with a few Roman envoys and a few gifts (though nothing in comparison to what he brought the Romans). On the way back, however, the group is ambushed by Parthians, who aren't too keen on the Romans and Sericans developing relations. Most of the group manages to make it out alive. They split up, with some heading back to Rome, and the others heading back to Serica (China). When the governments in Rome and Lo-Yang find out about the incident, they are enraged. The Parthians attempt to apologize, saying that incident was due to an official acting out of his authority (said official is, of course, executed to show their sincerity). The Han dynasty isn't really interested conquering Parthia, though they would profit if it were eliminated, as its role as the middle-man along the Silk Road cuts into profits. The Romans, however, are jumping at the chance to launch a major campaign. Plans are made, with some assistances from the Han, to conquer Parthia.

AD 102- Roman armies invade Parthian territory through Armenia. They march down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

AD 103- Ctesiphon is captured. Envoys are sent to the Parthian subkingdom of Elymais to propose that the subkingdom become a client state of Rome and aid in the war. The Elamites agree.

AD 104- A similar proposal is sent the the subkingdom of Persis, but the Persians do not agree to it. Roman troops arrive in Susa and help defend the city against a Parthian counter-attack. Roman legions continue their advance into Parthian territory, with one half advancing through the north, near the Caspian sea, and the other half advancing down the south, along the Persian gulf. The desert in the middle is left largely alone.

AD 106- The subkingdom of Suren rebels against the Parthians. The Han are quick to support this rebellion, and a second front is opened on the Parthian war.

AD 108- Persepolis is captured. Persis surrenders to the Romans. The Parthians start to sue for peace, but the Romans refuse to their terms and the war continues. The Suren rebels are having some trouble and have lost control of the southern parts of their kingdom. The Han start to send more support, and decide to send a full army as well.

AD 109- Roman forces invade the southern part of Suren, to liberate it from the Parthians. Meanwhile, the northern legions begin to lay seige to Hecatompylos, the Parthian capital.

AD 111- Suren territory is secured, and the southern legions head north to assist in the seige of Hecatompylos.

AD 112- Hecatompylos is captured, ending the Parthian War. Parthia and the subkingdoms of Adiabene, Atropatene (Media), and Persis, as well as Armenia, are annexed into the Roman Empire. Elymais remains a client state of Rome. Suren agrees to pay some tribute to the Han and Rome, as payment for their help in the war.

AD 113- Aurelius adopts Gaius Barrius Avitus, the general who commaneded the southern legions during the war, and names him his heir, as well as giving him the name Persicus (making him Decimus Veridius Aurelius Barrianus Persicus). It should be noted that another contender was the general Quintus Domitius Nepos, who commanded the northern legions in the war. However, the Senate favored Persicus and advised Aurelius to choose him. As a consolation prize, he is given the name Parthicus, since it was he that captured Hecaompylos and conquered Parthia.

AD 115- Aurelius dies. Persicus become emperor. Parthicus, still fuming after being snubbed, threatens to lead his soldiers into Rome if he is not made emperor instead. Persicus compromises with Parthicus, adopting him as his son and heir (making him Decimus Veridius Aurelius Domitianus Parthicus). The Senate is not at all pleased with this turn of events, but there is nothing that they can really do about it.

AD 116- Persicus assigns Parthicus as the governer of Media, mainly to keep him out of Rome and out of his hair.

AD 123- Persicus dies. It is decided that he was poisoned to death, but nothing can be proven. Parthicus returns to Rome and becomes Emperor. Historians will later note that there are writings of Median officials which state that Parthicus had made preparations to leave, well before word arrived that Persicus had died.

AD 124- Parthicus begins supporting migration throughout the empire, to better Romanize the people. Several new colonies are established, most notably in the trans-Rhenian and Danuvian provinces (all those beyond the Rhine and Danube) and in the former Parthian empire. Parthicus enfranchises everyone in the Roman colonies, making them full Roman citizens. He also decrees that anyone who can speak Latin fluently and can pay a fee may be enfranchised. This draws some criticism, as he is seen as selling citizenship.

AD 125- Parthicus' purges the Senate, ordering 47 Senators executed.

AD 128- Parthicus orders another purge, killing 38 Senators.

AD 130- Parthicus starts spending money on the provinces, redirecting much of the imperial funds that would have otherwise gone to Rome. Many in Rome, of course, are offended. Still, this increases his already substantial popularity in the provinces. It also helps to quell some unrest in the military, as he begin an unprecedented building campaign in the provinces, building many new roads, aqueducts, bridges, and public buildings.

AD 134- Parthicus orders one last purge of the Senate, 63 Senators are killed.

AD 137- Parthicus is assassinated by the leader of the Praetorian Guard, on the suggestion of Senator Quintus Trebatius Armenius. Ironically, Armenius had been one of Parthicus' choices to fill the Senate after the first purge. This goes to show how hated he was by the Senate. Though Parthicus was an able Emperor, he made the fatal mistake of neglecting Rome and caring only about the provinces. Amenius, popular with both the Praetorian Guard and the Senate, becomes Emperor.

timelines/shift_in_the_wind_in_47_bc.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:13 (external edit)