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The Weighted Scales: The World of an Aborted Rome

A TL set in antiquity, in which Rome is destroyed prematurely, before it becomes a great Mediterranean and later world power. Written by Errnge. You can read the finished version of the timeline here and the original thread with discussion here.


The Timeline starts off with a prologue setting the scene for Etruscan Italy. It describes a brief overview of Etruscan history and culture, the Celtic migrations into the Po River Valley, and the birth of a Latin city-state called Rome.

The first chapter of the Timeline, entitled Reign of the Senones describes the events leading up to the Senone raid led by Brennus in 387 B.C. The POD occurs when a Roman messenger sent to get relief is caught, and the Senones destroy the city after the Romans refuse to pay the whole of the Senone ransom of Rome. The Senones then set about conquering most of Northern Italia. They settle mostly along the Adriatic coast, founding the city of Sena. Brennus styles himself as the Senonirix, king of the Senones. Under his rule, the Senones set about conquering and settling Etruscan lands. Brennus dies in a siege of one Etruscan city, which sets off a civil war amongst the Senones as multiple chieftains vie for kingship. In the end, a general named Cingetocintus is Senonirix. He continues the Senone conquest of Tuscany, the final free Etruscan city being Fufluna, which he conquers with the help of Ligurian pirates. But by this time, Cingetocintus is old, and he dies a few years later.

The second chapter is called The Wars of Succession. It follows the events that lead up to the break up of Cingetocintus' greater Senone kingdom as eight chieftains and military leaders struggle for power: Glastus, Marumarka, Dubiepos, Adiat, Gutus, Uxellosirom, and Segoveco all carve up Northern Italy. Some are backed by outside powers, including Carthage, Syracuse, and Naples. Over the course of the wars, only four of the eight end up with a kingship at all. Glastus, who made his base of operations in Veii, Dubiepos, who ruled both Sena and Perusia, Gutus who held out in Fufluna, and Segoveco, a madman holed up in Ancona thanks to the help of Liburnian pirates from Illyria.

The third chapter, The Age of Shepherds moves the narrative further south, to Samnium. The Samnites, a pastoral Italian tribe living in the mountains, rise to dominance in the region thanks to their military clout. They overrun Campania, and continue to expand their sphere of influence in Southern Italy, bringing them into conflict with Taras, and other Greek colonies along the coastline of Magna Graecia. The city-state of Taras looks to Sparta at first for assistance, and later to Epirus. Alexander I of Epirus invades Italy with an army, but he is killed in a battle with the Samnites, Lucanians, and Bruttians. This is only the first in a long line of Greek generals and kings pushing back the Samnites from Magna Graecia.

Chapter Four, The Early Hellenistic Period starts off with Alexander the Great dying at the Battle of Issus thanks to a Senone mercenary who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Macedonian invasion of Persia is halted, and Alexander's brother Philip takes the throne. The chapter describes the nasty and often violent dynastic struggles of Macedonia as it attempts to keep its head above water. Persia collapses as satrapies break away, including Egypt, Armenia, Media, Parthia, and Bactria. Parmenion and his son Philotas, two of Macedonia's highest ranking generals, invade Syria and Palestine, an event that coincides with a rebellion in Mesopotamia, bringing about the 3rd Babylonian Empire. When Philip III dies, a civil war breaks out between different factions. Cassander makes a bid for power, while Philotas, Seleucus, and others support Cynane, Alexander and Philip's half sister. After a brutal war, Cynane came out on top. Philotas married her daughter, Eurydice, and became regent. In the meantime, the Persian satrap/king of Egypt was overthrown by natives with the help of Greek mercenaries, and a native dynasty was put in place headed by Nectanebo III. The Samnites make another play for control of Magna Graecia. Again Taras asks for help, but this time they looked to Macedonia, who sends their general Seleucus. While Seleucus is able to push back the Samnites, and pacify the Lucanians and Bruttians, he is criticized by Philotas for incompetence on the field. Thus, when Philotas came to power as king after Cynane died, Seleucus made himself King of Italion. Philotas sent an army over, but was unable to defeat Seleucus. All the while, Macedonia was warring with Greek city-states to the South, particularly Sparta. Agathocles, the ruler of Syracuse, launches a war against Carthage to take the whole of Sicily. The Carthaginians quickly counter attack and Agathocles is holed up in Syracuse, where he escapes with an army, bringing the fight to Carthage. He raids the North African coast, and defeats Carthaginian armies. He is defeated eventually, and forced back to Syracuse. Afterwards, the general who defeated him, Bomilcar, launches a coup in Carthage, and reestablishes the monarchy, styling himself as Malik.

Chapter Five To Live And Die By Fire is as of yet incomplete. When Philotas dies, his son Orestes II rules. Syracuse is ruled by Agathocles, who makes an alliance with Seleucus, binding their dynasties through marriage. Orestes II manages to right much of the wrongs of previous rule, and proves himself as a savvy diplomat. Meanwhile, in the east, Xerxes, the last ruler of Persia, escapes capture from the Medians and goes into India, where he assists in the downfall of the Nanda Empire. He is, however, implicated in an assassination attempt, and so he escapes again, but this time goes west to Macedonia. He arrives at the court in Pellas with the intent to kill Orestes, who he blames for his downfall in Persia. But he is beat to the punch by Pyrrhus of Epirus, who has Orestes assassinated. Pyrrhus' has this done because of Macedonia's meddling in Epirote affairs and northward expansion. Pyrrhus befriends Xerxes, and they return to Epirus. Orestes is succeeded by his incompetent brother Pausanias, who tries to defeat Pyrrhus in battle, and fails despite having the superior army. In the peace agreement, Pyrrhus is given Europa, Pausanias' sister, as wife. Pyrrhus then goes to war in Italy and Syracuse to ward off the Samnites (again!), where he takes control of the Greek kingdom there ruled by the Seleucids. He becomes ruler of Italion and Sicily after a swift war with Carthage. He was making plans to invade Africa and take Carthage, when he was called back to Epirus to defend the homeland from a massive Celtic invasion. The Celtic invasion of the Balkans happens in 280's B.C. The tribes overrun Macedonia, beheading Pausanias himself, and set about raiding, waging war, and settling in Macedonia and Thrace. They raid Delphi, and ravage Aetolia. Pyrrhus and Xerxes Indikos intend to fight them off and retake Macedonia, but this fails and Xerxes is captured, and “presumably” killed. Pyrrhus consolidates his power in Hellas, and planned another invasion of Ouolkike (the Volcae occupied region of Macedonia) when Xerxes arrives in his tent with murderous intent…


The timeline has been highly praised by the members of the board and won the "Best Continuing Ancient Period Timeline" category at the 2012 Turtledove Awards.

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